Friday, February 17, 2017

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, February 17, 2017

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Isaiah 65:17-25

For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the LORD-- and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent-- its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from 1 Timothy 5:17-25

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves to be paid." Never accept any accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels, I warn you to keep these instructions without prejudice, doing nothing on the basis of partiality. Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. No longer drink only water, but take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. The sins of some people are conspicuous and precede them to judgment, while the sins of others follow them there. So also good works are conspicuous; and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 12:28-34
Glory be to Thee, O Lord

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that 'he is one, and besides him there is no other' and 'to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,' and 'to love one's neighbor as oneself,'-- this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that no one dared to ask him any question.

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

Morning Psalms

Psalm 102 Domine, exaudi
1   LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come before you; hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
2   Incline your ear to me; when I call, make haste to answer me,
3   For my days drift away like smoke, and my bones are hot as burning coals.
4   My heart is smitten like grass and withered, so that I forget to eat my bread.
5   Because of the voice of my groaning I am but skin and bones.
6   I have become like a vulture in the wilderness, like an owl among the ruins.
7   I lie awake and groan; I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
8   My enemies revile me all day long, and those who scoff at me have taken an oath against me.
9   For I have eaten ashes for bread and mingled my drink with weeping.
10   Because of your indignation and wrath you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
11   My days pass away like a shadow, and I wither like the grass.
12   But you, O LORD, endure for ever, and your Name from age to age.
13   You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to have mercy upon her; indeed, the appointed time has come.
14   For your servants love her very rubble, and are moved to pity even for her dust.
15   The nations shall fear your Name, O LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16   For the LORD will build up Zion, and his glory will appear.
17   He will look with favor on the prayer of the homeless; he will not despise their plea.
18   Let this be written for a future generation, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD.
19   For the LORD looked down from his holy place on high; from the heavens he beheld the earth;
20   That he might hear the groan of the captive and set free those condemned to die;
21   That they may declare in Zion the Name of the LORD, and his praise in Jerusalem;
22   When the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms also, to serve the LORD.
23   He has brought down my strength before my time; he has shortened the number of my days;
24   And I said, "O my God, do not take me away in the midst of my days; your years endure throughout all generations.
25   In the beginning, O LORD, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands;
26   They shall perish, but you will endure; they all shall wear out like a garment; as clothing you will change them, and they shall be changed;
27   But you are always the same, and your years will never end.
28   The children of your servants shall continue, and their offspring shall stand fast in your sight."

Evening Psalms

Psalm 107: Part I Confitemini Domino
1   Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, and his mercy endures for ever.
2   Let all those whom the LORD has redeemed proclaim that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.
3   He gathered them out of the lands; from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
4   Some wandered in desert wastes; they found no way to a city where they might dwell.
5   They were hungry and thirsty; their spirits languished within them.
6   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
7   He put their feet on a straight path to go to a city where they might dwell.
8   Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
9   For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
10   Some sat in darkness and deep gloom, bound fast in misery and iron;
11   Because they rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High.
12   So he humbled their spirits with hard labor; they stumbled, and there was none to help.
13   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
14   He led them out of darkness and deep gloom and broke their bonds asunder.
15   Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
16   For he shatters the doors of bronze and breaks in two the iron bars.
17   Some were fools and took to rebellious ways; they were afflicted because of their sins.
18   They abhorred all manner of food and drew near to death's door.
19   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
20   He sent forth his word and healed them and saved them from the grave.
21   Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
22   Let them offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and tell of his acts with shouts of joy.
23   Some went down to the sea in ships and plied their trade in deep waters;
24   They beheld the works of the LORD and his wonders in the deep.
25   Then he spoke, and a stormy wind arose, which tossed high the waves of the sea.
26   They mounted up to the heavens and fell back to the depths; their hearts melted because of their peril.
27   They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits' end.
28   Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
29   He stilled the storm to a whisper and quieted the waves of the sea.
30   Then were they glad because of the calm, and he brought them to the harbor they were bound for.
31   Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and the wonders he does for his children.
32   Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

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 17, 2017

Romans 8:35,37 (NIV) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Read all of Romans 8

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 - "A Message from a Lions' Den"

And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?"
Daniel 6:20 (NKJV)

The Bible tells the story of a man who laid his faith on the line. As the Bible says, “He believed in his God” (Daniel 6:23).

Daniel had been elevated to a position of great prominence. Darius, the ruler over Babylon, saw the integrity and value of this man who had so boldly spoken the word of God. The king was preparing to make him the prime minister, which meant that Daniel would have been the most powerful man in the entire kingdom, next to King Darius himself.

But Daniel’s enemies were angry. They were jealous. Yet they could find nothing wrong with him. They knew they couldn’t stop Daniel, unless they had something concerning him and his God. So they convinced Darius to sign a decree that no man could call on any god except the king for thirty days. And actually, the king passed a law forbidding prayer to any god.

What did Daniel do? He didn’t change a thing. He prayed anyway. The trap had been laid, and the king was distressed because even he could not change his own decree. So he sent Daniel into the lion’s den. But God shut the lions’ mouths, and Daniel was delivered.

It is worth noting that God did not keep Daniel out of the lions’ den. He had the power to, just as surely as He has the power to keep you out of any hardship that you potentially could face. But God will allow His people to go through difficulties.

Everyone on this planet faces hardships in life. Everyone faces difficulty. But Christians have the hope that no matter what, God will see us through. That is the great message resounding from the lions’ den. God will be with us in the midst of our adversity and difficulties.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV®, 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 - Oración de fe

Si confiesas con tu boca que Jesús es el Señor, y crees en tu corazón que Dios lo levantó de entre los muertos, serás salvo. Romanos 10:9 (NVI)

Mi Dios, hace varios días que estoy leyendo este libro que alguien me regaló (o que compré), porque ya es tradición leer algo todos los días. Tal vez lo escuche a través de la radio, pues se oye bonito. Me inspira a cambiar, a hacer cosas distintas y a vivir una vida diferente a la que estoy viviendo.

Muchos me han dicho: «Haz la oración de fe y acepta a Jesús como tu Salvador». Sin embargo, Señor, aún no sé cómo hacerlo. A decir verdad, no quisiera cambiar de religión.

En este día y en esta hora, me encuentro de nuevo en este libro la oportunidad de hacer esta oración y deseo hacerla con todo mi corazón. Aunque hay cosas que no entiendo, y aunque a veces lo que veo no me gusta, quiero recibirte en mi corazón.

Señor Jesús, me presento delante de ti para pedirte perdón por mis pecados, para decirte que te recibo en mi corazón como el único Salvador de mi vida.

Por favor, escribe mi nombre en el libro de la vida y gracias por darme vida eterna. Amén y amén.

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 - THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION AND RESCUE

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…

The imagery of God’s intervention in the suffering of the Israeli’s in Egypt recorded in Exodus 3:7-8 has captured the imaginations of many oppressed people. For example, African-American believers see a strong parallel between American slavery and the bondage of the Jews in Egypt and God’s personal and powerful exodus rescue of His people.

New Testament writers saw a powerful parallel with our sinful, lost, human condition and God’s redemption through the sending of His only Son who “pitched his tent” among us and purchased our salvation with His shed blood. For example, in Colossians 1:13, the Apostle Paul states it clearly. We have been “rescued from” Satan’s dark domain and “brought into” the kingdom of God’s Son.

The Exodus passage also brings great hope to persecuted Christians today. God has feelings. He cares. He sees. He hears. He knows. He’s concerned. And in His time, He rescues! The mystery of this rescuing action is God’s timing. Galatians 4:4 tells us it was when “the time had fully come” that God sent His Son to redeem us. We saw two days ago that the Israelis waited hundreds of years for deliverance from oppression in Egypt and entrance to the promised land while “the sins of the Amorites reached full measure” (Genesis 15:16). God alone sees the end from the beginning. We wait for His timing in His promise of coming down to rescue us.

