Saturday, January 28, 2017

The gift of godparents

By Scott Seeke

My daughter gets a package from her godmother every June near the anniversary of her baptism. When she was little, it was usually a book. As she grew older the books kept coming, but occasionally there would be other things instead. This year two presents arrived—a cross and spirit necklaces from Iona and Taizé, precious gifts indeed. Every gift was a reminder of my daughter’s baptism, that she is loved by God and her godmother.

This year’s present came with a bonus—lunch.

My daughter’s godmother was in town a couple of months after the baptismal anniversary and took her to lunch. That might not sound like much, but my daughter is 13. It’s a hard age, one at which kids need all the love and support they can get. The time her godmother invested in that lunch was love in action—after it my daughter was reassured she is loved by her godmother, and God, no matter what.

Neither lunch, nor the crosses, nor any of the other presents were required. Little is expected of godparents. Typically all they do is show up at the baptism, say yes to a couple of promises they hadn’t even considered and then do nothing. It’s what most of us godparents have done, including, unfortunately, myself.

But I’ve learned that a godparent can be so much more. My daughter’s relationship has shown me the impact a faithful godparent can have on a child. Godparents can make a world of difference in a child’s life simply by being present, whether it’s through lunch, gifts or in some other way. It’s a unique role, one that I will fulfill better in the future and will never take for granted again.

Questions for reflection with your child
  • What is baptism?
  • What does it mean to be baptized?
  • Who is your godparent, and how would you like to spend more time with them?
  • What questions do you have for your godparent about baptism and God?
  • For future parents: Be thoughtful about this decision. Ask someone who will take the “God” part of “godparent” seriously.
  • For current parents or grandparents: Talk with children about baptism. Ask them questions. Have them ask you questions. Remember their baptism by marking their forehead with the cross of Christ, and tell them God loves them and you do too.
  • For godparents: Claim your role. Remind your godchild of the anniversary of their baptism every year. Send a small gift to remind them of your love and faithfulness. Spend quality time with them, and just them, when you can. They know you don’t have to, but you choose to, just as God did. Simply by being part of their lives, they will experience God’s love and faithfulness through you.
Scott Seeke is pastor of Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Lawrenceville, Ga. He is also a writer best known for the film Get Low and the follow-up book Uncle Bush’s Live Funeral, now available on You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and at

The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, January 28, 2017

The Old Testament Reading
Isaiah 51:1-8
Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the LORD. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many. For the LORD will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song. Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples. I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended. Listen to me, you who know righteousness, you people who have my teaching in your hearts; do not fear the reproach of others, and do not be dismayed when they revile you. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but my deliverance will be forever, and my salvation to all generations.

This is the Word of the Lord

The Epistle Reading
Galatians 3:23-29
Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.

This is the Word of the Lord

The Holy Gospel Reading
Mark 7:1-23
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?" He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.' You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition." Then he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother' and, 'Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.' But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, 'Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban' (that is, an offering to God)-- then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this." Then he called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile." When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, "Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, "It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."

Here ends the Gospel reading for today.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 55 Exaudi, Deus
1   Hear my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my petition.
2   Listen to me and answer me; I have no peace, because of my cares.
3   I am shaken by the noise of the enemy and by the pressure of the wicked;
4   For they have cast an evil spell upon me and are set against me in fury.
5   My heart quakes within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
6   Fear and trembling have come over me, and horror overwhelms me.
7   And I said, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
8   I would flee to a far-off place and make my lodging in the wilderness.
9   I would hasten to escape from the stormy wind and tempest."
10   Swallow them up, O Lord; confound their speech; for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
11   Day and night the watchmen make their rounds upon her walls, but trouble and misery are in the midst of her.
12   There is corruption at her heart; her streets are never free of oppression and deceit.
13   For had it been an adversary who taunted me, then I could have borne it; or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me, then I could have hidden from him.
14   But it was you, a man after my own heart, my companion, my own familiar friend.
15   We took sweet counsel together, and walked with the throng in the house of God.
16   Let death come upon them suddenly; let them go down alive to the grave; for wickedness is in their dwellings, in their very midst.
17   But I will call upon God, and the LORD will deliver me.
18   In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday, I will complain and lament, and he will hear my voice.
19   He will bring me safely back from the battle waged against me; for there are many who fight me.
20   God, who is enthroned of old, will hear me and bring them down; they never change; they do not fear God.
21   My companion stretched forth his hand against his comrade; he has broken his covenant.
22   His speech is softer than butter, but war is in his heart.
23   His words are smoother than oil, but they are drawn swords.
24   Cast your burden upon the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous stumble.
25   For you will bring the bloodthirsty and deceitful down to the pit of destruction, O God.
26   They shall not live out half their days, but I will put my trust in you.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 138 Confitebor tibi
1   I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing your praise.
2   I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your Name, because of your love and faithfulness;
3   For you have glorified your Name and your word above all things.
4   When I called, you answered me; you increased my strength within me.
5   All the kings of the earth will praise you, O LORD, when they have heard the words of your mouth.
6   They will sing of the ways of the LORD, that great is the glory of the LORD.
7   Though the LORD be high, he cares for the lowly; he perceives the haughty from afar.
8   Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe; you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right hand shall save me.
9   The LORD will make good his purpose for me; O LORD, your love endures for ever; do not abandon the works of your hands.

Psalm 139 Domine, probasti
1   LORD, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
2   You trace my journeys and my resting-places and are acquainted with all my ways.
3   Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, but you, O LORD, know it altogether.
4   You press upon me behind and before and lay your hand upon me.
5   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
6   Where can I go then from your Spirit? where can I flee from your presence?
7   If I climb up to heaven, you are there; if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
8   If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
9   Even there your hand will lead me and your right hand hold me fast.
10   If I say, "Surely the darkness will cover me, and the light around me turn to night, "
11   Darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day; darkness and light to you are both alike.
12   For you yourself created my inmost parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
13   I will thank you because I am marvelously made; your works are wonderful, and I know it well.
14   My body was not hidden from you, while I was being made in secret and woven in the depths of the earth.
15   Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb; all of them were written in your book; they were fashioned day by day, when as yet there was none of them.
16   How deep I find your thoughts, O God! how great is the sum of them!
17   If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand; to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours.
18   Oh, that you would slay the wicked, O God! You that thirst for blood, depart from me.
19   They speak despitefully against you; your enemies take your Name in vain.
20   Do I not hate those, O LORD, who hate you? and do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
21   I hate them with a perfect hatred; they have become my own enemies.
22   Search me out, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my restless thoughts.
23   Look well whether there be any wickedness in me and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

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 28, 2017

John 4:24 (NIV) God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Read all of John 4

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

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - "He Went His Way"

So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. (Luke 22:4, NKJV)

The Bible tells the story of Mary, who anointed the feet of Jesus with expensive, fragrant perfume. But as the scent filled the air, Judas said indignantly, "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" (John 12:5).

I wonder whether the other disciples looked at him and thought, "Right on, Judas! Why didn't I think of that? That Judas—he's always thinking of others. He's so caring. He's so benevolent."

No, he was so hypocritical. The reason Judas said that, according to verse 6, was because he was the treasurer and was skimming off the top. Outwardly, Judas appeared to be so religious, so caring, so compassionate. And ironically, the person he was criticizing appeared to be frivolous and wasteful.

But things are not always as they appear, are they? The one who appeared to be the most spiritual was the least so. And the one who appeared to be the least spiritual was, in reality, the most spiritual.

When he was at his most wicked, Judas appeared to be godly. His life could be summed in a phrase found in Luke 22:4: "so he went his way." Judas wasn't always evil outright; it was a process that took place over a period of time. And in most cases, you will find that sin follows the same pattern. It's a process. We don't deliberately choose to end up the way we do.

It might start out with a few little white lies. And then after a while, you can't remember what is true anymore. It might start with a little flirtation with someone you aren't married to. It might start out with some area that doesn't seem to be that bad. But the next thing you know, you've fallen headlong into sin.

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 - Dios es tu ayudador

No tengas miedo ni te desanimes, porque Dios el Señor, mi Dios, estará contigo. No te dejará ni te abandonará. (1 Crónicas 28:20)

Dios es el único que nos ayuda en medio del dolor en la pérdida de un ser querido. Es el único que puede comprender ese dolor porque Él también perdió a su Hijo, Jesús.

Dios es nuestro Consolador y nos lo dejó por medio del Espíritu Santo. Por eso, cuando estamos sufriendo, nuestro Padre se interesa por nuestro dolor.

Y nos envía consuelo, paz y alivio.

¿Por qué Dios permite el dolor? Nunca entenderemos el porqué Dios lo permite. Entonces, ¿cómo consuelas a una madre que por años disfrutó de su hijo y ahora no lo ve más? ¿Cómo llenas una habitación que ha quedado repleta de recuerdos como fotos, ropa, juguetes y cosas que te recuerdan ese hijo amado? Solo Dios puede ser nuestra ayuda en medio de la pérdida. Él es el único que nos puede llenar de la paz que sobrepasa todo entendimiento.

