Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, April 22, 2017 - Easter Saturday

Descent into Hell, icon from the Ferapontov Monastery

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 Introit

Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Isaiah 25:1-9

O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt. Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place, you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds; the song of the ruthless was stilled. On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.


Psalm 118:14-18
14   The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.
15   There is a sound of exultation and victory in the tents of the righteous:
16   The right hand of the LORD has triumphed! the right hand of the LORD is exalted! the right hand of the LORD has triumphed!
17   I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.
18   The LORD has punished me sorely, but he did not hand me over to death.

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Acts 4:13-21

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. They said, "What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name." So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in God's sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard." After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened.

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 16:9-15, 20

Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.

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

We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

A Prayer for Saturdays

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

A Prayer for Mission

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia!
Thanks be to God! Alleluia, alleluia!

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. 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.

Prayer of the Day for SATURDAY, April 22, 2017 - Easter Saturday

We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, April 22, 2017 - Easter Saturday

Romans 1:20 (NIV) For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Read all of Romans 1

Listen to Romans 1

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

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - "A Powerful Testimony to a Watching World"

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Acts 16:25 (NKJV)

I think the worst thing that ever happened in history, the greatest travesty, the greatest injustice, was when Jesus Christ Himself was crucified. What could have been worse than that? What could have been worse than for God the Father to look down from Heaven and see His Son who He loved with all His heart suffering and dying for the sins of the world? How could God allow that? It was so awful.

Yet the Bible says, "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isaiah 53:10). Does this mean God was pleased in watching His Son suffer? Absolutely not. But God the Father was pleased in knowing this suffering would produce something wonderful called salvation for you and for me. As awful as it was, it accomplished God's purpose. Out of the greatest bad came the greatest good. That is how God showed His love for us. As John tells us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

In the same way, when hardship comes and you are still praising the Lord, that blows the mind of the nonbeliever. Remember the story of Paul and Silas when they were thrown into prison for preaching the gospel? We read in Acts that "at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them" (16:25).

Maybe you are going through a hard time right now. Maybe you're asking, "Why, God?"

God has a purpose. He has allowed it. God has either done it or He has allowed it. Deal with it the best that you can and seek to bring Him glory. That is a powerful testimony to a world that doesn't know God.

 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 - Sin que descuides lo tuyo

El temor del Señor es el principio del conocimiento; los necios desprecian la sabiduría y la disciplina.
Proverbios 1:7, NVI

Este devocional forma parte del tema anterior: El servicio a Dios debe ser equilibrado por completo.

No debemos abandonar nuestra familia por servir en la obra de Dios. De ahí que el Señor sea el único capaz de ayudarnos a equilibrar nuestro trabajo.

He tenido la oportunidad de conocer algunos casos cercanos. Se trata de jóvenes procedentes de familias pastorales que están cansados de vivir solos en sus casas. No tienen una vida en familia como los demás, ni tienen derecho a la privacidad ni en su casa. El problema es que la casa pastoral vive repleta de gente cualquier día de la semana, ni hablar el día del servicio. Tampoco se puede pensar en salir de vacaciones, pues papá o mamá están con agendas repletas de compromisos de la iglesia.

Esta es una exhortación muy especial que tengo para ti pastor, pastora, líder, capellán o cualquiera que sea tu posición. El servicio a Dios es el mayor privilegio que tú y yo podemos experimentar. Es gratificante y muy bien remunerado por Dios.

Sin embargo, no olvides que antes de servir a Dios, tu primer ministerio, tu primera obra, es cuidar de tu familia. No la descuides, pues te necesita.

Pídele a Dios que te dé el tiempo perfecto y que logres ser el mejor de los padres.

Hay un orden ya establecido por nuestro Señor. Tú con Dios como cabeza, tu familia, primera obligación, el trabajo y la iglesia.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE SHIELD OF FAITH

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

The Roman shield was the defensive piece of armor that was almost always used together with the sword. It was used to ward off a blow from the opponent while making your own sword-thrust. Likened to a shield, our faith in God is that piece of spiritual armor that enables us to withstand attacks by the enemy that are too much for the mind and body. The shield of faith has a three-fold duty.

1. It is a saving faith that is the inward confidence in God.

2. It is a serving faith that inspires our servant hood.

3. It is a sanctifying faith that lays hold of the power of God for our daily lives.

When you come under enemy fire, take shelter behind your faith in God. Do not be deceived by circumstances and events. Walk by faith, not by sight. Be confident that God has secured victory. Stake your life on His faithfulness. Trust Him to deliver you as you wear the shield of faith.

A colleague tells the story of Gabriel in violence plagued Colombia. His calling is to share the gospel with guerrilla soldiers hiding in the mountains. As he approaches a camp site with his bag of Spanish Bibles, a perimeter guard often steps out and sticks his AK-47 in Gabriel’s stomach.

“What are you doing here?”

“I’ve come to tell you about the love of Jesus which you can read about in these books.”

“We don’t want your books. Get lost or I’ll kill you!”

It’s at this point that Gabriel’s faith rises. Pushing the barrel of the gun aside he casually answers, “No you won’t! You can’t kill me until God says you can kill me,” and he boldly walks ahead into the camp where he distributes Bibles and preaches the gospel to those who will listen. He is still on the trail and has not been killed yet. He is convinced the day will come when his life will be taken. But his faith is solidly grounded in the assurance that it will only happen in God’s will. Meanwhile he is a powerful witness to the truth of the Gospel because of his faith.

RESPONSE: Today I take the shield of faith so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.

PRAYER: Lord, help me be strong in faith, ready for Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial and deceit. Give me bold faith like Gabriel’s.

NIV Devotions for Couples - Fidelity Check

Numbers 5:11–8

Then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.
Numbers 5:15

When Anya suspected her husband Ron was having an affair, her antennae went up. She began watching for evidence—receipts, long-distance phone calls, email—to confirm her suspicion. Over time, the evidence was clear: Ron was cheating on her.

When Anya confronted her husband, however, he told her she was crazy for thinking that way. Ron’s words cut her to the core. Not only did his vehement denial magnify his guilt, but his demeaning words reinforced what she was already feeling—that she was losing her mind. Jealousy and suspicion were taking over her life.

Anya decided to meet with her pastor. She shared her suspicion and the evidence that pointed to her husband’s guilt. Anya hoped this respected leader would come alongside her to intervene. She knew that her husband was lying about his affair. She also knew the public revelation of his affair would be devastating to his career and to the woman he was involved with. Unfortunately, Anya’s pastor didn’t believe her claims and dismissed her fears. Anya left the pastor’s office feeling utterly rejected. She had to deal with her overwhelming feelings of suspicion, jealousy, rejection and anger on her own.

At some point, every couple will experience feelings of jealousy and suspicion. While we might not have a modern-day equivalent to the bitter-water litmus test of Numbers 5:11–31, there are some practical steps we can take to deal with fears of infidelity and to restore trust once it has been broken by an affair.

For starters, we can pray daily for a hedge of protection around our marriage. Jerry Jenkins explains how this works in his book Hedges (Good News/Crossway, 2005). No one is immune from the possibility of committing adultery. At no point in our marriage are any of us safe from this sin. Recognizing this fact is our first defense.

Second, we can build a climate of trust with our partner through open communication and checkpoints that give our partner windows into our world. Without allowing it to become controlling, there’s nothing wrong with setting up checkpoints that verify our whereabouts, our communications with others (especially online), and what we do when we’re alone. For example, ever since Lyla developed a romantic relationship with a man she met on the Internet, her husband, Phil, has needed reassurance that she is being faithful to him now that the relationship has ended. Lyla and Phil now keep a shared email address. Occasionally Phil checks Lyla’s mail. Lyla doesn’t argue about those checkups, knowing that accountability to her husband is a good way to rebuild the trust she compromised.

For some time in our marriage, I saw this kind of accountability as invasive and demeaning. What difference did it make if I took a different route to work than Dan thought? Over time, though, I’ve come to see that by giving Dan my daily itinerary, I’m letting him peek into my world. It’s a safeguard for our marriage. Building hedges around each other goes a long way toward protecting us from infidelity, and it also alleviates the fear of infidelity once trust has been broken.

Marian V. Liautaud

Let’s Talk
  • What kinds of checkpoints do we have in our marriage? Are we open about our emails, lunch dates and daily schedules?
  • What are some ways we can deal with jealousy or suspicion should they occur in our marriage?
  • What kinds of accountability would be helpful in creating a climate of trust in our marriage?

LHM Daily Devotion - April 22, 2017 "Again and Again"

There are right ways to do things and there are wrong ways to do things.

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Again and Again"

April 22, 2017

1 John 3:5-6 - You know that He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him.

There are right ways to do things and there are wrong ways to do things.

That's a truth underlined by the story of Marcus Sanford Patmon of Miami. Here's part of that story. In 2001 Patmon was convicted of assault. That court decision negatively impacted his life in a number of ways, including his income. Having seen the value of art on an episode of Antiques Roadshow, he tried to sell two Picasso etchings and a Marc Chagall lithograph he had stolen.

To make a long story short, Patmon was caught, went to trial and, having been found guilty, spent two years in prison.

This past January he decided to drive to Washington and ask the Obama administration to clean his record of past wrongdoings.

It was a good idea. What was not a good idea is Patmon drove to Washington in a stolen car.

The car was spotted when Patmon stopped at a Starbucks; he was arrested and all hopes of receiving a pardon for past crimes went out the window.

As I said at the beginning: there are right ways to do things and there are wrong ways to do things.

Patmon did things the wrong way. So do a lot of people. To help us out, to help us do things the right way, the Holy Spirit inspired John to share the passage above. Very simply, those words tell us that Jesus offered His life to win our forgiveness and rescue us from condemnation and damnation.

Now we who have been rescued by the Savior need to live our lives the right way.

According to John, that means we need to stop our deliberate, intentional sinning. Now you and I know that until Judgment Day comes we will always be sinners. But that does not mean we should embrace deliberate, intentional sins.

Law enforcement had a tough time believing Patmon had changed his ways when he drove a stolen car to ask for a pardon.

Similarly, the Lord has a difficult time thinking we are serious about our salvation when we ask Him for forgiveness and then deliberately sin again.

Truly, having seen the Bethlehem manger, the Jerusalem cross, and the empty tomb, we ought to be filled with gratitude and thankfulness. Our appreciation ought to reflect itself in the way our lives are lived to honor the Savior.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, once you said, "This people draw near with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, while their hearts are far from Me" (Isaiah 29:13b). Grant that my lips, my heart, and my life show my great love for -- and appreciation of -- the Savior whose life has won my salvation. Help me live my life the right way. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen

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

Our Daily Bread - Always Listening

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

Dad was a man of few words. He had hearing damage due to years of military duty and wore hearing aids. One afternoon when Mom and I were talking a little longer than he thought necessary, he responded playfully, “Whenever I want peace and quiet, all I have to do is this.” Lifting both hands in a single motion, he turned off both hearing aids, folded his hands behind his head and closed his eyes in a serene smile.

We laughed. As far as he was concerned, the conversation was over!

My father’s actions that day remind me how different God is from us. He always wants to hear His children. This is underscored by one of the shortest prayers in the Bible. One day Nehemiah, a servant to King Artaxerxes of Persia, was visibly sad in the king’s presence. Fearful when the king asked him why, Nehemiah confessed it was because Jerusalem, the conquered city of his ancestors, lay in ruins. Nehemiah recounts, “The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king…” (Neh. 2:4–5, italics added).

Nehemiah’s prayer lasted only a moment, but God heard it. It set in motion God’s merciful response to the many prayers Nehemiah had already offered for Jerusalem. In that moment, Artaxerxes granted Nehemiah’s request to rebuild the city.

Isn’t it comforting to know that God cares enough to listen to all of our prayers—from the shortest to the longest?

Thank You, loving Father, for blessing me with the beautiful privilege and opportunity of prayer.

Our God is big enough to hear the smallest voice.

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Luôn Lắng Nghe
Đọc: Nê-hê-mi 2:1-9 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: 2 Sa-mu-ên 14-15; Lu-ca 17:1-19

Đức Giê-hô-va ở gần mọi người cầu khẩn Ngài, tức ở gần mọi người thành tâm cầu khẩn Ngài. Thi Thiên 145:18

Bố tôi là người ít nói. Ông bị vấn đề về thính giác do nhiều năm phục vụ trong quân ngũ nên phải đeo máy trợ thính. Một chiều nọ, khi mẹ và tôi đang nói hơi dông dài hơn mức ông nghĩ là cần thiết, ông hóm hỉnh nói: “Hễ khi nào bố muốn được yên bình và tĩnh lặng, bố sẽ làm thế này.” Ông đưa hai tay lên, tắt cái máy trợ thính, đưa hai tay ra gối đầu và nhắm mắt lại với một nụ cười bình thản.

Chúng tôi phá lên cười. Khi bố lên tiếng như thế thì hai mẹ con chấm dứt cuộc trò chuyện.

Hành động của bố tôi ngày hôm đó nhắc tôi nhớ Chúa khác chúng ta thể nào. Ngài luôn muốn nghe con cái Ngài trò chuyện. Một trong những lời cầu nguyện ngắn nhất trong Kinh Thánh đã nhấn mạnh điều này. Ngày nọ Nê-hê-mi, một người phục vụ cho Vua Ạt-ta-xét-xe của nước Ba Tư diện kiến vua với gương mặt buồn bã. Sợ hãi khi vua hỏi lý do ông buồn, Nê-hê-mi thú thật là vì Giê-ru-sa-lem, thành của tổ tiên ông đã bị xâm chiếm và tàn phá. Nê-hê-mi thuật lại rằng: “Vua hỏi tôi: ‘Ngươi cầu xin điều gì?’ Tôi cầu nguyện với Đức Chúa Trời của các tầng trời rồi tâu với vua…” (Nê-hê-mi 2:4-5).

Lời cầu nguyện của Nê-hê-mi rất ngắn ngủi, nhưng Chúa đã lắng nghe, khởi đầu cho sự đáp lời đầy nhân từ của Chúa đối với nhiều lời cầu xin cho thành Giê-ru-sa-lem mà ông đã trình dâng lên Chúa trước đó. Vua Ạt-ta-xét-xe đã chấp thuận lời cầu xin của Nê-hê-mi để tái xây dựng thành Giê-ru-sa-lem.

Biết rằng Chúa quan tâm đến chúng ta đủ để nghe mọi lời cầu xin của chúng ta—từ ngắn nhất đến dài nhất—chẳng phải là một sự an ủi lớn sao?

Lạy Cha yêu thương, con cảm ơn Cha đã cho con đặc ân và cơ hội tuyệt vời để được cầu nguyện cùng Ngài.

Đức Chúa Trời của chúng ta đủ vĩ đại để nghe mọi lời cầu xin thầm kín nhất.

Nuestro Pan Diario - Siempre escucha
Leer: Nehemías 2:1-9 | La Biblia en un año: 2 Samuel 14–15; Lucas 17:1-19

Cercano está el Señor a todos los que le invocan, A todos los que le invocan de veras (Salmo 145:18).

Papá era un hombre de pocas palabras. Tenía daño auditivo debido a años de servicio militar, y usaba audífonos. Una tarde, mientras Mamá y yo hablábamos un poco más de lo que a él le parecía necesario, Papá respondió bromeando: «Siempre que quiero un poco de paz y silencio, lo único que tengo que hacer es esto». Levantó las manos, apagó sus audífonos y cerró los ojos, con una sonrisa serena.

Nos reímos. Para él, ¡la conversación había terminado!

Esto me recuerda cuán diferente es Dios de nosotros. Él siempre quiere escuchar a sus hijos. Una de las oraciones más breves de la Biblia resalta esta idea. Un día, Nehemías, siervo del rey Artajerjes de Persia, estaba visiblemente triste. Cuando el rey le preguntó qué sucedía, Nehemías confesó que se debía a que Jerusalén, la ciudad conquistada de sus ancestros, estaba en ruinas. Nehemías relata: «Me dijo el rey: ¿Qué cosa pides? Entonces oré al Dios de los cielos, y dije al rey…» (Nehemías 2:4-5, énfasis añadido).

La oración de Nehemías duró solo un momento, pero Dios la escuchó. En ese momento, Artajerjes le concedió a Nehemías el pedido de reconstruir la ciudad.

¿No es reconfortante saber que a Dios le importa y que escucha todas nuestras oraciones… desde la más breve a la más larga?

Gracias, Padre, por bendecirme con el privilegio de la oración.

Dios es lo suficientemente grande como para escuchar la voz más débil.

Unser Täglich Brot - Ganz Ohr
Lesen: Nehemia 2,1-9 | Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 2.Samuel 14–15; Lukas 17,1-19

Der Herr ist nahe allen, die ihn anrufen, allen, die ihn ernstlich anrufen. Psalm 145,18

Mein Vater war kein Mann großer Worte. Im Militär hatte sein Gehör gelitten und er musste Hörgeräte tragen. Als ich einmal mit meiner Mutter länger redete, als er für notwendig hielt, meinte er ironisch: „Wenn ich meine Ruhe haben will, weiß ich, was tun.“ Er schaltete die Hörgeräte aus, lehnte sich lächelnd zurück, faltete die Hände hinter dem Kopf und schloss zufrieden die Augen.

Wir lachten. Für ihn war die Unterhaltung beendet!

Wie anders ist doch Gott als wir. Er will seinen Kindern immer zuhören. Das wird an einem der kürzesten Gebete in der Bibel deutlich. Nehemia, ein Diener am Hof von König Artaxerxes in Persien, war einmal sehr bedrückt. Als der König ihn fragte, was mit ihm los sei, erwiderte er, er sei so bedrückt, weil Jerusalem, die Stadt seiner Vorfahren, vom Feind erobert und nur noch eine Ruine sei. Nehemia erzählt: „Da sprach der König zu mir: Was begehrst du denn? Da betete ich zu dem Gott des Himmels und sprach zum König . . .“ (Neh. 2,4-5).

Nehemias Gebet dauerte nur einen Augenblick, aber Gott hörte es. Er hatte auch die vielen anderen Gebete gehört, die Nehemia bereits für Jerusalem gesprochen hatte, und nun griff er ein. Der König erhörte umgehend Nehemias Bitte, die Stadt wiederaufzubauen.

Ist es nicht tröstlich, dass es Gott wichtig ist, auf alle unsere Gebete zu hören—die langen und die kurzen?

Danke, lieber Vater, dass du mir das Vorrecht und die Möglichkeit schenkst, zu dir zu beten.

Unser Gott ist groß genug, um auch die kleinste Stimme zu hören.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Toujours à l’écoute
Lisez : Néhémie 2.1‑9 | La Bible en un an : 2 SAMUEL 14 – 15 et LUC 17.1‑19

L'Éternel est près de tous ceux qui l'invoquent, de tous ceux qui l'invoquent avec sincérité. Psaume 145.18

Mon père était peu loquace. Il portait des appareils auditifs parce que toutes ses années passées dans l’armée avaient endommagé son ouïe. Un certain après‑midi que ma mère et moi discutions un peu plus longtemps qu’il ne le jugeait nécessaire, il nous a lancé avec amusement : « Quand je veux avoir la paix et le silence, je n’ai qu’à faire ça », en éteignant du même coup ses deux appareils, puis en joignant les mains derrière la tête et en fermant les yeux avec un sourire serein aux lèvres.

Nous avons bien ri de le voir faire. En ce qui le concernait, la conversation était terminée !

Le réflexe de mon père ce jour‑là me rappelle combien Dieu est différent de nous. Il désire toujours entendre ses enfants, un fait que confirme l’une des prières les plus courtes de la Bible. Un jour, Néhémie, serviteur du roi Artaxerxès de Perse, était visiblement triste en présence du roi. Quand celui‑ci lui a demandé pourquoi, Néhémie lui a avoué avec crainte que c’était parce que Jérusalem, la ville conquise de ses ancêtres, était en ruine. « Et le roi me dit : Que demandes‑tu ? Je priai le Dieu des cieux, et je répondis au roi […] » (NÉ 2.4,5, italiques pour souligner).

Même succincte, sa prière a été entendue et a donné lieu à la réponse empreinte de miséricorde aux nombreuses prières que Néhémie avait déjà offertes à Dieu pour Jérusalem, et Artaxerxès lui a donné gain de cause.

Quel bonheur de savoir que Dieu nous écoute toujours !

Notre Dieu est assez grand pour entendre même la plus faible des voix.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Завжди чує
Читати: Неемії 2:1-9 | Біблія за рік: 2 Самуїлова 14−15 ; Луки 17:1-19

Господь близький всім, хто взиває до Нього, хто правдою кличе Його! — Псалом 144:18

Мій батько був небагатомовною людиною. Він пошкодив собі слух, коли служив в армії, тому користувався слуховим апаратом. Одного дня, коли ми з мамою занадто розбалакались, він сказав жартівливо: “Коли я хочу тиші й спокою, все, що мені потрібно зробити, це…” З цими словами він виключив свій слуховий апарат. А потім, заклавши руки за голову, подивився на нас з посмішкою. Ми засміялись теж. Бесіда закінчилась.

Цей випадок нагадав мені про те, як все-таки Бог відрізняється від нас, людей. Цю істину ілюструє одна з найкоротших біблійних молитов. Одного дня Неемія – слуга перського царя Артаксеркса – не зміг приховати свого суму, прислуговуючи владиці. Коли цар запитав у нього про причину його суму, Неемія, не на жарт злякавшись, зізнався, що йому сумно через Єрусалим, що лежить в руїнах. “І сказав мені цар: Чого ж ти просиш? І я помолився до Небесного Бога, і сказав цареві…” (Неем. 2:4-5).

Молитва Неемії тривала лише пару секунд, але Бог почув її. Вона привела в рух цілий ланцюжок Божих відповідей на ті молитви про Єрусалим, що Неемія вже возносив до Бога. Тепер він отримав від Артаксеркса доручення відбудувати зруйноване місто.

Хіба це не велика втіха знати, що Бог настільки піклується про нас, що чує всі наші молитви – найкоротші та найдовші?

Дякую Тобі, люблячий Отче, за дарування великого привілею і можливості молитись до Тебе!

Щоб дізнатись більше про прощення, читайте брошуру «Що є справжнім прощенням?»

Наш Бог достатньо могутній, щоб почути навіть найслабкіший голос.

Хлеб наш насущный - Всегда внимателен
Читать сейчас: Неемия 2:1-9 | Библия за год: 2 Царств 14-15; Луки 17:1-19

Близок Господь ко всем призывающим Его, ко всем призывающим Его в истине. — Псалом 144:18

Мой папа был человек немногословный. Во время военной службы он оглох, и после этого носил слуховые аппараты в обоих ушах. Однажды после обеда наш с мамой разговор занял больше времени, чем папа считал необходимым. Он шутливо сказал: «Знаете, когда я хочу мира и тишины, то делаю вот что». Он поднес руки к ушам и одним движением выключил оба аппарата, после чего с блаженной улыбкой закрыл глаза. Мы рассмеялись и прекратили затянувшийся разговор.

Шутка отца напомнила мне, как сильно отличается от нас Бог. Он всегда желает слышать Своих детей. Это подтверждается одной из самых коротких библейских молитв. Однажды Неемия, виночерпий персидского царя Артаксеркса, был опечален в присутствии царя. Когда тот поинтересовался причиной печали, испуганный Неемия признался, что скорбит о городе своих предков Иерусалиме, лежащем в развалинах. Царь спросил: «Чего же ты желаешь?» Неемия вспоминает: «Я помолился Богу Небесному и сказал царю...» (Неем. 2:4-5).

Молитва Неемии длилась одно мгновение, но Бог услышал ее. Она привела в действие милостивый Божий ответ на другие молитвы, которые Неемия уже вознес об Иерусалиме. В тот день Артаксеркс разрешил мужу Божьему отправиться в Иудею и восстановить Иерусалим.

Разве не утешительно знать, что Бог слышит все наши молитвы, от самых коротких до самых длинных?

Благодарю Тебя, Небесный Отец, за благословение и великую привилегию обращаться к Тебе в молитве.

Как использовать Слово Бога для общения с Ним? Прочитайте брошюру Джеймса Бэнкса «ПОМОЛИМСЯ».

Наш Бог так велик, что слышит самый тихий голос.

© 2017 Хлеб Наш Насущный