Iranian Christian leader, Mehdi Dibaj, spent over nine years in prison for his faith as a believer from Muslim background. He was emotionally prepared to die a martyr’s death. His day was indeed to come. In late 1993, he was tried on charges of apostasy (from Islam) after being a Christian for over forty years. He made his own defence and used his written statement to share his commitment to Jesus Christ. In early 1994, he was sentenced to execution. There was a great international outcry when the news of Mehdi Dibaj's scheduled execution was publicized. Suddenly on January 16, 1994, the Teheran government released Mehdi Dibaj from prison and denied it had sentenced him to death for converting from Islam to Christianity over forty years earlier.

It was a great day of rejoicing for the believers in Iran. When Mehdi Dibaj first met with them, their immediate response was to burst into song, “In the name of Jesus, we have the victory!” Even TIME magazine reported the release under the title “Answered Prayers.” Yet in God’s perfect timing, this man who had experienced God’s rescue multiple times was martyred by vigilantes after six months of freedom from prison.

RESPONSE: Today I will acknowledge God’s timing is best for me as I await His rescue.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for my deliverance from the kingdom of darkness to Your kingdom of light through Your Son, Jesus.

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

Men of the Bible - Joseph

His name means: "May He [the Lord] Add"

His work: As governor of Egypt he saved many lives, including those of his own family, thus preserving God's people during a time of famine.
His character: Other than committing the youthful indiscretion of sharing dreams that made his brothers jealous, it is hard to find fault with Jacob's favorite son, Joseph. A dreamer and an interpreter of dreams, he overcame great adversity to rise to a place of prominence and power in the land of Egypt. A great-hearted man, God blessed him with wisdom and success.
His sorrow: To have been sold into slavery by brothers who hated him and to have been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
His triumph: To be reconciled with his brothers and reunited with his father and then to be used by God to preserve their lives and the lives of many others.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 37, 39-50 

A Look at the Man

After suffering so much misfortune, Joseph prospered in remarkable ways, governing the land he had entered as a slave and being reunited with his family. It's almost a storybook ending, in which the hero lives happily ever after. God's hand of blessing was so firmly on Joseph that nothing could keep him down—not the jealousy of his brothers, not slavery, not false accusations, not imprisonment. He was like the bar of soap that keeps rising to the top no matter how many times it's shoved beneath the water.

Was there something about Joseph that made it easy for God to bless him? Consider his position in Potiphar's house and his response to Potiphar's wife's attempt to seduce him: "No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"

Now consider the first temptation of the first man, Adam: "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die'" (Genesis 2:15-17). Like Joseph, Adam was put in charge of everything. His master, God, had withheld nothing from him, except one thing—fruit from a tree in Eden. But, unlike Joseph, it was the one thing Adam could not refuse himself. And his disobedience ruined him for paradise.

It seems clear that obedience is a key to experiencing God's blessing. A life of obedience, coupled with God's power, is what enabled Joseph to provide deliverance for so many people. A life of obedience is what enabled Jesus to restore our relationship with God and open the gates of paradise. Like Jesus and like Joseph, we all are called to counter Adam's sin by living our life in loving obedience to God, realizing that his blessings are a taste of the paradise that awaits us.

Reflect On: Genesis 45:1–13
Praise God: Because he can use what others intend for evil to accomplish great good.
Offer Thanks: For his persistent blessings.
Confess: Any tendency to doubt God’s love because you equate blessing with ease.
Ask God: To make you a person whose life will bless many others.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media. Coming this fall: watch for Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler.

Girlfriends in God - The Incredible Worth of One-of-a-Kind

Today’s Truth

Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made (Isaiah 43:7, NIV).

Friend to Friend

I cringe every time I see it. My first-grade school photo. Dorothy Hamill haircut. Awkward 1970s fashion. Slouchy shoulders, goofy grin. And a gap between my two front teeth as wide as Moses’ parted Red Sea.
Somebody save me.

I always hated that gap. Lauren Hutton made it look sexy. I made it look like an unfortunate genetic accident. For two entire school years that photo bothered my six-year-old self. So much so that I refused to smile in my third- and fourth-grade photos.

I inherited my toothy space. Call it a genetic gift, passed down from my mother’s side of the family, along with a wide and sturdy Nebraska-farmer physique. Yay me.

But unlike the Nebraska hips, which I didn’t resent until much later, I hated my teeth from the start. Other six-year-olds sported teeth that touched. Mine had to send postcards to each other. I tried to squish them together with my fingers to no avail. Mom tried to convince me the gap made me unique. I didn’t want to be unique. I wanted to be normal.

That was merely the beginning of a personal critique that continues to this day. Imagine me, clipboard in hand, constantly scrutinizing my reflection.

Turned-up nose? Check. Wrinkles and flabby granny arms? Check, check. Gray hair, spider veins, and stretch marks? Lord, have mercy. Somebody give me a fresh pen. Check, check, and check.

When it comes to my appearance, there is little I celebrate and too much I denigrate. But if my little girl came up to me and started the same type of clipboard-carrying critique, I’d launch into a world-class lecture detailing all the reasons why she is beautiful and wonderful and valuable exactly as she is.

Why can’t I do the same for myself?

Because I’ve lost sight of how I was formed. In my effort to be like everyone else, I’ve lost sight of what makes me one of a kind. Just as there’s a painter behind every painting and a poet behind every poem, an artistic expertise forged every one of us. And the best artists know that variation lends creativity its value. It isn’t the common that attracts us but the uncommon.

Years ago, long before his explosive success, my parents became fans of artist Terry Redlin. They loved his outdoor wildlife scenes, the way he brought nature alive with color and illumination. So one day they picked up a Terry Redlin print. But not just any print. A numbered print—one of a limited edition of original paintings. Replicas of that painting exist, but none exactly like theirs. Theirs includes variations not found in the replicas, unique brush strokes that lend originality to their particular piece of art.

What if you and I started to see our variations the same way? What if, rather than working so hard to become a mass-produced replica, we trusted the value in the unique form we already have?

What if your curly hair is actually like a numbered print?

What if that birthmark or those freckles you try to hide are like a signature?

What if my cavernous front teeth are like an artist’s hidden representation?

In Ephesians 2:10, Paul said, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

We are not mass-produced, We’ve been designed by an expert, shaped and formed by hands with far more skill than our own.

Numbered prints. Each one different from all the others. Each one bearing the name of the Artist. Gap teeth and all.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I often struggle to see my uniqueness as a one-of-a-kind beauty. I look at the many flaws and variations and want desperately to be someone other than who I am. And yet, you formed me by design, and you love what you have made. Open my eyes to see what you see. Help me to find beauty where before I missed it. And help me to embrace and give thanks for the artistic work you’ve done in my one-of-a-kind life.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Today, when you catch your reflection in a mirror or window, refuse the temptation to scrutinize and criticize. Instead, give thanks for the marvelous work of God’s artistic hand.

More from the Girlfriends

It’s here! Michele’s new book, I Am: A 60-day Journey To Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is, is now available. If you’re tired of doubting your worth and feeling exhausted from all the effort at being “enough,” this journey may finally deliver the peace you crave. For short, inspirational devotional messages delivered right to your inbox, check out Michele’s FREE I Am Video Experience.

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

LHM Daily Devotion - "Changing the Wood"

 February 17, 2017

For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.Philippians 3:18 (ESV)

Paul was strong enough to survive shipwrecks, stonings and earthquakes. He crossed deserts and sailed the seas. By God's grace, he endured hunger, poverty and spectrums of bad weather.

Still, he says, knowing some people were enemies of the cross reduced him to tears.

Years ago, when I first read those words, I wondered why would anybody consider a cross to be their enemy? After all, nobody considers a triangle to be their foe; nobody hates circles or squares. Why should a cross be a bother?

That's what I continued to wonder until, well, it couldn't be more than a few years ago, I watched a two-year-old boy play. He had just reached that advanced stage in life when his brain told him he was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Of course, the family's living room had no speeding bullets to race or powerful locomotives against which he could test his strength. This family didn't even have any tall buildings to leap.

In fact, the only thing that looked leapable was the coffee table.

That's how -- beginning back in the dining room -- the boy took a running start. He raced around the corner, past dad's La-Z-Boy, and then launched himself up, up and away. Not having had much experience in leaping coffee tables, the boy caught his foot on the way up and his elbow on the way down. He gave vent to his pain with tons of tears, a veritable tsunami of sobs.

His mother, seeing what had happened, picked him up and did something which struck me as being rather unusual. While her boy was calming down, she said, "That was a bad coffee table, wasn't it? Maybe we should spank the bad coffee table." And she did. Four times she hit the coffee table saying, "Bad coffee table. Bad. Bad. Bad."

I left.

But I left having learned something. I learned that coffee tables and crosses, when left on their own, are pretty inoffensive and unthreatening. But sometimes things happen that transform them. For the boy, that coffee table meant he wasn't superman.

I imagine it's not much different for people who are living their lives as enemies of the cross. I mean, think about it. A cross on its own has nothing that should make anyone love it or hate it. But 2,000 years ago, on a skull-shaped hill outside of Jerusalem, God's Son gave His life to rescue the world's sinners. That day, the cross was, for all time, transformed. Since that day, Jesus' cross exposes us for who we really are: hopeless, helpless sinners in need of a Savior.

Now you may consider yourself to be self-sufficient, self-motivated, a self-starter, and self-contained. The cross tells you that you're not. On His cross, Jesus did something you could not: He paid the price for your sins.

The cross was changed and you can rejoice in God's gracious change, or you can be, as St. Paul says, an  enemy of the cross.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that all the enemies of the cross may be transformed by the coming of the Holy Spirit. Touch their hearts so they may repent and be saved. In Jesus' Name I ask it. 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 - Seeing to Tomorrow

Read: 2 Corinthians 5:1–9 | Bible in a Year: Leviticus 21–22; Matthew 28

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

I enjoy gazing up at a cloudless blue sky. The sky is a beautiful part of our great Creator’s masterpiece, given for us to enjoy. Imagine how much pilots must love the view. They use several aeronautical terms to describe a perfect sky for flying, but my favorite is, “You can see to tomorrow.”

“Seeing to tomorrow” is beyond our view. Sometimes we even struggle to see or understand what life is throwing at us today. The Bible tells us, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).

But our limited visibility is not cause for despair. Just the opposite. We trust in the God who sees all of our tomorrows perfectly—and who knows what we need as we face the challenges ahead. The apostle Paul knew this. That’s why Paul encourages us with hopeful words, “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).

When we trust God with our day as well as our unseen tomorrows, we don’t need to worry about anything life throws at us. We walk with Him and He knows what is ahead; He is strong enough and wise enough to handle it.

Lord, I know I can trust You for today and tomorrow because You are kind, good, loving, wise, and powerful. Teach me not to worry.

God sees the beginning to the end.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Nhìn Thấu Ngày Mai

Đọc: II Cô-rinh-tô 5:1-9 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Lê-vi ký 21-22; Ma-thi-ơ 28

Chúng ta bước đi bằng đức tin, chứ không bởi mắt thấy. (2 Cô-rinh-tô 5:7)

Tôi rất thích ngắm nhìn bầu trời trong xanh quang đãng. Bầu trời là một phần xinh đẹp trong tuyệt tác của Đấng Tạo Hóa vĩ đại, được Ngài ban để chúng ta vui hưởng. Chắn hẳn các phi công sẽ rất yêu thích quang cảnh đó! Họ sử dụng những thuật ngữ hàng không để mô tả bầu trời hoàn hảo cho chuyến bay, nhưng câu tôi thích là “Bạn có thể nhìn thấu ngày mai.”

“Nhìn thấu ngày mai” là điều vượt khỏi tầm mắt của chúng ta. Đôi khi chúng ta còn tranh chiến để thấu suốt hoặc hiểu được hôm nay cuộc sống sẽ vùi dập chúng ta như thế nào. Kinh Thánh nói với chúng ta: “Nhưng anh em không biết ngày mai sẽ thế nào, sự sống của anh em là gì? Vì anh em chỉ như hơi nước, xuất hiện trong giây lát rồi lại tan ngay” (Gia-cơ 4:14).

Nhưng khả năng nhìn giới hạn của chúng ta không phải là nguyên do để chúng ta thất vọng. Ngược lại, chúng ta tin cậy nơi Đức Chúa Trời, Đấng thấu suốt trọn vẹn tất cả những ngày mai của chúng ta – và Đấng biết điều chúng ta cần khi chúng ta đối diện với những thách thức phía trước. Sứ đồ Phao-lô biết điều này. Đó là lý do Phao-lô khích lệ chúng ta bằng những lời tràn đầy hy vọng: “Chúng ta bước đi bằng đức tin, chứ không bởi mắt thấy” (2 Cô-rinh-tô 5:7).

Khi chúng ta tin cậy Chúa ở hiện tại cũng như ở những ngày mai không thấy được, chúng ta không cần phải lo lắng về bất cứ điều gì mà cuộc sống ném vào chúng ta. Chúng ta bước đi với Ngài và Ngài biết mọi điều ở phía trước chúng ta. Ngài đủ sức mạnh và khôn ngoan để xoay xở mọi điều.

Lạy Chúa, con biết mình có thể trao phó cho Ngài ngày hôm nay và cả ngày mai bởi vì Ngài nhân từ, tốt lành, yêu thương, khôn ngoan và đầy quyền năng. Xin dạy con không lo lắng.

Chúa nhìn thấu suốt từ ban đầu cho đến cuối cùng.

© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - Ver el mañana

Leer: 2 Corintios 5:1-9 | La Biblia en un año: Mateo 28

Porque por fe andamos, no por vista (2 Corintios 5:7).

Me encanta mirar el cielo cuando no hay ninguna nube. Es una parte hermosa de la obra maestra de nuestro gran Creador, que se nos dio para disfrutarla. Imagina cuántos pilotos disfrutarán semejante panorama. Ellos usan varios términos aeronáuticos para describir un cielo perfecto para volar, pero la frase que más me gusta es: «Puedes ver el mañana».

«Ver el mañana» no está a nuestro alcance. A veces, hasta luchamos por ver o entender lo que la vida nos trae hoy. La Biblia nos dice: «no sabéis lo que será mañana. Porque ¿qué es vuestra vida? Ciertamente es neblina que se aparece por un poco de tiempo, y luego se desvanece» (Santiago 4:14).

Pero nuestra visión limitada no es razón para desesperarse, sino todo lo contrario. Confiamos en el Dios que ve a la perfección todos nuestros mañanas; que conoce lo que necesitamos para enfrentar los desafíos que están por delante. El apóstol Pablo lo sabía, por eso nos anima con palabras esperanzadoras: «Porque por fe andamos, no por vista» (2 Corintios 5:7).

Si confiamos en Dios hoy y para los mañanas aún invisibles, no hay por qué preocuparse de nada que surja en nuestra vida. Él sabe qué está por delante, y es lo suficientemente poderoso y sabio como para controlarlo.

Señor, enséñame hoy a confiar en tu bondad y no preocuparme por el mañana.

Dios ve el principio y el final.

Unser Täglich Brot - Ins Morgen sehen

Lesen: 2.Korinther 5,1-9 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 3.Mose 21–22; Matthäus 28

Wir wandeln im Glauben und nicht im Schauen. 2.Korinther 5,7

Ich schaue gern in einen wolkenlos blauen Himmel. Der Himmel ist ein herrlicher Teil von Gottes großem Meisterwerk und wir dürfen uns daran freuen. Wie müssen erst Flugzeugpiloten den Anblick genießen. Sie haben verschiedene flugtechnische Ausdrücke für einen Himmel, der perfekte Bedingungen zum Fliegen bietet. Einer meiner liebsten ist: „Du kannst ins Morgen sehen.“

„Ins Morgen sehen“ übersteigt unseren Horizont. Manchmal sehen oder begreifen wir nicht einmal, was das Leben heute mit uns vorhat. Die Bibel sagt: „[Ihr] wisst nicht, was morgen sein wird. Was ist euer Leben? Ein Rauch seid ihr, der eine kleine Zeit bleibt und dann verschwindet“ (Jak. 4,14).

Aber unser begrenzter Blick muss uns nicht betrüben. Im Gegenteil. Wir vertrauen auf den Gott, der alle unsere Morgen sieht—und der ganz genau weiß, was wir brauchen, um den Herausforderungen, die vor uns liegen, zu begegnen. Der Apostel Paulus wusste das. Deshalb spricht er uns Mut zu mit den hoffnungsvollen Worten: „Wir wandeln im Glauben und nicht im Schauen“ (2.Kor. 5,7).

Wenn wir Gott unser Heute und all die noch nicht sichtbaren Morgen anvertrauen, müssen wir uns über nichts, was uns im Leben begegnen mag, sorgen. Wir gehen mit ihm und er weiß, was kommt. Er ist stark und klug genug, um mit allem fertig zu werden.

Herr, ich weiß, dass ich dir heute und morgen vertrauen kann, denn du bist freundlich und gut, klug und mächtig und voller Liebe. Lehre mich, mir keine Sorgen zu machen.

Gott sieht vom Anfang bis zum Ende.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - Voir jusqu’à demain

[Car] nous marchons par la foi et non par la vue. (2 Corinthiens 5.7)

Je me plais à admirer un ciel bleu sans nuages. Le ciel est un splendide élément de la magnifique oeuvre d’art que le Créateur nous a donné à savourer. Imaginez à quel point les pilotes doivent aimer la vue qui s’offre à leurs yeux. Or, ils emploient divers termes aéronautiques pour décrire un ciel se prêtant parfaitement aux vols d’avion, mais mon préféré est : « On peut voir jusqu’à demain. »

« Voir jusqu’à demain » transcende le visible. Il nous arrive parfois de nous efforcer de discerner ou de comprendre ce que la vie nous réservait pour la journée d’aujourd’hui. La Bible nous dit : « Vous qui ne savez pas ce qui arrivera demain ! car, qu’est-ce votre vie ? Vous êtes une vapeur qui paraît pour un peu de temps, et qui ensuite disparaît » (JA 4.14).

Reste que notre visibilité limitée ne doit pas nous faire désespérer, mais bien tout le contraire. Nous mettons notre foi dans le Dieu qui voit tous nos lendemains à la perfection – et qui sait de quoi nous aurons besoin pour surmonter les défis qui nous attendent. L’apôtre Paul le savait. Voilà pourquoi il nous encourage par ces paroles empreintes d’espoir : « [Car] nous marchons par la foi et non par la vue » (2 CO 5.7).

Si nous confions à Dieu notre journée et nos lendemains invisibles, nul besoin de nous préoccuper de ce que la vie nous réserve. Nous marchons à ses côtés et il sait ce qui nous attend. Or, il a le pouvoir et la sagesse nécessaires pour nous faire tout surmonter.

Dieu voit toutes choses, du début à la fin.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Побачити своє “завтра”

Читати: 2 Коринтян 5:1-9 | Біблія за рік: Левит 21−22 ; Матвія 28

Бо ходимо вірою, а не видінням. — 2 Коринтян 5:7

Я люблю милуватись безхмарним голубим небом. Небо – то один із шедеврів нашого великого Творця, що даний нам для радості. Пілоти користуються різними висловами, що описують найкращий для польоту стан неба. Але мені найбільше подобається наступний: “Таке чисте небо, що можна побачити «завтра»!”

Побачити своє “завтра” – це те, що насправді поза можливостями нашого зору. Інколи нам важко побачити сенс того, що життя посилає нам навіть сьогодні. “Не відаєте, що трапиться взавтра, яке ваше життя? Бо це пара, що на хвильку з’являється, а потім зникає!” (Як. 4:14).

Але наша нездатність бачити своє “завтра” не є приводом для відчаю. Навіть навпаки: маємо добру нагоду довіряти Богу, Хто має довершений зір і бачить наше майбутнє. Він знає все те, чого ми потребуємо для здолання випробувань, що на нас чекають попереду. Апостол Павло добре це розумів. Тому й підбадьорює нас наступними обнадійливими словами: “Бо ходимо вірою, а не видінням” (2 Кор. 5:7).

Якщо ввіряємо Богу як теперішній день, що бачимо його, так і день прийдешній, якого не бачимо, то можемо не хвилюватись стосовно того, що життя готує нам попереду. Ми крокуємо в житті з Тим, Хто знає все, що нас спіткає, і має достатньо сили й мудрості впоратись з усім тим, що може статися на нашому шляху.

Господи, знаю, що можу ввірити Тобі своє “сьогодні” і своє “завтра”, тому що Ти є добрий, благий, люблячий, мудрий і всемогутній Бог. Навчи мене не хвилюватись зайве.

Бог бачить наш життєвий шлях від початку до кінця.

© 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Видно до завтра

Читать сейчас: 2 Коринфянам 5:1-9 | Библия за год: Левит 21-22; Матфея 28

Мы ходим верой, а не видением. — 2 Коринфянам 5:7

Мне нравится смотреть на безоблачное синее небо – прекрасную часть творения нашего великого Создателя, данную нам для радости и восхищения. Представьте себе, как нравятся пилотам картины, открывающиеся перед ними на высоте. Они используют ряд аэронавтических терминов, чтобы описать идеальное небо для полетов. Мой любимый – «Видно до завтра».

Разумеется, это лишь оборот речи. Завтрашний день скрыт от нас. Порой у нас проблемы даже с тем, что жизнь преподносит сегодня. Библия говорит о нас: «Вы, которые не знаете, что случится завтра: ибо что такое жизнь ваша? Пар, являющийся на малое время, а потом исчезающий» (Иак. 4:14).

Но пусть ограниченная видимость вас не удручает. Мы полагаемся на Бога, Который отлично видит все будущее, а не только завтрашний день и Который знает, в чем мы нуждаемся для преодоления грядущих испытаний. Апостол Павел помнил об этом и ободрял христиан полными надежды словами: «Мы ходим верой, а не видением» (2 Кор. 5:7).

Полагаясь на Бога каждый день и доверяя Ему незримое будущее, мы не должны беспокоиться о том, что может случиться завтра. Бог все знает наперед, и Он достаточно силен и мудр, чтобы оградить нас от любой беды.

Господь, я знаю, что могу положиться на Тебя сегодня и завтра, потому что Ты благ, любящ, мудр и могуч. Научи меня не тревожиться.

Бог видит все от начала до конца.