Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Standing Strong Through the Storm - LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Matthew 5:43-44

Nigeria is divided religiously along the tenth parallel. On the north side Muslims are in the majority. On the south side Christians are in the majority. Along the border between these two groups much blood has been spilled repeatedly in recent years.

One pastor says, “We are facing persecution from our neighbors, the Muslims. They don’t want to see the gospel progressing…and they feel envious that we have more church buildings…and our businesses are expanding as well.”

Another pastor adds, “They see that they must stop the expansion of Christianity into the north, and that has to be done physically.”

And a bishop of one church denomination is wearying from the many attacks. He is quoted as saying, “We have turned the other cheek so many times, we have no more cheeks to turn!”

One violent incident took place in Tudun Wada. It began when a young student was accused of drawing a picture of Islam’s prophet Mohammed. All of a sudden the matter was taken seriously. They started burning churches and rioting with all kinds of weapons.

Nineteen Christians were killed that day, leaving behind mourning widows, family members and friends. Ten churches were burned. Thirty-six homes and one hundred forty-seven shops belonging to Christians were destroyed. But, God gave spiritual courage to His followers on that terrible day. And they refused to run.

Looking back on the situation, a pastor in the area says, “The churches that were destroyed…in fact there is none that has been rebuilt that is not bigger than what it was before. And the attendance by members has grown astronomically.”

As soon as our Open Doors co-workers heard about the violence, they rushed to Tudun Wada to see the circumstances for themselves. They provided for the spiritual, emotional and practical needs of the pastors and the entire Christian community.

Again the pastor comments, “They distributed to us Bibles and other reading materials. All of us pastors were very, very excited. We were happy.”

Another added, “Open Doors through the Standing Strong Through the Storm seminar has lifted up our hearts, and has given us a heart of love for our enemies…Just like Jesus Christ said that we should pray for our persecutors…our attitude towards them is actually to pray for them, and love them.”

The critically important need facing Nigeria is forgiveness. Christians are seeking to express it in tangible ways as they live out the love of Jesus Christ, just as He did two thousand years ago. He forgave the very people who nailed Him to a cross. That is the example Nigeria is witnessing today. And it is what will open the hearts of millions to the truth of the gospel.

RESPONSE: I will be an example to others in loving, forgiving and praying for those who hurt me.

PRAYER: Lord, bless the believers in central Nigeria today as they struggle responding to violence.

Girlfriends in God - De-Stressing the Holidays

Today’s Truth

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).

Friend to Friend

While I am not a big fan of television, I do enjoy watching a few select home improvement shows. Chip and Joanna Gaines are my two new best friends, and the Property Brothers simply rock! A new fixer-upper show caught my eye, so I checked it out. An interior decorator and homeowner were discussing a list of changes that needed to be made in order to update the home.

“First, we have to do something about those windows,” the decorator announced. I was surprised she listed this task first – until I saw the house. The existing glass was thick and chunky and an ugly shade of something in the neighborhood of mustard. The windows let in no light and made it virtually impossible to see in or out. The result was a dark, isolated home. The distressed homeowner protested, “But I like my privacy. And if I thought anyone could see in, I would feel totally exposed.” When it comes to dealing with depression, many people feel the same way.

The holidays are just around the corner. For some people, that thought spurs exciting memories of beautifully decorated tables filled with scrumptious meals, festive shopping trips, extended family time, brightly wrapped gifts under a tree … the “Walton” kind of holiday. For others – especially those who deal with depression - the holiday season is a very difficult and dark time that is to be endured rather than enjoyed.

According to the American Institute of Stress, more than 110 million Americans take medication for stress-related causes each week, but during the holiday season, another one million people battle what experts refer to as the "holiday blues,” and many more struggle with true depression. I am very familiar with depression and the pain it holds, and must constantly battle to stay out of that pit.

Depression is an emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual disorder. Something is out of balance. We bury pain instead of confronting it. We misplace trust and seek help from impotent sources. We construct walls over which no one can climb because the cost of friendship is too high. We fill the windows of our soul with emotional excuses in order to avoid dealing with pain. The result is darkness, loneliness and missed opportunities for restoration. We don’t want to understand depression or find the treasures in that darkness; we simply want it to go away.

To deal with depression, we must first come to a place of complete surrender to God and to His plan of healing, even if we cannot see or understand that plan. God’s heart always longs for restoration.

Many people try to understand and deal with depression on a surface level – refusing to face painful experiences, difficult relationships, and the broken places where darkness lives. We look for the nearest exit, hoping to bypass transparency because the price is just too much to pay. Emotional integrity is an essential step to dealing with depression. We must be real - before we can be right. Until we are willing to risk being transparent, we can neither understand nor effectively deal with depression during the holidays or any other time of the year.

The holidays seem to tug at the masks we carefully hold in place. And those emotional buttons we desperately try to hide are brutally exposed. The arrival of family members can resurrect painful issues that have never been resolved. Financial pressure opens up like a sinkhole waiting to devour our joy and destroy our peace. Schedules demand every ounce of energy and false expectations leave us empty and hollow. It is not supposed to be that way. Now is the time to do something about it!

Thanksgiving can be a time of praise … if we choose to focus on the victories and joys we have experienced during the year, and then find ways to share that victory and joy with others. Christmas can be a true celebration of fresh starts and new beginnings, if we choose to focus on a tiny baby born in a manger, come to save us and give us true life. The light of His love can swallow up the darkness.

Right now, get ready for the holidays by choosing an attitude of joy, by focusing your mind on the things of heaven – not earth, and by letting God’s peace guard your heart.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want this holiday season to one that is filled with light instead of darkness. Please help me discard my emotional masks and be real before You as well as with my family and friends. Give me the courage to be obedient to You in every holiday setting. Give me eyes to see and help those who are in need. Prepare and enable me to make this holiday season an offering of praise to You.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Take a few moments to re-visit the holiday season of 2015
  • What was the best part of those holidays for you? Why?
  • List three changes you would like to make this year.
  • What is the first step you need to take to make those changes happen?
More from the Girlfriends

Do you dread the Christmas holidays? After a particular miserable holiday season, Mary Southerland went on a diligent search to find the secret of a joy-filled Christmas. The Secret of a Merry Christmas teaches you practical ways to de-stress your holidays.

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 - Digamos «NO» al divorcio (segunda parte)

Esposas, sométanse a sus esposos, como conviene en el Señor. Esposos, amen a sus esposas y no sean duros con ellas. Colosenses 3:18-19

Las mujeres, al igual que los hombres, tenemos funciones específicas que Dios nos dejó en su Palabra para tener un matrimonio según sus mandamientos. Dios dijo:
  • «Esposas, sométanse a sus esposos» (1 Pedro 3:1). Esto no es otra cosa que honrar y respetar al esposo, darle la posición adecuada en la casa, ya que es la cabeza de la familia. Sé que muchas mujeres no viven este principio por necias, rebeldes o porque el hombre no tiene el carácter para llevar las riendas de la casa, así que la mujer asume esa posición.
  • «Que la esposa respete a su esposo» (Efesios 5:33). Dios diseñó al hombre para que los respetemos. Esa es la manera en que se siente amado.
  • «La mujer pendenciera es gotera constante» (Proverbios 19:13). Aquí Dios nos compara como esa gotera que cae sin cesar, y tiene razón. Muchas de nosotras, quizá por temperamento, somos peleonas, regañonas y complicadas. Todos los problemas del hogar los volvemos una tragedia y cansamos a nuestros esposos.
  • «La mujer sabia edifica su casa» (Proverbios 14:1). Dios nos llamó a que edificáramos la casa. Así que tenemos la gran responsabilidad de formar un hogar con bases sanas y respeto, siendo fieles y sabias.
Si eres una fiera, vives siempre con mal genio, por todo te irritas, ¿qué crees que consigues con esto? Estás espantando a tu esposo de la casa y lo que menos va a querer es llegar a su hogar con tal de no enfrascarse en una pelea.

Únete a esta campaña y digamos «NO» al divorcio.

Verse of the Day - November 22, 2016

Colossians 3:15 (NIV) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Read all of Colossians 3

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The Daily Readings for TUESDAY, November 22, 2016

Zechariah 11:4-17
Thus said the LORD my God: Be a shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them kill them and go unpunished; and those who sell them say, "Blessed be the LORD, for I have become rich" and their own shepherds have no pity on them. For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the earth, says the LORD. I will cause them, every one, to fall each into the hand of a neighbor, and each into the hand of the king; and they shall devastate the earth, and I will deliver no one from their hand. So, on behalf of the sheep merchants, I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. I took two staffs; one I named Favor, the other I named Unity, and I tended the sheep. In one month I disposed of the three shepherds, for I had become impatient with them, and they also detested me. So I said, "I will not be your shepherd. What is to die, let it die; what is to be destroyed, let it be destroyed; and let those that are left devour the flesh of one another!" I took my staff Favor and broke it, annulling the covenant that I had made with all the peoples. So it was annulled on that day, and the sheep merchants, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the LORD. I then said to them, "If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them." So they weighed out as my wages thirty shekels of silver. Then the LORD said to me, "Throw it into the treasury"-- this lordly price at which I was valued by them. So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them into the treasury in the house of the LORD. Then I broke my second staff Unity, annulling the family ties between Judah and Israel. Then the LORD said to me: Take once more the implements of a worthless shepherd. For I am now raising up in the land a shepherd who does not care for the perishing, or seek the wandering, or heal the maimed, or nourish the healthy, but devours the flesh of the fat ones, tearing off even their hoofs. Oh, my worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! Let his arm be completely withered, his right eye utterly blinded!

1 Corinthians 3:10-23
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-- the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness," and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future-- all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

Luke 18:31-43
Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again." But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said. As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." Then he shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, let me see again." Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has saved you." Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 120 Ad Dominum
1   When I was in trouble, I called to the LORD; I called to the LORD, and he answered me.
2   Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips and from the deceitful tongue.
3   What shall be done to you, and what more besides, O you deceitful tongue?
4   The sharpened arrows of a warrior, along with hot glowing coals.
5   How hateful it is that I must lodge in Meshech and dwell among the tents of Kedar!
6   Too long have I had to live among the enemies of peace.
7   I am on the side of peace, but when I speak of it, they are for war.

Psalm 121 Levavi oculos
1   I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?
2   My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
3   He will not let your foot be moved and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.
4   Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep;
5   The LORD himself watches over you; the LORD is your shade at your right hand,
6   So that the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7   The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; it is he who shall keep you safe.
8   The LORD shall watch over your going out and your coming in, from this time forth for evermore.

Psalm 122 Lætatus sum
1   I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."
2   Now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
3   Jerusalem is built as a city that is at unity with itself;
4   To which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, the assembly of Israel, to praise the Name of the LORD.
5   For there are the thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
6   Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you.
7   Peace be within your walls and quietness within your towers.
8   For my brethren and companions' sake, I pray for your prosperity.
9   Because of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek to do you good."

Psalm 123 Ad te levavi oculos meos
1   To you I lift up my eyes, to you enthroned in the heavens.
2   As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
3   So our eyes look to the LORD our God, until he show us his mercy.
4   Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy, for we have had more than enough of contempt,
5   Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, and of the derision of the proud.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 124 Nisi quia Dominus
1   If the LORD had not been on our side, let Israel now say;
2   If the LORD had not been on our side, when enemies rose up against us;
3   Then would they have swallowed us up alive in their fierce anger toward us;
4   Then would the waters have overwhelmed us and the torrent gone over us;
5   Then would the raging waters have gone right over us.
6   Blessed be the LORD! he has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.
7   We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowler; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.
8   Our help is in the Name of the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 125 Qui confidunt
1   Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever.
2   The hills stand about Jerusalem; so does the LORD stand round about his people, from this time forth for evermore.
3   The scepter of the wicked shall not hold sway over the land allotted to the just, so that the just shall not put their hands to evil.
4   Show your goodness, O LORD, to those who are good and to those who are true of heart.
5   As for those who turn aside to crooked ways, the LORD will lead them away with the evildoers; but peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 126 In convertendo
1   When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, then were we like those who dream.
2   Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.
3   Then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
4   The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed.
5   Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses of the Negev.
6   Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy.
7   Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

Psalm 127 Nisi Dominus
1   Unless the LORD builds the house, their labor is in vain who build it.
2   Unless the LORD watches over the city, in vain the watchman keeps his vigil.
3   It is in vain that you rise so early and go to bed so late; vain, too, to eat the bread of toil, for he gives to his beloved sleep.
4   Children are a heritage from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is a gift.
5   Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.
6   Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! he shall not be put to shame when he contends with his enemies in the gate.

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 TUESDAY, November 22, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Richelle Thompson

1 Corinthians 3:10a (NRSV) According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it.

Until today, I read this passage with a focus on the importance of Jesus as the foundation, the solid rock on which the Church is built and my own life should be. But one of the delights of reading and hearing scripture time and again is that new words and ideas jump out. This time, it’s the phrase, “and someone else is building on it.” Paul goes on to say that others will build on the foundation, using varied resources: gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw. I have this image of each life as a giant parfait, with different layers being built by and with different people.

This is a comforting concept. We are reminded that our work is part of something bigger, our ministry a piece of the whole. We don’t have to get everything perfect or follow a project (or person) from start to finish. We can do our best with our best—and then pass the torch. We build layers onto the foundations of our family, coworkers, and friends, people known and unknown—and, if we open ourselves to it, others will build layers in our lives. It’s all a part of the Master Builder’s plan.

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Our Daily Bread - Longing for Home

Read: Hebrews 11:8–16 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 18–19; James 4

They were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Hebrews 11:16

My wife walked into the room and found me poking my head inside the cabinet of our grandfather clock. “What are you doing?” she asked. “This clock smells just like my parents’ house,” I answered sheepishly, closing the door. “I guess you could say I was going home for a moment.”

The sense of smell can evoke powerful memories. We had moved the clock across the country from my parents’ house nearly twenty years ago, but the aroma of the wood inside it still takes me back to my childhood.

The writer of Hebrews tells of others who were longing for home in a different way. Instead of looking backward, they were looking ahead with faith to their home in heaven. Even though what they hoped for seemed a long way off, they trusted that God was faithful to keep His promise to bring them to a place where they would be with Him forever (Heb. 11:13–16).

Philippians 3:20 reminds us that “our citizenship is in heaven,” and we are to “eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Looking forward to seeing Jesus and receiving everything God has promised us through Him help us keep our focus. The past or the present can never compare with what’s ahead of us!

Jesus, thank You that You are faithful to keep Your promises. Please help me to always look forward to You.

The best home of all is our home in heaven.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Anhelo de llegar a casa

Por jb

Leer: Hebreos 11:8-16 | La Biblia en un año: Santiago 4

… ellos anhelaban una patria mejor, es decir, la patria celestial… (Hebreos 11:16, RVC).

Mi esposa entró en el cuarto y me encontró con la cabeza metida dentro del gabinete del reloj de nuestro abuelo. «¿Qué estás haciendo?», preguntó. «Este reloj huele igual que la casa de mis padres —contesté avergonzado mientras cerraba la puerta—. Supongo que se podría decir que estaba yendo un rato a casa».

El olfato puede evocar recuerdos intensos. Hacía casi 20 años que habíamos llevado el reloj al otro lado del país desde la casa de mis padres, pero el aroma de la madera en el interior todavía me llevaba de regreso a mi niñez.

El escritor de Hebreos habla de otras personas que anhelaban una casa, pero de una manera distinta. En vez de mirar hacia atrás, veían con fe a su futuro hogar celestial. Aunque lo que esperaban parecía lejano, confiaban en la fidelidad de Dios a su promesa de llevarlos a un lugar donde estarían con Él siempre (Hebreos 11:13-16).

Filipenses 3:20 nos recuerda que «nuestra ciudadanía está en los cielos, de donde también esperamos al Salvador, al Señor Jesucristo». Mirar hacia adelante para ver a Jesús y recibir todo lo que Dios nos ha prometido nos ayuda a mantenernos enfocados. ¡Ni el pasado ni el presente pueden compararse con lo que está por delante!

Señor, gracias por cumplir fielmente tus promesas. Ayúdame a mirar siempre hacia adelante, hacia ti.

La mejor casa de todas es nuestro hogar en el cielo.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Heimweh

Lesen: Hebräer 11,8-16 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Hesekiel 18–19; Jakobus 4

Nun aber sehnen sie sich nach einem besseren Vaterland, nämlich dem himmlischen. Hebräer 11,16

Ich steckte mit dem Kopf im Gehäuse unserer Großvateruhr, als meine Frau zur Tür hereinkam. „Was machst du denn da?“, fragte sie. „In der Uhr riecht es genauso wie bei uns zu Hause“, antwortete ich etwas einfältig und machte die Tür wieder zu. „Ich bin nur mal kurz wieder heimgegangen.“

Ein Geruch kann starke Erinnerungen hervorrufen. Wir hatten die Uhr vor fast zwanzig Jahren quer durchs ganze Land gefahren und aus meinem Elternhaus zu uns geholt, aber der Holzgeruch in ihrem Inneren versetzt mich noch immer zurück in die Kindheit.

Der Schreiber des Hebräerbriefs berichtet von Menschen, die sich nach einem anderen Zuhause sehnten. Doch anstatt zurückzuschauen, blickten sie im Glauben nach vorn zu ihrer Heimat im Himmel. Auch wenn das ersehnte Ziel noch in weiter Ferne lag, vertrauten sie darauf, dass Gott sein Versprechen halten und sie an den Ort bringen würde, an dem sie für immer bei ihm wären (Hebr. 11,13-16).

Philipper 3,20 erinnert uns: „Unser Bürgerrecht ist im Himmel; woher wir auch erwarten den Heiland, den Herrn Jesus Christus.“ Die Freude darauf, Jesus zu sehen und alles zu erhalten, was Gott uns durch ihn versprochen hat, hilft uns, den rechten Blickwinkel zu bewahren. Vergangenheit und Gegenwart stehen in keinem Vergleich zu dem, was uns erwartet!

Danke, Jesus, dass du treu bist und deine Versprechen hältst. Hilf mir, immer auf dich zu sehen.

Die schönste Heimat ist unsere Heimat im Himmel.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Тоска по дому

Читать сейчас: Евреям 11:8-16 | Библия за год: Иезекииль 18-19; Титу 2

Они стремились к лучшему, то есть к небесному. — Евреям 11:16

Моя жена вошла в комнату и нашла меня засунувшим голову внутрь больших дедушкиных часов. «Что ты делаешь?» – удивленно спросила она. «Эти часы пахнут так, как пахло в доме родителей, – смущенно ответил я, закрывая дверцу, – словно на минутку заглянул домой».

Запахи как ничто другое пробуждают давние воспоминания. Мы перевезли эти часы через всю страну из родительского дома почти двадцать лет назад, но запах дерева внутри их по-прежнему возвращает меня в детство.

Автор Послания к евреям рассказывает о людях, которые скучали по дому в несколько ином смысле. Вместо того чтобы предаваться ностальгии, они с верой смотрели вперед на свое небесное жилище. Несмотря на то что оно было далеко, они верили, что Бог сдержит Свое обещание и приведет их в место, где они пребудут с Ним вечно (Евр. 11:13-16).

В Послании к филиппийцам Павел напоминает, что «наше... жительство – на небесах, откуда мы ожидаем и Спасителя, Господа нашего Иисуса Христа» (Флп. 3:20). Ожидая возвращения Христа и получения всего, что Бог обещал нам, мы не будем тосковать об ушедших днях. Ни прошлое, ни настоящее никогда не смогут сравниться с тем, что ждет нас впереди.

Господь Иисус, благодарю Тебя за верность Своим обещаниям. Помоги мне всегда смотреть вперед, ожидая Тебя.

Самый лучший дом – на небесах.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Le mal du pays

Lisez : Hébreux 11.8‑16 | La Bible en un an : Ézéchiel 18 – 19 et Jacques 4

Mais maintenant ils en désirent une meilleure [patrie], c’est‑à‑dire une céleste. (Hébreux 11.16)

En entrant dans la pièce, ma femme m’a trouvé avec la tête dans notre horloge grand‑père. « Que fais‑tu là ? » m’a‑t‑elle alors demandé. « Cette horloge sent comme la maison de mes grands‑parents », lui ai‑je répondu d’un air penaud, en en refermant la porte avant d’ajouter : « On pourrait dire que je suis rentré au pays pendant un instant. »

L’odorat a le pouvoir d’évoquer des souvenirs saisissants. Nous avions déménagé l’horloge depuis la maison de mes parents à l’autre bout du pays près de vingt ans auparavant, mais l’arôme du bois de l’intérieur me ramène encore à l’enfance.

L’auteur de l’épître aux Hébreux parle d’autres personnes qui souffrent d’un mal du pays différent. Au lieu de regarder en arrière, elles regardent devant avec foi en aspirant à leur demeure céleste. Même si ce qu’elles espèrent leur semble encore bien loin, elles comptent sur Dieu pour tenir sa promesse de les conduire dans un endroit où elles seront avec lui pour toujours (HÉ 11.13‑16).

Philippiens 3.20 nous rappelle qu’en tant que « citoyens des cieux », nous « attendons aussi comme Sauveur le Seigneur Jésus‑Christ ». Le fait d’aspirer à voir Jésus et à recevoir tout ce que Dieu nous a promis en lui nous aide à rester concentrés sur les choses d’en haut. Ni le passé ni le présent ne sauraient se comparer à ce qui nous attend !

La meilleure de toutes les patries est notre patrie céleste.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