Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 - Wednesday in Holy Week

Addolorata procession, Polistena, Italy
Morning Prayer

O God:
Give me strength to live another day;
Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties;
Let me not lose faith in other people;
Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness;
Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them;
Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity;
Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things;
Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth;
Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness;
and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls;
in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Isaiah 50:4-9

The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens-- wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward. I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.


Psalm 70 Deus, in adjutorium
1   Be pleased, O God, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me.
2   Let those who seek my life be ashamed and altogether dismayed; let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and be disgraced.
3   Let those who say to me "Aha!" and gloat over me turn back, because they are ashamed.
4   Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation say for ever, "Great is the LORD!"
5   But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me speedily, O God.
6   You are my helper and my deliverer; O LORD, do not tarry.

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in John 13:21-32

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, "Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples-- the one whom Jesus loved-- was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "Do quickly what you are going to do." Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the festival" or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

Prayer of the Day

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

A Prayer for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

A Prayer for Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

Verse of the Day - April 12, 2017

Luke 9:23-24 (NIV) Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

Read all of Luke 9

Listen to Luke 9

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 - Surrender at Gethsemane

Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch."
Mark 14:34 (NKJV)

Have you ever felt lonely? Have you ever felt as though your friends and family had abandoned you? Have you ever felt like you were misunderstood? Have you ever had a hard time understanding or submitting to the will of God for your life?

If so, then you have an idea of what the Lord Jesus went through as He agonized at Gethsemane.

Hebrews tells us, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it” (4:15–16 NLT).

The Bible tells us that Jesus was “a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief” (Isaiah 53:3 NLT). But the sorrow He experienced in Gethsemane on the night before His Crucifixion seemed to be the culmination of all the sorrow He had ever known and would accelerate to a climax the following day. The ultimate triumph that was to take place at Calvary was first accomplished beneath the gnarled old olive trees of Gethsemane.

It is interesting that the very word Gethsemane means “olive press.” Olives were pressed there to make oil, and truly, Jesus was being pressed from all sides that He might bring life to us. I don’t think we can even begin to fathom what He was going through.

But look at what it accomplished. It brought about your salvation and mine. Because of what Jesus went through at Gethsemane and ultimately at the cross, we can call upon His name. Though it was an unfathomably painful, horrific transition, it was necessary for the ultimate goal of what was accomplished.

Maybe you are at a crisis point in your life right now—a personal Gethsemane, if you will. You have your will; you know what you want. Yet you can sense that God’s will is different.

Would you let the Lord choose for you? Would you be willing to say, “Lord, I am submitting my will to Yours. Not my will, but Yours be done”? You will not regret making that decision.

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. 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 - Dios te regala un nuevo día hoy

Bendito sea el Señor, nuestro Dios y Salvador, que día tras día sobrelleva nuestras cargas.
Salmo 68:19, NVI

¿Por qué será que no todos los días nos levantamos igual con Dios?

Si en la gran mayoría de los casos conocemos su Palabra, sabemos que nos ama y que hoy ha preparado un día lleno de oportunidades para nosotros.

Sé que las circunstancias que estás viviendo te roban la paz y el gozo. No obstante, cuando estamos en contacto diario con nuestro Dios, ya sea orando aunque sea un rato cada día, y leyendo su Palabra, encontramos sus promesas.

Estas promesas te dan la certeza de caminar por fe. Te permiten dar por sentado que aunque amanezcas sin un quinto en el bolsillo, andes cansado porque el dinero no te alcanza y otras muchas cosas que llegan a la vida, Dios es un Padre que, ante todo, nunca miente. De modo que si te regaló un nuevo amanecer, es porque te ama y ya tiene predestinado que estuvieras en pie.

¡Ánimo! Recuerda que aunque la tormenta es fuerte, Dios es mayor que tu problema.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón.


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall…hardship…?

The question asked is a personal one. Not “what” can separate us but “who”? The inference is our enemy, Satan, who tries every tactic he can garner to make us think we can be separated from Christ’s love. Today we look at his tactic of “hardship.”

Sixteen-year-old Lakech had always known a stable home in her small Ethiopian village of Moche. Her childhood as one of eight children was not carefree. But it was uncomplicated. Her father, a godly man, worked hard to provide the needs of his large family. They did not have an abundance; but they survived. While Lakech was growing up, her father and mother came to Christ. They laboured hard and devoted themselves to bringing up their eight children in a God-fearing way. But two years ago, her father was framed by some enemies and charged with stealing trees.

The legal battle started with a hearing a few days later, dragging on for a year when the court found Lakech’s father guilty and sentenced him to a year’s imprisonment. He found himself sharing a cell with about fifty criminals, and his family was left in turmoil.

At home, mother was not coping well. Neighbors were mocking the children, claiming their father would be jailed for seven more years. “I started noticing that it was hard for my mother to put food on the table,” explained Lakech. “I could not watch my mother battle on her own. I wanted to finish school, but it was impossible for me to just carry on,” admitted the timid young teenager. “My mother needed help.”

Despite her age and innate shyness, Lakech left school and found a full-time job as a house servant some distance from her home town. For long periods of time, Lakech stayed away from home working, sending all her earnings home to her mother. Following her example, Lakech’s second oldest brother, also in his teens, quit school and took over the farming on their small land.

Then the local church began to help support the family, and Open Doors was alerted to the difficult struggle to just feed the family. The ministry was able to come alongside the entire family, helping supply their food, and then paying school fees so Lakech could return home and resume her studies with her brother.

Soon afterwards, to the family’s great joy, father was pardoned because of good behavior and released after serving nearly half of his sentence. He was overjoyed and declared, “I was saying to myself, by the time I finish serving the sentence, I will find my family scattered and needy. But it was different. They lacked nothing and everything was covered.

“I was also thinking no one will be with us,” Lakech’s mother shared. “But we now are in joy. I am happy to be relieved from my worries and above all to have my husband beside me. The Lord has blessed me with these two successes; both my daughter and husband have come home.”

RESPONSE: I will live this day aware that hardships can never separate me from Christ’s love.

PRAYER: Lord we rejoice in Your goodness and in Your provision for every real need.

Girlfriends in God - What Kind of Impact Are You Making?

by Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border…” (1 Chronicles 4:10, ESV)

Friend to Friend

Years ago I worked with a woman in Nashville named Cindy. She was a no-nonsense publisher for a major music company. Each month she listened to the songs I wrote and gave honest, constructive feedback that required this songwriter-chick to have thick skin and wear big-girl-panties. She was salt and light to me in the work place, but not in ways that I expected or necessarily appreciated at the time.

I didn’t always love what she had to say.

Total honesty? She. Scared. Me. Silly.

I wrestled with her strong, bristly opinions while at the same time grew from the pruning of her wise, professional words. She challenged me toward greater excellence and she wasn’t afraid to speak difficult words of truth.

One thing I will never forget: as she listened to the new songs I wrote, she regularly insisted that I was a “worship leader/worship writer” instead of a Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) writer/artist. Drove me bananas because I was SURE I was a CCM writer/artist.

Over the years, Cindy and I became friends and eventually, I came to realize that she was right. I am a worship leader and worship writer. And it’s not only who I am, it’s who I always was. Even when I didn’t know it and insisted otherwise.

Cindy died in her early fifties.

Cancer stole her from us.

A few nights before she went on to be with the Lord, a large group of Nashville’s finest songwriters gathered at her bedside to celebrate her life that was salty and bright for Jesus. To thank her for her impact, share stories, and sacredly sing her to the other side of glory. A knot held my throat captive as I watched the gathering online via video. What a legacy. Cindy poured wisdom into so many people, she said and did things that caused others to think big thoughts about God, and spurred them on toward excellence.

She lived a life of influence because she was intentional about being salt and light in my life and in the lives of many others.

I want to die like that.

I want to live like that.

Don’t you?

In the Bible, a man named Jabez asked God for all the influence God would give him. Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked” (1 Chronicles 4:10).

Jabez wanted to live with impact to the max.

He pleaded to be a difference maker. I’m right there with him.

We all have influence. The question is will we use our influence to sway our friends toward an awesome movie or will we influence them toward our awesome God? Will we choose to live in a way that causes our unbelieving neighbor or co-worker to want to hear more about Jesus? Will we teach a young wife to understand how to respect her husband, or help a young mom realize that God is honored when she nurtures her demanding, thankless children? Will we help the weary parent of a prodigal see that her child’s rebellion is not her failure and not her child’s final faith chapter?

It all begins with a choice.

If we want to be women of impact, we need to live with our eyes wide open to God-opportunities. We need to get beyond our own agendas and move in the direction of HIS agenda. It is not about doing more of what you are already doing – it is about listening to the whispers of Jesus in the middle of the grocery store, or at the nail salon, or in your cubicle, in the next pew, in your living room, or classroom.

Being a woman of impact is not about doing more each day, it’s about living to be led by Jesus with the days you are given.

It all begins with a choice. If we want to be women of impact, we need to live with our eyes wide open to God-opportunities. We need to get beyond our own agendas and ask God what HIS agenda is. Let’s ask God to bless us and enlarge the borders of our influence for Him today!

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for impacting my life with your grace and truth. Please open my eyes to see the opportunities all around me to point others to You. Stir my heart to make today and every day count for you.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Consider the people in your life that you influence. Pray for fresh vision, courage, and opportunities to make an impact in their lives for Christ.

GIVEAWAY: I want to impact YOU today, so I’m giving away 3 digital copies of the music soundtrack to my latest book, I WANT IT ALL. For a chance to win, CLICK HERE to visit my blog and leave a comment. Who do you want to impact?

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want I ALL, which includes a Bible Study 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 - "Father, Forgive Them"

Jesus is not going to die alone. Pilate ordered two criminals to die...

Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Father, Forgive Them"

April 12, 2017

And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." ... (Luke 23:34a, ESV)

Read Luke 23:32-34

Jesus is not going to die alone. Pilate ordered two criminals to die with Him. When they finally reach the execution site we read that Jesus is crucified between the two. In that one word "crucified," the Scriptures spare us the horrible details, and carry forward Jesus' charge: "Do not weep for Me."

Now, as the climax of Jesus' suffering is reached and incredible pain wracks His body, the soldiers are casting lots to divide His clothing. Jesus turns to His Father in prayer. But once again He is not praying for Himself, not seeking divine retribution on His foes, or even justice for Himself-He is pleading with His Father to forgive those who have put Him on this cross. They do not know what they are doing.

But Jesus is not only praying for the Roman soldiers, Pontius Pilate, Herod Antipas, the Jewish leaders, the temple guard, Peter and Judas-He is praying for all the people whose sins He is carrying, including yours and mine. So often we commit our sins without giving a second thought to the wrath we are incurring, or the sufferings Jesus endured to save us from them. We don't know what we are doing either.

But God the Father can't simply ignore His wrath at our sins. Nor can He pretend they never took place. His holiness demands that sinners be punished. For the Father to be able to forgive us, Jesus knows He must suffer the torment of hell in our place. He asks His Father to pour His fiery wrath on Him instead.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, in our sin we don't know what we are doing. Yet You willingly took on Yourself our guilt and Your Father's punishment. Make us aware of our culpability that we may repent and trust You alone as our Savior. Amen

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

Devociones de Cuaresma - Finales eternos

Devociones de Cuaresma  2017

Finales eternos

12 de Abril de 2017

Miércoles de Semana Santa

Entra en el gozo de tu Señor. Mateo 25:21, RVC (14-30)

La parábola del siervo negligente forma parte del grupo de las parábolas escatológicas que Jesús pronunciara durante la semana de su crucifixión y muerte. En cada una de ellas Jesús menciona el juicio al final de los tiempos. En la parábola para hoy hay dos finales felices y un final infeliz. Lo que tienen en común estos finales es que los tres son eternos.

Aunque para nosotros, hombres mortales y temporales, es muy difícil entender la dimensión de la eternidad, es necesario que prestemos atención a este tema porque, indefectiblemente, la eternidad es lo que nos espera después de la muerte.

¿Cómo estamos usando los talentos que Dios nos dio? Dios nos repartió sus dones cómo él quiso y en las cantidades que quiso, pero no dispuso cómo debemos usarlos y reproducirlos, sino que nos dio la libertad de ponerlos a trabajar de la manera que a nosotros mejor nos parezca. ¡Qué Padre tan generoso y lleno de confianza! Dios confía en que haremos un buen trabajo, que seremos capaces de perdonar porque fuimos perdonados, que amaremos a quienes nos rodean porque él nos llenó de su amor en Jesús, y que ayudaremos a los necesitados porque cuando estuvimos necesitados de paz, amor, y vida, él nos los dio abundantemente.

El punto álgido de la parábola es que, el que repartió los dones, va a volver. Entonces, ¿cómo lo esperas? ¿Contento porque has producido algo? No enterremos los dones que el Señor nos dio. Él fue muy generoso con nosotros, que no merecíamos nada, para que nosotros seamos generosos en su nombre. Delante de nuestros ojos permanece la promesa: "Entra en el gozo de tu Señor." ¿Te imaginas pasar la eternidad con un Dios feliz y contento? Gracias a Jesús, esto será posible.

Gracias, Padre, por los talentos que me diste. Ayúdame a ponerlos a trabajar para que produzcan frutos de amor para ti. 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 - Let Down Your Hair

Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. John 12:3

Shortly before Jesus was crucified, a woman named Mary poured a bottle of expensive perfume on His feet. Then, in what may have been an even more daring act, she wiped His feet with her hair (John 12:3). Not only did Mary sacrifice what may have been her life’s savings, she also sacrificed her reputation. In first-century Middle Eastern culture, respectable women never let down their hair in public. But true worship is not concerned about what others think of us (2 Sam. 6:21–22). To worship Jesus, Mary was willing to be thought of as immodest, perhaps even immoral.

Some of us may feel pressured to be perfect when we go to church so that people will think well of us. Metaphorically speaking, we work hard to make sure we have every hair in place. But a healthy church is a place where we can let down our hair and not hide our flaws behind a façade of perfection. In church, we should be able to reveal our weaknesses to find strength rather than conceal our faults to appear strong.

Worship doesn’t involve behaving as if nothing is wrong; it’s making sure everything is right—right with God and with one another. When our greatest fear is letting down our hair, perhaps our greatest sin is keeping it up.

Search me, God, and know my heart. . . . See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23–24.

Our worship is right when we are right with God.

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Hãy Xõa Tóc
Đọc: Giăng 12:1-8 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: 1 Sa-mu-ên 19-21; Lu-ca 11:29-54

Ma-ri lấy một cân dầu cam tùng nguyên chất rất quý giá xức chân Đức Chúa Jêsus, rồi dùng tóc mình lau chân Ngài. Giăng 12:3

Trước khi Chúa Jêsus bị đóng đinh không lâu, một người phụ nữ tên là Ma-ri đã đổ một chai dầu thơm đắt tiền lên chân Ngài. Sau đó, bằng một hành động được coi là can đảm hơn thế, cô lấy tóc mình lau chân Ngài (Giăng 12:3). Ma-ri không chỉ hy sinh những gì cô đã tích góp cả đời mà còn hy sinh cả danh tiếng bản thân. Theo văn hóa Trung Đông ở thế kỷ thứ nhất, phụ nữ có lòng tự trọng không bao giờ xõa tóc nơi đông người. Nhưng thờ phượng thật là không bận tâm đến chuyện người khác nghĩ gì về chúng ta (2 Sa-mu-ên 6:21-22). Để thờ phượng Chúa Jêsus, Ma-ri sẵn lòng để bị người ta nghĩ là không đoan chính, thậm chí có thể bị cho là phóng đãng.

Một số người trong chúng ta khi đến nhà thờ có thể cảm thấy áp lực phải làm người hoàn hảo để người khác nghĩ tốt về mình. Nói cách văn hoa là chúng ta ráng giữ đến từng sợi tóc cũng phải nằm đúng nếp. Nhưng một Hội thánh đúng phải là nơi chúng ta có thể xõa tóc và không che giấu tội lỗi của mình phía sau vẻ bề ngoài hoàn hảo. Trong Hội thánh, chúng ta nên chia sẻ những yếu đuối của mình để tìm thấy sức lực thay vì che giấu tội lỗi để tỏ vẻ mạnh mẽ.

Thờ phượng không có nghĩa là làm như thể không có gì sai trật; thờ phượng là đảm bảo rằng mọi thứ đều đúng đắn—đúng với Chúa và đúng với nhau. Khi nỗi sợ lớn nhất của chúng ta là “xõa tóc xuống”, thì có lẽ tội lỗi lớn nhất của chúng ta là đang miệt mài trong tội lỗi.

Đức Chúa Trời ôi! Xin tra xét con và biết lòng con; xin thử nghiệm con và biết tư tưởng con; thử xem con có lối ác nào không, và dẫn con vào con đường đời đời. (Thi Thiên 139:23-24)

Sự thờ phượng chỉ đúng đắn khi chúng ta đúng đắn trước mặt Chúa.

Nuestro Pan Diario - Soltarse el cabello
Leer: Juan 12:1-8 | La Biblia en un año: 1 Samuel 19–21; Lucas 11:29-54

… María tomó una libra de perfume […], y ungió los pies de Jesús, y los enjugó con sus cabellos… (v. 3).

Poco antes de que crucificaran a Jesús, una mujer llamada María derramó una botella de un caro perfume sobre los pies del Señor. Después, en un acto aun más osado, le secó los pies con su cabello (Juan 12:3). María no solo sacrificó lo que posiblemente eran los ahorros de toda su vida, sino también su reputación. En esa cultura, las mujeres respetables nunca se soltaban el cabello en público. Pero, al verdadero adorador, no le preocupa lo que piensen los demás (2 Samuel 6:21-22). Para adorar a Jesús, María estuvo dispuesta a que pensaran que ella era indecente; quizá incluso inmoral.

Tal vez sintamos la presión de ser perfectos cuando vamos a la iglesia, para que los demás piensen bien de nosotros. Metafóricamente hablando, nos esforzamos por mantener cada cabello en su lugar. Sin embargo, en una iglesia saludable, podemos «soltarnos el cabello» y no esconder nuestras imperfecciones. Deberíamos poder revelar nuestra debilidad y encontrar fuerzas.

Adorar no implica comportarse como si nada estuviera mal; es asegurarnos de que todo esté bien… con Dios y con los demás. Cuando nuestro mayor temor es soltarnos el cabello, quizá nuestro mayor pecado sea mantenerlo recogido.

Examíname, oh Dios, y conoce mi corazón; pruébame y conoce mis pensamientos […], y guíame en el camino eterno. Salmo 139:23-24

Nuestra adoración es correcta cuando estamos a cuentas con Dios.

Unser Täglich Brot - Mit offenen Haaren
Lesen: Johannes 12,1-8 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 1.Samuel 19–21; Lukas 11,29-54

Da nahm Maria ein Pfund Salböl von unverfälschter, kostbarer Narde und salbte die Füße Jesu und trocknete mit ihrem Haar seine Füße. Johannes 12,3

Kurz bevor Jesus gekreuzigt wurde, goss eine Frau eine Flasche teures Parfüm über seine Füße. Dann tat sie etwas, was wohl noch provozierender war: Sie trocknete seine Füße mit ihrem Haar (Joh. 12,3). Sie opferte nicht nur ihre gesamten Ersparnisse, sondern auch noch ihren guten Ruf. Denn keine ehrbare Frau hätte in der damaligen Kultur jemals in der Öffentlichkeit ihr Haar heruntergelassen. Echte Anbetung fragt jedoch nie danach, was andere von uns denken könnten (2.Sam. 6,21-22). Um Jesus zu dienen, war Maria bereit, als verschwenderisch, ja sogar unmoralisch zu gelten.

Vielleicht meinen wir manchmal, wir müssten möglichst perfekt wirken, wenn wir in die Kirche gehen, damit andere nicht schlecht von uns denken. Bildlich gesprochen tun wir alles, damit die Haare gut sitzen. Aber eine gesunde Gemeinde ist ein Ort, an dem wir die Haare offen tragen können und unsere Makel nicht hinter einer Fassade der Vollkommenheit verstecken müssen. In der Gemeinde sollten wir unsere Schwächen zeigen und gestärkt werden können, anstatt sie zu verbergen, damit wir stark wirken.

Anbetung heißt nicht so tun, als wäre alles in Ordnung; sondern dafür zu sorgen, dass alles in Ordnung kommt—mit Gott und den Nächsten. Wenn es unsere größte Angst ist, die Haare zu öffnen, dann ist unsere größte Sünde vielleicht, dass wir den Schein wahren wollen.

Erforsche mich, Gott, und erkenne mein Herz; prüfe mich und erkenne, wie ich’s meine. Und sieh, ob ich auf bösem Wege bin, und leite mich auf ewigem Wege (Psalm 139,23-24).

Unser Gottesdienst ist in Ordnung, wenn wir mit Gott in Ordnung sind.

Notre Pain Quotidien - La chevelure défaite
Lisez : Jean 12.1‑8 | La Bible en un an : 1 SAMUEL 19 – 21 et LUC 11.29‑54

Marie, ayant pris une livre d'un parfum de nard pur de grand prix, oignit les pieds de Jésus, et elle lui essuya les pieds avec ses cheveux. V.3

Peu avant la Crucifixion, une femme nommée Marie a répandu le flacon d’un précieux parfum sur les pieds de Jésus. Puis, d’un geste peut-être encore plus audacieux, elle a essuyé les pieds de celui‑ci de ses cheveux (JN 12.3). Non seulement Marie a‑t‑elle dû sacrifier ce qui constituait sans doute les économies de toute une vie, mais elle a également sacrifié sa réputation. Dans la culture du Moyen‑Orient du Ier siècle, les femmes respectables ne laissaient jamais leur chevelure défaite en public. Reste que les véritables adorateurs ne se soucient guère de ce que les autres peuvent penser d’eux (2 S 6.21,22). Pour adorer Jésus, Marie était prête à passer pour quelqu’un d’immodeste, voire d’immoral.

Il se peut que certains d’entre nous se sentent obligés de se montrer parfaits à l’église, afin que les gens pensent du bien d’eux. Au sens métaphorique, nous nous efforçons de ne pas laisser un seul cheveu dépasser. Reste que l’Église saine est un milieu où nous pouvons « laisser notre chevelure défaite » en ne cachant pas nos défauts derrière une façade de perfection. À l’église, nous devrions pouvoir révéler nos faiblesses afin de puiser dans la force de Dieu plutôt que de dissimuler nos fautes dans le but de passer pour des gens forts.

L’adoration ne consiste pas à agir comme si rien n’allait mal, mais plutôt à veiller à ce que tout aille bien – devant Dieu et entre nous. Ne tombons pas dans le piège des apparences !

Si nous sommes agréables à Dieu, notre adoration le sera aussi.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Розпустила своє волосся
Читати: Івана 12:1-8 | Біблія за рік: 1 Самуїлова 19−21 ; Луки 11:29-54

Марія взяла літру мира, з найдорожчого нарду пахучого, і намастила Ісусові ноги, і волоссям своїм Йому ноги обтерла. — Івана 12:3

Незадовго перед тим як Ісуса розп’яли, одна жінка на ім’я Марія вилила Йому на ноги дуже коштовні парфуми. А потім зробила те, що, можливо, було ще більш жертовним актом – витерла Його ноги своїм волоссям (Ів. 12:3). Марія пожертвувала не лише тим, що було найбільшим заощадженням у її житті, але й своєю репутацією. В культурі Близького Сходу першого століття жодна жінка, що поважала себе, не розпустила б прилюдно волосся. Але справжнє поклоніння Богу не переймається тим, що думають інші люди (2 Сам. 6:21-22). Марія поклонялась Ісусу, і навіть згодна була, щоб хтось вважав її нескромною.

Деякі з нас, коли приходять до церкви, відчувають певний тиск – люди чекають від нас “правильного поклоніння”. Висловлюючись метафорично, ми докладаємо чимало зусиль, щоб “кожна волосина була у правильному місці”. Але духовно здорова церква – це така община, де ми можемо “розпустити своє волосся”, тобто не ховати своїх недоліків за фасадом перфекціонізму. В церкві маємо відкривати свої недоліки для отримання допомоги, замість того щоб приховувати свої духовні невдачі, роблячи вигляд, що ми духовно міцні.

Поклоніння Богу не означає, що треба поводитись так, наче в нашому житті все гаразд. Воно означає, що маємо працювати над тим, щоб усе було гаразд – з Богом та іншими людьми.

“Випробуй, Боже, мене, і пізнай моє серце, досліди Ти мене, і пізнай мої задуми, і побач, чи не йду я дорогою злою, і на вічну дорогу мене попровадь!” —Псалом 138:23-24

Наше поклоніння лише тоді правильне, коли наші стосунки з Богом правильні.

Хлеб наш насущный - Распустите волосы
Читать сейчас: Иоанна 12:1-8 | Библия за год: 1 Царств 19-21; Луки 11:29-54

Мария же, взяв фунт нардового чистого драгоценного мира, помазала ноги Иисуса и отерла волосами своими ноги Его. — Иоанна 12:3

За несколько дней до распятия Христа женщина по имени Мария полила дорогим благовонным составом Его ноги, а затем совершила еще более неожиданный поступок: отерла их своими волосами (Ин. 12:3). Она пожертвовала не только, может быть, многолетними накоплениями, но и своей честью. В культуре Ближнего Востока того времени уважаемая женщина никогда бы не распустила волосы на людях. Но искреннее поклонение не заботится о том, что думают другие (2 Цар. 6:21-22). Чтобы послужить Господу, Мария была готова на все.

Порой, идя в церковь, мы чувствуем давление общественного мнения и хотим, чтобы все думали о нас хорошо. Образно говоря, мы усердно трудимся над тем, чтобы каждый волосок лежал на месте. Но здоровая церковь – это место, где можно «распустить волосы» и не скрывать своих недостатков за фасадом мнимого совершенства. В церкви мы должны быть готовы признать свою слабость, чтобы обрести силу.

Поклонение не требует лощеного, показного благочестия. Оно требует правильных отношений – с Богом и людьми. Если мы больше всего боимся «опростоволоситься», то определенно нуждаемся в исправлении.

«Испытай меня, Боже, и узнай сердце мое; испытай меня и узнай помышления мои; и зри, не на опасном ли я пути, и направь меня на путь вечный». — Псалом 138:23-24

Наше поклонение правильно, если мы правы перед Богом.