Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, February 2, 2017 - The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ Painting from the Menologion of Basil II (c. 1000 AD)
Nunc Dimittis
LORD, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace; according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: to be a light to lighten the gentiles and to be the glory of Thy people Israel (Luke 2:29–32).

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Malachi 3:1-4

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight-- indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God


Psalm 84 Quam dilecta!
1   How dear to me is your dwelling, O LORD of hosts! My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
2   The sparrow has found her a house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young; by the side of your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.
3   Happy are they who dwell in your house! they will always be praising you.
4   Happy are the people whose strength is in you! whose hearts are set on the pilgrims' way.
5   Those who go through the desolate valley will find it a place of springs, for the early rains have covered it with pools of water.
6   They will climb from height to height, and the God of gods will reveal himself in Zion.
7   LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; hearken, O God of Jacob.
8   Behold our defender, O God; and look upon the face of your Anointed.
9   For one day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room, and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.
10   For the LORD God is both sun and shield; he will give grace and glory;
11   No good thing will the LORD withhold from those who walk with integrity.
12   O LORD of hosts, happy are they who put their trust in you!

 The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Hebrews 2:14-18

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 2:22-40
Glory be to Thee, O Lord

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord"), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons." Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed-- and a sword will pierce your own soul too." There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Here ends the Gospel lesson for today.
Glory be to Thee ,O Christ!

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 - February 02, 2017

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV) However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—

Read all of 1 Corinthians 2

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 - "Marriage and Family: Powered by the Spirit"

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. —Hebrews 13:4, NLT

I was watching a television interview a while back, and the interviewer asked a pastor, "Don't you think it is time to bring the Bible kicking and screaming into the 21st century?" I wanted to jump through the television screen! I wanted to say, "No sir, it is time to bring culture kicking and screaming back to what the Bible teaches, because that is where the problems are coming from." Either we're going to accept that the Bible is the source of truth on marriage, family, and every other topic, or we're not.

You can't pick and choose what parts of the Bible you agree with, or what fits with current culture. If you follow cultural clues, your marriage may be doomed. Instead, you have to come back to the Word of God, and develop a biblical worldview—see things through a scriptural lens.

And to have a successful marriage, you must also be filled with the Holy Spirit. You see, we have the power given to us from God to do what He has called us to do. Ephesians 5:18-19 says, "Be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves." In the Greek, it is implied that it's done over and over again. In other words, be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit—again and again. When you get up every morning you might just say, "Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit. Help me to be the husband, the wife, the parent you have called me to be."

I will be honest with you. There is no way that I can do what the Bible tells me to do without the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no way a husband can love his wife as Christ loves the church without the power of the Spirit. And there is no way a wife can submit to the leadership of her husband without the power of the Spirit. We need this power. Keep asking for this power. And remember, the only authoritative source on any topic is the Word of God.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2016 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.

Un Dia a la Vez - Que nuestro caminar sea firme

Siempre tengo presente al Señor; con él a mi derecha, nada me hará caer. Salmo 16:8

Es muy común que los problemas de la vida nos roben nuestra confianza en Dios.

Llegar a un país extraño, la separación por una situación migratoria de tu familia, un divorcio, un hijo en las drogas, una desilusión en tu iglesia, una traición de un amigo… Son tantas y tan comunes las situaciones que te menciono hoy que es muy fácil que tú y yo podamos estar pasando alguna de ellas.

Sabemos que no todos tenemos la misma resistencia al dolor ni todos tenemos la misma capacidad para enfrentarnos a la vida. Sabemos que esas situaciones nos pueden aturdir y hasta nos pueden alejar de Dios. Incluso, a menudo culpamos a Dios de lo que nos está pasando y por error podemos tomar decisiones fuera de su voluntad.

¡Qué riesgo es vivir la vida sin tener a Dios de nuestro lado! ¡Qué peligro es desafiar a Dios a que podemos vivir sin Él y hacer nuestra voluntad!

Ahora quiero que aprendas algo: Dios es AMOR, Dios es COMPASIVO, Dios es JUSTO y es PADRE. Y al que ama corrige. Por favor, no quieras experimentar la corrección del Padre. Entrega este día toda soberbia, todo orgullo, y ríndete en los brazos del Único que puede cambiar tu situación.

La Santa Biblia, Nueva Versión Internacional® NVI® Copyright © 1986, 1999, 2015 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

NIV Devotions for Men - Make the Most of Today

Matthew 24:36–51

Recommended Reading: Proverbs 11:30; Matthew 25:14–30; John 9:4; Philippians 1:20–26

Carpe diem.

This Latin phrase means “seize the day,” and it certainly echoes a valid objective. We do need to seize each day, because we don’t know whether tomorrow will come or just how much of this life remains for us.
But what if we did? Imagine if a clock on the bottom of one foot digitally displayed how many days remained before we died. Theologian Francis Schaeffer put it another way: “Life is like a clock with no hands. It’s ticking but you never know when it’s going to strike midnight.”

What a sobering thought—for those living in the 1st century or the 21st century. Despite all of our advances in safety measures, in both industry and transportation, and all of our progress in the medical field, life still maintains a measure of unpredictability for us today. Accidents still happen, and people still suffer from strokes and coronary artery disease, often seemingly out of the blue. Nearly everyone has a story to tell regarding a friend, family member or coworker who has experienced something like this.

The 1st century disciples asked Jesus, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). In the midst of his teaching, Jesus replied, “Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42).

In a way, Jesus urges his followers to “seize the day” because no one knows when he will return. But we do know that each of us will come face-to-face with Jesus and give an account of how we have lived for him. Each of us in large measure determines how that encounter will go.

Jesus wants us to be ready no matter when he returns—to be “faithful and wise” servants (Matthew 24:45). Who are the faithful and wise servants? Those who are ready—those whom the Master finds doing his will when he returns.

Are you ready?

To Take Away
  • How would your life be different if you knew you had just a year left to live? A month? A day?
  • God gives each of us gifts with which to serve him. Can you identify the ways in which God wants you to serve him?
  • Do you think God sees you as a “faithful and wise servant”? Why or why not?

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

Standing Strong Through the Storm - SATAN’S TACTIC OF PRIDE

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5

We each have to come to terms with Satan's deadliest tactic, which the Bible calls pride. Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan has promulgated The Great Lie: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5b). We all must learn to overcome pride, which was Satan’s own initial sin and which is his pervasive and repetitive tactic against us.

In Proverbs 6:17, “haughty eyes” are first on the list of the seven things that are an “abomination” to God. Proverbs 27:2 adds, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.” Christ spoke of pride in Luke 18:14 when He instructs, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Over and over again, we are reminded in the Bible of God’s utter disdain for a prideful spirit.

Why does God have so much to say about this issue? Because, ultimately, a prideful person is saying, “I don't need God. I can do it on my own.” As our Creator and Sustainer, God has the perfect plan laid out before us. Attempting to “go it alone” will only lead us down a path of self-destruction. No one knows that better than God—He has seen pride destroy the lives of His creations throughout time.

In the Old Testament we see an example of this in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:28-37) until he acknowledged the Most High God. We also see it in the life of King Belshazzar, who saw the handwriting on the wall and received judgment because of his pride (Daniel 5: 22-31).

In the New Testament, the Pharisees, filled with self-righteousness, denied the work of Christ, even as He stood before them. The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians to “not take pride in one man over against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6). Peter repeats the warning about pride from Proverbs 3:34.

Pride is so devastating because of its deceptiveness. C. S. Lewis said, “A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.” We may easily point out pride in the life of someone else, completely oblivious to the stranglehold that pride may have in our own lives. Pride causes us to focus solely on being “better” than someone else. Don’t compare yourself to others; compare yourself to Christ. Remember where you came from, and recall what God has saved you from.

When all else fails, God may allow adversity into our lives. Nothing gets our attention better than going through a difficult time. He allows these experiences in order to filter out pride, causing us to return our focus on Him. As much as our prideful spirit may disagree, we cannot live a fulfilling life without God. Simply put, when God is out, pride is in!

RESPONSE: Today I will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and steer clear of pride’s deceptiveness.

PRAYER: Lord, I need Your help to keep focused on You and avoid pride’s stranglehold.

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

Girlfriends in God - No Goals – No Gold (Part 2)

Today’s Truth

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).

Friend to Friend

Watching our daughter introduce solid foods to our six-month-old grandson was an intriguing process to witness. I'm not sure if it was the texture or taste that surprised Justus, but the faces he made when that new food was first placed in his little mouth were hilarious. When he liked the new food, his eyes got big; he grinned and made a big smacking sound as if to say, "Where have you been keeping this stuff?" However, a few foods elicited a very different reaction. He scrunched up his face, turned his head and promptly spat out the offending food. Danna quickly learned the art of mixing foods in a single bite and also learned the same food Justus refused to eat on Thursday was often consumed the next time she tried.

God only reveals what we can understand, perceive, apply and digest at the time. Setting life goals allows us to do just that. In my last devotion we covered several criteria for Godly life goals. Let’s continue. 

Attainable. Proverbs 16:3 "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."

If you have seen the movie, "Miss Congeniality," you will remember the scene during which each contestant was asked about life goals. "I want to achieve world peace" was the popular answer. World peace is a great goal, but not an attainable goal for one person. A better personal goal would be to make peace with your neighbor. Reaching a life goal requires action. We are called by God to not only hear His Word, but to put it into practice - to do something about it through setting goals.

Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable in each area where you want to improve and grow. When we involve others, we feel a greater sense of responsibility and accountability. Run your plans and goals past other people. You don't want to do this with every goal and at every step along the way, but you should with big and important plans, especially if they impact other people.

Realistic. Hebrews 11:6 "And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him."

When we set an unrealistic goal, we are setting ourselves up to fail. I once set a goal to read and memorize at least two chapters of the Bible each week. Yes, it was a great goal, but an unrealistic one for that season of my life. I had two small children and was directing the women's ministry of the church where my husband was the lead pastor. I taught a community Bible study of over 400 women, had 20 voice and piano students, and had begun traveling and speaking for women's events. When I did not reach that goal of memorizing two chapters of Scripture, I beat myself up with guilt. A more realistic goal would have been to memorize a few verses each week.

We must brutally examine motives. Are the goals we’re setting from God or are they from our own selfish desires? Do I want my relationship with God to grow or do I want others to think I am Godly? 

Timely. Ephesians 5:15 -16 "Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity … “

I need deadlines to achieve goals. When someone books me to speak for an event, I always ask them to give me a deadline for submitting handouts and Power point, shipping resources, etc. I then record those deadlines on my personal calendar. Sometimes the only reason we don't accomplish our goals is that we don't have a written plan of what needs to be done. 

Pray! Ask God to give you direction to create goals and the power to reach them. He has a plan for our lives. Success and purpose come when we uncover those plans and go hard after them. Ask the Father to bless your holy pursuit of His will.

We need to order our lives in a more conscious way. Set forward-focused, spiritually sound goals, and be delivered from the futility of a life with no purpose. 

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to follow Your plan for my life. Please lead me and guide me in Your ways. Give me Your wisdom and truth and show me the purpose for which I was created. I will seek You first in my life. I will trust You with my whole heart and do whatever You ask me to do.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read and memorize Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”

Record these verses in your journal.

Circle each action word.

In your own words, define the action words you circled.

How can you apply each directive to your daily life? 

More from the Girlfriends

As fully devoted followers of Christ, one of our goals should be to get healthy and stay healthy for this race of life. Mary’s book, Fit for Life explores four areas of fitness and health - spiritual, physical, mental and emotional. Within each one of these areas, Fit for Life examines principles and goals relating to rest, diet and exercise. Check it out!

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

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

LHM Daily Devotion - "What We Need"

February 2, 2017

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!  - Psalm 84:11-12, ESV

Over the years, it has been my privilege to run into the occasional family whose children seem to have turned out better than all right. Those children may not have all been brilliant, but they were special. They were young men and women of integrity. They didn't go along with the crowd unless they thought the crowd was going in the right direction.

I have made it a habit to ask the parents of these children two questions: "What did you do right? What did you do that other parents don't?" Most of the time, not all of the time, but most of the time the parents point to the fact that Christ was part of their family and not just a Name the children heard on Sunday.

The other thing these parents agreed on was this: "We were  consistent. We said what we meant; we meant what we said."

These parents didn't make threats or promises they weren't ready to keep. On the positive side, when they said, "We're going to the movies"; they went to the movies. On the discipline side, they didn't exaggerate or overemphasize a promised punishment. These parents didn't say, "If you don't behave, I'm going to give you a time-out that will last until you are collecting Social Security." From what I've seen, the children who came from such homes respected their parents and grew into being responsible, respectable young men and women.

To be honest, the church's job of calling people to the Lord would be easier if the Lord worked the same way. Think about it.

Might not people take the Lord more seriously if He immediately punished our sins?

  • Suppose every time you went ten miles over the speed limit, God gave you a flat tire. You'd watch your speedometer more closely.
  • Suppose every time you took His Name in vain, He gave you a toothache. You'd watch what you said.
  • Suppose, every time you coveted something that was your neighbor's, He deducted $100 from your savings account. You'd behave better, wouldn't you?

Well, God doesn't always work that way, and because He doesn't many folks disregard Him and feel free to disobey Him. My friends, it is a frightening thing to mistake God's grace for indifference, to confuse His mercy with disinterest, to assume His long-suffering patience is the same thing as apathy.

These are dangerous things to do.

  • Far better to give thanks that our Lord is long-suffering and does not  immediately  punish us for our many sins and multiple iniquities.
  • Far superior to give thanks that His fairness and justice are balanced by His grace and mercy, which have been shown to us in His Son, our Savior.
  • Far wiser to acknowledge that the all-knowing Lord knows what we need, when we need it, and in what proportion His bounties should come.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord. I give thanks that You do what is best for Your people, giving them what they truly need and not necessarily what they want. In Jesus' Name I give thanks. 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.

CPTLN Devocional - ¡Has hallado el bien!

02 de Febrero 2017

¿Hallaste esposa? ¡Has hallado el bien! ¡Has alcanzado el favor del Señor! Proverbios 18:22, RVC

Cuando trabajaba como pastor en una parroquia, una de las cosas que más me gustaba eran las charlas pre-matrimoniales. Una de mis partes favoritas era la selección de los textos bíblicos para la ceremonia. La mayoría de las veces la pareja me pedía sugerencias, y entre los textos que les sugería estaba el de Proverbios 18 que es el tema de esta devoción.

"¿Hallaste esposa? ¡Has hallado el bien! ¡Has alcanzado el favor del Señor!" Casi sin excepción, cuando la novia lo leía o escuchaba, se quedaba estupefacta. "'Halla algo bueno'. ¿Qué soy, un juego de llaves perdidas? ¿Desde cuándo soy 'algo'? No soy una cosa, soy una persona, soy una novia. No, de ninguna manera vamos a usar ese texto", decía.

De más está decir que rara vez ese texto llegaba a ser parte de la ceremonia. Lo interesante es que, según estudios realizados, las esposas/madres tienen un alto valor financiero, aunque bien sabemos que ni las madres, ni los maestros, ni los recolectores de basura, en general reciben el reconocimiento que merecen, lo cual es una pena.

También es una pena que el Señor Jesucristo nunca reciba el agradecimiento que merece por todo lo que hizo. Si nos ponemos a pensar en serio, ¿cuánto le pagaríamos a alguien para que dejara el cielo y viniera a la tierra por 33 años a vivir en medio del desprecio y la incomprensión? ¿Cuánto pagaría usted para que Alguien diera su vida para que todos sus seres queridos no fueran al infierno, sino a una mansión en el cielo? ¿Cuánto le daría a Alguien que murió para que usted pueda vivir?

Parafraseando el texto de Proverbios... "Quien es hallado por el Salvador ha recibido la gracia del Señor".

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, no hay palabras, dinero, ni agradecimiento suficiente para demostrarte lo mucho que tu amor significa para mí. Todo lo que puedo hacer es vivir una vida de gratitud, tanto en palabras como en acciones. Envía tu Espíritu Santo para que todo lo que haga sea un testimonio a quienes me rodean. En tu nombre. Amén.

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

Our Daily Bread - What’s the Occasion?

Read: Ecclesiastes 3:9–17 | Bible in a Year: Exodus 29–30; Matthew 21:23–46

Everything God does will endure forever. Ecclesiastes 3:14

Four-year-old Asher’s gleeful face peeked out from beneath his favorite hooded sweatshirt. His alligator-head hooded sweatshirt, complete with plush jaws that seemed to swallow his head! His mom’s heart sank. She wanted the family to make a good impression as they visited a family they hadn’t seen in a long time.

“Oh, Hon,” she said, “that may not be appropriate for the occasion.”

“Of course it is!” Asher protested brightly.

“Hmm, and what occasion might that be?” she asked. Asher replied, “You know. Life!” He got to wear the shirt.

That joyful boy already grasps the truth of Ecclesiastes 3:12—“There is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” Ecclesiastes can seem depressing and is often misunderstood because it’s written from a human perspective, not God’s. The writer, King Solomon, asked, “What do workers gain from their toil?” (v. 9). Yet throughout the book we catch glimpses of hope. Solomon also wrote: “That each of [us] may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all [our] toil—this is the gift of God” (v. 13).

We serve a God who gives us good things to enjoy. Everything He does “will endure forever” (v. 14). As we acknowledge Him and follow His loving commands, He infuses our lives with purpose, meaning, and joy.

Restore to us childlike joy that appreciates Your good gifts.

Read more about making God the center of your life at

The Lord who made you wants you to make Him the center of your life.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Dịp Nào Nhỉ?

Đọc: Truyền Đạo 3:9-17 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Xuất Ê-díp-tô ký 29-30; Ma-thi-ơ 21:23-46

Ta thấy rằng mọi việc Đức Chúa Trời đã làm thì còn đến đời đời. (Truyền đạo 3:14)

Vẻ mặt hân hoan vui sướng của bé Asher bốn tuổi thò ra từ dưới chiếc áo lạnh tay ngắn có mũ trùm đầu yêu thích. Chiếc áo lạnh có chiếc mũ hình đầu cá sấu, cùng với cái hàm toác ngoác bằng vải nhung như muốn nuốt chửng lấy cái đầu của cậu bé! Thấy vậy, mẹ cậu bé thất vọng. Cô muốn cả nhà để lại ấn tượng tốt khi đi thăm một gia đình đã lâu không gặp.

Cô nói: “Con à, cái áo đó có lẽ không phù hợp với dịp này đâu con.”
“Chắc chắn là hợp mà mẹ!” Cậu bé phản kháng với vẻ mặt tươi rói.
“Hmm, nó hợp với dịp nào nhỉ?” Cô hỏi lại. Asher trả lời: “Mẹ ơi, cuộc sống mà!” Cậu bé đòi mặc chiếc áo cho bằng được.

Cậu bé vui vẻ ấy đã nắm vững được chân lý của Truyền đạo 3:12: “Vậy, ta nhận ra rằng chẳng có điều gì tốt hơn cho loài người là vui vẻ và làm lành trọn đời mình.” Sách Truyền Đạo dường như sầu não và thường có quan niệm sai trật bởi vì được viết từ quan điểm của con người, chứ không phải của Chúa. Tác giả là vua Sa-lô-môn đã hỏi: “Người làm việc có được ích lợi gì về công lao khó nhọc của mình chăng” (c.9). Tuy vậy, chúng ta có thể tìm thấy những tia hy vọng trong sách này. Sa-lô-môn cũng viết: “Ai nấy hãy ăn, uống và hưởng phước của công lao mình, vì đó cũng là sự ban cho của Đức Chúa Trời” (c.13).

Chúng ta phục vụ một Đức Chúa Trời, là Đấng ban cho chúng ta những điều tốt lành để vui hưởng. Mọi điều Ngài làm “còn đến đời đời” (c.14). Khi chúng ta nhận biết Ngài và đi theo những lời răn dạy yêu thương của Ngài, Ngài sẽ truyền mục đích, ý nghĩa và sự thỏa vui vào cuộc sống của chúng ta.

Lạy Chúa, xin phục hồi trong chúng con niềm vui như con trẻ, luôn trân trọng những món quà tốt lành Ngài ban.

Đấng tạo dựng bạn muốn bạn đặt Ngài làm trung tâm của cuộc đời.

© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - ¿Cuál es la ocasión?

Leer: Eclesiastés 3:9-17 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 21:23-46

… todo lo que Dios hace será perpetuo… (Eclesiastés 3:14).

L a alegre carita del niño de cuatro años asomaba por debajo de su suéter favorito. ¡La capucha con forma de lagarto terminaba en quijadas que parecían tragarle la cabeza! La madre quedó pasmada, ya que quería que su familia causara una buena impresión frente a los amigos que hacía mucho que no veían.

«Querido —dijo ella—, no sé si eso es apropiado para esta ocasión».
«¡Sí que lo es!», protestó alegremente el niño.
«Mmmm, ¿por qué ese suéter?», preguntó ella; a lo que él respondió: «¡Para celebrar la vida!». Y el pequeño llevó su suéter…

Ese niño ya captaba la verdad de Eclesiastés 3:12: «Yo he conocido que no hay para ellos cosa mejor que alegrarse, y hacer bien en su vida». Eclesiastés puede parecer deprimente, y a menudo, es malinterpretado porque se escribió desde la perspectiva de un hombre, no de Dios. El rey Salomón preguntó: «¿Qué provecho tiene el que trabaja…?» (v. 9). Sin embargo, vemos atisbos de esperanza en todo el libro. Además, Salomón escribió: «también […] es don de Dios que todo hombre coma y beba, y goce el bien de toda su labor» (v. 13).

Servimos a un Dios que nos da cosas buenas para que las disfrutemos. Todo lo que Él hace «será perpetuo» (v. 14). Cuando obedecemos sus mandatos de amor, el Señor infunde propósito, significado y gozo en nuestra vida.

Señor, ayúdame a regocijarme en tus bondades.

El Señor que te hizo desea que lo hagas el centro de tu vida.

© 2017 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Der passende Aufzug?

Lesen: Prediger 3,9-17 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 2.Mose 29–30; Matthäus 21,23-46

Alles, was Gott tut, das besteht für ewig. Prediger 3,14

Verschmitzt schaute der 4-Jährige unter der Kapuze seines liebsten Sweatshirts hervor, dem mit der Krokodilkapuze und dem Kiefer aus Plüsch, der aussah, als habe er seinen Kopf verschlungen! Die Mutter war entsetzt. Man wollte Bekannte besuchen, die man lange nicht mehr gesehen hatte, und einen guten Eindruck machen.

„Oh, Schatz“, sagte sie, „das ist vielleicht nicht der passende Aufzug.“
„Doch, natürlich!“, protestierte der Kleine unbekümmert.
„Und wozu soll das passen?“, fragte sie. „Zu allem“, erwiderte ihr Sohn.

Der fröhliche Junge hatte begriffen, was schon der Prediger schrieb: „Es [gibt] nichts Besseres als fröhlich sein . . . in seinem Leben“ (3,12). Das Buch Prediger kann deprimierend wirken und wird oft missverstanden, weil es nicht aus göttlicher, sondern aus menschlicher Perspektive geschrieben ist. So meint sein Verfasser, König Salomo: „Man mühe sich ab, wie man will, so hat man keinen Gewinn davon“ (V.9). Und doch leuchtet auch immer wieder Hoffnung hervor: „Ein Mensch, der da isst und trinkt und hat guten Mut bei all seinem Mühen, das ist eine Gabe Gottes“ (V.13).

Wir dienen einem Gott, der uns Gutes schenkt, damit wir uns daran freuen. Alles, was er tut, „besteht für ewig“ (V.14). Wenn wir ihm glauben und seinen Befehlen gehorchen, gibt er unserem Leben einen Sinn, ein Ziel und Freude.

Herr, schenk uns kindliche Freude, die sich an deinen Gaben freut.

Der Herr, der dich gemacht hat, möchte, dass du ihn zum Mittelpunkt deines Lebens machst.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - Quelle est l’occasion ?

[Tout] ce que Dieu fait durera toujours. (Ecclésiaste 3.14)

Le petit Asher de quatre ans a sorti son visage rayonnant de sous son pull préféré à cagoule en tête d’alligator munie de mâchoires en peluche qui donnait l’impression de lui avaler la tête ! À le voir, sa mère en a eu le coeur serré. Elle désirait faire bonne impression auprès d’une famille à qui ils allaient rendre visite et qu’ils n’avaient plus vue depuis longtemps.

« Oh, chéri, ce n’est peut-être pas ce qui convient à l’occasion ! »
« Mais bien sûr que oui ! », de lui répondre un Asher tout joyeux.
« Euh, et quelle est l’occasion ? », lui a‑t‑elle demandé, ce à quoi Asher lui a répondu : « Tu sais. La vie ! », ce qui lui a valu de porter son pull.

Ce garçon a déjà saisi la vérité d’Ecclésiaste 3.12 : « [Il] n’y a de bonheur pour eux qu’à se réjouir et à se donner du bien‑être pendant leur vie. » Le livre de l’Ecclésiaste peut sembler déprimant et est souvent mal compris, car il a été écrit selon une perspective humaine, et non divine. Son auteur, le roi Salomon, y demande : « Quel avantage celui qui travaille retire‑t‑il de sa peine ? » (V. 9.) Reste que de ce livre émanent des lueurs d’espoir. Salomon a aussi écrit : « [Si] un homme mange et boit et jouit du bien‑être au milieu de tout son travail, c’est là un don de Dieu » (V. 13).

Nous servons un Dieu qui nous procure la jouissance de bonnes choses. Tout ce qu’il fait « durera toujours » (V. 14). Si nous tenons compte de lui et que nous suivons ses commandements empreints de bienveillance, il donnera un sens à notre vie et nous apportera la joie.

Celui qui vous a créé veut siéger au centre de votre vie.

© 2017 Ministères NPQ

Хліб Наш Насущній - Життєрадісність

Читати: Еклезіястова 3:14 | Біблія за рік: Вихід 29−30 ; Матвія 21:23-46

Все, що Бог робить, воно зостанеться навіки. — Еклезіястова 3:14

Радісне обличчя чотирьохрічного Ашера вилізло з горловини його улюбленої толстовки з капюшоном. Капюшон мав вигляд крокодилячої голови, і разом із плюшевими щелепами здавалось, що крокодил проковтнув голову малюка! У його матері аж серце впало. Вона так сподівалась справити добре враження на ту сім’ю, яку збирались відвідати, і яку не бачили вже багато років.

“О, сонечко, може буде недоречним це вдягати?” – сказала вона.
“Ні, буде доречним!” – радісно запротестував малюк.
“Ну, і з якого приводу ти натягнув це на себе?” – спитала мати.
“З приводу життя”, – швидко відповів синок і повністю вдягнув толстовку.

В Книзі Еклезіястова 3:12 написано: “Немає нічого в них кращого, як тільки радіти й робити добро у своєму житті”. Еклезіяст інколи здається занадто депресивним. Він пише з точки зору людини, а не Бога, тому багато хто його не розуміє. Соломон ставить риторичне питання: “Яка користь трудящому в тім, над чим трудиться він?” (Екл. 3:9). Та незважаючи на скептицизм, усю книгу пронизує промінь надії. “І отож, як котрий чоловік їсть та п’є і в усім своїм труді радіє добром, − це дар Божий!” (Екл. 3:13).

Ми служимо Богу, Який дарує нам багато приємних речей, щоб ми раділи. І все, що Він дарує нам, “зостанеться навіки” (Екл. 3:14).

Господи, віднови в нас просту дитячу радість, щоб завжди бачили й цінували ті дари, що Ти нам даєш.

Той, Хто створив нас, бажає, щоб ми зробили Його центром свого життя.

© 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Жизнерадостность

Читать сейчас: Екклесиаст 3:9-17 | Библия за год: Исход 29-30; Матфея 21:23-46

Все, что делает Бог, пребывает вовек. — Екклесиаст 3:14

Ликующее личико четырехлетнего Эшера выглянуло из его любимой кофты с капюшоном. Капюшон этот был не простой, а в виде головы крокодила. Голова малыша, казалось, находится прямо в пасти за рядом устрашающих зубов. Сердце мамы дрогнуло. Она хотела, чтобы их семья произвела наилучшее впечатление на друзей, с которыми они не виделись долгое время, а у ребенка такой вид, что можно подумать все что угодно!

– Малыш, – сказала она, – эта кофта не подходит.
– Подходит! – жизнерадостно заявил мальчик.
– Для чего она подходит? – расстроенно спросила мама.
– Для жизни! – воскликнул Эшер.

Этот веселый малыш, несмотря на юный возраст, уловил суть размышлений Екклесиаста: «Нет для [людей] ничего лучшего, как веселиться и делать доброе в жизни своей» (Еккл. 3:12). Эту книгу не всегда правильно понимают, но все дело в том, что она написана с точки зрения человеческой, а не Божьей. Ее автор, царь Соломон, рассуждает о тщетности суеты, спрашивая: «Что пользы работающему от того, над чем он трудится?» (Еккл. 3:9). Однако при этом через всю книгу проходит нить надежды. Соломон также пишет: «Если какой человек ест, и пьет, и видит доброе во всяком труде своем, то это – дар Божий» (Еккл. 3:13).

Мы служим Богу, Который дает нам много благ. Все, что Он делает, «пребывает вовек» (Еккл. 3:14). Веря в Него и следуя Его повелениям, мы обретем жизнь, полную смысла и радости.

Господь, помоги нам во всех обстоятельствах жизни видеть Тебя. Научи нас по-детски радоваться и благодарить за все Твои дары.

Господь, создавший вас, желает находиться в центре вашей жизни.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный