Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, February 22, 2017

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Ruth 2:1-13

Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband's side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, "Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor." She said to her, "Go, my daughter." So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, "The LORD be with you." They answered, "The LORD bless you." Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, "To whom does this young woman belong?" The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, "She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, 'Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.' So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment." Then Boaz said to Ruth, "Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn." Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?" But Boaz answered her, "All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. May the LORD reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!" Then she said, "May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants."

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:17

But I call on God as witness against me: it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth. I do not mean to imply that we lord it over your faith; rather, we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand firm in the faith. So I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit. For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? And I wrote as I did, so that when I came, I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice; for I am confident about all of you, that my joy would be the joy of all of you. For I wrote you out of much distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain, but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you. But if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but to some extent-- not to exaggerate it-- to all of you. This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. I wrote for this reason: to test you and to know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ. And we do this so that we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. When I came to Troas to proclaim the good news of Christ, a door was opened for me in the Lord; but my mind could not rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said farewell to them and went on to Macedonia. But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not peddlers of God's word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in Matthew 5:21-26
Glory be to Thee, O Lord

"You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder' and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

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

Morning Psalms

Psalm 119: Qoph Clamavi in toto corde meo
145   I call with my whole heart; answer me, O LORD, that I may keep your statutes.
146   I call to you; oh, that you would save me! I will keep your decrees.
147   Early in the morning I cry out to you, for in your word is my trust.
148   My eyes are open in the night watches, that I may meditate upon your promise.
149   Hear my voice, O LORD, according to your loving-kindness; according to your judgments, give me life.
150   They draw near who in malice persecute me; they are very far from your law.
151   You, O LORD, are near at hand, and all your commandments are true.
152   Long have I known from your decrees that you have established them for ever.

Psalm 119: Resh Vide humilitatem
153   Behold my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law.
154   Plead my cause and redeem me; according to your promise, give me life.
155   Deliverance is far from the wicked, for they do not study your statutes.
156   Great is your compassion, O LORD; preserve my life, according to your judgments.
157   There are many who persecute and oppress me, yet I have not swerved from your decrees.
158   I look with loathing at the faithless, for they have not kept your word.
159   See how I love your commandments! O LORD, in your mercy, preserve me.
160   The heart of your word is truth; all your righteous judgments endure for evermore.

Psalm 119: Shin Principes persecuti sunt
161   Rulers have persecuted me without a cause, but my heart stands in awe of your word.
162   I am as glad because of your promise as one who finds great spoils.
163   As for lies, I hate and abhor them, but your law is my love.
164   Seven times a day do I praise you, because of your righteous judgments.
165   Great peace have they who love your law; for them there is no stumbling block.
166   I have hoped for your salvation, O LORD, and have fulfilled your commandments.
167   I have kept your decrees and I have loved them deeply.
168   I have kept your commandments and decrees, for all my ways are before you.

Psalm 119: Taw Appropinquet deprecatio
169   Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding, according to your word.
170   Let my supplication come before you; deliver me, according to your promise.
171   My lips shall pour forth your praise, when you teach me your statutes.
172   My tongue shall sing of your promise, for all your commandments are righteous.
173   Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your commandments.
174   I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.
175   Let me live, and I will praise you, and let your judgments help me.
176   I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; search for your servant, for I do not forget your

Evening Psalms

Psalm 128 Beati omnes
1   Happy are they all who fear the LORD, and who follow in his ways!
2   You shall eat the fruit of your labor; happiness and prosperity shall be yours.
3   Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive shoots round about your table.
4   The man who fears the LORD shall thus indeed be blessed.
5   The LORD bless you from Zion, and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6   May you live to see your children's children; may peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 129 Sæpe expugnaverunt
1   Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth, let Israel now say;
2   Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth", but they have not prevailed against me."
3   The plowmen plowed upon my back and made their furrows long.
4   The LORD, the Righteous One, has cut the cords of the wicked.
5   Let them be put to shame and thrown back, all those who are enemies of Zion.
6   Let them be like grass upon the housetops, which withers before it can be plucked;
7   Which does not fill the hand of the reaper, nor the bosom of him who binds the sheaves;
8   So that those who go by say not so much as, "The LORD prosper you. We wish you well in the Name of the LORD."

