Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Readings for SUNDAY, March 12, 2017 - 2nd Sunday in Lent (Reminiscere)


The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Genesis 12:1-4

Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God!


Psalms

Psalm 121 Levavi oculos
1   I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?
2   My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
3   He will not let your foot be moved and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.
4   Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep;
5   The LORD himself watches over you; the LORD is your shade at your right hand,
6   So that the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7   The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; it is he who shall keep you safe.
8   The LORD shall watch over your going out and your coming in, from this time forth for evermore.


The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 4:1-5, 13-17

What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness." Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations")-- in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God!


The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in John 3:1-17
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!


Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God." Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

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


The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


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.

We Are Born Again Throughout Our Lives - The Readings for SUNDAY, March 12, 2017 - 2nd Sunday in Lent (Reminiscere)

Nicodemus (left) talking to Jesus, by Henry Ossawa Tanner

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God." Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:1-17, ESV)

"We Are Born Again Throughout Our Lives"
by Ronald Harbaugh

Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, in our baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus, your beloved Son, you have redeemed us from sin and death, and claimed us as your own. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to realize that our new birth in baptism continues to unfold throughout our lives, and that you will never abandon us. This we ask, in Christ’s holy name. Amen

In his commentary on our Gospel lesson for this morning, Thomas G. Long cites that the famed preacher, Fred Craddock, often described the tendency for us humans to try to shrink the Christian faith to a manageable size, to fit it into the tiny boxes of our impoverished religious imagination.

He says that with sharp wit, Craddock tells of people who have boiled the Christian faith down to slogans, of those who have taken the spacious and infinite promises of God and reduced them to bumper stickers. For example, he says that this shrink-wrapped faith is easy to identify when the back bumper of a car reads “God Is My Co-pilot,” to which Craddock adds, “So, Mr. Driver, that must mean that you are the pilot. I think I’ll take another flight.”

And how often these boiled down slogans truly miss the point of our faith.

For instance, Craddock describes a grinning seminary student who ambles mindlessly up to the theology professor, who had just delivered a passionate, sweat-drenched lecture on the mysterious depths of God’s unmerited grace. And what does he say? “Hey prof, I guess it boils down to ‘God helps those who help themselves,’ right?” [1]

This morning’s gospel is a familiar text. And like all familiar stories from the Bible, we often have this tendency to presume that, since we have heard it before, we already know what it means. And yet, as I have entered the last decade of my active ministry, I have begun to take a new look at these texts, in the hope that they might surprise me with new insight. After all, as I read some of my older sermons in preparation for preaching, I don’t very often find them very helpful.

And perhaps this is where we might enter our Gospel lesson for this morning. I have found over the years that God’s Spirit is continually challenging us to expand our preconceived understanding of Scripture, to help us grow in faith. In other words, God’s Spirit helps us to break open those tiny boxes that Craddock describes, to gain a glimpse of the infinite promises of God.

And to this end, we might do well to consider how we might identify with Nicodemus. Here was a man who was highly versed in the Scriptures. He was a leader of the Jews, perhaps a member of the Sanhedrin, the group that decided issues of faith for the life of Israel. Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night, and says to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God’ for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.”

As Thomas Long puts it, “Nicodemus establishes the conversation on grounds save and comfortable to himself: a conversation between established authorities. He gives Jesus the title “rabbi…teacher.” But he speaks as one who has power and tradition on his side. “We know…” he says, speaking for and from the established group, confident. He brings to the table a fixed understanding of what can and what cannot happen in the world and in human experience.

Thus, the very opening lines of this story present Nicodemus as the spokesperson of a fixed, immutable world, confident of its knowledge and closed to the surprising and the new. The rest of the story, and of the whole Gospel of John, is about that tightly bound world coming unraveled. At each turn in the road, Jesus confronts Nicodemus’ boxed view of reality.” End quote.

And how does Jesus confront those closed boxes of Nicodemus’ fixed understanding of the Scriptures? He tells Nicodemus that “no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”

Nicodemus responds to Jesus by asking, “How can one be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be reborn? Nicodemus, it seems, is totally confused by Jesus’ statement. But then, we shouldn’t blame him. The Greek word that John records Jesus using here, “anothen,” can have two connotations. One spatial, meaning “from above.” The other temporal, meaning “again.” Thus, Nicodemus could easily have taken our Lord’s statement in earthly terms. Nevertheless, his box of preconceived ideas was shaken.

We mainline Protestant churches do not talk much about the idea of being “born from above.” And we have good reason not to dwell on it, because the New Testament does not dwell on it. The word “anothen” occurs only twice in the entire New Testament, and both of them are in this passage. But you would never know this by some Christians. They have turned this phrase into a box of their own, thinking they captured what it means.

Personally, I believe that the mainline Christian Church is correct in not emphasizing “being born from above” as an event in ones life that needs to occur in order to see the kingdom of God. And I say this, not because of the phrase’s double meaning, but because as it appears in the Greek in which this text was written, the phrase involves a present participle, meaning that it is an ongoing process. It does not describe a one-time event.

As a result, our church stresses the concept that John Ylvisaker captured in the hymn, “I Was There to Here Your Borning Cry.” The phrase is correctly translated “borning from above, or being born.” It implies an ongoing process of our rebirth by God’s Spirit, throughout our life.

Albert G Butzer, in his book Tears of Sadness, Tears of Gladness, picks up on the ongoing process of being born from above, as he relates it to the explanation Jesus gives of the phrase. Jesus says to Nicodemus, being born from above is a lot like the wind. “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Butzer writes: “The winds on the Chesapeake Bay where I sail, are not very predictable. One day they will blow down from the North, another day from the Southwest. On still another day, a sea breeze off the Atlantic will fill in from the Southeast. As a result, you never know what to expect.

The wind of the Spirit is like the wind on the Chesapeake: subtle, mysterious, always changing, rarely the same two days in a row. It is the wind – the wind of the Spirit – which can blow into your life and mine in ways that are so subtle that you hardly notice until one day you open your eyes and begin to see things differently.” End quote.

And this is what happened to Nicodemus. Even though he thought he had a deep understanding of what it meant to be a person of God, even though he was a theological scholar and a member of the Sanhedrin, the Spirit of God continued to challenge those tiny boxes in which he had put his trust, and at the end of John’s Gospel, Nicodemus again appears, as a disciple of Jesus, who worshipfully cares for his dead body.

As our hymn began, “I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old…” The Spirit of God is like the wind. It comes and goes, constantly challenging our attempts to confine and minimize our conception of the Gospel. It is the promise of God to walk with us throughout our life, ever opening new doors to understanding his grace at work among us. Thanks be to God.

Amen

[1] Pulpit Resource, Logos Productions, 1999.

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 - March 12, 2017


2 Peter 1:4 (NIV) Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Read all of 2 Peter 1

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

Un Dia a la Vez - ¡Feliz!


Tu amor me ha alegrado y animado mucho porque has reconfortado el corazón de los santos.

Hoy deseo para ti y todos los tuyos un día muy especial. ¿Recuerdas cuándo fue la última vez que salieron de tu boca palabras de afirmación por alguien o cuándo le dijiste a esa persona que tanto amas que te equivocaste?

A veces no es solo una palabra tuya la que le dará felicidad. También lo hará una sonrisa a tu esposa, a tus hijos o a tus compañeros de trabajo.

Ya sabes lo significativo que es dar un abrazo al que hoy se siente solo o triste.

Da de lo mucho que tienes. No te conformes con ser feliz tú solo.

Extiende tu felicidad a otros y muéstrales ese Dios vivo que está en ti.

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 - FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. I Peter 2:21 (NIV)

In the old Museum of Atheism and Religion in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) during the cold war era, visitors upon entry were first subjected to a major display of pro-evolution propaganda. Then came the world religions section dominated by displays of the sordid history of Christianity such as the Inquisition and the Crusades.

Towering over that display area was a huge crucifix. The museum guides would explain it this way: “Christians love to suffer. Ever since their leader, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross like this, they have had a persecution complex!”

While we are definitely not called upon to have a persecution complex, we as Christians are repeatedly reminded in scripture that our lot is indeed to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Master.

When Jesus gave His last major teaching session to his disciples, he included a serious prediction about the reactions of the world. In what we now call the Upper Room Discourse (John 15-17), Jesus told his closest followers—probably as they were walking along (see John 14:31b)—that they were to remain [abide] in Him as a branch in the vineyard is connected to the main stalk.

He then reiterated his command that they were to love each other as He had loved them and was willing to lay down His life for them—the highest form of love. Little did they understand that prediction. Yet it would be fulfilled the very next day.

Then he contrasts that love of the brethren with the reaction of hatred from the world: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first…for they do not know the one who sent me” (John 15:18-21). A little further down in the discourse, He says, “…in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God” (John 16:2b).

Jesus was indicating that as He suffered, so would His disciples. Every human being endures some suffering in his lifetime. It may be the physical suffering of sickness or injury. It may be the inner suffering caused by the death of a loved one, rejection by friends, or simply loneliness. Whatever the cause may be, we all seek to avoid it as much as possible. The scriptures make it very plain that Christians are subject to all the causes of suffering common to men, plus the added persecution that comes with taking a clear stand for Christ.

RESPONSE: Today I will walk in the suffering footsteps of Jesus, my Lord and Saviour; no complaints.

PRAYER: Lord, give me grace to accept the responses of the world as Jesus did. As I abide in You, may I also show Your love to everyone.

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

LHM Daily Devotion - "Growing Urgency"


Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Growing Urgency"

March 12, 2017

(Jesus said) "Let these words sink into your ears: the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men" (Luke 9:44, ESV).

Read Luke 9:37-45

Coming down with His three disciples from the Mountain of Transfiguration, Jesus encounters a demon that His other disciples are unable to cast out. With divine might and majesty, Jesus overpowers the demon and sends him away. The crowd is completely amazed and stands marveling at what God has done. Jesus knows His disciples are still clinging to hopes of an earthly kingdom, and He doesn't want them to get swept away by the excitement of the crowds. So He turned to talk directly to them. To get their attention He could have easily said, "Listen carefully." Instead, He says something even more striking: "Let these words sink into your ears."

And what are the extremely important words Jesus has to tell them? They are these: "The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men." Despite their dreams, and the hope of the crowd following them, Jesus' suffering is close at hand. He is "about to be delivered into the hands of men."

But Jesus reveals one more painful fact about His coming suffering He did not reveal the first time: it will come about through an act of betrayal. Of course, Jesus knows the identity of His betrayer, but He withholds that information, for now. Not only will He be rejected and, consequently, subjected to violent brutalities and death, but treachery will be connected with these events as well.

The disciples fail to understand and are afraid to ask Jesus anything about it. The suspense is building as Jesus' destiny-and our salvation-draw near.

THE PRAYER:  Almighty God, Your Son single-mindedly set His steps to fulfill Your plan to save the world. Give me an unwavering faith to follow Him all my days. In Jesus' 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.

Devociones de Cuaresma - Promesas mentirosas


Devociones de Cuaresma  2017

Promesas mentirosas

12 de Marzo de 2017

Todo esto te daré si te arrodillas delante de mí y me adoras. Mateo 4:9, RVC (4:8-11)

Sé muy bien que a veces no he cumplido con lo prometido. Me he prometido a mí mismo cuidarme con la dieta para bajar de peso, pero por más buenas intenciones que tengo, no siempre logro lo propuesto. A veces, y aunque las haya hecho con toda seriedad, no cumplo promesas hechas a mis seres queridos.

El diablo también hace promesas, pero con malas intenciones. Es tan osado, que se atreve a hacerle promesas al propio Hijo de Dios, aun cuando sabe desde un principio que no las va a cumplir. Y no las cumple por dos razones: porque no tiene poder para hacerlo, y porque sus promesas son sólo para hacernos caer en su trampa. Sus palabras pueden ser dulces y suaves, y lo que ofrece puede ser muy tentador, pero él nunca tiene buenas intenciones. Por ejemplo: ¿alguna vez cediste a la tentación de gritarle a alguien, pensando que al hacerlo te ibas a sentir mejor?, o ¿alguna vez ignoraste a alguien pensando que así le darías una lección y te sentirías mejor? Ese fue el diablo que te prometió cosas que no pensaba cumplir, y que sólo te harían daño.

Jesús estaba preparado para hacer frente a tales tentaciones y falsas promesas. Él sabía muy bien quién era el diablo, y cuánta astucia y poder tenía para apartarlo de la voluntad de su Padre. Por eso ni consideró sus promesas, sino que simplemente aplicó la Palabra de Dios: "Vete, Satanás, porque escrito está: 'Al Señor tu Dios adorarás, y a él sólo servirás'" (v 10).

La Palabra de Dios es el mejor remedio para las promesas falsas y las tentaciones del diablo. En su himno Castillo Fuerte, Lutero escribió: "(el diablo) ... condenado es ya por la Palabra santa." ¡Qué regalo nos ha dado Dios en su Palabra para enfrentar las promesas vacías!

Gracias, Padre, porque tu Palabra nos libera y afirma en Jesús. Amén.

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. ¡U tilice estas devociones en sus boletines! Usado con permiso. Todos los derechos reservados por la Int'l LLL. Reina Valera Contemporánea (RVC) Copyright © 2009, 2011 by Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas.

Our Daily Bread - It’s Not Me

Read: 1 Peter 4:7–11 | Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 17–19; Mark 13:1–20

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others. 1 Peter 4:10

While on vacation recently, I gave my razor a rest and grew a beard. Various responses came from friends and co-workers—and most were complimentary. One day, however, I looked at the beard and decided, “It’s not me.” So out came the razor.

I’ve been thinking about the idea of who we are and why one thing or another does not fit our personality. Primarily, it’s because God has bestowed us with individual differences and preferences. It’s okay that we don’t all like the same hobbies, eat the same foods, or worship in the same church. We are each uniquely and “wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). Peter noted that we are uniquely gifted in order to serve each other (1 Peter 4:10–11).

Jesus’s disciples didn’t check their characteristics at the door before entering His world. Peter was so impulsive that he cut off a servant’s ear the night Jesus was arrested. Thomas insisted on evidence before believing Christ had risen. The Lord didn’t reject them simply because they had some growing to do. He molded and shaped them for His service.

When discerning how we might best serve the Lord, it’s wise to consider our talents and characteristics and to sometimes say, “It’s not me.” God may call us out of our comfort zone, but He does so to develop our unique gifts and personalities to serve His good purposes. We honor His creative nature when we permit Him to use us as we are.

Thank You, Father, for the great individuality You have built into us. Thank You for my personality and for my abilities. Guide me in using them for You.

There are no ordinary people—we were created to be unique.


© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Đó Không Phải Là Tôi

Đọc: I Phi-e-rơ 4:7-14 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Phục truyền 17-19; Mác 13:1-20

Mỗi người hãy dùng ân tứ mình đã nhận mà phục vụ nhau. (1 Phi-e-rơ 4:10)

Trong kỳ nghỉ lễ gần đây, tôi để dao cạo nghỉ ngơi và nuôi râu. Tôi nhận những phản ứng khác nhau từ bạn bè và đồng nghiệp– và hầu hết là khen. Tuy nhiên, một ngày kia, tôi nhìn bộ râu và quyết định “Đây không phải là tôi”. Vì vậy tôi lấy dao cạo râu ra.

Tôi suy nghĩ về ý tưởng chúng ta là ai và tại sao điều này hay điều kia không phù hợp với tính cách của chúng ta. Trước hết là vì Chúa ban cho chúng ta những khác biệt và sở thích riêng biệt. Sẽ bình thường khi tất cả chúng ta không cùng sở thích, ăn cùng thức ăn hay thờ phượng cùng một hội thánh. Mỗi chúng ta đều độc nhất và được “dựng nên cách lạ lùng” (Thi. 139:14). Phi-e-rơ lưu ý rằng chúng ta được ban cho ân tứ độc nhất để phục vụ nhau (I Phi 4:10-11).

Các môn đồ của Chúa Jêsus không bỏ lại tính cách của họ khi bước vào thế giới của Ngài. Phi-e-rơ thì bốc đồng đến nỗi ông chém đứt tai người đầy tớ trong đêm Chúa Jêsus bị bắt. Thô-ma khăng khăng đòi bằng chứng trước khi tin Đấng Christ đã sống lại. Chúa không khước từ họ đơn giản bởi vì họ còn thiếu sót. Ngài nhào nặn và uốn nắn họ để phục vụ Ngài.

Để biết cách chúng ta có thể phục vụ Chúa tốt nhất, hãy khôn ngoan để suy xét khả năng và tính cách của mình và đôi khi cần phải nói “Đó không phải là tôi”. Chúa có thể kêu gọi chúng ta bước ra khỏi vùng an toàn, nhưng Ngài làm vậy để phát triển những ân tứ và tính cách độc nhất của chúng ta để phục vụ cho mục đích tốt lành của Ngài. Chúng ta tôn trọng bản chất sáng tạo của Chúa khi để Ngài sử dụng chúng ta như chính con người của mình.

Lạy Cha, cảm ơn Ngài vì tính độc nhất tuyệt vời mà Ngài đã tạo trong chúng con. Cảm ơn Ngài về tính cách và khả năng của con. Xin hướng dẫn con sử dụng những điều đó cho Ngài.

Không có người nào tầm thường – vì chúng ta thảy đều được tạo dựng để trở nên độc nhất.


© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - No soy yo

Leer: 1 Pedro 4:7-11 | La Biblia en un año: Marcos 13:1-20

Cada uno según el don que ha recibido, minístrelo a los otros… (1 Pedro 4:10).

Hace poco, durante unas vacaciones, le di descanso a mi afeitadora y me dejé la barba. Hubo varias reacciones de amigos y compañeros de trabajo… en su mayoría, elogios. Pero, un día, me miré y dije: «No soy yo». Así que reapareció la maquinita.

He estado reflexionando sobre quiénes somos y por qué una cosa u otra se adecua a nuestra personalidad. En esencia, se debe a que Dios nos ha hecho distintos y con preferencias particulares: diferentes pasatiempos, comidas e iglesias donde reunirnos. Cada persona es única, formidable y maravillosa (Salmo 139:14), y singularmente dotada para servir a los demás (1 Pedro 4:10-11).

Los discípulos no evaluaron sus cualidades antes de entrar en el mundo de Jesús. Pedro, tan impulsivo, le cortó la oreja a un sirviente cuando arrestaron al Señor. Tomás insistió en ver pruebas antes de creer que Cristo había resucitado. Pero el Señor no los rechazó porque les faltara crecer espiritualmente, sino que los moldeó para servir a Dios.

A veces, al considerar cómo y dónde estamos usando nuestros talentos y características en el servicio al Señor, deberíamos decir: «No soy yo». Quizá Dios nos pida que dejemos lo que nos es cómodo, para que sirvamos adecuadamente a sus buenos propósitos. Al hacerlo, lo honramos.

Señor, guíame para usar bien mis particularidades.

No hay personas comunes y corrientes; fuimos creados para ser únicos.


Unser Täglich Brot - Das bin nicht ich

Lesen: 1.Petrus 4,7-11 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 5.Mose 17–19; Markus 13,1-20

Dient einander, ein jeder mit der Gabe, die er empfangen hat. 1.Petrus 4,10

In den letzten Ferien habe ich mir einen Bart wachsen lassen. Die Reaktionen blieben nicht aus—und waren meist positiv. Eines Tages beschloss ich beim Blick in den Spiegel allerdings: „Das bin nicht ich“, und holte den Rasierer wieder vor.

Warum sind wir, wer wir sind, und wieso passen manche Dinge einfach nicht zu uns? Vor allem wohl, weil Gott uns unterschiedlich gemacht hat. Es ist gut, dass wir nicht alle dieselben Hobbys haben, dasselbe Essen mögen oder in dieselbe Gemeinde gehen. Jeder von uns ist einzigartig und „wunderbar gemacht“ (Ps. 139,14). Petrus stellt fest, dass wir unterschiedlich begabt sind, damit wir einander dienen können (1.Petr. 4,10-11).

Die Jünger mussten nicht erst einen Persönlichkeitstest ablegen, bevor sie Jesu Welt betreten durften. Petrus war so impulsiv, dass er in der Nacht, als Jesus verhaftet wurde, einem Knecht ein Ohr abschlug. Thomas wollte Beweise, ehe er glaubte, dass Jesus auferstanden war. Aber Jesus wies sie nicht ab, weil sie noch wachsen mussten. Er formte sie selbst für ihren Dienst.

Wenn wir überlegen, wie wir Gott dienen können, ist es gut, unsere Begabungen und auch unsere Wesensart zu betrachten und vielleicht auch mal zu sagen: „Das bin nicht ich.“ Gott mag uns aus unserer Komfortzone herausrufen, aber er will auch, dass wir die Gaben einsetzen, die er selbst uns gegeben hat.

Hab Dank, Vater, dass du uns so unterschiedlich gemacht hast. Danke für meine Individualität und meine Fähigkeiten. Hilf mir, sie heute für dich zu gebrauchen.

Es gibt keine gewöhnlichen Menschen—wir sind alle einzigartig.


© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - Ce n’est pas moi


[Que] chacun de vous mette au service des autres le don qu’il a reçu. (1 Pierre 4.10)

En vacances, j’ai donné congé à mon rasoir en me laissant pousser la barbe. Mes amis et mes collègues y ont réagi de diverses manières, me complimentant pour la plupart. À la vue de ma barbe, j’ai toutefois décidé un jour qu’elle ne me représentait pas bien, alors j’ai ressorti mon rasoir.

Je réfléchis au fait qu’une chose ou l’autre ne correspond pas à notre personnalité parce que Dieu a accordé à chacun des différences et des préférences individuelles. Il convient que nous n’aimions pas tous les mêmes loisirs et la même cuisine et que nous ne fréquentions pas tous la même Église. Chacun est unique et constitue « une créature si merveilleuse » (PS 139.14). Pierre a fait remarquer que chacun a reçu des dons particuliers devant servir à l’utilité commune (1 PI 4.10,11).

Les disciples de Jésus n’ont pas eu à nier leurs traits de caractère. Pierre était impulsif au point de trancher l’oreille d’un serviteur le soir de l’arrestation de Jésus. Thomas a tenu à obtenir une preuve de la résurrection de Jésus avant d’y croire. Dieu ne les a pas rejetés sous prétexte qu’il leur fallait encore grandir. Il les a plutôt façonnés en vue de son service.

En discernant la meilleure façon de servir Dieu, il est sage de nous dire parfois devant nos talents et nos traits de caractère : « Ce n’est pas moi. » Il se peut que Dieu nous appelle à sortir de notre zone de sécurité, car il convient que nous honorions sa nature créatrice en lui permettant de nous utiliser tels que nous sommes.

Nul n’est ordinaire, nous avons tous été créés pour être uniques.


Хліб Наш Насущній - Мейдей!

Читати: Псалом 85:1-13 | Біблія за рік: Повторення Закону 14–16 ; Марка 12:28-44

В день недолі своєї я кличу до Тебе, бо Ти обізвешся до мене! — Псалом 85:7

Міжнародний сигнал біди “мейдей” завжди повторюється тричі підряд, щоб не було сумнівів, що виникла загрозлива для життя ситуація. Це слово у 1923 році придумав Фредерік Стенлі Мокфорд, головний радіо-службовець Лондонського аеропорту Кройдон, який тепер закритий, а раніше приймав багато літаків з паризького аеропорту Лє-Бурже. Як свідчать працівники Національного музею, Мокфорд запозичив цей термін із французького слова “майдез”, що означає “допоможи мені”.

Протягом всього свого життя цар Давид опинявся в загрозливих ситуаціях, з яких, здавалося, не було виходу. Але у Псалмі 85 говориться, що навіть у найчорнішу годину Давид складав свою надію на Господа. “Почуй же, о Господи, молитву мою, і вислухай голос благання мого, в день недолі своєї я кличу до Тебе, бо Ти обізвешся до мене!” (Пс. 85:6-7).

Крізь завісу близької небезпеки Давид бачив руку Бога і благав, щоб Він вказував йому шлях. “Дорогу Свою покажи мені, Господи, і я буду ходити у правді Твоїй, приєднай моє серце боятися Ймення Твого!” (Пс. 85:11).

Навіть найважчі ситуації, в котрих ми опиняємося, можуть стати кроком до поглиблення наших відносин з Господом. Все починається з нашої молитви про допомогу, коли ми у біді, а потім ми вчимося щодня крокувати Божими шляхами.

Господи, навчи нас не збочувати з Твоїх шляхів, коли наша молитва про допомогу почута й криза минула.

Бог чує наш зойк про допомогу і веде нас Своїми шляхами.


© 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Это не я

Читать сейчас: 1 Петра 4:7-11 | Библия за год: Второзаконие 17-19; Марка 13:1-20

Служите друг другу каждый тем даром, какой получил. — 1 Петра 4:10

На время отпуска я решил дать отдых своей бритве и отпустил бороду. Друзья и сотрудники живо отреагировали на перемену, при этом большинство комментариев были положительными. Тем не менее однажды я посмотрелся в зеркало и решил: «Это не я». Бритва снова увидела свет.

Я задумался над тем, кто мы такие и почему тот или иной аксессуар не подходит к нашей индивидуальности. Прежде всего это происходит потому, что Бог наделил нас личными особенностями и предпочтениями. Вполне нормально, что мы не разделяем увлечений друг друга, едим разную еду или поклоняемся Богу в разных церквах. Мы все устроены неповторимо и «дивно» (Пс. 138:14). Петр также замечает, что все мы уникальным образом одарены, чтобы служить друг другу (1 Петр. 4:10-11).

Ученики Иисуса не проходили тест на соответствие, прежде чем войти в Его мир. Петр был так порывист, что отрубил ухо одному из тех, кто пришел арестовать Иисуса. Фома требовал доказательств Его воскресения. Господь не отверг их из-за того, что они имели недостатки. Он воспитывал и менял их для Своего служения.

Размышляя о том, как послужить Господу, полезно оценить свои таланты и качества и порой сказать: «Это не я». Бог может вывести нас из «зоны комфорта», чтобы развить наши неповторимые дары и качества, чтобы мы могли послужить Его благим целям. Мы чтим Его творческую природу, позволяя употреблять нас, как есть.

Благодарю Тебя, Отче, за неповторимость, которой Ты наделил каждого из нас. Благодарю за свою индивидуальность и способности. Помоги употребить их для Твоей славы.

Обычных людей нет, мы все созданы особенными.


© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный