Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, January 12, 2017

First Reading
Isaiah 41:17-29
When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. Set forth your case, says the LORD; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, so that we may consider them, and that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be afraid and terrified. You, indeed, are nothing and your work is nothing at all; whoever chooses you is an abomination. I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name. He shall trample on rulers as on mortar, as the potter treads clay. Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know, and beforehand, so that we might say, "He is right"? There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed, none who heard your words. I first have declared it to Zion, and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings. But when I look there is no one; among these there is no counselor who, when I ask, gives an answer. No, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their images are empty wind.

Second Reading
Ephesians 2:11-22
So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called "the uncircumcision" by those who are called "the circumcision"-- a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands-- remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.

The Holy Gospel
Mark 2:1-12
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, "Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Stand up and take your mat and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- he said to the paralytic-- "I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home." And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

Morning Psalms
Psalm 18 Part I Diligam te, Domine.
1   I love you, O LORD my strength, O LORD my stronghold, my crag, and my haven.
2   My God, my rock in whom I put my trust, my shield, the horn of my salvation, and my refuge; you are worthy of praise.
3   I will call upon the LORD, and so shall I be saved from my enemies.
4   The breakers of death rolled over me, and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid.
5   The cords of hell entangled me, and the snares of death were set for me.
6   I called upon the LORD in my distress and cried out to my God for help.
7   He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling; my cry of anguish came to his ears.
8   The earth reeled and rocked; the roots of the mountains shook; they reeled because of his anger.
9   Smoke rose from his nostrils and a consuming fire out of his mouth; hot burning coals blazed forth from him.
10   He parted the heavens and came down with a storm cloud under his feet.
11   He mounted on cherubim and flew; he swooped on the wings of the wind.
12   He wrapped darkness about him; he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.
13   From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds, burst hailstones and coals of fire.
14   The LORD thundered out of heaven; the Most High uttered his voice.
15   He loosed his arrows and scattered them; he hurled thunderbolts and routed them.
16   The beds of the seas were uncovered, and the foundations of the world laid bare, at your battle cry, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
17   He reached down from on high and grasped me; he drew me out of great waters.
18   He delivered me from my strong enemies and from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me.
19   They confronted me in the day of my disaster; but the LORD was my support.
20   He brought me out into an open place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 18:Part II Et retribuet mihi
21   The LORD rewarded me because of my righteous dealing; because my hands were clean he rewarded me;
22   For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not offended against my God;
23   For all his judgments are before my eyes, and his decrees I have not put away from me;
24   For I have been blameless with him and have kept myself from iniquity;
25   Therefore the LORD rewarded me according to my righteous dealing, because of the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
26   With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God; with the forthright you show yourself forthright.
27   With the pure you show yourself pure, but with the crooked you are wily.
28   You will save a lowly people, but you will humble the haughty eyes.
29   You, O LORD, are my lamp; my God, you make my darkness bright.
30   With you I will break down an enclosure; with the help of my God I will scale any wall.
31   As for God, his ways are perfect; the words of the LORD are tried in the fire; he is a shield to all who trust in him.
32   For who is God, but the LORD? who is the Rock, except our God?
33   It is God who girds me about with strength and makes my way secure.
34   He makes me sure-footed like a deer and lets me stand firm on the heights.
35   He trains my hands for battle and my arms for bending even a bow of bronze.
36   You have given me your shield of victory; your right hand also sustains me; your loving care makes me great.
37   You lengthen my stride beneath me, and my ankles do not give way.
38   I pursue my enemies and overtake them; I will not turn back till I have destroyed them.
39   I strike them down, and they cannot rise; they fall defeated at my feet.
40   You have girded me with strength for the battle; you have cast down my adversaries beneath me; you have put my enemies to flight.
41   I destroy those who hate me; they cry out, but there is none to help them; they cry to the LORD, but he does not answer.
42   I beat them small like dust before the wind; I trample them like mud in the streets.
43   You deliver me from the strife of the peoples; you put me at the head of the nations.
44   A people I have not known shall serve me; no sooner shall they hear than they shall obey me; strangers will cringe before me.
45   The foreign peoples will lose heart; they shall come trembling out of their strongholds.
46   The LORD lives! Blessed is my Rock! Exalted is the God of my salvation!
47   He is the God who gave me victory and cast down the peoples beneath me.
48   You rescued me from the fury of my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you saved me from my deadly foe.
49   Therefore will I extol you among the nations, O LORD, and sing praises to your Name.
50   He multiplies the victories of his king; he shows loving-kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants for ever.

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.

Verse of the Day - January 12, 2017

Galatians 3:26-28 (NIV) So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Read all of Galatians 3

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - "See You in the Morning"

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13, NIV)

I heard the story of a Christian man who was on his deathbed and called his three sons into his room. To his two sons who were believers, he said, "Good-bye, my sons. I will see you in the morning."

Then he turned to his other son, who wasn't a Christian. With sadness in his voice, he said, "Good-bye, son."

The son answered, "Father, why did you say, 'I will see you in the morning' to my brothers, yet you said 'Good-bye' to me?"

"Because you haven't put your faith in Christ," his father told him. "I can't say I will see you in the morning. I'm just saying good-bye, because I don't think I'll ever see you again."

The son began to weep. "But I want to see you again," he said.

"You have to put your faith in Christ. Then we will be reunited," his father told him. So his son became a believer that day.

The hope of the Christian is that we'll see our loved ones again. Death is not the end. It doesn't mean that we aren't sad when a loved one dies. We grieve like any person grieves. We cry. The depth of our sorrow is an indication of the depth of our love. If you love someone and they're gone, then of course you grieve deeply.

But as believers, we also have hope. We know we'll be reunited with our loved ones who have died in Christ. I believe that thinking about heaven is one of the best things we can do when we're grieving. In fact, heaven becomes much more real to us when we have loved ones there.

We don't grieve hopelessly; we grieve hopefully. For the Christian, life on earth is as bad as it gets. Better things are coming.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Un Dia a la Vez - El amor a Dios

Dios es amor. El que permanece en amor, permanece en Dios, y Dios en él. 1 Juan 4:16

Si no amamos a Dios, no podemos dar amor a los demás. ¡Este es otro principio bellísimo! Se trata de entender que nuestra labor más hermosa es amar a Dios con todo nuestro corazón y con todas nuestras fuerzas.

A mí no me gusta mucho escuchar cuando otra persona dice que está enamorada de Jesús. Esto se debe a que, al decir «enamorada», mi mente de inmediato lo relaciona con el amor a mi esposo. Aun así, se escucha con mucha frecuencia en canciones interpretadas por hombres y mujeres. Lo que rescato de esto es que amar a Dios me hace más sensible a las cosas espirituales. Amar a Dios me hace más misericordiosa para entender el dolor de un amigo. Amar a Dios me hace valorar todo lo que Él ha hecho por mí desde perdonar mis pecados, restaurar mi vida y darme una nueva oportunidad de ser feliz.

Te puedo dar fe y testimonio de que amar a Dios, servirle a Él y renunciar a otros intereses me han dado más felicidad que cuando no le conocía. Cuando decidí trabajar en un medio cristiano de comunicación, muchos me tacharon de religiosa, fanática y hasta loca al dejar la fama y el dinero que representaba trabajar en una radio tan importante como lo es Radio Caracol en Miami y dedicarme por completo a servir a Dios. Hoy, diez años más tarde, he dado el mejor de los frutos. Dios ha recompensado cada minuto de mi trabajo, me ha respaldado, me ha usado para servir de ejemplo e inspiración para otros. Lo que es más lindo, me ha permitido trabajar en lo que me gusta y con el mejor jefe… Él.

NIV Devotions for Men - Life’s “Do-Overs”

Joel 2:12–27

Recommended Reading: Psalm 32:1–11; Ezekiel 33:10–16; Acts 2:37–39

To kids on a playground, the concept of a “do-over” is well known. When they’re playing kickball and the ball gets stuck in a tree, or when they’re playing basketball and the ball sticks between the backboard and the rim, a chorus of “do over” spontaneously erupts. It’s an unspoken rule that every kid knows.

Sometimes as adults we wish we could resurrect the rule in our own lives. When we miss a bill payment, we long to be able to appeal to the utility company for a “do-over.” When we speak a thoughtless word that hurts another person, we wish for the same.

Through the prophet Joel God tells the Israelites they can have a “do-over.” If they’ll repent God will return what he has taken away in punishment. Apparently a plague of locusts has destroyed the nation’s crops, and God promises to give the people abundant harvests once again.

So how can we make the reality of the “do-over” active in our life once again? Truth be told, this concept usually doesn’t work in our adult lives and relationships without a good deal of work and humility on our part. We bear the consequences of our mistakes until regret grows and we ask for forgiveness. That’s when grace can intervene, and the person we’ve harmed can forgive. The same is true in our relationship with God. If we understand that sin has kept us from realizing our potential, we need to do the same as the Israelites: repent. In this case, we don’t really achieve the “do-over” ourselves; instead, we receive it from God. We simply turn to God with our confession.

Many men find confession especially difficult because it cuts at our dignity and self-worth. When we confess we admit our mistakes and failures. We assume that these admissions don’t make us look very good. However, God loves to see us confess and repent of our sin, because in doing so we show that we desire to turn to him. When we’re “man enough” to confess our wrongs, God can choose to pour out his blessings for the next phase of our lives.

To Take Away
  • What areas of your life feel so damaged by sin that they require a fresh start?
  • What do you hope your life will amount to? How does that mesh with God’s plan for your life?
  • Do you trust God enough to confess your mistakes and failures to him? Why or why not? How can you gain this kind of trust in God?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - GOD IS IN CONTROL

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:22-23

Co-worker Ron Boyd-MacMillan writes in his epic volume, Faith That Endures, “Your life’s purpose may remain a mystery to you, as may the events of your world, but that’s okay. God is in control. We are relieved of the responsibility of understanding everything and the need to change it.”[1]

R. J. Thomas was a Welsh missionary with a burden for the xenophobic hermit kingdom of Korea in the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1865, while in China, the opportunity he had been waiting a lifetime for arrived. An American ship, the SS General Sherman, was going to steam up the Taedong River to the capital, Pyongyang, in hopes of luring the Koreans into trade. Thomas bought a berth on the ship, hoping to meet some scholars in Pyongyang who spoke and read Chinese, and took as many Chinese Scriptures with him as he could carry on board.

When they reached Pyongyang, they were not welcomed. They got stuck on a sandbank and the ship was set afire. As the crew waded to shore, they were killed by the waiting Koreans. Thomas also waded to shore. Before he could speak, a club swung with murderous force dashed his brains into the water, but his killer noticed he had emerged with books. He picked up a couple of the sodden books. Drying them off, he separated the leaves and saw that they were nicely printed. He could not read but decided to paper the outside of his house compound with the pages, as was the custom at the time.

Imagine his astonishment when he returned from the fields a few weeks later to find a clutch of scholars earnestly reading his walls. One of these scholars became a Christian by reading a Gospel portion plastered onto the wall. A generation later his nephew assisted in the first translation of the New Testament into Korean in Shenyang, China under the supervision of another little-known missionary, John Ross from Scotland.

R.J. Thomas never lived to see the fruit of his labor or his prayers for Korean people. He died, his life’s purpose unfulfilled, his potential unrealized. For anyone aware of Thomas’s death, his life was a mystery for years afterward. But his life was not in vain. The meaning of life does not consist in what we make of it, but in what God makes of it. Success is not about achievement or what we make of ourselves. It’s about placement, or what God makes of us. We take the lesson from the persecuted church that it is okay to die quite unaware of our life’s meaning. We can rest in trust that God, in His mercy, has used us to help build His eternal kingdom.[2]

RESPONSE: Today I leave my placement, my purpose, my potential in the hands of a good and loving God.

PRAYER: May I ever realize that You are in control and thus truly allow You to be Lord of my life.

1. Ronald Boyd-MacMillan, Faith That Endures (Grand Rapids: Fleming Revell, 2006), p. 315.
2. Ibid, p. 314.

A Promise to Africa - Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Day 3

What does the Bible have to say about prejudice? What messages of love does God have for all the people and cultures He created? What opportunities does a diverse church of today have in a society still troubled by racism?
The two-week Fearfully and Wonderfully Made daily devotional—based on passages from the NKJV Modern Life Study Bible—will guide you through a series of Biblical excerpts focused on confronting ethnic prejudice. You'll walk through both the Old and New Testaments, discovering a tapestry of cultural connections throughout the historical richness of Scripture and learn about God's promises of love to those who face discrimination and prejudice. From the call of Abraham to the Samaritan woman at the well, find out how the God of Israel has shown himself to be the God of all tribes and nations.

Today’s reading is drawn from Psalm 68:31 and Acts 8:26-40.

Bringing the ark of God to Jerusalem—the possible setting of Psalm 68—must have made the Israelites feel that they had finally arrived. They were settled in the Promised Land. They were led by a remarkable king. The Lord was their God, and the holy ark assured His presence in Zion.

But David reminded his people that God’s blessings would eventually extend far beyond Israel and its immediate events. Nations throughout the world would hear about the Lord and come to worship Him (Ps. 68:32). They would include even belligerent neighbors like Egyptians and Ethiopians (68:31), who were vying for power as Israel rose to prominence.

The promise of Psalm 68 was at least partially fulfilled in the first century A.D. when the treasurer of Queen Candace of Ethiopia came to Jerusalem. He had started home after worshiping at the feast of Pentecost when he met Philip, who explained to him the news of salvation in Christ.

The treasurer believed and was baptized (Acts 8:26–40). Through that encounter, the news about Jesus reached Africa, and today many Christians in Ethiopia see the treasurer’s conversion as the beginning of their spiritual story. Through him, they feel connected to David, who foresaw the day when Ethiopians would join in the chorus of praising the Lord.

Girlfriends in God - The Spiritual Fixer-Upper

Today’s Truth

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13, NIV).

Friend to Friend

I promised myself that I would never buy a house that was a “fixer-upper.” I don’t like fixing things. I want everything to be fixed before I move in. But there I was - buying a town house that needed so much work even the realtor couldn’t believe my husband and I wanted to buy it. Why didn’t someone stop me? No one did, so the sale was made and we went to work. Actually, my son and husband went to work while I went crazy.

I had no idea how horrible the process of remodeling could be. Layer after layer of dirt, grime, stains and ugliness was stripped away. Rotten kitchen cabinets were torn from the walls and rusty appliances were replaced. We basically gutted the whole place and rebuilt it – while living in it. I was not happy!

I will never forget the day I woke up to see a toilet sitting at the foot of our bed. That was the moment I resolved to never set foot in another house that required so much work. I am so thankful God does not feel that way about me.

Honestly, I often wonder why God doesn’t just demolish the old me and build a new one. Then He did just that – through a two-year battle with clinical depression. While sitting at the bottom of that dark and slimy pit, the Father lovingly stripped away old fears and insecurities. From the walls of my heart, He tore the rotten attitudes, undisciplined thoughts and unholy desires that had walked me to the edge of my pit - then pushed me in. He replaced rusty old dreams with new ones and basically gutted my life to build a new one, a better one, and a stronger one. Part of that new life was forgiveness. God taught me how to forgive myself so I could then forgive others.

Because forgiveness is so important, it only stands to reason there are roadblocks that can hinder our willingness to forgive. We must make the commitment to identify and remove each one.

Selfishness shouts, “I have been hurt. It is so unfair. I have rights!” What I am really saying is that how I feel about the hurt is more important than forgiving the hurt.

Pride cries, “Look at what they have done to me. Don’t they realize who I am?” To receive or give forgiveness requires humility.

Low self-esteem
Some of us have built an entire identity around a hurt. The attention we gain from the wrong we have suffered defines who we are. We cherish the pain and refuse to relinquish it for the sake of forgiveness.

We may be blind to the fact that we have not forgiven a hurt. We have convinced ourselves that we really have forgiven the one who hurt us by going through the motions and saying the right words without really dealing with the pain. All we have done is dig a hole and bury the pain. As long as hurt is buried alive, it will keep resurrecting itself in our life, but when the hurt is dealt with and forgiveness is given, the pain is buried dead – and it stays dead.

Forgiveness is spiritual surgery. It exposes old hurts that have never completely healed. We can move, change jobs, change churches, change friends or even change families, but until we yank up the root of bitterness and kill it with forgiveness, we will live with unresolved pain.

Maybe we don’t know how to forgive someone because are under the impression that forgiveness is an emotion or feeling. True forgiveness is a choice – a deliberate choice to release the person who has hurt us from the pain they have caused. We can stop forgiving others when God stops forgiving us.

We need to identify and eliminate the roadblocks to forgiveness so God can set us free, heal our pain, and make us more like Him. Now that is a remodeling job I would welcome.

Let’s Pray

Father, I praise You for the changes You have made in my life through the power of Your forgiveness. Please help me forgive the people who have hurt me just as You have forgiven me.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now it’s Your Turn

Emotional pain can cripple our lives unless we deal with it and forgive the hurt. A family member has wounded you and shows no sign of remorse. Maybe a friend has betrayed you and refuses to apologize. Or you may be struggling to forgive yourself because you don’t think you deserve to be forgiven. None of us deserves forgiveness. Forgiveness is a gift from God. Today is the day to make the choice to forgive. Beside each statement below, write the name of someone in your life who needs your forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not limited to those who deserve it. ______________________________
Forgiveness is not limited to those who apologize. ______________________________
Forgiveness is not limited to those who change. ________________________________

Read and memorize 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

More from the Girlfriends

Do you believe it is possible to truly forgive? Mary learned the power of forgiveness as she dealt with painful issues while battling clinical depression. Mary learned that when we refuse to forgive someone, we are handing them the keys to our life and making them our jailer. Mary’s CD, The Power of Forgiveness, is the message of God's power to forgive and God's plan for unleashing that power in our lives. Get it today!

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

LHM Daily Devotion - "Power to Save"

 January 12, 2017

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the Cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Acts 4:11-12, ESV

In the 1800s, Queen Victoria was crossing the English Channel on her royal yacht.

During the course of the trip, her eye fell upon a tiny bird, who with fluttering wings, tried to follow the ship. Apparently, the bird had been attracted by the brightness of the silk flag which floated at the masthead.

The queen turned to her daughter and pointed to the bird.

As they watched, they could see the bird was becoming weak and weary, darting down to the waves, then climbing back up, trying to find some place to rest. But as this bird was a fragile creature used to the woods and not the company of man, it refused to settle down on the ship. With a faint cry it rose from the waves, soared up to the masthead and, unsuccessfully, tried to rest upon the flag, which had drawn it from the land -- away from safety, shelter and home.

The heart of the queen was filled with pity and she commanded her sailors to save the weary bird.

Wishing to please his Monarch every able-bodied man jumped to do the job Victoria had entrusted to them. They used every art and every device to capture that bird. Sadly, all their efforts to rescue the bird only terrified it more.

At last it fell upon the deck at the feet of the queen.

Her majesty stooped and picked up the dead bird and held it tenderly in her hands. Victoria, Queen over an empire upon which the sun never set, had been absolutely helpless in sparing the life of a single, small, scared bird. Her good intentions had not been good enough; her power had proven to be insufficient to the task.

I would like to point out that some things don't change.

In the worlds of politics, medicine, education and philanthropy, there are many who, with good intentions, are eager to try and save us. It is true, they are willing, but it is equally true, they are not able. Most certainly, they may assist you with simple problems and minor difficulties, but they cannot correct or cure the great sickness of sin that besets and condemns our souls.

Nobody can save us other than Jesus.

That is because Jesus alone

• has lived a perfect life so that our sinful imperfections might be forgiven;
• has resisted every temptation so we might be found  innocent  on Judgment Day;
• has conquered death and shown to this doubting world that His sacrifice to save us has been accepted and is complete.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we give thanks for those people of the world who do their best to make a positive impact. Bless them in their service. Most of all, we pray that every sinful soul may see only Jesus can save from condemnation and damnation. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional - Sin presumir

12 de Enero 2017

Yo, el Señor, no cambio. Malaquías 3:6a, BLPH

Hay algunas cosas que no deberían cambiar. Por ejemplo, cuando pido un Big Mac en McDonald´s, espero saborear dos hamburguesas con lechuga, queso, pickles y cebolla, en un pan para hamburguesas. No espero que sustituyan la carne por pescado o pollo.

Por otro lado, hay algunas cosas que sí deberían cambiar. Una de esas cosas que debería cambiar son los políticos que son un mal ejemplo para la sociedad, como lo fue un ex Intendente de la ciudad de Las Vegas. Quiero dejar en claro que no me importa mucho si en su vida privada andaba con coristas, bebía mucho y hacía muchas apuestas.

Pero con lo que sí tengo problemas es con que, al visitar una escuela primaria, el ex-Intendente les dijo a algunos alumnos de cuarto grado que, si estuviera varado en una isla desierta, llevaría con él una chica y una botella de ginebra.

También tengo problemas con un hombre que dice: "Si llego a gobernador, voy a retozar con chicas coristas, voy a seguir tomando ginebra y voy a seguir apostando a cualquier cosa que se mueva". Y cuando fue entrevistado por un periódico nacional, dijo: "¡Yo no voy a cambiar!"

A mí me parece que debería. Aun cuando estas devociones no se meten en política, sí creemos en la responsabilidad cristiana. Creemos que los cristianos tienen la responsabilidad de votar por quienes demuestran tener valores morales y éticos.

