Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Jeremiah 18:1-11

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: "Come, go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words." So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the LORD. Just like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it. And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, but if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will change my mind about the good that I had intended to do to it. Now, therefore, say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the LORD: Look, I am a potter shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Turn now, all of you from your evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 8:1-11

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law-- indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in John 6:27-40

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal." Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." So they said to him, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Then Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."

Here ends the Gospel lesson for today

Morning Psalms

Psalm 101 Misericordiam et judicium
1   I will sing of mercy and justice; to you, O LORD, will I sing praises.
2   I will strive to follow a blameless course; oh, when will you come to me? I will walk with sincerity of heart within my house.
3   I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the doers of evil deeds; they shall not remain with me.
4   A crooked heart shall be far from me; I will not know evil.
5   Those who in secret slander their neighbors I will destroy; those who have a haughty look and a proud heart I cannot abide.
6   My eyes are upon the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me, and only those who lead a blameless life shall be my servants.
7   Those who act deceitfully shall not dwell in my house, and those who tell lies shall not continue in my sight.
8   I will soon destroy all the wicked in the land, that I may root out all evildoers from the city of the LORD.

Psalm 109 Deus, laudem
1   Hold not your tongue, O God of my praise; for the mouth of the wicked, the mouth of the deceitful, is opened against me.
2   They speak to me with a lying tongue; they encompass me with hateful words and fight against me without a cause.
3   Despite my love, they accuse me; but as for me, I pray for them.
4   They repay evil for good, and hatred for my love.
5   Set a wicked man against him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand.
6   When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his appeal be in vain.
7   Let his days be few, and let another take his office.
8   Let his children be fatherless, and his wife become a widow.
9   Let his children be waifs and beggars; let them be driven from the ruins of their homes.
10   Let the creditor seize everything he has; let strangers plunder his gains.
11   Let there be no one to show him kindness, and none to pity his fatherless children.
12   Let his descendants be destroyed, and his name be blotted out in the next generation.
13   Let the wickedness of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and his mother's sin not be blotted out;
14   Let their sin be always before the LORD; but let him root out their names from the earth;
15   Because he did not remember to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy and sought to kill the brokenhearted.
16   He loved cursing, let it come upon him; he took no delight in blessing, let it depart from him.
17   He put on cursing like a garment, let it soak into his body like water and into his bones like oil;
18   Let it be to him like the cloak which he wraps around himself, and like the belt that he wears continually.
19   Let this be the recompense from the LORD to my accusers, and to those who speak evil against me.
20   But you, O Lord my God, oh, deal with me according to your Name; for your tender mercy's sake, deliver me.
21   For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
22   I have faded away like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like a locust.
23   My knees are weak through fasting, and my flesh is wasted and gaunt.
24   I have become a reproach to them; they see and shake their heads.
25   Help me, O LORD my God; save me for your mercy's sake.
26   Let them know that this is your hand, that you, O LORD, have done it.
27   They may curse, but you will bless; let those who rise up against me be put to shame, and your servant will rejoice.
28   Let my accusers be clothed with disgrace and wrap themselves in their shame as in a cloak.
29   I will give great thanks to the LORD with my mouth; in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;
30   Because he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save his life from those who would condemn him.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 119: Ayin Feci judicium
121   I have done what is just and right; do not deliver me to my oppressors.
122   Be surety for your servant's good; let not the proud oppress me.
123   My eyes have failed from watching for your salvation and for your righteous promise.
124   Deal with your servant according to your loving-kindness and teach me your statutes.
125   I am your servant; grant me understanding, that I may know your decrees.
126   It is time for you to act, O LORD, for they have broken your law.
127   Truly, I love your commandments more than gold and precious stones.
128   I hold all your commandments to be right for me; all paths of falsehood I abhor.

Psalm 119: Pe Mirabilia
129   Your decrees are wonderful; therefore I obey them with all my heart.
130   When your word goes forth it gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
131   I open my mouth and pant; I long for your commandments.
132   Turn to me in mercy, as you always do to those who love your Name.
133   Steady my footsteps in your word; let no iniquity have dominion over me.
134   Rescue me from those who oppress me, and I will keep your commandments.
135   Let your countenance shine upon your servant and teach me your statutes.
136   My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

Psalm 119: Sadhe Justus es, Domine
137   You are righteous, O LORD, and upright are your judgments.
138   You have issued your decrees with justice and in perfect faithfulness.
139   My indignation has consumed me, because my enemies forget your words.
140   Your word has been tested to the uttermost, and your servant holds it dear.
141   I am small and of little account, yet I do not forget your commandments.
142   Your justice is an everlasting justice and your law is the truth.
143   Trouble and distress have come upon me, yet your commandments are my delight.
144   The righteousness of your decrees is everlasting; grant me understanding, that I may live.

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.

Today in Church History!

Hans Hauge

Diakonos Leader Brought Revival To Norway and South Africa.

The Lutheran church in Norway was struggling in the early 19th century. God raised up a "lay minister", a deacon, servant type Christian Leader who boldly brought revival.

Read his story from our partner, Christian History Institute.
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Verse of the Day - March 29, 2017

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Read all of 2 Corinthians 5

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 - "Removing the Sting"

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

Have you ever been stung by a bee? It’s not a fun experience. But although it’s painful for the person being stung, it’s fatal for the bee.

When a honeybee stings a person, it can’t pull its little barbed stinger back out. This is a one-time experience for them. They had better think carefully about who they are going to sting, because once they do it, they are not going to survive.

When a bee stings you, not only is the bee’s stinger left in you but also part of its abdomen and digestive tract, as well as nerves and muscles. This massive abdominal rupture kills the bee shortly after it stings.

That is what happened when Jesus died on the cross. In his enduring hatred for God’s Son, Satan thought it would be a great idea to have Jesus betrayed, arrested, beaten within an inch of His life, and then crucified and put to death on a Roman cross. The devil said, “This is my moment. I am going to sting Him. I will have a role in His death. When He dies, that is the end of Him.” Everything went according to Satan’s plan, and like a bee, he flew off thinking he had succeeded.

But everything went according to God’s plan as well, and the sting of death was its own defeat. As 1 Corinthians 15:54–55 says, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

Where is the sting of death for the believer? It is ripped out, because at the cross, Jesus took the stinger out of death. This is a great truth. As Christians, we no longer need to fear death because our souls will live on forever with Christ.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Seeking God?
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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, NLT® copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2017 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.

Un Dia a la Vez - Padres, apoyemos a nuestros hijos

Hijo mío, si tu corazón es sabio, también mi corazón se regocijará.
Proverbios 23:15, NVI

Hombres y mujeres que están hoy listos a leer este devocional, también les convienen que sepan lo que espera Dios de los padres.

Padres, asuman con autoridad el ser como dice Dios la cabeza y el sacerdote del hogar.

Eso significa que debes tener una relación con Dios, de modo que seas la parte más importante de esa casa. Si no asumes tu posición, las mujeres con carácter fuerte tomarán la tuya y estarás en desventaja y fuera del orden de Dios.

Papi, tú eres el proveedor. Tú eres a quien Dios creó para que mantengas tu hogar y seas un excelente administrador del mismo. Claro, si tu esposa está trabajando, las cosas entre los dos serán más fáciles. Sin embargo, ante Dios el que tiene la autoridad tiene la responsabilidad.

NO le des mal ejemplo a tu hijo para que no te avergüence.

NO te entregues cien por cien a tu trabajo o actividades de tu ministerio, a fin de que tengas tiempo para tus hijos.

NO olvides que tu primer llamado es tu familia y Dios te pedirá cuentas al respecto.

NO te apartes de los caminos de Dios, pues allí encontrarás bendición.

Honro hoy a mi esposo porque es un excelente padre de sus hijos y de mis princesas.

Gracias, mi Dios.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE MARTYRS HYMN

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Paul is writing his last letter before execution addressed to his spiritual son, Timothy. New Testament scholars are convinced that Paul is quoting here an ancient Christian worship chorus or “hymn.” It is assessed to be one of the songs Christians sang as they were walking into the arena to face certain death. Paul himself may have sung this hymn when he was executed in Rome.

There is plenty of historical evidence that people of the pagan world were amazed at the courage and joy – often expressed in music – Christians exhibited when facing their death. Early church father, Tertullian was reportedly converted soon after first observing this exhibition of abnormal joyfulness. He later made the oft-quoted statement that “the blood of the martyrs is seed!”

The first couplet is powerful because it is in the Greek aorist tense which indicates a specific moment in the past. When Christ calls us, we die to sin and to ourselves. Therefore, the song begins, “We have already died with Him and we will therefore live with Him!” It goes on to proclaim that when we endure, we’ll reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will deny or disown us; but when we are faithless, He always remains faithful because it is a characteristic of His unchanging nature.

