Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Brief History of Advent

Advent is a little late on the scene. The Council of Saragossa (Spain, 380AD) is the first reference to a preparatory period before celebrating the Incarnation. Fasting and daily church going was required from December 17 until Epiphany (Theophany, January 6th – the celebration of the Incarnation in those days in that and other regions).

Then, mimicking the preparation before Easter, the Synod of Mac (France, 581) decreed that from November 11 (Feast of St. Martin) until December 24 fasting be three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) [often called “St Martin’s Lent”).

Rome, ever conservative, did not introduce an Advent preparatory period until the sixth century. It was less penitential than the Lenten preparation.

The Gelasian Sacramentary, was the first to provide Advent liturgies for five Sundays (the origin of the “Stir Up” Sunday) [Syrian Jacobites contine a five Sunday preparation period]. Pope Gregory I (d. 604) added prayers, antiphons, readings, and responses, and Pope Gregory VII (d. 1095) reduced the number of Sundays in Advent to four (followed by Western Christians, Copts, and Nestorians). Starting the Church Year on the first Sunday of Advent was a ninth century development.

The Council of Constantinople (1166) decreed that a fast begin on November 15 and last until December 24 inclusive – clearly paralleling the forty days of Lent. That Eastern preparation is often referred to as “Phillip’s Fast” because it begins on the day after the feast of St. Phillip.

The origin of the Advent Wreath seems to be sixteenth century German Lutherans. Increasing baroque and complicating tendencies means that some people are now naming the individual candles – and the cluttering of liturgy continues – often these late accretions become the primary focus, further bedded in by the obsession with “themes”.

Holding penitence and joyfulness in tension is a foundation of this season. There is a similar tension between preparing for the celebration of Christ’s birth (itself a relatively late arrival on the liturgical scene) and preparing for the parousia.

If you appreciated this post, consider liking the Ichthus Fellowship facebook page, …

Reprinted from

Girlfriends in God - Remember the Ninevites!

Today’s Truth

If you hide your sins, you will not succeed. If you confess and reject them, you will receive mercy (Proverbs 28:13, NIV).

Friend to Friend

We will never experience the life God wants us to live until we are ready to honestly face and deal with our sin. I mean the kind of honesty that shines a spotlight in every dark corner of our hearts. Getting real. Getting honest. Going all in with God – like the people of Nineveh did.

God sent Jonah to Nineveh with a message – and it was a doozy! Jonah told the Ninevites they had 40 days to clean up their act and get their lives in order, or God would destroy their city.

When the King of Nineveh heard Jonah’s message, he took it seriously. The King first addressed the sin in his own heart. He then vacated his thrown, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat down in the dust.

He urged the people of Nineveh to listen to Jonah – to give up their violent and evil ways. He warned them to turn from their sins – and they did!

When God saw how the Ninevites repented, He forgave them and He saved them.

Now fast-forward a few thousand years … to present time.

Our daughter has two little boys. Justus is seven years old and truly has a special calling on his life. He is pure in heart, has a sweet spirit, and loves God fiercely.

Justus has a little brother named Hudson. Hudson is a four-year-old charmer and a comedian. He also has a calling on his life – to test Justus’ love for Jesus.

One night, Hudson was exhausted from his day in preschool and was just over life. The result was a full-blown tantrum. Sam, our son-in-law, came home from a tense day at work and was also tired. Our daughter had been running errands all day, and was running on fumes.

It wasn’t long before Hudson’s tantrum caused everyone to fall off the emotional cliff from which they had been hanging – and things got heated.

In the midst of the heat, Justus stepped up to the plate and said, “Now everyone just needs to calm down! Mom and Dad, you need to stop and take a deep breath.” Justus then demonstrated how to breathe deeply and “let all of the bad feelings out.” When a measure of peace had been restored, Justus turned to Hudson with a stern warning, “And Hudson, you need to remember what happened to the Ninevites!”

We all need to remember what happened to the Ninevites!

God has the same message for us today. We need to get our lives in order. We need to cry out to God, turn from our wicked ways, and deal with the sin in our lives. But if you are like me, it is easy to become flippant about sin.

The first time we commit a sin it is painful. We are filled with remorse and mourn the fact that we have grieved the heart of God. But regret is not enough when it comes to dealing with sin.

Unless we confess and turn away from that sin, we are likely to commit it again. If we allow sin to settle into our life and refuse to confess it, that sin eventually hardens our heart and builds spiritual calluses in our soul. When we become comfortable with our sin, we are walking in enemy territory and setting ourselves up for spiritual failure and discouragement.

The good news is that Jesus understands human frailty. He is well acquainted with temptation and the tactics of Satan. Jesus gave His life as a ransom for our sin – and He paid our sin debt in full.

But if we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done (1 John 1:9, NCV).

This verse was written to believers as an encouragement to deal with sin and a promise that when we do so, God is faithful to forgive us and to clean up the mess that sin has caused.

We are not perfect – just forgiven. God is very serious about sin. We should be as well. And we need to remember what happened to the Ninevites.

Let’s Pray

Father, do not let me ever forget the price You paid for my sin. Thank You for the forgiveness and freedom You purchased with Your death on the cross. Bring swift awareness and conviction when I sin. Give me the strength and power to deal with and turn from the sin in my life.
For Your glory and in Your Name I pray,

Now It’s Your Turn

Set aside time each day to pray and study His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of every sin that stands between you and God. Confess that sin. Choose against it and walk on in His power and forgiveness. Ask yourself the following questions:

What sin do I need to confess right now?

Why have I held on to this sin?

What effect has this sin had on my life?

What changes do I need to make in order to “turn” from my sin?

Do I really believe that God can and will forgive this sin? Why? Why not?

More from the Girlfriends

Winning the War with Temptation is one of Mary’s E-Download Bible Studies based on the life of Eve. It examines the life of Eve to discover five steps we can take to win the war with temptation. Temptation is a certainty of life, but God has a plan that will enable us to stand firm in His strength.

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 - El amor de Dios en mi vida

Así manifestó Dios su amor entre nosotros: en que envió a su Hijo unigénito al mundo para que vivamos por medio de él. 1 Juan 4:9

Un día como hoy, esta servidora llegó a este mundo. Creo que por eso disfruto mucho de estas temporadas navideñas.

Aún recuerdo mi niñez sencilla, pero muy divertida, en mi natal Colombia. Había fuegos artificiales y disfrutaba de la compañía de mis amistades. En esa época, como buena católica, celebraba la conocida «Novena de Aguinaldos» con villancicos, el árbol de Navidad y, sin faltar, el pesebre, o como se conoce en algunos países, el nacimiento. A pesar de esta hermosa época, desconocía el verdadero significado de la Navidad, pues para muchos solo era una oportunidad de vacaciones, mientras que para otros era enfrascarse en las decoraciones navideñas. Así que un día, hace muchos años, comprendí el verdadero significado de la «Navidad».

La Navidad es hermosa y sé que en esos días surge en nuestro corazón una necesidad por la familia y un anhelo de comprarles regalos a los niños que los esperan con tanta ilusión.

A la hora de analizar esta hermosa estación del año, tú y yo debemos entender que Jesús es la verdadera razón de la Navidad. Cuando le abrimos nuestro corazón, nos convertimos en el pesebre donde nace el Salvador.

Por lo tanto, debemos darle gracias a Dios por su Hijo, Jesús, que vino a este mundo para darnos el regalo de la vida eterna.

Si aún no has tenido ese encuentro personal con Jesucristo, ¿por qué no permites que ese corazoncito bello que tienes se convierta hoy en un pesebre donde nacerá tu Salvador?

De ese modo, ¡tú también nacerás de nuevo!

NIV Devotions for Men - Faithless vs. Unfaithful

Jeremiah 3:6–20

Recommended Reading: 2 Chronicles 26:16–21; Luke 18:9–14; John 9:41; Hebrews 10:26–31

Two words for wanderers: faithless and unfaithful.

The faithless people of Israel forgot their first love. They lost their passion for service. Though they had once enjoyed a close relationship with their Maker, they turned from him, rejecting truths they had once held dear. And so they struggled just beyond the safe harbor, battered by the seas of uncertainty.

Unfaithful Judah, by contrast, knew the truth but denied its footing in the nation’s heart. An unfaithful man may say that he’s on God’s side, but his actions, words and priorities prove otherwise. By God’s measure, an unfaithful person ranks with a traitor—wicked and treacherous. Why? Because he mocks the very relationship he pretends to honor. Simply put, he pretends to be a believer, while deep down he’s a phony.

For the unfaithful, faking love for God can become an addiction. We all know people who have all the right moves. At church they pray with impressive sincerity, but at home they shred their spouses with cruel comments. This inconsistency is like a ten-foot-long fingernail screeching across God’s chalkboard. It grates on the soul.

The unfaithful float through life, sinning without shame. They’re in the most dangerous place imaginable. They hang in the balance. Unless they reestablish their bond with God, replacing showiness with sincerity, they will be damned.

The faithless and the unfaithful—the Bible holds out hope for both. For the former, however, the journey to the Savior seems shorter, more direct. Sometimes faithless men can learn to trust more by admitting their doubt. Slipping away from the mark and sliding back from the goal are synonyms for faithless. The remedy is simple: Return to the Lord.

Contrast that with the unfaithful person. He pretends his life is sewn up tight while he’s busy yanking out the stitches with his own hands.

If you think either template fits your life, stop your wandering. Come back to your God and King.

To Take Away
  • Would you rather be the faithless man or the unfaithful man? Why?
  • Do you know any faithless or unfaithful men? How can you offer them encouragement?
  • What people or circumstances cause you to wander away from Jesus? What practical steps can you take to protect yourself from these stumbling blocks?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - OUR SPIRITS BLOSSOM WHEN WE SING

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. Psalm 68:6

Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the Persecuted Church.”

Chinese evangelist, Mrs Yang, was visited by another full time preacher who was very downcast. The preacher wanted to buy a tape player, but had no money. Mrs Yang sat down and just began to sing to him. Her voice was deep and scratchy, the tune barely discernible, the words simple: I am a wanderer, my home is in heaven/ Life is fleeting/ Our home is in heaven/ In this world we have many trials/ And sadness and sickness/ True happiness is not in this world/ But in heaven.

Mrs Yang sang as if before the Lord himself. Every word poured out from her core with total conviction. Tears rolled down her cheeks, her hands clenched the air, and she beat time on her hip. Soon the visiting preacher had joined in, and I watched them, roaring out the hymn together, smiles over both their faces. The preacher left, still with no money for his longed for tape player, but refreshed and encouraged.

Then again, I watched one morning as Mrs. Yang went out into the hills to pray. I followed her at a discreet distance. First she prayed for twenty minutes, and then she sang, walking around, for another twenty minutes. For the next hour she read her Bible, making notes, planning the day’s sermons. After that she sang again, for another half hour.

I confessed I had been spying on her, and asked “Why do you sing so much when there is no one to hear?” She said, “My father once told me, ‘One of the sweet things about the Christian life is that you will do things because they are commanded, and then you will spend the rest of your life gaining deeper insight into why God’s commands are so good.’ So singing is a command. In the Psalms we are constantly exhorted to sing praises to our God. But as for why, I confess it is one of those wonderful mysteries my father told me about. You see, while in prison, I could pray and read scripture, but nothing raised my spirits like singing. Maybe it’s because singing somehow concentrates all of the body on the praise of God, but I have found it essential to the maintenance of a positive spirit.”

Then she looked embarrassed. I said, “What is it? You were about to say something, but you have gone all reticent.” She replied, “Well, it’s just that an old lady told me something that really sums up the main reason I sing. She said, ‘Our spirits are like flowers, and song is the sun. Just as flowers only truly open when the sun shines, so our spirits only blossom when we sing.’ I believe that. I don’t know how, but it’s true. Since my prison cell, I cannot do without song, and I am very frightened that as China gets more open, and the churches get more organized, we are going to leave the singing to the professionals. This would be terrible. The only way you can have a full blossoming spirit is to sing to it.”

RESPONSE: Today I will make my spirit blossom positively by singing to the Lord in the Spirit.

PRAYER: Ask God to impact all Christians with this valuable insight of singing praises to Him.

Verse of the Day - December 08, 2016

John 14:6 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Read all of John 14

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, December 8, 2016

First Reading:
From the Old Testament

In the days of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel went up to attack Jerusalem, but could not mount an attack against it. When the house of David heard that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind. Then the LORD said to Isaiah, Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller's Field, and say to him, Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah. Because Aram-- with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah-- has plotted evil against you, saying, Let us go up against Judah and cut off Jerusalem and conquer it for ourselves and make the son of Tabeel king in it; therefore thus says the Lord GOD: It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass. For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. (Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered, no longer a people.) The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all. (Isaiah 7:1-9, NRSV)

Second Reading:
From the Epistles

As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, NRSV)

The Holy Gospel:
According to St Luke, the 22nd Chapter

Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present. Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it." They asked him, "Where do you want us to make preparations for it?" "Listen," he said to them, "when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters and say to the owner of the house, 'The teacher asks you, "Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"' He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there." So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. (Luke 22:1-13)

Morning Psalms

Psalm 37: Part I Noli aemulari
1   Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
2   For they shall soon wither like the grass, and like the green grass fade away.
3   Put your trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
4   Take delight in the LORD, and he shall give you your heart's desire.
5   Commit your way to the LORD and put your trust in him, and he will bring it to pass.
6   He will make your righteousness as clear as the light and your just dealing as the noonday.
7   Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.
8   Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
9   Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
10   For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the LORD shall possess the land.
11   In a little while the wicked shall be no more; you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.
12   But the lowly shall possess the land; they will delight in abundance of peace.
13   The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash at them with their teeth.
14   The Lord laughs at the wicked, because he sees that their day will come.
15   The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow to strike down the poor and needy, to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
16   Their sword shall go through their own heart, and their bow shall be broken.
17   The little that the righteous has is better than great riches of the wicked.
18   For the power of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 37: Part II Novit Dominus
19   The LORD cares for the lives of the godly, and their inheritance shall last for ever.
20   They shall not be ashamed in bad times, and in days of famine they shall have enough.
21   As for the wicked, they shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD, like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish; they shall vanish like smoke.
22   The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous are generous in giving.
23   Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land, but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
24   Our steps are directed by the LORD; he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
25   If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong, for the LORD holds them by the hand.
26   I have been young and now I am old, but never have I seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread.
27   The righteous are always generous in their lending, and their children shall be a blessing.
28   Turn from evil, and do good, and dwell in the land for ever.
29   For the LORD loves justice; he does not forsake his faithful ones.
30   They shall be kept safe for ever, but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
31   The righteous shall possess the land and dwell in it for ever.
32   The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and their tongue speaks what is right.
33   The law of their God is in their heart, and their footsteps shall not falter.
34   The wicked spy on the righteous and seek occasion to kill them.
35   The LORD will not abandon them to their hand, nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
36   Wait upon the LORD and keep his way; he will raise you up to possess the land, and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
37   I have seen the wicked in their arrogance, flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
38   I went by, and behold, they were not there; I searched for them, but they could not be found.
39   Mark those who are honest; observe the upright; for there is a future for the peaceable.
40   Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all; the future of the wicked is cut off.
41   But the deliverance of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
42   The LORD will help them and rescue them; he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them, because they seek refuge in him.

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 THURSDAY, December 8, 2016

From Forward Day By Day
Written by Hugo Olaiz

Luke 22:2 (NRSV) The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people.

This chapter of Luke presents opposing preparations. We may not realize it, but in the less dramatic settings and less renowned actors of our own lives, opposing forces play out all the time.

I live near Cincinnati, where many people are destroying their bodies with dangerous drugs—prescription medications and street drugs. At the same time, successful programs exist to help people overcome their addictions (in fact, a chapter of Narcotics Anonymous meets in my church).

In the Cincinnati neighborhood of Price Hill, thousands of at-risk children and youth face uncertain futures. But hopeful programs abound, like Music for Youth, which recruits minority children into an intense music theory program that teaches them how to play instruments.

Do you see forces of good and evil playing out in your community? In yourself?

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 - Surround Sound

Read: Nehemiah 12:27–43 | Bible in a Year: Daniel 8–10; 3 John

The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away. Nehemiah 12:43

Walt Disney Studios was the first to introduce a new concept in listening to movies. It was called “stereophonic sound” or surround sound, and it was developed because producers wanted the movie-going audience to hear the music in a new way.

But this wasn’t the first use of “surround sound.” Thousands of years earlier, Nehemiah introduced the idea at the dedication of the rebuilt wall of Jerusalem. “I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall,” he explained. “I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks” (Neh. 12:31). The two choirs began at the southern part of the wall, at the Dung Gate. One went to the left, one went to the right, and they surrounded the city of Jerusalem in praise as they marched toward the temple (vv. 31, 37–40).

The choirs led the people in rejoicing because “God had given them great joy” (v. 43). In fact, their rejoicing “could be heard far away” (v. 43).

Their praise resulted from God’s help as the people overcame the opposition of enemies like Sanballat and rebuilt the wall. What has God given us that causes our joy to overflow into praise? God’s clear direction in our lives? The comfort He alone can provide in times of trouble? Or our ultimate gift: salvation?

Perhaps we can’t create “surround sound” with our praise, but we can rejoice in the joy God has given us. Then others can hear us praise God and see how He works.

We praise You, O Lord—with words, with song, and with our lives. We offer You our hearts in response to Your great power, loving provision, and constant care.

We can never praise Jesus too much!

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Sonido envolvente

Leer: Nehemías 12:27-43 | La Biblia en un año: 3 Juan

… el alborozo de Jerusalén fue oído desde lejos (Nehemías 12:43).

W alt Disney Studios fue el primero en implementar un nuevo concepto de sonido para películas: el sonido estereofónico o envolvente. Se desarrolló porque los productores querían que el público escuchara la música de una manera novedosa.

No obstante, esta no fue la primera vez que se usó sonido envolvente. Miles de años antes, Nehemías incorporó la idea en la dedicación de los muros reconstruidos de Jerusalén: «hice subir a los principales de Judá sobre la muralla y puse dos grandes coros de acción de gracias» (Nehemías 12:31 rva). Uno iba cantando hacia la izquierda y el otro hacia la derecha, rodeando la ciudad de Jerusalén con alabanzas mientras marchaban al templo (vv. 31, 37-40) y guiaban al pueblo que se regocijaba «porque Dios les había dado gran alegría» (v. 43); de este modo, «se oía desde lejos» (v. 43).

¿Qué nos ha dado Dios que nos haga rebosar de alabanzas? ¿Una dirección clara, el consuelo que solo Él puede dar, el supremo regalo de la salvación?

Quizá no podamos generar un sonido envolvente con nuestra alabanza, pero sí tener gran alegría por lo que Dios nos ha dado. Entonces, otros podrán escucharnos y ver cómo obra el Señor en nuestra vida.

Señor, te alabamos con palabras, con acciones y con nuestra vida por tu gran poder, provisión amorosa y cuidado constante.

¡Es imposible excederse en alabanzas a Dios!

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Stereo

Lesen: Nehemia 12,27-43 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Daniel 8–10; 3.Johannes

Und man hörte die Freude Jerusalems schon von ferne. (Nehemia 12,43)

Die Walt Disney-Studios waren die ersten, die den Kinobesuchern die Filmmusik in einer neuen Hörqualität anboten. Man nannte sie „Stereophonie“.

Doch das war nicht die erste „Rundumbeschallung“ der Geschichte. Ein paar tausend Jahre früher nutzte Nehemia die Technik bereits bei der Einweihung der wieder aufgebauten Stadtmauer von Jerusalem. „Ich ließ die Oberen von Juda oben auf die Mauer steigen“, erklärte er, „und stellte zwei große Dankchöre auf“ (Neh. 12,31). Die Chöre starteten beim Misttor. Der eine ging nach links, der andere nach rechts und so umzogen sie die Stadt auf dem Weg zum Tempel mit Lobgesang (V.31.37-40).

Die Chöre sangen, denn „Gott hatte ihnen eine große Freude gegeben“ (V.43). Ja, man „hörte die Freude Jerusalems schon von ferne“ (V.43).

Sie lobten Gott, weil er ihnen geholfen hatte, den Widerstand von Feinden wie Sanballat zu überwinden und die Mauer wiederaufzubauen. Was hat Gott uns gegeben, das unsere Freude überfließen lässt? Klare Wegweisung für unser Leben? Trost, wie nur er ihn geben kann in Zeiten der Not? Oder das größte Geschenk—die Erlösung?

Vielleicht können wir unser Lob nicht „in Stereo“ singen. Aber auch wir können dankbar sein für die „große Freude“, die Gott uns gegeben hat. Dann können andere unser Lob hören und sehen, wie er in unserem Leben wirkt.

Wir loben dich, o Herr—mit Worten, Liedern und mit unserem Leben. Wir bringen dir unser Herz aus Dank für deine große Macht, deine Liebe und treue Zuwendung.

Wir können Gott gar nicht genug loben!

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Звук вокруг

Читать сейчас: Неемия 12:27-43 | Библия за год: Даниил 8-10; Евреям 12

И веселье Иерусалима далеко было слышно. — Неемия 12:43

Студия Уолта Диснея первой представила новый подход к звуковому оформлению своих фильмов. Его назвали «звук вокруг». Технология была разработана для того, чтобы достичь наибольшего погружения зрителей в атмосферу фильма.

Но это было не первое применение технологии «звук вокруг». За несколько тысяч лет до этого Неемия воплотил эту идею во время освящения восстановленной стены Иерусалима. «Тогда я повел начальствующих в Иудее на стену и поставил два больших хора для шествия», – рассказывает он (Неем. 12:31). Два хора начали шествие с южной части стены. Один пошел по левой стороне, другой – по правой. Так они обошли город Иерусалим, хваля Бога и направляясь к храму (Неем. 12:31, 37-40).

За хорами шествовал ликующий народ, «потому что Бог дал им великую радость» (Неем. 12:43). «И веселье Иерусалима далеко было слышно» (Неем. 12:43).

Причиной радости стала Божья помощь в победе над противниками и восстановлении стены. А что Бог дал нам, что побуждает к радости и хвале? Он руководил нашей жизнью? Он утешал нас во времена невзгод? Или нам следует прежде всего благодарить Его за величайший дар – спасение?

Скорее всего, мы не сможем создать эффект «звук вокруг» своим хвалением, но и мы можем радоваться «великой радостью» о том, что даровал нам Господь. Тогда окружающие услышат нашу хвалу и увидят, как Он действует в нашей жизни.

Мы славим Тебя, Господь, словами, песнями и жизнью. Возносим к Тебе наши сердца в ответ на Твою великую силу, обильные благословения и постоянную заботу.

Переусердствовать в хвале Богу невозможно.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Le son multicanal

Lisez : Néhémie 12.27‑43 | La Bible en un an : Daniel 8 – 10 et 3 Jean

[Les] cris de joie de Jérusalem furent entendus au loin. (Néhémie 12:43)

Les studios Walt Disney ont été les premiers à présenter un nouveau concept d’écoute cinématographique. On l’appelait « son stéréophonique » ou « son multicanal », et on l’a développé parce que des producteurs désiraient que les cinéphiles entendent la musique d’une nouvelle façon.

Ce n’est toutefois pas la première utilisation ayant été faite du « son multicanal ». Des milliers d’années auparavant, Néhémie en avait présenté l’idée lors de la dédicace de la muraille de Jérusalem : « Je fis monter sur la muraille les chefs de Juda, et je formai deux grands choeurs. Le premier se mit en marche du côté droit sur la muraille » (V. 31). À la porte du fumier, au sud, et les choeurs sont allés chacun de son côté, pour entourer Jérusalem de louanges en direction du Temple (V. 31,37‑40).

Ils ont amené les Juifs à se réjouir, car « Dieu avait donné au peuple un grand sujet de joie » (V. 43), dont les cris « furent entendus au loin » (V. 43).

Leurs louanges étaient issues de l’aide que Dieu leur avait procurée pour vaincre leurs ennemis, comme Sanballat, et pour rebâtir la muraille. Qu’est‑ce que Dieu nous a donné pour que nous éclations de joie en louanges ? Une direction claire pour notre vie ? Le réconfort que lui seul peut nous apporter dans la tempête ? Ou encore, notre don ultime : le salut ?

Il se peut que nous ne puissions pas produire de « son multicanal » par nos louanges, mais nous avons « un grand sujet de joie » de la part de Dieu, témoignant ainsi de l’oeuvre que Dieu accomplit en nous.

Nous ne saurions jamais trop louer Jésus.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