Lo hacemos porque nosotros hemos sido cambiados. Gracias al sacrificio del Salvador, los cristianos hemos sido lavados de nuestros pecados y llevados a la fe. Y ahora que hemos sido cambiados, queremos que nuestros líderes sean personas que se esfuerzan por no pecar y por servir con integridad.

ORACIÓN: Querido Padre celestial, te doy gracias por todos los cambios que tu Hijo ha hecho en mi vida. También te doy gracias porque tú nunca vas a cambiar. Te pido que nos bendigas con líderes responsables. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones

Our Daily Bread - Nothing Hidden

Read: Hebrews 4:12–16 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 29–30; Matthew 9:1–17

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Hebrews 4:13

In 2015 an international research company stated that there were 245 million surveillance cameras installed worldwide, and the number was growing by 15 percent every year. In addition, multiplied millions of people with smartphones capture daily images ranging from birthday parties to bank robberies. Whether we applaud the increased security or denounce the diminished privacy, we live in a global, cameras-everywhere society.

The New Testament book of Hebrews says that in our relationship with God, we experience a far greater level of exposure and accountability than anything surveillance cameras may see. His Word, like a sharp, two-edged sword, penetrates to the deepest level of our being where it “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:12–13).

Because Jesus our Savior experienced our weaknesses and temptations but did not sin, we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (vv. 15–16). We don’t need to fear Him but can be assured we’ll find grace when we come to Him.

Nothing is hidden from God’s sight. Nothing is greater than God’s love. Nothing is stronger than God’s mercy and grace. Nothing is too hard for God’s power.

Discover how you can develop and maintain a meaningful prayer life. Read Jesus’ Blueprint for Prayer at

No part of our lives is hidden from God’s grace and power.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Nada escondido

Leer: Hebreos 4:12-16 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 9:1-17

Y no hay cosa creada que no sea manifiesta en su presencia… (Hebreos 4:13).

En 2015, una empresa de investigaciones afirmó que había 245.000.000 de cámaras de vigilancia instaladas en el mundo, y que este número aumentaba 15% por año. Además, millones de personas captan imágenes con sus teléfonos celulares, desde fiestas de cumpleaños hasta robos a bancos. Ya sea que celebremos tener más seguridad o que censuremos la pérdida de privacidad, vivimos en una sociedad global con cámaras por todas partes.

El libro de Hebreos, en el Nuevo Testamento, señala que nuestra relación con Dios implica un mayor nivel de exposición y responsabilidad que lo que podría captar cualquier cámara. Su Palabra, como una espada aguda y de dos filos, penetra hasta lo más profundo de nuestro ser y «discierne los pensamientos y las intenciones del corazón. Y no hay cosa creada que no sea manifiesta en su presencia; antes bien todas las cosas están desnudas y abiertas a los ojos de aquel a quien tenemos que dar cuenta» (Hebreos 4:12-13).

Dado que Jesús nuestro Salvador experimentó nuestras debilidades y tentaciones, pero sin pecar, nosotros podemos acercarnos «confiadamente al trono de la gracia, para alcanzar misericordia y hallar gracia para el oportuno socorro» (vv. 15-16). No debemos temer porque, sin duda, hallaremos gracia al acercarnos a Él.

Señor, gracias por poder acercarme a ti con libertad.

Ninguna parte de nuestra vida está escondida de la gracia y el poder de Dios.

© 2017 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Nichts zu verbergen

Lesen: Hebräer 4,12-16 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 1.Mose 29–30; Matthäus 9,1-17

Kein Geschöpf ist vor ihm verborgen, sondern es ist alles bloß und aufgedeckt vor den Augen Gottes. Hebräer 4,13

Eine internationale Untersuchung ergab 2015, dass weltweit 245 Millionen Überwachungskameras installiert sind und ihre Zahl jährlich um 15 Prozent zunimmt. Daneben schießen Millionen von Menschen Tag für Tag mit ihren Smartphones Bilder, von der Geburtstagsfeier bis zum Banküberfall. Ob wir uns über die zunehmende Sicherheit freuen oder die schwindende Privatsphäre beklagen, wir leben in einer Welt, in der Kameras allgegenwärtig sind.

Im Hebräerbrief im Neuen Testament heißt es, dass unser Leben vor Gott noch viel offener ausgebreitet ist als alles, was eine Überwachungskamera sehen kann. Sein Wort dringt wie ein scharfes, zweischneidiges Schwert bis in unser tiefstes Wesen ein und „ist ein Richter der Gedanken und Sinne des Herzens. Kein Geschöpf ist vor ihm verborgen, sondern es ist alles bloß und aufgedeckt vor den Augen Gottes, dem wir Rechenschaft geben müssen“ (Hebr. 4,12-13).

Weil Jesus, unser Erlöser, Schwachheit und Versuchung erfuhr, aber ohne Sünde blieb, können wir „hinzutreten mit Zuversicht zu dem Thron der Gnade, damit wir Barmherzigkeit empfangen und Gnade finden zu der Zeit, wenn wir Hilfe nötig haben“ (V.15-16). Wir brauchen vor ihm keine Angst zu haben, sondern können sicher sein, dass er sich erbarmt, wenn wir zu ihm kommen.

Nichts ist vor Gott verborgen. Nichts ist größer als seine Liebe. Nichts ist stärker als Gottes Gnade und Erbarmen. Nichts ist ihm zu schwer.

Kein Bereich unseres Lebens ist verborgen vor Gottes Gnade und Macht.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Ничто не скрыто

Читать сейчас: Евреям 4:12-16 | Библия за год: Бытие 29-30; Матфея 9:1-17

И нет творения, скрытого от Него. — Евреям 4:13

Согласно данным международной исследовательской компании в 2015 г. в мире было установлено около 245 миллионов камер наблюдения, и их число ежегодно увеличивается на 15%. В дополнение к этому миллионы людей ежедневно делают своими смартфонами несчетное число самых разнообразных фотографий, от празднований дней рождения до ограблений банков. Радуемся мы возрастающей безопасности или скорбим об ущербе, наносимом личной жизни, мы живем в заполненном объективами мире.

В новозаветном Послании к евреям сказано, что в наших взаимоотношениях с Богом мы находимся под более пристальным наблюдением, чем то, которое могут обеспечить любые камеры. Его Слово, словно обоюдоострый меч, проникает до глубочайших уровней нашего существа, где «судит помышления и намерения сердечные. И нет творения, скрытого от Него, но все обнажено и открыто перед очами Его: Ему дадим отчет» (Евр. 4:12-13).

Поскольку наш Спаситель Иисус Христос испытал все наши трудности и искушения и не согрешил, мы можем приступать «с дерзновением к престолу благодати, чтобы получить милость и обрести благодать для благовременной помощи» (Евр. 4:15-16). Нам не нужно бояться Его гнева, мы обязательно обретем благодать, обратившись к Нему.

Ничто не сокрыто от Божьего взора. Нет ничего прекрасней Божьей любви. Нет ничего сильнее, чем Божья милость и благодать. Нет ничего трудного для Божьего всемогущества.

Никакая часть нашей жизни не скрыта от Божьей благодати и силы.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Rien ne lui est caché

Nulle créature n’est cachée devant lui [Dieu]. (Hébreux 4.13)

En 2015, une société de recherche internationale a affirmé qu’il y avait 245 millions de caméras de surveillance installées dans le monde entier et que ce nombre croissait de 15 % chaque année. Sans compter que plusieurs millions de gens prennent chaque jour des photos avec leur téléphone intelligent : des fêtes d’anniversaire aux cambriolages de banque. Que nous accueillions favorablement cette sécurité accrue ou la dénoncions comme une atteinte à notre vie privée, reste que nous vivons dans une société mondialisée filmée sous toutes ses coutures.

Le livre néotestamentaire d’Hébreux dit que, dans notre relation avec Dieu, nous sommes beaucoup plus exposés et tenus de rendre des comptes que ce que toutes les caméras de surveillance pourraient voir. Comme une épée à double tranchant, sa Parole pénètre jusqu’en notre for intérieur, où elle « juge les sentiments et les pensées du coeur. Nulle créature n’est cachée devant lui, mais tout est à nu et à découvert aux yeux de celui à qui nous devons rendre compte » (HÉ 4.12, 13).

Étant donné que Jésus, notre Sauveur, a porté nos faiblesses et nos tentations sans toutefois pécher, « [approchons‑nous] donc avec assurance du trône de la grâce afin d’obtenir miséricorde et de trouver grâce, pour être secourus dans nos besoins » (V. 15,16). Inutile de le redouter, car nous pouvons avoir l’assurance que nous obtiendrons grâce en allant à lui.

Rien dans notre vie n’est caché à notre Dieu de grâce et de puissance.

© 2017 Ministères NPQ