Korean Elder Kwan-Joon Park was called an “Elijah of Korea” or sometimes a “Daniel of modern times.” He died as a martyr for his faith in Christ and his opposition to the Japanese colonial rule during the Second World War when Korea was occupied by the Japanese Imperialists. The latter enforced Shinto worship on the Korean people.

On March 24, 1939, Elder Park went to Japan to protest against inhuman colonial policies of Japan. He walked into the 74th Imperial Diet of Japan. When the opening pronouncement of the lower house was made, he stood up from his seat in the visitor’s balcony and shouted, “This is a great mission of God, Jehovah’s great message!” Then he threw leaflets to the floor below exposing cruel abuse of Korean Christians by Japan and warning them of God’s imminent judgment and destruction of Japan as a result of her wrong doing and tyranny. They also explained the resistance against Japanese imposition of Shinto shrine worship upon Korean Christians.

Elder Park was arrested and sentenced to six years in Japanese prison. While serving his sentence he was martyred at the age of seventy. We don’t know if he sang. But one line from his last poem written during his imprisonment expresses well his firm resolution to die willingly for Jesus Christ: “Since Jesus died for me, I will die for Jesus!” 

RESPONSE: Today I will resolve to live courageously even if it means facing death for Jesus who died for me. I will express my joy in living and dying for Him in every way – including singing!

PRAYER: Lord, help me to be joyful even in the face of death knowing that You are always faithful.

Girlfriends in God - Leaving the Land of Disappointment

by Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance, (John 20:1, NIV).

Friend to Friend

Sometimes you expect you’re getting a Rachel and you wake up with a Leah. Okay, I know that example might connect better with a guy, but you get the point.

Let me try that again. What do you do after you’ve crossed the Red Sea of obstacles, only to be dying of thirst at Marah three days later? How do you keep your dancing from turning into disappointment? One thing is for sure; you don’t drive down your tent pegs by the disappointing waters of Marah and camp out there. You move on.

I think of the women on Jesus’s ministry team. They had committed their lives to the Messiah and believed that He would restore Israel. Mary Magdalene and a handful of other women had followed him for more three years. But life had not turned out like they thought it would. Their hopes and dreams were nailed to a cross and the lifeblood spilled on the ground to be trampled underfoot. Their future lay in a borrowed tomb—sealed behind an imposing stone.

It appeared Jesus was not going to be the ruler and set things right after all. The very people He came to save had killed Him. This was not how the story was supposed to go . . . at least in their eyes.

So what did Mary and the other women do? On the third day after Jesus’s death, while it was still dark, they got up, gathered their spices and started walking to the tomb (John 20:1). Never mind that it was still dark. Never mind that a giant boulder blocked the tomb’s entrance . . . a stone too heavy for the women to move.

Never mind that armed Roman soldiers stood guard over the grave. Never mind that the disciples were so discouraged and disillusioned that they hid away in a secret room. Never mind all that. The women didn’t have all the details worked out in their heads, but they were not going to sit home in their discouragement—paralyzed into inactivity. They were going to move forward . . . while it was still dark. 

Mary Magdalene got up, and she got going . . . while it was still dark. In the end, she was not disappointed that she took this step of faith, and you won’t be either. Just as assuredly as Jesus met her at her greatest point of need, He will meet you at yours.

Did you notice that Mary Magdalene didn’t wait until her circumstances changed before she got moving? Jesus was still dead as far as she knew. But she got up and moved forward anyway.

And where did she go? Yes, she went to the tomb, but there is more. She went back to the last pace she had seen Him. Perhaps that is where you need to go today. Go back to the last place you encountered Jesus. Even if it is still dark. Even if you are still in a dark place. Even if a seemingly impossible imposing boulder of disappointment is blocking your dreams. Don’t worry about moving the stone. God’s good at that. You just keep putting one faithful foot in front of the other and let God take care of the rest.

Oh, what we miss when we make camp in the painful place of disappointment and refuse God’s invitation to continue the adventurous journey. We miss the moments of sudden glory when our eyes are shut tight because of discouragement, and our hearts are bolted fast with despair.

Don’t allow the weight of discouragement hold you down or lower your expectations of the life in Christ. Get up. Get moving. Open your eyes. Open your heart. There’s more to experience just around the bend.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, sometimes I get so discouraged that I just stop. I drive my tent pegs down in the soil of discouragement and camp out. I know I need to leave the past behind and press on toward what is ahead. That is exactly what I’m going to do today. Give me the courage and the power of the Holy Spirit to take the next step out of the wilderness and head toward my Promised Land.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Is there an area of deep disappointment in your life that you’ve gotten stuck in?

What is one thing that you can do to put the past behind and move forward…even if it is still dark?

Even if you don’t see a break in the clouds? Even if you don’t see God moving?

More from the Girlfriends

A mediocre, mundane faith is not your destiny! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let God, Move Forward, Live Bold, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to leave behind feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy that hold you hostage and take hold of the mountain-moving faith God intends. Let’s uncover untapped sources of confidence and courage, and see how to move from simply knowing the truth to actually living it out boldly in a life marked by true freedom and expectancy. It’s time to get UNSTUCK! (Includes a Bible Study Guide for group or individual study.)

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 - "Beware"

Jesus has faced every question, challenge and riddle from His enemies...

Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries


March 29, 2017

And in the hearing of all the people He said to His disciples, "Beware of the scribes ..." (Luke 20:45-46a, ESV).

Read Luke 20:45-47

Jesus has faced every question, challenge and riddle from His enemies, and has come out shining, while they have been completely humiliated. We might expect gentle Jesus to turn down the heat on His enemies now. But no, turning to His disciples He speaks loud enough for everyone to hear. And that includes the great crowd of Jews filling the temple courts as well as the scribes standing nearby. They certainly weren't pleased to hear Him say, "Beware of the scribes."

The scribes started as simple copyists, laboriously copying the Old Testament scrolls into new ones. They had come to be seen as Bible experts, but in their busyness had completely missed Scripture's central message of salvation from sin, death and hell through the coming Messiah. The people looked at them as experts, and the Pharisees based their living on the traditions and interpretations of these scribes.

Jesus exposes them, warning His disciples to avoid their false teachings. He points out how they love to be recognized and honored in the marketplaces, sitting in the front seats of the synagogues and at the choicest seats at meals.

They greedily devour widows' houses and cover up their robbery with long, elaborate prayers to deceive and impress the unknowing masses. On the Day of Judgment, they will face steep punishment for the way they misused God's Word for their own selfish benefit.

Publicly embarrassed and put to shame, yet unable to find any way to turn the crowds against Jesus, the scribes rage within, looking for an opportunity to take their revenge. That opportunity will come sooner than any of them expect.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I easily fall into the same sins as those scribes, possessing my own pride, selfishness and arrogance. Forgive me and teach me to live in truth and humility. I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).

Devociones de Cuaresma - ¡Arrepiéntanse!

Devociones de Cuaresma  2017


29 de Marzo de 2017

Así que mejoren sus caminos y sus obras, y atiendan a la voz del Señor su Dios, para que cambie de parecer y no les haga el mal que les ha anunciado. Jeremías 26:13, RVC (26:7-15)

Jeremías se jugó la vida con estas palabras de exhortación al pueblo de Dios. "Has dictado tu sentencia de muerte", espetaron los sacerdotes, los profetas, y todo el pueblo. No les gustó que Jeremías les dijera la verdad de que estaban viviendo alejados de la voluntad divina, confiando en su propio entendimiento y en el hecho que vivían en Jerusalén. Dios estaba anunciando desolación y castigo a un pueblo que no entendía ni su ira, ni su misericordia.

"Mejoren sus caminos y sus obras, y atiendan a la voz del Señor su Dios" quiere decir: arrepiéntanse, porque el juicio ya está anunciado, y sólo falta que venga.

A Dios le interesa un corazón misericordioso que se deje guiar por su santa voluntad. Por eso es que el llamado que nos hace al arrepentimiento es constante. Y es bueno que así sea, porque lo necesitamos a diario, ya que muy fácilmente nos jactamos de nuestros logros, de nuestra sabiduría y de nuestra historia y cultura cristiana. ¿Cómo reaccionamos ante su llamado? ¿Nos enojamos con el mensajero que nos envía a llamarnos al arrepentimiento? ¿Nos molesta que nos digan que nos equivocamos, que el pecado nos domina, que nos falta consagración y amor por nuestro prójimo?

Por medio de su Palabra, Dios sigue llamándonos a que cambiemos nuestra manera de pensar y de obrar, porque quiere cambiar de parecer y no hacernos mal. Esa actitud amorosa de Dios se hizo palpable cuando sentenció a su Hijo a la pena de muerte para que nosotros pudiéramos ser declarados libres. ¡Cuánto amor, paciencia, y buena voluntad mostró Dios por nosotros en Jesús!

Gracias, querido Padre, porque nos llamas al arrepentimiento por medio de tus mensajeros, y nos perdonas en Cristo Jesús. En su nombre oramos. Amén.

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. ¡Utilice estas devociones en sus boletines! Usado con permiso. Todos los derechos reservados por la Int'l LLL.

Our Daily Bread - Trial by Fire

Read: James 1:1–12 | Bible in a Year: Judges 7–8; Luke 5:1–16

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life.  James 1:12

Last winter while visiting a natural history museum in Colorado, I learned some remarkable facts about the aspen tree. An entire grove of slender, white-trunked aspens can grow from a single seed and share the same root system. These root systems can exist for thousands of years whether or not they produce trees. They sleep underground, waiting for fire, flood, or avalanche to clear a space for them in the shady forest. After a natural disaster has cleared the land, aspen roots can sense the sun at last. The roots send up saplings, which become trees.

For aspens, new growth is made possible by the devastation of a natural disaster. James writes that our growth in faith is also made possible by difficulties. “Consider it pure joy,” he writes, “whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2–4).

It’s difficult to be joyful during trials, but we can take hope from the fact that God will use difficult circumstances to help us reach maturity. Like aspen trees, faith can grow in times of trial when difficulty clears space in our hearts for the light of God to touch us.

Thank You, God, for being with us in our trials, and for helping us to grow through difficult circumstances.

Trials and tests can draw us closer to Christ.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Thử Thách

Đọc: Gia-cơ 1:1-12 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Các quan xét 7-8; Lu-ca 5:1-16

Phước cho người chịu đựng sự thử thách; vì khi đã chịu nổi sự thử nghiệm, họ sẽ nhận mão triều thiên của sự sống. (Gia-cơ 1:2)

Mùa đông vừa rồi khi thăm bảo tàng lịch sử tự nhiên ở Colorado, tôi được biết sự thật lạ thường về cây dương lá rung. Toàn bộ khu rừng nhỏ gồm những cây dương lá rung thân trắng mảnh khảnh có thể lớn lên từ chỉ một hạt giống và có chung hệ thống rễ. Những hệ thống rễ này có thể tồn tại hàng ngàn năm dù chúng có sinh ra cây con hay không. Chúng nằm im dưới đất, chờ đợi lửa, nước lụt hay tuyết lở sẽ dọn sạch không gian cho chúng trong khu rừng bị che khuất. Sau khi thảm họa nhiên nhiên đã dọn sạch đất, rễ cây dương lá rung đã có thể đón nắng. Bộ rễ tái tạo nên các cây con, mà sẽ trở thành những cây lớn.

Đối với cây dương lá rung, sự sinh trưởng xảy ra nhờ sự tàn phá của thảm họa thiên nhiên. Gia-cơ viết rằng sự tăng trưởng đức tin cũng xảy ra nhờ những khó khăn. Ông viết “hãy xem sự thử thách trăm chiều xảy đến cho anh em như là điều vui mừng trọn vẹn, vì biết rằng sự thử thách đức tin anh em sinh ra kiên nhẫn. Nhưng sự kiên nhẫn phải phát huy hết hiệu lực của nó, để chính anh em được trưởng thành, hoàn hảo, không thiếu sót điều gì” (Gia-cơ 1:2-4).

Thật khó để vui mừng trong thử thách, nhưng chúng ta có thể hy vọng khi biết rằng Đức Chúa Trời sử dụng những hoàn cảnh khó khăn để giúp chúng ta tiến đến sự trưởng thành. Giống như cây dương lá rung, đức tin có thể tăng trưởng trong thử thách bởi khó khăn sẽ dọn chỗ trong tấm lòng chúng ta để ánh sáng Chúa chạm đến.

Lạy Chúa, cảm ơn Ngài đã ở cùng chúng con trong những lúc thử thách, và giúp đỡ chúng con tăng trưởng trong những hoàn cảnh khó khăn.

Thử thách và thử nghiệm có thể kéo chúng ta lại gần Đấng Christ.

© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - Prueba de fuego

Leer: Santiago 1:1-12 | La Biblia en un año: Lucas 5:1-16

Bienaventurado el varón que soporta la tentación; porque cuando haya resistido la prueba, recibirá la corona de vida… (Santiago 1:12).

El invierno pasado, mientras visitaba un museo de historia natural, aprendí algunas cosas notables sobre los álamos. Un bosque entero de estos delgados árboles puede desarrollarse a partir de una sola semilla y compartir el mismo sistema de raíces. Este sistema puede existir miles de años sin producir árboles, dormido bajo tierra, hasta que un incendio, una inundación o una avalancha permite que las raíces perciban el sol y se abran paso entre las sombras del bosque. La savia que sube se convierte en árbol.

Lo que hace posible que crezcan los álamos es la devastación producida por un desastre natural. Santiago también escribe que las dificultades nos hacen crecer en la fe: «tened por sumo gozo cuando os halléis en diversas pruebas, sabiendo que la prueba de vuestra fe produce paciencia. Mas tenga la paciencia su obra completa, para que seáis perfectos y cabales, sin que os falte cosa alguna» (Santiago 1:2-4).

Es difícil tener gozo durante las pruebas, pero podemos hallar esperanza al saber que Dios utilizará las circunstancias problemáticas para ayudarnos a crecer espiritualmente. Como los álamos, cuando las dificultades despejan nuestro corazón para que la luz de Dios nos alcance, la fe puede crecer.

Señor, gracias por acompañarme en las dificultades. Ayúdame a crecer con ellas.

Las pruebas pueden acercarnos más a Dios.

Unser Täglich Brot - Feuerprobe

Lesen: Jakobus 1,1-12 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Richter 7–8; Lukas 5,1-16

Selig ist der Mann, der die Anfechtung erduldet; denn nachdem er bewährt ist, wird er die Krone des Lebens erlangen. Jakobus 1,12

Bei einem Besuch im Naturhistorischen Museum letzten Winter habe ich eine Menge über die Zitterpappel gelernt. Aus einem einzigen Samen kann ein ganzer Wald von schlanken Pappeln mit einem gemeinsamen Wurzelsystem wachsen. Diese Wurzeln können tausende von Jahren existieren, auch wenn sie keine Bäume tragen. Sie schlafen im Boden und warten, bis Feuer, Überschwemmung oder eine Lawine im schattigen Wald für sie einen Platz freiräumen. Nachdem eine Naturkatastrophe Brachland geschaffen hat, spüren die Wurzeln endlich die Sonne. Dann schicken sie ihre Sprösslinge hervor, aus denen der Baum erwächst.

Zerstörung durch Naturkatastrophen fördert also das Wachstum von Pappeln. Jakobus schreibt, dass unser Wachstum im Glauben auch durch Schwierigkeiten ermöglicht wird. „Erachtet es für lauter Freude“, sagt er, „wenn ihr in mancherlei Anfechtungen fallt, und wisst, dass euer Glaube, wenn er bewährt ist, Geduld wirkt. Die Geduld aber soll ihr Werk tun bis ans Ende, damit ihr vollkommen und unversehrt seid und kein Mangel an euch sei“ (Jak. 1,2-4).

Es ist schwer, sich in Schwierigkeiten zu freuen, aber wir können Hoffnung daraus schöpfen, dass Gott die schwierigen Umstände nutzen wird, um uns weiterzuhelfen. Wie die Pappeln kann unser Glaube wachsen, wenn Probleme in unserem Herzen einen Raum schaffen, in dem Gottes Licht uns erreichen kann.

Danke, Herr, dass du in Schwierigkeiten bei uns bist und uns hilfst, auch durch Probleme zu wachsen.

Probleme und Anfechtungen können uns näher zu Gott führen.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Éprouvé par le feu

Lisez : Jacques 1.1‑12 | La Bible en un an : Juges 7 – 8 et Luc 5.1-16

Heureux l’homme qui supporte patiemment la tentation ; car, après avoir été éprouvé, il recevra la couronne de vie. (Jacques 1.12)

En visitant un musée d’histoire naturelle du Colorado, j’ai découvert quelques faits remarquables au sujet du tremble. Tout un bosquet de trembles élancés et au tronc blanc peut pousser à partir de la même graine en partageant le même système racinaire. Or, ce système peut subsister pendant des milliers d’années, qu’il produise ou non des arbres. Il dort sous terre, attendant qu’un incendie, une inondation ou une avalanche lui taille une place au sein d’une forêt ombragée. Après qu’une catastrophe naturelle leur a fait de la place au sol, les racines du tremble peuvent enfin sentir les rayons du soleil et produire des arbrisseaux qui deviendront des arbres.

Dans le cas du tremble, la dévastation qu’engendre une catastrophe naturelle rend possible une nouvelle croissance. De même, les difficultés rendent possible la croissance de notre foi, selon Jacques : « Mes frères, regardez comme un sujet de joie complète les diverses épreuves auxquelles vous pouvez être exposés, sachant que l’épreuve de votre foi produit la patience. Mais il faut que la patience accomplisse parfaitement son oeuvre, afin que vous soyez parfaits et accomplis, sans faillir en rien » (JA 1.2‑4).

Il est difficile de nous réjouir dans l’épreuve, mais nous avons tout lieu d’espérer puisque Dieu se servira de toute situation pénible pour nous aider à atteindre la maturité. Comme le tremble, la foi peut pousser au sein de l’épreuve, qui fait de l’espace dans notre coeur pour que la lumière de Dieu nous touche.

Les épreuves et les tests peuvent nous rapprocher de Christ.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Вогняне випробування

Читати: Якова 1:1-12 | Біблія за рік: Суддів 7–8 ; Луки 5:1-16

Блаженна людина, що витерпить пробу, бо, бувши випробувана, дістане вінця життя. — Якова 1:12

Коли минулої зими я завітала до музею природної історії у штаті Колорадо, то взнала деякі цікаві факти про осики. Виявляється, що з однієї насінини може вирости цілий гай струнких дерев з білим стовбуром. Всі ці дерева мають спільну кореневу систему, що може існувати цілі тисячоліття і не завжди давати життя новим деревам. Коренева система перебуває у своєрідній сплячці, чекаючи на пожежу, паводок або який-небудь обвал, щоб у темному лісі з’явилось місце для нових дерев. Коли природня стихія очищує нове місце, коріння осик нарешті може відчути сонце. Воно пускає нові пагони, які потім стають деревами.

Молоді осики часто появляються в результаті стихійного лиха. Апостол Яків пише, що наше зростання у вірі теж неможливе без життєвих труднощів. “Майте повну радість, коли впадаєте в усілякі випробовування, знаючи, що досвідчення вашої віри дає терпеливість. А терпеливість нехай має чин досконалий, щоб ви досконалі та бездоганні були, і недостачі ні в чому не мали” (Як. 1:2-4).

Звісно, важко бути радісним у часи випробувань, але нас може сповняти надією той факт, що Бог використовує важкі обставини, щоб допомогти нам досягти духовної зрілості. Наша віра частіше зростає в часи випробувань, коли труднощі розчищають місце в нашому серці для Божого світла.

Дякуємо, Боже, за Твою присутність у наших випробуваннях і за те, що допомагаєш нам духовно зростати у важких обставинах.

Випробування та труднощі наближають нас до Христа.

© 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Испытание огнем

Читать сейчас: Иакова 1:1-12 | Библия за год: Судей 7-8; Луки 5:1-16

Блажен человек, который переносит искушение, потому что, будучи испытан, он получит венец жизни. — Иакова 1:12

Прошлой зимой, посетив музей естественной истории в Колорадо, я узнала несколько удивительных фактов об осинах. Целая рощица стройных осинок может вырасти из единственного семечка, имея общую корневую систему. Эта система может существовать тысячи лет, не производя деревья. Она спит под землей, ожидая пожара, наводнения или оползня. Когда природное бедствие очистит землю и осиновый корень почувствует солнце, он пускает ростки, которые затем превращаются в деревья.

Молодые осины растут после опустошения, вызванного стихией. Иаков пишет, что наше возрастание в вере также становится возможным, благодаря трудностям. Он пишет: «С великой радостью принимайте, братья мои, когда впадаете в различные искушения, зная, что испытание вашей веры производит терпение; терпение же должно иметь совершенное действие, чтобы вы были совершенны во всей полноте, без всякого недостатка» (Иак. 1:2-4).

Непросто радоваться, когда все плохо. Но мы можем утешиться надеждой, что Бог употребит трудные обстоятельства, чтобы помочь нам достичь зрелости. Подобно осинам, наша вера может укрепиться, когда трудности расчистят место в нашем сердце для Божьего света.

Благодарим Тебя, Боже, что находишься рядом во всех трудностях и помогаешь расти в сложных обстоятельствах.