Monday, December 26, 2016

The Daily Readings for MONDAY, December 26, 2016 - Saint Stephen Day

First Reading
Jeremiah 26:1-9, 26:12-15
At the beginning of the reign of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, this word came from the LORD: Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the LORD; speak to them all the words that I command you; do not hold back a word. It may be that they will listen, all of them, and will turn from their evil way, that I may change my mind about the disaster that I intend to bring on them because of their evil doings. You shall say to them: Thus says the LORD: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to heed the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently-- though you have not heeded-- then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth. The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, "You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, 'This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant'?" And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD. Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, "It is the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will change his mind about the disaster that he has pronounced against you. But as for me, here I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the LORD sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears."

Psalm 31 In te, Domine, speravi
1   In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2   Incline your ear to me; make haste to deliver me.
3   Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4   Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength.
5   Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O LORD, O God of truth.
6   I hate those who cling to worthless idols, and I put my trust in the LORD.
7   I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; for you have seen my affliction; you know my distress.
8   You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; you have set my feet in an open place.
9   Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
10   For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
11   I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12   I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot.
13   For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
14   But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. I have said, "You are my God.
15   My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16   Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me."
17   LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; rather, let the wicked be put to shame; let them be silent in the grave.
18   Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19   How great is your goodness, O LORD! which you have laid up for those who fear you; which you have done in the sight of all for those who put their trust in you.
20   You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21   Blessed be the LORD! for he has shown me the wonders of his love in a besieged city.
22   Yet I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes." Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.
23   Love the LORD, all you who worship him; the LORD protects the faithful, but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24   Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.

Second Reading
Acts 6:8 - 7:2a, 51c-60
Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they secretly instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God." They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. They set up false witnesses who said, "This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us." And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Then the high priest asked him, "Are these things so?" And Stephen replied: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it." When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he died.

The Holy Gospel
Matthew 23:24-39
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel! "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, and you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation. "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

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.

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - "The Unpopular Truth"

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5, NIV)

One of the most often-asked questions regarding the Christian faith goes something like this: "What about the person who has never heard that Jesus is the only way to God? What about the person in the middle of the jungle who has never heard the gospel?" (They are always in a jungle for some unknown reason—or in the desert.)

The teaching that Jesus Christ is the only way to God has never been popular. But maybe it has never been more controversial than it is today. If you want to get someone's blood boiling, then say that Jesus is the only way to God. The "coexist" bumper sticker on their car will catch fire.

The idea that you would have the audacity to say that Jesus is the only way is, in effect, saying that other religions are not true. That is the way it works itself out, and people don't like it. It is acceptable if you say that Jesus is a way to God. But when you dare to say that He is the only way, then you can be certain that will have some pushback.

But here is what it comes down to. We have to say what the Bible says, whether it is popular or not. It is not for me to edit the message of the Bible; it is for me, as a Christian, to simply deliver it.

It would be like a doctor's discovering a very serious problem with a patient's health, but then being unwilling to say what that problem is, because it might make that patient uncomfortable.

We have to tell people the truth about their real condition, which happens to be sinful, and then seek to save them, which is to point them to Jesus Christ as the only solution.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Verse of the Day - December 26, 2016

Luke 2:28-32 (NIV) Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

Read all of Luke 2

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Un Dia a la Vez - Ojo con la vanidad

Ante ti, Señor, están todos mis deseos; no te son un secreto mis anhelos. Salmo 38:9

El ejemplo más increíble de humildad nos lo dejó Jesús en sus treinta y tres años que estuvo en la tierra. Siendo el Hijo de Dios y teniendo todo el poder para haber sido vanidoso, ya que tenía por qué creerlo, fue servicial, misericordioso y trabajador. Se preocupaba de que todos aprendieran el porqué de su misión en este mundo. Y nosotros, sin tener nada de qué jactarnos, somos vanidosos. Entre estos vanidosos se encuentran los que aman el dinero, y este es un mal de nuestros días. Con esto, no me refiero a que no puedas ser próspero.

Lo importante es que te mantengas siendo humilde y con los pies en la tierra, además de generoso y bondadoso.

¿Por qué te digo esto? Porque el Manual de Instrucciones reprende la vanidad como pecado. Ahora bien, eso no quiere decir que debas desechar tus sueños y anhelos. Al contrario, cuenta con Dios para que sean de acuerdo a su voluntad y todo te saldrá bien.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - HARVEST TIME IN CHINA

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:20

House churches in China love to celebrate Christmas—without Santa and the commercialization found in the west which, sadly, is now creeping into the profit-centric malls in China’s cities. They revel in the opportunity to share about the coming of Jesus Christ and God’s love to colleagues, friends and neighbors who usually do not mind attending special Christmas gatherings in the spirit of the season.

Increasingly, house churches plan elaborate programs with performances, such as ice-breakers, Christmas carols, dances and sketches—to till the soil of each heart—before culminating with an evangelistic message. Several rent public halls or banquet rooms in hotels and create a festive air with decorations of balloons, ribbons and artificial flowers.

Brother Kao says, “We found out that it was possible for us to rent meeting halls in some places that were usually used for wedding dinners. So, with the Christmas season fast approaching, we booked such halls at multiple locations in preparation for our Christmas evangelistic outreach,” Kao continued. Then the church put together a program and began practicing hard on the short plays about two months before.

“There was this one hall that had just been used for a wedding banquet. When we arrived to put up our Christmas decorations, we found it was already beautifully done up so we merely added a few more Christmas touches. We had our church members invite their unsaved friends and relatives. Because Christmas is viewed as a Western celebration, many people are curious and open to finding out what it’s all about, so they readily come.”

The hall was packed with many first-time guests. The program began with the singing of some Christmas carols and everyone sang with gusto, even though they might not have understood what the lyrics meant. Then the plays followed, dramatizing the story of Noah and the flood, showing the depravity of man, and how only eight were saved. At the end of it, the pastor went up on stage, explained what the whole story meant and shared about man’s need for a Savior before making an altar call.

Kao explained, “Each night at every location where we held this outreach program, an average of one hundred people would pray to become children of God. And because we had received the materials from Open Doors earlier, we were able to give each new believer a Bible and a book on the spot. We find that doing so helps them to further understand the decision they have made and enables them to grow in their new life in Christ.”

“Please inform our brothers and sisters who are praying for us that we are putting the books you supplied to good use and giving them to new Christians,” he voiced gratefully.

RESPONSE: Today I will pray for those who have not yet heard the Good News about Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Thank God that house churches in China have such effective outreaches at Christmas time. Pray against hindrances and interferences from the local authorities.

Girlfriends in God - A Longing for Home

Today’s Truth

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (John 3:16, NIV).

Friend to Friend

It was Christmas Eve and the family was preparing to attend the church service. Everyone was going, everyone except Dad. He was an honest man, a good man, but he simply could neither understand nor accept the seemingly complex story of the baby in a manger born to save the world. It was just too far-fetched for the human mind to conceive.

How could God allow His Son to give up Heaven for Earth?

Why would Jesus want to die for any man?

The questions lingered and, not wanting to be a hypocrite, the man chose to stay home rather than sit in a church pew one time a year with an unbelieving heart.

As his family went out into the cold wintry night, the man added a log to the fire and settled into his favorite chair to read the paper and wait for his family’s return. A knock at the window pulled him away from his peaceful reverie. Glancing outside, he was stunned to see that the knocking sound was actually a small bird desperately trying to reach the warmth of the fire.

The man thought for a moment, contemplating a solution to the bird’s predicament. He opened the window, but the bird ignored him. He tried opening the front door, but the bird again refused his offer and continued to slam into the windowpane. The kind-hearted man finally grabbed his coat and stepped into the Christmas night … and into God’s perfect plan. He trudged through the deepening snow, determined to save the tiny bird by opening the barn doors, convincing the little bird that the barn was safe and warm. Still, the bird rejected his plan.

Frustrated, the man thought, “If only I could be a bird, for just a moment, I could lead the doomed bird to safety.” The sound of church bells suddenly rang through the cold, dark night – and he knew. He finally understood the reason Jesus came - to be one of us – to lead us into the safety of His will and the certainty of eternal life.

“And it was necessary for Jesus to be like us so that He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. For since He himself has now been through suffering and temptation, He knows what it is like when we suffer and are tempted, and He is wonderfully able to help us.”
Hebrews 2:17-18

Wherever you are today, Jesus has been there, and He understands. God has tucked a longing into Christmas, a longing for home. That longing can never be satisfied outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s why He came.

Christmas is not a date on the calendar. Christmas is a way of life. Like the innkeeper, we are often guilty of posting a sign across the entrance of our hearts and lives that reads, “No room!” We can participate in every festivity of the Christmas season, but until we receive the gift of Jesus Christ, we will never truly experience Christmas.

Jesus is the heart of Christmas. By human standards, Jesus could and should have been born in a palace, a mansion fit for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus was born in a manger. Shepherds announced His birth - the greatest of all miracles - in the midst of total simplicity.

Even today, this extraordinary Jesus comes to us in the midst of our ordinary lives for one simple reason. Love. God loved us so much that He had to do something about it. He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth – for you and for me.

You really can celebrate Jesus. Do not believe the lies of the enemy when he tells you that your God has forsaken you. God is with you – Emmanuel. God understands your fear and loneliness. He endured the cross because He loves you, and because no one can take your place in the Father’s heart. No matter where this Christmas finds you – you can celebrate Jesus. Know you are loved.

Let’s Pray

Father, I celebrate You and the love You so freely offer. I may not understand some of the things happening in my life right now, but I choose to trust You with each one. My faith is small, Lord. Give me Your strength for each step and help me remember that You are with me. Lord, today I celebrate Your birth. Thank You for the gift of life and the love I find in knowing You. My Christmas gift to You is everything I am, everything I have, and everything I hope to be.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Find some time today to spend alone with God. Praise and worship Him for who He is, Lord, King, Father and Shepherd. Celebrate the perfect plan and design of God for your life.

More from the Girlfriends

Sharon, Gwen and I pray that this Christmas is a true celebration of Jesus Christ at work in your life. We wish each one of you a very merry Christmas. We love doing life with you … when life is good and when it is bad. Please know that we are praying for you and asking God to fill your hearts with His peace and joy.

May God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
The warmth of Christmas, which is love;
The radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
The righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
The belief in Christmas, which is truth;
The all of Christmas, which is Christ.

LHM Daily Devotion - "Sheer Terror"

December 26, 2016

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. (Luke 2:9, ESV)

One Christmas memory always makes me shudder. I'm sitting in a classroom dressed in costume and drenched in sweat. It's not that the costume is too heavy or the room too hot, I'm sweating because the children's Christmas program starts in five minutes, and I'm so nervous I can't remember a single word of my part!

Sheer terror! It's amazing how many times Luke mentions that terror as he describes the first Christmas. First, there was Zechariah in the temple, then Mary; now it's the shepherds' turn. They are sitting quietly watching their sheep on a dark night, when bright light suddenly surrounds them. An angel stands before them shining in glorious splendor. But that's not the source of the brightest light. God's own glory is shining all around them. Their reaction isn't unusual for a sinner in the presence of a holy spirit creature, let alone the brightness of God's own glory. Luke wrote in the original Greek, "they feared with great fear."

Actually, that was the same light the Son of God had been radiating in heaven, before this world was created. But He concealed that glory when He became human and came to our dark world to save us from death and hell by His life, death and resurrection. Because of Jesus' ultimate sacrifice we will be able to stand before Him without fear, when He returns to judge the world. Then throughout eternity we will bask in the glorious light of God's presence forever.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your gracious presence among us. Cleanse us from our sins through Jesus our Savior, that we may live in Your glorious presence forever when He comes again. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).

Devociones de Adviento - El camino de los pastores

Lunes 26 de Diciembre

Lucas 2:15-20

Al volver los pastores, iban alabando y glorificando a Dios por todo lo que habían visto y oído. (Lc 2:20a, RVC)

Eran considerados parte de la población más baja del país. Eran simples pastores, cuya tarea los ponía en contacto con una realidad considerada "impura", según algunos. Pero cuando el Mesías llegó a este mundo, fueron los primeros destinatarios de semejante noticia.

No era para quedarse de brazos cruzados, mirándose unos a otros. Aquel que llegaría a ser el gran Pastor de Israel quiso que ellos fueran los primeros. "Vayamos a Belén y veamos esto que ha sucedido", se dijeron. Así que fueron de prisa y encontraron a María y José, y al niño rey acostado en un pesebre. ¡Qué escena más extraordinaria! Dios envuelto en pañales. El Creador en brazos de una madre primeriza. El Todopoderoso sometido, por amor, a las fuerzas de la naturaleza, al hambre, al frío. El amor todo lo puede, todo lo sufre, todo lo soporta... una fotografía majestuosa de lo que significa el amor sacrificial.

La escena nos muestra dónde se deja encontrar Dios. Ese Dios fulgurante que con su gloria nos intimida y aterroriza porque nos recuerda nuestro pecado y debilidad, de pronto se deja encontrar en un Jesús encarnado, en quien la gloria se oculta para no consumirnos. Y ese mismo Jesús se deja encontrar hoy en una pila bautismal, en un púlpito donde se predica su evangelio, en un altar donde se ofrece su cuerpo y su sangre.

Vayamos pues, como los pastores, al encuentro de Jesús. Ellos nos enseñan el camino. No nos quedemos de brazos cruzados. ¡Ese encuentro cambia la vida! Tras ese encuentro habremos de alabar y glorificar a Dios por lo visto y oído.

Te alabo, Padre, por darnos el precioso regalo de tu Hijo. Ahora que sé de Jesús, que no me quede quieto hasta hallarlo y abrazarlo con fe. Amén.

© Copyright 2016 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones

Our Daily Bread - On Time

Read: Luke 2:25–38 | Bible in a Year: Haggai 1–2; Revelation 17

When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son. Galatians 4:4

Sometimes I joke that I'm going to write a book titled On Time. Those who know me smile because they know I am often late. I rationalize that my lateness is due to optimism, not to lack of trying. I optimistically cling to the faulty belief that “this time” I will be able to get more done in less time than ever before. But I can't, and I don't, so I end up having to apologize yet again for my failure to show up on time.

In contrast, God is always on time. We may think He's late, but He's not. Throughout Scripture we read about people becoming impatient with God’s timing. The Israelites waited and waited for the promised Messiah. Some gave up hope. But Simeon and Anna did not. They were in the temple daily praying and waiting (Luke 2:25–26, 37). And their faith was rewarded. They got to see the infant Jesus when Mary and Joseph brought Him to be dedicated (vv. 27–32, 38).

When we become discouraged because God doesn't respond according to our timetable, Christmas reminds us that “when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son . . . that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Gal. 4:4–5). God’s timing is always perfect, and it is worth the wait.

Heavenly Father, I confess that I become impatient and discouraged, wanting answers to prayer in my own time and on my schedule. Help me to wait patiently for Your timing in all things.

God’s timing is always right—wait patiently for Him.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Puntual

Leer: Lucas 2:25-38 | La Biblia en un año: Apocalipsis 17

… cuando vino el cumplimiento del tiempo, Dios envió a su Hijo… (Gálatas 4:4).

A veces, bromeo que voy a escribir un libro titulado Puntual. Quienes me conocen se sonríen porque saben que suelo llegar tarde. Mi excusa es que mi retraso se debe al optimismo, no a mi falta de empeño. Con optimismo, me aferro a la creencia errónea de que «esta vez», como nunca antes, podré terminar más cosas en menos tiempo. Pero no puedo, y no lo hago; entonces, termino teniendo que disculparme otra vez por mi impuntualidad.

En cambio, Dios siempre es puntual. Tal vez pensemos que llega tarde, pero no es así. La Biblia habla de personas que se impacientaron con el tiempo de Dios. Los israelitas esperaban y esperaban al Mesías prometido, y algunos se cansaron. Pero Simeón y Ana no, sino que siguieron día tras día en el templo, orando y esperando (Lucas 2:25-26, 37). Y su fe fue recompensada, ya que pudieron ver al niño Jesús cuando María y José lo llevaron al templo para su dedicación (vv. 27-32, 38).

Cuando nos desanimamos porque Dios no responde según nuestro calendario, la Navidad nos recuerda que «cuando vino el cumplimiento del tiempo, Dios envió a su Hijo, […] para que redimiese a los que estaban bajo la ley, a fin de que recibiésemos la adopción de hijos» (Gálatas 4:4-5). El tiempo de Dios es perfecto siempre, y vale la pena esperar.

Señor, ayúdame a tener paciencia.

El tiempo de Dios es siempre correcto; espera con paciencia que Él actúe.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Pünktlich

Lesen: Lukas 2,25-38 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Haggai 1–2; Offenbarung 17

Als aber die Zeit erfüllt war, sandte Gott seinen Sohn. (Galater 4,4)

Manchmal scherze ich, ich würde einmal ein Buch schreiben mit dem Titel Pünktlich. Wer mich kennt, lächelt dann, weil er weiß, dass ich oft zu spät komme. Ich rechtfertige mich damit, dass es nicht daran liegt, dass ich mich nicht bemühe, sondern weil ich zu optimistisch bin. Ich meine, „dieses Mal“ könnte ich in kürzerer Zeit mehr schaffen als je zuvor. Aber das kann ich nicht und so muss ich mich immer wieder für meine Verspätung entschuldigen.

Anders als ich kommt Gott immer zur rechten Zeit. Wir meinen vielleicht, er habe sich verspätet, aber das hat er nicht. In der ganzen Bibel lesen wir von Menschen, die ungeduldig wurden. Die Israeliten warteten und warteten auf den verheißenen Messias. Manche gaben die Hoffnung auf. Aber Simeon und Hanna nicht. Sie waren täglich im Tempel und warteten und beteten (Luk. 2,25-26.37). Und ihr Glaube wurde belohnt. Sie sahen Jesus, als Maria und Josef ihr Kind in den Tempel brachten, um ihn „darzustellen“ (V.27-32.38).

Wenn wir den Mut verlieren, weil Gott nicht nach unserem Zeitplan handelt, dann will uns Weihnachten daran erinnern, dass Gott seinen Sohn sandte, „als aber die Zeit erfüllt war . . . damit wir die Kindschaft empfangen“ (Gal. 4,4-5). Gott handelt immer zur richtigen Zeit und es lohnt sich, darauf zu warten.

Himmlischer Vater, ich bekenne, dass ich manchmal ungeduldig und entmutigt bin und Antworten auf meine Gebete will, wann ich es für richtig halte. Hilf mir, bei allem geduldig auf dich zu warten.

Gott handelt immer zur richtigen Zeit—hab Geduld und warte auf ihn.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Вовремя

Читать сейчас: Луки 2:25-38 | Библия за год: Аггей 1-2; Откровение 17

Когда пришла полнота времени, Бог послал Сына Своего. — Галатам 4:4

Порой я шучу, что когда-нибудь напишу книгу под названием «Вовремя». Знакомые улыбаются, потому что знают: я всегда опаздываю. Я оправдываю этот недостаток жизненным оптимизмом, а не плохой организованностью. Я оптимистично, хоть и ошибочно, верю, что «в этот раз» я за тот же промежуток времени смогу сделать больше, чем раньше. Но я не могу и не делаю, и поэтому вынуждена снова извиняться за опоздание.

В противоположность мне Бог никогда не опаздывает. Нам может показаться, что Он медлит, но это не так. В Библии мы регулярно видим людей, у которых не хватает терпения на Божьи сроки. Израильтяне долго ждали обещанного Мессию, и некоторые начали терять надежду. Но Симеон и Анна продолжали верить, ежедневно пребывая в храме с молитвой и ожиданием (Лк. 2:25-26, 36-37). Их вера была вознаграждена. Они увидели Младенца Иисуса, когда Мария и Иосиф принесли Его представить пред Господа (Лк. 2:27-32, 38).

Когда нас посещают мысли о том, что Бог медлит с исполнением Своих обетований, Рождество напоминает: «...когда пришла полнота времени, Бог послал Сына Своего... чтобы нам получить усыновление» (Гал. 4:4-5). Божьи сроки всегда совершенны. Наберемся терпения.

Небесный Отец, я исповедую, что теряю терпение, ожидая ответа на молитву по своему разумению и расписанию. Помоги мне терпеливо ожидать Твоего действия во всем.

Божьи сроки всегда совершенны – ожидайте с терпением.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - À l’heure

Lisez : Luc 2.25‑38 | La Bible en un an : Aggée 1 – 2 et Apocalypse 17

[Lorsque] les temps ont été accomplis, Dieu a envoyé son Fils. (Galates 4.4)

Je dis parfois à la blague que j’écrirai un livre intitulé À l’heure. Ceux qui me connaissent sourient alors, car ils savent que je suis souvent en retard. J’attribue toutefois mes retards à mon optimisme, et non à la faute d’essayer. Je m’accroche à la fausse croyance que « cette fois‑ci » je parviendrai à en accomplir plus en moins de temps que jamais auparavant ; mais j’en suis incapable, alors je finis toujours par devoir m’excuser une fois de plus de ne pas être arrivée à l’heure.

Par contraste, Dieu est toujours à l’heure. Il se peut que nous croyions qu’il est en retard, mais ce n’est pas le cas. Dans toute la Bible, nous découvrons des gens que l’horaire de Dieu impatiente. Les Israélites ont attendu et attendu encore après la venue du Messie leur ayant été promis. Certains ont perdu espoir, mais pas Siméon et Anne. Tous les jours, ils priaient et attendaient dans le Temple (LU 2.25,26,37).Et ils ont été récompensés pour leur foi. Ils ont pu voir l’Enfant Jésus lorsque Marie et Joseph l’y ont amené afin de le consacrerau Seigneur (V. 27‑32,38).

Lorsque le découragement nous gagne parce que Dieu ne nous répond pas au moment où nous le voudrions, Noël nous rappelle que, « lorsque les temps ont été accomplis, Dieu a envoyé son Fils […] afin que nous recevions l’adoption » (GA 4.4,5). Le temps de Dieu est toujours parfait, et il en vaut l’attente.

Le temps de Dieu est toujours le bon,
alors attendez‑le avec patience.
© 2016 Ministères NPQ