Monday, November 14, 2016

Standing Strong Through the Storm - NO ORDINARY LIFE

And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:40-42

An Open Doors co-worker shares this personal experience from the Middle East:

The serenity of the pastor walking beside us seemed to calm the hustle and the bustle of the small village. He suddenly came to a stop, carefully looked around and then said, “Some time ago, exactly on the spot where you are standing now, a Christian brother was slaughtered to death because of his faith. He was abducted and brought here to be executed. Life in a mid-eastern village like this is not easy if you confess Jesus to be the Son of God. It could cost you your life.”

I looked at this servant of Christ and asked him the obvious question “Why do you choose to live here? Why do you choose to follow Christ under such severe circumstances?”

Without hesitation he looked at me and his reply became a challenge and guideline for my walk with the Lord, even if it is in the safety of my home. He replied “I refuse to live an ordinary life in Christ.”
As Christians we are called to refuse an ordinary life in Christ. We are commanded to reject worldly standards, to reject mediocrity, to reject compromise and to value people more than possessions, even more than our own lives.

To truly follow Jesus means His will is more important than my life. As well, while alive, I must adopt a lifestyle that puts people ahead of possessions, even one of my most valuable possessions—time! We tend to cherish stuff and comfort more than souls.

In the Shepherd of Hermes, an early church writing, we are urged, “Instead of fields, buy souls that are in trouble according to your ability.”

RESPONSE: Today amid the comforts of my environment I will refuse to live an ordinary life but seek to be more like Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, I want to live the Jesus way, valuing people more than things even to the point of sacrifice. Help me to escape the bonds of the ordinary Christian life.

Women of the Bible - Salome, Mother of the Zebedees

Her name means: "Peace"

Her character: A devoted follower of Jesus, whose husband ran a fishing business, she shared the common misconception that the Messiah would drive out the Romans and establish a literal kingdom in Palestine. Her name was probably Salome.
Her sorrow: To have stood with other women at the cross, witnessing the death of Jesus of Nazareth.
Her joy: To have seen an angel at Christ's tomb, who proclaimed the resurrection.
Key Scriptures: Matthew 20:20-24; 27:56; Mark 15:40-41; 16:1-2 

Her Story

Salome loved Jesus nearly as much as she loved her own two sons, James and John. She would never forget the day they left their father and their fishing nets to follow him. Lately, she, too. had come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah of God.

She had smiled when she heard Jesus had nicknamed her boys "the Sons of Thunder." Surely he had recognized the seeds of greatness in the two feisty brothers from Capernaum. Why else would he have invited them into his inner circle, along with Simon Peter? She had heard how Jesus had led the three up a high mountain. When they came down, her garrulous sons could hardly speak. But then the story came out.

"Jesus' face was blindingly bright like the sun….

"Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke with him….

"Suddenly a cloud surrounded us and a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!' "

Salome had listened. She had seen the glory and the power that radiated from the man. Though she had heard ominous rumors that Jerusalem's men of power hated Jesus, she also knew that the great King David had faced his own share of enemies before establishing his kingdom. And hadn't Jesus promised his disciples that they would sit on twelve thrones in his kingdom? "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake," he had said, "will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." How could she doubt him? Even with faith as small as a mustard seed, mountains could be moved.

Salome had left behind her comfortable home on the northwest shore of Galilee to join her sons. Now, as they journeyed up to Jerusalem, she remembered other words Jesus had spoken: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." She would no longer deny herself the one favor her heart desired. Prostrating herself before him, she begged, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."

But instead of replying to her, Jesus turned to James and John and said, "You don't know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?"

"We can," they answered.

Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father."

Jesus, who knew Zebedee's sons better than anyone, realized that Salome was only voicing their rising ambitions. Like any loving mother, she had simply asked for what she thought would make her children happy. But as Jesus' reply and subsequent events proved, this mother didn't begin to comprehend what she was asking. Soon, the man she had approached as a king would himself die on a cross, and she would be one of the women witnessing his death.

After it was over, Salome may have remembered the anguished faces of the men who had been crucified with Jesus, one on his right hand and the other on his left—an ironic reminder of her request on the way up to Jerusalem. Such a memory would only have increased her terror for what might now happen to her sons.

Along with other faithful women at the cross, Salome was present on the morning of Jesus' resurrection. Surely the angel's words—"He has risen! He is not here!"—would have comforted her later in life when her son James became the first martyred apostle, dying at the hands of Herod Agrippa.

Instead of asking Jesus what he wanted for her sons, Salome acted as though she knew exactly what he needed to do on their behalf. She must have forgotten that Jesus had exhorted his followers to leave behind not only houses, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers for his sake, but also children. In Salome's case, it didn't mean turning her back on her children but surrendering them to God. It meant putting Jesus above everything and everyone, loving him better than her own sons. Only then would she understand the meaning of what they would suffer as followers of Christ. Only then would she really know how to pray.

Her Promise

Though the typical woman in biblical times was in a subservient role, her position as a mother is exalted by Scripture. God the Father recognized from the very beginning the important role a mother would play in her children's lives, and he promised to bless her. Those same promises apply to you today.

Girlfriends in God - Attitude Check

Today’s Truth

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity (Proverbs 11:3, NIV).

Friend to Friend

On a recent flight, I was thumbing through a magazine someone left behind when the title of an article caught my eye. “Image is everything” the author declared. For a few seconds, I found myself actually agreeing with the author’s statement.

And then the Holy Spirit whispered, “Attitude check!” I knew what that meant. I needed to straighten up and pay attention because something was wrong. And then I saw it - the subtle lie expertly hidden in the seemingly benign words. It was from the pit and smelled like smoke!

As followers of Christ, we sometimes focus on developing and presenting the right image while neglecting the spiritual discipline of integrity. What we wear, how we look, the people we know, or even how big we can grow our ministry platform gets in the way of loving God, serving God, and becoming more like God.

Oh, friend, Satan is one sneaky dude! But remember that he is the Father of lies. It is his native language, and he speaks it well. Do not miss these two very important truths about integrity.

Our public lives are only as authentic as our private lives.

Image is who and what people think we are, while integrity is who and what we really are.

Billy Graham once said, “Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost.”

Bobby Jones was one of the greatest golfers to ever compete, having won all four major tournaments in the U.S. and Britain in a single year. Early in his career, Jones made it to the final playoff in the U.S. Open. While setting up a fairly difficult shot, his golf club accidentally touched the ball. Jones immediately became angry, turned to the marshals, and called a penalty on himself. Since the marshals had not seen the ball move, they left the decision to Jones. It was a two-stroke penalty – which Bobby immediately called on himself, not knowing he would later lose the tournament by a single stroke.

Bobby dismissed praise for his honesty by replying, "You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank!" Jones may have lost the tournament, but his character was legendary. The United States Golf Association's award for sportsmanship is now known as the "Bobby Jones Award."

I have often heard it said that integrity is what you do when no one is watching or that character is best illustrated by how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing for you. Integrity is a heart issue and a spiritual habit that decides beforehand to do the right thing.

Character counts.

Integrity matters to God.

1 Chronicles 28:9b For the Lord searches every heart, and understands every desire and every thought.

Matthew 5:8 (NIV) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

The word for “pure” in this verse means, “ready for sacrifice.” In other words, the decisions and choices we make should be living sacrifices that are holy and acceptable to God as acts of worship.

To have integrity means to live an integrated life. That integration occurs when what we believe, what we think, what we say, and what we do all line up with God’s standard … not man’s. Image really is nothing without integrity and character to back it up.

Is it time for an attitude check in your heart?

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You right now, asking You to examine my heart and show me every impurity hidden there. Search my desires and thoughts and show me the disobedience that breaks your heart. I want to please You with every choice and decision I make, Lord. Forgive me for the hypocrisy in my life. I lay down my pride and my agenda and choose instead to follow You.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Memorize Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” As this verse becomes the consistent prayer of your heart, each choice and decision you make will begin to line up with God’s will. He will be honored, and you will experience a new power and purpose in your life. Continually conduct an attitude check in your heart.

More from the Girlfriends

The world is obsessed with fitness and health. And there is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to get in shape. In fact, as fully devoted followers of Christ, one of our goals should be to get healthy and stay that way for this race of life. Fit for Life will help you do just that as it explores four areas of fitness and health - spiritual, physical, mental and emotional. Within each one of these areas, Fit for Life examines principles relating to rest, diet and exercise.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

Un Dia a la Vez - La envidia

No te irrites a causa de los impíos ni envidies a los que cometen injusticias; porque pronto se marchitan, como la hierba. Salmo 37:1-2

No te sientas mal cuando sientan envidia de ti. ¿Sabes? Eso siempre lo he visto como una buena señal. Cuando llamamos la atención, es porque estamos haciendo algo que les inquieta a los demás. Claro, esto es bueno cuando hacemos lo recto.

La envidia se conoce también como celo o codicia. Es algo horrible, pues no puedes brillar con luz propia debido a que no quieres ser tú mismo. Te frustras a menudo porque no resistes que a las otras personas les vaya mejor que a ti.

También la Palabra de Dios nos orienta a que no sintamos envidia de los impíos, de los que no le conocen. No debemos envidiar sus triunfos ni sus riquezas, pues nosotros tenemos el mejor regalo que es la vida eterna. Además, contamos con todas las promesas a fin de tener prosperidad y bendición.

Sé que muchos nos quejamos y decimos: «Bueno, ¿por qué esta persona sale adelante y le va súper bien si no conoce de Dios, no se congrega, ni obedece sus mandamientos?».

¡No te dejes confundir! Dios te dice que muchos de ellos morirán sin conocerle.

Por lo tanto, es mejor que no lo tengamos todo, sino que lo tengamos a Él y la salvación.

Verse of the Day - November 14, 2016

1 Peter 3:18 (NIV) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

Read all of 1 Peter 3

The Daily Readings for Monday, November 14, 2016

Habakkuk 2:1-4, 2:9-20
I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint. Then the LORD answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith. "Alas for you who get evil gain for your houses, setting your nest on high to be safe from the reach of harm!" You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited your life. The very stones will cry out from the wall, and the plaster will respond from the woodwork. "Alas for you who build a town by bloodshed, and found a city on iniquity!" Is it not from the LORD of hosts that peoples labor only to feed the flames, and nations weary themselves for nothing? But the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. "Alas for you who make your neighbors drink, pouring out your wrath until they are drunk, in order to gaze on their nakedness!" You will be sated with contempt instead of glory. Drink, you yourself, and stagger! The cup in the LORD's right hand will come around to you, and shame will come upon your glory! For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you; the destruction of the animals will terrify you-- because of human bloodshed and violence to the earth, to cities and all who live in them. What use is an idol once its maker has shaped it-- a cast image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in what has been made, though the product is only an idol that cannot speak! Alas for you who say to the wood, "Wake up!" to silent stone, "Rouse yourself!" Can it teach? See, it is gold and silver plated, and there is no breath in it at all. But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him!

James 2:14-26
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe-- and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

Luke 16:19-31
"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.' He said, 'Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father's house-- for I have five brothers-- that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.' Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.' He said, 'No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"

Morning Psalms

Psalm 89: Part I Misericordias Domini
1   Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2   For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3   I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4   'I will establish your line for ever, and preserve your throne for all generations.'"
5   The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
6   For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? who is like the LORD among the gods?
7   God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible to all those round about him.
8   Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
9   You rule the raging of the sea and still the surging of its waves.
10   You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11   Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.
12   You have made the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.
13   You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
14   Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; love and truth go before your face.
15   Happy are the people who know the festal shout! they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.
16   They rejoice daily in your Name; they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17   For you are the glory of their strength, and by your favor our might is exalted.
18   Truly, the LORD is our ruler; The Holy One of Israel is our King.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 89: Part II Tunc locutus es
19   You spoke once in vision and said to your faithful people: "I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
20   I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.
21   My hand will hold him fast and my arm will make him strong.
22   No enemy shall deceive him, nor any wicked man bring him down.
23   I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
24   My faithfulness and love shall be with him, and he shall be victorious through my Name.
25   I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River.
26   He will say to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.'
27   I will make him my firstborn and higher than the kings of the earth.
28   I will keep my love for him for ever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29   I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of heaven."
30   If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my judgments;
31   If they break my statutes and do not keep my commandments;
32   I will punish their transgressions with a rod and their iniquities with the lash;
33   But I will not take my love from him, nor let my faithfulness prove false.
34   I will not break my covenant, nor change what has gone out of my lips.
35   Once for all I have sworn by my holiness: 'I will not lie to David.
36   His line shall endure for ever and his throne as the sun before me;
37   It shall stand fast for evermore like the moon, the abiding witness in the sky.'"
38   But you have cast off and rejected your anointed; you have become enraged at him.
39   You have broken your covenant with your servant, defiled his crown, and hurled it to the ground.
40   You have breached all his walls and laid his strongholds in ruins.
41   All who pass by despoil him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42   You have exalted the right hand of his foes and made all his enemies rejoice.
43   You have turned back the edge of his sword and have not sustained him in battle.
44   You have put an end to his splendor and cast his throne to the ground.
45   You have cut short the days of his youth and have covered him with shame.
46   How long will you hide yourself, O LORD? will you hide yourself for ever? how long will your anger burn like fire?
47   Remember, LORD, how short life is, how frail you have made all flesh.
48   Who can live and not see death? who can save himself from the power of the grave?
49   Where, Lord, are your loving-kindnesses of old, which you promised David in your faithfulness?
50   Remember, Lord, how your servant is mocked, how I carry in my bosom the taunts of many peoples,
51   The taunts your enemies have hurled, O LORD, which they hurled at the heels of your anointed.
52   Blessed be the LORD for evermore! Amen, I say, Amen.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

The Daily Meditation for Monday, November 14, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Richelle Thompson

James 2:14, 26 (NRSV) What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?…For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

Faith versus works. For centuries, this theological debate has stirred the passions of scholars and clerics. This argument was a driving principle behind the Reformation, with Martin Luther breaking from the long-held focus on works to an understanding of salvation first and foremost through belief in Jesus as savior and redeemer.

In the Anglican tradition, we are closer to Luther’s understanding. Yet works are essential to the practice of our faith. Striking a balance between faith and works is a difficult challenge. Many congregations pray and read scripture without acting on it—keeping their doors closed to the larger community. Other congregations become so consumed with works that they become social service organizations, unmoored from the deep truth of God’s word.

The argument of faith versus works is worthy of deep reflection. But when it comes to our daily life and practice, we must embrace both, practicing a living faith that spurs us to generous and grand works.

Join more than a half million readers worldwide who use Forward Day by Day as a resource for daily prayer and Bible study.

Our Daily Bread - All Together Now

Read: Romans 15:1–7 | Bible in a Year: Lamentations 3–5; Hebrews 10:19–39

With one mind and one voice . . . glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6

While Nicholas Taylor was boarding a train in Perth, Australia, his leg became wedged in the gap between the platform and a commuter car. When safety officials could not free him, they coordinated the efforts of nearly 50 passengers who lined up and, on the count of three, pushed against the train. Working in unison, they shifted the weight just enough to free Taylor’s leg.

The apostle Paul recognized the power of Christians working together in many of his letters to the early churches. He urged the Roman believers to accept each other the way Christ had accepted them and said, “[May God] give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 15:5–6).

Unity with other believers enables us to broadcast God’s greatness and also helps us to endure persecution. Knowing that the Philippians would pay a price for their faith, Paul encouraged them to strive “together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you” (Phil. 1:27–28).

Satan loves to divide and conquer, but his efforts fail when, with God’s help, we “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).

Dear God, please let Christians everywhere experience the blessing of unity in You. Remind us of what we have in common: one hope, one faith, and one Lord—Jesus Christ.

Our unity comes from our union with Christ.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Todos juntos ahora

Leer: Romanos 15:1-7 | La Biblia en un año: Hebreos 10:19-39

… unánimes, a una voz, glorifiquéis al Dios y Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo (Romanos 15:6).

Mientras un hombre abordaba un tren en Perth, Australia, se le trabó la pierna entre la plataforma y un vagón. Los guardias de seguridad no podían liberarlo, entonces, coordinaron los esfuerzos de casi 50 pasajeros, quienes, a la cuenta de tres, empujaron el tren hacia el costado. Ese trabajo en conjunto desplazó el vagón lo suficiente para liberar la pierna del hombre.

En muchas de sus cartas, Pablo destacó el potencial del trabajo en conjunto de los cristianos de las primeras iglesias. Instó a los creyentes en Roma a que se aceptaran unos a otros como lo había hecho Cristo con ellos: «Dios […] os dé entre vosotros un mismo sentir según Cristo Jesús, para que unánimes, a una voz, glorifiquéis al Dios y Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo» (Romanos 15:5-6).

La unidad con otros creyentes nos permite comunicar la grandeza de Dios y nos ayuda a soportar la persecución. A los filipenses, los alentó a estar «firmes en un mismo espíritu, combatiendo unánimes por la fe del evangelio, y en nada intimidados por los que se oponen» (Filipenses 1:27-28).

A Satanás, le encanta dividir para vencer, pero sus esfuerzos son inútiles cuando, con la ayuda de Dios, somos «solícitos en guardar la unidad del Espíritu en el vínculo de la paz» (Efesios 4:3).

Señor, ayúdanos a experimentar la unidad en ti.

Nuestra unidad es fruto de nuestra unión con Cristo.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Mit vereinten Kräften

Lesen: Römer 15,1-7 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Klagelieder 3–5; Hebräer 10,19-39

. . . damit ihr einmütig mit einem Munde Gott lobt, den Vater unseres Herrn Jesus Christus. Römer 15,6

Einem Mann im australischen Perth wurde beim Einsteigen in den Zug ein Bein zwischen Bahnsteig und Zug eingeklemmt. Als die Rettungskräfte ihn nicht befreien konnten, kamen ihnen fünfzig der wartenden Passagiere zu Hilfe. Sie zählten bis Drei und mit vereinten Kräften stemmten sie sich gegen den Zug. Gemeinsam konnten sie den Waggon gerade soweit verschieben, dass sie das Bein hervorziehen konnten.

Der Apostel Paulus hat in vielen Briefen an die ersten Gemeinden von der Kraft der Zusammenarbeit gesprochen. Die Gläubigen in Rom ermahnte er, einander so anzunehmen, wie Christus sie angenommen hat. „Gott, der diese Geduld und Ermutigung schenkt, soll euch helfen, eins zu sein und in Frieden miteinander zu leben. Geht miteinander so um, wie es Christus vorgelebt hat.“ (Röm. 15,5 NLB).

Die Einigkeit mit anderen Gläubigen macht uns fähig, Gottes Größe zu verkünden, und hilft uns, auch Verfolgung auszuhalten. Im Wissen, dass die Philipper einen hohen Preis für ihren Glauben würden zahlen müssen, ermunterte Paulus sie, damit „ihr einmütig mit uns kämpft für den Glauben des Evangeliums und euch in keinem Stück erschrecken lasst von den Widersachern“ (Phil. 1,27-28).

Satan liebt es, uns auseinander zu bringen, aber er muss scheitern, wenn wir mit Gottes Hilfe darauf bedacht sind, „zu wahren die Einigkeit im Geist durch das Band des Friedens“ (Eph. 4,3).

Lieber Gott, bitte lass die Christen überall den Segen der Einheit in dir erleben. Erinnere uns an das, was wir gemeinsam haben: eine Hoffnung, einen Glauben, einen Herrn—Jesus Christus.

Unsere Einigkeit kommt aus der Einheit mit Christus.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Все вместе

Читать сейчас: Римлянам 15:1-7 | Библия за год: Плач Иеремии 3-5; 1 Тимофею 4

Дабы вы единодушно, едиными устами славили Бога и Отца Господа нашего Иисуса Христа. — Римлянам 15:6

Когда Николас Тейлор садился в метро в австралийском городе Перт, его нога провалилась в щель между платформой и вагоном и застряла. Сотрудники службы безопасности не смогли освободить его и попросили пассажиров выстроиться в линию и на счет «три» надавить на поезд. Расчет оказался верным: пятьдесят человек совместными усилиями приподняли состав, и Тейлор вытащил ногу.

Апостол Павел сознавал ценность совместных усилий христиан во многих посланиях, написанных им ранним церквам. Он призывал римских верующих принимать друг друга, как и Христос принял их, добавляя: «Бог же терпения и утешения да дарует вам быть в единомыслии между собой, по учению Христа Иисуса, дабы вы единодушно, едиными устами славили Бога и Отца Господа нашего Иисуса Христа» (Рим. 15:5-6).

Единство с другими верующими помогает нам возвещать Божье величие, а также терпеть преследования. Зная, что филиппийцы могут дорого заплатить за свою веру, Павел увещевал их стоять «в одном духе, подвизаясь единодушно за веру евангельскую, и не [страшиться] ни в чем противников» (Флп. 1:27-28).

Сатана любит разделять и похищать, но его усилия пропадут даром, если с Божьей помощью мы будем «сохранять единство духа в союзе мира» (Еф. 4:3).

Боже, помоги христианам по всему миру испытывать благословение единства в Тебе. Напомни нам о том общем, что мы имеем: одна надежда, одна вера и один Господь – Иисус Христос.

Единство происходит из союза с Христом.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Rassemblons‑nous !

Lisez : Romains 15.1‑7 | La Bible en un an : Lamentations 3 – 5 et Hébreux 10.19‑39

[Afin] que […] d’une seule bouche, vous glorifiiez le Dieu et Père de notre Seigneur Jésus‑Christ. (Romains 15.6)

Alors que Nicholas Taylor montait à bord d’un train à destination de Perth, en Australie, il s’est pris la jambe en étau entre la plateforme et la voiture. Se voyant incapables de la dégager, les autorités de la station ont coordonné les efforts de près de 50 passagers déterminés à pousser la voiture au compte de trois. En travaillant à l’unisson, ils sont ainsi parvenus à la faire basculer juste assez pour libérer la jambe de Taylor.

Dans plusieurs de ses épîtres, Paul a souligné la puissance que détiennent les chrétiens unis. Il a exhorté ceux de Rome à s’accepter les uns les autres comme Christ les acceptait : « Que le Dieu de la persévérance et de la consolation vous donne d’avoir les mêmes sentiments les uns envers les autres selon Jésus‑Christ, afin que tous ensemble, d’une seule bouche, vous glorifiiez le Dieu et Père de notre Seigneur Jésus‑Christ » (RO 15.5,6).

Leur unité permet aux croyants de proclamer la grandeur de Dieu et de surmonter la persécution. Sachant que ceux de Philippes allaient devoir payer le prix de leur foi, Paul les a encouragés à « [demeurer] fermes dans un même esprit, combattant d’une même âme pour la foi de l’Évangile, sans [se] laisser aucunement effrayer par les adversaires, ce qui est pour [ceux‑ci] une preuve de perdition, mais pour [eux] de salut » (PH 1.27,28).

Satan aime diviser pour mieux régner, mais ses tentatives restent vaines lorsque nous veillons à « conserver l’unité de l’Esprit par le lien de la paix » (ÉP 4.3).

Notre unité découle de notre union avec Christ.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