Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Readings for SUNDAY, March 19, 2017 - 3rd Sunday in Lent (Oculi)

The Water of Life Discourse between Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well by Angelika Kauffmann , 17–18th century

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Exodus 17:1-7

From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?" But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?" So Moses cried out to the LORD, "What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me." The LORD said to Moses, "Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink." Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the LORD, saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"

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


Psalms

Psalm 95 Venite, exultemus
1   Come, let us sing to the LORD; let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
2   Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
3   For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4   In his hand are the caverns of the earth, and the heights of the hills are his also.
5   The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands have molded the dry land.
6   Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the LORD our Maker.
7   For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!
8   Harden not your hearts, as your forebears did in the wilderness, at Meribah, and on that day at Massah, when they tempted me.
9   They put me to the test, though they had seen my works.
10   Forty years long I detested that generation and said, This people are wayward in their hearts; they do not know my ways."
11   So I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest."


The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 5:1-11

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person-- though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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


The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in John 4:5-42
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!


So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband' for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!" The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you." Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you speaking with her?" Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" They left the city and were on their way to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor." Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world."

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.

History Needs Some Changing - The Sermon for SUNDAY, March 19, 2017 - 3rd Sunday in Lent (Oculi)


So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband' for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!" The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you." Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you speaking with her?" Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" They left the city and were on their way to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor." Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world." (John 4:5-42, ESV)

"History Needs Some Changing"
by David Trexler

The conflict the Jews had with the Samaritans goes way back, and I mean way back. When the Hebrew people were brought out of the land of Egypt there were originally twelve tribes—twelve lands. But due to reasons of survival these twelve tribes were basically combined into two kingdoms about the time of David in 1000 BCE. They were Israel the northern kingdom and Judah the southern kingdom—where Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem.

These two kingdoms never did see eye to eye. The northern kingdom was conquered by Assyria (current day Syria) in 722 BCE, and the southern kingdom of Jerusalem in 587 BCE by the Babylonias (current day Iraq). However, 70 years later king Cyrus of Persia (current day Saudi Arabia) defeated both the Assyrians and the Babylonias and allowed the Hebrew people to return home and rebuild their temple.

At this time the Hebrews of the south actually become a formal religion—Judaism. They considered themselves the true religion and would not allow these so-called Samaritan’s who had remained behind during the years of captivity to help rebuild the temple. Even though Samaritan actually means “keepers of the law,” these second class citizens had their own holy ground in the north and worshipped the God of Abraham and Jacob as we see in today’s reading.

At the time of Christ the Jews had such animosity for these outcast they would not talk to them and refused to even walk through Samaria. This posed a problem cause if you wished to travel from Judea to Galilee, Samaria was in the middle and so the devout Jews would go out of their way, cross the Jordan River, travel north and then cross back over the Jordan.

Sounds a little ridiculous, huh? But I can remember not too long ago in Hickory NC, there were second class citizens and actually once again two parts of the city, white and black. White school, black school, white restrooms, black restrooms, and on and on. The main streets were even rerouted so one did not have to go through the black section of town.

My father, a Lutheran pastor, doing the work of Christ, began assisting with the civil rights movement. He had a large church in the white neighborhood, some 2000 members, and one Sunday the dean of English at Duke University attended our all white congregation. The following Sunday there stood a sign that read, “No Niggers Allowed.”

Sounds ridiculous, don’t you think? But I can remember not too long ago in Louisville KY, there were second class citizens in the church. The women could do all the grunt work, while the men were the only ones who could make the decisions and proclaim the good news. One particular Sunday a female pastor stood up in the pulpit and began to share with us one of the most powerful sermons I’ve ever heard. Close to half of the congregation walked out.

How ridiculous is that? But I can remember like it was yesterday in parts of Indiana, there were second class citizens still in the church, straight and homosexual. Sure the gays and lesbian were told they are welcome to do the grunt work, but just don’t proclaim the message of Christ’s love. Cause if you do, then we’ll go find another church that doesn’t have Samaritans, homosexuals, women pastors, or people who are different than us.

All these true stories sound so ridiculous its no wonder the Church is falling flat on its face and fighting a losing battle. We proclaim the Words of Jesus as the Christ, but live our lives in total opposition to the message. We walk around the people who need it the most. Think of it this way.