Psalm 130 De profundis
1   Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
2   If you, LORD, were to note what is done amiss, O LORD, who could stand?
3   For there is forgiveness with you; therefore you shall be feared.
4   I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him; in his word is my hope.
5   My soul waits for the LORD, more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
6   O Israel, wait for the LORD, for with the LORD there is mercy;
7   With him there is plenteous redemption, and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

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 22, 2017

1 John 4:18 (NIV) There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Read all of 1 John 4

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

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - "Not Ashamed"

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Romans 1:16 (NKJV)

It seems today that it’s open season on Christians. People attack us as intolerant, Bible-thumping bigots. Because we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we are dismissed as simple-minded fools.

What are we to do? We should keep praying. We should keep preaching. And we should keep living the Christian life and not compromise our principles.

It’s interesting to note that when Daniel was attacked for his faith, he didn’t change a thing. As a Jew living in a foreign country, his custom was to open his windows, face Jerusalem, and call upon the name of the Lord. It was a habit of prayer. From the time that he was a young man, he always took time to pray. He established that grid in his life, and even in his nineties, he was still praying.

But Daniel’s enemies had set a trap for him. They convinced the king to sign a decree that made it illegal for him to continue his daily practice of prayer. Yet for Daniel, to not pray would be a compromise.

There are certain things in life that you won’t feel comfortable doing. Listen to what God’s Spirit is saying to you, and don’t compromise. Don’t deny Him. Sometimes to not confess Him when the occasion arises is to deny Him. Someone may say, “I have been watching you. You’re different. What is it about you? Where do you get your value system? Why are you happy all the time?”

“Oh, I was brought up well. It’s just my way. You may choose to live differently. I don’t want to push my beliefs on you.”

No, tell them it’s because of Jesus Christ and the change He has made in your life. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

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 - La amistad

El perfume y el incienso alegran el corazón; la dulzura de la amistad fortalece el ánimo.
Proverbios 27:9 (NVI)

Desde que tengo uso de razón, recuerdo a doña Norma, mi madre, diciéndonos a mis hermanos y a mí: «Los verdaderos amigos se cuentan con los dedos de las manos y nos sobran».

¿Por qué será que las madres la mayoría de las veces tienen toda la razón? Y qué bien por eso, pues aunque son nuestras mejores consejeras, no todas las veces obedecemos las advertencias que nos dan.

No sé tú, pero yo si he tenido decepciones con amigas. La amistad es muy hermosa cuando se valora bien. Por eso es espectacular tener un amigo, o una amiga, que sea nuestro confidente. Sin embargo, ¡qué triste es cuando nos fallan o nosotros les fallamos! Ocasionamos mucho daño y nos queda una sensación bien extraña el saber que ese íntimo amigo pasó a ser un conocido.

En el Manual de Instrucciones aprendemos también de la amistad. La Palabra nos dice que «en todo tiempo ama el amigo, y es como un hermano en tiempo de angustia» (Proverbios 17:17, rv-60).

Con todo, hasta en esto debemos tener mucho cuidado. Hay personas que nos pueden ofrecer su amistad y, aun así, quizá no tengan nuestras mismas creencias y nos arrastren a hacer cosas que sabemos que no son buenas. Dios permita que, cuando brindemos amistad, nuestra vida sea un ejemplo a seguir y podamos representar al Señor en la tierra con nuestro testimonio.

Hoy te presento a mi mejor amigo, Jesús. Él nunca cambia, permanece a tu lado en cada momento, está dispuesto a escucharte y ayudarte a cada instante. Y lo tienes siempre a tu alcance.

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. Versión Reina-Valera 1960 © Sociedades Bíblicas en América Latina, 1960. Renovado © Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas, 1988.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - PEACE IN THE FACE OF FEAR

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Twenty-nine-year-old Maryam Rostampour and thirty-two-year old Marzieh Amirizadeh spent 259 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison in 2009 in Iran. They had to overcome the fear of life imprisonment and the possibility of execution because they loved and followed Jesus Christ. They had to remain strong through weeks in solitary confinement, and endless hours of interrogation by Iranian officials and religious leaders. They had to endure months of harsh living conditions and debilitating sickness. In their first interview (with Sam Yeghnazar of Elam Ministries), they shared what life was like in prison and how they survived.

When asked about the worst part of the prison experience, Marzieh wept as she explained:

“One of the worst was the execution of two of my fellow prisoners. I had never experienced such a thing. One of those killed was my roommate. We had spent a lot of time together. And one day they took her to be executed. For a week I was in shock that killing a human being was so easy…After these executions the spirit of sorrow and death hung over the prison. There was deadly silence everywhere. We all felt this. There was nothing we could do. Everyone was under pressure. The sadness was overwhelming. We stared at each other but had no power to speak. This was the worst experience. It was horrifying and tangible.”

When asked if she feared execution, Marzieh responded:

“I never thought about execution, I thought we might be sentenced to life imprisonment because that is the punishment for women convicted of apostasy. I just thought this was something we would have to bear.

“Before prison we talked about execution, but when we got to prison and experienced the fear of it—our way of talking changed. The very first night that we were arrested, when they threatened us, we were really frightened. We never imagined we would be so frightened; we had talked about these things before. But the atmosphere there and what happened to us frightened us beyond our expectations. We were confined to a dark and dirty room and paralyzed with fear. We could see the fear in each other’s faces. We prayed and what calmed us was the presence of God and the peace that He gave us.

“It is easy to say that I give my life for the Lord and I will do anything for Him, even die. I always thought it would be a privilege to give my life for the Lord. You say these things. I know for sure that if this would happen to us we would rejoice ultimately. But human fears gripped us. The power the Lord gave us helped us to overcome these fears, just as when we prayed in the police station, God banished our fear and renewed our strength.”

RESPONSE: Today I acknowledge that God can grant His peace in every trying situation I face.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the promise of Your presence, Your peace and renewing strength.

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

Girlfriends in God - Systems Verses Sitting

by Kathi Lipp

Today’s Truth

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NASB)

Friend to Friend

I am a systems girl.

Give me a new system, whether it’s in my house, on my computer, or for my calendar and I’m in my happy place. I feel deeply that if I have a good system, along with enough Post It Notes, I could rule the world.

So, when I signed up for the course on developing a devotional system, I thought to myself, “This is it! This is the secret sauce I’ve been missing all these years. If I just had a devotional system that really worked, my quiet time will be so much deeper.”

I got my system all organized (my inner Office Supply Geek was leaping for joy). There was a place for my Bible notes, my sermon notes, my prayer requests, Bible memorization and more. I loved all the tabs, lists and fill-ins. Loved each and every page of that devotional.

And then I sat down to use it.

Oh, it was fun to flip through all the pages and tabs, but after a little bit, I realized that this new system was not making me go deeper with God. It was a great tool, but the system wasn’t what I was missing.

Systems are great to help us establish routines to get us into the practice of quiet times, but when it comes down to it, what I need are exactly two things:
  1. My Bible
  2. A chunk of time
For some reason, I thought that the system would get me where I wanted to go, spiritually, more quickly. But God is not interested in our speed.

I realized I was trying for an instant connection, instead of giving myself, and God, time to truly linger with each other.

What I’ve come to understand is that my way of practicing the presence of God needs to be less about systems and more about sitting.

Sitting and anticipating the slow, faithful hand of God.

Sitting and waiting on his voice, even if I can’t hear it right away.

Sitting quietly and expectantly.

While systems are great, and can give me a false sense of presence. I need to take steps to go beyond the system, so that I can truly meet with God. Here are a few things to consider if you are struggling:
  1. Pray for desire and grace. If you know you should be having a quiet time, but it feels like a struggle each and every time, ask God for the desire to meet with him, and then ask him for the grace when it comes out less than perfectly.
  2. Put your phone in another room. When things feel dry in my quiet time, I want an instant hit of connection – and that’s what social media offers. Instant connection. Put the phone out of reach so that you wait on your connection with God.
  3. Anticipate.
God is not hiding from you. Persistently linger in His presence. He will meet you there.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, Thank You for always being present, even when I can’t feel Your presence. Lord, I need more of You, each and every day. Teach me to be patient and never stop seeking Your face, for as long as I may live. May knowing You more deeply be my greatest desire.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Sometimes we resist quiet time with God because of our struggle to hear from Him. What is your biggest fear about waiting on God?

More from the Girlfriends

Missed making a New Year’s resolution (or maybe you’re just looking at it in the rear view mirror?) How about creating a Personal Manifesto that will carry you through the rest of your life? Sign up for great ideas and resources about how to get out from Overwhelmed and you will receive "How to Write Your Personal Manifesto" as our gift to you. Get off the overwhelming cycle of making and breaking resolutions and create a gentle plan for lasting life change.

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

LHM Daily Devotion - "Less Than Seven Minutes"

February 22, 2017

(Jesus said) "But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come."  - Mark 13:32-33 (ESV)

If you have been following the news, you may have noticed that there has been an exchange of words between our new administration and Iran.

As near as I can tell, every nation's new administrations, as well as most of the old administrations, have regular exchanges of words with Iran. That may be because Iran is very much dedicated to the development of nuclear power which can, and will, only be used for peaceful purposes.

Now nobody should have any problem with such a promise, should they?

The great difficulty with that promise is the leaders of most other nations have a hard time believing Iran when it offers such reassurances. That's because the rest of the time, when Iran's leaders speak, their words are pretty strong.

For example, in this last exchange, they said things like:

• "Any mistake made by the U.S. would result in action";
• "If the enemy makes a mistake, our roaring missiles will hit their targets." 

The comment that caught my attention was this one:

• "Only seven minutes is needed for the Iranian missile to hit Tel Aviv."

Seven minutes. Think about that for a moment. Seven minutes from when somebody presses a button until your world goes boom!  Seven minutes isn't very much time. And you probably wouldn't have the full seven minutes. It would take time for someone to decide a missile had been launched and a little more time before someone sounded a warning.

If you had seven minutes before a bomb went boom, would you be prepared? Would you be able to sit back and be content that everything was as it ought to be, or would you have a whole laundry list of things which absolutely needed to be done?

Now the reason I ask is this: according to numerous places in Scripture, Jesus is going to give less than a seven-minute warning before His return. Actually, He is going to give about seven minutes less than seven minutes.

Maybe that's why our Redeemer kept telling people to be prepared.

And how can an average Joe or Jane be prepared? Very simple: don't fight the Holy Spirit. Let Him show you your sin and lead you to repentance. Let Him introduce you to the Savior who did all that was necessary to remove those sins and promise you safe conduct into heaven.

As Paul and Silas once said to a suicidal jailer, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:31b).

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we live in a world where death can come quickly and without much warning. Today I pray that I may always be ready for the time when the Savior comes and takes me through the valley of the shadow of death. For His work and my salvation, I give thanks. In His Name. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional - Mejor de lo esperado

22 de Febrero 2017

"Hoy, en la ciudad de David, les ha nacido un Salvador, que es Cristo el Señor. Esto les servirá de señal: 'Hallarán al niño envuelto en pañales y acostado en un pesebre.'" Lucas 2:11-12 (RVC)

James Marshall estaba construyendo un aserradero en California, cuando descubrió oro.

De acuerdo a una cadena de noticias, en un mercado de pulgas una persona (que quiere permanecer anónima) compró un cuadro de una flor. Aparentemente, los diez dólares que gastó resultaron ser una muy buena inversión.

¿Cuán buena? Al parecer, al igual que James Marshall, esta persona "encontró oro".

Resulta ser que, cuando sacó la foto del marco, encontró un manuscrito de la canción patriótica "América". Dicha canción, escrita en 1831 por Samuel Francis Smith, fue designada para ayudar a las escuelas a inspirar e instruir a los niños. Cantada con la melodía familiar de "Dios Salve a la Reina" (del Reino Unido), fue ejecutada por primera vez el 4 de julio de ese mismo año en la Primer Iglesia Bautista en Newton, Massachussets.

Y ahora ese manuscrito ha salido a la luz. ¿Será que es una falsificación? Varios expertos dicen que no. Si están en lo cierto, ese trozo de papel, hasta ahora desconocido, podría valer decenas de miles de dólares.

Me hubiera gustado que esta historia hubiera sucedido en la época de navidad, ya que hay muchos paralelos entre ella y la visita de los pastores al Salvador.

En primer lugar, algo que ha sido pasado por alto puede ser de mucho valor. Por ejemplo, la llegada del Salvador al mundo fue prácticamente inadvertida, y su tan esperada venida pasó casi desapercibida. Pero lo que Jesús logró con su vida, sufrimiento, muerte y resurrección, hace que para las almas pecadoras, sea más precioso que el oro.

Eso es lo que Pablo estaba tratando de comunicar cuando escribió: "En él (Jesuristo)tenemos la redención por medio de su sangre, el perdón de los pecados según las riquezas de su gracia..." (Efesios 1:7-8a).

Las riquezas de su gracia. Por gracia somos salvos. Por gracia somos adoptados en la familia de la fe de Dios. Por gracia recibimos vida eterna. Todo por gracia.

Gracia que es mejor que el oro o cualquier manuscrito antiguo.

ORACIÓN: Querido Padre celestial, gracias por los dones que nos das y que muchas veces no vemos o no reconocemos. Perdónanos por nuestra falta de visión, y ayúdanos a comprender cada vez más quién es Jesús y lo que él ha hecho por nosotros. En su nombre. Amén.

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

Our Daily Bread - Perfect Grace

Read: Matthew 5:43–48; John 8:9–11 | Bible in a Year: Numbers 4–6; Mark 4:1–20

“Neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. John 8:11

Jesus’s teaching about absolute ideals and absolute grace seem contradictory.

Jesus never lowered God’s perfect ideal. In His response to the rich young ruler, He said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). He told an expert in the law who inquired as to the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (22:37). No one has completely fulfilled those commands.

Yet the same Jesus tenderly offered absolute grace. He forgave an adulteress, a thief on the cross, a disciple who had denied ever knowing Him, and a man named Saul, who had made his mark persecuting Christians. Grace is absolute and all-encompassing, extending even to those who nailed Jesus to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” were among the last words He spoke on earth (Luke 23:34).

For years I felt so unworthy when considering Jesus’s absolute ideals that I missed any notion of His grace. Once I understood this dual message, however, I went back and found that the message of grace gusts through Jesus’s life and teachings.

Grace is for the desperate, the needy, the broken, those who cannot make it on their own. Grace is for all of us.

Father, Your all-encompassing grace washes over us and astonishes us. May we live today as people who enjoy Your complete forgiveness and a restored relationship with You.

Jesus fulfilled the perfect requirements of the law so that we may enjoy the perfect peace of His grace.

 © 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Ân Sủng Trọn Vẹn

Đọc: Ma-thi-ơ 5:43-48; Giăng 8:9-11 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Dân số ký 4-6; Mác 4:1-20

Đức Chúa Jêsus phán: “Ta cũng không kết án chị đâu; hãy đi, đừng phạm tội nữa. (Giăng 8:11)

Sự dạy dỗ về tiêu chuẩn tuyệt đối và ân sủng tuyệt đối của Chúa Jêsus dường như trái ngược nhau.

Chúa Jêsus không bao giờ hạ thấp tiêu chuẩn tuyệt đối. Khi trả lời viên quan trẻ tuổi, Chúa Jêsus nói: “Thế thì các con phải nên toàn thiện như Cha các con ở trên trời là toàn thiện” (Ma-thi-ơ 5:48). Đối với chuyên gia kinh luật, là người hỏi Ngài điều răn lớn nhất là gì, Ngài nói: “Ngươi phải hết lòng, hết linh hồn, hết tâm trí mà kính mến Chúa là Đức Chúa Trời ngươi” (22:37). Chưa có ai làm được những điều răn này cách trọn vẹn.

Thế nhưng cũng chính Chúa Jêsus lại hứa ban ân điển tuyệt đối. Ngài tha thứ cho một người phụ nữ phạm tội ngoại tình, và một người nam tên là Sau-lơ, người nổi tiếng bắt bớ Cơ Đốc nhân. Ân điển thì vô điều kiện và dành cho mọi người, bao gồm cả những người đã đóng đinh Chúa Jêsus lên thập tự giá: “Lạy Cha, xin tha cho họ vì họ không biết mình làm điều gì” (Lu-ca 23:34).

Khi suy nghĩ về những tiêu chuẩn tuyệt đối của Chúa Jêsus, suốt nhiều năm tôi thấy mình thật không xứng đáng đến mức tôi quên mất ý niệm về ân sủng của Chúa. Tuy nhiên, khi tôi hiểu thông điệp hai mặt này, tôi đã quay trở lại và thấy sứ điệp ân sủng tràn ngập trong cuộc đời và lời dạy của Chúa Jêsus.

Ân sủng dành cho những kẻ vô vọng, những người nghèo khó, những tấm lòng tan vỡ, những ai không thể tự nỗ lực bằng sức riêng. Ân sủng dành cho tất cả chúng ta.

Lạy Cha, ân sủng của Ngài đã nhuần gội trên chúng con và làm chúng con kinh ngạc. Nguyện hôm nay chúng con sống như những người đã hưởng sự tha thứ hoàn toàn của Ngài và được phục hồi mối tương giao với Ngài.

Chúa Jêsus làm trọn những đòi hỏi hoàn hảo của luật pháp để rồi chúng ta có thể vui hưởng sự bình an trọn vẹn của ân điển Ngài.

© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - Gracia total

Leer: Mt. 5:43-48; Jn. 8:9-11 | La Biblia en un año: Marcos 4:1-20

… Jesús le dijo: Ni yo te condeno… (Juan 8:11).

L a enseñanza de Jesús sobre los ideales absolutos y la gracia total parece contradictoria.

Jesús nunca rebajó el ideal de la perfección. Al joven rico, le dijo: «Sed, pues, vosotros perfectos, como vuestro Padre que está en los cielos es perfecto» (Mateo 5:48). Y a un experto en la ley, que le preguntó sobre el mandamiento más importante, le explicó: «Amarás al Señor tu Dios con todo tu corazón, y con toda tu alma, y con toda tu mente» (22:37). Nadie ha cumplido perfectamente estos mandamientos.

Sin embargo, el mismo Jesús ofrece tiernamente gracia total. Perdonó a una adúltera, a un ladrón en la cruz, a un discípulo que negó conocerlo y a un hombre llamado Saulo que perseguía a los cristianos. La gracia es absoluta y para todos, y alcanza incluso a aquellos que clavaron a Jesús en la cruz. «Padre, perdónalos, porque no saben lo que hacen» rogó el Señor mientras agonizaba (Lucas 23:34).

Durante años, me sentía tan indigno al considerar los ideales absolutos de Jesús, que no captaba la idea de la gracia. Sin embargo, cuando entendí este mensaje dual, descubrí que el concepto de la gracia emana a través de la vida y las enseñanzas de Cristo.

La gracia es para todos los que no pueden seguir adelante por sí solos. La gracia es para todos.

Señor, tu gracia me asombra. Quiero hoy disfrutarla.

Jesús cumplió los requisitos perfectos de la ley para que podamos disfrutar de la paz perfecta de su gracia.

Unser Täglich Brot - Vollkommene Gnade

Lesen: Matthäus 5,43-48; Johannes 8,9-11 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 4.Mose 4 – 6; Markus 4,1-20

Und Jesus sprach: So verdamme ich dich auch nicht. Johannes 8,11

Dass Jesus absolute Ideale und absolute Gnade predigte, scheint widersprüchlich.

Jesus hat Gottes absolute Ideale nie herabgesetzt. In der Bergpredigt sagt er: „Ihr sollt vollkommen sein, wie euer Vater im Himmel vollkommen ist“ (Matth. 5,48). Einem Gesetzeslehrer, der wissen wollte, welches das höchste Gebot ist, erwiderte er: „Du sollst den Herrn, deinen Gott, lieben von ganzem Herzen, von ganzer Seele und von ganzem Gemüt“ (Matth. 22,37). Keiner hat diese Gebote je vollkommen erfüllt.

Und doch hat derselbe Jesus absolute Gnade angeboten. Er vergab einer Ehebrecherin, einem Dieb am Kreuz, einem Jünger, der geleugnet hatte, ihn zu kennen, und einem Mann namens Saulus, der sich dadurch ausgezeichnet hatte, dass er die Christen verfolgte. Gnade ist absolut und allumfassend und gilt selbst für die, die Jesus ans Kreuz nagelten: „Vater, vergib ihnen, denn sie wissen nicht, was sie tun“, sind einige der letzten Worte, die er auf der Erde sprach (Luk. 23,34).

Jahrelang kam ich mir, wenn ich an Jesu absolute Ideale dachte, so unwürdig vor, dass ich seine Gnade gar nicht begriff. Doch nachdem ich die doppeldeutige Botschaft verstanden hatte, stellte ich fest, dass die Botschaft der Gnade Jesu ganzes Leben und Lehren durchdringt.

Gnade ist für die Verzweifelten, die Bedürftigen, die Zerbrochenen, für alle die, die es allein nicht schaffen. Die Gnade ist für uns alle.

Vater, deine allumfassende Gnade überströmt und verblüfft uns. Lass uns heute als Menschen leben, die sich an deiner Vergebung und der geheilten Beziehung zu dir freuen.

Jesus hat die vollkommenen Anforderungen des Gesetzes erfüllt, damit wir in seiner Gnade vollkommenen Frieden erleben können.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - La grâce parfaite

Je ne te condamne pas non plus : va, et ne pèche plus. (Jean 8.11)

Jésus n’a jamais réduit l’idéal parfait de Dieu. Il a répondu au jeune riche : « Soyez donc parfaits, comme votre Père céleste est parfait » (MT 5.48). Puis il a répondu ainsi au docteur de la loi qui s’enquérait du plus grand commandement : « Tu aimeras le Seigneur, ton Dieu, de tout ton coeur, de toute ton âme, et de toute ta pensée » (22.37). Or, personne n’a jamais obéi à ces commandements à la perfection.

Pourtant, fidèle à son infinie bienveillance, le même Jésus a offert sa grâce absolue à tout un chacun. Il a pardonné à la femme adultère, à un brigand crucifié à ses côtés, à un disciple qui avait nié le connaître et à un dénommé Saul, qui avait pris du galon en persécutant les chrétiens. La grâce est absolue et universelle ; Dieu l’a étendue même à ceux qui l’ont cloué à la croix : « Père, pardonne-leur, car ils ne savent ce qu’ils font » (LU 23.34).

Devant les idéaux absolus de Jésus, je me suis senti indigne de lui pendant de nombreuses années au point d’être incapable de saisir le sens de sa grâce. Toutefois, dès l’instant où j’ai compris ce double message, je suis revenu sur le sujet et j’ai alors découvert que le message de la grâce divine souffle en rafales par la vie et les enseignements de Jésus.

La grâce est réservée à ceux qui sont désespérés, qui sont dans le besoin, qui ont le coeur brisé et qui ne peuvent s’en sortir par leurs propres forces. La grâce divine nous est donc destinée à tous.

L’accomplissement parfait de la loi nous procure la paix parfaite.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Довершена благодать

Читати: Матвія 5:43-48; Івана 8:9-11 | Біблія за рік: Числа 4–6 ; Марка 4:1-20

І сказав їй Ісус: “Не засуджую й Я тебе”. — Івана 8:11

Здається, існує деяка суперечність між вченням Ісуса про абсолютні моральні стандарти і вченням про абсолютну благодать.

Але Ісус ніколи не принижував Божі досконалі вимоги. В Нагорній проповіді Він сказав: “Будьте досконалі, як досконалий Отець ваш Небесний!” (Мт. 5:48). Книжнику, який запитав про найбільшу заповідь в Законі, Господь сказав: “Люби Господа Бога свого всім серцем своїм, і всією душею своєю, і всією своєю думкою” (Мт. 22:37). Але ніхто цілковито не виконав цих заповідей.

Тому Ісус в той же час ніжно пропонував абсолютну Божу благодать. Він простив перелюбницю, розбійника на хресті, учня, що зрікся свого Вчителя, і помилував Савла, який жорстоко переслідував християн. Божа ласка охоплювала всіх – навіть тих, хто прибивали Ісуса цвяхами до хреста. “Отче, відпусти їм, бо не знають, що чинять вони”, – молився Він (Лк. 23:34).

Протягом багатьох років я почував себе неповноцінним, бо зважав лише на абсолютні стандарти Христа, цілком забуваючи при цьому Його ласку. Коли ж я зрозумів подвійну природу Благої Звістки, то повернувся до ідеї благодаті й побачив, що вона пронизує життя і вчення Ісуса.

Благодать пропонується нужденним, зламаним духом – тим, хто у розпачі від неспроможності власними силами досягати Божих стандартів.

Отче, Твоя безмірна ласка вражає нас. Допоможи нам жити і радіти цілковитому прощенню і відновленим стосункам з Тобою.

Ісус виконав цілковито всі вимоги закону, щоб ми могли цілковито радіти Його благодаті.

© 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Совершенная благодать

Читать сейчас: Матфея 5:43-48; Иоанна 8:9-11 | Библия за год: Числа 4-6; Марка 4:1-20

Иисус сказал ей: «И Я не осуждаю тебя». — Иоанна 8:11

Учения Иисуса Христа о совершенных стандартах и совершенной благодати кажутся противоречащими одно другому. Иисус никогда не занижал Божьи совершенные требования. В Нагорной проповеди Он сказал: «Будьте совершенны, как совершен Отец ваш Небесный» (Мф. 5:48). Законнику, спрашивавшему Его о наибольшей заповеди, Он ответил: «Возлюби Господа, Бога твоего, всем сердцем твоим, и всей душой твоей, и всем разумением твоим» (Мф. 22:37). Ни один человек не смог исполнить этих заповедей.

Но тот же Иисус принес в мир совершенную благодать. Он прощал блудниц, обещал спасение разбойнику на кресте, оказал милость ученику, который трижды отрекся от Него, и жестокому Савлу, прославившемуся преследованием христиан. Благодать – это совершенное сострадание, распространившееся даже на тех, кто пригвоздил Иисуса ко кресту. «Отче! Прости им, ибо не знают, что делают», – молился Он о них (Лк. 23:34).

Многие годы я чувствовал себя крайне ущербным, думая о совершенных требованиях Иисуса и забывая о Его удивительной благодати. Но затем, осознав двойственность этой истины, я вернулся и обнаружил, что весть о благодати проходит через всю жизнь и учение Христа.

Благодать дается отчаявшимся и сокрушенным, которые не могут помочь себе сами. Благодать предназначена для всех нас.

Отче, Твоя удивительная благодать изумляет нас. Помоги нам жить, постоянно радуясь Твоему совершенному прощению и живому общению с Тобой.

Иисус исполнил совершенные требования закона, чтобы мы могли обрести совершенный мир в Его благодати.

автор: Филип Янси

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный