Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, March 30, 2017

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Jeremiah 22:13-23

Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages; who says, "I will build myself a spacious house with large upper rooms," and who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar, and painting it with vermilion. Are you a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? says the LORD. But your eyes and heart are only on your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence. Therefore thus says the LORD concerning King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah: They shall not lament for him, saying, "Alas, my brother!" or "Alas, sister!" They shall not lament for him, saying, "Alas, lord!" or "Alas, his majesty!" With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried-- dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem. Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan; cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers are crushed. I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, "I will not listen." This has been your way from your youth, for you have not obeyed my voice. The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity; then you will be ashamed and dismayed because of all your wickedness. O inhabitant of Lebanon, nested among the cedars, how you will groan when pangs come upon you, pain as of a woman in labor!

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 8:12-27

So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ-- if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in John 6:41-51

Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" Jesus answered them, "Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Morning Psalms

Psalm 69 Salvum me fac
1   Save me, O God, for the waters have risen up to my neck.
2   I am sinking in deep mire, and there is no firm ground for my feet.
3   I have come into deep waters, and the torrent washes over me.
4   I have grown weary with my crying; my throat is inflamed; my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
5   Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. Must I then give back what I never stole?
6   O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you.
7   Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel.
8   Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach, and shame has covered my face.
9   I have become a stranger to my own kindred, an alien to my mother's children.
10   Zeal for your house has eaten me up; the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
11   I humbled myself with fasting, but that was turned to my reproach.
12   I put on sack-cloth also, and became a byword among them.
13   Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, and the drunkards make songs about me.
14   But as for me, this is my prayer to you, at the time you have set, O LORD:
15   In your great mercy, O God, answer me with your unfailing help.
16   Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; let me be rescued from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.
17   Let not the torrent of waters wash over me, neither let the deep swallow me up; do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
18   Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind; in your great compassion, turn to me."
19   Hide not your face from your servant; be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
20   Draw near to me and redeem me; because of my enemies deliver me.
21   You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; my adversaries are all in your sight."
22   Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I could find no one.
23   They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
24   Let the table before them be a trap and their sacred feasts a snare.
25   Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and give them continual trembling in their loins.
26   Pour out your indignation upon them, and let the fierceness of your anger overtake them.
27   Let their camp be desolate, and let there be none to dwell in their tents.
28   For they persecute him whom you have stricken and add to the pain of those whom you have pierced.
29   Lay to their charge guilt upon guilt, and let them not receive your vindication.
30   Let them be wiped out of the book of the living and not be written among the righteous.
31   As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
32   I will praise the Name of God in song; I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
33   This will please the LORD more than an offering of oxen, more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
34   The afflicted shall see and be glad; you who seek God, your heart shall live.
35   For the LORD listens to the needy, and his prisoners he does not despise.
36   Let the heavens and the earth praise him, the seas and all that moves in them;
37   For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; they shall live there and have it in possession.
38   The children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his Name will dwell therein.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 73 Quam bonus Israel!
1   Truly, God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2   But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped; I had almost tripped and fallen;
3   Because I envied the proud and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
4   For they suffer no pain, and their bodies are sleek and sound;
5   In the misfortunes of others they have no share; they are not afflicted as others are;
6   Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
7   Their iniquity comes from gross minds, and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
8   They scoff and speak maliciously; out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
9   They set their mouths against the heavens, and their evil speech runs through the world.
10   And so the people turn to them and find in them no fault.
11   They say, "How should God know? is there knowledge in the Most High?"
12   So then, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase their wealth.
13   In vain have I kept my heart clean, and washed my hands in innocence.
14   I have been afflicted all day long, and punished every morning.
15   Had I gone on speaking this way, I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
16   When I tried to understand these things, it was too hard for me;
17   Until I entered the sanctuary of God and discerned the end of the wicked.
18   Surely, you set them in slippery places; you cast them down in ruin.
19   Oh, how suddenly do they come to destruction, come to an end, and perish from terror!
20   Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord, when you arise you will make their image vanish.
21   When my mind became embittered, I was sorely wounded in my heart.
22   I was stupid and had no understanding; I was like a brute beast in your presence.
23   Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24   You will guide me by your counsel, and afterwards receive me with glory.
25   Whom have I in heaven but you? and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
26   Though my flesh and my heart should waste away, God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
27   Truly, those who forsake you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful.
28   But it is good for me to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge.
29   I will speak of all your works in the gates of the city of Zion.