Would you buy a product that promised to grow hair from a man who's head was as slick as baby’s butt? Of course not! What a silly question.

Then can we expect the youth of our society, the broken and downtrodden, the searching, anybody different than us to buy into the message of the life changing gospel from a bunch of ridiculous people? Of course not! Again what a silly question.

The sad part of the story is that today most of the people descending from the Samaritan race now subscribe to Islam where they worship the same God and just happened to be accepted by the Muslim people with open arms.

If only, if only we could learn from Jesus in today’s lesson? Jesus the Christ shattered any idea of stereotypes and prejudices. He shatters any notice that who we are, male, female, Jew, Samaritan, black, white, straight, gay makes no difference to a God of Love.

You know Jesus could have easily done what the good Jew would do and go around Samaria, but no! In the first verses of today’s reading it says, “He had to go.” He had to go, because that is what Jesus came for.

He came to a Samaritan. Not only a Samaritan, but a woman Samaritan. Not only a woman Samaritan, but a woman Samaritan scarred by life, a sinner who could not even gather water around her own kind—when most of the women would have been gathering water in the cool of the morning—she had to wait until the heat of day so as not be seen.

Jesus knows every single thing about this woman and still he offers to her living water, the freedom of the gospel, and the knowledge of God’s Love with open arms, not with words of condemnation.

Yet can we learn from Jesus in today’s lesson?

Next time you find yourself being tempted to judge by skin color, gender, religion, life style remember the heart of Christ, and simply turn around and look at yourself in the mirror.

Because in that mirror you will see the Samaritan woman, a person who is an outcast Gentile, a person who is a sinner and has a past just like that poor woman sometimes ashamed to be seen. And yet while Jesus knows every single thing about you, he still offers to you living water, the freedom of the gospel, the knowledge of God’s love with open arms.

And with this new found living water of Christ Jesus you are truly free to live knowing that you are accepted for who you are and then you in turn will walk through unknown territories accepting others who differ from you. Paul writes, since we are justified (made right) by faith, we now have peace with God, and folks this peace with God makes a world of difference in how you live and how you will treat others.

But there’s one last thing I would like to point out about this text, which deals with the future of our Christian nation—deals with the future of this Lampstand we call Gloria Dei.

While Jesus shatters the boundaries of prejudice and comes to all sinners alike. Notice what the poor Samaritan woman does next. She becomes the first evangelist in the gospel of John. Get that folks! Tell me the Bible isn’t full of unexpected twist and turns—like life. Your very first non-Jew disciple/pastor was a shady, sinful woman despised by the religious leaders of the day. Sort of ridiculous huh?

She leaves her jar. She goes back to her city and says, “Come and see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done and still he offers me life.”

She wasn’t now perfect, her past still lingered in her memories, but first the first time this woman was accepted for who she was.

It says, many other Samaritans from the city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony and Jesus stayed amongst the outcast for two days, for two days.

They didn’t believe because now she was better than them, she was still a sinner, but they believed because they saw a change. They saw that whoever this person Jesus was, he had cause something different and exciting in this woman and they were curious.

Can we look in the mirror and realize that we are no better than any sinner in God’s good creation? And then, then can we go out as something different and tell others the exciting good news about a certain man named Jesus who knows all about my faults and yet is willing to offer living water with open arms?

I sure hope so, because the course of history needs some changing, and it will only change through the Love of Christ Jesus.

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 quot.

Verse of the Day - March 19, 2017


Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Read all of Galatians 5

 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 - Nuestra identidad está en Dios


Sean fuertes y valientes. No teman ni se asusten [...] pues el Señor su Dios siempre los acompañará; nunca los dejará ni los abandonará.
Deuteronomio 31:6 (NVI)

Estos días venimos reflexionando en cómo la vida nos puede cambiar y de qué manera en diferentes personas la vida es aún bella, cualquiera que sea su condición, pues encontraron su identidad en Cristo.

Esta es mi reflexión para cada uno de nosotros: Aunque tengamos en nuestro cuerpo marcas de accidentes, defectos físicos o cualquier cosa que nos haga sentir diferentes a los demás, debemos entender que Dios nos ama igual. Si Él permitió que llegaras a este mundo, no eres una equivocación, ni eres un estorbo, aunque personas sin sentimientos algún día te lo hayan dicho o te hayas sentido despreciado y rechazado. Quiero reafirmarte hoy que no eres algo que se escapó del control de las manos de Dios y que Él no está al tanto de cómo te sientes.

Tú debes aceptarte hoy como eres. Debes quererte como eres y tener muy claro que eres un hijo de Dios. Tu identidad está en Él. A pesar de tus limitaciones, Dios es el que te ama de manera incondicional, te defiende y te protege. Nunca te rechazará ni te abandonará. Cuando entiendes esto y lo llevas de tu corazón a tu mente, cambia la manera de verte y de comportarte. Así que no olvides que hay miles de valientes que incluso con su impedimento son deportistas, cantantes, artistas, predicadores, bailarines, comunicadores, padres y madres de familia, maestros, profesionales en todas las ramas, y que se han destacado aun más que una persona con todas sus capacidades.

¡Anímate! No te eches a morir. Dios te necesita y el mundo espera por otro valiente como tú. 

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 -

Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:33 (NIV)

Some of Jesus’ disciples took time to come to a place where they recognized this very human being they followed was also God. Interestingly, in Matthew’s account of their journey with Jesus, it was the calming of the terrible storm that finally convinced them. Jesus later told His disciples that people who have not seen His miracles and still believe are even more blessed. But still today, many people need a supernatural revelation to trust Him.

Throughout the Muslim world come reports of people having dreams and visions of Jesus. In this way, He becomes real to them and further reading of scripture confirms His status as Messiah and Savior.

Hedayat is an Iranian youth who had always been a good Muslim and practiced the rituals required by his faith, but he had never considered the message of the Quran to be very positive. An Armenian Christian friend of Hedayat sometimes shared a little with Hedayat about the Christian faith of his family. He didn’t say too much, because he did not want to get in trouble for it. But one day he gave Hedayat a movie, warning him to watch it when he was alone.

Watching the movie did not convince Hedayat of the Christian faith, nor his dream afterwards. He says, “I had prayed the prayer at the end of the video, and then I had this dream. I saw a man in my house, standing before me. I saw marks in his wrists and feet, and I just knew this must be Jesus.”

Hedayat recalls after that, he had felt very confused and did not want to accept any of this. He realized that especially his older brother might become furious if he accepted the Christian faith. So he decided to block any thoughts about this and cut the relationship with his Armenian friend.

Although the Armenian tried to get in touch many times, Hedayat always refused. Four years later the Armenian believer mustered up courage and went to the electronics shop where Hedayat worked. Walking up to his old friend, he shoved a small present over the counter.

“I will never forget you and will always pray for you,” the Christian said. Then he turned around and left the shop, leaving Hedayat astonished.

“From the size of the package, I thought it was a pocket-diary. But it turned out to be a New Testament,” Hedayat remembers. “At the moment I unpacked it, I felt anger coming up, because he was chasing me with his Christianity! I put it away, but in the evening I became curious and wondered if I could discover if the Bible indeed was corrupted, as I was told.”

So Hedayat started reading Matthew, Mark, and Luke. After a few months, Hedayat contacted his Armenian friend at the phone number that was on a little note in the Bible. The Word of God had convinced him that there was no Mehdi coming, as Iranian Shias believe, but that it was Jesus the Messiah he should be expecting. Through his friend, he was soon welcomed into a house church and discipled.

RESPONSE: Today I will thank God for His Son revealed through His Word which is enough for me.

PRAYER: Pray for many more who see Jesus in dreams and visions to come to a place of acceptance.

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

LHM Daily Devotion - "Where's My Host?"


Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Where's My Host?"

March 19, 2017

... "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today" (Luke 19:5b, ESV).

Read Luke 19:1-10

Jesus' final week is just a few days away. He has come to Jericho to spend the night, but His host is not home. So Jesus passes through town to find him.

Zacchaeus is a chief tax collector and extremely wealthy. But he left his tax office when he heard Jesus had come to town. He knew Jesus' reputation-while the Jews and their leaders despised tax collectors as traitors and thieves-Jesus was known as a friend to tax collectors. Rushing to the far edge of town, he climbed a tree to see the Lord.

Jesus comes right up to that spot, stops, and looks up into the tree. Calling Zacchaeus by name, He tells him to come down quickly. Jesus wants to spend this night in his house.

Zacchaeus scurries down and receives Jesus with great joy. The crowd hears this and is terribly scandalized. How could Jesus choose to stay in the home of a notorious sinner? What they didn't know is that Jesus had already begun to change Zacchaeus' heart. The chief tax collector was repenting of his sins and planning to make amends for his past wrongdoings.

Jesus points out that Zacchaeus is a son of Abraham just as are those in the crowd. True children of Abraham share Abraham's faith in God's promise to send the Christ or Messiah. Zacchaeus knew Jesus had given him a great honor by staying in his house. But did he know His Lord had chosen to spend one of the last precious nights He had on earth with him?

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, with amazing grace You sought out the despised chief tax collector Zacchaeus and honored him by staying at His house that night. Help us appreciate the honor You give us, by promising to remain with us always. 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 - Un final feliz


Devociones de Cuaresma  2017

Un final feliz

19 de Marzo de 2017

¡Ah, mujer, tienes mucha fe! ¡Que se haga contigo tal y como quieres! Mateo 15:28, RVC  (15:23b-28)

La mujer está ahora de rodillas, insistiendo en conseguir de Jesús lo que quiere para su hija. En esta escena es importante ver la progresión de las respuestas de Jesús. Primero, su silencio. Segundo, su áspera respuesta. Tercero, su respuesta aún más dura. Cuarto, reconocimiento de la fe de la mujer. Quinto, el acto de misericordia, la entrega de la gracia.

¿Dónde te ves tú en esta historia? ¿Recuerdas alguna situación en la que te encontrabas desesperado? ¿Te sientes desorientado en este momento por las circunstancias que estás viviendo? ¿Te acuerdas cuándo fue la última vez que te arrodillaste delante de Dios para gritar por ayuda? Esta historia nos muestra cómo puede obrar Dios en nuestra vida de todos los días: hay un milagro. La hija de la mujer es sanada. Dios cambia situaciones desafortunadas en bendiciones.

El silencio de Jesús significa algo. Las duras respuestas de Jesús significan algo. Pero la gracia de Jesús corona el final de esta historia. Las situaciones malas revelan nuestra dependencia de Dios.

Cada historia en nuestra vida tiene un final. No hay historia que Jesús no quiera coronar con su gracia.

Cuando Dios derrama su gracia sobre nosotros, la historia de nuestra vida cambia. Cuando pareciera que Dios no escucha, cuando la iglesia piensa que somos molestos (como pensaron los discípulos), Jesús todavía está presente.

La mujer se volvió a su casa sabiendo que no era un perro, sino una hija preciosa para Dios. Las migajas de pan que caen de la mesa son importantes, porque Jesús es el pan de vida. ¿Te imaginas recibir un pan completo? En Cristo lo tienes.

Jesús cruza fronteras, se encuentra con personas "molestas", trata con discípulos insensibles, y otorga su gracia a extranjeros. Sé persistente. No tengas vergüenza de caer de rodillas.

Querido Padre, gracias porque Jesús atravesó la frontera del cielo para hacerse nuestro Salvador. 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 - A Small Fire

Read: James 3:3–12 | Bible in a Year: Joshua 1–3; Mark 16

The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. James 3:5

It was a Sunday night in September and most people were sleeping when a small fire broke out in Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane. Soon the flames spread from house to house and London was engulfed in the Great Fire of 1666. Over 70,000 people were left homeless by the blaze that leveled four-fifths of the city. So much destruction from such a small fire!

The Bible warns us of another small but destructive fire. James was concerned about lives and relationships, not buildings, when he wrote, “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark” (James 3:5).

But our words can also be constructive. Proverbs 16:24 reminds us, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” The apostle Paul says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Col. 4:6). As salt flavors our food, grace flavors our words for building up others.

Through the help of the Holy Spirit our words can encourage people who are hurting, who want to grow in their faith, or who need to come to the Savior. Our words can put out fires instead of starting them.

Lord, I can always use help with the way I talk. For this day, help me to speak words of hope and encouragement to build up others.

What will our words be like today?


© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Ngọn Lửa Nhỏ

Đọc: Gia-cơ 3:3-12 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Giô-suê 1-3; Mác 16

Cũng vậy, cái lưỡi là một bộ phận nhỏ nhưng khoe khoang những việc lớn. Một tia lửa nhỏ có thể làm bùng cháy cả một cánh rừng rộng lớn biết bao! (Gia-cơ 3:5)

Đó là đêm Chúa nhật tháng Chín và hầu hết mọi người đều đang ngủ khi một đám lửa nhỏ bùng phát tại xưởng bánh của Thomas Farriner ở đường Pudding Lane. Chẳng bao lâu, ngọn lửa lan rộng từ nhà này đến nhà khác và thành phố Luân Đôn bị nhấn chìm trong trận Đại Hỏa Hoạn năm 1666. Hơn 70,000 người trở thành vô gia cư bởi ngọn lửa đã san bằng 4/5 diện tích thành phố. Sự tàn phá khủng khiếp đến từ ngọn lửa nhỏ.

Kinh Thánh cảnh báo chúng ta về ngọn lửa nhỏ tàn phá khác. Gia-cơ quan tâm đến đời sống và các mối quan hệ, chứ không phải những tòa nhà, khi ông viết: “Cũng vậy, cái lưỡi là một bộ phận nhỏ nhưng khoe khoang những việc lớn. Một tia lửa nhỏ có thể làm bùng cháy cả một cánh rừng rộng lớn biết bao!” (Gia-cơ 3:5)

Nhưng lời nói của chúng ta cũng có thể mang lại sự gây dựng. Châm ngôn 16:24 nhắc nhở rằng “Lời nói ân hậu giống như tàng ong, ngon ngọt cho tâm hồn và khỏe mạnh cho xương cốt.” Sứ đồ Phao-lô nói: “Lời nói của anh em phải luôn có ân hậu và nêm thêm muối, để anh em biết phải đối đáp thế nào với mỗi người” (Col. 4:6). Như muối làm tăng thêm hương vị cho thức ăn, thì ân điển giúp lời nói của chúng ta gây dựng người khác.

Bởi sự giúp đỡ của Thánh Linh, lời nói của chúng ta có thể khích lệ những người đang bị tổn thương, những người muốn tăng trưởng trong đức tin hay những người cần đến với Cứu Chúa. Lời nói của chúng ta có thể dập tắt lửa thay vì thổi bùng chúng.

Lạy Chúa, con luôn có thể nhờ Ngài giúp đỡ trong cách con nói. Hôm nay, xin giúp con nói những lời hy vọng và khích lệ để gây dựng người khác.

Hôm nay chúng ta sẽ nói những lời như thế nào?


© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - Un fuego pequeño

Leer: Santiago 3:3-12 | La Biblia en un año: Marcos 16

… la lengua es un miembro pequeño, pero se jacta de grandes cosas. He aquí, ¡cuán grande bosque enciende un pequeño fuego! (Santiago 3:5).

Un domingo de septiembre, por la noche, mientras la mayoría de la gente dormía, se desencadenó un pequeño fuego en la panadería de Thomas Farriner, en Pudding Lane. Al instante, las llamas se extendieron de una casa a otra, y Londres se vio envuelta en el Gran Incendio de 1666. Más de 70.000 personas quedaron sin casa por fuego que arrasó el 80% de la ciudad. ¡Tanta destrucción por un incendio tan pequeño!

La Biblia nos advierte sobre otro fuego pequeño, pero destructivo. A Santiago le interesaban las personas y la relación entre ellas, no los edificios; por eso, escribió: «la lengua es un miembro pequeño, pero se jacta de grandes cosas. He aquí, ¡cuán grande bosque enciende un pequeño fuego!» (Santiago 3:5).

Pero nuestras palabras también pueden ser edificantes. Proverbios 16:24 nos recuerda: «Panal de miel son los dichos suaves; suavidad al alma y medicina para los huesos». Y el apóstol Pablo dice: «Sea vuestra palabra siempre con gracia, sazonada con sal, para que sepáis cómo debéis responder a cada uno» (Colosenses 4:6). Como la sal sazona la comida, la gracia hace lo mismo con nuestras palabras para edificar a los demás.

Con la ayuda del Espíritu Santo, nuestras palabras pueden apagar incendios en vez de provocarlos.

Señor, ayúdame a transmitir esperanza y ánimo con mis palabras.

¿Cómo serán hoy nuestras palabras?


Unser Täglich Brot - Ein kleines Feuer

Lesen: Jakobus 3,3-12 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Josua 1–3; Markus 16

So ist auch die Zunge ein kleines Glied und richtet große Dingen an. Siehe, ein kleines Feuer, welch einen Wald zündet’s an! Jakobus 3,5

Es war ein Sonntagabend im September und die meisten Menschen schliefen schon, als in der Bäckerei von Thomas Farriner in der Pudding Lane ein kleines Feuer ausbrach. Bald sprangen die Flammen von Haus zu Haus und ganz London versank im Großen Feuer von 1666. Über 70‘000 Menschen verloren bei der Feuersbrunst, die vier Fünftel der Stadt in Asche legte, ihre Häuser. Was für eine Zerstörung durch ein kleines Feuer!

Die Bibel warnt uns vor einem anderen kleinen, aber vernichtenden Feuer. Jakobus dachte an Menschen und Beziehungen, nicht an Häuser, als er schrieb: „So ist auch die Zunge ein kleines Glied und richtet große Dingen an. Siehe, ein kleines Feuer, welch einen Wald zündet’s an!“ (Jak. 3,5).

Aber unsere Worte können auch aufbauend sein. Sprüche 16,4 erinnert uns: „Freundliche Reden sind Honigseim, trösten die Seele und erfrischen die Gebeine.“ Und der Apostel Paulus sagt: „Eure Rede sei allezeit freundlich und mit Salz gewürzt, dass ihr wisst, wie ihr einem jeden antworten sollt“ (Kol. 4,6). Wie Salz ein gutes Essen würzt, würzt unsere Freundlichkeit unsere Worte.

Durch die Hilfe des Heiligen Geistes können unsere Worte anderen Menschen Mut machen, die leiden, die im Glauben wachsen oder überhaupt erst zu Jesus kommen wollen. Wir können mit dem, was wir reden, nicht nur Feuer anzünden, sondern auch löschen.

Herr, beim Reden kann ich immer deine Hilfe brauchen. Lass mich heute Worte der Hoffnung und Ermutigung sagen, die andere Menschen aufbauen.

Was werden unsere Worte heute vermitteln?


© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - Un petit feu

Lisez : Jacques 3.3‑12 | La Bible en un an : Josué 1 – 3 et Marc 16

De même, la langue est un petit membre, et elle se vante de grandes choses. Voici, comme un petit feu peut embraser une grande forêt. (Jacques 3.5)

Par un dimanche soir de septembre, la plupart des gens dormaient quand un petit incendie a éclaté à la pâtisserie de Thomas Farriner dans la rue Pudding Lane. Les flammes n’ont pas tardé à se propager de maison en maison, si bien que toute la ville s’est retrouvée en proie au grand incendie de Londres de 1666. Le brasier qui a ainsi réduit en cendres les quatre cinquièmes de la ville a jeté à la rue plus de 70 000 personnes. Une telle destruction engendrée par un si petit feu !

La Bible nous met en garde contre un autre petit feu tout aussi destructeur. Jacques s’intéressait aux vies et aux relations, et non aux bâtiments, en écrivant : « De même, la langue est un petit membre, et elle se vante de grandes choses. Voici, comme un petit feu peut embraser une grande forêt » (JA 3.5).

Reste que nos paroles peuvent aussi s’avérer constructives : « Les paroles agréables sont un rayon de miel, douces pour l’âme et salutaires pour le corps » (PR 16.24). L’apôtre Paul a également dit : « Que votre parole soit toujours accompagnée de grâce, assaisonnée de sel, afin que vous sachiez comment il faut répondre à chacun » (COL 4.6). Comme le sel assaisonne notre nourriture, la grâce assaisonne nos paroles d’encouragement.

