Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, January 8, 2017 - The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Baptism of Christ fresco by Giotto di Bondone, c. 1305

First Reading
from the Old Testament
Isaiah 42:1-9
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching. Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.

This is the Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 29 Afferte Domino
1   Ascribe to the LORD, you gods, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2   Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his Name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3   The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the LORD is upon the mighty waters.
4   The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor.
5   The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6   He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7   The voice of the LORD splits the flames of fire; the voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
  The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare.
9   And in the temple of the LORD all are crying, "Glory!"
10   The LORD sits enthroned above the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as King for evermore.
11   The LORD shall give strength to his people; the LORD shall give his people the blessing of peace.

Second Reading
from the Epistles
Acts 10:34-43
Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ-- he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

This is the Word 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.

Christ's Baptism Is Yours - The Sunday Sermon for SUNDAY, January 8, 2017 - The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The supposed location where John baptized Jesus Christ East of the River Jordan.

The Holy Gospel
according to St Matthew, the 3rd Chapter

Glory to You, O Lord

Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased."

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit connects us to Jesus is Matthew 3.

"Christ's Baptism Is Yours"

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. But John tried to stop him by saying, "I'm the one that needs to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?"

"In reply Jesus said to him, "Let it be so now, for in this way it's fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he let him.

"After being baptized, Jesus right away went up from the water. And behold, the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and coming upon him. And behold, a voice from the heavens saying, "This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I have been well-pleased."" (Matthew 3:13-17)

Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:

He carries your guilt

Why was Jesus baptized?

It may have been another sunny day along the banks of the Jordan. Another day of the crowds coming to hear the voice calling in the wilderness, dressed in coarse camel's hair with only a leather belt. Another day of John baptizing with water in river as the people confessed their sins, a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Just another day, until Jesus came.

Why would Jesus come to be baptized? That puzzled John. In fact, he tried to talk Jesus out of it. "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" (Matthew 3:14 NIV-1984). John knew his own sin. He needed the Messiah to bring him forgiveness. Why, then, did Jesus come to be baptized? What sins did he have that needed to be washed away?

No doubt you remember from Sunday school that Jesus was sinless and holy. Just this past Wednesday the Catechism class looked up 1 Peter 1, which describes Jesus as a lamb without blemish or defect. All his thoughts, words, and actions were pure all the time, perfectly in line with God's law, perfectly righteous. Even unbelievers will often talk about how good Jesus was.

But now dear friends, you're ready for the secret truth. Even as the world praises the goodness of Jesus, they're blind to this truth -- it's so secret. I don't mean to gossip here, but let me tell you what Jesus was really guilty of.

He was guilty of disobeying his parents and talking back. He was guilty of losing his temper and lashing out with his words. He was guilty of loving money, envying what others had, trusting health and wealth for happiness. He was guilty of indecent thoughts, mean-spirited words, loveless actions. He was guilty of neglecting God's word and of misusing God's name. He was guilty of laziness in prayer and slowness to speak God's truth. He was guilty of dishonoring God, not holding him in the highest reverence and regard.

Does that list sound familiar? It should, because it's your sins and mine that I've listed here. That's what Jesus was guilty of: The sins that you and I have committed. I don't mean that he did the same sins we do. He didn't. He himself never sinned. But all our own sins were charged against him - and not only ours. Jesus was guilty of eating the forbidden fruit, of naked drunkenness, of adultery with Uriah's wife, of betraying the Son of God. Yes, the sins of Adam, Noah, David, and Judas. He was guilty of genocide and mass murder, the sins of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and the worst criminals and tyrants. Every sin was charged against Jesus. That's why Jesus came to be baptized, to wash away all the sins of the world, yours and mine included.

Yes, what you learned in Sunday school is correct. Jesus is holy. He did not sin, not even once. He was not a sinner. But he was guilty of all the sins of the world, for they were all charged against him. That's what the prophets declared: "The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6 NIV-1984). That's what the apostles preached: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us" (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV-1984). That, dear friends, is what we believe, because God has revealed this secret through his Word and the Holy Spirit has convinced your heart of its truth: All your sins were charged against Jesus. He carried your guilt to wash it all away.

Why does baptism benefit you?

What a tragedy that so many don't believe. Many who have been baptized in this very building have turned away from Jesus. They still know about him and often claim to have faith. But what they retain is simply empty facts. For faith trusts Jesus. Faith is a living, moving power that changes our heart, will, and mind -- moving us to live for Jesus and serve him, gladly hearing and learning his Word. Without faith, sin damns to hell whether you've been baptized or not. How dreadful such a death!

But look, dear friend, see Jesus at the Jordan. See him baptized with water. His Baptism is yours. For he has stepped to your side; he has come to take your place. For he is the Christ, the anointed One, come to carry the sins of the word, including all of yours. Believe, dear friend, believe that your sins were charged against him. He carried your guilt. So his Baptism is yours. In his Baptism you have been washed clean.

His Baptism is yours, for you, too, have been baptized. Just as water was put on Jesus, so also you have been baptized with water. As you contemplate your Baptism, your faith see that water stained red with Jesus' blood. Only his blood poured out for you from his wounds on the cross, only his blood gives Baptism it's cleansing power. "The blood of Jesus, [God's] Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:7 NIV-1984), the Scriptures declare.

Only the life-blood of God the Son can wash us clean. Jesus' Baptism publicly shows God's Son taking our place all the way to the cross, suffering our god-forsaken hell as he hung there, dying our death. So see the water of Baptism dyed red with his blood, the cleansing flood that washes you clean and rescues you from death. For Christ's Baptism is yours. He carried your guilt.

You share his status

What happened at Jesus' Baptism that also happened at yours?

Christ's Baptism is yours. And now, what did you see and hear happening at Jesus' Baptism? Heaven is opened. The Holy Spirit comes down, making himself visible in the form of a dove. And the Father speaks for you to hear: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17 NIV-1984).

Christ's Baptism is yours. Since those things happened at his Baptism, they happened at yours, but not in that outward, physical, visible, audible way. But that does not make it any less real or true. At Jesus' Baptism, God sent these signs for physical eyes and ears to see and hear, so that at your Baptism the eyes and ears of faith would know they're happening just as surely.

Yes, dear Christian, since Jesus' Baptism is yours, when you were baptized, the Holy Spirit came down into your heart. No one could have videotaped it, for God works this marvelous miracle not as a spectacle for people to gape at but as a promise for faith to grasp. The Holy Spirit came down into your heart through the water and word of Baptism and gave you rebirth. Yes, you who were born dead in sin from the sinful flesh of your parents handed down from Adam, you were born again of water and the Spirit, for you were baptized in his name, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Don't listen to those who say you need a different baptism to really get the Holy Spirit. They have twisted the truth. Simply see what happened when Jesus was baptized with water. It's even depicted in the wall mural here. There the Holy Spirit came down. So also he came down upon you when you were baptized with water, just as Jesus was. For Christ's Baptism is yours.

And just as the Father spoke from heaven at Jesus' Baptism, so also your faith heard him say at your Baptism, "You are my son, whom I love. With you I am well-pleased." For in Baptism you, whether male or female, you were reborn as a son of God with all the rights and privileges of sonship. You became an heir of heaven with heaven opened for you. The Father's love pours over you as he cares for you day after day. He even declares, "With you I am well-pleased."

Why is the Father well-pleased with you and how does that change the way you live?

But how can that be? Didn't we begin life, corrupted by the sin we inherited from Adam, empty of all good? Aren't you and I still sinners even after our Baptism. Don't we daily sin much and deserve nothing but punishment? Or are we lying each time we come here Sunday mornings to confess our sins? No, we not lying. We are sinners who have earned death and hell.

But dear Christian, just as Jesus carried your guilt, so also through Baptism you share his status. For Christ's Baptism is yours. At your Baptism the Father declared: "You are my son, whom I love. With you I am well-pleased." Of course, Jesus is uniquely the Son of God, of one essence with the Father. He is the Only-begotten. He is the Son from all eternity. We don't become divine through Baptism, but he does share his status with us, his status of righteousness that stands before God. That's why he, the eternal Son, also became flesh and as the God-man was baptized in the Jordan. So his Baptism is yours. You share his status.

So when the Father looks at you who continue in your baptismal faith, he sees the righteousness of Jesus. That's why your faith still hears him saying, "I am well-pleased with you." That doesn't mean that he in any way likes our sin. But you've been washed clean in the blood of Jesus. You share his righteous status in God's sight.

Now, when our heart of faith hears those words from the Father, it's only the old self lingering in us that wants to use it as an excuse to indulge our sinful desires or put off growing in faith. But your new heart, generated by the Holy Spirit, rejoices in that Good News, daily cherishing this precious message God's Word and Sacraments bring.

What a reason for us to say no to sin and to live for God! He calls you his own dear son. He makes you an heir of everlasting life. Death has been drowned in the waters of Baptism. Heaven, opened. The Holy Spirit, poured out on you. So what if following Jesus brings earthly pain or lose? You are God's son and heir. What earthly treasure wouldn't we be ready to sacrifice, since our Father's love will not fail to take care of us, his dearly loved sons? And what hope we have even in the darkest, loneliest times! For the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are with you. You've been baptized into his name. For Christ's baptism is yours. Amen.

The peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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. Sermon shared by Gregg Bitter  Jan 17, 2011.

The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Today the church remembers The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Baptism of the Christ (or the Baptism of Christ) is the feast day commemorating the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Originally the baptism of Christ was celebrated on Epiphany, which commemorates the coming of the Magi, the baptism of Christ, and the wedding at Cana. Over time in the West, however, the celebration of the baptism of the Lord came to be commemorated as a distinct feast from Epiphany. It is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Anglican and Lutheran Churches on the first Sunday following The Epiphany of Our Lord (6 January).

With this Feast, Christmas ends liturgically, though it continues on in spirit and as a liturgical cycle until Candlemas when we recall Mary's post-birth Purification and Our Lord's Presentation in the Temple.

On this, the Octave of the Epiphany, we continue to focus on the Mysteries that entered our hearts on Twelfthnight and the Epiphany, but today more specifically with regard to the Baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist in the River Jordan. He Whose birth we just celebrated now shows us how to be born again or "born from above."

The marvelling at the Theophany continues in pondering the meaning of His Baptism, a meaning made more apparent by the Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Preface, and Communion prayers of today's Mass, all of which allude to the Magi and their recognition of Jesus as King and God. The Gospel reading comes from the first chapter of John, verses 29-34:
The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who taketh away the sin of the world. This is Scallop, a symbol of BaptismHe, of whom I said: After me there cometh a man, who is preferred before me: because He was before me. And I knew Him not, but that He may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven, and He remained upon him. And I knew Him not; but He Who sent me to baptize with water, said to me: He upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon Him, He it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.

St. John the Baptist, the prophet whom prophets foretold, heralded the Christ during Advent, and now, at the end of the liturgical Christmas season, gives testimony once again. He gives this witness not only by being in the spirit of Elias (IV Kings 1:3-8), but by the place he chose as the site of his baptisms: the River Jordan, where Elias (Elijah) was last seen before he was taken up to Heaven, and the waters of which were healed by Elias's son, Eliseus (Elisha):
IV Kings 2:11-19-22 And as they [Elias and Eliseus] went on, walking and talking together, behold a fiery chariot, and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Eliseus saw him, and cried: My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the driver thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own garments, and rent them in two pieces. And he took up the mantle of Elias, that fell from him: and going back, he stood upon the bank of the Jordan, And he struck the waters with the mantle of Elias, that had fallen from him, and they were not divided. And he said: Where is now the God of Elias? And he struck the waters, and they were divided, hither and thither, and Eliseus passed over...
...And the men of the city said to Eliseus: Behold the situation of this city is very good, as thou, my lord, seest: but the waters are very bad, and the ground barren. And he said: Bring me a new vessel, and put salt into it. And when they had brought it, He went out to the spring of the waters, and cast the salt into it, and said: Thus saith the Lord: I have healed these waters, and there shall be no more in them death or barrenness. And the waters were healed unto this day, according to the word of Eliseus, which he spoke.
But more importantly than this witness, the Father Himself and the Holy Ghost give testimony. St. Matthew's account of this Divine testimony is more explicit. From the third chapter of his Gospel:
And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
This revelation of His glory was predicted in Isaias 40:3-5: 3
The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see, that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken.
This Feast is like that of the Pentecost in its revelation of the Trinity, and even more is it like the Feast of the Transfiguration which commemorates the events that took place on Mt. Tabor, when Christ's Divinity was evident in His glorious Light, when the bright cloud overshadowed Him, and when the words of the Father echoed what was heard at the River Jordan:
Matthew 17:1-5 And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: And He was transfigured before them. And His Face did shine as the sun: and His garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with Him. And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him.
This Divine manifestation helps explain why Jesus -- the Sinless One, the Pure and Unspotted Lamb -- would be baptized at all: so that He would be known for Who He is, so that He would be made manifest.

In addition to this reason, St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274), in his Summa Theologica, gives us three other reasons for the fittingness of St. John baptizing Christ. One is so that Christ might sanctify Baptism, a sentiment expressed by St. John Chrysostom (d. 407) when he wrote "In truth, Christ needed not baptism, neither his nor any other; but rather baptism needed the power of Christ." Another is so that John, by baptizing, "might accustom men to the Baptism of Christ." And the last is so that "by persuading men to do penance, he might prepare men to receive worthily the baptism of Christ." Here he quotes the Venerable Bede:
...the baptism of John was as profitable before the baptism of Christ, as instruction in the faith profits the catechumens not yet baptized. For just as he preached penance, and foretold the baptism of Christ, and drew men to the knowledge of the Truth that hath appeared to the world, so do the ministers of the Church, after instructing men, chide them for their sins, and lastly promise them forgiveness in the baptism of Christ.
To give you things to think about this day, I present two hymns by St. Ephraem. The first concerns Jesus and John, and the second is here to help you appreciate your own Baptism.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Verse of the Day - January 08, 2017

Amos 5:14-15 (NIV) Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

Read all of Amos 5

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Standing Strong Through the Storm - FAITH THAT BRINGS HOPE

…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

We often think that faith is our duty, or something we can give back to God. In reality, we cannot even do that on our own. There is nothing we can give to God. We must rely on Him for everything—even our faith. When we accept it as His precious gift, we find victory over sin and trials. We could never have this victory if we relied only on our own tenuous faith. “Faith does not always provide exemption from suffering, but it does keep us from being defeated at the hands of suffering.”

Carl Moeller, Open Doors’ USA President says, “I met secretly with a courageous believer who had been forced to hang from his ankles or wrists every day, subjected to repeated beatings and was crammed in a three-foot square box for three weeks.

Racked by memories of the agony he’d been through, Aran had been looking at me with a pained expression until I asked the question, “What were you thinking or feeling during that time?”

His face completely changed. A huge smile broke across it, and he gave me two thumbs up.

What was he thinking…?

Aran simply said, “That I was counted worthy to suffer for Jesus Christ.”

A Christian leader in another restricted country shared the situation there in these words:

In our country, we live in the midst of a pressure cooker. To survive as Christians, we must have a pressure cooker faith. Our young people decide for Christ not because He offers them the most, or because it is fashionable, but because they consider that here is One worth dying for. That may even be what their discipleship may have for them.

Standing Strong Through the Storm (SSTS) examines persecution and the results of persecution—suffering and martyrdom. Satan wants to dishearten us and create hopelessness because of persecution and suffering. We will expose Satan’s lies and show how by faith we can experience God’s restoration of our hope—“the oxygen of the human spirit.”

RESPONSE: Today I will rely on the Lord to walk by faith and not by sight, no matter what happens.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to ignore Satan’s lies and live victoriously today by faith in the hope which only You can give and restore.

Un Dia a la Vez - Dios es compañía

Aunque pase por el más oscuro de los valles, no temeré peligro alguno, porque tú, Señor, estás conmigo. Salmo 23:4, DHH

Ayer te hablaba de los momentos en que Dios nos permite pasar por valles de soledad y momentos de mucha tristeza y dolor. Sin embargo, eso no se queda así, pues auque estemos atravesando los peores momentos, Dios siempre está a nuestro lado.

En medio de la enfermedad te promete ser tu médico de cabecera, tu sanador. Cuando tienes problemas legales, Dios te promete en su Palabra que «abogado tenemos para con el Padre» (1 Juan 2:1, RV-60) en el cielo. Cuando no tenemos trabajo ni dinero, nos recuerda que Él es nuestro proveedor y que, si se preocupa por las aves que están en el cielo y las flores, ¿cómo no se va a preocupar por sus hijos? Dios sabe cada una de nuestras necesidades, y aun antes de que le pidamos algo, ya conoce nuestros pensamientos.

Así que descansa en el Señor y entrégale toda tu preocupación.

Dios, que es sobre todo tu Padre, te ayudará a seguir adelante y te pondrá en lugares que jamás pensaste alcanzar.

Our Daily Bread - Put Down Your Burdens

Read: Matthew 11:25–30 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 20–22; Matthew 6:19–34

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

A man driving his pickup truck on a country track saw a woman carrying a heavy load, so he stopped and offered her a lift. The woman expressed her gratitude and climbed into the back of the truck.

A moment later, the man noticed a strange thing: the woman was still holding onto her heavy load despite sitting in the vehicle! Astonished, he pleaded, “Please, Madam, put down your load and take your rest. My truck can carry you and your stuff. Just relax.”

What do we do with the load of fear, worry, and anxiety we often carry as we go through life's many challenges? Instead of relaxing in the Lord, I sometimes behave like that woman. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28), yet I’ve caught myself carrying burdens I should offload onto Jesus.

We put down our burdens when we bring them to the Lord in prayer. The apostle Peter says, “Cast all your anxiety on [Jesus] because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Because He cares for us, we can rest and relax as we learn to trust Him. Instead of carrying the burdens that weigh us down and weary us, we can give them to the Lord and let Him carry them.

I’m tired, Lord. I bring You my burdens today. Please keep them and carry them for me.

Prayer is the place where burdens change shoulders.

© 2016 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Deja tus cargas

Leer: Mateo 11:25-30 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 6:19-34

Venid a mí todos los que estáis trabajados y cargados, y yo os haré descansar (Mateo 11:28).

Un hombre que conducía su camioneta por un camino rural vio a una mujer que llevaba una carga pesada, así que se detuvo y ofreció llevarla. La mujer le dio las gracias y subió a la parte de atrás.

Al rato, el hombre notó algo extraño: ¡la mujer seguía cargando el peso aunque estaba sentada en el vehículo! Asombrado, le rogó: «Señora, por favor, deje la carga y descanse. Mi camioneta puede llevarla a usted y sus cosas».

¿Qué hacemos nosotros con las cargas de temor, preocupación y ansiedad que solemos acarrear al enfrentar los desafíos de la vida? En vez de descansar en el Señor, a veces, nos comportamos como esa mujer. Jesús declaró: «Venid a mí todos los que estáis trabajados y cargados, y yo os haré descansar» (Mateo 11:28); sin embargo, me he encontrado llevando cargas que debería dejarle a Él.

La oración es el medio para entregarle al Señor nuestras cargas. El apóstol Pedro aconseja: «echando toda vuestra ansiedad sobre él, porque él tiene cuidado de vosotros» (1 Pedro 5:7). Cuando entendemos que el Señor se interesa por nosotros y aprendemos a confiar en Él, podemos descansar y relajarnos. En lugar de agobiarnos con cargas pesadas, podemos dárselas a Él para que las lleve.

Señor, estoy cansado. Aquí están mis cargas. Por favor, tómalas y llévalas por mí.

La oración es el lugar donde las cargas cambian de hombro.

© 2016 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Leg die Lasten ab

Lesen: Matthäus 11,25-30 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 1.Mose 20–22; Matthäus 6,19-34

Kommt her zu mir, alle, die ihr mühselig und beladen seid; ich will euch erquicken. Matthäus 11,28

Ein Mann war mit seinem Pickup auf einer Landstraße unterwegs, als er an einer Frau vorbeikam, die eine schwere Last trug. Er hielt an und bot ihr an, sie mitzunehmen. Die Frau bedankte sich herzlich und kletterte auf den Rücksitz.

Kurz darauf fiel dem Mann etwas Seltsames auf: Die Frau hielt noch immer ihre schwere Last, obwohl sie doch jetzt im Auto saß! Voller Verwunderung meinte er: „Gute Frau, legen Sie Ihr Gepäck doch ab und ruhen Sie sich aus. Mein Wagen kann Sie und Ihre Last tragen. Entspannen Sie sich.“

Was tun wir mit der Last unserer Ängste, Nöte und Sorgen, die wir auf unserem Weg durchs Leben mit uns tragen? Anstatt im Herrn zu ruhen, verhalten wir uns oft wie diese Frau. Jesus hat gesagt: „Kommt her zu mir, alle, die ihr mühselig und beladen seid; ich will euch erquicken“ (Matth. 11,28). Trotzdem trage auch ich oft Lasten, die ich eigentlich bei Jesus abladen sollte.

Wir legen unsere Lasten ab, wenn wir sie im Gebet zu Jesus bringen. Der Apostel Petrus sagt: „Alle eure Sorge werft auf ihn; denn er sorgt für euch“ (1.Petr. 5,7). Weil er für uns sorgt, können wir entspannen und ruhig werden und ihm vertrauen. Statt Lasten zu tragen, die uns niederdrücken und müde machen, können wir sie Jesus bringen und von ihm tragen lassen.

Herr, ich bin müde. Darum bringe ich dir heute alle meine Lasten. Bitte behalte sie und trage sie für mich.

Das Gebet ist der Ort, an dem Lasten von einer Schulter auf die andere wechseln.

© 2016 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Сложите бремена

Читать сейчас: Матфея 11:25-30 | Библия за год: Бытие 20-22; Матфея 6:19-34

Придите ко Мне, все измученные и обремененные, и Я успокою вас. — Матфея 11:28

Один человек ехал на грузовике по сельской дороге и увидел женщину с тяжелым мешком на плечах. Он остановился и предложил подвезти ее до деревни. Женщина с радостью согласилась и забралась в кузов.

Перед тем как трогаться, водитель заглянул туда и увидел, что она по-прежнему держит в руках свой тяжелый мешок. Удивленный таким поведением, он сказал: «Зачем вы держите мешок? Положите его сбоку и отдыхайте! Машина повезет и вас, и мешок!»

Что мы делаем с грузом страхов, забот и тревог, который нередко ложится нам на плечи в путешествии по жизни? Вместо того чтобы успокоиться в Господе, я часто веду себя точно как эта женщина. Христос сказал: «Придите ко Мне, все измученные и обремененные, и Я успокою вас» (Мф. 11:28), а я вновь волоку на себе бремя, которое следовало бы доверить Ему.

Мы снимаем с себя груз забот, когда приносим его к Господу в молитве. Апостол Петр сказал: «Все заботы ваши возложите на Него, ибо Он печется о вас» (1 Пет. 5:7). Нам следует научиться доверять Ему. Вместо того чтобы волочить отягощающие нас бремена, мы можем предать их всемогущему Господу, Который силен понести и их, и нас.

Я устал, Господь. Я приношу к Тебе мои бремена. Понеси их за меня и дай мне Твой покой.

Подробнее о молитве рассказывается в брошюре «Помолимся».

Молитва – это место, где бремя перекладывается на другие плечи.

© 2016 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Déposez vos fardeaux

Venez à moi, vous tous qui êtes fatigués et chargés, et je vous donnerai du repos. (Matthieu 11.28)

Au volant de sa camionnette, un homme qui parcourait un sentier rural a vu une femme portant un lourd fardeau. Il s’est arrêté pour lui offrir de la prendre à bord, et la femme est montée à l’arrière en le remerciant.

Quelques instants plus tard, l’homme a remarqué quelque chose d’étrange : sa passagère gardait son lourd fardeau sur ses épaules même assise dans le véhicule ! S’en étonnant, il l’a exhortée ainsi : « Madame, vous feriez bien de déposer votre fardeau pour vous reposer. Ma camionnette est capable de vous transporter, vous et vos affaires. Détendez‑vous donc un peu. »

Que faisons‑nous du fardeau de la peur, des inquiétudes et de l’angoisse que nous transportons souvent durant les nombreux défis de la vie ? Au lieu de me reposer en Jésus, je me comporte fréquemment comme cette femme en gardant sur mes épaules des fardeaux dont je devrais me décharger sur lui, puisqu’il nous a dit : « Venez à moi, vous tous qui êtes fatigués et chargés, et je vous donnerai du repos » (MT 11.28).

En présentant nos fardeaux au Seigneur, nous nous en déchargeons sur lui. L’apôtre Pierre nous y a lui aussi exhortés : « [Et] déchargez‑vous sur lui de tous vos soucis, car lui‑même prend soin de vous » (1 PI 5.7). Comme Dieu s’intéresse à nous, nous pouvons nous reposer et nous détendre en apprenant à lui faire confiance. Au lieu de transporter nos fardeaux écrasants et épuisants, confions‑les‑lui donc !

La prière marque le moment où les fardeaux changent d’épaules.

© 2016 Ministères NPQ