Friday, January 13, 2017

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, January 13, 2017

First Reading
Isaiah 42:1-17
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. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the tops of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD, and declare his praise in the coastlands. The LORD goes forth like a soldier, like a warrior he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant. I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbage; I will turn the rivers into islands, and dry up the pools. I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them. They shall be turned back and utterly put to shame-- those who trust in carved images, who say to cast images, "You are our gods."

Second Reading
Ephesians 3:1-13
This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-- for surely you have already heard of the commission of God's grace that was given me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God's grace that was given me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory.

The Holy Gospel
Mark 2:13-22
Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. And as he sat at dinner in Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples-- for there were many who followed him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard this, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners." Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. "No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins."

Morning Psalms
Psalm 16 Conserva me, Domine
1   Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; I have said to the LORD, "You are my Lord, my good above all other."
2   All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble among the people.
3   But those who run after other gods shall have their troubles multiplied.
4   Their libations of blood I will not offer, nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
5   O LORD, you are my portion and my cup; it is you who uphold my lot.
6   My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
7   I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night.
8   I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
9   My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope.
10   For you will not abandon me to the grave, nor let your holy one see the Pit.
11   You will show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 17 Exaudi, Domine
1   Hear my plea of innocence, O LORD; give heed to my cry; listen to my prayer, which does not come from lying lips.
2   Let my vindication come forth from your presence; let your eyes be fixed on justice.
3   Weigh my heart, summon me by night, melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.
4   I give no offense with my mouth as others do; I have heeded the words of your lips.
5   My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law; in your paths my feet shall not stumble.
6   I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me and hear my words.
7   Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand from those who rise up against them.
8   Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings,
9   From the wicked who assault me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.
10   They have closed their heart to pity, and their mouth speaks proud things.
11   They press me hard, now they surround me, watching how they may cast me to the ground,
12   Like a lion, greedy for its prey, and like a young lion lurking in secret places.
13   Arise, O LORD; confront them and bring them down; deliver me from the wicked by your sword.
14   Deliver me, O LORD, by your hand from those whose portion in life is this world;
15   Whose bellies you fill with your treasure, who are well supplied with children and leave their wealth to their little ones.
16   But at my vindication I shall see your face; when I awake, I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 22 Deus, Deus meu
1   My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?
2   O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer; by night as well, but I find no rest.
3   Yet you are the Holy One, enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4   Our forefathers put their trust in you; they trusted, and you delivered them.
5   They cried out to you and were delivered; they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
6   But as for me, I am a worm and no man, scorned by all and despised by the people.
7   All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
8   He trusted in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, if he delights in him.
9   Yet you are he who took me out of the womb, and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.
10   I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born; you were my God when I was still in my mother's womb.
11   Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.
12   Many young bulls encircle me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
13   They open wide their jaws at me, like a ravening and a roaring lion.
14   I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; my heart within my breast is melting wax.
15   My mouth is dried out like a pot-sherd; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.
16   Packs of dogs close me in, and gangs of evildoers circle around me; they pierce my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.
17   They stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.
18   Be not far away, O LORD; you are my strength; hasten to help me.
19   Save me from the sword, my life from the power of the dog.
20   Save me from the lion's mouth, my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.
21   I will declare your Name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
22   Praise the LORD, you that fear him; stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob's line, give glory.
23   For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; but when they cry to him he hears them.
24   My praise is of him in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.
25   The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the LORD shall praise him: "May your heart live for ever!"
26   All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations bow before him.
27   For kingship belongs to the LORD; he rules over the nations.
28   To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust fall before him.
29   My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him; they shall be known as the LORD'S for ever.
30   They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn the saving deeds that he has done.

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 13, 2017

2 Corinthians 5:19-20 (NIV) that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Read all of 2 Corinthians 5

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Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - Designed and Built by God

For he [Abraham]was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:10, NIV)

Think for a moment about cities you've visited. Certain cities have unique qualities, don't they? For example, Jerusalem, a city with so much biblical history, is a beautiful place at sunset. There's a golden hue to it. Cities also have certain restaurants, stores, activities, and entertainment that are exclusive to them.

Heaven, too, is a city, and it is unique. The Bible tells us that it's a city "with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." (Hebrews 11:10).

A while ago a church was working on a new building. They had an architect, and they looked at the plans and walked through the building. Then they submitted the plans to the city, and the city sent them back with revisions. They sent them back again, and eventually they were approved. Then the builders came in and followed the plans the architect had laid down.

The Bible says that heaven is a city and that God is the architect and builder. So when I think of heaven, I think of a real city. I don't know why some people imagine heaven as a cloud where we sit and pluck away at harps. That description isn't in the Bible. But is it possible that we could have things in heaven that earthly cities do? My answer is, why not? Maybe we will. Maybe we won't. But I do know this much: whatever heaven will be like, it will be great.

C. S. Lewis described earth as the shadowlands, because earth is a shadow of the real thing. Earth is a pale version of heaven, not the other way around. Heaven is the original. Earth is the copy.

Compared to whatever city you may have visited or lived in, even if it was the best city imaginable, heaven will be far better.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Un Dia a la Vez - Recibe lo mejor de Dios

El que atiende a la palabra, prospera. ¡Dichoso el que confía en el Señor! Proverbios 16:20

No comiences tu año pensando que eres un fracasado, que ya no hay nada que hacer. Siempre hay lago que hacer. Siempre Dios no da la oportunidad de levantarnos, cambiar y apoderarnos de las promesas que nos dejó Él. ¿Por qué no crees en ellas? ¿En serio piensas que esos beneficios son solo para algunos?

No es bueno que tengas problemas. Aun así, que no todo en la vida te haya salido como esperabas no quiere decir que no levantarás cabeza nunca más.

Antes debes creer en ti mismo y, con esa mentalidad, levantarte cada día a conquistar todo lo que esté a tu alcance.

No te rindas, ánimo, que aún no ha llegado lo mejor.

Recibe lo mejor de Dios en este día. Cambia tu actitud y verás cómo empiezan a suceder las cosas. Además, de un cielo gris pasas a un hermoso cielo azul, con algunas nubes quizá, pero bonito.

Men of the Bible - Noah

His name means: "To Rest"

His work: We don't know what Noah did for a living before he heard from God, but following that encounter, he became an accomplished carpenter.
His character: Noah was a righteous man, obedient and faithful.
His sorrow: In spite of his admonitions and warnings, Noah was unable to convince his neighbors, friends, and extended family to repent. As a result, they were all drowned in the flood.
His triumph: Noah's obedience saved not only his life but the lives of his wife and children.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 6-7 

A Look at the Man

Once in a while a man comes along who's not afraid to obey.

We cannot imagine what it must have been like to be Noah. He lived in a culture that was corrupted by immorality and violence. According to the story, the earth was literally "full" of it.

So reprehensible were people's lives that God regretted having created these divine image-bearers. So much so that he decided to remove every living thing from the face of the earth, like a man clearing a table with the back of his hand. Can you imagine?

But on his way to starting all over again, the Lord looked at Noah. His life was so exemplary that in the middle of all this debauchery, he found favor in God's eyes. This man, Noah, was righteous and blameless among the people of his time. Because of his faithfulness, he was the one man whom the Lord chose not to destroy.

We don't have to look very far to find a lesson in this man's life. Like Noah's culture, the one that surrounds us is drowning in immorality, corruption, and violence. And like Noah, we can choose to quietly capitulate or to stand against it. Once we decide to stand firm—to live in obedience to God—the tricky part comes with trying to understand how. What does submission to him look like? And what should we expect as the result of this obedience?

Tucked away in this story is the secret to Noah's success. Noah walked with God. For Noah, surrender was not a single decision or noteworthy event; it was a process. A routine. A journey. A walk. Obedience was the natural result of this methodical approach. Walking with God meant knowing him. Knowing God meant loving him. Loving meant hearing. Hearing, obeying.

And obeying God meant salvation.

We can imagine that decades of subtle and overt ridicule may have led Noah to question God. There had to have been moments of loneliness and genuine doubt. But taking one step at a time along the path God had laid out for him kept Noah on track.

Noah's obedience led to the preservation of not only his own life, but of the lives of his wife and children. Once the project was complete and everyone around him had rejected the notion that God would actually destroy the earth with a catastrophic flood, Noah and his whole family entered the safety of the ark. Then the Lord shut him in. Noah's obedience not only led to the preservation of his own life but the lives of his wife and children.

In fact, Noah's faithfulness—in the form of a great ark—became one of the early church's symbols for refuge. The interiors of many great cathedrals were built to resemble the inside of a boat—a shelter in the time of storm, a reminder of an obedient man who went before us and was saved.

Reflect On: Genesis 8
Praise God: For using his followers to accomplish his purposes.
Offer Thanks: For God’s mercy toward the human race.
Confess: Any tendency to care more about what the world thinks of you than about what God thinks.
Ask God: To show you what it means, not just to obey a set of laws, but to stay close to him throughout your life—to walk with him.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - NO FEAR WHEN THE HEAT COMES

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes…” Jeremiah 17:7-8a

Trees were not plentiful in Israel and most grew by sources of water like an oasis or a stream. Jeremiah’s simile indicates a person with confidence in the Lord is like a deep-rooted tree by the stream (see Psalm 1 also) that is not afraid of heat.

Samuel Lamb is a well-known house church pastor in southern China in the city of Guangzhou. He spent time in prison for his faith as a young pastor on two occasions totalling almost twenty years. He was forced to work in a coal mine where the work was hard and dangerous. He is convinced that God’s protection is the only reason he survived.

Upon his release after the second imprisonment, he returned home to find out that his dear wife had just passed away. Now in his seventies, he threw himself fully into the ministry again opening an unregistered house church on the second and third storey of his home while the local police utilized the ground floor for their office. His congregation grew rapidly. He could pack in two hundred sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on the third floor where he preached and another two hundred listening via a speaker system on the second floor. Soon he had to have five services a week to get everyone in. Each person had to walk past the police post to climb the stairs to his meeting.

He soon became the best-known unregistered house church pastor in China. United States President Ronald Regan sent him a monographed pen set. Billy and Ruth Graham visited the location with many photos taken.

Because of his refusal to register with the government Three Self Patriotic Movement Church, the authorities were constantly irritated. Unhappy with his boldness and the growth of his church, they harassed him repeatedly and often threatened to return him to prison. Each time this threat occurred, Samuel Lamb would hold up two fingers and say, “I’ve been to prison twice already. My bag is packed and I’m ready to go again!” Intimidation would not work against him as he had no fear and his trust was completely in the Lord. And each time the authorities would leave to consider what other tactics they could use against him.

Pastor Lamb continues his unofficial, growing church ministry to this day. As an elderly pastor, he does not fear when the “heat” comes.

RESPONSE: Today I will trust completely in the Lord and rely on His wisdom when pressures arise.

PRAYER: Pray other pastors in China will have the fearlessness and church growth of Samuel Lamb.

Our Global Lead - Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Day 4

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 79:1-7.

God cannot be limited by tribalism or nationalism. He is Lord of the whole world and all its people, and He rules with love, power, justice, and sovereignty.

The Book of Psalms reflects this international scope of God’s activity and involvement with the world. One of the book’s primary themes is His rule over creation (Ps. 8:1; 19:1–6; 24:1, 2). A related theme shows His heart reaching beyond Israel to other tribes and nations (96:1–10; 100:1; 105:1). Sometimes God judges the nations (2:1–9), especially for their mistreatment of His people (79:1–7; 124:1–8), but His wrath results from His justice and righteousness. He demonstrates the same character toward the Israelites when they turn from Him and engage in habitual sin (50:4–23; 78:21, 22).

During the centuries following the Jews’ return from captivity in Babylon, God’s people suffered an increasing spirit of separation that interpreted the world in terms of “us against them.” By the time of Jesus, this national isolation and antagonism toward outsiders had become entrenched in the Israelites’ cultural identity. It took the power of the Holy Spirit to break this barrier so that the gospel could spread throughout the world.

The psalms display wonderful humility about the fact that the Israelites are not the only people God loves. Every nation is invited to worship and serve Him. The Book of Psalms anticipates both the global message of Jesus (John 3:16, 17) and His final rule over all the peoples of the earth (Rev. 5:9–14).

Girlfriends in God - Here Comes Trouble!

Today’s Truth

For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, BUT our eyes are on You (2 Chronicles 20:12b, NIV).

Friend to Friend

In life, it’s often said the question is not “Will trouble come?” - but rather “When?”

Trouble typically arrives unannounced. It comes in many forms: a job loss, an unfaithful spouse, a broken friendship, etc. For my family it came in the form of a diagnosis—an autoimmune disease that decided to attack my then-11-year-old daughter’s thyroid gland. It sent her heart racing, her weight dropping, her body trembling, and caused a great deal of her hair to fall out. It was downright frightening!

When your own immune system decides you are the enemy, how do you fight against that?

In the second book of Chronicles, we find the nation of Judah to be up against a mighty foe as well. A vast group of armies, intent on wiping God’s chosen people off the map of civilization, was headed their way. Under the leadership of God-honoring and quick-acting King Jehoshaphat, God trumped trouble that day and Judah came out the victor.

No stranger to trouble myself, the Lord has taught me to employ King Jehoshaphat’s wise method of facing the cares and concerns that come into my own life—especially the ones that seem poised to completely undo me.

King Jehoshaphat, upon hearing the news of what seemed to be impending doom, lost no time instituting a fast and calling on the Lord in prayer. In his prayers, the king reminded the Lord of his many promises. When my sweet girl fell ill, I followed suit. In prayer, with fasting, I cried out for the Lord to heal my daughter, and I reminded him that he was, indeed, the Healer (Jehovah Rapha) and the One capable of curing all diseases (Ps 103:3).

In response to Jehoshaphat’s imploring, the Lord then reminded him of something which I have needed to remind myself of in times of trouble: “Do not be afraid or discouraged…You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15b, 17a)

The “positions” that King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah took began with them on their knees in worship. Following this, the people rose to their feet in praise to the Lord—in a VERY LOUD voice. I have decided that these two positions (or postures) will be my “go-to” act of warfare each and every time trouble finds its way to my doorstep.

Before the men of Judah could place one foot on the battlefield, the Lord had already finished the fight—having caused the approaching armies to fight and annihilate one another! My daughter’s battle, which pitted her thyroid gland against her own immune system, lasted for two long years. When she finally achieved a state of remission through medication, it only lasted for two months…because it was then that the Lord decided to step in and HEAL her completely! Her body became rid of all evidence that the disease ever existed—a highly unusual occurrence, her doctor remarked.

Let’s Pray

Thank you, Jesus, for entering our battlefields ahead of us, your children. Lord, we commit to worship and praise You in both bountiful and trying times. While our human emotion of fear is natural, it’s what we do about it that can lead us into the realm of the SUPERNATURAL.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It's Your Turn

The next time you are faced with trouble, unleash Heaven’s power through prayer, fasting, worship and praise. Then stand back, ladies—and watch what your God will do on your behalf!

More from the Girlfriends

Click here to find out more about Lisa Morrone, PT. Lisa is a physical therapist, professor, author of six books, radio guest and event speaker who encourages people to “Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake.” Visit Lisa’s website for more information and to sign up to receive her informative “Monday Morning Health Tips”!

Overcoming Overeating (Harvest House Publishers) is one of Lisa Morrone’s six books in her “Restoring Your Temple” health resource collection. These books are available on,,or wherever books are sold.

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LHM Daily Devotion - "Seeing Clearly"

January 13, 2017

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"  - Matthew 16:13, ESV

It's official. Men and women are different.

British scientists have discovered 78 genes that are different between men and women: 78 genes that explain at least  some  of the variations in the way we look at life. For example, women have a  curtain gene . Men don't care what curtains look like or if there are any curtains at all. Women care.

One of the ladies at Lutheran Hour Ministries' headquarters said women have a  calendar gene . Women remember birthdays, anniversaries, the date of a first date. Men sometimes know what year it is. Men and women are different.

Most men have a  photograph gene . It is the gene that enables us to look through 100 photographs in under two minutes. You ladies reading this devo are probably saying, "You can't possibly look at 100 pictures in a minute." Well, I can and I do. I just follow these steps:

Step 1: I pick up the picture. Step 2: I look at the picture. Step 3: I put the picture in a new pile. I repeat those steps until I have seen all the photos. Truly, there are a great many differences between men and women -- and one similarity. (There may be others, but we are going to deal with just one.) That similarity is this: none of us like the way we look in a picture.

In some respects, I think Jesus felt the same way about Himself and the picture other people came away with when they looked at Him.

You see, it wasn't very often that people saw Jesus for who He really was: the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Shortly after He was born, King Herod looked at Him and saw a rival for his earthly throne. Herod had a bad picture. Then there were the people of His boyhood home, Nazareth. While they had at first been impressed by the wisdom of His Words, they thought He had gotten carried away and ended up trying to kill Him. They had a bad picture, too.

Of course, there was the picture carried around by the Jewish religious leaders. Their picture of the Savior was always blurry and out of focus. Depending on the day, they saw the Christ as being possessed by the devil, a liar, a charlatan, a conman, or a challenger to their authority over the people. The crowds pictured Jesus as a political leader or a provider of all their physical needs, wants and wishes. Jesus quickly pointed out those pictures weren't especially accurate either. Jesus' own family saw Him as a crazy person: a fellow who needed to be taken home and cared for (see Mark 3:21). Everyone had a bad picture of Jesus.

Now, I suppose I need not point out that some things haven't changed over the centuries. Right now in the world, there are a lot of snapshots of Jesus being circulated. Most are hazy, fuzzy and out of focus, which is why this devotion says if you would like a clear picture of the Savior, you must look not to people's opinions, but to the Holy Scriptures that show Him as the Lamb of God who gave Himself to take away the sins of the world.

THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, may I always see Jesus for who He was and is. May I praise Him for the sacrifice that cost Him His life and granted us eternal life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional - Maratón de fe

13 de Enero 2017

... ¿Y cómo oirán si no hay quien les predique? Romanos 10:14b, NVI

La llama olímpica fue uno de los símbolos de los Juegos Olímpicos en Olimpia, Grecia, en la antigüedad. Hasta el día de hoy atletas, actores, músicos y figuras deportivas dan inicio a las Olimpíadas transportando la antorcha con el fuego olímpico hasta llegar al lugar donde las Olimpiadas se llevarán a cabo.

La fe cristiana es como la llama olímpica. Hace dos mil años, Jesucristo dijo a sus discípulos: "Por tanto, vayan y hagan discípulos de todas las naciones, bautizándolos en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo" (Mateo 28:19, NVI). Desde entonces, la llama de la fe se ha extendido a rincones remotos de la tierra, y año tras año vemos mucha gente transfiriendo sus antorchas a otros.

El apóstol Pablo también sabía que alcanzar a otros con el mensaje de salvación, significa compartir las buenas noticias del amor de Dios en Jesucristo. "Así que la fe proviene del oír, y el oír proviene de la palabra de Dios" (Romanos 10:17, RVC). Como el pueblo escogido para esta gran maratón de fe, proclamar el evangelio es nuestra obligación, a la vez que una bendita oportunidad de ser partícipes en el crecimiento del reino de Dios en la tierra.

Qué maravilloso es cuando quienes han recibido la palabra de Dios a través nuestro, son transformados por el Espíritu Santo y pueden decir, junto con el apóstol Pablo: "Así, pues, justificados por la fe tenemos paz con Dios por medio de nuestro Señor Jesucristo" (Romanos 5:1, RVC).

¡Qué maravilloso cuando esas mismas personas toman la antorcha de la fe y a su vez comienzan a compartir a Cristo con otros!

ORACIÓN: Querido Padre celestial, oramos por aquéllos que llevan la antorcha de tu palabra a un mundo confundido por la oscuridad. Dales fuerza y determinación para compartir la luz de Jesucristo con todas las personas. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Biografía del autor:El Pastor Igor Savich es director de la oficina de Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones en Rusia.

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones

Our Daily Bread - Remember When

Read: Psalm 126 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 31–32; Matthew 9:18–38

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

Our son wrestled with drug addiction for seven years, and during that time my wife and I experienced many difficult days. As we prayed and waited for his recovery, we learned to celebrate small victories. If nothing bad happened in a twenty-four-hour period, we would tell each other, “Today was a good day.” That short sentence became a reminder to be thankful for God’s help with the smallest things.

Tucked away in Psalm 126:3 is an even better reminder of God’s tender mercies and what they ultimately mean for us: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” What a great verse to take to heart as we remember Jesus’s compassion for us at the cross! The difficulties of any given day cannot change the truth that come what may, our Lord has already shown us unfathomable kindness, and “his love endures forever” (Ps. 136:1).

When we have lived through a difficult circumstance and discovered that God was faithful, keeping that in mind helps greatly the next time life’s waters turn rough. We may not know how God will get us through our circumstances, but His kindness to us in the past helps us trust that He will.

Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end, our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend. Robert Grant

When we cannot see God’s hand, we can trust His heart.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Recuerda cuándo

Leer: Salmo 126 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 9:18-38

Grandes cosas ha hecho el Señor con nosotros; estaremos alegres (Salmo 126:3).

Nuestro hijo luchó con la adicción a las drogas siete años, y, durante ese tiempo, mi esposa y yo enfrentamos muchos días difíciles. Mientras orábamos y esperábamos que se recuperara, aprendimos a festejar las pequeñas victorias. Si nada malo pasaba en un lapso de 24 horas, nos decíamos uno al otro: «Hoy fue un buen día». Esa pequeña frase se convirtió en un recordatorio para dar gracias a Dios por su ayuda en las cosas más pequeñas.

Escondido en el Salmo 126:3, hay un recordatorio aun mejor de la misericordia de Dios y lo que esta significa en definitiva para nosotros: «Grandes cosas ha hecho el Señor con nosotros; estaremos alegres». ¡Qué versículo maravilloso para recordar la misericordia de Jesús al morir en la cruz por nosotros! No hay día difícil que pueda cambiar la verdad de que, pase lo que pase, nuestro Señor ya nos ha mostrado una bondad inconmensurable, y que «para siempre es su misericordia» (Salmo 136:1).

Cuando hemos vivido circunstancias difíciles y descubierto que Dios es fiel, recordar esta verdad ayuda muchísimo en las próximas tormentas de la vida. Tal vez no sepamos cómo nos llevará el Señor a superar las circunstancias, pero su misericordia en el pasado nos ayuda a confiar en que lo volverá a hacer.

Señor, gracias por tu fidelidad y misericordia.

Cuando no podemos ver la mano de Dios, podemos confiar en su corazón.

© 2017 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Denk dran

Lesen: Psalm 126 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 1.Mose 31–32; Matthäus 9,18-38

Der Herr hat Großes an uns getan; des sind wir fröhlich. Psalm 126,3

Unser Sohn hat sieben Jahre mit seiner Drogensucht gekämpft; und meine Frau und ich hatten in dieser Zeit manchen schweren Tag. Während wir für seine Heilung beteten und warteten, lernten wir, uns auch über kleine Siege zu freuen. Wenn im Lauf von vierundzwanzig Stunden nichts Schlimmes passierte, sagten wir zueinander: „Heute war ein guter Tag.“ Und dieser kurze Satz wurde für uns zur Mahnung, Gott für seine Hilfe selbst in den kleinsten Dingen zu danken.

Mitten in Psalm 126,3 befindet sich eine noch bessere Erinnerung an Gottes Gnade und was sie für uns letztlich bedeutet: „Der Herr hat Großes an uns getan; des sind wir fröhlich.“ Was für ein toller Vers, vor allem, wenn wir an Jesu Leiden für uns am Kreuz denken! Die Probleme irgendeines Tages können nichts an der Tatsache ändern, dass unser Herr uns schon unbegreifliche Güte erwiesen hat, komme was mag, und „seine Güte währet ewiglich“ (Ps. 136,1).

Wenn wir durch schwere Zeiten gegangen sind und festgestellt haben, dass Gott treu war, hilft uns die Erinnerung, wenn die Wellen das nächste Mal hoch schlagen. Wir wissen zwar nicht, wie Gott uns durch die Probleme hindurchbringen wird, aber seine Güte in der Vergangenheit hilft uns zu glauben, dass er es tun wird.

Fest steht deine Gnade, o Herr, bis ans End‘, du Schöpfer und Schutz, Erlöser und Freund. Robert Grant

Auch wenn wir Gottes Hand nicht sehen—seinem Herzen können wir trauen.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Помни

Читать сейчас: Псалом 125 | Библия за год: Бытие 31-32; Матфея 9:18-38

Великое сотворил Господь над нами – мы радовались. — Псалом 125:3

Наш сын семь лет боролся с зависимостью от наркотиков. За это время мы с женой пережили немало тяжелых дней. Молясь о его восстановлении, мы научились праздновать маленькие победы. Если за двадцать четыре часа не происходило ничего плохого, мы говорили друг другу: «Сегодня был хороший день». Эта фраза стала для нас напоминанием о том, что нужно быть благодарными за Божью помощь в самом малом.

Изгнанники из  Псалом 125:3 являются еще лучшим напоминанием о великой Божьей милости и о том, что она значит для нас: «Великое сотворил Господь над нами: мы радовались», – говорили вернувшиеся из плена иудеи, вспоминая дни возвращения на родину. Какой прекрасный стих, особенно если помнить о сострадании Спасителя к нам, явленном на кресте! Никакие трудности не смогут изменить истину о непостижимой благости Господа и о том, что «вовек милость Его» (Пс. 135:1).

Если мы, пройдя через трудные обстоятельства, узнаем, что Бог верен, это поможет нам, когда в следующий раз бурные воды нахлынут на нас. Мы можем не знать, как Господь выведет нас из бед, но Его благость в прошлом поможет нам доверить Ему свое будущее.

Мы милость Твою созерцаем вокруг, Создатель, Спаситель, Хранитель и Друг. — Роберт Грант

Мы не можем видеть Божью руку, но можем довериться Его словам.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Rappelez‑vous quand…

Lisez : Psaume 126 | La Bible en un an : Genèse 31 – 32 et Matthieu 9.18-38

L’Éternel a fait pour nous de grandes choses ; nous sommes dans la joie. (Psaume 126.3)

Notre fils a lutté contre un problème de toxicomanie pendant sept ans, une période très éprouvante pour ma femme et moi. En priant et en attendant qu’il se remette, nous avons appris à célébrer de petites victoires. Si rien ne se produisait pendant vingt‑quatre heures consécutives, nous nous disions l’un l’autre : « La journée a été bonne. » Cette courte phrase est d’ailleurs devenue un rappel de la nécessité de remercier Dieu pour son aide dans les moindres choses de la vie.

Niché dans Psaume 126.3 se trouve un rappel encore meilleur des miséricordes de Dieu et de ce qu’elles signifient pour nous : « L’Éternel a fait pour nous de grandes choses ; nous sommes dans la joie. » Ce merveilleux verset nous tient à coeur, car il nous rappelle la compassion dont Jésus a usé envers nous à la croix ! Le lot de difficultés de toute journée ne saurait changer la vérité selon laquelle, peu importe ce qui risque de se produire, notre Seigneur a déjà manifesté une bonté inimaginable à notre égard, et « sa miséricorde dure à toujours » (PS 136.1).

Si nous avons traversé une dure épreuve et que nous avons découvert par elle la fidélité de Dieu, le fait de nous remémorer cette réalité nous aidera considérablement à traverser la prochaine mer déchaînée. Il se peut que nous ignorions comment Dieu s’y prendra pour nous en faire triompher, mais la bonté dont il a usé envers nous par le passé nourrira en nous l’assurance qu’il continuera d’agir de la sorte.

Si la main de Dieu est invisible, son coeur reste notre appui.

© 2017 Ministères NPQ