Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, February 23, 2017

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Ruth 2:14-23

At mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine." So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, "Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her." So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. Her mother-in-law said to her, "Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you." So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, "The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz." Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "Blessed be he by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!" Naomi also said to her, "The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin." Then Ruth the Moabite said, "He even said to me, 'Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.'" Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, "It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field." So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from 2 Corinthians 3:1-18

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses' face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory! Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in Matthew 5:27-37
Glory be to Thee, O Lord

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell. "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. "Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.' But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be 'Yes, Yes' or 'No, No' anything more than this comes from the evil one.

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

Morning Psalms

Psalm 131 Domine, non est
1   O LORD, I am not proud; I have no haughty looks.
2   I do not occupy myself with great matters, or with things that are too hard for me.
3   But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother's breast; my soul is quieted within me.
4   O Israel, wait upon the LORD, from this time forth for evermore.

Psalm 132 Memento, Domine
1   LORD, remember David, and all the hardships he endured;
2   How he swore an oath to the LORD and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3   I will not come under the roof of my house, nor climb up into my bed;
4   I will not allow my eyes to sleep, nor let my eyelids slumber;
5   Until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."
6   The ark! We heard it was in Ephratah; we found it in the fields of Jearim.
7   Let us go to God's dwelling place; let us fall upon our knees before his footstool."
8   Arise, O LORD, into your resting-place, you and the ark of your strength.
9   Let your priests be clothed with righteousness; let your faithful people sing with joy.
10   For your servant David's sake, do not turn away the face of your Anointed.
11   The LORD has sworn an oath to David; in truth, he will not break it:
12   A son, the fruit of your body will I set upon your throne.
13   If your children keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their children will sit upon your throne for evermore."
14   For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired her for his habitation:
15   This shall be my resting-place for ever; here will I dwell, for I delight in her.
16   I will surely bless her provisions, and satisfy her poor with bread.
17   I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will rejoice and sing.
18   There will I make the horn of David flourish; I have prepared a lamp for my Anointed.
19   As for his enemies, I will clothe them with shame; but as for him, his crown will shine."

Psalm 133 Ecce, quam bonum!
1   Oh, how good and pleasant it is, when brethren live together in unity!
2   It is like fine oil upon the head that runs down upon the beard,
3   Upon the beard of Aaron, and runs down upon the collar of his robe.
4   It is like the dew of Hermon that falls upon the hills of Zion.
5   For there the LORD has ordained the blessing: life for evermore.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 134 Ecce nunc
1   Behold now, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, you that stand by night in the house of the LORD.
2   Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the LORD; the LORD who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.

Psalm 135 Laudate nomen
1   Hallelujah! Praise the Name of the LORD; give praise, you servants of the LORD.
2   You who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.
3   Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praises to his Name, for it is lovely.
4   For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself and Israel for his own possession.
5   For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
6   The LORD does whatever pleases him, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the deeps.
7   He brings up rain clouds from the ends of the earth; he sends out lightning with the rain, and brings the winds out of his storehouse.
8   It was he who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, the firstborn both of man and beast.
9   He sent signs and wonders into the midst of you, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10   He overthrew many nations and put mighty kings to death:
11   Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, the king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan.
12   He gave their land to be an inheritance, an inheritance for Israel his people.
13   O LORD, your Name is everlasting; your renown, O LORD, endures from age to age.
14   For the LORD gives his people justice and shows compassion to his servants.
15   The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
16   They have mouths, but they cannot speak; eyes have they, but they cannot see.
17   They have ears, but they cannot hear; neither is there any breath in their mouth.
18   Those who make them are like them, and so are all who put their trust in them.
19   Bless the LORD, O house of Israel; O house of Aaron, bless the LORD.
20   Bless the LORD, O house of Levi; you who fear the LORD, bless the LORD.
21   Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, who dwells in Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

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 23, 2017

Proverbs 14:22 (NIV) Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.

Read all of Proverbs 14

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 - "When We Don't Know Why"

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6–7 (NKJV)

I don’t have neat, tidy little explanations for everything we face in life. If you had come to me when I first began preaching in my late teens and early twenties and asked me why something happened the way it did, I would tell you. But now that I’ve been preaching for a while, I don’t have all those answers.

There are things that happen that I cannot explain. But I do know that we can give thanks—not for the hardship but because God is still on the throne. And ultimately, God even can work all things together for good to those of us who love Him. We can give thanks that the word oops is not in God's vocabulary. We can give thanks that no matter what happens to us on this earth, we still have the hope of Heaven.

The Bible says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). We are to give thanks, not for our problems but for the fact that God is still in control.

When we get sick, we pray that God will heal us, and many times He does. Yet sometimes He doesn’t. Why? Because there is something on this earth called sin, and we all live under the curse of it. We all have to die sooner or later. It’s a tragedy.

But here is the good news. As Christians, we will go to Heaven, no matter what. It may be hard. It may be difficult. But we will go to Heaven, we will see the Lord, and all of our questions will be answered.

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 por la amistad

El hombre que tiene amigos ha de mostrarse amigo; y amigo hay más unido que un hermano.

Dios, en este día llego delante de ti para abrirte mi corazón y pedirte protección de las malas amistades. Señor, confieso que he sido débil algunas veces y que me he dejado llevar por malas influencias. Dios mío, te pido perdón si en algún momento he negado mi andar contigo para complacer a personas que están lejos de ti.

Te pido perdón y te reconozco hoy como mi mejor amigo.

Guarda, por favor, a mis hijos de esas malas amistades y dales sabiduría en el momento elegir. También ayúdame para servirles de buen ejemplo a mis hijos, a fin de que vean siempre un ambiente sano y saludable en nuestro hogar.

Aleja, por favor, esas personas que no son un buen ejemplo y enséñame a ser firme para no fallar.

Gracias, mi Dios, gracias, porque eres un Dios de oportunidades.

Te amo. En el nombre de Jesús, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón. Versión Reina-Valera 1960 © Sociedades Bíblicas en América Latina, 1960. Renovado © Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas, 1988.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - SUFFERING CAN PURIFY MY FAITH

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)

Believers in North Korea’s underground church recite five principles, along with the Lord’s Prayer, at their secret gatherings. The special place of purifying suffering in the spiritual life of this church is striking:

1. Our persecution and suffering are our joy and honor.

2. We want to accept ridicule, scorn and disadvantages with joy in Jesus’ name.

3. As Christians, we want to wipe others’ tears away and comfort the suffering.

4. We want to be ready to risk our life because of our love for our neighbor, so that they also become Christians.

5. We want to live our lives according to the standards set in God’s Word.

Christian singer, Helen Berhane was arrested for sharing her faith in her home country of Eritrea. She spent almost three years in prison, much of this time in a metal shipping container. Because she would not deny her faith or stop sharing her faith, she was beaten so severely she could not walk. During her time in the containers she wrote new Christian songs and spent her time encouraging other Christian prisoners, as well as witnessing to the prison guards.

After her release, she resettled in Europe and has written her prison memoirs in a small book titled, Song of the Nightingale. In the introduction when describing her feelings inside the shipping container prison, she writes:

Sometimes I cannot believe that this is my life—these four metal walls, all of us corralled like cattle, the pain, the hunger, the fear. All because of my belief in a God who is risen, who charges me to share my faith with those who do not yet know him. A God who I am forbidden to worship. I think back to a question I have been asked many times over my months in prison: “Is your faith worth this, Helen?” As the guards continue on their rounds, I whisper the answer: “Yes.”[1]

RESPONSE: Today I will accept suffering as something that can prove and purify my faith.

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for those trials and challenges that help me be more like You. You are worth it all and more!

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

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

NIV Devotions for Men - The Highly Effective Christian

Luke 19:11–27

Recommended Reading: Exodus 4:10–12; Isaiah 6:8; Ezekiel 2:1–7; 1 Corinthians 12:4–31

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey recommends the following mental exercise: Imagine that you’ve died and that four people representing different aspects of your life speak at your funeral: a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community. What would each one honestly say about your life?

While it’s not easy to imagine others testifying to the effectiveness of our lives in the context of a funeral, this exercise does provide some much needed perspective. There’s nothing like the end of a life to get others to consider the course of their days. Take a few minutes to seriously think about what these individuals might say about you to a gathered crowd.

Now take a few moments to imagine what Jesus would say about your Christian life to this point. What does he think about your faith? What does he think about your accomplishments for his kingdom? Would he describe you as someone growing closer to him each day?

Jesus told a story about three servants in order to illustrate that God expects each of us to be faithful with what he has given us. Of course, any number of fears might hinder us from using the gifts God gives us: fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of God’s disapproval, to name a few biggies. Failure to invest represents the most serious potential shortfall of all. Only when we use our faith does it stand a chance of growing. If we don’t exercise it, it becomes stagnant and lifeless. Can you think of anyone whose faith looks like that?

Let’s look ahead ten years and repeat the mental exercise. If you spend the next ten years investing your faith and wholeheartedly using the gifts God gives you to serve him, what would a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community be likely to say at your funeral? What would Jesus say?

To Take Away
  • What gifts and opportunities has God provided that you can use for him?
  • Be honest with yourself. How have you done at living a life of faith in God?
  • What aspects of your life have you been withholding from God? What steps can you take to invest these areas in faithful service to him?
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 Cure for Restlessness

Today’s Truth

Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:21 NIV)

Friend to Friend

It’s recorded in the book of Genesis that at the dawn of creation God made the heavens and the earth, separated light from darkness, and that everything was good. Then He held the sky away from the water, established day and night, and it was good. Next He spoke the land, seas, sun, moon and stars into existence, and again all good. He went on to fill the earth with fish, birds, and animals, and fashion man in His own image … and it was good, good, good and good. Then He rested - which we ALL know is awesome. Amen? Amen.

Peace covered the earth like a warm blanket.

God had a perfect relationship with all that He created. Adam and Eve got to know Him intimately. They walked and talked with Him in the Garden of Eden in a way so pure and sacred I can scarcely imagine.

Then Adam and Eve wrecked the good with greed.

They rejected what was meant to be respected, took what was not theirs to take, ate what was not theirs to eat, and sent perfection into a downward spiral of impossibility.

After good was spoken and perfection broken God sent Adam and Eve out of Eden. And it was there in their freshly fallen, imperfect reality that they conceived their first son, Cain, and eventually their second, Abel.

These brothers were very different. Able was an animal guy, Cain a farmer. Both brought offerings to God, but they were not received the same. The offering Abel presented pleased God. Cain’s did not. We aren’t told why, but can safely conclude that it was a matter of motive. God always looks at the heart.

Cain did NOT appreciate God calling him out on his heart situation by rejecting his offering. “So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” (Genesis 4:5) God asked him why he was miffed and followed up with a strong question. “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” Then God warned Cain, “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7)

Jealousy, hate, bitterness, and anger filled and fueled Cain when he invited his brother Abel to go hang out in a field and then attacked and killed him.

God punished Cain for the murder by placing him under a curse. “When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” (Genesis 4:12)

Cain became a restless wanderer because he refused to heed the discipline and redirection of God. Instead, of turning his heart to the Lord in repentance and asking God to teach him the ways that are right, he allowed the crouching-at-his-door sin to master him. He let feelings of jealousy and anger lead his responses, and in doing so, brought destruction and restlessness upon himself and others.

Proverbs 3:11-12 instructs us this way, “Do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

Apologist Ravi Zacharias said, “God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness.” Imagine that! You and I are invited to share in His holiness. Incredible.

But you and I can become restless wanderers who ignore correcting just as easily as Cain. Can’t we? Sin crouches at the doors of our hearts each day too. It looks like comparison and smells like envy. It sneaks like arrogance and creeps like gossip and promiscuity. Satan longs to control and master us so that our relationships with both God and man suffer.

Jesus said that our enemy is a thief that comes to steal and kill and destroy. (John 10:10) This sobering, slithering reality stirs me to take a fresh stand today.

I resolve that I will not allow the lying tempter to lead me away from the good God that has for me. I will consider the matter of my motives by asking God to search my heart and show me any ways that are offensive (Psalm 139:23-24). I will stop pretending that God turns a blind eye to any sin in my life. (That’s not who He is. God is holy and just.) I resolve that restlessness will not overcome me because I stand in the same power that resurrected Christ from the grave. I have decided to follow Jesus and there will be no turning back.

Will you take a fresh stand today as well?

Fair warning: the enemy will still crouch low trying to trip us up, but the Spirit of God within will help us to master and reject sin. The challenge is daily and the struggle is real, but the supply of God’s power is endless. The cure for restlessness is found when we turn from temptations toward Jesus. And as we call out God in prayer, His grace will meet us with strength for every trial.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Please forgive me for the times I allow sin to master me. Convict my heart of any thoughts, beliefs or actions that are not right in Your eyes. Root out all stubbornness, jealousy, pride and rebellion from my heart so that I will no longer be restlessness, but can rest in Your grace.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Romans 12, then join me on my blog and leave a comment telling me which of the heart directives of Romans 12 speaks most to you today. Also tell me what you plan to do about it!

More from the Girlfriends

FREE EBOOK: Gwen Smith is a speaker, worship leader, songwriter, and author of the new book, I Want I ALL, which includes a Bible Study Guide right in the back of the book; no extra purchase required. I WANT IT ALL it’s easy to read yet contains compelling and challenging content. You'll connect with the stories, probably dust off a few heart dreams, think bigger thoughts of God, laugh and smile a lot, search your soul, and even cry a little ... because each page lovingly directs you to the personal grace and truth of JESUS. (CLICK HERE to get a FREE Downloadable “7 Day I WANT IT ALL” Devotional Ebook.)

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

LHM Daily Devotion - "Secret Sins"

February 23, 2017

You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence.  - Psalm 90:8 (ESV)

As all of us sometimes do, Joseph Talbot made a mistake. In this case, Mr. Talbot had a bit too much to drink before he got behind the wheel of his car.

It was a mistake noted by a New York patrolman who arrested him.

After that, things got a bit strange. Mr. Talbot called the officer a not-so-nice name and said the officer was ruining his life. Then Mr. Talbot refused to be fingerprinted and he refused to be photographed. His reason? He didn't want his mug shot in the local paper, which he called a "rag."

Well, the newspaper in question, the Times of Wayne County has a circulation of about 12,000. They got hold of the story along with Mr. Talbot's picture and published them both. Well, the paper underestimated how much Mr. Talbot wanted people not to know what he had done wrong.

That's why, when the delivery trucks went out to the newsstands, Mr. Talbot followed and bought up every paper they put out. Yes, he bought up almost 1,000 papers at the going rate of $1.25.

Well, Mr. Talbot underestimated the power of the press. The publisher of the paper went out and replenished the papers in all of its outlets, and then the Associated Press got hold of the story and it went viral, including being used as the basis for this Daily Devotion.

And the sin Mr. Talbot wanted so desperately to keep secret, wasn't.

Of course, he may take comfort in the fact he is not alone. Reading through the Bible, he may find many others who tried to keep their sins secret from the Lord. Adam and Eve hid after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Achan tried to hide the forbidden booty he stole from Jericho when it was destroyed. David tried, unsuccessfully, to keep his sins of adultery and murder hush-hush. Ananias and his wife Sapphira tried to keep their business dealings secret and lied to the Lord.

Yes, all these biblical personalities had a sin they tried to keep from other people and the Lord. They tried and they failed. They failed because along with being just and merciful, our Lord is also omniscient, that is, He knows everything. That is a truth Moses recognized when he wrote: "You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence."

John agreed with that idea, and under the Holy Spirit's direction, took it one step further when he wrote, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:8-9).

So that the Lord might forgive our sins and save us from eternal punishment, Jesus was sent into this world. Jesus' entire life was dedicated to Him being the prophesied Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Forgiveness -- that's the gift the Lord gladly bestows on every soul who acknowledges his sin and confesses them to the Lord, and that includes all our not-so-secret sins as well.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I regret and confess my sins to You. Now may I rejoice in the forgiveness which is given because of Your Son's sacrifice. In His 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.

CPTLN Devocional - No, gracias

23 de Febrero 2017

"Estas palabras que hoy te mando cumplir estarán en tu corazón, y se las repetirás a tus hijos, y hablarás de ellas cuando estés en tu casa, y cuando vayas por el camino, y cuando te acuestes y cuando te levantes." 

El Distrito Escolar Independiente de Frisco, en Texas, permitió a los Gedeones que regalaran Biblias en las 13 escuelas intermedias y secundarias de ese distrito.

En las mismas mesas utilizadas para compartir periódicos, folletos de campamentos, folletos anunciando clases privadas, información de reclutamiento militar y de universidades, a los Gedeones les fue dado un día para repartir sus Biblias.

¿Cuál fue la reacción?

Algunos padres se pusieron furiosos. Una madre dijo que se quedó "estupefacta". Un padre comentó: "La escuela es un lugar de aprendizaje, no un lugar de adoración". Otro padre expresó su opinión de esta manera: "Yo simplemente no quiero que se le imponga ninguna religión a mi hijo. Por eso es que va a una escuela pública".

Déjeme explicar algo: nadie obliga a los niños a buscar una Biblia. Las Biblias fueron puestas ahí para que cualquiera las tomara SI ASÍ LO DESEABA. Así de simple y claro. Si usted quiere una Biblia... aquí está. Si no la quiere, está bien.

Yo no sé cómo son las cosas en Frisco, TX, pero mis padres me enseñaron que cuando alguien me ofrece algo y yo no lo quiero, todo lo que debo hacer es decir "no, gracias". No es ninguna ciencia; si usted no quiere algo, cortésmente lo rechaza. Esto se aplica tanto a las Biblias como a una planta de lechuga.

Pero en un mundo de una moral tecnológica, donde es fácil para el progresismo ideológico hacer la verdad a un lado en nombre del derecho ajeno, cuando esto sucede los padres terminan permitiendo a sus niños leer o ver o creer algo, siempre y cuando ese "algo" no venga de la Biblia.

Las palabras del libro de Deuteronomio han sido pervertidas para que se lean así: "No te grabes en el corazón estas palabras que hoy te mando. No se las inculques a tus hijos ni les hables de ellas cuando estés en tu casa ni cuando vayas por el camino, ni cuando te acuestes ni cuando te levantes."

Y los niños y sus familias pagarán el precio de este error. Vamos a orar por ellos.

ORACIÓN: Amado Dios, vivimos en un mundo que cree no necesitarte a Ti ni a tu Hijo. Mientras todavía hay tiempo, te rogamos que ellos sean despertados a la salvación que tu Hijo ha ganado para todos nosotros. Esto oramos en el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

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

Our Daily Bread - Press On

Read: Philippians 3:12–21 | Bible in a Year: Numbers 7–8; Mark 4:21–41

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

One of my favorite television programs is The Amazing Race. In this reality show, ten couples are sent to a foreign country where they must race, via trains, buses, cabs, bikes, and feet, from one point to another to get their instructions for the next challenge. The goal is for one couple to get to a designated finishing point before everyone else, and the prize is a million dollars.

The apostle Paul compared the Christian life to a race and admitted that he had not yet arrived at the finish line. “Brothers and sisters,” he said, “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize” (Phil. 3:13–14). Paul did not look back and allow his past failures to weigh him down with guilt, nor did he let his present successes make him complacent. He pressed on toward the goal of becoming more and more like Jesus.

We are running this race too. Despite our past failures or successes, let us keep pressing on toward the ultimate goal of becoming more like Jesus. We are not racing for an earthly prize, but for the ultimate reward of enjoying Him forever.

Read Philippians 4:11–13. How are we able to press on toward our future hope? Read Hebrews 12:1–2. What are some practical things we must do to continue to press on and persevere?

Never call it quits in pursuing Jesus.

 © 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Vươn Tới

Đọc: Phi-líp 3:12-21 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Dân số ký 7-8; Mác 4:21-41

[Tôi] vươn tới những gì ở đằng trước, tôi nhắm mục đích mà theo đuổi để đoạt giải về sự kêu gọi trên cao của Đức Chúa Trời trong Đấng Christ Jêsus. (Phi-líp 3:14)

Một trong những chương trình Tivi yêu thích của tôi là chương trình Cuộc đua Kỳ thú. Trong show truyền hình thực tế này, mười cặp đôi được cử đi nước ngoài, ở đó họ phải thi đua với nhau bằng cách đi tàu lửa, xe buýt, xe taxi, xe đạp và đi bộ, từ điểm này đến điểm khác để nhận được chỉ dẫn cho thách thức kế tiếp. Mục tiêu là mỗi cặp phải đến được đích đã đề ra trước các cặp khác, và giải thưởng là một triệu đô-la.

Sứ đồ Phao-lô so sánh cuộc sống Cơ Đốc nhân với một cuộc đua và tự nhận rằng ông vẫn chưa đến đích. Ông nói: “Thưa anh em, tôi không nghĩ rằng mình đã đoạt được rồi; nhưng tôi cứ làm một điều: quên đi những gì ở đằng sau, vươn tới những gì ở đằng trước, tôi nhắm mục đích mà theo đuổi để đoạt giải về sự kêu gọi trên cao của Đức Chúa Trời trong Đấng Christ Jêsus” (Phi-líp 3:13-14). Phao-lô không nhìn lại phía sau và để cho thất bại trong quá khứ trì kéo ông lại bằng mặc cảm tội lỗi, ông cũng không cho những thành công trong hiện tại khiến ông tự mãn. Ông bươn tới mục tiêu trở nên ngày càng giống Chúa Jêsus hơn.

Chúng ta cũng đang chạy trên cuộc đua như vậy. Bất chấp những thất bại hay thành công trong quá khứ, chúng ta hãy cứ bươn tới mục tiêu cuối cùng là trở nên giống Chúa Jêsus hơn. Chúng ta không chạy đua vì phần thưởng trần thế, nhưng vì phần thưởng tối thượng đó là được vui hưởng Chúa mãi mãi.

Đọc Phi-líp 4:11-13. Làm thế nào chúng ta có thể bươn tới niềm hy vọng tương lai? Xin đọc Hê-bơ-rơ 12:1-2. Một vài điều cụ thể chúng ta phải làm để tiếp tục bươn tới và bền lòng là gì?

Đừng bao giờ từ bỏ sứ mạng theo đuổi Chúa.

© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - Sigue avanzando

Leer: Filipenses 3:12-21 | La Biblia en un año: Marcos 4:21-41

Prosigo a la meta, al premio del supremo llamamiento de Dios en Cristo Jesús (Filipenses 3:14).

Uno de mis programas favoritos de televisión podría llamarse en español Sublime audacia. En este programa de telerrealidad, diez parejas van a otro país, donde deben correr —usando trenes, autobuses, taxis, bicicletas, y a pie— de un lugar a otro para obtener las instrucciones para el próximo desafío. La meta es que una pareja alcance el punto de llegada antes que las demás, y el premio es un millón de dólares.

El apóstol Pablo comparó la vida cristiana con una carrera y admitió que aún no había llegado a la meta: «Hermanos, yo mismo no pretendo haberlo ya alcanzado; pero una cosa hago: olvidando ciertamente lo que queda atrás, y extendiéndome a lo que está delante, prosigo a la meta, al premio…» (Filipenses 3:13-14). Pablo no miró atrás ni dejó que sus fracasos del pasado lo agobiaran por la culpa. Tampoco permitió que sus logros del presente lo dejaran satisfecho. En cambio, continuó avanzando hacia la meta de ser cada vez más como Jesús.

Nosotros también corremos esta carrera. Independientemente de los fracasos y los éxitos, sigamos avanzado hacia el objetivo de volvernos más semejantes a Cristo. El premio no es terrenal, sino que disfrutaremos una suprema recompensa eterna.

Señor, muéstrame qué debo hacer y cambiar para seguir avanzando hacia la meta de asemejarme cada día más a Cristo.

Nunca dejes de seguir a Jesús.

Unser Täglich Brot - Bleib dran

Lesen: Philipper 3,12-21 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 4.Mose 7–8; Markus 4,21-41

Ich jage nach dem vorgesteckten Ziel, dem Siegespreis der himmlischen Berufung Gottes in Christus Jesus. Philipper 3,14

Eine meiner liebsten Fernsehsendungen ist The Amazing Race. Es handelt sich um eine Realityshow, in der zehn Paare in ein fremdes Land geschickt werden, wo sie mit Zug, Bus, Taxi, Rad oder zu Fuß von einem Punkt zum anderen rennen müssen, wo sie dann Anweisungen für die nächste Aufgabe finden. Ziel ist, dass ein Paar vor allen anderen an den festgesetzten Zielpunkt kommt. Der Preis beträgt eine Million Dollar.

Der Apostel Paulus verglich das Leben des Christen mit einem Rennen und gab zu, dass er die Ziellinie noch nicht erreicht hatte. „Meine Brüder“, schrieb er, „ich schätze mich selbst noch nicht so ein, dass ich’s ergriffen habe. Eins aber sage ich: Ich vergesse, was dahinten ist, und strecke mich aus nach dem, was da vorne ist, und jage nach dem vorgesteckten Ziel“ (Phil.3,13-14). Paulus sah nicht zurück und ließ sich von den Fehlern der Vergangenheit nicht niederdrücken. Aber der Erfolg machte ihn auch nicht selbstgefällig. Er jagte weiter auf das Ziel zu, nämlich, Jesus immer ähnlicher zu werden.

Auch wir sind in diesem Rennen unterwegs. Trotz allem Versagen und allen Erfolgen der Vergangenheit wollen auch wir uns weiter nach dem vorgesteckten Ziel ausstrecken. Wir kämpfen nicht um einen irdischen Preis, sondern darum, für immer in der Nähe Jesu sein zu dürfen.

Lies Philipper 4,11-13. Wie können wir unsere zukünftige Hoffnung fest im Blick behalten? Lies Hebräer 12,1-2. Was können wir ganz praktisch tun, um dranzubleiben?

Gib nie auf, Jesus nachzufolgen.

 © 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - Courir vers le but

[Je] cours vers le but, pour remporter le prix de la vocation céleste de Dieu en Jésus‑Christ. (Philippiens 3. 14)

The Amazing Race (Le rallye autour du monde) compte parmi mes émissions de télévision préférées. Dans cette émission de téléréalité, dix couples sont envoyés en pays étranger, où ils doivent participer à une course de lieux en lieux – en train, en autocar, en taxi, à vélo ou à pied –, afin d’y obtenir les instructions qui les conduiront à leur défi suivant. Cette course a pour but d’amener un couple à atteindre une destination finale déterminée avant tous les autres, afin de remporter un prix d’un million de dollars.

L’apôtre Paul a comparé la vie chrétienne à une course et a reconnu ne pas avoir encore franchi la ligne d’arrivée : « Frères, je ne pense pas l’avoir saisi ; mais je fais une chose : oubliant ce qui est en arrière et me portant vers ce qui est en avant, je cours vers le but, pour remporter le prix de la vocation céleste de Dieu en Jésus‑Christ » (PH 3.13,14). Paul n’a pas regardé derrière lui et n’a pas laissé ses échecs antérieurs l’accabler de culpabilité, pas plus qu’il n’a laissé ses réussites présentes le rendre complaisant. Au contraire, il a continué de courir vers le but consistant à ressembler toujours plus à Jésus.

Or, nous participons nous aussi à cette course. En dépit de nos réussites et de nos échecs passés, ne cessons jamais de courir vers le but ultime, celui de devenir de plus en plus semblables à Jésus. Nous ne courons pas pour remporter un prix terrestre, mais pour remporter le prix ultime : jouir de sa compagnie pour l’éternité.

Ne renoncez jamais à suivre Jésus.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Женись до мети

Читати: Филип’ян 3:12-21 | Біблія за рік: Числа 7–8 ; Марка 4:21-41

Я женусь до мети за нагородою високого поклику Божого в Христі Ісусі. — Филип’ян 3:14

Мені дуже подобається телепередача “Неймовірні перегони” . В цьому реаліті-шоу десять пар відправляють до чужої країни, де вони залучаються до перегонів – потягом, кабріолетом, велосипедом, пішки. Вони прямують від одного пункту до іншого, де мають отримувати інструкції для подолання наступних труднощів. Мета перегонів – дістатись кінцевої точки раніше за інших. Приз складає мільйон доларів.

Апостол Павло порівнював християнське життя з перегонами. Він визнавав, що ще не досяг фінішної смуги. “Браття, я себе не вважаю, що я досягнув, – писав він. – Та тільки, забуваючи те, що позаду, і спішачи до того, що попереду, я женусь до мети за нагородою” (Фил. 3:13-14). Апостол Павло не озирався і не дозволяв, щоб минуле гнітило його провиною. Водночас він не попускав собі ставати самовдоволеним через теперішні успіхи, але наполегливо йшов до мети: все більше й більше уподібнюватись Ісусу Христу.

Всі ми теж залучені до життєвих перегонів. Та незважаючи на всі свої успіхи й невдачі, давайте наполегливо йти до кінцевої, найважливішої мети: бути схожими на Господа Ісуса Христа. Ми женемось не заради земної нагороди, але найбажанішої нагороди вічного й радісного перебування з Господом Ісусом.

Прочитайте Филип’ян 4:11-13. Як ми можемо наполегливо йти шляхом світлої надії? Прочитайте Євреїв 12:1-2. Які практичні речі можемо робити, щоб бути стійкими й наполегливими на цьому шляху?

Ніколи не зупиняйтесь у своєму прагненні пізнавати Ісуса.

 © 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Стремитесь

Читать сейчас: Филиппийцам 3:12-21 | Библия за год: Числа 7-8; Марка 4:21-41

Стремлюсь к цели – к почести вышнего призвания Божьего во Христе Иисусе. — Филиппийцам 3:14

Одна из моих любимых телевизионных программ называется «Удивительная гонка». В этом реалити-шоу десять супружеских пар отправляются в другую страну, где должны на поездах, автобусах, такси, велосипедах и пешком добраться из одного пункта в другой, чтобы получить дальнейшие указания. Цель – достичь финиша прежде других. Приз – миллион долларов.

Апостол Павел сравнивал христианскую жизнь с забегом и признавал, что сам еще не дошел до заветной цели. «Братия, я не почитаю себя достигшим; а только, забывая оставшееся позади и простираясь вперед, стремлюсь к цели – к почести вышнего призвания Божьего во Христе Иисусе», – пишет он (Флп. 3:13-14). Павел не оглядывался назад и не позволял прежним неудачам отягощать его ненужным бременем. Также и нынешние достижения не кружили ему голову. Он стремился вперед, к высшей цели – уподобление Иисусу Христу.

Мы все участвуем в этом забеге. Вопреки прошлым победам и поражениям, будем стремиться к главной цели, преображаясь в образ Христов. Мы не состязаемся за земной приз, а за высшую награду вечного пребывания с Ним.

Прочитайте Филиппийцам 4:11-13. Что помогает нам стремиться к будущей надежде? Прочитайте Евреям 12:1-2. Что нам следует сделать, чтобы продолжать проходить поприще и устоять?

Кто следует за Христом, тот не проиграет.

 © 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный