Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 - 12th Day of Easter

Opening Sentence

On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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 Daniel 2:31-49

"You were looking, O king, and lo! there was a great statue. This statue was huge, its brilliance extraordinary; it was standing before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of that statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked on, a stone was cut out, not by human hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, were all broken in pieces and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. "This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings-- to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the might, and the glory, into whose hand he has given human beings, wherever they live, the wild animals of the field, and the birds of the air, and whom he has established as ruler over them all-- you are the head of gold. After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; just as iron crushes and smashes everything, it shall crush and shatter all these. As you saw the feet and toes partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but some of the strength of iron shall be in it, as you saw the iron mixed with the clay. As the toes of the feet were part iron and part clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with clay, so will they mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever; just as you saw that a stone was cut from the mountain not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. The great God has informed the king what shall be hereafter. The dream is certain, and its interpretation trustworthy." Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, worshiped Daniel, and commanded that a grain offering and incense be offered to him. The king said to Daniel, "Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery!" Then the king promoted Daniel, gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king's court.

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from 1 John 2:18-29

Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life. I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you. As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him.

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 3:1-14

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'" John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."

Morning Psalms

Psalm 18 Part I Diligam te, Domine.
1   I love you, O LORD my strength, O LORD my stronghold, my crag, and my haven.
2   My God, my rock in whom I put my trust, my shield, the horn of my salvation, and my refuge; you are worthy of praise.
3   I will call upon the LORD, and so shall I be saved from my enemies.
4   The breakers of death rolled over me, and the torrents of oblivion made me afraid.
5   The cords of hell entangled me, and the snares of death were set for me.
6   I called upon the LORD in my distress and cried out to my God for help.
7   He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling; my cry of anguish came to his ears.
8   The earth reeled and rocked; the roots of the mountains shook; they reeled because of his anger.
9   Smoke rose from his nostrils and a consuming fire out of his mouth; hot burning coals blazed forth from him.
10   He parted the heavens and came down with a storm cloud under his feet.
11   He mounted on cherubim and flew; he swooped on the wings of the wind.
12   He wrapped darkness about him; he made dark waters and thick clouds his pavilion.
13   From the brightness of his presence, through the clouds, burst hailstones and coals of fire.
14   The LORD thundered out of heaven; the Most High uttered his voice.
15   He loosed his arrows and scattered them; he hurled thunderbolts and routed them.
16   The beds of the seas were uncovered, and the foundations of the world laid bare, at your battle cry, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
17   He reached down from on high and grasped me; he drew me out of great waters.
18   He delivered me from my strong enemies and from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me.
19   They confronted me in the day of my disaster; but the LORD was my support.
20   He brought me out into an open place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 18:Part II Et retribuet mihi
21   The LORD rewarded me because of my righteous dealing; because my hands were clean he rewarded me;
22   For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not offended against my God;
23   For all his judgments are before my eyes, and his decrees I have not put away from me;
24   For I have been blameless with him and have kept myself from iniquity;
25   Therefore the LORD rewarded me according to my righteous dealing, because of the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
26   With the faithful you show yourself faithful, O God; with the forthright you show yourself forthright.
27   With the pure you show yourself pure, but with the crooked you are wily.
28   You will save a lowly people, but you will humble the haughty eyes.
29   You, O LORD, are my lamp; my God, you make my darkness bright.
30   With you I will break down an enclosure; with the help of my God I will scale any wall.
31   As for God, his ways are perfect; the words of the LORD are tried in the fire; he is a shield to all who trust in him.
32   For who is God, but the LORD? who is the Rock, except our God?
33   It is God who girds me about with strength and makes my way secure.
34   He makes me sure-footed like a deer and lets me stand firm on the heights.
35   He trains my hands for battle and my arms for bending even a bow of bronze.
36   You have given me your shield of victory; your right hand also sustains me; your loving care makes me great.
37   You lengthen my stride beneath me, and my ankles do not give way.
38   I pursue my enemies and overtake them; I will not turn back till I have destroyed them.
39   I strike them down, and they cannot rise; they fall defeated at my feet.
40   You have girded me with strength for the battle; you have cast down my adversaries beneath me; you have put my enemies to flight.
41   I destroy those who hate me; they cry out, but there is none to help them; they cry to the LORD, but he does not answer.
42   I beat them small like dust before the wind; I trample them like mud in the streets.
43   You deliver me from the strife of the peoples; you put me at the head of the nations.
44   A people I have not known shall serve me; no sooner shall they hear than they shall obey me; strangers will cringe before me.
45   The foreign peoples will lose heart; they shall come trembling out of their strongholds.
46   The LORD lives! Blessed is my Rock! Exalted is the God of my salvation!
47   He is the God who gave me victory and cast down the peoples beneath me.
48   You rescued me from the fury of my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you saved me from my deadly foe.
49   Therefore will I extol you among the nations, O LORD, and sing praises to your Name.
50   He multiplies the victories of his king; he shows loving-kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants for ever.

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

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

A Prayer for Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

A Prayer for Mission

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia!
Thanks be to God! 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 THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 - 12th Day of Easter

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Verse of the Day - April 27, 2017 - 12th Day of Easter

Luke 19:10 (NIV) For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Read all of Luke 19

Listen to Luke 19

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 - "More Than a Passing Glimpse"

Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
John 12:20–21 (NKJV)

If you had visited ancient Greece and said that you believed in God, you would have been asked what His name was. The Greeks believed in multiple gods. It was said in that time that it was easier to find a god in Athens than a man.

Yet the Bible tells us there were “certain Greeks” in Jerusalem for the Passover who were looking for Jesus. There were, of course, religious leaders looking for Jesus because they wanted to kill Him. On the day Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, there were others looking for Him as well. But they were looking for a different Jesus who would fit into their mold. Then there were the people identified as “certain Greeks.” And it seems they had the right motives in looking for Him.

At this time, Greece had been conquered by Rome, and it had benefitted Rome in many ways. The Greeks were renowned for their incredible philosophy, architecture, and learning. In fact, the city of Athens was an intellectual center for the world.

Yet these Greeks, these men of culture, obviously were dissatisfied. Apparently their philosophies and religion had not satisfied them. Nor had their accomplishments. So there they were, saying to Philip, “We wish to see Jesus.” A more literal rendering of that statement would be: “We desire to see Jesus.” They wanted more than just a passing glimpse; they wanted to really see Him.

Is that your desire? Do you want to see Jesus? Jesus said, “‘Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—to do Your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:7). We don’t have to look any further than His Word. We can find everything we need to know about God in the pages of Scripture.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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

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 - Su fidelidad

Reconoce, por tanto, que el Señor tu Dios es el Dios verdadero, el Dios fiel, que cumple su pacto generación tras generación, y muestra su fiel amor a quienes lo aman y obedecen sus mandamientos.
Deuteronomio 7:9, NVI

La fidelidad de Dios es grande y se ve reflejada en cada detalle de nuestra vida.

Mi sueño era poder ir en crucero de luna de miel. Y por razones de documentos, no lo habíamos podido considerar. Sin embargo, unos días antes de la boda, Dios me concedió recibir mi residencia permanente y me la entregó como si fuera un regalo más para nuestra boda.

Debido a que Él es fiel, todo lo que te digo en este libro es sencillamente mi experiencia con Dios. Es más, no tendría días para contar, ni libros para escribir, acerca de todo lo que Él ha hecho en mi vida.

Dios nos ama y nos complace desde lo más profundo de su ser. Por más equivocados que hayamos estado en el pasado, Él no nos guarda rencor.

Cuando somos obedientes a sus mandamientos, se complace en darnos todo lo que soñamos.

Por eso te extiendo mi invitación a través de este libro porque si lo hizo conmigo, lo hará también contigo. Sé que tienes sueños por realizar. Tienes metas que alcanzar. De modo que en ocasiones ves esto muy lejano y hasta imposible. Aun así, Dios te dice en este día lo siguiente: «Confía, pues es tiempo de cambiar y creerme. Yo soy fiel con los que me buscan».

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón


"Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways"

Here is one of five ways God uses problems and persecution in your life: God uses problems and persecution to DIRECT you.

Idris Nalos was an African animist converted to the Christian faith in southern Sudan. Soon after his conversion he became an evangelist. He went out preaching in the remotest places. Within a few years, he planted three churches. Soon considered as dangerous because of his activities, he was arrested by the Islamic authorities and put in prison. There he suffered torture to make him to deny his Christian faith. Beaten for hours every day, he was also totally deprived of sleep.

About to collapse, Idris prayed, “Lord, prevent me from being like Peter. I am about to give up, help me.” And God answered in giving Idris a vision where he saw all those to whom he had preached the gospel and who, in turn, proclaimed the good news to other people.

“I saw those who were saved,” he said. In this vision, he realized that even if his life was taken, others had already taken up the baton. From this moment, Idris was no longer afraid for his life. After three weeks of ceaseless torment, his torturers released him without explanation.

To avoid another arrest he immigrated to Khartoum in the north, where he founded three new churches in a fundamentalist Muslim territory. He had learned how to trust and wasn’t afraid anymore. God showed him where to go and what to do.

Sometimes God must light a fire under us to get us moving. Problems and pressures often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get your attention?

RESPONSE: God is at work in my life—even when I do not recognize it or understand it. It is much easier and more profitable when I cooperate with Him. This is the way to victory!

PRAYER: Lord, point me in the direction of Your will. May I not need problems and persecution for You to get my attention.

NIV Devotions for Men - The Journey to Obedience

Genesis 12:1–9

Recommended Reading: Proverbs 3:5–6; Luke 9:23–27; Hebrews 11:8–19

If you’ve ever seen the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration team, you’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible capabilities of the F-16 fighter jet.

The F-16 was developed to act as a support weapons system for the U.S. military’s larger and more expensive fighter aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat and the F-15 Eagle. Blindingly fast and agile, the F-16 Fighting Falcon carries out a wide range of air-to-air and, with its heavy bomb load capacity, air-to-ground missions. An amazing technological achievement, the F-16 has a top speed of over 1300 mph (2124 km/h) and a ceiling of 50,000 feet (15,240 m), which it can reach in approximately 60 seconds. Its combat radius is 340 miles, carrying six 1000 pound (453 kg) bombs. These same aircraft also excel in multinational service in patrol and combat situations around the world.

Of course, whether in a show or in combat, an F-16 requires one vital element to be effective: a pilot who is in complete control. Despite its whiz-bang technical capabilities, without a pilot in control an airborne F-16 would either fly uselessly in a straight line or spiral out of control. Either way, a devastating crash is inevitable.

Similarly, if you possess every gift imaginable but don’t allow God to guide you in using those gifts, you could very well become useless. Or worse, you might spiral out of control and crash. As the ultimate “Pilot” of your life (yes, the “God is my co-pilot” bumper stickers are misguided), God can do amazing and remarkable things.

Imagine what might have happened if Abram (Abraham) had set out on his own way instead of taking the journey God had set before him. Ultimately, Abraham willingly left behind everything and everyone he knew to follow God’s will. Yet as a direct result of his obedience Abraham experienced God’s blessings—and the rewards were greater than he could ever have imagined.

God desires the same for you. When you begin a relationship with him, he calls you to leave behind what’s comfortable and familiar to set out on a journey filled with wonder, blessing and the promise of a new life. On your journey to obedience you’ll leave behind old habits, old attitudes, old sins and old ways of thinking. Yet the blessing that awaits you is greater than you can begin to imagine.

Is God the Pilot of your life? When you allow him to guide you, God offers not only a full and satisfying journey through life but a home for all eternity. Like that F-16 pilot, God is ready and willing to take all of your potential into his skillful hands and use it to fulfill his ultimate mission.

To Take Away
  • In what ways does your life show that you are living for God’s purposes and seeking his approval rather than the world’s?
  • Why is it difficult at times to leave behind your “old life” and step out in faith?
  • When you pray, ask sincerely that God will steer you away from foolish choices and self-centeredness and take you on the ride of your life.

Girlfriends in God - What Darkness Can Teach You About Light

by Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14a, NIV)

Friend to Friend

The hike up the mountain was a tough one. Flimsy patches of shade dangled from the trees but they were no match for the brutal Pennsylvania mid-summer heat. The rocky, three-mile vertical jaunt was only tamed by the fun being had along the way with the other camp counselors.

We talked. We sang. We laughed.

It was a week before the campers would arrive. All the counselors gathered for training that prepared us for the lessons and activities we would lead kids in all summer long. Caving was one of the optional camp activities so we went as a team of counselors to experience it before we led it.

When we finally reached the entrance of the cave and stepped down into the mouth I breathed a sigh of relief. I’d never been caving before and I didn’t know what to expect, but the benefits of “no more heat” were very appealing to me those first few minutes. We grabbed our flashlights, turned them on, filed in one by one, and began moving down the dark entrance corridor.

After I grew accustomed to the cooler temperature of the cave, I secretly got a bit freaked out by my surroundings. As passageways grew smaller and smaller and we trekked deeper and deeper into the cave, my mind flooded with questions. Is there enough air in here to support life? Who signed me up for this? What happens if we get lost down here? I have to crawl on my belly to go forward… wait, what?

Yeah. For real. It was something else.

I don’t think I’m necessarily claustrophobic, but let’s just say “comfortable and brave” aren’t the words I’d use to describe how I was feeling mid-cave. I strapped on my courage, breathed a steady stream of silent prayers, and stayed close to the friend in front of me as we followed the guide who was leading our group.

An hour or so into the spelunking expedition, he led us into a room. Yes. A room in the middle of a cave. {And, yes. I was thinking about Marshall, Will and Holly… and hissing Sleestaks and Cha-Ka. Because this is normal behavior for those of us born between 1968 and 1972.}

This inner room was big enough for the entire group of counselors. There must’ve been at least 40 of us that day. We all loaded in and chit-chatted excessively.

“Can I have everyone’s attention, please?” Our guide summoned us to silence.

Giggles and conversations trailed off…

“We are in the heart of the cave. This room has no natural source of light whatsoever. Only what we have brought with us: the flashlights. It’s a darkness that is different than anything you’ve ever experienced. To illustrate this, I’d like everyone to switch off your lights.”

Gulp. Okay.

“Try to see the person beside you. You can’t. Hold your hand up in front of your face. Wave it around. You can’t see it. This is a space void of light.”

We ooohed and ahhhed, and tried our hardest to see… with no success.

Then he lit a match.

One. Tiny. Match.

And the whole room was visible.

Darkness was invaded. Conquered. Shoved back. Forced to flee and acquiesce to one itty-bitty source of light.

And he began to tell a familiar story that stirred my soul in a fresh way.

“A long time ago, on the other side of the world, on a hillside near Capernaum Jesus sat down with a group of ordinary people just like you and me. He looked them in the eye and said to all who believed… 

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Then he went on to commission us for the work that lies ahead. He challenged us to be mindful of light’s impact and to go back to the campground and be that light all summer long. To the campers. To the counselors. To everyone we came in contact with.

I was gripped.

Gripped by the power of light. Gripped by this word that Jesus said describes me. IS me. Is my purpose… my calling… my commissioning – for that summer… this winter… every day.


I am the light of the world. Not because of any glittery glow of my own but because I am handcrafted, redeemed, restored, and refined by THE Light of the World who blows away any and all darkness that tries to dominate.

You are the light of the world too. And those around you in your family, your workplace, community, and even in your church are in great need of seeing an un-hidden, unapologetic light that serves and loves others in such a way that they would simply have to respond to God with praise.

Go on now… light it up, today.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, My heart is blown wide open when I think of the power You possess to not just impact, but annihilate darkness with light. Please forgive me for the times when I forget who I am in You and fail to shine. Help me to live and love in such a way that it would cause others to want to know and worship You.
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Psalm 27:1. What three names is God called by the psalmist in this verse? Should knowing Him as your light, salvation, and stronghold affect the way you live out your faith? Why or why not?

More from the Girlfriends

Gwen Smith is a speaker, worship leader, songwriter, and author of the new 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: 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 - April 27, 2017 "Fatal Fall"

George Mallory was a British hiker, a mountain climber. In 1923 a writer...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Fatal Fall "

April 27, 2017

Jude 1:24-25 - Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen

George Mallory was a British hiker, a mountain climber.

In 1923 a writer for the  New York Times  asked Mallory why he spent so much time and energy trying to conquer Mount Everest. Mallory's reply was simple, "Because it's there." The following year, 1924, Mallory was last seen making a third attempt on the mountain. His body was discovered more than 75 years later.

Because it's there.

That explains why two Vancouver hiking groups were recently climbing the town mountain, mile-high Mount Harvey. The report said, "Five hikers managed to reach the summit and stepped out on a cornice." (For those of you who, like me, are not mountain climbers, let me save you the time of looking up the word. A cornice is "an overhanging mass of hardened snow at the edge of a mountain precipice.")

Our Vancouver climbers stepped out on this cornice and it gave way. They fell 1,600 feet.

The only member of the group who survived was one who had fallen behind. When he reached the summit, he expected to be met by his friends. Instead, he encountered another climber who had followed the tracks of the group. He sadly told the survivor: "I'm sorry, I think your friends have fallen."

You don't have to be a mountain climber to hear those words, "I think your friends have fallen." Indeed, many of us have special friends who are treading on dangerous ground.

These are friends and family who do not know Jesus as their Savior and Lord. They rely on themselves and their own skills to get through their days. Amazingly, many of them do well, managing to accomplish great things. But ... there always is a "but," isn't there?

In spite of their skill, in spite of their past successes, if things remain as they are, the day will come when they will take a step and find out there is nothing to support them, and they will fall.

I know you have tried to warn these special people, in the past. You have told them they need the Savior if they are going to avoid eternal death. You have told them to watch their step, but they have not listened. Well, today we are going to pray for them. We will entrust them, once again to Him who "is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy."

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today our Daily Devotioners come before You with a very special person in our minds. We pray for (include name(s) here ________________) and all those who are living their lives without the Savior. Send Your Holy Spirit upon them so they may know and believe in the Lord who gave His life so they might have an abundant life. In Jesus' Name. Amen

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

CPTLN Devocional de 27 de Abril de 2017

Alimento Diario

Sólo por gracia

27 de Abril 2017

Lo que sí vemos es que Jesús, que fue hecho un poco menor que los ángeles, está coronado de gloria y de honra, a causa de la muerte que sufrió. Dios, en su bondad, quiso que Jesús experimentara la muerte para el bien de todos. Hebreos 2:9

No hace mucho leí un artículo en un periódico sobre un hombre de negocios que se había convertido al hinduismo. El artículo decía que había completado su conversión traspasándose las mejillas con una varilla de acero de un cuarto de pulgada de espesor y cuatro pulgadas de largo.

Pero ese acto de auto-mutilación no fue suficiente para completar su iniciación en la nueva fe por lo que, después de hacer eso, tiró de un carro por dos millas... con cuerdas que estaban prendidas de su pecho y espalda con ganchos de acero.

Es cierto que no todos los seguidores de otras religiones hacen cosas tan drásticas o dramáticas. Pero también es cierto que todas las otras religiones del mundo exigen que sus seguidores hagan algo para apaciguar a su dios y para ganar la salvación. Una religión obliga a sus seguidores a orar cierta cantidad de veces al día. Otra los obliga a dar cierta parte de sus entradas para caridad. Cada religión pide algo diferente.

Lo que piden es diferente, pero el deseo de ser perdonados de los pecados es el mismo.

Sólo la fe cristiana tiene un Salvador que descendió de los cielos y, por un tiempo, fue hecho un poco inferior que los ángeles. Sólo la fe cristiana dice que Jesús sufrió y murió para pagar el precio del pecado y salvar a la humanidad perdida. Sólo la fe cristiana dice que somos salvados por gracia a través de la fe.

Gracias al sufrimiento y sacrificio de Jesús en la cruz del Calvario, todos lo que creen en él como su sustituto, son perdonados.

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, te doy gracias por ser mi sustituto, mi Salvador del pecado, del diablo y de la muerte. Ayúdame para que, libre de la ley, te alabe, te sirva y te obedezca con alegría. En tu nombre. Amén

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

Our Daily Bread - Learning the Language

As I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. Acts 17:23

I stood before the gathering at a small Jamaican church and said in my best local dialect, “Wah Gwan, Jamaica?” The reaction was better than I expected, as smiles and applause greeted me.

In reality, all I had said was the standard greeting, “What’s going on?” in Patois [pa-twa], but to their ears I was saying, “I care enough to speak your language.” Of course I did not yet know enough Patois to continue, but a door had been opened.

When the apostle Paul stood before the people of Athens, he let them know that he knew their culture. He told them that he had noticed their altar to “an unknown god,” and he quoted one of their poets. Of course, not everyone believed Paul’s message about Jesus’s resurrection, but some said, “We want to hear you again on this subject” (Acts 17:32).

As we interact with others about Jesus and the salvation He offers, the lessons of Scripture show us to invest ourselves in others—to learn their language, as it were—as a way to open the door to telling them the good news (see also 1 Cor. 9:20–23).

As we find out “Wah Gwan?” in others’ lives, it will be easier to share what God has done in ours.

Show us, Lord, what is important to others. Help us to think of their interests first, and allow opportunities to speak about the love of Jesus.

Before you tell others about Christ, let them see how much you care.

© 2017 Our Daily Bread Ministries

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Học Tiếng

Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: 1 Các Vua 1-2; Lu-ca 19:28-48

Vì khi đi khắp thành phố, quan sát các nơi thờ phượng của quý vị, tôi thấy một bàn thờ có khắc chữ: THỜ THẦN KHÔNG BIẾT. Công Vụ 17:23

Tôi đứng trước hội chúng tại một Hội thánh nhỏ tại Jamaica và nói bằng tiếng địa phương: “Wah Gwan, Jamaica?” Đáp ứng của mọi người tốt hơn tôi mong đợi, khi họ đều cười tươi và vỗ tay đón chào tôi.

Thực ra, tất cả những gì tôi nói là một câu chào quen thuộc “Bạn thế nào?” bằng tiếng Patois [pa-twa], nhưng với họ, tôi đang nói rằng: “Tôi quan tâm đến các bạn đủ để nói tiếng của các bạn.” Dĩ nhiên tôi không biết tiếng Patois đủ để nói thêm tí nào nữa, nhưng cánh cửa đã được mở.

Khi sứ đồ Phao-lô đứng trước dân thành A-thên, ông cho họ biết rằng ông hiểu văn hóa của họ. Ông nói với họ rằng ông để ý đến bàn thờ “THẦN KHÔNG BIẾT” của họ, và ông cũng trích dẫn lời một nhà thơ của họ. Dĩ nhiên, không phải ai cũng tin vào sứ điệp của Phao-lô về sự sống lại của Chúa Jêsus, nhưng một số người đã nói: “Chúng tôi muốn nghe ông nói chuyện nầy một lần nữa” (Công vụ 17:32).

Khi chúng ta chia sẻ với người khác về Chúa Jêsus và sự cứu rỗi mà Ngài hứa ban thì những bài học từ Kinh Thánh cho thấy đầu tư chính mình vào người khác—như học ngôn ngữ của họ chẳng hạn—là một phương cách để mở ra cánh cửa chia sẻ Tin lành (xem thêm 1 Cô-rinh-tô 9:20-23).

Khi chúng ta hiểu cuộc sống người khác, chúng ta sẽ thấy dễ dàng hơn để chia sẻ điều Chúa đã làm trong cuộc đời mình.

Lạy Chúa, xin chỉ cho con thấy điều gì là quan trọng với người khác. Xin giúp chúng con nghĩ đến mối quan tâm của họ trước, và bắt lấy cơ hội nói về tình yêu của Chúa Jêsus.

Trước khi nói cho người khác về Đấng Christ, hãy để họ thấy bạn quan tâm đến họ biết bao.

Nuestro Pan Diario - Aprender el idioma
Leer: Hechos 17:22-32 | La Biblia en un año: 1 Reyes 1–2; Lucas 19:28-48

… hallé también un altar en el cual estaba esta inscripción: AL DIOS NO CONOCIDO… (v. 23).

Me paré frente a la congregación en una pequeña iglesia jamaiquina y dije, en mi mejor dialecto local: «¿Wa Guan, Jamaica?». La reacción fue mejor de lo que esperaba, y me recibieron con sonrisas y aplausos.

En realidad, lo único que había dicho era: «¿Cómo están?» en patois, pero, para ellos, lo que estaba diciendo era: «Me interesan lo suficiente como para hablar su idioma». Por supuesto, todavía no sabía el dialecto necesario para seguir, pero había abierto una puerta.

Cuando el apóstol Pablo se paró frente a la gente de Atenas, le mostró que conocía su cultura. Les dijo que había notado su altar «al Dios no conocido», y citó a uno de sus poetas. Por supuesto, no todos creyeron en el mensaje de Pablo sobre la resurrección de Jesús, pero algunos dijeron: «Ya te oiremos acerca de esto otra vez» (Hechos 17:32).

A medida que interactuamos con los demás sobre Jesús y la salvación que Él ofrece, la Escritura nos enseña a dedicarnos a los demás (a aprender su idioma, por así decirlo), como una manera de abrir la puerta para contarles la buena noticia (ver también 1 Corintios 9:20-23).

Cuando descubrimos el «Wa Guan» de los demás, es más fácil compartirles lo que Dios ha hecho en nuestra vida.

Señor, muéstranos lo que es importante para los demás, y danos oportunidades de hablar sobre tu amor.

Antes de hablar de Cristo, muestra cuánto te interesas por los demás.

Unser Täglich Brot - Die Sprache lernen

Ich bin umhergegangen und habe eure Heiligtümer angesehen und fand einen Altar, auf dem stand geschrieben: Dem unbekannten Gott. Apostelgeschichte 17,23

Ich stand vor der Versammlung in einer kleinen Gemeinde auf Jamaika und sagte laut und deutlich: „Wah Gwan, Jamaica?“ Die Reaktionen waren besser, als ich erwartet hatte. Man lächelte und applaudierte mir.

Tatsächlich hatte ich nur die übliche Grußformel „Wie geht’s?“ auf Jamaikanisch gesagt, aber in ihren Ohren klang es wie: „Ich mache mir die Mühe, eure Sprache zu sprechen.“ Natürlich konnte ich die Sprache nicht gut genug, um darin weiterzureden. Aber die paar Worte hatten mir eine Tür geöffnet.

Als der Apostel Paulus vor den Menschen von Athen stand, ließ er sie wissen, dass er ihre Kultur kannte. Er berichtete, dass er einen Altar für einen „unbekannten Gott“ entdeckt hatte, und zitierte einen ihrer Dichter. Natürlich glaubten nicht alle seiner Botschaft von Jesu Auferstehung, aber einige sagten: „Wir wollen dich darüber ein andermal weiterhören“ (Apg. 17,32).

Aus der Bibel können wir lernen, wie wir anderen entgegenkommen können, wenn wir ihnen von Jesus und der Erlösung, die er uns anbietet, erzählen wollen. Wir können etwa ihre Sprache lernen, um damit eine Tür zu öffnen, durch die wir ihnen das Evangelium bringen können (siehe auch 1.Kor. 9,20-23).

Wenn wir herausfinden, was „Wah Gwan?“ im Leben anderer heißt, können wir ihnen leichter erzählen, was Gott in unserem Leben getan hat.

Herr, zeige uns, was anderen wichtig ist. Hilf uns, zuerst an ihre Interessen zu denken, und gib uns Gelegenheit, von der Liebe Jesu zu reden.

Ehe du anderen von Jesus erzählst, lass sie spüren, dass sie dir wichtig sind.