Avec l’aide du Saint‑Esprit, nos paroles peuvent encourager les gens qui souffrent, qui désirent grandir dans la foi ou qui ont besoin de venir au Sauveur, éteignant ainsi les feux plutôt que d’en allumer.

De quoi seront faites nos paroles aujourd’hui ?


Хліб Наш Насущній - Маленький огонь

Читати: Якова 3:3-12 | Біблія за рік: Ісуса Навина 1–3 ; Марка 16

Так само й язик, малий член, але хвалиться вельми! Ось маленький огонь, а запалює величезного ліса! — Якова 3:5

Була ніч вересневої неділі, і більшість людей спали, коли невеличкий огонь спалахнув у пекарні Томаса Фаррінера на вулиці Паддінг Лейн. Огонь поширювався від будинку до будинку, і незабаром Лондон був охоплений полум’ям Величезної пожежі. Це сталося у 1666 році. Понад 70 000 людей залишились без даху над головою. Пожежа знищила 80 відсотків міста. Ось що спричинив маленький огонь!

Біблія попереджає нас про інший маленький, але дуже руйнівний “огонь”. Апостол Яків переймався не будівлями, а стосунками між людьми, коли писав: “Так само й язик, малий член, але хвалиться вельми! Ось маленький огонь, а запалює величезного ліса!” (Як. 3:5).

Але наші слова можуть і будувати. Автор Книги Приповістей 16:24 нагадує нам: “Приємні слова − щільниковий то мед, солодкий душі й лік на кості”. Апостол Павло каже: “Слово ваше нехай буде завжди ласкаве, приправлене сіллю, щоб ви знали, як ви маєте кожному відповідати” (Кол. 4:6). Як сіль придає їжі смак, так “приправлені благодаттю” слова духовно збудовують інших людей.

За допомогою Святого Духа наші слова можуть підбадьорювати тих, хто страждають, хто прагнуть зростати у вірі або потребують прийти до Спасителя. Наші слова можуть загасити небезпечний вогонь, замість того щоб його роздмухувати.

Господи, я знаю, що завжди можу допомогти комусь добрим словом. Навчи сьогодні казати такі слова, що несуть іншим надію, підбадьорення для їхнього збудування.

Якими будуть сьогодні наші слова?


© 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Небольшой огонь

Читать сейчас: Иакова 3:3-12 | Библия за год: Иисуса Навина 1-3; Марка 16

Язык – небольшой член, но много делает. Посмотри, небольшой огонь как много вещества зажигает! — Иакова 3:5

Был воскресный сентябрьский вечер, и большинство людей мирно спали, когда небольшой язычок пламени вырвался из пекарни Томаса Фарринера на Паддинг-лейн. Через некоторое время огонь разгорелся, стал перескакивать с дома на дом, и вскоре Лондон был охвачен пламенем Великого пожара 1666 г. Больше 70 000 человек остались без крова. Разбушевавшаяся стихия уничтожила 4/5 города. Такое страшное разрушение от крохотного огонька!

Библия предупреждает о другом малом, но разрушительном «огне». Апостол Иаков был обеспокоен не состоянием жилья, а состоянием сердец и отношениями между людьми, когда писал: «Язык – небольшой член, но много делает. Посмотри, небольшой огонь как много вещества зажигает!» (Иак. 3:5).

Но слова могут быть и созидательными. Книга притч напоминает: «Приятная речь – сотовый мед: сладка для души и целебна для костей» (Притч. 16:24). Апостол Павел говорит: «Слово ваше да будет всегда с благодатью, приправлено солью, дабы вы знали, как отвечать каждому» (Кол. 4:6). Как соль улучшает вкус пищи, так благодать умножает доброе влияние слов для назидания слушающих.

С помощью Святого Духа наши слова могут ободрить скорбящих, желающих возрастать в вере или нуждающихся в Спасителе. Словом можно не только разжечь, но и угасить огонь.

Господь, я всегда могу прибегнуть к Тебе за помощью в управлении речью. Помоги мне говорить слова надежды и ободрения для назидания окружающих.

Какими будут сегодня ваши слова?


© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный