Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, January 18, 2017 - The Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle

Pietro Perugino's depiction of the "Giving of the Keys to Saint Peter" by Jesus, 1492
First Reading
Acts 4:8-13
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. This Jesus is 'the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.' There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved." Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus.

Psalm 23 Dominus regit me
1   The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
2   He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.
3   He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his Name's sake.
4   Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5   You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
6   Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Second Reading
1 Peter 5:1-4
Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it-- not for sordid gain but eagerly. Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away.

The Holy Gospel
Matthew 16:13-19
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

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 18, 2017

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Read all of 1 Corinthians 10

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - "The First One There"

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20)

A question I'm often asked about Heaven is whether we will recognize each other.

While I can't cite any Scripture passage that absolutely guarantees we will recognize one another in Heaven, it's my belief that we will.

There are Scripture passages that would seem to point to that. When Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus during His transfiguration, they were recognizable to Peter. He was able to look at them and somehow know they were Moses and Elijah.

It's also interesting that after Jesus' resurrection, when He appeared to the disciples on the Emmaus road and walked and talked with them, they didn't realize that it was indeed Him until their eyes were opened. Therefore, Jesus was recognizable but not immediately recognizable. He bore in His body the marks of the crucifixion. This gives us a picture of a resurrection body that is similar to the old earthly body but is different at the same time.

We're also told in 1 Corinthians 13, "Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known" (verse 12). We'll have a new knowledge and understanding that wasn't possible before.

The Bible says that Christ has become "the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (1 Corinthians 15:20). He was the first one there, so to speak. Considering the resurrection body of Jesus, I think we're given a broad outline of what our bodies will be like. The Scriptures say, "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2). I think our resurrected bodies will be somewhat similar to our earthly bodies.

To live forever in this body would be a curse. But to live forever in a new body in the presence of God—that will be a blessing.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2016 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.

Un Dia a la Vez - Deja el pasado y mira el futuro

Olvidando lo que queda atrás y esforzándome por alcanzar lo que está delante, sigo avanzando hacia la meta para ganar el premio que Dios ofrece mediante su llamamiento celestial en Cristo Jesús. Filipenses 3:13-14

Estamos comenzando un nuevo año y es tiempo de dejar atrás nuestros errores. Es tiempo de comenzar con nuevas actitudes. Dios te quiere feliz y desea que puedas alcanzar tus metas en este nuevo año. No se trata solo de dejar de fumar, comenzar una nueva dieta, ni iniciar una temporada en el gimnasio. Nuestras metas deben ir más allá de esto, aunque todo lo que mencioné antes es clave para un cambio. Esas propuestas para este año deben ir acordes a lo que Dios espera de nosotros.

He experimentado en mi andar con Cristo que lo mejor en la vida es hacer la voluntad de Dios. La obediencia trae bendición. Es una fórmula que no falla.

Cuando hacemos la voluntad de Dios, vemos que todo sale bien. Vemos un respaldo en cada plan que desarrollamos. Las puertas se abren y nos sorprendemos porque sabemos que Él va delante. Y algo muy especial… sentimos paz.

Si para este nuevo año aún no tienes metas o sigues pegado a las cosas del pasado que te restan felicidad, pídele en oración a Dios que te muestre su plan perfecto para ti. Y dile: «Señor, quiero hacer tu voluntad y no la mía. Ayúdame a comenzar una nueva vida. Amén y amén.

La Santa Biblia, Nueva Versión Internacional® NVI® Copyright © 1986, 1999, 2015 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón.

Girlfriends in God - It’s a God Thing!

Today’s Truth

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1a, NIV).

Friend to Friend

Faith is the quiet certainty that God keeps His promises. If you are like me, you don’t like to wait on God with “quiet certainty.” We see a need, and instead of seeking God’s wisdom and timing, we make a plan we think will meet that need and then, with earthly resources, make sure the plan is executed. As a result, we often settle for so much less than God had in mind.

Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope (Ephesians 3:20, NLT).

Many children seem to possess the “quiet certainty” that God is able. The prayer life of a child is often powerful as they dare to pray big prayers, asking God to do the impossible.

Christmas was just around the corner when we decided to go home for the holidays. We lived in South Florida at the time and rarely had the opportunity or finances to fly to Texas where Dan and I were both raised and our families still lived.

Everyone was excited, especially Jered and Danna. While they looked forward to seeing all of their aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins, they were more excited about seeing snow for the first time. The only problem was that snow was not in the Texas forecast. In fact, it was supposed to be unusually warm.

Danna and Jered would not be deterred. Nothing we said convinced them that there would be no snow for Christmas. Every night, they prayed, asking God to let it snow in Texas. They told all of their friends and anyone who would listen that they were going to Texas for Christmas and that it was going to snow. I gave up, planning what I would say to our children when it did not snow. Yes, it would be a hard lesson, but life is filled with hard lessons.

Our plane landed and we were met with hugs and kisses from my sister and brother-in-law…but no snow. It didn’t matter. Jered and Danna were ready. Betty and Carey fielded a barrage of “snow questions” as we claimed our baggage and started home. Interestingly enough, it did seem colder the closer we got to Fort Worth. In fact, by the time we arrived, it was just plain cold - but certainly not cold enough to snow.

As Dan and I unpacked suitcases, the kids squealed with delight at the Christmas tree, the gifts underneath, the homemade fudge…and the snow! “Everybody, come see the snow!” they shouted. Dan and I looked at each other, smiled, and continued unpacking, realizing that it was time for the “sometimes God says no” conversation.

Suddenly, my usually rational sister appeared in the doorway of our bedroom, eyes big as saucers. “You are not going to believe this!” she said. The kids had obviously brainwashed her. Dan and I played along, following her to the living room where both Jered and Danna were plastered against the sliding glass door, watching giant snowflakes gently fall, their faith on display for all to see.

Over the years, I have often relived that moment, cherishing the lesson I learned that day. God is able! Even when everything seems wrong and everyone shouts “impossible,” He is able. We can always rest in the fact that God is God and that He is able to meet every need in ways we cannot begin to imagine.

Miracles should be a daily occurrence. “God things” should be the norm if we truly know and abide in Christ. I hear from hundreds of women each week whose lives have been shattered against a measurable faith. Living in human power is consuming and futile, but living in God’s power is replenishing and filled with purpose.

God stands ready to pour His power in and through us to a world filled with hurting, wounded and hopeless people. All of His power is at our disposal, yet we are satisfied to live day in and day out, in a miracle-less existence filled with results that can be understood in human terms. I desperately want to live in such a way that one day, I can look back in wonder at all of the “God things” He did in and through my life. I pray that those who come behind me will celebrate an ordinary life that was lived in extraordinary ways and is explainable only through a power man can neither produce nor comprehend – God’s power.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You, desperately needing Your power and Your strength. Help me learn to recognize Your work in my daily life. I celebrate the fact that You are able and willing to perform miracles when I step out in faith and trust You.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Can you believe that the clean slate of 2017 is just ahead? A new beginning and a fresh start! However, what did we learn in 2016 that will make a difference in the weeks and months ahead? As the holiday season winds down, I pray that you will see the New Year through eyes of faith. Guard your heart and mind against darkness. Stand firm in God’s power and presence. He is faithful and He is sufficient for whatever tomorrow brings.

More from the Girlfriends

Need help facing the uncertainty of a new year? Mary’s books, 10-Day Trust Adventure and Fit for Life, will help you learn how to truly trust God and become spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically fit. This two-book package is a powerful tool for living a life of victory.

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

Seeking God? Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - SATAN’S TACTICS

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from family values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience in Christ.

“If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time so they can't gain that experience in Jesus Christ.

“This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day.”

“How shall we do this?” shouted the evil angels.

“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent unnumbered schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.

“Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work and the husbands to work six or seven days a week, ten to twelve hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.

“Overstimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to keep the TV, the DVD, and their CD’s going constantly in their homes. Tempt them to spend more time on their computers, especially watching internet pornography.

“Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news twenty-four-hours-a-day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogues, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering, free products, services and false hopes.

“When they meet for fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions. Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength.”

RESPONSE: Today I will live in awareness of Satan’s subtle tactics to keep me from victory. I will stand against him and he will flee.

PRAYER: Lord, help me remain close to You today and not allow the “things” and “busyness” of life to crowd You out.

Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Ethnic Prejudice Confronted - Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Day 8

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 Acts 6:2-6.

The community of believers at Jerusalem was constantly growing and changing (Acts 1:15; 2:41, 47; 4:4, 32; 5:14). They experienced amazing unity (2:46; 4:32; 5:12), and their sacrificial generosity meant that their material needs were being met (2:45; 4:34, 36).

But a problem with feeding widows threatened to fracture this successful community (6:1). The underlying issue was less about meeting physical needs than simmering ethnic hostility between the Hebrews (Jews born in Judea and Galilee) and the Hellenists (Greek-speaking Jews born outside of Palestine). Hellenists were despised by many who considered them to be “contaminated” by Gentiles, but Hellenists responded to the gospel in large numbers. The clash could easily have destroyed the church or divided it into separate ethnic communities. But the apostles took steps to head off a crisis.

  • They met face-to-face with the Hellenists (the powerful met with the powerless).
  • They listened to complaints and acknowledged their legitimacy.
  • They worked with the Hellenists to devise guidelines for godly leaders and chose seven whose names suggest they were from the Hellenist minority at Jerusalem.
  • They approved and commissioned these new leaders by praying with them, laying their hands on them, and committing to work with them.
  • They gave the new leaders authority over the distribution of food for widows.
  • They shared power and resources and affirmed the dignity of the newly chosen leaders.

 The result was that “the word of God spread, and … multiplied greatly in Jerusalem” (6:7).

 This devotional is drawn from the Modern Life Study Bible. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotion - "Too Loud"

 January 18, 2017

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do so with gentleness and respect - 1 Peter 3:15

In the course of my parish ministry there were times when I gave a first-class, pulpit-pounding, turn-down-your-hearing-aid kind of sermon. I stopped doing so the Sunday after a little boy at the door asked, "Pastor, if you were so mad at us, was Jesus mad, too?"

Now I'm not saying the pulpit has no room for the deliverance of high-decibel messages, I'm just suggesting the length, frequency and volume of these hellfire deliveries need to be handled and evaluated  mit Vertstand : "with understanding."

This is a message the city officials of Springfield, Missouri, are trying to get out.

You see, in Springfield there is a preacher by the name of Aaron Brummitt. Using hand-held amplifiers Brummitt has hit the streets of that sterling community and has, since before 2013, delivered some mighty powerful public proclamations. I know Pastor Brummitt was publicly preaching in 2013 because, already then, there were complaints made about him. Back then he promised he would tone things down.

Whether he did so or not, I can't tell you. I can share the complaints haven't stopped.

And that is why Springfield officials recently passed an ordinance that limits the volume at which street preachers can, well, the volume at which street preachers can preach. These city fathers are quick to point out the ordinance doesn't restrict freedom of speech or freedom of religion. It only sets boundaries on the volume at which the religious message can be proclaimed.

I suppose that's okay, as long as the other downtown noises which are just as loud -- or louder -- than Pastor Brummitt are also stopped. It's okay as long as the bar doesn't keep getting adjusted downward. If that's happens, we have to wonder if the municipal leaders are playing with smoke and mirrors.

To tell you the truth, I'm not all that worried about other cities following Springfield's example.

I'm not worried because most places don't have loud evangelists on their street corners. Goodness, most cities don't have quiet evangelists on their public places. If I were to ask the tens of thousands of Daily Devotioners to raise their hands if they regularly preach on any street corner, I bet the number wouldn't take too long to count.

And that's a shame; it's a shame because the Savior has asked us all to be Good News tellers.

Maybe standing on a street corner with a bull horn in hand isn't your style, but you should have some sort of style in telling others about the Good News of forgiveness and salvation the Savior has won. The hymnwriter said it better. How does it go?

Oh, yes, here it is: "If you cannot speak like angels, if you cannot preach like Paul, you can tell the love of Jesus, you can say He died for all. If you cannot rouse the wicked with the judgment's dread alarms, you can lead the little children to the Savior's waiting arms."

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Jesus lived, died and rose for me. May I use the talents and style You have given me to witness to Him. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

CPTLN Devocional - Advertencias

18 de Enero 2017

El que cree en el Hijo tiene vida eterna, pero el que se niega a creer en el Hijo no verá la vida, sino que la ira de Dios recae sobre él. (Juan 3:36)

Dondequiera que vamos encontramos señales de advertencias. "No estacionar"; "Prohibido arrojar basura"; "No tocar".

Pero el que veamos esas señales no quiere necesariamente decir que siempre las obedezcamos. A veces porque estamos distraídos, otras veces porque pensamos que no son para nosotros. Sea como fuere, hay veces en que las ignoramos.

Eso fue lo que sucedió cuando el famoso Titanic recibió varios despachos telegráficos que le advertían sobre la presencia de icebergs. Cuando llegó uno de esos últimos despachos, el operador de la radio contestó: "Basta, basta, estoy ocupado".

Poco después, ese barco impresionante cuyo capitán había dicho: "Ni siquiera Dios podría hundirlo", se estaba hundiendo. Más de mil personas se ahogaron porque alguien no prestó atención a las advertencias.

Ignorar las advertencias es peligroso, porque por más inconvenientes que nos causen o inoportunas que sean, pueden salvar nuestra vida o la vida de otros.

No es necesario decir, entonces, que más peligroso aún es ignorar la Palabra de Dios que nos advierte que quien trate de vivir sin Jesús, ciertamente morirá.

El texto para hoy lo dice muy claramente. Sólo quien es tonto es capaz de ignorar al Señor que vino a salvarlo. Sólo quien es arrogante es capaz de pensar que es invencible.

Mucho mejor es prestar atención a las advertencias del Señor y aferrarnos al perdón y la salvación que el Salvador ha ganado a través de su vida sacrificial.

ORACIÓN: Querido Dios, reconozco que no soy invencible y te doy gracias por el regalo de tu Hijo, quien se sacrificó para que yo tenga vida eterna. Dame sabiduría para reconocer las advertencias de peligro que amenazan mi bienestar espiritual. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

De una devoción escrita originalmente para "By the Way"

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones
Reina Valera Contemporánea (RVC) Copyright © 2009, 2011 by Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas

Our Daily Bread - Long Shadows

Read: Psalm 100 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 43–45; Matthew 12:24–50

The Lord is good and his love . . . continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5

Several years ago, my wife and I stayed in a rustic bed-and-breakfast in the remote Yorkshire Dales of England. We were there with four other couples, all British, whom we had never met before. Sitting in the living room with our after-dinner coffees, the conversation turned to occupations with the question “What do you do?” At the time I was serving as the president of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and I assumed that no one there knew of MBI or its founder, D. L. Moody. When I mentioned the name of the school, their response was immediate and surprising. “Of Moody and Sankey . . . that Moody?” Another guest added, “We have a Sankey hymnal and our family often gathers around the piano to sing from it.” I was amazed! The evangelist Dwight Moody and his musician Ira Sankey had held meetings in the British Isles more than 120 years ago, and their influence was still being felt.

I left the room that night thinking of the ways our lives can cast long shadows of influence for God—a praying mother’s influence on her children, an encouraging coworker’s words, the support and challenge of a teacher or a mentor, the loving but corrective words of a friend. It’s a high privilege to play a role in the wonderful promise that “His love . . . continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5).

Lord, help us to remember that while our lives are short, what we do for You now can have an impact long after we are home with You. Lead me today to invest in the lives of others.

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Sombras largas

Leer: Salmo 100 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 12:24-50

Porque el Señor es bueno; […] y su verdad por todas las generaciones (Salmo 100:5).

Hace varios años, nos hospedamos con mi esposa en una rústica hostería de los remotos valles de Yorkshire, Inglaterra. Estábamos con otras cuatro parejas, todas británicas, a quienes acabábamos de conocer. Mientras tomábamos un café después de cenar, empezamos a conversar sobre nuestros trabajos. En aquel entonces, yo era director del Instituto Bíblico Moody, en Chicago, y supuse que nadie conocía la institución ni a su fundador, D. L. Moody. Cuando dije el nombre, todos respondieron sorprendidos y al instante: «¿De Moody y Sankey… de ese Moody?». Otro huésped agregó: «Nosotros tenemos un himnario de Sankey, y nuestra familia suele reunirse junto al piano para cantar esos himnos». ¡No podía creerlo! El evangelista y su músico habían tenido sus reuniones en las Islas Británicas hacía más de 120 años, y su influencia aún seguía.

Aquella noche, me fui pensando en cómo podemos echar una larga sombra de influencia espiritual: una madre que ora por sus hijos, palabras alentadoras de un compañero de trabajo, el apoyo y el desafío de un maestro o consejero, palabras correctivas y amorosas de un amigo. ¡Qué gran privilegio ser parte de la maravillosa promesa de que «el Señor es bueno; […] y su verdad por todas las generaciones (Salmo 100:5)!

Señor, ayúdame a invertir mi vida en bendecir a los demás.

Solo lo que se hace para Cristo perdurará.

© 2017 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Lange Schatten

Lesen: Psalm 100 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 1.Mose 43–45; Matthäus 12,24-50

Denn der Herr ist freundlich, und seine Gnade währet ewig und seine Wahrheit für und für. Psalm 100,5

Vor einigen Jahren übernachtete ich mit meiner Frau in einer Frühstückspension im englischen Yorkshire. Wir waren dort mit vier anderen englischen Ehepaaren, die wir aber nicht kannten. Als wir nach dem Essen noch bei einer Tasse Kaffee zusammensaßen, drehte sich das Gespräch bald um unsere Berufe. Ich war damals Präsident des Moody Bible Institute in Chicago und nahm an, dass keiner der Anwesenden das MBI oder seinen Gründer, D. L. Moody, kennen würde. Als ich den Namen der Schule nannte, war die erste, überraschende Reaktion: „Der Moody von Moody und Sankey?“ Und ein anderer Gast fügte an: „Wir haben zu Hause ein Liederbuch von Sankey und wir versammeln uns oft ums Klavier und singen daraus.“ Ich war verblüfft! Der Evangelist Dwight Moody und sein Musiker Ira Sankey hatten vor mehr als 120 Jahren in England Evangelisationsversammlungen abgehalten und ihr Einfluss wirkte immer noch nach.

Als ich am Abend den Raum verließ, musste ich denken, was für lange Schatten unser Leben mit und für Gott doch werfen kann. Da ist der Einfluss einer betenden Mutter auf ihre Kinder; das Mut machende Wort eines Kollegen; der Ansporn und die Unterstützung eines Lehrers oder Mentors; die freundliche Kritik eines Freundes. Es ist ein großes Vorrecht, an dem wunderbaren Versprechen teilhaben zu dürfen: „Seine Gnade währet ewig“ (Psalm 100,5).

Herr, hilf uns, daran zu denken, dass unser Leben zwar kurz ist, aber das, was wir für dich tun, noch nachwirken kann, wenn wir schon längst bei dir sind. Zeig mir, was ich heute für andere tun kann.

Nur das, was wir für Jesus tun, bleibt.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Длинные тени

Читать сейчас: Псалом 99 | Библия за год: Бытие 43-45; Матфея 12:24-50

Благ Господь: милость Его вовек, и истина Его из рода в род. — Псалом 99:5

Несколько лет назад мы с женой остановились в гостинице, расположенной в английской глубинке. Вместе с нами там были четыре семейные пары. Все англичане, совершенно нам не знакомые. Сидя в гостиной после обеда с чашками кофе, мы разговорились о роде занятий каждого. В то время я был президентом Библейского института Муди в Чикаго. Мне казалось, что никто из присутствующих не знает ни институт, ни его основателя. Однако, когда я упомянул название своего учебного заведения, отклик был мгновенный и неожиданный. «Муди и Санкей! Это тот Муди?» Другой гость добавил: «У нас есть сборник гимнов Санкея, мы с семьей часто собираемся вокруг пианино и поем по нему». Я изумился. Евангелист Дуайт Муди и его музыкант Айра Санкей организовывали евангельские собрания на Британских островах более 120 лет назад, но их влияние ощущается до сих пор!

Тем вечером я покинул гостиную, размышляя о том, как наша жизнь может оставить долгую тень христианского влияния. Молитвы матерей получают ответы в детях. Ободряющие слова и поддержка учителя отражаются в учениках. Каждому из нас оказана великая честь – сыграть свою роль в чудесном обетовании Господа, что «милость Его вовек и истина Его из рода в род» (Пс. 99:5).

Господи, помоги нам помнить, что, хотя наша жизнь коротка, сделанное нами для Тебя может оказывать влияние и после того, как мы уйдем к Тебе. Направь нас на доброе служение во имя Твое.

Только то, что сделано для Христа, пребудет вечно.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - De longues ombres

Car l’Éternel est bon ; sa bonté dure […] de génération en génération. (Psaume 100.5)

Il y a longtemps, ma femme et moi sommes descendus dans une auberge rustique du lointain Yorkshire Dales, en Angleterre. Il s’y trouvait quatre autres couples, tous Britanniques et inconnus de nous. Assis au salon un soir en train de prendre notre café de fin de repas, nous avons vu la conversation changer de cap : « Que faites‑vous dans la vie ? » À l’époque, j’étais président du Moody Bible Institute, à Chicago, dont j’ai présumé que personne ne connaîtrait le nom et le fondateur, D. L. Moody. Or, la mention de cette école m’a valu une réponse tant immédiate que surprenante : « De Moody et de Sankey… ce Moody‑là ? » Puis un autre client de l’auberge a renchéri : « On a à la maison un livre de cantiques de Sankey et la famille se réunit souvent autour du piano pour en chanter quelques‑uns. » Je n’en revenais tout simplement pas ! L’évangéliste Dwight Moody et son musicien, Ira Sankey, avaient tenu des réunions dans les îles britanniques plus de 120 ans auparavant, et leur influence s’y faisait encore ressentir.

En quittant la pièce ce soir‑là, j’ai réfléchi aux façons dont notre vie est susceptible de jeter de longues ombres d’influence divine sur un monde étouffant : l’influence sur ses enfants d’une mère qui prie, les paroles encourageantes d’un collègue, le soutien et la mise au défi d’un enseignant ou d’un mentor, les propos bienveillants, mais correcteurs d’un ami. C’est un immense privilège que de jouer un rôle dans l’accomplissement de la merveilleuse promesse selon laquelle « sa bonté [durera] ».

Seules les oeuvres accomplies pour Christ dureront.

© 2017 Ministères NPQ