Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, June 8, 2017

Opening Sentence

The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. Habakkuk 2:20

Morning Prayer

O God, the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and turns the shadow of death into the morning; Drive far off from me all wrong desires, incline my heart to keep your law, and guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may give you thanks with a joyful heart when the night comes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Deuteronomy 16:18-20, 17:14-20

You shall appoint judges and officials throughout your tribes, in all your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall render just decisions for the people. You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that the LORD your God is giving you. When you have come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me," you may indeed set over you a king whom the LORD your God will choose. One of your own community you may set as king over you; you are not permitted to put a foreigner over you, who is not of your own community. Even so, he must not acquire many horses for himself, or return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses, since the LORD has said to you, "You must never return that way again." And he must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself. When he has taken the throne of his kingdom, he shall have a copy of this law written for him in the presence of the levitical priests. It shall remain with him and he shall read in it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, diligently observing all the words of this law and these statutes, neither exalting himself above other members of the community nor turning aside from the commandment, either to the right or to the left, so that he and his descendants may reign long over his kingdom in Israel.

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from 2 Corinthians 8:1-16

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints-- and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. Now as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you-- so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking. I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something-- now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has-- not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written, "The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little." But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have.

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 18:1-8

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

Morning Psalms

Psalm 50 Deus deorum
1   The LORD, the God of gods, has spoken; he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2   Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, God reveals himself in glory.
3   Our God will come and will not keep silence; before him there is a consuming flame, and round about him a raging storm.
4   He calls the heavens and the earth from above to witness the judgment of his people.
5   Gather before me my loyal followers, those who have made a covenant with me and sealed it with sacrifice.
6   Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; for God himself is judge.
7   Hear, O my people, and I will speak: "O Israel, I will bear witness against you; for I am God, your God.
8   I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices; your offerings are always before me.
9   I will take no bull-calf from your stalls, nor he-goats out of your pens;
10   For all the beasts of the forest are mine, the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
11   I know every bird in the sky, and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
12   If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.
13   Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14   Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and make good your vows to the Most High.
15   Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor me."
16   But to the wicked God says: "Why do you recite my statutes, and take my covenant upon your lips;
17   Since you refuse discipline, and toss my words behind your back?
18   When you see a thief, you make him your friend, and you cast in your lot with adulterers.
19   You have loosed your lips for evil, and harnessed your tongue to a lie.
20   You are always speaking evil of your brother and slandering your own mother's son.
21   These things you have done, and I kept still, and you thought that I am like you."
22   I have made my accusation; I have put my case in order before your eyes.
23   Consider this well, you who forget God, lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
24   Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God."

Evening Psalms

Psalm 59 Eripe me de inimicis
1   Rescue me from my enemies, O God; protect me from those who rise up against me.
2   Rescue me from evildoers and save me from those who thirst for my blood.
3   See how they lie in wait for my life, how the mighty gather together against me; not for any offense or fault of mine, O LORD.
4   Not because of any guilt of mine they run and prepare themselves for battle.
5   Rouse yourself, come to my side, and see; for you, LORD God of hosts, are Israel's God.
6   Awake, and punish all the ungodly; show no mercy to those who are faithless and evil.
7   They go to and fro in the evening; they snarl like dogs and run about the city.
8   Behold, they boast with their mouths, and taunts are on their lips; "For who, they say, will hear us?"
9   But you, O LORD, you laugh at them; you laugh all the ungodly to scorn.
10   My eyes are fixed on you, O my Strength; for you, O God, are my stronghold.
11   My merciful God comes to meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
12   Slay them, O God, lest my people forget; send them reeling by your might and put them down, O Lord our shield.
13   For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, for the cursing and lies that they utter, let them be caught in their pride.
14   Make an end of them in your wrath; make an end of them, and they shall be no more.
15   Let everyone know that God rules in Jacob, and to the ends of the earth.
16   They go to and fro in the evening; they snarl like dogs and run about the city.
17   They forage for food, and if they are not filled, they howl.
18   For my part, I will sing of your strength; I will celebrate your love in the morning;
19   For you have become my stronghold, a refuge in the day of my trouble.
20   To you, O my Strength, will I sing; for you, O God, are my stronghold and my merciful God.

Psalm 60 Deus, repulisti nos
1   O God, you have cast us off and broken us; you have been angry; oh, take us back to you again.
2   You have shaken the earth and split it open; repair the cracks in it, for it totters.
3   You have made your people know hardship; you have given us wine that makes us stagger.
4   You have set up a banner for those who fear you, to be a refuge from the power of the bow.
5   Save us by your right hand and answer us, that those who are dear to you may be delivered.
6   God spoke from his holy place and said: "I will exult and parcel out Shechem; I will divide the valley of Succoth.
7   Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my scepter.
8   Moab is my wash-basin, on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it, and over Philistia will I shout in triumph."
9   Who will lead me into the strong city? who will bring me to Edom?
10   Have you not cast us off, O God? you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.
11   Grant us your help against the enemy, for vain is the help of man.
12   With God we will do valiant deeds, and he shall tread our enemies under foot.

The Nicene Creed
  • We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
  • We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen
Prayer of the Day

O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; 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

Consider the Lilies
Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow, how they grow.
Consider the birds in the sky,
How they fly, how they fly.

He clothes the lilies of the field.
He feeds the birds in the sky.
And he will feed those who trust him,
And guide them with His eye.

Consider the sheep of his fold,
How they follow where he leads.
Though the path may wind across the mountains,
He knows the meadows where they feed.

He clothes the lilies of the field.
He feeds the birds in the sky,
And he will feed those who trust him,
And guide them with his eye.

Consider the sweet, tender children
Who must suffer on this earth...

The pains of all of them he carried
From the day of his birth.
He clothes the lilies of the field,
He feeds the lambs in His fold,
And he will heal those who trust him,
And make their hearts as gold.

Alleluia! Christ has risen.
Christ has risen indeed. Alleluia!

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.

Prayer of the Day for THURSDAY, June 8, 2017

O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; 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 for THURSDAY, June 8, 2017

Habakkuk 3:19 (NIV) The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

Read all of Habakkuk 3

Listen to Habakkuk 3

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 - Dry Bones

Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you so that you live. And I will lay sinews upon you and will grow back flesh upon you and cover you with skin and put breath in you so that you live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”

The nation of Israel had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians, and Ezekiel, the son of a priest, had been given the charge by God, to give a message to the Jews. He was to tell them that the captivity would not be short lived, but that God would eventually bring restoration.

In a vision, Ezekiel saw a valley of dry bones. God connected the bones, added organs, muscles, and skin. Last, He breathed into these dry bones, life. This was to show the rebirth of the Israel nation. It was a message of hope.

Today, the dry bones reflect a message of hope for us. When we try to live a life, separated from God and His gift of salvation, through Jesus, we are as dead spiritually as that valley of dry bones. But, God in His mercy and love for us, wants to give us life. If we accept that gift He offers, He will bring us to life.

First, He makes us a new heart. In that heart, we have been purified and made clean by the washing away of all unrighteousness. He will squeeze all the darkness out of our heart until it begins to beat with His rhythm of bright life giving blood. Second, He will give us muscle. This is the strength we gain from knowing Him. Third, we get skin. Just like our skin protects our inward parts and holds us together, God will protect us and hold us together in Him for eternity. Fourth, He will breathe into us His Holy Spirit. His Spirit will guard, guide, and direct us.

When we give our dry-boned life over to God, He gives us a new life in Jesus Christ. But there is more to the story. In Ezekiel 34:25-26 God says, “I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing.”

The woods represent the life we now live in this world and the beasts represents Satan. We must live in our wilderness; this world, surrounded by sin, death, pain, and sorrow, however, Satan can never penetrate our hearts once we have been made new in Christ. We are God’s new creation. He loves us and protects us from our enemy, Satan. God showers us with His many blessings. We are not guaranteed a life without trials, but we are guaranteed His love, His strength, His peace and His life everlasting.
Dear Savior, Thank you for your gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. We give our dry-boned life to you. Make us alive in you. Amen
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 American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Un Dia a la Vez - Semana de meditación: ¿Qué es tu casa?

El comienzo de la sabiduría es el temor del Señor; conocer al Santo es tener discernimiento.

¿Recuerdas la popular frase de «Mi casa es tu casa»? Creo que en determinado momento se la hemos dicho a alguien. Esta semana, Dios me ha mostrado que meditemos en nuestras casas. Que pensemos en qué tipo de hogar tenemos y lo que vivimos allí. Por eso considero que será de gran bendición poder reconocer, cambiar y reforzar lo que estamos haciendo bien.

La casa más que un lindo apartamento con todos los lujos, o una casa súper moderna, debe ser un lugar de paz, amor, descanso, unión, celebración, adoración y otras muchas cosas que añadirás con toda seguridad.

En estos próximos días vamos a pedirle a Dios que nos haga comprender la clase de hogar en que estamos viviendo y que nos ilumine a fin de aceptar sus instrucciones para hacer cambios radicales en nuestra familia. Que nos muestre lo que les estamos brindando a los hijos y al cónyuge.

¡Prepárate para comenzar esta semana de análisis profundo y de cambios radicales!

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

The Bible has always been an important resource to those who have not had access to it… especially those in prison. Christian singer, Helen Berhane shares how she smuggled a Bible into a shipping container prison in Eritrea and later was moved to another container which already held eighteen Christian women who had refused to give up their faith. She writes in her book, Song of the Nightingale, how the Word of God impacted her and the other women:

We were very overcrowded, but I was happy to join a Christian group again. Since I was the longest serving prisoner, I took charge. I wanted to help them as much as I could, because I knew they would be comforted by the thought that someone cared for them. I would fold the older ladies’ blankets when they went out to the toilet in the morning, and I would stay behind to clean the container [of human waste].

Many of them were worried about their husbands and children, so I tried to keep them busy and establish a routine. I would start by preparing breakfast; at this point we got four bread rolls each, two in the morning and two in the evening, with weak lentil soup, and a cup of tea.

Then I would lead a Bible meditation and then I would sing. A month after I was first imprisoned I had managed to smuggle a Bible past the guards. I can’t tell you exactly how I did it, as people still use this method and it is important that the authorities don’t find out how it’s done, but I can say it was a whole Bible split into five smaller sections. This made it easier for me to hide it. Previously I had just read it alone, but now we did group readings every day. I also sang new songs to the group that I had written in prison.[1]

RESPONSE: Today I will cherish my Bible and make sure that in my freedom I internalize it as much as those in prison for the faith.

PRAYER: Pray that all Christian prisoners will somehow gain access to a Bible or the message of the Bible today for encouragement and hope.

1. Berhane, p.49.

NIV Devotions for Men - Fear the Lord … But Don’t Be Afraid

Deuteronomy 10:12–22

Recommended Reading: Psalm 33:18–22; Hebrews 12:22–29; Revelation 1:9–18

In his autobiography, Blessings in Disguise, the late actor Alec Guinness wrote that as he was walking up Kingsway in the middle of an afternoon, he had an impulse to start running. He ran until he reached a little church. He’d never been there before, but he caught his breath and knelt to pray. For the next ten minutes he “was lost to the world.”

Guinness explained the compulsion as a “rather nonsensical gesture of love,” an outburst of thanksgiving. He ran to the church and fell on his knees in prayer not long after March 24, 1956, the day he had converted to Christianity after years of being an atheist.

Guinness, in a move reflective of the movement of the Holy Spirit in his life, learned in part what “fearing God” is all about. Although Scripture uses the word “fear,” God doesn’t want us to be afraid of him. Instead, he wants us to realize how magnificent, awe-inspiring and deserving of our worship he is.

Interestingly, knowing that God desires our worship also helps us understand just how special we are to him. This can lead us into a more active relationship with God. God always expresses his love in some kind of action toward us, and he desires that we return our loving expressions in action, as well as in trusting his leading and following his commands for our life.

God’s love, coupled with our sense of awe and reverence, leads us to action. It led Alec Guinness to run down the street and then fall on his knees in thanksgiving and adoration. Perhaps you’ve only recently come to know about God’s grace revealed through Jesus Christ. Perhaps you’ve been his devoted follower for years. Or perhaps you’re just looking for a fresh experience of God in your life. What actions will you take today to express your “fear of God”?

Don’t be afraid to go for it!

To Take Away
  • Describe in your own words what it means to fear God.
  • How does knowing that God desires our worship help us understand how special we are to him?
  • What actions can you take to express your love to God?

Girlfriends in God - June 08, 2017

Here’s What You Should Do

Today’s Truth

Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same. (Luke 3:11)

Friend to Friend

Luke 3 tells the story of John the Baptist as he began his ministry. His job? Prepare the way of the Lord. (Luke 3:4) Many royal rulers and powerful leaders of the land are listed at the beginning of the chapter to set the stage and give us historical context, yet it is a normal guy, born to older parents, in an off-the-map-of-all-places-important rural village that the Lord called to be the forerunner for Jesus. (Doesn’t it encourage you that God uses normal people from ordinary places to shout the fame of Jesus? Me too.)

The Lord spoke to John when he was in the wilderness and told him what to do (Luke 3:2). Then John walked his sandals to the dusty country trails around the Jordan and got himself busy for Jesus. He preached what the Bible calls “a baptism of repentance” for the forgiveness of sins, and he challenged the people of Israel to live lives that produced fruit in keeping with repentance. (Luke 3:3,8) His message was two-fold, but simple: turn from sin and turn toward God.

The people wanted John to help them understand. They wanted to know what that should look like in their lives.

“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. (Luke 3:10)

That same question was shouted from people of different backgrounds, careers, ages, and responsibilities … from people with different challenges and different experiences. What should we do?

John answered them. And in doing so he painted a picture of what it should look like for every follower of Jesus to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Look at what he said.

John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.” (Luke 3:11-14)

The Bible goes on to say that John spent time with the people, exhorted them, and told them the good news that God had sent him to share. (Luke 3:18) As I consider the illustrations that John used to describe what a fruit-producing life looks like, I reflect. Am I asking God that question? What should I do, Lord?

Thankful for this fresh heart-burden, I decide to summarize what John told the people and apply the principles to my life. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it is a great starting point. Here are the things that John said we should do in order to be fruit-bearers.

#1. Share – Live out your faith beyond yourself and beyond your stuff. Be generous.

#2. Be honest – Do your job. Don’t take what’s not yours, and tell the truth.

#3. Live with integrity – Don't do what you shouldn’t do, even if you can, and treat others well.

#4. Be content – Stop reaching and straining for stuff that doesn’t really matter in light of eternity. Be thankful for what you have.

As I look over this list, I wonder. What changes can I make in the way I do things that will produce more fruit? How willing am I to share? Am I honest? Who am I when others aren’t looking? Do my choices honor God? Am I content?

James 2:14-26 says that faith without deeds is dead. I want my life to give evidence of my faith – to shout the fame of Jesus, just like John the Baptist. I want to be a woman who produces fruit in keeping with repentance … fruit that bears evidence of my turning from sin toward God. Yes. Yes. Yes!

So I determine that this list is a great place to start.

Join me?

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for your Word that is rich with lessons. Please help me to be a woman who does things that will cause others to see You. Help me to share, be honest, live with integrity and be content.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

If the LORD is impressing on your heart that it is time for you to amp up your sharing, here’s an opportunity for you to do just that. CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can impact the life of a child in poverty in Jesus’ name through Compassion International. (Share a shirt. Share your food. Be the hope. Be the body. Be the beauty… in Jesus’ name. It’s time.)

Which of these four fruit-bearing principles is tugging on your heart today? Visit my blog and WRITE OUT A PRAYER in the comments section that commits this area to God today.

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 - June 8, 2017 "Tasty"

Both my grandmothers were good German cooks.

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour


June 8, 2017

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
~ Genesis 3:6 (ESV)

Both my grandmothers were good German cooks. And, yes, I know there are connoisseurs who would say that good German food is a contradiction in terms. 

That being said, to the best of my knowledge, neither of them ever used a hot pepper in any of their culinary creations. Black pepper was usually as wild as they ever got. As far as cooking with chili peppers, that was a temptation they found easy to resist.

For those of you who don't know, the heat of a chili pepper is measured in Scoville units.

A bell pepper has 0 heat and, therefore, it registers 0 on the Scoville scale. A banana pepper will come in around 500 Scoville units, and a really hot jalapeño registers 10,000. Now that gives you some perspective when I say the hottest chili pepper in the world used to be the Carolina Reaper, which registered 2.2 million Scoville units.

Having watched people eat a Carolina Reaper, I can offer this single piece of advice: don't.

But the reign of the Carolina Reaper is over. Its crown has been captured by a new chili called the "Dragon's Breath." That pretty, little, bright red chili sets the record by chalking up 2.48 million Scoville units.

• In practical terms, that chili is hotter than the pepper spray used by the U.S. Army.
• The grower says touching the pepper numbs your skin.
• More than one newspaper has said that anyone who eats the pepper raw and whole could die from anaphylactic shock.

So the question arises: why would anybody grow, mess around with, or eat such a barn burner?

The best answer to that question can be found in Genesis 3 where we see Adam and Eve eating the fruit from a tree, which had been forbidden to them. Why did they do it? The answer is threefold:

1. The fruit was good for food.
2. The food was pleasant to the eye.
3. Because they thought they could get away with it.

Adam and Eve didn't get away with it, and neither will the folks who eat the Dragon's Breath chili. The truth is the Lord has laid out His Commandments, and every time we try to circumvent or rewrite them we get into trouble.

Which leads this devotion to say give thanks to the Lord who has had mercy on you. Through His Son the terrible punishment that resulted from our eating the forbidden fruit has been erased. Because of Him you have been forgiven and saved from the fires of hell, which are hotter than a Dragon's Breath chili.

But, even so, still don't eat the forbidden fruit.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive ears that don't hear You and eyes that still long for the forbidden fruits of sin. Grant that our hearts and minds, saved by Jesus, may learn to trust You and You alone. 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 08 de Junio de 2017

Alimento Diario

Peligro de contagio

08 de Junio 2017

Hijo mío, si los pecadores quisieran engañarte, no te dejes llevar por ellos.

Por todos lados en las oficinas de Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones encontramos carteles que nos dicen que cuando tosemos, debemos cubrirnos la boca. Se supone que debemos toser en nuestro brazo, lo que aparentemente es más higiénico.

Pero no creo que toser en el brazo evite el problema del "contagio". Resulta que tres universidades descubrieron que, cuando una pareja se divorcia, aumenta el promedio de divorcios entre quienes les rodean.

Según los estudios realizados por estas universidades, parece que el divorcio puede ser contagioso. Los psicólogos lo llaman "divorcio grupal". Esto quiere decir que, si algún conocido suyo se divorcia, las posibilidades de que usted también se divorcie se incrementan en un 75%.

La razón es que usted se entera tanto de lo bueno como de lo malo del divorcio. Pero, según esos estudios, la gente casi siempre escucha las cosas buenas, los llamados 'beneficios', e ignora las cosas malas, la parte 'deprimente' del divorcio.

Lo mismo sucedió con Adán y Eva. Ellos escucharon sólo la parte 'buena' de la tentación de Satanás. Sansón sólo vio la parte 'buena' cuando Dalila buscó guardarle el secreto. Los hijos de Israel sólo vieron lo 'divertido' cuando adoraron a otros dioses.

De hecho, el diablo, el mundo y nuestra carne, nos tientan con cosas que suenan increíblemente buenas, pero no lo son. Sólo más tarde descubrimos que hemos sido engañados... y que Dios estuvo diciéndonos lo correcto todo el tiempo. Eso es lo que dice el autor de Proverbios: "Hijo mío, si los pecadores quisieran engañarte, no te dejes llevar por ellos".

Y otro proverbio que no está en la Biblia es: 'Hijos míos, si Dios dice algo, créanle. Él es Dios y ustedes no lo son. Él sabe lo que dice'.

¿Qué es lo que Dios dice? Que lo amemos de todo corazón y amemos a nuestro prójimo tanto como quisiéramos que nos amen a nosotros. Esa clase de amor en acción no la encontrará en su vecindario o comunidad. Para encontrar tal amor sacrificado tiene que volverse a Jesucristo, cuya vida, muerte y resurrección estuvieron dedicadas a su salvación.

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, perdóname las veces que mis oídos han escuchado las tentaciones en lugar de confiar en ti. Envía tu Espíritu Santo para que mi mente entorpecida pueda finalmente comprender que tú y tu Palabra, son verdad. Pido esto en tu nombre. 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 - Rings and Grace

[I] will remember their sins no more. Hebrews 8:12

When I look at my hands, I am reminded that I lost my wedding and engagement rings. I was multitasking as I packed for a trip, and I still have no idea where they ended up.

I dreaded telling my husband about my careless mistake—worried how the news would affect him. But he responded with more compassion and care for me than concern over the rings. However, there are times when I still want to do something to earn his grace! He, on the contrary, doesn’t hold this episode against me.

So many times we remember our sins and feel we must do something to earn God’s forgiveness. But God has said it is by grace, not by works, that we are saved (Eph. 2:8–9). Speaking of a new covenant, God promised Israel, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jer. 31:34). We have a God who forgives and no longer calls to mind the wrongs we have done.

We may still feel sad about our past, but we need to trust His promise and believe His grace and forgiveness is real through faith in Jesus Christ. This news should lead us to thankfulness and the assurance faith brings. When God forgives, He forgets.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your grace and Your offer of salvation and forgiveness through Christ. Thank You for this free gift that is not based on anything I can do.

Grace and forgiveness are unearned gifts.

Ministérios Pão Diário - Sempre agradecidos
A Bíblia em um ano: 2 Crônicas 30–31, João 18:1-18

Rendei graças ao Senhor, porque ele é bom; porque a sua misericórdia dura para sempre. v.34.

O bonito hino: “Nós aramos os campos” muitas vezes é cantado durante as comemorações do Dia de Ação de Graças, em novembro. Para mim, ele evoca imagens de famílias que compartilham uma ceia tradicional durante a época da colheita.

Mas fiquei surpreso quando ouvi esse hino sendo cantado durante o mês de junho, totalmente fora do contexto tradicional. Aquilo me lembrou de que, para o Seu povo, dar graças a Deus por Sua bondade e provisão significa uma celebração contínua.

Numa ocasião especial de celebração nacional, o rei Davi escreveu um cântico para guiar seu povo no louvor a Deus: “Rendei graças ao Senhor, invocai o seu nome, fazei conhecidos, entre os povos, os seus feitos. Cantai-lhe, cantai-lhe salmos; narrai todas as suas maravilhas. Gloriai-vos no seu santo nome; alegre-se o coração dos que buscam o Senhor” (1 Crônicas 16:8,10). Mas o cântico permaneceu como uma parte do livro de cânticos de Israel, num louvor contínuo: “Buscai o Senhor e o seu poder; buscai perpetuamente a sua presença” (Salmo 105:4-15).

Temos tanto para agradecer-lhe todos os dias. Deus supre continuamente todas as nossas necessidades. Por isso, celebremos com ações de graça todos os dias do ano.

Para os cristãos, o Dia de Ação de Graças não é só mais um dia — é estilo de vida.

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Chiếc Nhẫn Và Ân Huệ
Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: II Sử ký 30-31; Giăng 18:1-18

Chúng ta sẽ... không còn ghi nhớ tội lỗi họ nữa. Hê-bơ-rơ 8:12

Khi nhìn bàn tay, tôi nhớ rằng mình đã làm mất nhẫn cưới và nhẫn đính hôn. Tôi đã làm nhiều việc cùng lúc khi chuẩn bị hành lý cho chuyến đi và tôi vẫn không biết chúng đã rơi đâu mất.

Tôi lo sợ khi kể cho chồng nghe về sự bất cẩn của mình—không biết anh nghĩ gì khi nghe điều này. Nhưng anh lại rất cảm thông và quan tâm đến tôi hơn là những chiếc nhẫn. Tuy nhiên, nhiều lúc tôi vẫn muốn làm gì đó để xứng đáng với ân huệ của anh! Còn anh không hề lấy chuyện đó ra để cằn nhằn tôi.

Rất nhiều lần chúng ta nhớ đến tội lỗi của mình và cảm thấy phải làm gì đó để được Chúa tha thứ. Nhưng Chúa đã phán rằng bởi ân điển mà chúng ta được cứu, chứ không phải bởi việc làm (Êph. 2:8-9). Nói về giao ước mới, Chúa đã hứa với dân Y-sơ-ra-ên: “Chúng ta sẽ tha thứ gian ác chúng và không nhớ đến tội lỗi chúng nữa” (Giê. 31:34). Chúng ta có một Đức Chúa Trời tha thứ và không còn nhớ những sai lầm chúng ta đã phạm.

Có thể chúng ta vẫn thấy buồn về quá khứ của mình, nhưng chúng ta cần tin cậy nơi lời hứa của Ngài và tin chắc rằng khi chúng ta đặt niềm tin nơi Chúa Jêsus, thì sẽ nhận được ân điển cùng sự tha thứ của Ngài. Điều này phải dẫn chúng ta đến sự biết ơn và khiến chúng ta có được sự đảm bảo của đức tin. Khi Chúa tha thứ, Ngài sẽ quên hết tội lỗi của chúng ta.

Lạy Chúa, cảm ơn Ngài vì ân điển cùng sự cứu rỗi và tha thứ của Ngài qua Đấng Christ. Cảm ơn Ngài vì món quà miễn phí này không dựa trên bất cứ điều gì con có thể làm.

Ân điển và sự tha thứ là những món quà không thể tự kiếm được.

Nuestro Pan Diario - Anillos y gracia
La Biblia en un año: 2 Crónicas 30–31; Juan 18:1-18

… nunca más me acordaré de sus pecados y de sus iniquidades (v. 12).

Cuando me miro las manos, recuerdo que perdí mis anillos de compromiso y de boda. Estaba haciendo varias cosas mientras empacaba para un viaje, y todavía no tengo idea de dónde terminaron.

Me aterraba contarle mi error a mi esposo, porque me preocupaba cómo lo afectaría la noticia. Sin embargo, respondió con más compasión e interés por mí que preocupación por los anillos. No obstante, ¡a veces todavía quiero hacer algo para ganarme su favor! Él, por el contrario, no me lo echa en cara.

Muchas veces, recordamos nuestros pecados y sentimos que tenemos que hacer algo para ganarnos el perdón de Dios. Pero el Señor dijo que es por gracia, y no obras, que somos salvos (Efesios 2:8-9). Al hablar de un nuevo pacto, Dios le prometió a Israel: «Perdonaré sus maldades y nunca más me acordaré de sus pecados» (Jeremías 31:34). Tenemos un Dios que perdona y no recuerda más el mal que hicimos.

Tal vez nos dé tristeza nuestro pasado, pero tenemos que confiar en su promesa y creer que su gracia y su perdón son reales a través de la fe en Jesucristo. Esta noticia debe llevarnos a la gratitud y la seguridad que trae la fe. Cuando Dios perdona, olvida.

Querido Señor, gracias por tu misericordia y por ofrecer salvación y perdón a través de Cristo. Gracias por este regalo que no depende de nada que yo haga.

La gracia y el perdón son dones inmerecidos.

 © 2017 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Der verlorene Ring
Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: 2.Chronik 30–31; Johannes 18,1-18

Ihrer Sünde will ich nicht mehr gedenken. Hebräer 8,12

Wenn ich meine Hände anschaue, werde ich jedes Mal daran erinnert, dass ich meinen Verlobungsdiamanten und den Ehering verloren habe. Ich war am Packen für eine Reise und versuchte gleichzeitig, noch ein paar andere Dinge zu erledigen und habe immer noch keine Ahnung, was mit den Ringen passiert ist.

Ich schämte mich, meinem Mann von meinem Missgeschick zu erzählen, weil ich nicht wusste, wie er reagieren würde. Aber er war mehr um mich besorgt als um die Ringe. Trotzdem gibt es immer noch Momente, in denen ich meine, ich müsste mir sein Wohlwollen verdienen, obwohl er mir die Sache nie vorgehalten hat.

Wie oft erinnern wir uns an unsere Sünden und meinen, wir müssten etwas tun, um Gottes Vergebung zu verdienen. Aber Gott hat gesagt, dass wir aus Gnade gerettet sind, nicht aus Werken (Eph. 2,8-9). Als er Israel einen neuen Bund ankündigte, versprach er: „Ich will ihnen ihre Missetat vergeben und ihrer Sünde nimmermehr gedenken“ (Jer. 31,34). Wir haben einen Gott, der vergibt und die Fehler, die wir begangen haben, nicht wieder hervorkramt.

Wir mögen manches aus der Vergangenheit immer noch bedauern, aber wir können seiner Verheißung vertrauen und glauben, dass seine Gnade und Vergebung durch Jesus Christus gelten. Das sollte uns dankbar machen und unseren Glauben stärken. Wenn Gott vergibt, dann vergisst er auch.

Lieber Herr, hab Dank für die Gnade und dein Angebot der Erlösung und Vergebung in Christus. Danke für dieses Geschenk, für das ich gar nichts tun muss.

Gnade und Vergebung sind ein unverdientes Geschenk 

Notre Pain Quotidien - Bagues et grâce
Lisez : Hébreux 8.6‑13
La Bible en un an : 2 CHRONIQUES 30 – 31 et JEAN 18.1‑18

[Je] ne me souviendrai plus de leur péchés. V.12

La vue de mes mains me rappelle que j’ai perdu mes alliances. Je les ai égarées un jour que je m’affairais à mille et un préparatifs de voyage, et j’ignore encore où je les ai mises.

Je redoutais de l’annoncer à mon mari, car je craignais que ma négligence le blesse. Il a néanmoins réagi avec plus de compassion et de peine pour moi que de regrets pour les alliances. Il m’arrive néanmoins parfois de chercher à mériter sa grâce par un geste ou un autre ! Lui, par contre, ne retient pas cet épisode contre moi.

Il nous arrive si souvent de nous remémorer nos péchés et de ressentir le besoin de faire quelque chose pour mériter le pardon de Dieu. Pourtant, Dieu a dit que c’est par grâce, et non par les oeuvres, que nous sommes sauvés (ÉP 2.8,9). En évoquant une nouvelle alliance, Dieu a promis ceci aux Israélites : « [Je] pardonnerai leur iniquité, et je ne me souviendrai plus de leur péché (JÉ 31.34). Nous avons un Dieu qui nous pardonne nos fautes sans jamais revenir sur elles.

Il se peut que nous repensions au passé avec chagrin, mais nous devons croire aux promesses de Dieu, à sa grâce et à son pardon par la foi en Jésus‑Christ. Or, cette réalité devrait nous amener à user de gratitude envers lui et à saisir l’assurance que la foi nous procure. Ce que Dieu pardonne, il l’oublie également.

La grâce et le pardon sont des dons immérités.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Обручка й благодать
Читати: Євреїв 8:6-13

“Їхніх гріхів не згадаю Я більш!” — Євреїв 8:12

Дивлячись на свою руку, я часто згадую, що загубила весільну обручку. Під час однієї поїздки я пакувала свої речі і десь її поклала, що й досі не знаю, де саме.

Я з деяким острахом розповіла своєму чоловіку про таку прикру необачність. Хвилювалась, як він сприйме цю неприємну новину. Але він більше виявив співчуття й піклування про мене, ніж переймався втратою подарованої ним обручки. Однак я інколи хочу якимось чином відшкодувати це, якось заробити його ласку. Але він ніколи не згадував про мою необачність.

Занадто часто ми згадуємо свої гріхи з відчуттям, що маємо якось заробити Боже прощення. Але Бог чітко вказав, що саме Його благодаттю, а не своїми ділами ми спасенні (Еф. 2:8-9). Говорячи про новий заповіт, Бог пообіцяв колись Ізраїлю: “Їхню провину прощу, і не буду вже згадувати їм гріха!” (Єр. 31:34). Ми маємо Бога, Який пробачає і більше не згадує наші гріхи й провини.

Інколи ми можемо почуватись винними через те, що зробили в минулому, але потребуємо вірити в обітниці Божого прощення, довіряти благодаті Бога через віру в Ісуса Христа. Ця добра новина має спонукати нас до вдячності й сповняти впевненістю у прощенні, яку нам дарує віра. Бог забуває про наші гріхи, коли пробачає.

Дорогий Господи, дякую за Твою благодать, за спасіння й прощення, що Ти пропонуєш у Христі Ісусі. Дякую за цей дар, що ніяк не залежить від моїх вчинків.

Благодать та прощення – то дари, які неможливо заробити.

Хлеб наш насущный - Кольцо и милость
Читать сейчас: Евреям 8:6-13

«Я буду милостив к неправдам их и грехов их и беззаконий их не вспомню более». — Евреям 8:12

Глядя на свою руку, я вспоминаю, что потеряла обручальное кольцо. Пакуя чемоданы для путешествия, я куда-то его сунула и до сих пор не имею ни малейшего представления, где искать.

Как было сказать мужу о такой бестолковой потере? Я трепетала от страха, представляя, как он расстроится. Но он проявил больше заботы обо мне и моих переживаниях, чем о потерянном кольце. Тем не менее иногда я по-прежнему стараюсь чем-то заслужить его доброту. Он со своей стороны никогда не вспоминает об этом происшествии.

Мы так часто вспоминаем свои грехи и чувствуем, что должны что-то сделать, чтобы заслужить Божье прощение. Но Он сказал, что мы спасены благодатью, а не делами (Еф. 2:8-9). Говоря о новом завете, Бог пообещал Израилю: «Я прощу беззакония их и грехов их уже не вспомню более» (Иер. 31:34). Мы обратились к Богу, Который прощает и больше не вспоминает наших прежних согрешений.

Прошлое все еще может печалить, но нам следует поверить Его обетованию и тому, что благодать и прощение даются даром через веру в Иисуса Христа. Этот факт должен пробуждать в нас благодарность и уверенность. Прощая, Бог навсегда забывает наши грехи.

Дорогой Господь, благодарю Тебя за милость, спасение и прощение во Христе. Благодарю, что этот дар не зависит от моих дел.

Милость и прощение – незаслуженные дары.

автор: Кейла Очоа