Si estás atravesando por esta situación y has perdido un ser querido, recuerda que Dios es tu ayudador. Él te ama y te consuela en medio del dolor…

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 - SATAN’S CHANGING TACTICS

…We declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8

Today’s devotional comes from our founder and friend, Brother Andrew:

Have you ever noticed the strategy Satan used throughout Old Testament history? His attacks were aimed at preventing the birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem, but, once Jesus was born, Satan’s tactics changed somewhat. In some instances, he tried to kill Jesus before the Lord could reach the cross. At other times, Satan engineered numerous attempts to discredit Him—to cause Him to stumble or to sin.

But Satan met defeat at the cross. He failed to understand God’s strategy, and his final blunder actually forced events so that Jesus, though innocent, was condemned to die. The Apostle Paul noted that Satan did not understand this in 1 Corinthians 2:8. Since that time, Satan’s tactics have changed. He’s still concerned about preventing the Word—the Word that was with God and is God (John 1:1)—from reaching people who are under Satan’s dominion. His attack is now two-pronged.

First Satan concentrates on the life and name of Jesus which each and every believer bears as the Lord’s representative. I believe it is important for Christians undergoing persecution to realize the attack they are under is actually directed not at them, but at the life of Jesus in them, a life which they have power to transmit to others.

Satan will make every effort to discredit you, to frighten you and to silence your witness in order that the new life in you stops with you. Sometimes Satan overreaches himself, just as he did at the cross, and sends a believer to a martyr’s grave but that life lives on in other believers who continue to bear witness more gloriously and triumphantly than ever.

That the church not only survives, but grows under such persecution has been demonstrated beautifully by the church in China. After missionaries were forced to leave in 1950, and all ties were cut with the body of Christ, believers were put through the horrible experience of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Christians were killed or imprisoned, Bibles burned, and the remaining believers scattered all over China. The attack was clearly on the life and name of Jesus as manifested in believer’s lives.

As these sufferers scattered, they took the life of Jesus with them, and just as was the case with the early believers in Jerusalem, Those who were scattered went about preaching the Word (Acts 8:4). Now we see the harvest in China as millions of Christians are identified, meeting together for fellowship and worship in remote provinces…

I want others to have the one who makes me happy—Jesus.

RESPONSE: Today I will be aware of Satan’s attempts to silence my witness for Jesus and resist him!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the way You bring good from the evil tactics of the enemy of our soul. Help me stand strong against his attack on the life and name of Jesus in me.

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

NIV Devotions for Couples - Cue Cards for Praise

Psalm 95:1–11

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Psalm 95:1

Imagine meeting someone famous and having to keep that news to yourself. Or what if you had pictures of your first child and no one to show them to? Praise and thanksgiving beg for company; joining with other voices makes the worship so much sweeter!

Psalm 95 tells us to find companions as we praise: “Come, let us sing . . . let us shout . . . let us bow down . . . let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Psalm 95:1,6). Marriage gives us a companion in praise—someone to share all the exciting details, someone to cheer and sing and laugh with before the Lord.

Psalms is our songbook; the psalms, our cue cards for praising God. Psalm 95 puts words in our mouths to express the joy in our hearts. And if our songs have gone all mumbly and dull, this psalm helps us rejuvenate our singing together.

This song has four stanzas that give us a structure for our praise. Verses 1–2 have us on our feet, singing at the tops of our voices to our champion, the Lord. The reason for such exuberance is described in the second stanza, in verses 3–5. We worship by picturing great mountains, pounding seas and majestic sunsets. And we come away ready to trust our mountain-moving God, our sea-parting Savior, our world-holding King.

We can praise God in a similar way, but we sing this kind of praise best when we gather with God’s people in church. Don’t miss such celebrations!

The third stanza, verses 6–7a, is an entirely different kind of melody; it is soft and thoughtful. This music bows our heads and brings us to our knees. We sing softly that the great God who made us is the Good Shepherd who feeds and leads us, who guards and guides our lives.

Try worshiping by recounting God’s provision—your first apartment, for example, or unexpected money when things were very tight. Praising God for his “shepherd care” is important for our future, for it is how we learn to trust God to guide us through the next dark valley or be our protection in a troubled tomorrow.

Psalm 95 ends in a minor key (verses 7b–11), reminding us of what happens when we fail to let worship shape our will and our ways. Israel had sung songs about God’s greatness and care when he had miraculously delivered them from Egypt and provided for them in the desert. But later, when God didn’t come through for them as quickly as they wanted, the people lost faith in the God they had sung about, and they ended up being prohibited from entering the promised land, the place where God intended to give them “rest” (verse 11).

What a great reminder to be full of praise—praise that is both exuberant and humble. When we worship God in our times of triumph, it prepares us to trust God in our times of struggle and prevents us from hardening our hearts toward him.

Lee Eclov

Let’s Talk
  • How does worshiping God as a couple help us spiritually? How can worshiping together have the kind of variety and breadth that we see in this psalm?
  • How do we worship together with other believers? What could we do to worship more effectively with them?
  • When might we be most tempted to “harden [our] hearts” (Psalm 95:8) and not trust God? How can we use worship times to fortify ourselves against such temptations?

LHM Daily Devotion - "No Immunity"

 January 28, 2017

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

When making their reports, the scientific world generally tries to find a happy balance between good news and bad news.

Recently, Dr. Alexander Kallen, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made a report about a 70-year-old woman from Reno who had died from CRE (carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae). There was no good news in his report. Kallen's dark perspective was echoed by Dr. James Johnson, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota. Johnson said, "I think this is the harbinger of future badness to come."

And what has made these MDs into such gloomy-gusses?

Simple: a 70-year-old woman had died from a superbug that shrugged off every legal United States antibiotic. Subsequent testing showed the bug was immune to more than 26 different antibiotics. In other words, this illness doesn't have a cure, which is very bad news for everybody who contracts it.

Now thankfully, this lady, who had first developed a bone infection when she was in India years ago, seems to be the only person to have come down with this particular bacteria. Nobody else seems to be showing any sign of her symptoms.

Heaven help them if whole multitudes of folk start showing symptoms and contract this bad-news bacteria. Heaven is going to have to help them because antibiotics won't.

My friends, 2,000 years ago God's Son came into this world. During His time with us Jesus fulfilled the Laws we had broken, declined every temptation which we find to be so, well, so tempting, and He died our death -- the punishment our many sins had earned.

But Jesus' sacrifice was made a long time ago. Do you think it is possible that, over the centuries, some of our sins have become so big, so strong, that they are now resistant to the forgiveness won by the Savior's shed blood?

When we confess our sins to the Lord, are there some sins which have the ability to shrug off Calvary's sacrifice and leave us frightened and salvation uncertain?

The answer to those questions is simple: no, it is not possible.

Understand, that's not my opinion, that's God's promise. Look at the passage above. "The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin." It doesn't say  some  sins, or  most  sins, or  little  sins, or  common  sins. All sins include the very worst that humanity's perversity can devise.

It says that God's forgiveness is complete for the very worst you and I have done.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are times when the devil tries to convince me that You are unable to forgive the worst of my transgressions, and those sins are resistant to Your grace,. At such times may I remember  the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sins . In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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

Our Daily Bread - Always Loved, Always Valued

Read: Romans 8:31–39 | Bible in a Year: Exodus 19–20; Matthew 18:21–35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35

We serve a God who loves us more than our work.

Oh, it’s true that God wants us to work to feed our families and to responsibly take care of the world He created. And He expects us to serve the weak, hungry, naked, thirsty, and broken people around us even as we remain alert to those who have not yet responded to the Holy Spirit's tug on their lives.

And yet we serve a God who loves us more than our work.

We must never forget this because there may come a time when our ability to “do for God” is torn from us by health or failure or unforeseen catastrophe. It is in those hours that God wants us to remember that He loves us not for what we do for Him but because of who we are: His children! Once we call on the name of Christ for salvation, nothing—“trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword”—will ever again separate us “from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35, 39).

When all we can do or all we have is taken from us, then all He wants us to do is rest in our identity in Him.

Father, help us never lose sight of the unconditional love You have for us, and let us hold on to that hope when our labor—and the fruit of our labor—are gone.

The reason we exist is to be in fellowship with God.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Nuestro Pan Diario - Siempre amado y valorado

Leer: Romanos 8:31-39 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 18:21-35

¿Quién nos separará del amor de Cristo? ¿Tribulación, o angustia, o persecución, o hambre, o desnudez, o peligro, o espada? (Romanos 8:35).

Servimos a un Dios que nos ama más a nosotros que lo que hacemos.

Sí, es verdad que el Señor quiere que trabajemos para dar de comer a nuestra familia y que cuidemos responsablemente del mundo que Él creó. También espera que sirvamos a las personas débiles, hambrientas, desnudas, sedientas y quebrantadas que nos rodean, y que nos mantengamos alertas ante aquellos que aún no han respondido al llamado del Espíritu Santo a sus vidas.

Pero, aun así, servimos a un Dios que nos ama más a nosotros que lo que hacemos.

Nunca debemos olvidar esto, porque tal vez llegue un momento en que nuestra capacidad para «hacer para Dios» se termine por problemas de salud, fracasos o tragedias imprevistas. En esas ocasiones, el Señor quiere que recordemos que no nos ama por lo que hacemos para Él, sino por lo que somos: ¡sus hijos! Una vez que le pedimos a Cristo que nos salve, nada —ni «tribulación, o angustia, o persecución, o hambre, o desnudez, o peligro, o espada»—nos separará jamás «del amor de Dios, que es en Cristo Jesús Señor nuestro» (Romanos 8:35, 39).

Cuando todo lo que tenemos o hemos hecho ya no está, lo único que Dios quiere es que descansemos en nuestra identidad en Él.

Señor, aunque pierda todo, que nunca me olvide de tu amor incondicional por mí.

Cuando lo perdemos todo, Dios solamente quiere que descansemos en lo que somos en Él.

Unser Täglich Brot - Immer geliebt

Lesen: Römer 8,31-39 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 2.Mose 19–20; Matthäus 18,21-35

Wer will uns scheiden von der Liebe Christi? Trübsal oder Angst oder Verfolgung oder Hunger oder Blöße oder Gefahr oder Schwert? Römer 8,35

Wir dienen einem Gott, der uns mehr liebt als unsere Arbeit.

Sicher, Gott will, dass wir arbeiten, um unsere Familie zu ernähren, und uns verantwortungsvoll um die Welt kümmern, die er geschaffen hat. Und er erwartet, dass wir den Schwachen, Hungrigen, Nackten, Durstigen und Zerbrochenen um uns herum dienen und gleichzeitig an die denken, die noch nicht auf das Drängen des Heiligen Geistes reagiert haben.

Und dennoch dienen wir einem Gott, der uns mehr liebt als unsere Arbeit.

Das dürfen wir nie vergessen, denn es kann eine Zeit kommen, in der wir nicht mehr „für Gott wirken“ können, weil wir krank sind, etwas Unvorhergesehenes passiert oder wir aus anderen Gründen nicht mehr können. Aber gerade in diesen Stunden sollen wir wissen, dass Gott uns nicht deswegen liebt, weil wir etwas für ihn tun, sondern weil wir sind, wer wir sind: seine Kinder! Sobald wir den Namen Jesu angerufen haben, kann uns nichts mehr „von der Liebe Gottes [trennen], die in Christus Jesus ist unserm Herrn“—keine „Trübsal oder Angst oder Verfolgung oder Hunger oder Blöße oder Gefahr oder Schwert“ (Röm. 8,35.39).

Wenn alles, was wir können oder haben, von uns genommen ist, dann will er von uns nicht mehr, als dass wir in ihm Ruhe finden.

Vater, lass uns nie vergessen, dass du uns bedingungslos liebst, und lass uns an dieser Hoffnung festhalten, wenn unsere Arbeit—und die Früchte unserer Arbeit—nicht mehr da sind.

Wir leben, damit wir Gemeinschaft mit Gott haben.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - Toujours aimé, toujours estimé

Qui nous séparera de l’amour de Christ ? Sera‑ce la tribulation, ou l’angoisse, ou la persécution, ou la faim, ou la nudité, ou le péril, ou l’épée ? (Romains 8.35)

Nous servons un Dieu qui nous aime plus que nos oeuvres.

Il est bien vrai que Dieu désire que nous veillions à nourrir notre famille et à prendre soin du monde qu’il a créé et nous a confié. Il s’attend à ce que nous nous mettions au service des faibles, de ceux qui ont faim, qui sont nus, qui ont soif et qui ont le coeur brisé autour de nous, au même titre que nous restions sensibles aux besoins de ceux qui n’ont pas encore accepté l’invitation du Saint‑Esprit à laisser entrer Christ dans leur vie.

Nous servons pourtant un Dieu qui nous aime plus que nos oeuvres.

Nous ne devons jamais l’oublier, car il se peut que le jour vienne où notre capacité à « oeuvrer pour Dieu » nous soit enlevée, par la maladie, l’échec ou un malheur inattendu. Or, c’est dans ces moments que Dieu désire que nous nous rappelions qu’il nous aime non en raison de ce que nous faisons pour lui, mais de qui nous sommes : ses enfants ! Dès l’instant où nous demandons à Christ de nous sauver, rien – « la tribulation, ou l’angoisse, ou la persécution, ou la faim, ou la nudité, ou le péril » – ne saurait nous séparer à nouveau « de l’amour de Dieu manifesté en Jésus‑Christ notre Seigneur » (RO 8.35,39).

Lorsque nous perdons toutes nos capacités et tous nos biens, alors tout ce qu’il souhaite, c’est que nous nous reposions dans notre identité en lui.

Communier avec Dieu est notre raison d’être.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Завжди любить і цінує

Читати: Римлян 8:31-39 | Біблія за рік: Вихід 19–20 ; Матвія 18:21-35

Хто нас розлучить від любови Христової? Чи недоля, чи утиск, чи переслідування, чи голод, чи нагота, чи небезпека, чи меч? — Римлян 8:35

Ми служимо Богу, Який більше любить нас, ніж нашу працю.

Звісно, Бог чекає від нас, щоб ми працювали, годували наші сім’ї, турбувались з відповідальністю про цей світ, що Він створив. Він також бажає, щоб ми піклувались про слабких, голодних, спраглих, нужденних і взагалі нещасних людей – хоча при цьому й не забували про долю тих, хто ще не відповіли на голос Святого Духа в їхньому житті. 

І все-таки ми служимо Богу, Який більше любить нас, ніж нашу працю.

Не потрібно про це забувати, тому що може прийти час, коли здібність “щось робити для Бога” відніметься від нас – через хворобу, різні проблеми або непередбачувану катастрофу. Саме в такі часи Бог хоче, щоб ми пам’ятали: Він любить нас не за те, що ми робимо для Нього, а за те, хто ми є – Його діти! З того моменту, як ми покликали Ім’я Христове для спасіння, ніщо – “недоля, чи утиск, чи переслідування, чи голод, чи нагота, чи небезпека, чи меч” – й ніколи вже не відлучить нас “від любови Божої, яка в Христі Ісусі, Господі нашім!” (Рим. 8:35, 39).

Якщо прийде час, коли відніметься від нас все, що ми маємо або можемо, тоді пам’ятаймо: все, що Бог тепер чекає від нас, – просто покладатися на нашу ідентичність в Ньому.

Отче, допоможи нам ніколи не втрачати з поля зору Твою безумовну любов до нас. Дай сили ціпко триматись цієї надії, коли вже не зможемо працювати для Тебе і бачити плід свого служіння.

Сенс нашого існування – спілкування з Богом. 

© 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Всегда любимы

Читать сейчас: Римлянам 8:31-39 | Библия за год: Исход 19-20; Матфея 18:21-35

Кто отлучит нас от любви Божьей: скорбь, или теснота, или гонение, или голод, или нагота, или опасность, или меч? — Римлянам 8:35

Мы служим Богу, Который любит нас больше, чем наш труд.

Конечно же, Бог желает, чтобы мы трудились, заботясь о своих семьях и мире, который Он создал. Он ожидает, что мы будем помогать слабым, голодным, раздетым, жаждущим и сокрушенным людям, даже тем, которые равнодушны к действию Святого Духа в их жизни.

И все равно, мы служим Богу, Который любит нас больше, чем наш труд.

Мы никогда не должны этого забывать, потому что могут настать времена, когда наша способность трудиться для Бога исчезнет по причине болезни или непредвиденной катастрофы. Бог желает, чтобы в такие моменты мы не забыли, что Он любит нас не за то, что мы для Него делаем, а за то, кто мы есть, – Его дети! После того как мы обратились к Иисусу Христу и обрели спасение, ничто из того, что может случиться: «скорбь, или теснота, или гонение, или голод, или нагота, или опасность, или меч», – никогда не отлучит нас «от любви Божьей во Христе Иисусе Господе нашем» (Рим. 8:35, 39).

Когда все, что мы можем сделать или что мы имеем, отнимется от нас, тогда мы можем просто успокоиться в надежде на Него.

Отче, помоги нам никогда не терять из виду Твою безусловную любовь к нам. Помоги держаться за эту надежду, когда наш труд или плод нашего труда отнимется от нас.

Причина нашего существования – общение с Богом.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный