Monday, January 23, 2017

URGENT: Muslims in Iran cry out for Bibles

A message from our ad partner:

Dear Follower of Jesus,

You might not believe me at first when I tell you, but…


But it’s true.

Sadly, though, copies of God’s Word are extremely scarce in this Islamic republic.

Here’s why the Persian people are now turning to Jesus…
  • Hopelessness is rampant in Iran.
  • Per capita, more men and women commit suicide or are addicted to drugs in Iran than anywhere else in the world.
  • Islam has proven itself to be a bankrupt religion.
Because of this, men, women, and children of this Islamic republic are embracing the Lord Jesus Christ in unprecedented numbers–and you have an opportunity today to help encourage them with God’s Word!

For years, the Gospel movement in Iran has gone largely unnoticed in the West. And only a small percentage of church missions budgets are being spent on efforts to reach this Islamic republic.

But the light of the Gospel is penetrating the darkness in this country… 

This means many new Muslim converts inside Iran and underground house church pastors are crying out for copies of God’s Word–which is why I’m so excited to share some amazing news with you today…

You have the opportunity to help answer their cries by sending a Bible to an Iranian seeking Jesus!

These men and women are desperate to learn all they can about Isa Masih (Jesus Christ). And you can help give them the answers they’re searching for by placing a Bible in their hands!

The great news is that your gift will be doubled thanks to a generous $4,000 Matching Grant–meaning you’ll send twice as many Bibles.

With your gift of $49, you could normally send 7 Bibles costing $7 each. But today, your gift will be doubled to $98, sending 14 Bibles!

We have the chance to place Bibles in the hands of 1,000 spiritually hungry Iranians in the next few weeks–so your gift today is especially important.

Please give as generously as you can today–knowing your gift will be doubled to put twice as many Bibles in the hands of Iranians who desperately want to know Jesus!

May God bless you for partnering with us today to meet this massive need inside of Iran.

Yours in Christ,
Dr. Mike Ansari
Director of Operations, Heart4Iran/Mohabat TV

About Heart4Iran
Heart4Iran is a partnership of over 40 on-the-ground partners working together to take the love and hope of Jesus Christ to the people of Iran. Click here to send Bibles to Iran.


The Daily Readings for MONDAY, January 23, 2017

The Old Testament Reading
Isaiah 48:1-11
Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and who came forth from the loins of Judah; who swear by the name of the LORD, and invoke the God of Israel, but not in truth or right. For they call themselves after the holy city, and lean on the God of Israel; the LORD of hosts is his name. The former things I declared long ago, they went out from my mouth and I made them known; then suddenly I did them and they came to pass. Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass, I declared them to you from long ago, before they came to pass I announced them to you, so that you would not say, "My idol did them, my carved image and my cast image commanded them." You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forward I make you hear new things, hidden things that you have not known. They are created now, not long ago; before today you have never heard of them, so that you could not say, "I already knew them." You have never heard, you have never known, from of old your ear has not been opened. For I knew that you would deal very treacherously, and that from birth you were called a rebel. For my name's sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, so that I may not cut you off. See, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have tested you in the furnace of adversity. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for why should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.

This is the Word of the Lord

The Epistle Reading
Galatians 1:1-17
Paul an apostle-- sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead-- and all the members of God's family who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed! Am I now seeking human approval, or God's approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ. For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.

This is the Word of the Lord

The Holy Gospel Reading
Mark 5:21-43
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live." So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well." Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?" And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, 'Who touched me?'" He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease." While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader's house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?" But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Here ends the Gospel reading for today.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 41 Beatus qui intelligit
1   Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble.
2   The LORD preserves them and keeps them alive, so that they may be happy in the land; he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.
3   The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and ministers to them in their illness.
4   I said, "LORD, be merciful to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you."
5   My enemies are saying wicked things about me: "When will he die, and his name perish?"
6   Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words; their heart collects false rumors; they go outside and spread them.
7   All my enemies whisper together about me and devise evil against me.
8   A deadly thing, they say, has fastened on him; he has taken to his bed and will never get up again.
9   Even my best friend, whom I trusted, who broke bread with me, has lifted up his heel and turned against me.
10   But you, O LORD, be merciful to me and raise me up, and I shall repay them.
11   By this I know you are pleased with me, that my enemy does not triumph over me.
12   In my integrity you hold me fast, and shall set me before your face for ever.
13   Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, from age to age. Amen. Amen.

Psalm 52 Quid gloriaris?
1   You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness against the godly all day long?
2   You plot ruin; your tongue is like a sharpened razor, O worker of deception.
3   You love evil more than good and lying more than speaking the truth.
4   You love all words that hurt, O you deceitful tongue.
5   Oh, that God would demolish you utterly, topple you, and snatch you from your dwelling, and root you out of the land of the living!
6   The righteous shall see and tremble, and they shall laugh at him, saying,
7   This is the one who did not take God for a refuge, but trusted in great wealth and relied upon wickedness.
8   But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
9   I will give you thanks for what you have done and declare the goodness of your Name in the presence of the godly.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 44 Deus, auribus
1   We have heard with our ears, O God, our forefathers have told us, the deeds you did in their days, in the days of old.
2   How with your hand you drove the peoples out and planted our forefathers in the land; how you destroyed nations and made your people flourish.
3   For they did not take the land by their sword, nor did their arm win the victory for them; but your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance, because you favored them.
4   You are my King and my God; you command victories for Jacob.
5   Through you we pushed back our adversaries; through your Name we trampled on those who rose up against us.
6   For I do not rely on my bow, and my sword does not give me the victory.
7   Surely, you gave us victory over our adversaries and put those who hate us to shame.
8   Every day we gloried in God, and we will praise your Name for ever.
9   Nevertheless, you have rejected and humbled us and do not go forth with our armies.
10   You have made us fall back before our adversary, and our enemies have plundered us.
11   You have made us like sheep to be eaten and have scattered us among the nations.
12   You are selling your people for a trifle and are making no profit on the sale of them.
13   You have made us the scorn of our neighbors, a mockery and derision to those around us.
14   You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughing-stock among the peoples.
15   My humiliation is daily before me, and shame has covered my face;
16   Because of the taunts of the mockers and blasphemers, because of the enemy and avenger.
17   All this has come upon us; yet we have not forgotten you, nor have we betrayed your covenant.
18   Our heart never turned back, nor did our footsteps stray from your path;
19   Though you thrust us down into a place of misery, and covered us over with deep darkness.
20   If we have forgotten the Name of our God, or stretched out our hands to some strange god,
21   Will not God find it out? for he knows the secrets of the heart.
22   Indeed, for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23   Awake, O Lord! why are you sleeping? Arise! do not reject us for ever.
24   Why have you hidden your face and forgotten our affliction and oppression?
25   We sink down into the dust; our body cleaves to the ground.
26   Rise up, and help us, and save us, for the sake of your steadfast love.

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 23, 2017

James 1:5 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Read all of James 1

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - "Fighting the Wrong Enemy"

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12, NKJV

Peter couldn't take it anymore. He had watched His Lord's anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had watched the group of soldiers come to arrest Him. So he took out his sword, took a swing, and removed the ear of the high priest's servant.

In a way, I understand Peter's frustration. Had I been in the same situation, I might have done the same thing. We might almost commend Peter for his heroism and bravery. But in reality, Jesus did not do that at all. He told Peter to put the sword away. Poor Peter. He couldn't seem to get it right. He always seemed to be doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. He was sleeping when he should have been praying. He was talking when he should have been listening. He was boasting when he should have been fearing. Now he was fighting when he should have been surrendering. He always had it turned upside down. You see, Peter failed to see that he was fighting the wrong enemy.

Our enemies are not flesh and blood, the Bible says, but principalities and powers. And they cannot be defeated by ordinary measures. Far too often we take things into our own hands and try to assist God, to sort of help Him out a little. And far too often we do not pull out the most powerful weapon in our arsenal, which is prayer, and use it in these times of battle.

As Christians, we are too quick to protest and not quick enough to pray. We are too quick to picket and not quick enough to preach and focus on what God has primarily called us to do. We need to realize that we are fighting a spiritual battle. Therefore, we need to use spiritual weaponry.

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 - Necesitas que te amen

Lleven una vida de amor, así como Cristo nos amó y se entregó por nosotros como ofrenda y sacrificio fragante para Dios. (Efesios 5:2)

Desde que llegamos a este mundo, todos tenemos una gran necesidad de amor.

Las que hemos tenido el regalo precioso de ser madres, lo experimentamos desde el primer momento que nos ponen en nuestro pecho ese tierno bebé. Es tan indefenso, que no nos cansamos de mirarlo y ver cómo Dios lo creó tan perfecto. Alrededor de nueve meses esa personita se formó dentro de nosotras. Es un milagro de amor y de vida.

Desde el primer día de nacido, se crea un lazo perfecto de amor entre ese bebé y sus padres. Para papá es emocionante ver cómo su hijo responde ante el tono de su voz. Para nosotras, cuando ese pedacito de carne nos busca para que los alimentemos, es un momento muy íntimo y único. Todos necesitamos que nos amen y amar.

Cuando la vida nos pone en situaciones como el abuso de un padre en la niñez o el rechazo de un hijo después que has dado todo por él, tú y yo debemos recordar el mayor acto de amor que tuvo Dios por la humanidad: La entrega de su único Hijo para que muriera por nosotros y darnos vida eterna. Recuerda, Dios es amor y te ama de manera incondicional.

Mi consejo es que tomes la mejor decisión y perdones a los que te han ofendido e incluso te han abandonado. De ese modo, sentirás una gran libertad para amar y que te amen.

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 - THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:15)

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. The writer now turns to the issue of a growing root of bitterness which defiles and causes trouble and disunity.

A group of believers in rural Hubei Province in China came to Christ as a result of listening to Christian radio programs. When a local woman was healed of appendicitis after prayer, two whole families converted to the way of Jesus enlarging their group to twenty. Five years later a Brother Chen arrived in the village on a sunny spring day. One believer shares this report:

Some said Brother Chen was “sent straight from God to our company.” He said so too. Looking back over a year later, I think he was Satan’s man. But who knows, I may be harsh in my judgment. I remember that night so clearly. We were all gathered in my father’s house. The gas lamp flickered strange shapes against the whitewashed walls, on which we had stenciled “JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.”

I remember Brother Chen saying, “Jesus needs our gold to build our mansion in heaven…the more gold we give him now, the bigger your mansion will be.”

Well, we were poor. And because we were poor, the idea of having a golden mansion in the afterlife was very tempting to us. We handed over all we owned: family heirlooms, money, some expensive textiles from a distant ancestor. One in our group even gave his motorcycle, which he had saved for years to buy. Anyway, after all the “gold” had been collected, Brother Chen said he had to go and “open the gate for us.” He left, on the donated motorcycle. He took most of our savings. He hasn’t been back.

Now the fellowship is ruined. Some of our group believes he is coming back, and was indeed sent by God to help us know Jesus better. Others of us believe he was a deceiver. It has split my family. My father thinks Chen was a good man. The rest of the family thinks differently, but we dare not disagree with my father openly.

We still can’t read the Bible very well. We really don’t know that much about Jesus, to be honest. We know he has saved us, and healed a family member. But we know little else. Brother Chen’s deceit has made me bitter.

RESPONSE: Today I will not allow Satan to grow a root of bitterness in my life or in my fellowship.

PRAYER: Lord, help new believers around the world to recognize Satan’s tactics and the bitter root that will keep them in bondage.

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.

Women of the Bible - Rebekah

Her name means: "Loop" or "Tie"

Her character: Hardworking and generous, her faith was so great that she left her home forever to marry a man she had never seen or met. Yet she played favorites with her sons and failed to trust God fully for the promise he had made.
Her sorrow: That she was barren for the first twenty years of her married life, and that she never again set eyes on her favorite son, Jacob, after he fled from his brother Esau.
Her joy: That God had gone to extraordinary lengths to pursue her, to invite her to become part of his people and his promises.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 24; 25:19-34; 26:1-28:9 

Her Story

The sun was dipping beyond the western rim of the sky as the young woman approached the well outside the town of Nahor, five hundred miles northeast of Canaan. It was women's work to fetch fresh water each evening, and Rebekah hoisted the brimming jug to her shoulder, welcoming its cooling touch against her skin.

As she turned to go, a stranger greeted her, asking for a drink. Obligingly, she offered to draw water for his camels as well. Rebekah noticed the look of surprised pleasure that flashed across his face. Ten camels could put away a lot of water, she knew. But had she overheard his whispered prayer just moments earlier, her astonishment would have exceeded his: "O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too'—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac."

A simple gesture. A generous response. A young woman's future altered in a moment's time. The man Rebekah encountered at the well, Abraham's servant, had embarked on a sacred mission—to find Isaac a wife from among Abraham's own people rather than from among the surrounding Canaanites. Like her great-aunt Sarah before her, Rebekah would make the journey south to embrace a future she could hardly glimpse. Betrothed to a man twice her age, whose name meant "Laughter," she felt a sudden giddiness rise inside her. The God of Abraham and Sarah was wooing her, calling her name and no other, offering a share in the promise. God was forging a new nation to be his own people.

Isaac was forty when he first set eyes on Rebekah. Perhaps his heart echoed the joy of that first man, "Here at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!" So Isaac and Rebekah entered the tent of his mother Sarah and made love. And the Bible says that Rebekah comforted Isaac after the death of his mother.

Rebekah was beautiful and strong like Sarah, yet she bore no children for the first twenty years of her life with Isaac. Would she suffer as Sarah did the curse of barrenness? Isaac prayed and God heard, giving her not one, but two sons, who wrestled inside her womb. And God told her: "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."

During the delivery, Jacob grasped the heel of his brother Esau, as though striving for first position. Though second by birth, he was first in his mother's affections. But his father loved Esau best.

Years later, when Isaac was old and nearly blind, he summoned his firstborn, Esau. "Take your quiver and bow and hunt some wild game for me. Prepare the kind of meal I like, and I will give you my blessing before I die."

But the clever Rebekah overheard and called quickly to Jacob, suggesting a scheme to trick the blessing from Isaac. Disguised as Esau, Jacob presented himself to his father for the much-coveted blessing.

Isaac then blessed Jacob, thinking he was blessing Esau: "May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."

Isaac had stretched out his hand and passed the choicest blessing to his younger son, thus recalling the words spoken about the two children jostling for position in Rebekah's womb. The benediction thus given could not be withdrawn, despite the deceit, despite Esau's tears, and despite his vow to kill Jacob. Afraid lest Esau take revenge, Rebekah persuaded Isaac to send Jacob north to find a wife from among her brother Laban's daughters.

As the years passed, Rebekah must have longed to embrace her younger son, hoping for the privilege of enfolding his children in her embrace. But more than twenty years would pass before Jacob returned. And though Isaac would live to welcome his son, Rebekah would not.

When Rebekah was a young girl, God had invited her to play a vital role in the story of his people. He had gone to great lengths to pursue her. Like Sarah, she would become a matriarch of God's people, and like Sarah, her heart would divide itself between faith and doubt, believing that God's promise required her intervention. Finding it difficult to rest in the promise God had made, she resorted to trickery to achieve it.

The results, mirroring her own heart, were mixed. Though Jacob indeed became heir to the promise, he was driven from his home and the mother who loved him too well. In addition, he and his descendants would forever be at odds with Esau and his people, the Edomites. Two thousand years later, Herod the Great, who hailed from Idumea (the Greek and Roman name for Edom) would slaughter many innocent children in his attempt to destroy the infant Jesus.

Yet God was still at work, graciously using a woman whose response to him was far less than perfect, in order to accomplish his purposes.

Her Promise

Rebekah heard Abraham's servant describe how he had prayed and how he was sure she was the woman God intended for Isaac. God himself had divinely orchestrated the events. Rebekah seemed to have known that and, when asked, answered simply, "I will go."

Did Rebekah fully realize God's plan for her? Was she open to following that plan? Or was she simply entranced with the romantic notions of a young girl looking for her knight in shining armor? Whatever her motivation, the events were planned by God, and he was able and willing to faithfully continue to fulfill his promises through her.

God's faithfulness, despite our waywardness and contrariness, is evident both throughout Scripture and throughout our lives. He will be faithful; he promises.

Girlfriends in God - God is Asking, “Where are You?”

Today’s Truth

But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ (Genesis 3:9, NIV).

Friend to Friend

Sometimes it is easy to read about Adam and Eve’s failure in the garden and think, “How could they disobey like that!” But the reality is that this is not Adam and Eve’s story alone. It is our story as well. We make decisions on a daily basis that dishonor God. We disobey His commands, take charge of our own lives, and become Lord of our own ring. Then like Eve, we try to cover up our shame and even attempt to hide from God.

Do you know the first question God asked in the Bible? After Adam and Eve hid from God, He asked – Where are you? God knew exactly where they were, what they had done, and what the enemy had stolen from them. However, He decided to remain in relationship with them and begin the process of restoration, which was completed on the Cross of Calvary.

He asks the same question of us today, “Where are you?”

I think “but God” are the two most beautiful words in Scripture. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). When did we become a sinner? The first time we sinned? No, we were born sinners and that sin is what separated us from God. While we were yet sinners, He became the perfect sacrifice for us, not to cover our ugliness, but to cleanse us forever–once and for all.

Salvation Army Officer, John Allen once said, “I deserved to be damned in hell, but God interfered.” God interfered, intervened, and intercepted our death sentence. He sent His Son, who paid the penalty for our sin, and all we have to do to receive God’s pardon is to accept His wonderful gift.

How do we accept God’s gift? “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9).

When you accept Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior, you are freed from the penalty of sin (spiritual death and eternal separation from God), and He gives you a new living spirit. “Salvation is moving from living death to deathless life.”

Why did God do this for us? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. And whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

When you become a Christian, your dead spirit comes to life, and you become a new person. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the apostle Paul promises, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” We were crucified with Christ and now we live in Him (Galatians 5:20).

Have you accepted God’s incredible gift? If not, He’s still asking, “Where are you?”

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for your great love for me. Thank You for calling me by name and asking, “Where are you?” Thank You for sending your Son to pay the penalty for my sin and save me from eternal separation from You.
In Jesus’ Name,

If You’ve Never Asked Jesus to Be Your Savior

If you’ve never asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you can do that today as you pray this prayer:

Dear Lord, I come to You today as a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe He was born of a virgin, lived on earth as a man, and died on a cross as a sacrifice for my sins. I believe that on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to many, and ascended into heaven where He sits at Your right hand. Jesus, I receive you as my Lord and Savior, and give my life to You. I accept, by faith, that I am now a child of God.
In Jesus’ Name,

If you prayed that prayer, I would love to hear from you at

Now It’s Your Turn

Has there ever been a time when you felt as though you wanted to hide from God?

How did God draw you back to Himself?

Is there any particular sin God has brought to your attention that you need to repent of (turn and go in the opposite direction)?

What assurance do you have that God has forgiven you?

How do you know you have eternal life?

Write your own “but God” story today. I was…………but God………….

More from the Girlfriend

The Bible says that when we come to Christ, we are a new creation. Since that is true, then why do we struggle with the same old issues? If I am a new creation, then why don’t I act like one? I think it is because we don’t have a good understanding of who we are as a child of God and the incredible power that lies within us. If you would like to learn more about who you are, what you have and where you are as a child of God, check out my book, Becoming Spiritually Beautiful: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You. It also comes with a Bible study guide in the back.

And…drumroll…the expanded print version of A 14-Day Romance Challenge with over 250 ways to romance your husband is now here!

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

No Place for Prejudice - Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Day 12

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 Colossians 3:8-11.

Colosse included people from a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds:
  • Greeks, whose cultural heritage dominated the Roman world,
  • Jews, who prided themselves as God’s chosen people,
  • Barbarians, who spoke no Greek and therefore lacked social standing,
  • Scythians, a cruel, warlike people from the north, and
  • Slaves, workers at the bottom of society.
Members of all of these groups became followers of Christ and joined the community of believers at Colosse. But their ethnic prejudices created problems, which Paul listed (Col. 3:8, 9). He gives these attitudes and behaviors blunt and unattractive names: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, and lying. Paul challenged this culturally mixed group to shed these attitudes and behaviors like old clothes and put on Christ instead. He might have been alluding to a first-century baptismal creed that reminded converts that they were joining a new family in Christ.

God’s family has no place for prejudice. Membership in His family calls for new ways of relating to others, with kindness, humility, meekness, forbearance, and forgiveness (Col. 3:12–17). Whenever we act on these ideals, we take a step toward transforming our church and culture.

More: Paul often challenged new believers to set aside their old ways for a new life in Christ.

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

LHM Daily Devotion - "More than a Piece of Peace"

 January 23, 2017

She will bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins ... "and they shall call His Name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). - Matthew 1:21, 23b

In the new year, we tend to talk about hope, don't we? But today in the world in which we live it's good to remind ourselves of the Christmas-Easter message of peace: peace that lasts . And, when we talk about peace, we tend to mean peaceful circumstances, right? We want the peace that comes with bills paid, relationships intact, body/health doing fine, and purposeful work to do. That's the kind of peace that folks are striving for with all that they do -- day in and day out. So, when something interrupts those peaceful circumstances, we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of anxiety, anxiousness, fear and discord. And, as you get older, you begin to realize that those circumstances seem to arise out of nowhere, more and more often, with a clear awareness that we don't have the capability to handle all things, at all times.

People often tell me if you have enough money, you can buy all the peace you need. But I remember a very wealthy man who had everything, but still lived in fear. He had to stash his money in several hidden places so that people wouldn't steal it, so that he would have money when his health started to fade. And even before all those fears eventually happened, he was living in the daily fear of potentially losing it all everyday anyway. If you are satisfied with just having a  piece  of this world's peace, if you are satisfied with this world's best offers, its limited promises -- the only news the Bible has for you is  that peace won't last.

That's why Christmas and Easter are so important to you, to me, to all of us. It's the promise of peace we really need. It's an offer of peace that is beyond our control and greater than our circumstances. And that's what our Bible verse is talking about today. It tells us about the peace of God that He brings when He comes into our life and He promises to be with us in all circumstances in this world -- ultimately promising that in Him we will live forever in heaven. It's the peace that comes when you know One that is able, One that is capable, and that One is with you in all things to bring you blessing. That's peace that lasts. That peace comes when you realize that Jesus is "Immanuel," God with us -- God with you.

When you realize in Him, you have enough, then the way you face the issues of the day changes. I tell you too that when you realize that in Him you have everything -- even more than enough -- then life becomes a journey that ends in His abundant joy, eternal life, and a peace that lasts: circumstances included.

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, give me courage and wisdom not to settle for the  pieces  of peace that this world offers because I know they don't last. Let me rather put my faith in You and follow You in all things, with the knowledge that having You in my life -- that's the peace I need! 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 - La verdad

23 de Enero 2017

¿Quién de ustedes puede acusarme de haber pecado? Y si digo la verdad, ¿por qué no me creen? El que es de Dios, escucha las palabras de Dios; pero ustedes no las escuchan, porque no son de Dios. Juan 8:46-47

Honestidad y ética.

El propósito de la encuesta 'Honestidad y Ética' realizada por la agencia de encuestas Gallup, fue averiguar cuánto confían los ciudadanos en sus autoridades. He aquí algunos de los resultados:

    El 55% de los entrevistados tiene en muy baja estima a los legisladores.

    El 49% de los entrevistados considera de poca confianza a los Senadores.

    El clero está mejor ubicado, ya que un 50% de los entrevistados lo considera en muy alta estima.

Sin lugar a dudas, la desconfianza toca todos los ámbitos de la vida. Ni siquiera el Señor ha logrado escapar a las dudas de sus inquisidores: ¿Cómo sé que la Biblia es la verdadera Palabra de Dios? ¿Cómo puedo estar seguro que Jesús es el único Salvador? ¿Cómo puedocreer que lo que la iglesia enseña es correcto?

Todas estas son preguntas legítimas que merecen una respuesta.

Y la respuesta se encuentra en las palabras de Jesús: "Y si digo la verdad..." ¿Dijo Jesús la verdad? ¿Ha hablado Dios la verdad? Las Escrituras registran a muchos autores inspirados, quienes hablaron a lo largo de muchos siglos. ¿Se cumplieron sus profecías en la persona de Cristo?

Durante sus tres años de ministeri, Jesús dijo muchas cosas. ¿Fueron cosas fueron irrefutables? Él hizo predicciones con respecto a su vida, muerte y resurrección. ¿Se cumplieron esas predicciones? ¿Fueron todas cumplidas? ¿Fueron cumplidas de acuerdo a los tiempos establecidos?

El Señor anima a toda mente inquisitiva a que busque respuestas en su Palabra. Toda persona honrada encontrará allí que en el Dios Trino se puede confiar. Jesús es digno de confianza, y todo el que ha recibido fe en el Redentor, ha recibido también la salvación.

ORACIÓN: Amado Señor, yo creo; ayúdame en mi incredulidad. En un mundo donde la verdad parece ser cuestionable y relativa, permíteme encontrar paz en la verdad sólida de tu Palabra y de la salvación obtenida por tu Hijo. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

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

Our Daily Bread - Lack Nothing

Read: Mark 6:7–12 | Bible in a Year: Exodus 7–8; Matthew 15:1–20

God is able to bless you abundantly, so that . . . you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

Imagine going on a trip without luggage. No basic necessities. No change of clothing. No money or credit cards. Sounds both unwise and terrifying, doesn’t it?

But that’s exactly what Jesus told His twelve disciples to do when He sent them out on their first mission to preach and heal. “Take nothing for the journey except a staff,” said Jesus. “No bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt” (Mark 6:8–9).

Yet later on when Jesus was preparing them for their work after He was gone, He told His disciples, “If you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36).

So, what’s the point here? It’s about trusting God to supply.

When Jesus referred back to that first trip, He asked the disciples, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” And they answered, “Nothing” (v. 35). The disciples had everything they needed to carry out what God had called them to do. He was able to supply them with the power to do His work (Mark 6:7).

Do we trust God to supply our needs? Are we also taking personal responsibility and planning? Let’s have faith that He will give us what we need to carry out His work.

You are good, Lord, and all You do is good. Help us in our endeavors to pray and to plan and to trust You.

God’s will done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission

 © 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - No nos falta nada

Leer: Marcos 6:7-12 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 15:1-20

Y poderoso es Dios para hacer que abunde en vosotros toda gracia, a fin de que […] abundéis para toda buena obra (2 Corintios 9:8).

Imagina salir de viaje sin equipaje. Nada de artículos básicos ni de ropa para cambiarnos; nada de dinero ni tarjetas de crédito. Suena bastante insensato y aterrador, ¿no?

Sin embargo, esto es exactamente lo que Jesús les dijo a sus doce discípulos que hicieran cuando los mandó en su primer viaje misionero a predicar y a sanar: «Y les mandó que no llevasen nada para el camino, sino solamente bordón; ni alforja, ni pan, ni dinero en el cinto, sino que calzasen sandalias, y no vistiesen dos túnicas» (Marcos 6:8-9).

Incluso, tiempo después, cuando los estaba preparando para la labor después de que Él se fuera, les dijo: «el que tiene bolsa, tómela, y también la alforja; y el que no tiene espada, venda su capa y compre una» (Lucas 22:36).

¿Cuál es la idea en todo esto? Se trata de confiar en que Dios suplirá todo lo necesario.

Cuando el Señor volvió a referirse a aquel primer viaje, preguntó: «Cuando os envié sin bolsa, sin alforja, y sin calzado, ¿os faltó algo? Ellos dijeron: Nada» (v. 35). Los discípulos tuvieron todo lo necesario para llevar a cabo lo que Dios los había llamado a hacer. Él tenía la capacidad de darles poder para hacer la obra (Marcos 6:7).

¿Confiamos en que Dios suplirá todo lo que necesitamos? Tengamos fe en que lo hará. 

Señor, ayúdame a confiar en tus planes y en tu provisión.

«La voluntad de Dios hecha a la manera de Dios nunca carecerá de la provisión de Dios». Hudson Taylor

© 2017 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Kein Mangel

Lesen: Markus 6,7-12 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 2.Mose 7–8; Matthäus 15,1-20

Gott kann machen, dass alle Gnade unter euch reichlich sei, damit ihr . . . reich seid zu jedem guten Werk. 2.Korinther 9,8

Stell dir vor, du würdest ohne Gepäck auf eine Reise gehen—ohne Kleider zum Wechseln, ohne Geld und Kreditkarten, ohne die allernötigsten Dinge. Irgendwie unklug und beängstigend, oder?

Aber genau das befahl Jesus seinen zwölf Jüngern, als er sie zu ihrem ersten Missionseinsatz losschickte. Er „gebot ihnen, nichts mitzunehmen auf den Weg als allein einen Stab, kein Brot, keine Tasche, kein Geld im Gürtel, wohl aber Schuhe, und nicht zwei Hemden anzuziehen“ (Mark. 6,8-9).

Als er sie später auf die Arbeit vorbereitete, die sie tun sollten, wenn er nicht mehr da war, sagte er allerdings: „Wer einen Geldbeutel hat, der nehme ihn, desgleichen auch die Tasche, und wer’s nicht hat, verkaufe seinen Mantel und kaufe ein Schwert“ (Luk. 22,36).

Worum geht es also? Es geht darum, zu vertrauen, dass Gott gibt, was wir brauchen.

Im Rückblick auf den ersten Einsatz fragte Jesus die Jünger: „Als ich euch ausgesandt habe ohne Geldbeutel, ohne Tasche und ohne Schuhe, habt ihr da je Mangel gehabt? Sie sprachen: Niemals“ (V.35). Sie hatten alles, was sie brauchten, um zu tun, wozu Gott sie berufen hatte. Er gab ihnen die Macht, sein Werk zu tun (Mark. 6,7).

Vertrauen wir darauf, dass Gott uns gibt, was nötig ist? Übernehmen wir Verantwortung und machen Pläne? Wir wollen glauben, dass er uns alles gibt, damit wir sein Werk tun können.

Du bist gut, Herr, und alles, was du tust, ist gut. Hilf uns, beim Beten und beim Planen dir zu vertrauen.

Gottes Werk nach Gottes Willen getan, lässt niemals Gottes Hilfe vermissen. Hudson Taylor

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Хлеб наш насущный - Хватит всего

Читать сейчас: Марка 6:7-12 | Библия за год: Исход 7-8; Матфея 15:1-20

Бог же силен обогатить вас всякой благодатью, чтобы вы... были богаты на всякое доброе дело. — 2 Коринфянам 9:8

Представьте, что вы отправляетесь в путешествие без багажа. Ни предметов первой необходимости, ни сменной одежды, ни денег. Звучит одновременно неразумно и страшновато, не правда ли?

Но именно так послал Иисус Своих учеников в их первое миссионерское путешествие, дав им задание проповедовать и исцелять. «Ничего не берите с собой в дорогу, кроме одного посоха, – сказал Он, – ни сумы, ни хлеба, ни меди в поясе. Обувайтесь в простую обувь и не носите двух одежд» (Мк. 6:8-9). 

А позже, когда Иисус готовил учеников к труду после Своего ухода, Он сказал им: «Кто имеет мешок, тот возьми его, также и суму; а у кого нет, продай одежду свою и купи меч» (Лк. 22:36).
В чем же здесь дело? Дело в доверии Божьей заботе.

Вспоминая первое миссионерское путешествие, Христос спросил учеников: «Когда Я посылал вас без мешка, и без сумы, и без обуви, имели ли вы в чем недостаток?» Они отвечали: «Ни в чем» (Лк. 22:35). У них было все необходимое, чтобы исполнить Божье поручение. Он мог обеспечить их всем, в том числе и силой для труда (Мк. 6:7).

Доверяем ли мы Богу? Верим ли, что Он позаботится о наших нуждах? Понимаем ли также свою личную ответственность в служении? Будем верить, что Он пошлет нам все необходимое для исполнения Его воли.

Ты благ, Господь, и все, что Ты делаешь, хорошо. Помоги нам во всем полагаться на Тебя.

«Божья воля исполнится Божьим способом и никогда не будет терпеть недостатка». – Гудзон Тейлор, основатель Китайской миссии.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный

Notre Pain Quotidien - Ne manquant de rien

Lisez : Marc 6.7‑12 | La Bible en un an : Exode 7 – 8 et Matthieu 15.1-20

Et Dieu peut vous combler de toutes sortes de grâces, afin que […] vous ayez encore en abondance pour toute bonne oeuvre. (2 Corinthiens 9.8)

Imaginez partir en voyage sans bagages. Pas même le strict minimum. Aucun vêtement de rechange. Ni argent ni cartes de crédit. Tout cela semblerait aussi imprudent que terrifiant, n’est‑ce pas ?

C’est pourtant précisément ce que Jésus a demandé à ses douze disciples de faire en les envoyant en mission de prédication et de guérison pour la première fois : « Il leur prescrivit de ne rien prendre pour le voyage, si ce n’est un bâton ; de n’avoir ni pain, ni sac, ni monnaie dans la ceinture ; de chausser des sandales, et de ne pas revêtir deux tuniques » (MC 6.8,9).

Reste qu’en les préparant à oeuvrer après son départ, Jésus leur a dit par la suite : « Maintenant, au contraire, que celui qui a une bourse la prenne et que celui qui a un sac le prenne également, que celui qui n’a point d’épée vende son vêtement et achète une épée » (LU 22.36). Quoi donc en conclure ? Il s’agit de compter sur la générosité de Dieu.

Faisant allusion à leur premier voyage, Jésus les a interrogés ainsi : « Quand je vous ai envoyés sans bourse, sans sac, et sans souliers, avez‑vous manqué de quelque chose ? Ils répondirent : De rien » (V. 35). C’est dire qu’ils avaient tout pour mener à bien leur mission, à savoir le pouvoir d’accomplir l’oeuvre de Dieu (MC 6.7).

Nous fions‑nous à Dieu pour combler nos besoins ? Assumons‑nous aussi nos responsabilités et notre planification ? Croyons fermement qu’il nous donnera le nécessaire pour accomplir son oeuvre.

Sa volonté faite selon ses voies est gage de bénédictions.