Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Girlfriends in God - Take What’s Yours

Today’s Truth

I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own (Philippians 3:12 AMPC).

Friend to Friend

Have you stepped out in faith—fully trusting in God, but then began to stumble—errantly depending on yourself? That’s what happened to the children of Israel when it came time to take the Promised Land.

Moses led the people under the bloodstained doorframes of the Passover, across the dry land of the Red Sea, and to the front door of the Promised Land. He guided them with a fire by night and a cloud by day. God took care of their needs and brought victory over every enemy they faced. And yet, when it came time to march into the Promised Land, the land that was theirs for the taking, they cowered in unbelief.

“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites,” God instructed Moses. So Moses sent twelve spies to scout out the land. When they returned, ten gave the following report:

“We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there…” (Numbers 13:27-28)

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size … We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:30-33)

The twelve spies were not sent into the land to access the problematic obstacles. They were sent into the land to take a peek at the promised blessings and bring back a sampling of its richness. This was not meant to be an exploratory mission to case the joint. Their names were already on the title deed. It was supposed to be a trip to get the folks stoked about the promises that waited just beyond the wall.

Sending in the twelve spies was supposed to be the denouement of the story—the final part of the narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and the climax of a chain of events occurs. Instead, the story took a nosedive.

“But the people who live there …”

Whenever we add a “but” to the promise, we’re in trouble. And they were in trouble. Oswald Chambers notes.

Human frailty is another thing that gets between God’s words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be non-existent. But remember God’s assurance to us: “I will never … forsake you.” Have we learned to sing after hearing God’s keynote? Are we continually filled with enough courage to say, “The Lord is my Helper,” or are we yielding to fear?

Guess who the people believed? They believed the ten spies who said, “we can’t” rather then the two who said, “we can because God already has.” They believed the wrong report.

All night the unbelieving Israelites cried and wanted to go back to Egypt, while Caleb and Joshua tried their best to convince them to move forward and live bold.

“The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” (Numbers 14:7–9)

No matter what Joshua and Caleb said, the people refused to believe. They had the opportunity to go into the land, but not the faith to possess the promise. I cringe at those words wondering how many times they have been true of me. I mourn the opportunities not taken because I lacked the faith to possess the promise.

Because they feared the battle, they lost the blessing. They clung to the cul-de-sac safety of the wilderness and preferred its riskless tedium to the adventurous boldness of believing God. The sin of unbelief sabotaged God’s perfect plan—just like it can in your life, in my life.

Instead of taking hold of what was already theirs, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness of unbelief for the rest of their lives. That entire generation died in their stiff-necked refusal to believe, except for Caleb and Joshua. They were one in a million. That’s what I want to be. I’m thinking you do too.

So here’s my question to you: Whose report are you going to believe? Are you going to believe God’s Word is true—that you are who God says you are and God will do what He says He will do? Or are you going to believe the naysayers who say “you can’t,” “you won’t,” “you never will”? Are you going to listen to the voice of fear that says, “I can’t do it,” or are you going to believe the voice of God that says, “I already have”?

Let’s Pray

Lord, I get so frustrated with myself sometimes. I start out believing that You can do what You say You can do through me, and then I take my eyes off of You and onto myself. You know what happens. I get fearful. I start to doubt if I heard You right. Lord, help me to keep my eyes on You and not on myself. Help me to walk in the power and strength that is mine through the Holy Spirit. Help me to take hold of all that Jesus has taken hold of for me and placed in me…my Promised Land.
In Jesus’ Name.

Now It’s Your Turn

Evangelist Leonard Ravenhill said, “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.” Is there anything that God has told you to do that you’ve been dragging your feet to do?

If so, what are you going to do about that?

Ponder this sentence today: The sin of unbelief sabotages God’s perfect plan.

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.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - SHARE THE GOOD NEWS

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:41

Eight men sat in a small dimly lit room in a rural Chinese village home. Seven were preachers and their eyes were glued to the Bible held by the eighth man. It was a leather-bound zippered Bible with gold-edged trim on the pages.

The western visitor suddenly became aware that the seven men were staring intently at his Bible. One of them generated enough courage to say, “What a beautiful Bible. May I look at it for a moment?”

“Of course,” he replied. The Bible was gently handed from person to person as though it was made of eggshells. They asked how much it cost. And their faces fell when they learned it was the equivalent of twenty dollars.

Then the visitor received an inspiration. He decided to make this a personal ministry project. The qualification for receiving one of these Chinese Bibles should be so high that these leaders would be inspired to greater achievement. Yet, at the same time ensure that he would not need to provide a great number.

He told them, “If a person is mightily used by God, then I will bring him one of these Bibles.”

“What do you mean mightily used of God?” the preachers queried eagerly.

Thinking fast he replied, “Those who have led at least 10,000 people to the Lord and discipled another 10,000.”

To his astonishment the preachers burst out laughing. They said, “Oh, this is too easy. There are five of us here who can now qualify for your zippered gold-edged Bible, and we know ten more.”

After his trip the visitor chuckled, “I’m bankrupt.” But more seriously he added, “I’ve been working in China with house church leaders for many years. But one thing never changes...I am literally taken by surprise during each visit at how fast the church is growing.”

RESPONSE: Today I will take more seriously my responsibility in sharing the Good News of Jesus and fulfil the church’s function of evangelism.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that Your church is continuing to grow quickly in China. May that be a reality in my country as well.

Un Dia a la Vez - ¿Qué hacemos por Dios?

Por lo tanto, si alguno está en Cristo, es una nueva creación. ¡Lo viejo ha pasado, ha llegado ya lo nuevo! 2 Corintios 5:17

Nuestra oración de ayer fue pidiendo cambios importantes debido a que debemos distinguirnos con principios estable-cidos, pues somos hijos de Dios.

En lo personal, creo que todos los días debemos dar lo mejor a quien nos da todo lo que queremos, al que cuida de nosotros de manera incondicional.

Hoy mi llamado es a que nos examinemos y descubramos lo que hacemos por Dios. No se trata de que Él nos necesite, sino de que espera muchas cosas de nosotros. Por ejemplo, obediencia, entrega y que le busquemos con todo nuestro ser.

Así que antes tenemos que dejar dos cosas que de seguro no son del agrado de nuestro Padre: Ser quejicosos y pedigüeños.

¿Por qué no empezamos por dejar esa mala costumbre de abrir los ojos y quejarnos por algo o por todo? ¿Dejar de quejarnos por la noche que tuvimos, por el día, por el trabajo, por el cónyuge o por la situación del país? Seguido a eso, si es que se tiene un momento de oración, nos portamos como insistentes «pedigüeños». No, mis amigos, eso no es lo único que espera Dios de nosotros.

Empecemos a distinguirnos. Si buscamos más de su presencia, lo conoceremos mejor. Y conoceremos más de su amor.

Haz el gran sacrificio, si ese es tu caso, y no pidas nada hoy ni te quejes por nada. Así comprobarás la diferencia de vivir en paz y con el gozo del Señor.

Verse of the Day - November 30, 2016

2 Peter 3:10-11 (NIV) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives

Read all of 2 Peter 3

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, November 30, 2016 - Saint Andrew the Apostle Day

First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:11-14
Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?" Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?" No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19 Caeli enarrant
1   The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork.
2   One day tells its tale to another, and one night imparts knowledge to another.
3   Although they have no words or language, and their voices are not heard,
4   Their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends of the world.
5   In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun; it comes forth like a bridegroom out of his chamber; it rejoices like a champion to run its course.
6   It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens and runs about to the end of it again; nothing is hidden from its burning heat.
7   The law of the LORD is perfect and revives the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure and gives wisdom to the innocent.
8   The statutes of the LORD are just and rejoice the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear and gives light to the eyes.
9   The fear of the LORD is clean and endures for ever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10   More to be desired are they than gold, more than much fine gold, sweeter far than honey, than honey in the comb.
11   By them also is your servant enlightened, and in keeping them there is great reward.
12   Who can tell how often he offends? cleanse me from my secret faults.
13   Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not get dominion over me; then shall I be whole and sound, and innocent of a great offense.
14   Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.

Second Reading: Romans 10:8-18
But what does it say? "The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for "Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world."

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Holy Gospel according to Matthew, the 4th chapter.
Glory to you, O Lord.

Gospel: Matthew 4:18-22
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea-- for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

This is the Gospel of our Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

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 30, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Richelle Thompson

Psalm 19:1 (NRSV) The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork.

Have you ever seen a sunrise that steals your breath? Creation yawns into morning, with first amber light rising on the horizon.

Have you ever stretched out on a field, damp grass and cool ground, and watched the clouds dance?

Do you walk the beach barefoot as waves crash into the heavens? Sit on a porch in the spring of blue skies? Kneel to the flowers, knead the dirt, and await the sun’s warmth?

Of all the many gifts of God, perhaps it is the unspeakable beauty and vast expanse of the skies that whisper most of heaven.

Go outside today, look up into the firmament of God’s handiwork, and let your heart fill with joy and your mouth with words of gladness.


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Our Daily Bread - What Are You Worth?

Read: 1 Peter 1:17–23 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 37–39; 2 Peter 2

It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed . . . but with the precious blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18–19

There is a story that in 75 bc a young Roman nobleman named Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates and held for ransom. When they demanded 20 talents of silver in ransom (about $600,000 today), Caesar laughed and said they obviously had no idea who he was. He insisted they raise the ransom to 50 talents! Why? Because he believed he was worth far more than 20 talents.

What a difference we see between Caesar’s arrogant measure of his own worth and the value God places on each of us. Our worth is not measured in terms of monetary value but by what our heavenly Father has done on our behalf.

What ransom did He pay to save us? Through the death of His only Son on the cross, the Father paid the price to rescue us from our sin. “It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18–19).

God loved us so much that He gave up His Son to die on the cross and rise from the dead to ransom and rescue us. That is what you are worth to Him.

Father, thank You for the love You have shown to me and for the price You paid for my forgiveness. Help my life to be an ongoing expression of gratitude, for You are the One whose worth is beyond measure.

Our worth is measured by what God paid to rescue us.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - ¿Cuánto vales?

Leer: 1 Pedro 1:17-23 | La Biblia en un año: 2 Pedro 2

… fuisteis rescatados […], no con cosas corruptibles, como oro o plata, sino con la sangre preciosa de Cristo… (1 Pedro 1:18-19).

Se cuenta que, en el año 75 a.C., un joven de la nobleza romana llamado Julio César fue secuestrado por piratas, tras lo cual se pidió un rescate para liberarlo. Cuando exigieron 20 talentos de plata (unos 600.000 dólares hoy), César se rio y dijo que era evidente que no tenían idea de quién era él. Entonces, insistió en que elevaran el monto del rescate a 50 talentos. ¿Por qué? Porque creía que valía más de 20.

¡Qué diferencia vemos entre la arrogante valoración personal de César y el precio que Dios le pone a cada ser humano! Nuestro valor no se mide en términos monetarios, sino en función de lo que el Padre celestial ha hecho a nuestro favor.

¿Cuál fue el precio del rescate que pagó para salvarnos? La sangre de su único Hijo al morir en la cruz. Así, el Padre nos liberó de nuestro pecado: «fuisteis rescatados de vuestra vana manera de vivir, la cual recibisteis de vuestros padres, no con cosas corruptibles, como oro o plata, sino con la sangre preciosa de Cristo» (1 Pedro 1:18-19).

Dios nos amó tanto que entregó a su Hijo para que muriera en la cruz y resucitara de los muertos para redimirnos y rescatarnos. Este es el valor que tienes para Él.

Padre, gracias por el precio que pagaste para que fuera perdonado. Que mi vida sea una expresión constante de gratitud.

Nuestro valor lo determina el precio que Dios pagó para rescatarnos.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Was bist du wert?

Lesen: 1.Petrus 1,17-23 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Hesekiel 37–39; 2.Petrus 2

Nicht mit vergänglichem Silber oder Gold [seid ihr] erlöst . . ., sondern mit dem teuren Blut Christi. (1.Petrus 1,18-19)

Aus dem Jahr 75 vor Christus gibt es die Geschichte von einem adeligen Römer mit Namen Julius Cäsar, der von  Piraten gekidnappt und als Geisel festgehalten wurde.   Als sie ein riesiges Lösegeld forderten, lachte Cäsar. Er meinte, sie hätten offenbar keine Ahnung, wer er sei, und bestand darauf, dass sie die Summe verdoppelten! Wieso? Weil er glaubte, viel mehr wert zu sein.

Was für ein Unterschied zwischen Cäsars arroganter Einschätzung und dem Wert, den Gott einem jeden von uns beimisst. Unser Wert ist nicht an Geld zu messen, sondern an dem, was unser himmlischer Vater für uns getan hat.

Was für ein Lösegeld hat er gezahlt, um uns zu retten? Sein einziger Sohn musste am Kreuz sterben, damit der Vater uns von unserer Sünde erlösen kann. „Ihr wisst, dass ihr nicht mit vergänglichem Silber oder Gold erlöst seid von eurem nichtigen Wandel nach der Väter Weise, sondern mit dem teuren Blut Christi“, schreibt der Apostel Petrus (1.Petr. 1,18-19).

Gott hat uns so sehr geliebt, dass er seinen Sohn gab, damit er am Kreuz starb und von den Toten auferstand, um uns zu retten. So viel sind wir ihm wert.

Vater, ich danke dir für die Liebe, die du mir erweist, und den Preis, den du für meine Vergebung bezahlt hast. Lass mich dir immer dankbarer werden, denn du bist der Eine, der es wirklich wert ist.

Unser Wert misst sich an dem Preis, den Gott für unsere Erlösung gezahlt hat.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Сколько вы стоите?

Читать сейчас: 1 Петра 1:17-23 | Библия за год: Иезекииль 37-39; Евреям 6

Не тленным серебром или золотом искуплены вы... но драгоценной кровью Христа как непорочного и чистого Агнца. — 1 Петра 1:18-19

Рассказывают, что в 75 г. до Р. Х. молодого благородного римлянина по имени Юлий Цезарь похитили пираты, чтобы потребовать за него выкуп. Узнав, что они хотят за его голову двадцать талантов серебра (примерно 600 000 долларов), Юлий рассмеялся и заявил, что они, по-видимому, не понимают, кто перед ними. После этого потребовал, чтобы сумму выкупа подняли до пятидесяти талантов. Он считал, что стоит намного больше каких-то жалких двадцати талантов.

Деньги немалые, но какими ничтожными кажутся амбиции молодого Цезаря в сравнении с тем, как Бог оценил каждого из нас! Наша ценность измеряется не деньгами, а тем, что Небесный Отец совершил для нашего искупления.

Какой же выкуп Он дал, чтобы спасти нас? Смертью Своего Единородного Сына Бог уплатил цену нашего спасения от греха. «Не тленным серебром или золотом искуплены вы от суетной жизни, переданной вам от отцов, но драгоценной кровью Христа» (1 Пет. 1:18-19).

Бог так возлюбил нас, что послал Своего Сына умереть на кресте и воскреснуть из мертвых, чтобы искупить и избавить нас от вечной гибели. Мы – ничтожные грешники, но в глазах Бога мы, благодаря Христу, стали величайшим приобретением.

Отче, благодарю Тебя за любовь, которую Ты явил мне, и за цену, которую уплатил за мое прощение. Всей своей жизнью я хочу благодарить Тебя, потому что не я, а Ты – величайшее сокровище, цена которого неизмерима.

Бог заплатил за нас наивысшую цену из возможных.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Quelle est votre valeur ?

Lisez : 1 Pierre 1.17‑23 | La Bible en un an : Ézéchiel 37 – 39 et 2 Pierre 2

[Ce] n’est pas par des choses périssables, par de l’argent ou de l’or, que vous avez été rachetés […] mais par le sang précieux de Christ. (1 Pierre 1.18-19)

On raconte qu’en l’an 75 av. J.‑C. des pirates auraient enlevé un jeune noble de Rome nommé Jules César pour qui ils auraient exigé une rançon de 20 talents d’argent (qui représenterait aujourd’hui une somme de 600 000 $). On dit que César aurait déclaré dans un éclat de rire qu’ils ignoraient manifestement qui il était. Il aurait alors insisté pour que ses ravisseurs augmentent leur rançon à 50 talents ! Pourquoi ? Parce qu’il estimait sa valeur être bien supérieure à 20 talents.

Quelle différence marquée pouvons-nous voir entre la démesure avec laquelle l’arrogant César estimait sa propre valeur et la valeur que Dieu reconnaît à chacun de nous ? Selon notre Seigneur, notre valeur ne se mesure pas en argent, mais au prix auquel notre Père céleste nous a lui‑même évalué.

Quelle rançon a‑t‑il payée pour nous sauver ? C’est au prix de la mort de son Fils sur la croix que le Père nous a fait échapper à nos péchés : « [Ce] n’est pas par des choses périssables, par de l’argent ou de l’or, que vous avez été rachetés […] mais par le sang précieux de Christ » (1 PI 1.18,19).

Dieu nous a tant aimés qu’il a donné son Fils pour qu’il meure sur la croix et ressuscite des morts en rançon de nos péchés. Voilà tout le prix que nous avons à ses yeux !

Notre valeur se mesure au prix que Dieu a payé pour nous sauver.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