Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, January 22, 2017 - 3rd Sunday After Epiphany

First Reading
from the Old Testament
Isaiah 9:1-4
But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness-- on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.

This is the Word of the Lord

Psalm 27:1, 5-13
1  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
5  For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
6  And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
7  Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
8  You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
9  Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
10  For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
11  Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
12  Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
13  I believe that I shall look[c] upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!

Second Reading
from the Epistles
1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ." Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

This is the Word of the Lord

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

"Call of the Fishermen" - The Sermon for SUNDAY, January 22, 2017 - 3rd Sunday After Epiphany

The Holy Gospel
according to St Matthew, the 4th Chapter

Glory to You, O Lord

Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles-- the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea-- for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:12-23)

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

"Call of the Fishermen"

Our gospel lesson today is the call of the first four disciples. I would like to look at a few key words in our gospel lesson to understand this call of the fishermen.

Notice first that the men were going about they daily lives. They were doing what they had been trained to do catch fish. This was their livelihood. They weren’t casual fishermen, they were professional. They did this for a living.

Jesus called them from their comfortable life as fishermen. Jesus called them to leave everything behind to follow him.

I would like to have read the mind of say Peter when Jesus called him. Maybe his thought process went something like this:

" Follow him, why not. I heard that he is a mighty preacher. He is telling the people to repent of their sins. He said I am to follow him and he will make me fishers of men. How do you catch men? No mind, I will leave this fishing business and follow him"

The next key words I think is they immediately left their nets and followed him. There was not much thought process to this calling. Immediately, or at once, they left everything and followed him.

Immediately, they cast aside their profession and followed Jesus. Immediately they left their family and friends and followed Jesus. What inspired these fishermen to do this? What inspired them to leave family and friends to follow Jesus? What inspired them were the words of Jesus. Jesus simple but compelling words "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’

Jesus did not give them a sermon, but showed them his life. Follow me. Do as I do. Follow me and I will make you catch more men for this group of mine. Follow me. Simple words but all inspiring. Follow him. Do and I do.

These men did not have a lot of Jesus’ history to follow at that point as Jesus had just begun his public ministry. But it must have been enough. Jesus said the right words and they followed him.

I wonder if you or I would have been like these disciples, Peter, Andrew, James or John if we would have done something similar? Isn’t Jesus asking us to do that today? To surrender self, to be in the world but not of the world, to have childlike faith to follow Him and to be a light in the darkness of the world?

I often wonder what the disciples, maybe John, would of said to his father after he left and then came home for a brief visit. Maybe the conversation might have gone like this:

"Dad, I know I have an obligation to you and the family business. I know you don’t understand this sudden urge to follow Jesus around the countryside. To tell you the truth, I don’t fully understand it either Dad. All I know is, there is something special about Him, something that attracted me, something about him told me he was different from all those religious guys. You know, Dad, the priest at the temple doesn’t really go out of his way to be friendly to us because we are just fisherman. But, Jesus, Dad has been friendly, has been concerned about me. Why Dad, since I left you, Jesus has healed a man with an unclean spirit, while he was in the synagogue. He healed Peter’s mother-in-law, he healed a leper and he has been preaching to us and the crowds that God, God almighty loves us. Loves me, imagine that. So see Dad, why I can’t stay, why I have to go, I am so excited. I just have to be with Jesus’."

I wonder if you could make that same kind of speech to a loved one or a neighbor, or a friend on why you are a Christian, a church goer, a believer in Jesus Christ? I wonder if any of us are excited today about Jesus Christ in the same way? Or do we take all of this for granted? How is it with you and your faith life? Does following Jesus really mean something exciting, wonderful, powerful and mysterious to you? Do you sense that you have been given something very special to pass on to this and future generations, the light of Christ in this world of darkness?

Do you sense that you are part of a great tradition from the past which has an obligation to the present moment and also to the future? Do you sense that you are part of something great, something that is not individualistic, but something corporate, something which has been held together for generations by the power of Christ through his Holy Spirit, the church. The authority, the power of God Almighty present here in His body, in you as member of this church? Do you believe and sense that it is in our togetherness that we remain strong and alive for and in Christ?

Follow me and I will make you fisher of men. Those powerful words started the whole Christian movement. Follow me brought four men to Jesus and they reached out to a whole lot of other people to begin the church as we know it today.

Follow me is what Jesus is asking us to do in this day and age. It might mean to leave everything we have known and do something different for him. But it might also mean to follow him in our every day life. Follow him when we are at work. Follow him in our family life. Follow him when we are enjoying life.

As were have seen by the story of the calling of these fishermen, it doesn’t take but one person to make a difference.

In the following story one person made a whole lot of difference in the mission fields.

There is the classic story about the faithful pastor who was told by his superior that something was wrong with his work. The supervisor told him, "Only one person has been added to your church this year, and he is only a boy."

Later that day, heavy of heart, the pastor was praying when someone walked up behind him. Turning around, he saw the same boy-his only convert that year. The boy said, "Pastor, do you think I could become a preacher or missionary some day?" The pastor encouraged him to pray and seek God about it. The lad was Robert Moffit who was destined to open Africa to the Gospel of Christ.

Years later when Moffit spoke in London, a young doctor heard him say, "I have seen in the morning sun the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been." The young doctor, deeply moved by Moffit’s message, was none other than David Livingstone. In 1840, he sailed for Africa where he labored for Jesus for more than three decades-all of this happened because a faithful pastor encouraged his "one convert."

Follow me those simple words started a movement that has gone on now for 2000 years. Follow me has inspired others to follow Jesus in this day and age. It might be simple words from a friend to follow Jesus. It might be a written word that spells out the gospel story, but all of them mean the same thing, follow me.

A closing story tells how those words reached into a heart of a man who had been hurting.

"While in a large East Coast city on business, Dan had spent the evening drinking in the hotel bar. Having sworn that this trip would be different, he was feeling pretty disgusted with himself. The next morning he decided a long walk might clear his head and his mood, so he struck out and soon found himself on a narrow residential street.

The houses were small but clean and well kept, and Dan sensed that he’d chosen a good direction. About halfway down the block an elderly gentleman looked up from his chore of raking leaves and greeting Dan warmly. "Good morning to you," he smiled. "Looks like the Lord has put together another beautiful day, doesn’t it?"

"I guess," Dan shrugged, staring down at his shoes.

The old man looked at Dan’s bleary eyes and rumpled clothes. "You know, son, Jesus Christ could make this the best day of your life if you’ll let Him." He reached into his pocket and handed Dan a small tract. "Why don’t you look this over and stop by and see me again?"

Dan halfheartedly thanked his benefactor, stuck the tract into his jacket pocket and went on his way. He didn’t read the tract, but somehow he never quite managed to throw it away. A year later, on another business trip, Dan found himself frantically pacing his hotel room. He was at the end of his rope spiritually, financially, emotionally, and physically.

By habit he threw on his jacket and started for the door. But as he shoved one hand into the pocket, that persistent little tract touched his fingers. He pulled it out, went to his bed and read through its entirety. He opened his night stand and found his room’s Gideon Bible and carefully researched the verses the tract had referenced. He fell to his knees and, at that very moment, ended his old life and began a brand new one in Christ.

The following years of Dan’s life were a whirlwind of joy and struggle. He became a minister of the Gospel and was invited to city after city, country after country to share his love for the Lord and the miraculous way in which the Lord had changed him. Time after time as Dan shared his message people would come to him and say, "That’s amazing! You know, I was in that same city, took a wrong turn, and stopped in front of a house to ask directions. An old man was working in a flower bed and he gave me a Gospel tract."

Each story was different, and yet each story told how people from all over the globe, people who had for many different reasons come to that city, had found themselves drawn to a narrow residential street where an old man worked in his yard.

Some time later Dan returned to the city where his new life had begun. But this time he was there to preach a revival in a local church. Remembering the old man who had given him the tract he made his way to the tiny white house. Seeing no one outside, he knocked on the door. A slow shuffle of feet could be heard, and finally the door cracked open.

"Sir, you probably don’t remember me," Dan began, "but you gave me a Gospel tract several years ago and I wanted you to know that it’s because of your faithful witness that I now stand here as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

The old man swung the door open wide, revealing a metal walker before his bent and feeble body. "Come in, come in," he told Dan as the tears streamed down both their faces. Dan followed him into a tiny living room.

"Praise God! Praise God!" the elderly gentleman’s voice shook with age and emotion. "All these years I wondered if I was making a difference. You see, my wife - she’s gone now, God rest her soul - was an invalid and I couldn’t get out except to work in the yard. For her last eighteen years I had to be here all the time, so I prayed every day for the Lord to send me people who needed to hear the Word. What a blessing to know about you, son."

"Oh, sir," Dan told him, moving to his side and taking his hand, "I’ve heard about you all over the world." And as Dan told of the many people who’d come to know the Lord through the witness of this silver-haired believer, the man wept uncontrollably.

"Thank you, Jesus," the faithful old witness kept repeating. "I never knew. I just wanted to be faithful to my Lord."

Follow me Jesus said and they immediately left their fishing and followed him.


New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted. Sermon shared by Pastor Tim Zingale - January 21 , 20008

Verse of the Day - January 22, 2017

Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV) [ Ask, Seek, Knock ] “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Read all of Matthew 7

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

LHM Daily Devotion - "The Least for the Christ"

 January 22 2017

And (Jesus) said to them, "Whoever receives this child in My Name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great." Luke 9:48

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.

In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

Some time ago a young woman shared her story with me.

Maya and her husband Paul had been married for 10 years and they had a beautiful son. Their social situation wasn't always easy, but still, Maya was happy.

Suddenly, Maya's husband lost his job and he started to drink. They had no money.

Maya had to take care of her son all by herself. That was because her husband Paul no longer came home every night. His nights were spent with his "friends." Then there came the day when Paul simply didn't come home anymore.

He just left. There was no explanation; there was no goodbye note.

I met Maya at an event we presented in cooperation with a local social service. At the beginning of the evening Maya didn't want to participate in any activities. This was in contrast to her son who wanted to try everything. He wanted to play all the games and he begged his mother: "Please, mummy, come on, come on!"

After some time I noticed Maya was smiling and playing ball with her very happy son.

He acted as if he had just received the biggest gift of his life. He was incredibly happy to see his mother wasn't worrying -- at least not for the moment.

After the event, Maya's son told me he had never seen his mother laugh and smile for such a long time! He shared that it was the first time in their lives that his mother had seemed to be enjoying something. And Maya? Maya said the last time she had played with a ball was many years ago -- when she was in secondary school.

Then she added, "How can I enjoy my life? It's impossible, now that I am alone in taking care of all which has gone wrong."

Usually after a Lutheran Hour Ministries' event all the participants receive some gifts, which are provided by Christians who live in the USA. When Maya received her gift, she started to sob. She couldn't believe that a total stranger wanted to share with her and her son.

Again and again, we have seen how the Holy Spirit shows our people the greatness of God's love because Christians have reflected the love they have received from Jesus into the lives of others.

Truly, Jesus loves each and every one. Still we are blessed to see the greatness of His love when it forgives the greatest of our sins and calls us to a new life in Him.

My friends, you should know that sometimes it doesn't take a lot to lead someone to the Savior. We don't always have to make great plans, do a lot of projects, or force-feed our religious beliefs to bring someone closer to Jesus. Sometimes the best testimony of our faith is to directly help someone who is in need. And for your help in doing this, the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Latvia thanks you!

THE PRAYER: Dear God, we rejoice that You can enter the hearts, lives and souls of sinners in small ways and great. Grant that our foreign offices and missionaries will be blessed to use the Gospel message in ways that can be used by the Holy Spirit to call sinners to repentance and salvation. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen

Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Eric Laime Babris. He is a project leader for the Lutheran Hour Ministries office in Latvia. His main responsibility is to organize ministry events all around the country. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Latvia is our mission center which makes its witness through ministry events,  Bible Correspondence Courses ( BCC ), and radio broadcasts.

In this European country of more than two million people, LHM-Latvia, known in-country as Lutheran Hour Mission, supports the efforts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia. Established in 1991 in the city of Riga, this ministry center uses Equipping the Saints ( ETS ) workshops to train Christians to be outreach-minded in respect to their faith. It also uses four different  BCC courses, which are tailored to both adults and children, and which are adapted to the concerns of Latvians. Beyond these efforts, LHM-Latvia connects with communities through radio programming, movie night/discussion events, vacation Bible schools, and even features a seminar series on Christian living: the "School of Spiritual Survival."

Visit LHM-Latvia's blog and see how a Lutheran congregation in Bolderaja took a Christmas service to the people at a social care center in Daugavgriva. You can do this by  clicking here  to visit its blog.

To learn more about our International Ministries, click  visit

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.

Un Dia a la Vez - Que nada te aleje del amor de Dios

Porque yo sé muy bien los planes que tengo para ustedes [...] a fin de darles un futuro y una esperanza. Jeremías 29:11

Muchas veces nos hacemos grandes ilusiones ante la vida. ¿Te ha pasado que has soñado tanto tener o lograr algo que cuando lo obtienes no cumple tus expectativas? No te sientas mal, pues no eres el único. A menudo nos confiamos porque hacemos las cosas con nuestras propias fuerzas. Hemos tomado decisiones sin consultar y mucho menos hemos llevado nuestros planes delante de Dios.

Tal vez digas: «Bueno, ¿y por qué tengo que llevarlo todo ante Dios?». Porque es lo más inteligente que podemos hacer tú y yo. Te lo explico: Dios es nuestro Creador. Es el dueño de nuestra vida. Sabe todo acerca de nuestra vida presente y futura. Y dejó en su Palabra más de tres mil promesas para nosotros. El problema está en que muchos no creen que eso sea cierto. Sin embargo, los que hemos tenido una relación personal con Él, hemos comprobado que sí cumple sus promesas. Te daré algunas para que las analices:

• Prometió que aunque nuestro padre y nuestra madre  nos abandonen, Él nunca nos dejará (véase Salmo 27:10).

• Prometió que nos fortalecerá y ayudará, y nos sostendrá con la diestra de su justicia (véanse Salmos 18; 27; 48:10).

Toma hoy de tu tiempo y lee la Biblia. Allí encontrarás muchas promesas que te pertenecen y sentirás una cercanía a tu Padre «Dios».

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

Standing Strong Through the Storm - LIVE IN PEACE AND HOLINESS

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)

As we see in Hebrews chapter twelve, once we “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,” we will be aware of how we should then live. Now the writer teaches us about the value of peace and holiness. It is difficult to live in peace with others until you have made your peace with God.

Pastor Haik Hovsepian in Iran (who was martyred in January 1994) once preached on the topic “Salvation or Religion.” It was a very powerful message that goes through five differences between religion and salvation in Christ. Thousands of his tapes on this topic have been distributed in Iran.

One of the people who recently got hold of this tape is a Quran reciter. He has a very powerful voice and many times he has been invited to recite the Quran in different mosques in Iran. He also passionately recited about the life of the Imams (Muhammad’s descendants), who have died in mourning ceremonies in order to make people cry. He used to be a very religious person himself.

When he got hold of the tape with the sermon of Haik, he realized that through religion he cannot be saved. He was in captivity of some immoral sins such as alcohol abuse and adultery. He was a very high-tempered and depressed person too. When he heard about the difference between religion and the salvation of Jesus, the Spirit of God spoke to his heart. He was so moved by the message that he listened to the tape a few more times. Every time he listened to this tape, he felt even more convinced that he needed the salvation of Jesus, until he finally gave his life to the Lord.

Then he was not only liberated from the captivity of his sins, but also from the captivity of the religion with which he was identifying. There was an extraordinary joy and happiness in his face after this experience. In the past, he wore black shirts, as his job was to make people in the mosques cry. But after experiencing Jesus in his life, even his shirts changed to lighter colors! He is now using his voice to sing for the Lord and shares about Jesus wherever he goes.

Being a well-known person among Muslim religious leaders and other people, one evening the secret police knocked at his door. Two weeks later, they released him from prison on bail until his trial time. He had to borrow half of that money from his relatives. As he lost his job as a Quran reciter, he does not have any source of income, so it is difficult for him to live and to pay the money back to his family. But he is trying to live at peace with all people and show God’s holiness in his life. Praise God for the faith of this brother and for his steadfastness in following Jesus.

RESPONSE: Today I will live at peace with others and reveal God’s holiness in my life.

PRAYER: Pray for more believers of Muslim background to find peace with God and others.

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

Our Daily Bread - God’s Face

Read: 2 Corinthians 4:4–15 | Bible in a Year: Exodus 4–6; Matthew 14:22–36

For God . . . made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

Much of my career as a writer has revolved around the problem of pain. I return again and again to the same questions, as if fingering an old wound that never quite heals. I hear from readers of my books, and their anguished stories give human faces to my doubts. I remember a youth pastor calling me after he had learned that his wife and baby daughter were dying of AIDS because of a tainted blood transfusion. “How can I talk to my youth group about a loving God?” he asked.

I have learned to not even attempt an answer to these “why” questions. Why did the youth pastor’s wife happen to get the one tainted bottle of blood? Why does a tornado hit one town and skip over another? Why do prayers for physical healing go unanswered?

One question, however, no longer gnaws at me as it once did: “Does God care?” I know of only one way to answer that question, and the answer is Jesus. In Jesus, God gave us a face. If you wonder how God feels about the suffering on this groaning planet, look at that face.

“Does God care?” His Son’s death on our behalf, which will ultimately destroy all pain, sorrow, suffering, and death for eternity, answers that question. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

God’s love for us is as expansive as the open arms of Christ on the cross.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - El rostro de Dios

Leer: 2 Corintios 4:4-15 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 14:22-36

Porque Dios […] resplandeció en nuestros corazones, para iluminación del conocimiento de la gloria de Dios en la faz de Jesucristo (2 Corintios 4:6).

Gran parte de mi carrera como escritor ha girado en torno al tema del sufrimiento. Vuelvo una y otra vez a la misma pregunta, como si hubiera una antigua herida que no se ha curado. Quienes leen mis libros parecen ponerles rostro a mis dudas. Recuerdo a un joven pastor que me llamó tras saber que su esposa y su hijita morirían de SIDA por una transfusión de sangre infectada, y preguntó: «¿Cómo puedo hablarles a mis jóvenes del amor de Dios?».

Con el tiempo, aprendí a no intentar responder los «porqué» de la vida. Sin embargo, una pregunta que solía hacerme ya no me carcome: «¿A Dios le importa?». La única manera de contestarla es Jesús. En Él, Dios nos mostró su faz. Si te preguntas qué siente Dios ante el sufrimiento en este planeta que gime, mira ese rostro.

«¿A Dios le importa?». La muerte de su Hijo a nuestro favor —que finalmente destruirá para la eternidad toda angustia, tristeza, sufrimiento y muerte— responde esta pregunta; «Porque Dios, que mandó que de las tinieblas resplandeciese la luz, es el que resplandeció en nuestros corazones, para iluminación del conocimiento de la gloria de Dios en la faz de Jesucristo» (2 Corintios 4:6).

Señor, ayúdame a entender que todos los porqués de mi vida se explican mediante tu amor demostrado a través de la Persona y la obra de Jesús a mi favor.

El amor de Dios por nosotros es tan amplio como los brazos extendidos de Cristo en la cruz.

© 2017 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Gottes Angesicht

Lesen: 2.Korinther 4,4-15 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 2.Mose 4–6; Matthäus 14,22-36

Denn Gott . . . hat einen hellen Schein in unsre Herzen gegeben, dass durch uns entstünde die Erleuchtung zur Erkenntnis der Herrlichkeit Gottes in dem Angesicht Jesu Christi. 2.Korinther 4,6

Ein großer Teil meiner schriftstellerischen Tätigkeit dreht sich um das Problem des Leids. Immer wieder stoße ich auf dieselben Fragen wie auf eine alte Wunde, die nicht zuheilen will. Ich erhalte Reaktionen von meinen Lesern und ihre Geschichten geben meinen Zweifeln ein Gesicht. Da ist der Jugendpastor, der mich anrief, nachdem er erfahren hatte, dass seine Frau und seine kleine Tochter wegen einer infizierten Bluttransfusion an Aids sterben würden. „Wie soll ich meiner Jugendgruppe von einem liebenden Gott erzählen?“

Ich habe gelernt, solche „Warum?“-Fragen nicht mehr beantworten zu wollen. Wieso bekam gerade die Frau dieses Pastors die eine verseuchte Dosis? Wieso trifft ein Wirbelsturm eine Stadt und nicht die andere? Warum werden Gebete um Heilung nicht erhört?

Eine Frage allerdings nagt nicht mehr so an mir wie früher: „Ist es Gott egal?“ Ich habe darauf nur eine Antwort, und die lautet: Jesus. In Jesus hat Gott uns ein Gesicht gegeben. Wenn du dich fragst, was Gott im Blick auf das Leid auf diesem ächzenden Planeten empfindet, dann schau in dies Gesicht.

„Ist es Gott egal?“ Der Tod seines Sohnes um unseretwillen, der allen Schmerz, alles Leid, alle Not und selbst den Tod auf ewig vernichten wird, beantwortet die Frage. „Denn Gott, der sprach: Licht soll aus der Finsternis hervorbrechen, der hat einen hellen Schein in unsre Herzen gegeben, dass durch uns entstünde die Erleuchtung zur Erkenntnis der Herrlichkeit Gottes in dem Angesicht Jesu Christi“ (2.Korinther 4,6).

Gottes Liebe zu uns reicht so weit wie die ausgestreckten Arme Jesu am Kreuz.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Божье лицо

Читать сейчас: 2 Коринфянам 4:4-15 | Библия за год: Исход 4-6; Матфея 14:22-36

Бог, повелевший из тьмы воссиять свету, озарил наши сердца, дабы просветить нас познанием славы Божией в лице Иисуса Христа. — 2 Коринфянам 4:6

Значительная часть моей писательской работы была связана с проблемой боли. Я снова и снова возвращался к одним и тем же вопросам, раздражая старую рану, которая никогда не заживала. Я получаю письма от своих читателей, и их скорбные рассказы придают моим сомнениям человеческие лица. Я помню молодежного пастора, который позвонил мне после того, как узнал, что его жена и ребенок умрут от СПИДа, которым заразились во время переливания крови. «Как я могу говорить своей молодежной группе о любящем Боге?» – спрашивал он.

 Я понял, что не стоит даже пытаться отвечать на все эти «почему». Почему жене молодежного пастора перелили зараженную кровь? Почему смерч разрушил один дом, а соседний уцелел? Почему молитвы об исцелении остаются без ответа?

Впрочем, один вопрос уже не так гнетет меня, как раньше: «Заботится ли Бог?» Я знаю только один ответ на этот вопрос. Этот ответ – Иисус. В Иисусе Христе Бог открыл нам Свое лицо. Если вы не знаете, что чувствует Бог, глядя на страдание людей, взгляните на это лицо.

«Заботится ли Бог?» Смерть Его Сына за наши грехи, которая в будущем навсегда положит конец боли, печали, страданиям и смерти, отвечает на этот вопрос. «Потому что Бог, повелевший из тьмы воссиять свету, озарил наши сердца, дабы просветить нас познанием славы Божией в лице Иисуса Христа» (2 Кор. 4:6).

Божья любовь к нам так же широка, как и объятия Христа на кресте.

автор: Филип Янси
© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - La face de Dieu

Car Dieu […] a fait briller la lumière dans nos coeurs pour faire resplendir la connaissance de la gloire de Dieu sur la face de Christ. (2 Corinthiens 4.6)

Une grande partie de ma carrière d’auteur a tourné autour du problème de la souffrance. Je ne cesse de revenir sur les mêmes questions, comme si je retournais le fer dans une plaie qui ne guérit jamais entièrement. Je reçois des lettres de lecteurs de mes livres, et leurs histoires marquées par l’angoisse mettent des visages sur mes doutes. Je me souviens d’un pasteur de la jeunesse qui m’a téléphoné après avoir appris que sa femme et sa fillette encore bébé se mouraient du SIDA à cause d’une transfusion de sang contaminé. « Comment faire pour parler à mon groupe de jeunes au sujet d’un Dieu bienveillant ? », m’a‑t‑il alors demandé.

J’ai appris à ne plus chercher de réponses à ces « Pourquoi ? » Pourquoi la poche de sang contaminé est‑elle échue aux proches de ce pasteur ? Pourquoi une tornade ravage‑t‑elle un village, mais en épargne un autre ? Pourquoi les prières de guérison physique ne s’exaucent‑elles pas toutes ?

Une question ne me harcèle toutefois plus : « Dieu s’en préoccupe‑t‑il ? » Je ne connais qu’une seule bonne réponse à cette question. En Jésus, Dieu nous a donné un visage. Si vous vous demandez ce que Dieu ressent devant les souffrances de notre planète éprouvée, plongez le regard dans ce visage.

La mort de son Fils, qui éliminera pour l’éternité tout ce qui est chagrin, souffrance et mort, y répond : « Car Dieu […] a fait briller la lumière dans nos coeurs pour faire resplendir la connaissance de la gloire de Dieu sur la face de Christ » (2 CO 4.6).

Christ nous a aimés jusqu’à se faire crucifier pour nous.

© 2017 Ministères NPQ