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 30, 2017

Isaiah 53:3-4 (NIV) He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

Read all of Isaiah 53

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 - "The Death of Death"

Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?
John 11:26 (NKJV)

When Jesus died on the cross, He conquered sin. But when He rose again from the dead, He defeated death.

Death is not a subject we usually want to discuss. But when you get down to it, that is what Easter is all about. Easter is about the death of death, because Jesus came to conquer death.

We don’t like to discuss this subject of dying. It is a hard subject for us to talk about. Many don’t even want to use the word death. They will use other words, like passed away or expired. We will refer to someone who has died as “the dearly departed.”

Some, in an attempt to avoid its seriousness, will make light of it with expressions like “kicked the bucket” or “cashed in their chips.” We don’t want to deal with death. It is a hard subject to grapple with.

Easter is a day that marks the death of death. Death died when Christ rose. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25–26).

You may be thinking, “Cap'n, are you crazy? What are you talking about—death died? People still die. Don’t you watch the news? Haven’t you heard about all of the horrible things that are happening in our world right now and the deaths of so many people? How can you say that death died?”

I understand that we die. I understand that our bodies go into a grave. But here is what I am saying to you: death is not the end. Sure our bodies go into the ground, but the soul lives on forever. The Bible says that one day our bodies will be resurrected as well.

This is the hope of Easter. Death is not the end of the road; it is only a bend in the road. When Jesus died and rose, He rendered death powerless.

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 - Hijos, valoremos a nuestros padres

Escucha a tu padre, que te engendró, y no desprecies a tu madre cuando sea anciana.
Proverbios 23:22 

Padres y madres, no se vayan de la meditación de hoy. Nosotros también somos hijos.

Aunque ya lo mencioné al inicio de este libro, el único mandamiento con promesa es que honremos a nuestros padres para tener una larga vida.

¿Te imaginas lo que para Dios significa el respeto a ellos que hasta puede ser una condición para vivir muchos años?

Sé que cuando somos jóvenes y adolescentes, los consejos de papá y mamá son a veces hasta fastidiosos. Su compañía en ciertas edades hasta molesta en determinadas etapas de la vida. Salir con ellos… ¡huy, qué pena!

No obstante, todo esto pasa y, a medida que vamos creciendo, madurando, aprendiendo y perdonando, vamos cambiando la manera de verlos y respetarlos.

Cuando llegamos a la etapa de ser padres, es que al fin apreciamos todo lo que hicieron por nosotros. Cuando esos hijos crecen y nos faltan al respeto o nos hacen sufrir, por fin nos ponemos en los zapatos de nuestros papás que nos aconsejaban y velaban por nuestro bienestar.

Nunca es tarde para atenderlos, para acompañarlos, para disfrutarlos y hacer lo que dice la Biblia: «Honra a tu padre y a tu madre» (Éxodo 20:12).

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - RELATIONAL ASPECT OF COMMITMENT

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

The relational aspect of commitment is found in the phrase, “Whoever wants to be my disciple…” There is a desire on our part that causes us to want to come to Jesus to be His follower. It is a relationship that you seek to establish with Him. But what is the origin of this relationship? We do not have anything in us that is good enough to be offered to God. It is God Himself who has committed Himself to us. It is He who has taken the initiative that makes it possible for me to respond in commitment to Him.

We see God’s commitment in His creation. He made humankind in His image. And we see His true commitment when we messed up in the fall of humankind. Thus began God’s plan for salvation, the redemption story that culminated in the coming of Jesus Christ. God’s commitment to us is one of total love. This caused Him to not even spare His only Son from the cruelty of the cross to redeem us from the curse of sin.

In addition, when Jesus was on earth, it was He who took the initiative. In fact, when there were some who wanted to volunteer their services prior to their understanding of the true nature of discipleship and the commitment that is required of them, they were discouraged from doing so:
When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18–22)
This is the relational aspect of commitment; one in which we desire to follow Jesus because God first committed Himself to us and calls us to follow Him. We who have experienced His love and grace desire to respond to Him.

RESPONSE: Today I commit to a relationship with Jesus in being a true learner and follower.

PRAYER: Lord, I respond to Your love and grace today and desire to become a fully devoted disciple.

NIV Devotions for Men - John Mark: Recovered Failure

Acts 12:6–17, 25; 13:2–14; 15:35—16:3

Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. (2 Timothy 4:11)

I brought the small fragment of parchment up closer to my face and read it again, hardly daring to believe the words my eyes reported: “because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” Imagine Paul actually putting that down in black and white for anyone to read! Tears of relief and joy suddenly welled up in my eyes, and I could read no further. After all these years Paul was calling for me to come and serve with him again, and describing me as “helpful.”

This was the culmination of a long struggle, a difficult process for both of us. For him it was a matter of gradually relenting in his judgment that I was a coward, a failure, someone who did not merit further investment of apostolic time and energy. For me it was the need to change, to grow up, to develop the character necessary for rigorous apostolic duty in a demanding and frequently hostile environment.

I handed the letter back to Timothy, who had sought me out and was grinning widely. “Do you think he really means it?” I asked breathlessly. Timothy shrugged. “Have you ever known Paul to pretend?” he asked pointedly.

I laughed bitterly. “No, you’re right. Paul always says what he means.” Subtlety had never been the apostle’s forte. I blushed as I remembered his frank descriptions of me as he argued loudly with my cousin Barnabas, who wanted to take me with them again on their second missionary journey. Though Barnabas argued that I should be given a second chance, even though I’d quit the first excursion and gone back home, Paul vehemently insisted that there was no way he was going to be burdened with a mama’s boy who wouldn’t follow through on his commitments. The issue had become so heated that the famous pair had split up, going in two different directions, all over a disagreement about me. I’d never felt so humiliated in my life.

But that experience had marked a turning point for me. I did learn steadfastness. Besides Barnabas, I also worked alongside Simon Peter for a while, and I wrote down his memoirs. Paul eventually acknowledged my recovery, mildly recommending that the Colossians welcome me if I should pass through their territory and listing me in his letter to Philemon, along with Demas and Luke, as fellow workers.

But now Paul was actually calling for me to come with Timothy so I could be with him and Luke, just a select, small group for what might be the apostle’s last weeks on Earth. I scanned the letter a third time, and there was no mistaking the resolute tone of the request. Paul expected to die soon, but he wanted me to come and be “helpful” to him in his ministry again before his leave-taking! Praise God!

“When do we leave?” I asked Timothy. “I’m ready for this one. Let’s go!”

Back to the Future
  • Have you ever been embarrassed by a failure that was due to character issues on your part? Was there anyone like Barnabas to take your side and help you to recover?
  • Do you know anyone else who has stumbled or turned aside from his walk with God? What can you do to encourage him to continue pressing forward?
  • Are you ever tempted to turn away from doing what God wants you to do? Who is surrounding you to encourage you when you are tempted to give up?
The Story Continues …

Read more of Mark’s story in Acts 12:6–17, 25; 13:2–14; 15:35—16:3; Colossians 4:10 (some Biblical scholars include Mark 14:51–52).

Girlfriends in God - Do Your Words Pass the KUT Test?

by Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. (Matthew 12:36, NIV)

Friend to Friend

Jesus said that the words we speak reflect the true condition of our hearts.

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:33-37)

Since every word we speak matters - for both today and eternity - it’s time to get a bit more hands-on about how we can ensure that our words are life-giving.

Choose Words That Pass The KUT Test

I’ve come up with a little three-question tool that will help even the spiciest individual speak words that honor God, benefit others, and build them up according to their needs. Before you speak, make sure your words make the KUT—the KUT test that is:

1. Are they kind?

2. Are they useful?

3. Are they true?

KIND: Who doesn’t like a kind word? We all do. So before you speak, ask yourself: is what I’m about to say kind? If your words will unrighteously ruffle someone’s feathers, then it is better not to speak them. (There are times when words need to ruffle feathers. True enough. But they should still be kind, constructive, and God-honoring.) If what I am about to say is unkind, then it fails the KUT test and I zip my lip. No talky.

USEFUL: Oh, how we can complain and vie for control. Our expectations of others can stir us up: we think we know how they should act, communicate, behave, respond, and dress. The truth of the matter is, we cannot choose behavior for others, but we can choose for ourselves.

When my buttons are pushed I have several choices. I can choose to be sassy and destructive. I can choose not to respond and engage in the argument. Or I can choose to respond in kindness that has the potential to calm a flustered heart. See? Lots of options. But my best choice is to pray first, then choose my response. Even just a whispered prayer, Lord, please give me your wisdom and grace for this moment! Filter my words and calm my heart.

TRUE: Let me jump on this one right away with a qualifier: just because something is true does not mean it is wise to say it. Here’s why. What I have to say might be true, but if it is neither kind nor useful, then—in most cases— it does not need to be said. So, truth is not reason enough to say something.

The Bible says that our words are to “benefit” those to whom we speak (Ephesians 4:29). Truth must be spoken in light of both wisdom and grace.

Jesus prayed that God would sanctify us in his truth, which is the Word of God (John 17:17). And that, friend, is the best thing for us when it comes to our words. Our words need to be sifted through God’s truth. If what we are about to say does not line up with Scripture, then we simply should not say it.

Kind. Useful. True. Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of guidelines, but it is a great, easy-to-remember tool that can help train us to have a biblical mind set as we learn to be positive and productive in our conversations. The KUT test helps to sift out words of anger, hurt, negativity, rudeness, arrogance, prejudice, ignorance, and foolishness. And so much more! It’s like a Brita for your mouth! I’d call that productive, wouldn’t you?

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord,
I really need your help with this one. I want all of my conversations to be positive and constructive . . . led by your kindness . . . useful and true. Please help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Now It’s Your Turn

What are a few of the phrases that fly from your mouth that are not kind, useful, or true?

Which of the 3-steps in the KUT test do you think will be most helpful for you to implement? Why? (Tweet your answer to me @GwenSmithMusic)

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want I ALL, which includes a Bible Study Guide right in the back of the book; no extra purchase required. I WANT IT ALL is easy to read yet contains compelling and challenging content. You'll connect with the stories, probably dust off a few heart dreams, think bigger thoughts of God, laugh and smile a lot, search your soul, and even cry a little ... because each page lovingly directs you to the personal grace and truth of JESUS.

(CLICK HERE to get a FREE Downloadable “7 Day I WANT IT ALL” Devotional Ebook.)

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

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

LHM Daily Devotion - "The Traitor"

Luke tells us the great Jewish festival of the Passover with its Feast...

Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Traitor"

March 30, 2017

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover (Luke 22:1, ESV).

Read Luke 22:1-6

Luke tells us the great Jewish festival of the Passover with its Feast of Unleavened Bread is drawing near. It is the reason the huge crowds have come from all over the Roman Empire to Jerusalem. It recalls Israel's deliverance from slavery in Egypt by the death of the Egyptian firstborn. It was called "Passover" because the Lord caused the angel of death to pass over the Israelite houses marked with the blood of the Passover lamb.

The Jewish high court is meeting. Having already determined to put Jesus to death, they are looking for the best time and manner to accomplish this. They won't consider an assassination; they want to find Him guilty of a capital crime and persuade Pilate to execute Him.

They keep coming back to one key problem: the huge crowds of pilgrims are thronging around Jesus, hanging on His every word. As long as the crowds are in town there is nothing they can do to Jesus. They decide they must wait to kill Jesus after the Passover is complete, when the crowds leave Jerusalem to return home.

Suddenly, an unexpected possibility arises. One of Jesus' hand-picked disciples, Judas Iscariot, offers to betray Jesus to them for the modest price of 30 silver pieces. The priests rejoice in this unforeseen opportunity. They never could have predicted a defection from within Jesus' camp. Now they have a man on the inside, watching for the opportunity to hand Jesus over to them before the Feast.

Jesus' predictions are falling into place: "the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men."

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You knew Judas was plotting against You, yet You continued to reach out to him in love. Reach out to me with Your forgiveness and grace. Amen

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

Devociones de Cuaresma - ¡Que los gigantes vayan saliendo!

Devociones de Cuaresma  2017

¡Que los gigantes vayan saliendo!

30 de Marzo de 2017

Así fue como David venció al filisteo: con una honda y una piedra. 1 Samuel 17:50, RVC (17:40-51)

Los niños aprenden y recuerdan con lujo de detalles esta historia: el gigante enorme, acorazado y armado, brabucón incansable, burlón y arrogantemente vanidoso; David jovencito, armado con una honda casera y cinco piedras recién juntadas en el arroyo. Lo cierto es que David no pensó en lo desparejo de la situación, sino que, antes bien, comparó al gigante con la fuerza de Dios, y las armas del gigante con las armas de Dios. Su victoria estaba asegurada ya antes de ir a la batalla.

Jesús enfrentó al gigante del pecado y de la muerte con el arma de la cruz. A simple vista, la confrontación del poder del mal con dos palos atravesados parece ridícula. Pero Jesús, al igual que David, midió la fuerza y las armas de Dios, y con ellas fue a la batalla. Cuando lo vieron colgando "impotente" en la cruz, y cuando lo colocaron inerte en la tumba fría, sus seguidores pensaron que había perdido la batalla. Sin embargo, a pesar de su coraza, el pecado no pudo evitar ser herido de muerte por la sangre preciosa de Cristo. Cuando el Señor resucitó, se paró encima de la muerte y la remató, y en todo el mundo se supo del Dios de Israel.

Jesús es nuestro campeón. Él comparte con nosotros su victoria. Todavía tiene muchas piedras en su morral para herir de muerte a nuestros enemigos. Siempre habrá gigantes brabucones que nos asusten con sus amenazas y con su figura acorazada, y enemigos que se burlen de nuestro Dios y de su gracia. ¿Cómo los enfrentaremos? Contando con la fuerza y las armas de Dios: la cruz y la tumba vacía.

Gracias, Padre, porque no hay gigante que Jesús no pueda vencer. En él y por él, nosotros también cantamos victoria. 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 - Life and Death

Read: Genesis 50:22–26 | Bible in a Year: Judges 9–10; Luke 5:17–39

I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid. Genesis 50:24

I will never forget sitting at the bedside of my friend’s brother when he died; the scene was one of the ordinary visited by the extraordinary. Three of us were talking quietly when we realized that Richard’s breathing was becoming more labored. We gathered around him, watching, waiting, and praying. When he took his last breath, it felt like a holy moment; the presence of God enveloped us in the midst of our tears over a wonderful man dying in his forties.

Many of the heroes of our faith experienced God’s faithfulness when they died. For instance, Jacob announced he would soon be “gathered to [his] people” (Gen. 49:29–33). Jacob’s son Joseph also announced his impending death: “I am about to die,” he said to his brothers while instructing them how to hold firm in their faith. He seems to be at peace, yet eager that his brothers trust the Lord (50:24).

None of us knows when or how we will breathe our last breath, but we can ask God to help us trust that He will be with us. We can believe the promise that Jesus will prepare a place for us in His Father’s house (John 14:2–3).

Lord God, Your dwelling place will be with Your people, and You will be our God, wiping away our tears and banishing death. May it be so!

The Lord will never abandon us, especially at the time of our death.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Sự Sống Và Sự Chết

Đọc: Sáng thế ký 50:22-26 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Các quan xét 9-10; Lu-ca 5:17-39

Tôi sắp qua đời, nhưng chắc chắn Đức Chúa Trời sẽ thăm viếng anh em. Sáng thế ký 50:24

Tôi sẽ không bao giờ quên giây phút ngồi cạnh giường của anh trai bạn tôi khi anh ấy qua đời; khung cảnh bình thường bỗng trở nên lạ thường. Ba anh em chúng tôi đang trò chuyện thầm thì chúng tôi nhận ra hơi thở của Richard trở nên nặng nề hơn. Chúng tôi tập hợp lại quanh anh ấy, quan sát, chờ đợi và cầu nguyện. Khi anh ấy trút hơi thở cuối cùng, nó như một giây phút thiêng liêng, sự hiện diện của Chúa bao phủ chúng tôi giữa những nước mắt cho một người tuyệt vời chết ở tuổi tứ tuần.

Nhiều anh hùng đức tin đã kinh nghiệm sự thành tín của Chúa khi họ qua đời. Chẳng hạn, Gia-cốp đã thông báo ông sẽ sớm “sum họp với tổ tiên” (Sáng. 49:29-33). Giô-sép, con trai của Gia-cốp cũng thông báo về cái chết sắp đến của mình: “Tôi sắp qua đời”, ông nói với các anh em của mình trong lúc chỉ dẫn họ làm thế nào để giữ vững đức tin. Ông dường như sắp an nghỉ, nhưng vẫn thiết tha rằng anh em mình sẽ tin cậy Chúa (50:24).

Không ai trong chúng ta biết mình sẽ trút hơi thở cuối cùng lúc nào và như thế nào, nhưng chúng ta có thể xin Chúa giúp chúng ta tin cậy rằng Ngài sẽ ở cùng chúng ta. Chúng ta có thể tin nơi lời hứa rằng Chúa Jêsus sẽ chuẩn bị một chỗ ở cho chúng ta trong nhà Cha Ngài (Giăng 14:2-3).

Lạy Chúa, nơi ngự của Ngài sẽ là nơi ở của dân sự Ngài, và Ngài sẽ là Đức Chúa Trời của chúng con, Ngài sẽ lau hết nước mắt và xua tan sự chết. Nguyện sự ấy được thành.

Chúa sẽ không bao giờ từ bỏ chúng ta, đặc biệt khi chúng ta đối diện với sự chết.

© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - Vida y muerte

Leer: Génesis 50:22-26 | La Biblia en un año: Lucas 5:17-39

Yo voy a morir; mas Dios ciertamente os visitará, y os hará subir de esta tierra… (v. 24).

Nunca voy a olvidar haber estado sentada al lado de la cama del hermano de mi amiga cuando él murió. La sensación fue de que lo extraordinario visitaba lo común y corriente. Éramos tres los que conversábamos en voz baja cuando nos dimos cuenta de que Richard empezaba a tener dificultades para respirar. Lo rodeamos, mirándolo, esperando y orando. Cuando exhaló su último aliento, fue como un momento sagrado; la presencia de Dios nos envolvió en medio de las lágrimas tras la muerte de un hombre maravilloso de poco más de 40 años de edad.

Muchos héroes que compartían nuestra fe experimentaron la fidelidad de Dios cuando murieron. Por ejemplo, Jacob anunció que, en breve, se reuniría con los suyos (Génesis 49:29-33). Su hijo, José, mientras daba instrucciones a sus hermanos sobre cómo permanecer firmes en la fe, también anticipó que moriría pronto: «Yo voy a morir». Al parecer, tenía paz, pero estaba ansioso de que sus hermanos confiaran en el Señor (50:24).

Nadie sabe cuándo ni cómo dará su último aliento, pero podemos pedirle a Dios que nos ayude a confiar en que Él estará a nuestro lado. Podemos tener la certeza de que Jesús está preparando un lugar para nosotros en la casa de su Padre (Juan 14:2-3).

Señor, que tu poder sobre la muerte y la esperanza del cielo sequen mis lágrimas.

El Señor nunca nos abandonará; en especial, en el momento de nuestra muerte.

Unser Täglich Brot - Leben und Tod

Lesen: 1.Mose 50,22-26 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Richter 9–10; Lukas 5,17-39

Ich sterbe, aber Gott wird euch gnädig heimsuchen. 1.Mose 50,24

Ich werde es nie vergessen, wie ich mit meiner besten Freundin am Sterbebett ihres Bruders saß. Es war, als würde ein Strahl der Ewigkeit in die Zeit fallen. Wir waren zu dritt und unterhielten uns leise, als wir merkten, wie Richards Atem immer schwerer ging. Wir wandten uns zu ihm, warteten und beteten. Als er den letzten Atemzug tat, war es wie ein heiliger Augenblick. Wir konnten förmlich spüren, wie uns Gottes Gegenwart umhüllte, trotz unserer Tränen über den Tod eines Mannes, der keine fünfzig Jahre alt geworden war.

Viele unserer Glaubenshelden erlebten Gottes Treue gerade auch beim Sterben. So kündete Jakob zum Beispiel an, dass er bald „zu meinem Volk“ versammelt würde (1.Mose 49,29-33). Auch sein Sohn Josef sprach von seinem bevorstehenden Tod. „Ich sterbe“, sagte er zu seinen Brüdern und mahnte sie, am Glauben festzuhalten. Er selbst schien darüber Frieden zu haben. Aber es lag ihm sehr daran, dass auch seine Brüder dem Herrn vertrauen (50,24).

Keiner von uns weiß, wann wir unseren letzten Atemzug tun werden. Aber wir können Gott um seine Hilfe bitten, damit wir auch dann darauf vertrauen können, dass er bei uns ist. Und wir dürfen der Verheißung glauben, dass Jesus im Haus seines Vaters eine Wohnung für uns bereithält (Joh. 14,2-3).

Herr, du willst bei deinem Volk wohnen und willst ihr Gott sein und alle Tränen abwischen und der Tod wird nicht mehr sei. Amen!

Gott verlässt uns nie, auch nicht im Tod.

© 2017 Unser Täglich Brot

Notre Pain Quotidien - Vie et mort

Lisez : Genèse 50.22‑26 | La Bible en un an : Juges 9 – 10 et Luc 5.17-39

Je vais mourir ! Mais Dieu vous visitera. V. 24

Je n’oublierai jamais le jour où j’ai assisté à la mort du frère de mon amie. Assise à son chevet, j’ai regardé l’extraordinaire rendre visite à l’ordinaire. Nous étions trois à nous entretenir tout bas lorsque nous nous sommes rendu compte que la respiration de Richard était devenue plus difficile. Nous nous sommes alors réunis autour de lui, à le regarder, à attendre et à prier. Le moment où il a laissé échapper son dernier souffle nous semblant empreint de sainteté, la présence de Dieu nous a alors enveloppés au milieu des larmes que nous inspirait la mort précoce de ce merveilleux quarantenaire.

Bon nombre de héros de la foi ont fait l’expérience de la fidélité de Dieu au moment de leur mort. Par exemple, Jacob a annoncé qu’il serait « recueilli auprès de [son] peuple » (GE 49.29‑33). Joseph, le fil de Jacob, a également annoncé sa mort imminente : « Je vais mourir ! », a‑t‑il dit à ses frères, tout en les exhortant à rester fermes dans la foi. Il semble être en paix, mais désirer ardemment que ses frères fassent confiance à Dieu (50.24).

Même si aucun d’entre nous ne sait quand et comment il laissera échapper son dernier souffle, nous pouvons néanmoins demander à Dieu de nous aider à compter sur sa présence auprès de nous le moment venu. Nous avons tout lieu de croire que Jésus tiendra promesse en nous préparant une place dans la maison de son Père (JN 14.2,3).

Dieu ne nous abandonnera jamais, surtout pas au seuil de la mort.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Життя і смерть

Читати: Буття 50:22-26 | Біблія за рік: Суддів 9–10 ; Луки 5:17-39

Я вмираю, а Бог конче згадає вас. — Буття 50:24

Ніколи не забуду, як я сиділа біля смертного одра брата моєї подруги. Це був той момент, коли звична ситуація сповнена особливими відчуттями. Нас було троє. Ми тихо розмовляли, а потім помітили, що дихання Ричарда стає все більш утрудненим. Ми стали біля нього… дивились в чеканні й молитві. Коли він зробив останній подих, то був наче святий момент. Гостре відчуття Божої присутності охопило нас, хто проливав сльози за цією чудовою людиною, що вмирала на п’ятому десятку свого життя.

Чимало героїв віри в останні часи свого земного життя відчували Божу вірність. Наприклад, Яків відчув той момент, коли мав “прилучитись до своєї рідні” (Бут. 49:29-33). Йосип – син Якова – також передчував свою смерть. “Я вмираю”, – сказав він своїм братам. А потім дав їм останнє напучення, як зберегти тверду віру. Очевидно, що він відчував внутрішній мир, але палко хотів спонукати своїх братів довіряти Господу” (Бут. 50:24).

Ніхто не знає, коли і за яких обставин він зробить останній подих. Але можемо просити Бога зміцнити нашу віру в те, що Він буде поруч в цей момент. Маємо вірити обітниці Христа: “Багато осель у домі Мого Отця; а коли б то не так, то сказав би Я вам, що йду приготувати місце для вас?..” (Ів. 14:2-3).

Господи Боже, Ти перебуватимеш зі Своїм народом. Ти будеш нашим Богом, Хто витре з наших очей будь-яку сльозу і назавжди прожене смерть. Ми віримо в це!

Господь ніколи не полишить нас – особливо на смертному одрі!

© 2017 Хліб Наш Насущній

Хлеб наш насущный - Жизнь и смерть

Читать сейчас: Бытие 50:22-26 | Библия за год: Судей 9-10; Луки 5:17-39

И сказал Иосиф братьям своим: «Я умираю, но Бог посетит вас...» — Бытие 50:24

Я запомнила на всю жизнь, как сидела у постели умирающего брата моей подруги. Повседневное там столкнулось со сверхъестественным. Нас было трое, мы тихо беседовали, как вдруг услышали, что Ричарду стало трудно дышать. Мы собрались вокруг кровати, ожидая и молясь. Когда он выдохнул в последний раз, казалось, это был священный миг: Божье присутствие объяло нас, оплакивающих прекрасного человека, которому не было еще и пятидесяти.

Многие герои веры, умирая, свидетельствовали о Божьей верности. Например, Иаков, умирая, объявил, что скоро приложится к своему народу (Быт. 49:29-33). Его сын Иосиф также, почувствовав приближение смерти, сказал братьям: «Я умираю», а затем заверил их, что Бог не оставит Свой народ и введет его в Обетованную землю (Быт. 50:24). Он умирал в мире, словно видя перед собой Бога.

Никто не знает, когда оставит этот мир. Однако мы можем просить Бога укрепить нашу веру в Его присутствие. Мы можем положиться на обетование Христа, что Он приготовит нам место в доме Небесного Отца (Ин. 14:2-3).

Господь и Бог, Ты сотворишь обитель для Своего народа и будешь им Богом. Ты отрешь всякую слезу с наших очей и уничтожишь смерть. Мы верим в это!

Господь никогда не оставит нас, особенно в смертный час.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный