Friday, March 24, 2017

What is Easter about?

Easter Makes Life Worth Living

Think about what happened that first Easter morning. Because of Jesus, one thief was in Paradise. Eternal death was gutted and emptied of its power for all who trust in Him. Satan and all of his angels were already informed about their utter demise. Because of Jesus, God at work, eternal life, forgiveness, and salvation were won for all, as God's pure gift of grace.

In the middle of people's most difficult days, full of tears or of never-ending pain and fear, the resurrected Jesus says, "Share My words with them now, words like, 'Because I live, you will live also' or ‘I am the resurrection and the life; though you die, yet shall you live."'

Easter–Resurrection Sunday–is not about Easter bunnies and colored eggs. It's not about the end of winter or the freshness of spring. It's about God at work in this world for you, no matter the circumstance. It's about real hope in the midst of hopelessness, real life in the middle of the shadows of death. It's about God's forgiveness and life where there is guilt and sin.

The resurrection of Jesus makes Easter the key to a life worth living, because when God is at work for you, there is nothing to fear.

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, March 24, 2017

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Jeremiah 11:1-20

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Cursed be anyone who does not heed the words of this covenant, which I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron-smelter, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God, that I may perform the oath that I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. Then I answered, "So be it, LORD." And the LORD said to me: Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them. For I solemnly warned your ancestors when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of an evil will. So I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not. And the LORD said to me: Conspiracy exists among the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors of old, who refused to heed my words; they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant that I made with their ancestors. Therefore, thus says the LORD, assuredly I am going to bring disaster upon them that they cannot escape; though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they will never save them in the time of their trouble. For your gods have become as many as your towns, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, altars to make offerings to Baal. As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? The LORD once called you, "A green olive tree, fair with goodly fruit" but with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed. The LORD of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal. It was the LORD who made it known to me, and I knew; then you showed me their evil deeds. But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. And I did not know it was against me that they devised schemes, saying, "Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will no longer be remembered!" But you, O LORD of hosts, who judge righteously, who try the heart and the mind, let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.

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

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 6:1-11

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in John 8:33-47
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!

They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, 'You will be made free'?" Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father's presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father." They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does." They said to him, "We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot accept my word. You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God."

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

Morning Psalms

Psalm 88 Domine, Deus
1   O LORD, my God, my Savior, by day and night I cry to you.
2   Let my prayer enter into your presence; incline your ear to my lamentation.
3   For I am full of trouble; my life is at the brink of the grave.
4   I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I have become like one who has no strength;
5   Lost among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave,
6   Whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.
7   You have laid me in the depths of the Pit, in dark places, and in the abyss.
8   Your anger weighs upon me heavily, and all your great waves overwhelm me.
9   You have put my friends far from me; you have made me to be abhorred by them; I am in prison and cannot get free.
10   My sight has failed me because of trouble; LORD, I have called upon you daily; I have stretched out my hands to you.
11   Do you work wonders for the dead? will those who have died stand up and give you thanks?
12   Will your loving-kindness be declared in the grave? your faithfulness in the land of destruction?
13   Will your wonders be known in the dark? or your righteousness in the country where all is forgotten?
14   But as for me, O LORD, I cry to you for help; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
15   LORD, why have you rejected me? why have you hidden your face from me?
16   Ever since my youth, I have been wretched and at the point of death; I have borne your terrors with a troubled mind.
17   Your blazing anger has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me;
18   They surround me all day long like a flood; they encompass me on every side.
19   My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me, and darkness is my only companion.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 91 Qui habitat
1   He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, abides under the shadow of the Almighty.
2   He shall say to the LORD, "You are my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust."
3   He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly pestilence.
4   He shall cover you with his pinions, and you shall find refuge under his wings; his faithfulness shall be a shield and buckler.
5   You shall not be afraid of any terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day;
6   Of the plague that stalks in the darkness, nor of the sickness that lays waste at mid-day.
7   A thousand shall fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.
8   Your eyes have only to behold to see the reward of the wicked.
9   Because you have made the LORD your refuge, and the Most High your habitation,
10   There shall no evil happen to you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.
11   For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
12   They shall bear you in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13   You shall tread upon the lion and the adder; you shall trample the young lion and the serpent under your feet.
14   Because he is bound to me in love, therefore will I deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my Name.
15   He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I am with him in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him to honor.
16   With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

Psalm 92 Bonum est confiteri
1   It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High;
2   To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning and of your faithfulness in the night season;
3   On the psaltery, and on the lyre, and to the melody of the harp.
4   For you have made me glad by your acts, O LORD; and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
5   LORD, how great are your works! your thoughts are very deep.
6   The dullard does not know, nor does the fool understand, that though the wicked grow like weeds, and all the workers of iniquity flourish,
7   They flourish only to be destroyed for ever; but you, O LORD, are exalted for evermore.
8   For lo, your enemies, O LORD, lo, your enemies shall perish, and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
9   But my horn you have exalted like the horns of wild bulls; I am anointed with fresh oil.
10   My eyes also gloat over my enemies, and my ears rejoice to hear the doom of the wicked who rise up against me.
11   The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
12   Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God;
13   They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be green and succulent;
14   That they may show how upright the LORD is, my Rock, in whom there is no fault.

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 24, 2017

Romans 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Read all of Romans 6

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

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - "A Full Life"

He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Isaiah 53:3 (NKJV)

Jesus Christ was, according to the Bible, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He knows and understands the pain and hurt deep inside your soul when you have lost someone you love.

John 11:35 tells us, “Jesus wept.” Tears rolled down His cheeks, tears of sympathy for Mary and Martha for all the sorrow that is caused by sin and death. And in that sense, Jesus has wept with us as well.

Death never was God’s plan in the beginning. But now, because of the entrance of sin into the human race, all of us will die one day. Some will live longer than others, but we all will die. And we think the greatest tragedy is when someone dies young. While this is an extreme tragedy, I don’t think it is the ultimate tragedy. I think the ultimate tragedy is when a life has been lived to its entire length and has been entirely wasted and squandered on sin.

I think of the words of Jim Elliot, who was a modern-day martyr of the faith, put to death as he tried to bring the gospel to a tribe in Ecuador known at the time as the Aucas. Jim was lanced through with a spear, and wrapped around that spear was one of the gospel tracts he and missionary pilot Nate Saint had dropped over their village from the air. In his journal Jim Elliot had written, “I seek not a long life but a full one like Yours, Lord Jesus.”

We think that length of life is the ultimate goal. And yes, it’s good to live long. But what is more important is to live right, to do what is right before God. What is more important is to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny 

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2017 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.

Un Dia a la Vez - Que la crítica no te desenfoque

El Señor afirma los pasos del hombre cuando le agrada su modo de vivir; podrá tropezar, pero no caerá, porque el Señor lo sostiene de la mano.
Salmo 37:23-24, NVI

Hoy vamos a ver la otra parte, la crítica que no te deja vivir, que no te deja tomar decisiones importantes por pensar en el que dirán. En cosas que dejamos de hacer para que no nos critiquen.

Si te identificas con esta breve introducción, quiero que sepas que el más criticado y el más señalado fue Jesús.

Nosotros debemos entender que siempre existirá la acción de la crítica, pues muchas personas te pueden criticar por envidia. La crítica bien manejada puede ser constructiva y te puede ayudar a corregir cosas en las que tal vez estés fallando.

No obstante, nuestra vida no puede estar solo pendiente de a quién le gusta o quién le parece lo que hacemos o dejamos de hacer.

A veces necesitamos que nos aprueben y la crítica es casi un estilo de vida.

Mi consejo en este día está dividido en dos:

1. La crítica constructiva es importante para evaluar lo que estamos haciendo y no debemos despreciarla. Y, como dice la Palabra de Dios, de lo que te digan saca lo bueno y desecha lo malo: «Examinadlo todo; retened lo bueno» (1 Tesalonicenses 5:21, RV-60).

2. No vivas del que dirán, y esto se ajusta a cualquiera que sea tu ocupación. Recuerda que nunca le caeremos bien a todo el mundo y que a todas las personas no les gustará lo que hacemos en la vida.

Por lo tanto, enfócate en hacer lo que Dios te aprueba y no te desenfoques.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - TO THE GARDEN AND THE CROSS

When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. John 18:1, NIV
Today’s devotional comes from a Chinese house church pastor who was arrested and held for three weeks just prior to this talk. He says:

When we suffer for Christ, what actually happens? I mean, what really goes on spiritually within us when we are going through suffering?

I ask the question because a young sister was listening to me recently recount my experience of being in jail for three weeks last year. She said, “You talked of having constant diarrhea, of being kicked and punched painfully, and you even feared that God was punishing you…yet you talked also of feeling joy and experiencing peace.” She said to me, “I don’t understand how these things go together.”

My reply to her, and I give it also as an instruction to you all (for you will all suffer at some point for His Name), is that when we suffer, three spiritual experiences happen to us all at once: angelic strengthening, superhuman forgiveness, and human incomprehension. These three things appear contradictory, but if you suffer, you will find they come together as they did in the life of Christ.

An old Christian used to say to me, “When they lead you away to jail, tell yourself you are merely going with Christ to the Garden of Gethsemane, and to the Cross.” To the Garden, and to the Cross. I liked that. I tested it. It’s true…

So that is why suffering Christians appear to speak out of “both sides of their mouth.” On the one hand we talk of joy and endurance. On the other hand, there is anger at God, pain and a feeling of spiritual desertion. They sit together, because there is always a war of different feelings and emotions.

Although we are angelically strengthened and the recipients of superhuman forgiveness, we also experience a sense of spiritual abandonment as a result of our human incomprehension.

But the greatest thing of all is to walk the way of Christ. That is the privilege of suffering: to suffer a little as our Lord Jesus suffered. As He identified with us by suffering pain, so some are called to identify even more closely with Him by going into the Garden, and onto the Cross.

Never fear, my friends, when you are arrested. You will receive strength. You will also be bewildered. Think of Christ, and follow him into the Garden, and onto the Cross.

For the next three days we will listen to his contrasting explanation of the Garden and the Cross: angelic strengthening; superhuman forgiveness; and human incomprehension.

RESPONSE: Today I will walk with Jesus whether into the Garden or onto the Cross.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord that You strengthen Your people in preparation for suffering and even during it.

Men of the Bible - Achan

His name means: "Troublemaker"

His character: Achan's greed for the spoils of war and his attempt to hide his sin led to a situation that endangered Israel's relationship with God. By disregarding God's command, he brought trouble and judgment on his own people.
His sorrow: His disobedience resulted in the loss of many lives, including his own.
His triumph: To have participated in the victory over Jericho.
Key Scriptures: Joshua 7:1-8:2

A Look at the Man

Achan may not have been a bad man, at least to begin with. While living for many years in the desert, he may even have fed himself on dreams of what life would be like in the Promised Land, where he could build a life for his family. He may have rushed into Jericho fully intending to follow the Lord's commands. But then came an opportunity to do otherwise. And that's when his resolve faded.

Achan's disobedience then produced a kind of foolishness in him; he attempted to hide what he had done, burying stolen goods beneath his tent. But he was hiding from the God who made him, from the same God who parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River, and from the God who had just caused the walls of a fortified city to crumble without a weapon being raised against it. Why was Achan foolish enough to think that God would find it hard to see through his little deception?

The truth is that it's sin's nature to hide. Consider your own experience. Isn't it hard to admit your sins to others? Isn't it difficult to admit them to yourself? Most of us have found ingenious ways to hide the ugliness of sin from ourselves and others, by rationalizing, excusing, and even forgetting things we've done wrong. But Achan's story tells us that God is never fooled by such foolishness.

Simple obedience and the cleansing power of God's grace are the best defense against sin. But when we fail to do the right thing, we should remind ourselves not to compound the problem by hiding what we've done. Instead, we can go directly to God, expressing our sorrow and asking his forgiveness, confident that he will give it.

Reflect On: Deuteronomy 6:1–3
Praise God: Because his commandments are meant to bless us, not to enslave us.
Offer Thanks: That God has not hidden his commands from us. Confess: Any tendency to value your opinion about a course of action more than you value God's.
Ask God: To make you humble enough to realize that you do not always know what is best.

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

Girlfriends in God - An Uncommon Calling

by Michele Cushatt

Today’s Truth

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people’” (Mark 1:16–17, NIV).

Friend to Friend

I imagine it was an ordinary day, not all that different from most of our days.

Up before dawn. Stumble around getting dressed in the dark. Make a beeline for the programmable coffee pot. 

Stop. Let’s just take a moment to thank the Lord in heaven for programmable coffee pots. Yes, and amen.

So maybe Simon Peter didn’t have a programmable coffee pot. But he must’ve grabbed something to eat and drink before he headed out the door for another long day of fishing.

That was his occupation. No college degree required. It was hard, smelly work. But it paid the bills. And one can’t be choosy when it comes to paying the bills.

I can’t help but wonder if Simon ever dreamed of doing something more noble, more—how shall I say?—aromatic. But fishing was his calling. 

Then an ordinary day turned extraordinary with the visit of a rabbi.

Come, follow me, the Rabbi said.

No introductions or small talk, at least none Mark recorded. Instead, a radical invitation. To leave one calling for another. To abandon fish for people.

The Bible says Simon packed up and followed Jesus “at once” (v. 18). No hesitation or second thoughts.

But I imagine his lack of doubts in that moment were multiplied in countless moments yet to come. Like when the religious leaders of the day mocked Jesus’ unlikely choice of disciples. When naysayers questioned the sanity of a fisherman who claimed that Jesus was God.

I know what it’s like to have someone question my calling. The man who questioned my speaking ability or the woman who criticized my writing. Not to mention the children who gripe and whine nearly every day about what I don’t do to their complete satisfaction. 

It’s never fun to be on the receiving end of hurtful words. I may act tough, but the truth is criticism usually stirs up questions and self-doubts about my calling.

And yet the calling wasn’t mine. Just as Jesus stood on a beach and spoke to a fisherman, Jesus stands in front of us and speaks the same words:

Come, follow me.

The calling has nothing to do with our qualifications. Jesus didn’t choose me because I was polished and professional. He chose me because He wanted to. And He’s done the same for you.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Those are Peter’s words, spoken years after Jesus called him out of a boat and into discipleship. Follow Jesus he did. He may have had moments of doubt, but they were soon overshadowed by the confidence that comes when you know your calling is from God.

A chosen people. A called people. Peter. And you and me.

Criticism and questions are part of the path. But if we keep our eyes focused on the one who leads the way, the voices of naysayers will fade away.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I stand on the beach along with Peter and hear you offer your invitation: Come, follow me. I long to follow you, God! But I doubt my worth, my place, and whether or not I have what it takes. Give me confidence in YOUR choosing, God, that I may follow you faithfully wherever you take me.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Today, spend time considering and embracing the fact that our God has called you to be His. His! Relish His choosing, and find new confidence in it.

More from the Girlfriends

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

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

Girlfriends in God P.O. Box 725 Matthews, NC 28106

LHM Daily Devotion - "Who Gave You the Right?"

Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Who Gave You the Right?"

March 24, 2017

... "Tell us, by what authority You do these things, or who is it that gave You this authority?" (Luke 20:2b, ESV).

Read Luke 20:1-8

The Jewish Sanhedrin or high court led by the high priest is the recognized authority in Jerusalem. They aren't crazy about Jesus driving the animals and moneychangers out of the temple and teaching huge crowds right under their noses. So a group from the Sanhedrin comes to ask who gave Him the authority to do these things.

They expect Jesus to say His authority came from God. Then they will demand proof, which they will refuse to recognize, thus discrediting Him in front of the crowds. Jesus recognizes their intended trap. He politely answers, "I also will ask you a question. Now tell Me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?"

Suddenly, their trap is sprung, but they are the ones caught in it! They could give an answer that would please the crowds, saying John's authority was from God, but they know Jesus will ask why then did they not obey him and receive his baptism. If they tell Him what they honestly think, saying John's authority did not come from God, they fear the crowd will rise up and stone them to death because the people held John to be a prophet.

So the only answer they can give is no answer at all: "We don't know where his authority came from." This is hardly a suitable answer, since they are considered the leaders who are responsible for religious instruction in Israel. They are completely humiliated by the answer they have to give.

Jesus turns it back against them. If you will not answer Me, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, Your authority indeed came from God Your Father, the same source of John's authority. Help me accept Your authority and trust in You always. Amen.

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

The Jewish Sanhedrin or high court led by the high priest is the...

Devociones de Cuaresma - ¡Qué alivio!

Devociones de Cuaresma  2017

¡Qué alivio!

24 de Marzo de 2017

Tampoco yo te condeno. Vete y no peques más. Juan 8:11, RVC

¡Por fin una historia con un final feliz! No todas las historias en la Biblia terminan dibujándonos una sonrisa. Sin embargo, hay un patrón que se repite una y otra vez: cuando Jesús está presente, las historias terminan bien. Así sucede en las bodas de Caná, en la tormenta en el lago y la calma posterior, en la pesca infructuosa y la pesca milagrosa, en la muerte y la resurrección.

¡Qué alivio para esta mujer! Ella estaba condenada por los fariseos y por la Palabra; la sentencia de muerte era justa. Sin embargo, fue perdonada. Mientras el "juicio" era llevado a cabo, ella no tuvo oportunidad de decir nada. Su corazón palpitaba fuertemente esperando la sentencia, pero lo que sucede a continuación es totalmente diferente: Jesús se endereza, y le da la absolución. La mujer es "sentenciada" por el amor de Dios que pasó por alto el grave pecado de adulterio y la envió a vivir una nueva vida. Su historia tuvo un final feliz, inesperado, y eterno.

Nosotros estamos condenados por la Palabra. La sentencia al infierno es justa. Fuimos--y somos--sorprendidos en pecado a cada momento. A veces tampoco faltan quienes nos acusan. Y ahí estamos, solos, delante de Jesús, desnudos con nuestro pecado, exhibiendo nuestra vergüenza. Sin embargo, nuestra historia también tiene un final feliz gracias a la muerte y resurrección de Jesús, que cambió nuestra vergüenza en alegría, nuestro infierno en su cielo, y nuestra muerte en vida eterna.

Jesús tampoco nos condena, sino que nos perdona y nos envía a vivir una vida donde reina el amor y no nuestro pecado. Jesús se enderezó desde la cruz, y nos dio la absolución.

Querido Padre, gracias porque enviste a Jesús no para condenar al mundo, sino para salvarlo. Amén.

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

 Alimento diario... un mensaje de esperanza

Our Daily Bread® - His Wonderful Face

Read: 1 Chronicles 16:8–27 | Bible in a Year: Joshua 16–18; Luke 2:1–24

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.  1 Chronicles 16:11

My four-year-old son is full of questions, and chatters constantly. I love talking with him, but he’s developed an unfortunate habit of talking to me even when his back is turned. I often find myself saying, “I can’t hear you—please look at me when you’re talking.”

Sometimes I think God wants to say the same thing to us—not because He can’t hear us, but because we can tend to talk to Him without really “looking” at Him. We pray, but we remain caught up in our own questions and focused on ourselves, forgetting the character of the One we’re praying to. Like my son, we ask questions without paying attention to the person we’re talking to.

Many of our concerns are best addressed by reminding ourselves of who God is and what He has done. By simply refocusing, we find comfort in what we know of His character: that He is loving, forgiving, sovereign, graceful.

The psalmist believed we ought to seek God’s face continually (Ps. 105:4). When David appointed leaders for worship and prayer, he encouraged the people to praise God’s character and tell stories of His past faithfulness (1 Chron. 16:8–27).

When we turn our eyes toward the beautiful face of God, we can find strength and comfort that sustain us even in the midst of unanswered questions.

Lord, let the light of Your face shine upon us. 

Our Daily Bread welcomes writer Amy Peterson! Meet Amy and all our authors at

Seeking the face of God can strengthen our faith.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Gương Mặt Diệu Kỳ

Đọc: I Sử ký 16:8-27 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Giô-suê 16-18; Lu-ca 2:1-24

Hãy tìm cầu Đức Giê-hô-va và sức mạnh Ngài, hãy tìm kiếm mặt Ngài luôn luôn! (I Sử ký 16:11)

Đứa con trai bốn tuổi của tôi luôn có những câu hỏi thắc mắc và nói liên hồi. Tôi thích nói chuyện với cháu, nhưng cháu hình thành thói quen đáng tiếc là nói chuyện với tôi ngay cả khi quay lưng. Tôi thường nói: “Mẹ không nghe thấy con nói – hãy nhìn mẹ khi con nói chuyện.”

Đôi khi, tôi nghĩ Chúa cũng muốn nói như vậy với chúng ta – không phải bởi vì Ngài không thể nghe được, nhưng vì có thể chúng ta có khuynh hướng nói chuyện với Ngài mà không thật sự “nhìn” Ngài. Chúng ta cầu nguyện, nhưng vẫn còn nghĩ tới những câu hỏi và tập trung vào chính mình, quên mất thuộc tính của Đấng mà chúng ta đang cầu nguyện. Giống như con trai tôi, chúng ta thường hỏi mà không chú ý đến người mà mình đang nói chuyện.

Nhiều mối lo âu sẽ được giải quyết ổn thỏa nếu chúng ta nhắc nhở mình về Đức Chúa Trời, Ngài là ai và Ngài đã làm gì. Chỉ cần tập trung, chúng ta có thể tìm thấy sự an ủi bởi những điều chúng ta biết về Ngài: Đấng yêu thương, tha thứ, tể trị và đầy ân điển.

Tác giả Thi thiên tin rằng chúng ta phải tìm kiếm mặt Ngài luôn luôn (Thi. 105:4). Khi Đa-vít bổ nhiệm những người lãnh đạo lo việc thờ phượng và cầu nguyện, ông khích lệ dân sự ngợi khen thuộc tính của Đức Chúa Trời và kể những câu chuyện về sự thành tín của Ngài trong quá khứ (I Sử 16:8-27).

Khi hướng mắt mình nhìn gương mặt diệu kỳ của Chúa, chúng ta có thể tìm thấy sức lực và sự an ủi có thể khiến mình vững vàng giữa những thắc mắc không lời đáp.

Lạy Chúa, xin ánh sáng mặt Ngài chiếu trên chúng con.

Tìm kiếm mặt Chúa có thể khiến đức tin vững mạnh.

© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - Su rostro maravilloso

Leer: 1 Crónicas 16:8-27 | La Biblia en un año: Lucas 2:1-24

Buscad al Señor y su poder; buscad su rostro continuamente (1 Crónicas 16:11).

Mi hijo de cuatro años está llenó de preguntas, y habla todo el tiempo. Me encanta charlar con él, pero ha desarrollado un feo hábito de hablarme dándome la espalda. Muchas veces, termino diciendo: «No te escucho. Por favor, mírame cuando me hablas».

A veces, pienso que Dios quiere decirnos lo mismo; no porque no pueda oírnos, sino porque tendemos a hablar con Él sin «mirarlo». Oramos, pero seguimos envueltos en nuestras preguntas y enfocados en nosotros mismos, olvidándonos de quién es Aquel al que elevamos nuestra oración. Como mi hijo, hacemos preguntas sin prestar atención a la persona a quien le hablamos.

Muchas de nuestras preocupaciones se resolverían mejor si recordáramos quién es Dios y lo que Él ha hecho. Si tan solo reenfocamos nuestra mirada, encontramos consuelo en lo que ya sabemos de su carácter: el Señor es amoroso, perdonador, soberano y bondadoso.

El salmista estaba convencido de que debíamos buscar constantemente el rostro de Dios (Salmo 105:4). Cuando David designó líderes para la adoración y la oración, alentó al pueblo a alabar al Señor por sus atributos y su fidelidad en el pasado (1 Crónicas 16:8-27).

Al volver nuestra mirada hacia el rostro precioso de Dios, hallamos fortaleza y consuelo aun en la incertidumbre.

Señor, que la luz de tu rostro brille sobre nosotros.

Buscar el rostro de Dios puede fortalecer nuestra fe.

Unser Täglich Brot - Sein Angesicht

Lesen: 1.Chronik 16,8-27 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Josua 16–18; Lukas 2,1-24

Fraget nach dem Herrn und seiner Macht, suchet sein Angesicht allezeit. 1.Chronik 16,11

Mein vierjähriger Sohn ist voller Fragen und ständig am Quasseln. Ich rede gern mit ihm, aber er hat die unangenehme Angewohnheit, mir beim Reden den Rücken zuzukehren. Oft sage ich deshalb: „Ich kann dich nicht hören. Bitte schau mich an, wenn du mit mir sprichst.“

Ich denke, manchmal sagt Gott dasselbe zu uns—nicht, weil er uns nicht hören kann, sondern weil wir dazu neigen, mit ihm zu reden, ohne ihn wirklich „anzusehen“. Wir beten, aber wir drehen uns dabei um unsere eigenen Fragen und um uns selbst und vergessen, zu wem wir da eigentlich beten. Wie mein Sohn stellen wir Fragen, ohne auf den Menschen einzugehen, mit dem wir reden.

Bei vielen unserer Probleme wäre es das Beste, wenn wir uns daran erinnern würden, wer Gott ist und was er getan hat. Mit dem richtigen Blickwinkel finden wir Trost in dem, was wir von ihm wissen—nämlich, dass er uns liebt, vergibt, mächtig und gnädig ist.

Der Psalmist glaubte, dass wir ständig Gottes Angesicht suchen sollen (Ps. 105,4). David ermunterte die Leute, die er dazu bestimmt hatte, Lob und Gebet zu leiten, Gott zu preisen und von seiner Treue in der Vergangenheit zu erzählen (1.Chron. 16,8-27).

Wenn wir unseren Blick auf Gottes Angesicht lenken, finden wir Kraft und Trost, die uns durchtragen, auch wenn manche Fragen unbeantwortet bleiben.

Herr, lass dein Angesicht über uns leuchten. Amy Peterson unterrichtet Englisch als Fremdsprache an der Taylor-Universität in Indiana. Vor kurzem ist ihr erstes Buch erschienen.

Wer Gottes Angesicht sucht, wird im Glauben gestärkt.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - Sa merveilleuse face

Ayez recours à l’Éternel et à son appui, cherchez continuellement sa face ! (1 Chroniques 16.11)

Mon fils de quatre ans est un véritable moulin à paroles et à questions. Je me plais à parler avec lui, mais il a acquis la fâcheuse habitude de me parler en ayant le dos tourné. Je dois souvent lui rappeler : « Je ne t’entends pas, regarde‑moi quand tu me parles s’il te plaît. »

Il m’arrive de penser que Dieu veut nous dire la même chose – non parce qu’il ne peut nous entendre, mais parce que nous avons tendance à lui parler sans vraiment le « regarder ». Nous prions, mais en restant absorbés dans nos propres questions et centrés sur nous‑mêmes, oubliant les attributs de celui à qui nous adressons nos prières. Comme mon fils, nous posons des questions sans prêter attention à notre interlocuteur ou interlocutrice.

Or, nous aurions intérêt à gérer nos préoccupations en nous remémorant qui est Dieu et ce qu’il a accompli. En nous recentrant simplement sur lui, nous puisons du réconfort dans ce que nous savons de ses attributs : il est bienveillant, prompt à pardonner, souverain et empreint de grâce.

Le psalmiste croyait qu’il fallait sans cesse chercher la face de Dieu (PS 105.4). Lorsque David a nommé des leaders à la tête de l’adoration et à la prière, il a encouragé le peuple à louer Dieu pour ses attributs et à témoigner de sa fidélité passée (1 CH 16.8‑27).

En tournant le regard vers la merveilleuse face de Dieu, nous trouvons la force et la consolation nécessaires pour nous soutenir malgré nos questions qui restent sans réponses.

Chercher la face de Dieu peut nous valoir d’affermir notre foi.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Світло Його лиця

Читати: 1 Хронік 16:8-27 | Біблія за рік: Ісуса Навина 16–18 ; Луки 2:1-24

Пошукуйте Господа й силу Його, лице Його завжди шукайте! — 1 Хронік 16:11

Мій чотирьохрічний син постійно щось запитує і без угаву розмовляє. Я люблю спілкуватись з ним, але в нього з’явилась погана звичка розмовляти зі мною навіть тоді, коли він стоїть до мене спиною. Тому я змушена казати: “Я не чую тебе. Дивись на мене, будь ласка, коли розмовляєш зі мною”.

Інколи я думаю про те, що Богу хочеться сказати нам те ж саме, коли маємо тенденцію розмовляти з Ним, “не дивлячись” на Нього. Ми молимося і в той же час більше переймаємося власними проблемами. Як і мій син, ми щось запитуємо у Бога, не усвідомлюючи, що звертаємося до Особистості.

Більшості наших тривог і сумнівів можна позбутись, нагадуючи собі істини про те, Хто є Бог і що Він учинив для нас. Варто лише зосередитись на рисах Божого характеру, що включає любов, прощення, суверенну владу, благодать – і знайдемо велику втіху.

Цар Давид щиро вважав, що потрібно постійно шукати Божого лиця (Пс. 104:4). Коли він призначав лідерів для служіння Господу, то заохочував їх славити Бога за Його характер і розповідати народу про Його вірні діла в минулому (1 Хр. 16:8-27). Коли підводимо очі, щоб споглядати прекрасне Боже лице, можемо отримати силу і втіху, що підбадьорюватимуть нас навіть за часів проблеми і коли не маємо відповідей на свої питання.

Підійми ж на нас, Господи, світло Свого лиця!

Пошуки Божого лиця можуть зміцнити нашу віру. 

© 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Светлый лик

Читать сейчас: 1 Паралипоменон 16:8-27 | Библия за год: Иисуса Навина 16-18; Луки 2:1-24

Взыщите Господа и силу Его, ищите непрестанно лица Его. — 1 Паралипоменон 16:11

Мой четырехлетний сын без конца задает вопросы. Я люблю разговаривать с ним, но у него появилась неприятная привычка обращаться ко мне, повернувшись спиной. Приходится говорить: «Я тебя не слышу. Пожалуйста, смотри на меня, когда говоришь».

Порой мне кажется, что Бог желает сказать нам то же самое. Не потому, что Он не слышит нас, но потому, что мы склонны говорить с Ним, «не глядя» на Него. Мы молимся, но при этом остаемся погруженными в собственные мысли, обращенными в себя и забываем о характере нашего Господа. Подобно моему сыну, мы задаем вопросы, не обращая особого внимания на Того, к Кому обращаемся.

Со многими нашими заботами можно разобраться, напомнив себе, каков Бог и что Он совершил. Утешение придет от того, что мы вспомним драгоценные качества Его характера: Господь любящ, прощающ, всевластен и милостив.

Давид считал, что мы должны постоянно искать Божьего лица (Пс. 104:4). Назначив руководителей поклонения и молитвы, псалмопевец призвал народ славить Бога за Его совершенства и возвещать Его верность в прошлом (1 Пар. 16:8-27).

Обращая глаза души к прекрасному лику Божьему, мы можем обрести силу и утешение, которые поддержат нас даже среди вопросов, остающихся без ответа.

Господь, пусть свет лица Твоего сияет над нами.

Поиск Божьего лица укрепляет нашу веру.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный