Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Most of us here in the United States will be celebrating the upcoming national holiday of Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24th. For many it's a day of feast to share with family and friends with a holiday turkey and an afternoon of watching sports on TV. For many it will be a day of loneliness for those who have no one to share this holiday with or a day to remember a loved one that they used to share this holiday with. For some it will be a day to give to our communities and help feed those who otherwise might go hungry this day. For many it's a day to remember and give thanks for our achievements this past year. For many it's the day to get a jump-start on their Christmas shopping. And for many it's a day to give Thanks to God for all He has done for us and the blessings that we have received from Him.

The following is a Thanksgiving prayer that I will share with everyone everyday through Thanksgiving Day. You may copy it and share it with your friends and family and may even use it as a prayer of grace for your Thanksgiving feast.

God bless and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving day.

Dear Lord,

We come with hearts of gratitude today to bless Your name and to ask that Your hand of blessing would be upon us. THANK YOU, Father, for loving us with an eternal love that stands firm, even when we are unlovable. THANK YOU for being faithful, righteous, holy and just, yet willing to see us, Your children, through divine eyes of compassion, mercy, forgiveness and grace. THANK YOU for being a God of restoration and renewal in the midst of a broken, pain-filled world. THANK YOU for providing for our needs, directing our paths, and establishing our steps.

We acknowledge Your sovereignty, Lord, and freshly submit to Your will today. We ask Your BLESSING and GUIDANCE over our children, grandchildren, marriages, families, and loved ones. We ask Your BLESSING and GUIDANCE over our country, president, governors, senators, representatives, and local officials. We ask Your BLESSING and GUIDANCE over our communities, churches, schools, work places, decisions, and opportunities. Please FILL US with the presence of Your joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, and self control today. HELP US to see as You see and to love as You love. HELP US to serve others humbly for the sake of Your name. HELP US to be light that shines in the darkness. HELP US to follow Your ways and continually seek Your leading.

You are our hope and our strength, Lord. We give you THANKS in all of this and ask for the fullness of Your BLESSING in all these things, according to the power of Jesus Christ who is at work within us through Your Holy Spirit.


Standing Strong Through the Storm - TRANSFORMING INITIATIVES

But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 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. Matthew 5:39-41

When we read these verses about non-violent resistance we usually think this is a defensive directive of Jesus. For example, a leading church bishop in Nigeria, amidst severe Muslim-Christian conflict, has repeatedly been quoted in the press as saying, “We have turned the other cheek so many times, we have no more cheeks to turn!” This statement is often repeated by young people in the conflict zones of Nigeria who have become frustrated by Muslim attacks.

Palestinian Christians involved in peace, reconciliation and non-violence movements have helped me see this teaching differently. When Jesus teaches about “turning the other cheek,” it was an offensive—not a defensive—act of peace using a culturally relevant example of His day. A person who slapped another on the cheek normally used the back of the right hand as an act of insult by a superior to an inferior. Thus, by turning the “other” cheek, the one hit (the perceived powerless person) takes an initiative to force the aggressor to now return the swing and hit his face a second time. This time the “hit” must be with an aggressive open palm or fist thereby transforming the nature of the relationship. Very counter-cultural.

The Christ-like response of turning the other cheek says the person does not assume the inferior place of humiliation the striker had in mind but views himself as an equal. The supposedly powerless person has redefined the relationship and forced the oppressor into a moral choice: escalate the violence or respond with repentance and reconciliation.

Other transforming initiatives are to give your cloak when sued for your tunic and to carry a load for two miles for a person who can legally demand that you carry it for only one mile.

We all must seek “transforming initiatives” within our own particular context.

In the sixteenth century a renegade group of Christian leaders rebelled against their own religion. These dissenters called for the church to separate from the state and to reject all forms of violence. They waged their war with weapons of peace, and many died for their radical cause of calling Christians back to the way of Christ.

Known as “Anabaptists,” they dared to think that Jesus should be taken seriously when he taught his followers to turn the other cheek, love their enemies, and do good to those who hate them. These “Inglorious Pastors” paved the way for all to lay down arms and acts of violence even at the expense of our own lives and liberties.

RESPONSE: As a peacemaker for Jesus, I will seek out “transforming initiates” wherever I see conflict.

PRAYER: Lord, give me the attitude of Your peace and Your methods of not resisting an evil person that will prompt repentance and reconciliation.

Girlfriends in God - When It’s Time to Stop Moping

Today’s Truth

God addressed Samuel: “So, how long are you going to mope over Saul…Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going (1 Samuel 16:1 The Message)

Friend to Friend

Have you ever been so discouraged that you just wanted to stay in bed and pull the covers up over your head? Maybe that’s where you are right now.

I’ve hidden under the covers a time or two myself. OK, well maybe more than two.

So how do we venture out? How do we get over the discouragement and get going again?

There’s a story in the Bible that helps me when I feel mopey. (You don’t mind if I get in the Bible a little do you? I didn’t think so.)

A few years after the Israelites made it to the Promised Land, they grew tired of being ruled by God through the prophets. They wanted to have a king like all the other nations.

Samuel was the ruling prophet at the time, and he told the people all the reasons having a king was a bad idea. They persisted in their demands, and eventually God allowed them to choose a king. “They are not rejecting you,” God assured Samuel. “They are rejecting Me.”

The people picked a man named Saul because he was tall, dark, and handsome. I’m not kidding. It’s right there in black and white. Saul reluctantly accepted the kingship, was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and totally depended on God for his new position.

But after a while, Saul decided being a king wasn’t so hard after all. He disobeyed and dishonored God by taking matters into his own hands. (Never a good idea, I might add). As a result, God snatched away Saul’s kingship and removed his anointing.

Samuel was so discouraged over Saul’s failure; he went to bed and pulled the covers up over his head. He was disappointed in Saul, and felt sorry for himself.

Now this is important. If I were sitting right there with you, I’d stand up in a chair and read this out loud. Here we go. One day God said, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel” (1 Samuel 16:1 NIV).

I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase: “So, how long are you going to mope over Saul?” (MSG)

Mope? Yep. That’s a good word.

God asks you and me the same question: How long will you mope because life hasn’t turned out like you thought it would. How long?

I don’t mean to make little of any of the painful or discouraging situations in your life. I’ve had them too. When my child died before she was born, I wasn’t sure I’d ever get out of bed again. Didn’t really want to.

But here’s what I know today: No matter how painful or discouraging the circumstances of life may be, God never intends for you to get stuck there. You should never put a period where God puts a comma.

There’s always more of your story to be written. When you loosen the string holding the binding of your book tightly shut, and give God a free hand to continue the narrative of your life, things which the eye has not seen and the ear have not heard and have not entered the mind of man will be yours.

God goes on to say to Samuel: “Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king” (1 Samuel 16:1, emphasis added).

At some point in our moping about, God comes to us and says, “Enough already. Get up. Get going. Be on your way. I’ve got something for you to do. Your life is not over. The story has more chapters to be written. Let go of your discouragement and take hold of the next adventure I have planned for you.”

The question is: What will you say?

Samuel was terrified, but God assured him: I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate” (1 Samuel 16:2–3, emphasis added).

I will show you what to do. And that’s all God expects of me and of you—take the first step of obedience. Get up and get going. He will take care of the rest.

I love the next sentence in the story: “Samuel did what God told him” (1 Samuel 16:4).

Ah, the key to experiencing the adventurous life of a thriving faith . . . the faith you always longed for.

So what about you? Are you ready to get up and get going?

Let’s Pray

Lord, I’ll admit. Sometimes I mope. When things don’t turn out like I want them to, I put on my long face, slump my shoulders, and drag my feet. Nobody wants to be around me when I’m like that. I don’t even like to be around me when I’m like that. Today, I am making a decision to not be a moper. When life doesn’t turn out like I hoped it would, I will see it as Your provision or protection. I trust in Your sovereignty for my life, even when I don’t understand.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

What are you discouraged about today?

Would you say that you are somewhat stuck because of it?

What do you think God is telling you to do?

Are you willing to take the first step of faith to move forward?

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion came from my latest book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. It’s all about how to get unstuck in your faith. Learn how to let go of all that holds you hostage to a “less than” life, and take hold of all that Jesus has done for you and placed in you…the faith you’ve always longed for. Check it out at where you can download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer. The book also comes with a Bible study guide.

Un Dia a la Vez - Cambios adecuados

En su angustia clamaron al Señor, y él los sacó de su aflicción. Cambió la tempestad en suave brisa: se sosegaron las olas del mar. Salmo 107:28-29

¡Hay cambios de cambios! Unos los buscamos nosotros, otros se producen por circunstancias de la vida y los demás vienen de Dios con un propósito.

Cuando hacemos cambios sin pedir la dirección de Dios, es perjudicial porque nos apartamos de los planes que Él tiene para nosotros.

Muchas personas son muy inestables en toda la extensión de la palabra. Cambian de trabajo porque se molestaron con su jefe o porque se cansaron. Otros cambian de pareja como cambiar de zapatos, sin medir las consecuencias de cada una de estas decisiones. En realidad, no piensan que cada cambio que hacemos afecta a nuestros seres más queridos.

Ten presente que los cambios constantes en una persona muestran falta de estabilidad.

No están conformes ni felices con «nada».

Hay otro tipo de cambios debido a que nos obliga la vida: La muerte inesperada del cónyuge, una crisis financiera que provoca cambios radicales de vivienda y estilo de vida, un abandono repentino por tus padres, etc. Estos cambios son traumáticos en la vida de cualquier persona, y si a esto le sumas que no tienes una vida espiritual fortalecida, créeme que va a ser mucho más difícil.

Por eso, mis amigos, aprendamos de los errores y consultemos a papito Dios todos los cambios que consideremos. Entonces, cuando se presenten esas otras crisis con las que no contábamos, debemos tener presente que Dios cuida de sus hijos.

Verse of the Day - November 16, 2016

Psalm 119:18 (NIV) Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Read all of Psalm 119

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, November 16, 2016

Malachi 1:1-14
An oracle. The word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, says the LORD. But you say, "How have you loved us?" Is not Esau Jacob's brother? says the LORD. Yet I have loved Jacob but I have hated Esau; I have made his hill country a desolation and his heritage a desert for jackals. If Edom says, "We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins," the LORD of hosts says: They may build, but I will tear down, until they are called the wicked country, the people with whom the LORD is angry forever. Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, "Great is the LORD beyond the borders of Israel!" A son honors his father, and servants their master. If then I am a father, where is the honor due me? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. You say, "How have we despised your name?" By offering polluted food on my altar. And you say, "How have we polluted it?" By thinking that the LORD's table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not wrong? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not wrong? Try presenting that to your governor; will he be pleased with you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. And now implore the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. The fault is yours. Will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts. Oh, that someone among you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hands. For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. But you profane it when you say that the Lord's table is polluted, and the food for it may be despised. "What a weariness this is," you say, and you sniff at me, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in the flock and vows to give it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished; for I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name is reverenced among the nations.

James 3:13-4:12
Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, "God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"? But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?

Luke 17:11-19
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."

Morning Psalms

Psalm 101 Misericordiam et judicium
1   I will sing of mercy and justice; to you, O LORD, will I sing praises.
2   I will strive to follow a blameless course; oh, when will you come to me? I will walk with sincerity of heart within my house.
3   I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the doers of evil deeds; they shall not remain with me.
4   A crooked heart shall be far from me; I will not know evil.
5   Those who in secret slander their neighbors I will destroy; those who have a haughty look and a proud heart I cannot abide.
6   My eyes are upon the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me, and only those who lead a blameless life shall be my servants.
7   Those who act deceitfully shall not dwell in my house, and those who tell lies shall not continue in my sight.
8   I will soon destroy all the wicked in the land, that I may root out all evildoers from the city of the LORD.

Psalm 109 Deus, laudem
1   Hold not your tongue, O God of my praise; for the mouth of the wicked, the mouth of the deceitful, is opened against me.
2   They speak to me with a lying tongue; they encompass me with hateful words and fight against me without a cause.
3   Despite my love, they accuse me; but as for me, I pray for them.
4   They repay evil for good, and hatred for my love.
5   Set a wicked man against him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand.
6   When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his appeal be in vain.
7   Let his days be few, and let another take his office.
8   Let his children be fatherless, and his wife become a widow.
9   Let his children be waifs and beggars; let them be driven from the ruins of their homes.
10   Let the creditor seize everything he has; let strangers plunder his gains.
11   Let there be no one to show him kindness, and none to pity his fatherless children.
12   Let his descendants be destroyed, and his name be blotted out in the next generation.
13   Let the wickedness of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and his mother's sin not be blotted out;
14   Let their sin be always before the LORD; but let him root out their names from the earth;
15   Because he did not remember to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy and sought to kill the brokenhearted.
16   He loved cursing, let it come upon him; he took no delight in blessing, let it depart from him.
17   He put on cursing like a garment, let it soak into his body like water and into his bones like oil;
18   Let it be to him like the cloak which he wraps around himself, and like the belt that he wears continually.
19   Let this be the recompense from the LORD to my accusers, and to those who speak evil against me.
20   But you, O Lord my God, oh, deal with me according to your Name; for your tender mercy's sake, deliver me.
21   For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
22   I have faded away like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like a locust.
23   My knees are weak through fasting, and my flesh is wasted and gaunt.
24   I have become a reproach to them; they see and shake their heads.
25   Help me, O LORD my God; save me for your mercy's sake.
26   Let them know that this is your hand, that you, O LORD, have done it.
27   They may curse, but you will bless; let those who rise up against me be put to shame, and your servant will rejoice.
28   Let my accusers be clothed with disgrace and wrap themselves in their shame as in a cloak.
29   I will give great thanks to the LORD with my mouth; in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;
30   Because he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save his life from those who would condemn him.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 119: Ayin Feci judicium
121   I have done what is just and right; do not deliver me to my oppressors.
122   Be surety for your servant's good; let not the proud oppress me.
123   My eyes have failed from watching for your salvation and for your righteous promise.
124   Deal with your servant according to your loving-kindness and teach me your statutes.
125   I am your servant; grant me understanding, that I may know your decrees.
126   It is time for you to act, O LORD, for they have broken your law.
127   Truly, I love your commandments more than gold and precious stones.
128   I hold all your commandments to be right for me; all paths of falsehood I abhor.

Psalm 119: Pe Mirabilia
129   Your decrees are wonderful; therefore I obey them with all my heart.
130   When your word goes forth it gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
131   I open my mouth and pant; I long for your commandments.
132   Turn to me in mercy, as you always do to those who love your Name.
133   Steady my footsteps in your word; let no iniquity have dominion over me.
134   Rescue me from those who oppress me, and I will keep your commandments.
135   Let your countenance shine upon your servant and teach me your statutes.
136   My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

Psalm 119: Sadhe Justus es, Domine
137   You are righteous, O LORD, and upright are your judgments.
138   You have issued your decrees with justice and in perfect faithfulness.
139   My indignation has consumed me, because my enemies forget your words.
140   Your word has been tested to the uttermost, and your servant holds it dear.
141   I am small and of little account, yet I do not forget your commandments.
142   Your justice is an everlasting justice and your law is the truth.
143   Trouble and distress have come upon me, yet your commandments are my delight.
144   The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting; grant me understanding, that I may live.

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 WEDNESDAY, November 16, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Richelle Thompson

James 3:16-18 (NRSV) For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable…And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

The tip for the story came from me. Instead, another reporter was getting kudos for a great scoop. I was determined the editor know where the praise should be directed, and I marched into his office and told him so. While it was true that I had played an important role in the story, the aching need for due recognition became the driving force.

The other reporter promptly lit into me. And she had a deep and imaginative vocabulary honed from years of covering the police beat. I still feel the sting twenty years later.

Perhaps you have never been in this situation, and you graciously sow peace day in and day out. But if you, like me, sometimes get tangled in resentments and selfish ambition, remember these words from James, that wisdom comes from a willingness to yield and a great harvest of good fruits needs gentle soil—and less ego.

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 - The Twelfth Man

Read: Hebrews 11:32–12:3 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 3–4; Hebrews 11:20–40

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

A large sign at the Texas A&M University football stadium says “HOME OF THE 12TH MAN.” While each team is allowed eleven players on the field, the 12th Man is the presence of thousands of A&M students who remain standing during the entire game to cheer their team on. The tradition traces its roots to 1922 when the coach called a student from the stands to suit up and be ready to replace an injured player. Although he never entered the game, his willing presence on the sideline greatly encouraged the team.

Hebrews 11 describes heroes of the faith who faced great trials and remained loyal to God. Chapter 12 begins, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (v. 1).

We are not alone on our journey of faith. The great saints and ordinary people who have been faithful to the Lord encourage us by their example and also by their presence in heaven. They are a spiritual 12th Man standing with us while we are still on the field.

As we fix our eyes on Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (12:2), we are spurred on by all those who followed Him.

Lord, may we be aware of those in heaven who are cheering us on. Give us strength to run our race of faith today.

Faithful Christians from the past encourage us today.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Hombre 12

Leer: Hebreos 11:32–12:3 | La Biblia en un año: Hebreos 11:20-40

… corramos con paciencia la carrera que tenemos por delante (Hebreos 12:1).

En el estadio de la Universidad A&M de Texas, hay un cartel enorme que dice: «CASA DEL HOMBRE 12». Aunque los equipos pueden tener solo once jugadores en el campo, el Hombre 12 alude a los miles de alumnos que se quedan de pie durante todo el partido para alentar al equipo. Según la tradición, esto se remonta a 1992, cuando el entrenador llamó a un alumno de la tribuna para que se pusiera el uniforme y estuviera listo para reemplazar a un jugador lesionado. Aunque nunca entró a jugar, su presencia y disposición alentó enormemente al equipo.

Hebreos 11 describe a héroes de la fe que enfrentaron grandes pruebas y permanecieron fieles a Dios. Y el capítulo 12 comienza diciendo: «Por tanto, nosotros también, teniendo en derredor nuestro tan grande nube de testigos, despojémonos de todo peso y del pecado que nos asedia, y corramos con paciencia la carrera que tenemos por delante» (v. 1).

No estamos solos en nuestro sendero de la fe. Santos destacados y personas comunes, fieles al Señor, nos alientan con su ejemplo y con su presencia en el cielo. Son como un Hombre 12 espiritual, de pie mientras nosotros seguimos en el campo.

Mientras ellos nos alientan, mantenemos la mirada en Jesús, «el autor y consumador de la fe» (12:2).

Señor, dame fuerza para seguir corriendo hoy la carrera de la fe.

Los creyentes fieles del pasado son un estímulo para nosotros hoy.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Der zwölfte Mann

Lesen: Hebräer 11,32–12,3 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Hesekiel 3–4; Hebräer 11,20-40

Lasst uns laufen mit Geduld in dem Kampf, der uns bestimmt ist. Hebräer 12,1

Auf einer Tafel im Fußballstadion einer Universität in Texas heißt es: „Heimat des zwölften Mannes.“ Auf dem Spielfeld sind nur elf Mann erlaubt. Der zwölfte Mann sind Tausende von Studenten, die während des Spiels auf den Rängen stehen, um ihr Team anzufeuern. Die Tradition dort geht auf das Jahr 1922 zurück. Damals forderte der Trainer einen Studenten von den Rängen auf, aufzustehen und sich als Ersatz für einen verletzten Spieler bereit zu halten. Zwar musste er nicht spielen, aber seine Bereitschaft, an der Seitenlinie zu stehen, machte dem gesamten Team Mut.

Hebräer 11 schildert Glaubenshelden, die große Anfechtungen erduldeten und Gott treu blieben. Kapitel 12 beginnt mit den Worten: „Darum auch wir: Weil wir eine solche Wolke von Zeugen um uns haben, lasst uns ablegen alles, was uns beschwert, und die Sünde, die uns ständig umstrickt, und lasst uns laufen mit Geduld in dem Kampf, der uns verordnet ist“ (V.1).

Wir sind nicht allein unterwegs. Die großen Heiligen und ganz normale Menschen, die Gott treu blieben, ermuntern uns durch ihr Beispiel und durch ihr Dasein im Himmel. Sie sind geistlich gesehen der zwölfte Mann, der zu uns steht, während wir noch auf dem Spielfeld sind.

Während wir aufsehen zu Jesus, „dem Anfänger und Vollender des Glaubens“ (12,2), werden wir angespornt von allen, die ihm schon gefolgt sind.

Herr, mach uns bewusst, dass im Himmel Menschen sind, die uns anfeuern. Gib uns heute Kraft, im Glauben weiterzulaufen.

Treue Christen der Vergangenheit machen uns heute Mut.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Двенадцатый игрок

Читать сейчас: Евреям 11:32–12:3 | Библия за год: Иезекииль 3-4; 1 Тимофею 6

...С терпением будем проходить предлежащее нам поприще. — Евреям 12:1

Большая надпись на футбольном стадионе Техасского университета гласит: «Дом двенадцатого игрока». Согласно правилам американского футбола в команде должно быть только одиннадцать игроков. А двенадцатый – это тысячи студентов, болеющих на трибунах за своих любимцев. Традиция «двенадцатого игрока» восходит к двадцатым годам прошлого века, когда тренер позвал студента с трибун, чтобы тот переоделся и был готов заменить выбывшего из-за травмы футболиста. Хотя приглашенный студент так и не вышел на поле, его готовность на скамейке запасных оказала вдохновляющее воздействие на команду.

В главе 11 Послания к евреям перечисляются герои веры, пережившие великие испытания и оставшиеся верными Господу. Глава 12 начинается словами: «Поэтому и мы, имея вокруг себя такое облако свидетелей, свергнем с себя всякое бремя и запинающий нас грех и с терпением будем проходить предлежащее нам поприще» (Евр. 12:1).

Мы не одиноки в путешествии веры. Сонм святых, оставшихся верными Богу, ободряют нас своим примером. Они ждут нас на небесах. Они – духовный «двенадцатый игрок», болеющий за нас, пока мы проходим поприще.

Взирая на Иисуса, «Начальника и Совершителя веры» (Евр. 12:2), мы получаем поддержку от всех, кто следовал за Ним.

Господи, помоги нам помнить обо всех святых, которые взирают на нас с небес. Пошли нам силы верно пройти путь, определенный на сегодняшний день.

Верные христиане прошлого ободряют нас в настоящем.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Le douzième Homme

Lisez : Hébreux 11.32 – 12.3 | La Bible en un an : Ézéchiel 3 – 4 et Hébreux 11.20‑40

[Courons] avec persévérance dans la carrière qui nous est ouverte. Hébreux 12.1

Sur un grand panneau du stade de football de la Texas A&M University, on peut lire : « HOME OF THE 12TH MAN » (Maison du 12e Homme). Bien que chaque équipe n’ait que onze joueurs sur le terrain, le 12e Homme représente les milliers d’étudiants de l’A&M qui restent debout à encourager leur équipe pendant tout le match. Cette tradition remonte à 1922, lorsque l’entraîneur d’alors a demandé à un étudiant assis dans les gradins de s’habiller pour se tenir prêt à remplacer un joueur blessé. Même s’il n’a jamais participé au match, sa présence bien disposée à la ligne latérale a eu pour effet d’encourager considérablement l’équipe.

Hébreux 11 décrit les héros de la foi qui sont restés loyaux à Dieu malgré de terribles épreuves. Le chapitre 12 commence d’ailleurs ainsi : « Nous donc aussi, puisque nous sommes environnés d’une si grande nuée de témoins, rejetons tout fardeau, et le péché qui nous enveloppe si facilement, et courons avec persévérance dans la carrière qui nous est ouverte » (V. 1).

Nous ne sommes pas seuls dans notre cheminement de foi. Les grands saints et les gens ordinaires qui se sont montrés fidèles au Seigneur nous encouragent par leur exemple passé et leur présence actuelle au ciel. Ils sont le 12e Homme à nos côtés sur le terrain.

Si nous gardons les yeux fixés sur Jésus, « qui suscite la foi et la mène à la perfection » (V. 2), tous ces prédécesseurs nous encourageront à aller de l’avant.

Les chrétiens fidèles du passé nous encouragent aujourd’hui.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