Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Daily Readings for TUESDAY, February 7, 2017

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Isaiah 59:1-15

See, the LORD's hand is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness. No one brings suit justly, no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity. They hatch adders' eggs, and weave the spider's web; whoever eats their eggs dies, and the crushed egg hatches out a viper. Their webs cannot serve as clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they rush to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths. Their roads they have made crooked; no one who walks in them knows peace. Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us; we wait for light, and lo! there is darkness; and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope like the blind along a wall, groping like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among the vigorous as though we were dead. We all growl like bears; like doves we moan mournfully. We wait for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions before you are many, and our sins testify against us. Our transgressions indeed are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgressing, and denying the LORD, and turning away from following our God, talking oppression and revolt, conceiving lying words and uttering them from the heart. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from 2 Timothy 1:1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am grateful to God-- whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did-- when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 9:42-50
Glory be to Thee, O Lord

"If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell., And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. "For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

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

Morning Psalms

Psalm 78: Part I Attendite, popule
1   Hear my teaching, O my people; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2   I will open my mouth in a parable; I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3   That which we have heard and known, and what our forefathers have told us, we will not hide from their children.
4   We will recount to generations to come the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD, and the wonderful works he has done.
5   He gave his decrees to Jacob and established a law for Israel, which he commanded them to teach their children;
6   That the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn; that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7   So that they might put their trust in God, and not forget the deeds of God, but keep his commandments;
8   And not be like their forefathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9   The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, turned back in the day of battle;
10   They did not keep the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;
11   They forgot what he had done, and the wonders he had shown them.
12   He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13   He split open the sea and let them pass through; he made the waters stand up like walls.
14   He led them with a cloud by day, and all the night through with a glow of fire.
15   He split the hard rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink as from the great deep.
16   He brought streams out of the cliff, and the waters gushed out like rivers.
17   But they went on sinning against him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
18   They tested God in their hearts, demanding food for their craving.
19   They railed against God and said, "Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20   True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the gullies overflowed; but is he able to give bread or to provide meat for his people?"
21   When the LORD heard this, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob, and his anger mounted against Israel;
22   For they had no faith in God, nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
23   So he commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven.
24   He rained down manna upon them to eat and gave them grain from heaven.
25   So mortals ate the bread of angels; he provided for them food enough.
26   He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens and led out the south wind by his might.
27   He rained down flesh upon them like dust and wingéd birds like the sand of the sea.
28   He let it fall in the midst of their camp and round about their dwellings.
29   So they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.
30   But they did not stop their craving, though the food was still in their mouths.
31   So God's anger mounted against them; he slew their strongest men and laid low the youth of Israel.
32   In spite of all this, they went on sinning and had no faith in his wonderful works.
33   So he brought their days to an end like a breath and their years in sudden terror.
34   Whenever he slew them, they would seek him, and repent, and diligently search for God.
35   They would remember that God was their rock, and the Most High God their redeemer.
36   But they flattered him with their mouths and lied to him with their tongues.
37   Their heart was not steadfast toward him, and they were not faithful to his covenant.
38   But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins and did not destroy them; many times he held back his anger and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
39   For he remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that goes forth and does not return.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 78: Part II Quoties exacerbaverunt
40   How often the people disobeyed him in the wilderness and offended him in the desert!
41   Again and again they tempted God and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42   They did not remember his power in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
43   How he wrought his signs in Egypt and his omens in the field of Zoan.
44   He turned their rivers into blood, so that they could not drink of their streams.
45   He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up, and frogs, which destroyed them.
46   He gave their crops to the caterpillar, the fruit of their toil to the locust.
47   He killed their vines with hail and their sycamores with frost.
48   He delivered their cattle to hailstones and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
49   He poured out upon them his blazing anger: fury, indignation, and distress, a troop of destroying angels.
50   He gave full rein to his anger; he did not spare their souls from death; but delivered their lives to the plague.
51   He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
52   He led out his people like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53   He led them to safety, and they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54   He brought them to his holy land, the mountain his right hand had won.
55   He drove out the Canaanites before them and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot; he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56   But they tested the Most High God, and defied him, and did not keep his commandments.
57   They turned away and were disloyal like their fathers; they were undependable like a warped bow.
58   They grieved him with their hill-altars they provoked his displeasure with their idols.
59   When God heard this, he was angry and utterly rejected Israel.
60   He forsook the shrine at Shiloh, the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
61   He delivered the ark into captivity, his glory into the adversary's hand.
62   He gave his people to the sword and was angered against his inheritance.
63   The fire consumed their young men; there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
64   Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.
65   Then the LORD woke as though from sleep, like a warrior refreshed with wine.
66   He struck his enemies on the backside and put them to perpetual shame.
67   He rejected the tent of Joseph and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68   He chose instead the tribe of Judah and Mount Zion, which he loved.
69   He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven, like the earth which he founded for ever.
70   He chose David his servant, and took him away from the sheepfolds.
71   He brought him from following the ewes, to be a shepherd over Jacob his people and over Israel his inheritance.
72   So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart and guided them with the skillfulness of his hands.

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 07, 2017

Psalm 97:10 (NIV) Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Read all of Psalm 97

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 - "Never Stop Teaching Your Children"

Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord.Psalm 34:11, NLT

Sometimes Christian parents want their children to live in a bubble. They aren't going to allow any godless influences in their house. They won't even have a television set. No media. No Internet. Just nothing—not even furniture. Please don't do that. Instead, prepare your children to live in the real world. Teach them.

I never had to teach my daughter how to sin. I never had to sit her down and say, "Girl, I am going to teach you how to sin. Let's start with the word mine." No, it came naturally to her just like it came naturally to me. It comes naturally to every person. David said, "In sin my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5, NKJV).

Moses gave great insight when he said, "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deuteronomy 6:6–7, NKJV). I love that. Moses is saying, just do it all of the time. Teach them in the morning and at night. Teach your kids everywhere. Look for a teaching moment. I've found some of the greatest spiritual moments with children happen when we are just out doing things.

Teach your children to see things as God sees things.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.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 - Agrada a Dios en todo

No temas [...] ni te desanimes, porque el Señor tu Dios está en medio de ti como guerrero victorioso. Se deleitará en ti con gozo, te renovará con su amor. Sofonías 3:16-17, NVI

Todos tenemos luchas que se nos presentarán casi a diario. Aunque a veces hemos sido débiles y hemos fallado, en nuestro corazón lo que más deseamos es agradar a Dios en todo.

Sin embargo, agradar a Dios en todo es renunciar a cosas que sabemos que no son buenas, tales como el adulterio, la venganza, el divorcio, la mentira, matar, robar, entre otras.

Es más fácil agradar a Dios en las cosas sencillas, ¿pero qué me dices cuando estamos en alguna situación, algún vicio y por más que tratamos no podemos renunciar?

Sin embargo, no todo es preocupación. Debes saber que el único que nos puede ayudar a renunciar es el mismo Dios a través de una decisión que tomemos tú y yo, pues Él ve y conoce nuestro corazón.

El día que decidí dejar de fumar, hablé muy claro con mi Dios y le dije: «Padre, a mí me gusta mucho fumar, pero quiero agradarte. No quiero ver sufrir más a mis hijas porque me vean fumar, pero yo sola no puedo. Quítame, por favor, el deseo, y te prometo que nunca más lo vuelvo a hacer».

Esa noche apagué el cigarrillo y no sentí nada diferente. Entonces, al otro día, ya no volví a sentir deseos de fumar y, gracias a Dios, pude dejar ese vicio que no solo me enfermaba, sino que lo desagradaba por completo a Él.

Mis amigos, la clave en una decisión es dar el primer paso y Dios te respalda. Si todo se puede en Él, podemos hacer cualquier cambio.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón. 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 - BE NOT AFRAID

I sought the Lord and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

The one positive fear that the Bible endorses is the fear of God. Wise Solomon said fearing God is the beginning of wisdom. It was Oswald Chambers who added, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that, when you fear God, you fear nothing else; whereas, if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”

In Eritrea, Helen Berhane was frequently tortured during her almost three years in the shipping container prison. In spite of that she had no fear. Once when interrogated for teaching the Bible to the guards outside her cell, she replied:

“I am always looking for opportunities to talk about my faith and to spread the news about Jesus. I am not ashamed of the gospel and I will talk to anyone and to everyone. Jesus does not just want me to tell the prisoners about him, he wants me to tell the guards too. Even if the president were to visit the prison, I would tell him about the gospel.

“I am not afraid of you. You can do what you want to me, but ultimately all you can do is kill my body, you cannot touch my soul. You cannot even kill me unless it is God’s will that I should die.”[1]

Her persecutors had no answer and returned her to her shipping container.

David Aikman writes in his book Great Souls about the personal life of Pope John Paul II—especially his personal prayer life. When he became pope in 1978, the result of all that personal prayer was evident in his inaugural sermon. “Be not afraid!” he said.

He recognized that fear is a sin because it denies the sovereignty of God. And he recognized that as a leader of a large Church, and unwaveringly opposed to the powerful communist empire, he had to give people the courage to resist evil.

And courageous he was. When he saw Russian tanks poised to invade Poland, the Pope announced he would go and stand with his people if the Soviets crossed the border. The Soviet tanks did not move.

The Pope knew he might face assassination—and indeed, someone did try to assassinate him—yet he continued to tell the world, “Be not afraid.”

RESPONSE: Today I will live in the fear of God so that I will not fear anything or anyone else.

PRAYER: Pray that all Christians in fearful situations today will have the attitude of trust in the Lord and not fear for their lives.

1. Helen Berhane, Song of the Nightingale (Colorado Springs: Authentic Media, 2009), p. 75.

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

Girlfriends in God - The Bam-Bam Game

Today’s Truth

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV).

Friend to Friend

Dan and I have one favorite restaurant where we like to eat on our weekly date night. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is quiet, and the waitress makes us feel like we are the most important people on the planet. It is a great place to relax, catch up and make plans for the future. We go to this restaurant for us. It’s our spot.

Our grandchildren have a different spot where they love to go. It is definitely not quiet; the food is geared more to the taste of children, and finding someone who works there is often what I consider a modern day miracle. Yep … you are way ahead of me. It is Chuck E. Cheese!

But … I absolutely love going to Chuck E. Cheese! Let me explain. First, I score major points with our grandchildren. Second, it is easy to keep tabs on the kids at our local Chuck E. Cheese because it is small. Seriously, I can stand in the middle of the play area and see every grandchild. Third, there are so many games that every child can find at least one or two they enjoy playing. I like Chuck E. Cheese because it keeps the kids happily occupied for hours.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but there is another reason I love going to Chuck E. Cheese. I am hooked on one the games. The official name of the game is Smash A Munch, but I call it The Bam-Bam game. If you have ever been to Chuck E. Cheese you know exactly which game I’m talking about. Funny creatures pop up from random holes, and you hit them with a foam-covered bat to make them disappear. The more little creatures you hit and the faster you hit them determines how many highly coveted tickets you win.

Every time I play The Bam-Bam game, I am reminded of a spiritual truth that so many of us have so wrong. We honestly believe God plays a kind of spiritual version of The Bam-Bam Game with our lives. I’ve done it. I’ve had this perspective, thinking God sits in Heaven, holding a spiritual bat, just waiting for me to make a mistake. When I do, He laughs in delight and promptly smashes me back into the dark pit into which I have fallen.

Well, let me tell you the truth, girlfriend. That perception is a lie, straight from the pit of Hell, and smells like smoke! We need to understand who our Father truly is and how He really sees us. Grab hold of these truths!

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:14-15, NIV).

Know that the Lord is God. He made us, and we belong to Him; we are His people, the sheep He tends (Psalm 100:3, NCV).

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, NLT).

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1, NIV).

Here it is. The almighty God, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Creator and Caretaker of the universe loves me and He loves you. Period.

We don’t have to try to be someone we were never created to be. We have nothing to prove to anyone. God has already settled all of that … and so much more.

Jesus came to earth and died on the cross to pay for our sins – past, present and future. His gift of unfathomable love covers it all. He is for us. He is with us. There is no condemnation - no Bam-Bam Game - in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, right now, celebrate the unconditional love, the unending grace, and the eternal forgiveness He freely offers.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to thank You for loving me right where I am … just as I am. Please help me reject the lies that are filled with condemnation and blame. I choose to revel in the forgiveness I find in You. Today, I take hold of Your grace and love. Thank You, Lord, that I am Yours and You are mine.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn
  • Do you really believe God loves you unconditionally?
  • Read Psalm 139 each day for one month. Record the new truths that you learn, the changes in your perspective, and any fresh insights in your journal.
  • At the end of the month, write Psalm 139 in your own words and share it with a friend.
More from the Girlfriends

God really does have a special plan just for me. My highest act of obedience is to seek that plan each and every day. My book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, is the story of my struggle to see myself as God sees me, and in doing so, be set free from the darkness of judgment and condemnation. I encourage you to visit my online store and pick up a copy.

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 - "The Growing Grey"

 February 7, 2017

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  - 1 Timothy 6:11-12, ESV

Recently, the Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, spoke at the Institute for National Security Studies.

His message was not an overly encouraging one. He said that any future Israeli war will need to continue until there is a decisive result, even if Israel needs to take over a quarter or more of the Gaza Strip. Lieberman continued: "The military will not stop until the other side waves a white flag."

No, I don't like to hear any defense minister from any country speak that way.

About the only good thing that could be said about Lieberman's address was he understands the nature of war and believes the ultimate goal of any conflict is a complete and total victory over your enemy.

That, I am afraid, is a concept which escapes many 21st-century believers.

You see, when it comes to our battle with sin, all too often people don't want to win a clear-cut and decisive victory; they find it preferable to live in peaceful co-existence with evil.

As proof of that statement, I offer up the evidence of many Christian pulpits. I can remember a time, not so many years ago, when almost every church was clear in its condemnation of sin. If the Bible said something was wrong, well, that action was wrong. Period. End of reading.

But now, if you listen carefully, you will find that the clear-cut difference between black and white has become pretty blurry. At the same time, the amount of grey in people's lives has grown considerably.

Would you prefer a practical example? That's easy, too. At the beginning of my ministry, almost 50 years ago, I knew some old pastors who could state that there had never been a divorce in any of the families in any of the congregations they had served.

It's pretty hard to find a pastor who could say the same thing today.

We could give many other examples. How about movies? Movies which a few years ago would have been condemned as being immoral and unacceptable for God's people to see are now listed in the category of being a film nobody, including Christians, can afford to miss.

The path of compromise with wrongdoing is not the road the Lord would have His people walk.

Far better for us to follow the Savior who avoided temptation, took a stand against evil, and did all that was necessary to "call us out of darkness into His marvelous light" (see 1 Peter 2:9).

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may recognize evil and avoid it. Help me shun every compromise that might be detrimental to me and others, which might blur the witness of thanks my life should make to the Savior. In His Name I pray. 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 - ¿Fe en qué?

07 de Febrero 2017

Cuando el arca del pacto del Señor llegó al campamento, los israelitas empezaron a gritar de tal manera que la tierra temblaba... Y al oír que el arca del Señor había llegado al campamento, los filisteos se acobardaron y dijeron: ... «¡Ánimo, filisteos! ... ¡ármense de valor y luchen como hombres!» Entonces los filisteos se lanzaron al ataque y derrotaron a los israelitas, los cuales huyeron en desbandada... y fue capturada el arca de Dios. 1 Samuel 4:4ss

Tom Higgins, un empresario irlandés, dijo a los reporteros que lo entrevistaron, que acababa de hacer un negocio excelente pagando una bagatela. A lo que se refería era que había comprado el escritorio sobre el que el famoso escritor Charles Dickens escribió el libro "Grandes Esperanzas" y sus últimas cartas, la noche en que murió.

La bagatela le costó a Higgins $850.000. ¡Pagó $850.000 por un escritorio! Cuando le preguntaron por qué estaba tan contento, dijo que era porque había podido comprar un mueble antiguo que además había sido parte de Charles Dickens. No niego que tenga valor histórico, pero sigue siendo un escritorio.

Algo semejante pasó con el arca del pacto de Dios del que habla nuestro texto. Sin lugar a dudas era un arca especial, ya que era el santuario donde habitaba el Señor. Pero de ninguna manera era mágica, aún cuando así lo creían los israelitas. Es por eso que un día, cuando salieron a pelear contra los filisteos, llevaron consigo el arca como si fuera un amuleto para la buena suerte.

Nuestro texto dice lo que sucedió: los israelitas fueron derrotados y el arca fue capturada. No fue fácil, pero finalmente el pueblo de Dios aprendió que quien protege es el Señor, y no un arca recubierta de metal y adornada con ángeles. La lección fue dura, pero valió la pena.

Hubo una época en la Edad Media en que los cristianos depositaron su fe en la "cruz verdadera" que había sido descubierta por Helena, la madre de Constantino. Pensaban que esa cruz era tan especial y otorgaba tantas bendiciones, que la iglesia decidió ir cortándole pequeños trozos para vendérselos a los cristianos fieles e ingenuos.

Que las personas depositaran su fe en esos pedacitos de cruz y en muchas otras cosas "hechas" sagradas fue lo que, en cierta medida, molestó la conciencia de un monje llamado Lutero. Por la gracia de Dios, él llegó a creer que es por fe en Jesús, el Hijo sin pecado de Dios y salvador de las almas pecadoras, que recibimos perdón y salvación.

Sólo Jesús puede rescatarnos. Ni su cruz, ni su túnica, ni sus lágrimas, ni las reliquias de los santos, ni nuestros sacrificios, ofrendas o promesas, nada de todo esto cuenta cuando necesitamos ser perdonados. Recibimos salvación porque Dios nos la regala. La salvación es gratis para todas las personas que confían en él... para mí, este es el mejor negocio de todos los tiempos.

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, te doy gracias por la salvación que me has regalado. El mundo está lleno de cosas maravillosas, muchas de las cuales tú creaste, y por ellas te doy gracias. Pero también te pido que no permitas que ninguna de ellas se convierta en algo más importante para mí que el regalo de vida eterna que tú me has dado. En tu nombre. Amén.

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones.

Our Daily Bread - Does It Spark Joy?

Read: Philippians 4:4–9 | Bible in a Year: Leviticus 1–3; Matthew 24:1–28

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true . . . noble . . . right . . . pure . . . lovely . . . admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

A young Japanese woman’s book on decluttering and organizing has sold two million copies worldwide. The heart of Marie Kondo’s message is helping people get rid of unneeded things in their homes and closets—things that weigh them down. “Hold up each item,” she says, “and ask, ‘Does it spark joy?’” If the answer is yes, keep it. If the answer is no, then give it away.

The apostle Paul urged the Christians in Philippi to pursue joy in their relationship with Christ. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Instead of a life cluttered with anxiety, he urged them to pray about everything and let God’s peace guard their hearts and minds in Christ (vv. 6–7).

Looking at our everyday tasks and responsibilities, we see that not all of them are enjoyable. But we can ask, “How can this spark joy in God’s heart and in my own?” A change in why we do things can bring a transformation in the way we feel about them.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true . . . noble . . . right . . . pure . . . lovely . . . admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (v. 8).

Paul’s parting words are food for thought and a recipe for joy.

Lord, show me how You want to spark joy in the tasks I face today.

A focus on the Lord is the beginning of joy.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Có Làm Ta Vui Không?

Đọc: Phi-líp 4:4-9 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Lê-vi ký 1-3; Ma-thi-ơ 24:1-28

Cuối cùng, thưa anh em, hễ điều gì chân thật... đáng trọng... công chính… thanh sạch... đáng yêu chuộng… đáng biểu dương; nói chung là điều gì đức hạnh, đáng khen ngợi thì anh em phải nghĩ đến. (Phi-líp 4:8)

Quyển sách về nghệ thuật sắp xếp và tổ chức không gian sống của một thiếu nữ Nhật Bản đã bán được hai triệu bản trên khắp thế giới. Trọng tâm của thông điệp Marie Kondo muốn gửi gắm là giúp mọi người bỏ đi những thứ không cần thiết trong nhà và trong tủ của họ – là những thứ khiến họ mệt mỏi. Cô nói “Hãy cầm từng thứ lên” và hỏi: Nó có làm ta vui không?” Nếu câu trả lời là có, thì hãy giữ lại. Nếu không, hãy bỏ đi.

Sứ đồ Phao-lô đã thúc giục các tín hữu tại Phi-líp đeo đuổi niềm vui trong mối quan hệ với Chúa. “Hãy vui mừng trong Chúa luôn luôn, tôi lại còn nói nữa: Hãy vui mừng đi!” Thay vì sống một cuộc đời trĩu nặng âu lo, ông khuyên giục họ cầu nguyện trong mọi sự và để sự bình an của Chúa cai trị lòng và trí của họ trong Đấng Christ (c.6-7).

Nhìn vào những công việc và trách nhiệm hàng ngày của mình, chúng ta thấy rằng không phải tất cả những trách nhiệm đó đều mang đến cho chúng ta niềm vui. Nhưng chúng ta có thể hỏi: “Làm sao để công việc này có thể khiến Chúa vui lòng và đem đến niềm vui trong lòng tôi?” Một sự thay đổi trong động cơ chúng ta làm mọi việc có thể đem đến sự biến đổi trong cách chúng ta cảm nhận về chúng.

“Cuối cùng, thưa anh em, hễ điều gì chân thật… đáng trọng… công chính… thanh sạch… đáng yêu chuộng… đáng biểu dương; nói chung là điều gì đức hạnh, đáng khen ngợi thì anh em phải nghĩ đến” (c.8).

Những lời từ giã của Phao-lô là nguồn nuôi dưỡng cho tâm trí và là phương cách làm nên sự vui mừng.

Lạy Chúa, xin chỉ cho con biết Ngài muốn con chiếu rạng niềm vui trong những việc con đối diện hôm nay như thế nào.

Tập chú vào Chúa là khởi đầu của niềm vui.

Nuestro Pan Diario - ¿Me provoca gozo?

Leer: Filipenses 4:4-9 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 24:1-28

… todo lo que es verdadero, […] honesto, […] justo, […] puro, […] amable, […] de buen nombre; […] digno de alabanza, en esto pensad (Filipenses 4:8).

El libro de una joven japonesa sobre orden y organización ha vendido dos millones de ejemplares en el mundo entero. La esencia del mensaje de Marie Kondo es ayudar a la gente a despojarse de cosas innecesarias en sus casas y armarios; cosas que los sofocan. Dice: «Levanta cada artículo y pregunta: “¿Me provoca gozo?”». Si la respuesta es «sí», consérvalo. Si es «no», descártalo.

El apóstol Pablo exhortó a los creyentes de Filipo a procurar tener gozo en su relación con Cristo: «Regocijaos en el Señor siempre. Otra vez digo: ¡Regocijaos!» (Filipenses 4:4). En vez de vivir una vida desordenada por la ansiedad, los instaba a orar por todo y dejar que la paz de Dios guardara sus corazones y sus mentes en Cristo (vv. 6-7).

Al considerar nuestras tareas y responsabilidades, vemos que no todo es motivo de gozo. Pero podemos preguntar: «¿Cómo provoca esto gozo en el corazón de Dios y en el mío?». Un cambio en el porqué hacemos las cosas puede transformar nuestra manera de verlas.

«Por lo demás, hermanos, todo lo que es verdadero, […] honesto, […] justo, […] puro, […] amable, […] de buen nombre; […] digno de alabanza, en esto pensad» (v. 8).

Las palabras de despedida de Pablo son alimento para la reflexión y una receta para el gozo.

Señor, ayúdame a gozarme en mi tareas de hoy.

Enfocarse en el Señor es el principio del gozo.

Unser Täglich Brot - Macht es Freude?

Lesen: Philipper 4,4-9 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 3.Mose 1–3; Matthäus 24,1-28

Weiter, liebe Brüder: Was wahrhaftig ist, was ehrbar, was gerecht, was rein, was liebenswert, was einen guten Ruf hat, sei es eine Tugend, sei es ein Lob—darauf seid bedacht! Philipper 4,8

Das Buch einer jungen Japanerin über das Aufräumen und Organisieren wurde schon über 2 Millionen Mal verkauft. Marie Kondo will Menschen helfen, unnötige Dinge in ihren Wohnungen und Schränken loszuwerden—Dinge, die sie nur belasten. „Nimm jedes Teil in die Hand“, sagt sie, „und frage dich, ob es dir Freude bereitet.“ Heißt die Antwort Ja, behalte es. Lautet sie Nein, gib es weg.

Der Apostel Paulus rief die Christen in Philippi dazu auf, sich an der Beziehung zu Jesus zu freuen. „Freuet euch in dem Herrn allewege, und abermals sage ich: Freuet euch!“ (Phil. 4,4). Anstatt im Leben Ängste anzuhäufen, sollten sie in allem beten und ihre Herzen und Sinne von Gottes Frieden bewahren lassen (V.6-7).

Unsere alltäglichen Aufgaben und Pflichten sind nicht immer erfreulich. Aber wir können fragen: „Wie kann gerade diese Sache Gott und mir selbst Freude bereiten?“ Wenn sich unsere Einstellung, warum wir bestimmte Dinge tun, ändert, kann das auch eine Veränderung in unseren Gefühlen bewirken.

„Weiter, liebe Brüder: Was wahrhaftig ist, was ehrbar, was gerecht, was rein, was liebenswert, was einen guten Ruf hat, sei es eine Tugend, sei es ein Lob—darauf seid bedacht!“ (V.8).

Paulus‘ Abschiedsworte sind Stoff zum Nachdenken und ein Rezept zum Freuen.

Zeige mir, Herr, wie du mit den Aufgaben, die ich heute zu erledigen habe, Freude bereiten willst.

Der Blick auf Gott ist der Anfang der Freude.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - Cela procure‑t‑il de la joie ?

Au reste, frères, que tout ce qui est vrai […] honorable […] juste […] pur […] aimable […] qui mérite l’approbation […] ce qui est vertueux et digne de louange, soit l’objet de vos pensées. (Philippiens 4.8)

Le livre d’une jeune Japonaise portant sur le désencombrement et l’organisation s’est vendu en deux millions d’exemplaires. Le message de Marie Kondo portait essentiellement sur les moyens d’aider les gens à se défaire à la maison de choses inutiles, qui les embarrassaient. « Prenez chaque article dans votre main, dit‑elle, et demandez‑vous : “Cela me procure‑t‑il de la joie ?” » Si la réponse est oui, gardez‑le. Sinon, donnez‑le.

Paul a exhorté les chrétiens de Philippes à désirer connaître la joie dans leur relation avec Christ : « Réjouissez‑vous toujours dans le Seigneur ; je le répète, réjouissez‑vous » (PH 4.4). Il les a ainsi invités à prier pour tout, ainsi qu’à laisser la paix de Dieu garder leur coeur et leur pensée en Christ (V. 6,7), au lieu de se satisfaire d’une vie encombrée par l’angoisse.

À la vue de nos tâches et de nos responsabilités quotidiennes, nous constatons qu’elles ne sont pas toutes agréables. Nous pouvons néanmoins nous demander au sujet de chacune : « En quoi cela peut‑il procurer de la joie à Dieu, ainsi qu’à moi‑même ? » Le fait de modifier notre façon de faire les choses peut nous amener à les percevoir autrement.

« Au reste, frères, que tout ce qui est vrai […] honorable […] juste […] pur […] aimable […] qui mérite l’approbation […] ce qui est vertueux et digne de louange, soit l’objet de vos pensées » (V. 8).

Ces paroles d’adieu de Paul réjouissent la pensée.

La joie naît lorsque l’on se concentre sur le Seigneur.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Випробувані та очищені

Читати: Йова 23:1-12 | Біблія за рік: Вихід 39−40 ; Матвія 23:23-39

Хай би випробував Він мене, − мов те золото, вийду! — Йова 23:10

Під час одного інтерв’ю співачка та авторка пісень М. Ендрю розказувала про свій великий стрес, коли намагалась зберігати баланс між працею, подружніми справами та обов’язками матері. Розважаючи над цим важким періодом у своєму житті, вона сказала: “Було таке відчуття, наче Бог веде мене крізь очисне горнило”.

Йов теж був приголомшений, коли втратив всю худобу, всіх дітей і своє здоров’я. Що ще гірше, хоча Йов щодня поклонявся Богу, він відчував, наче Господь ігнорує всі його благання про допомогу. Здавалося, Бог цілком зник з горизонту його життя. Йов стверджував, що не бачить Бога ані на півночі, ані на півдні, ні на заході, ні на сході (Йов. 23:2-9).

Але посеред цього відчаю у Йова був духовний момент прозріння. Його віра спалахнула наче та свічка, що палає у темній кімнаті. “Він знає дорогу, яка при мені, хай би випробував Він мене, − мов те золото, вийду!” (Йов. 23:10). Бог через різні труднощі випробовує християн, щоб очистити їх від самовпевненості, гордості та земної мудрості. Коли здається, що Бог мовчить за часів випробувань і не відповідає на наші благання про допомогу, то, можливо, Він таким чином дає нам можливість зростати у вірі.

Біль та проблеми можуть зробити наш характер міцним, якщо довірятимемо Богу у важкі періоди свого життя.

Дорогий Господи, допоможи мені вірити, що Ти зі мною навіть тоді, коли я не бачу й не розумію Твоєї праці в моєму житті. Я віддаюсь у Твої руки і вірю, що будь-які мої страждання потрібні для досягнення Твоїх благих цілей.

Період випробування нашої віри може зміцнити нашу віру. 

 © 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Излучается ли радость?

Читать сейчас: Филиппийцам 4:4-9 | Библия за год: Левит 1-3; Матфея 24:1-28

Наконец, братья мои, что только истинно, что честно, что справедливо, что чисто, что любезно, что достославно, что только добродетель и похвала, – о том помышляйте. — Филиппийцам 4:8

Книга молодой японки Мари Кондо о том, как наводить порядок и избавляться от ненужных вещей, разошлась тиражом в два миллиона экземпляров по всему миру. Автор утверждает, что в наших домах находится множество лишнего, что лишь усложняет жизнь. «Возьмите в руки каждый предмет, – советует она, – и спросите себя: “Излучает ли он радость?” Если ответ положительный, вещь нужно оставить, если отрицательный – выбросить или подарить».

Апостол Павел убеждал христиан в Филиппах достигать радости во взаимоотношениях с Иисусом Христом. «Радуйтесь всегда в Господе; и еще говорю: радуйтесь» (Флп. 4:4). Вместо того чтобы обременять себя беспокойством, лучше помолиться и впустить в сердце и разум Божий мир (Флп. 4:6-7).

Далеко не все наши ежедневные дела и обязанности приятны. Однако мы можем спросить себя: «Как это дело может принести славу Богу и радость мне?» Перемена в мотивах и побуждениях может изменить и наше восприятие жизни.

«Наконец, братья мои, что только истинно, что честно, что справедливо, что чисто, что любезно, что достославно, что только добродетель и похвала, – о том помышляйте» (Флп. 4:8). Слова Павла – это пища для размышлений и рецепт радости.

Господи, покажи мне, как я могу радоваться во всех предстоящих мне делах.

Взгляд, обращенный к Господу, – начало радости.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный