Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, June 22, 2017

Opening Sentence

Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3

Morning Prayer
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live, Amen

Confession and Forgiveness
Dear Heavenly Father, we lower our heads before you and we confess that we have too often forgotten that we are yours. Sometimes we carry on our lives as if there was no God and we fall short of being a credible witness to You. For these things we ask your forgiveness and we also ask for your strength. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may witness to You in our world. Remind us to be who You would have us to be regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Hold us to You and build our relationship with You and with those You have given us on earth. Amen

The Old Testament Lesson

The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from 1 Samuel 2:27-36

A man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus the LORD has said, 'I revealed myself to the family of your ancestor in Egypt when they were slaves to the house of Pharaoh. I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to offer incense, to wear an ephod before me; and I gave to the family of your ancestor all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. Why then look with greedy eye at my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?' Therefore the LORD the God of Israel declares: 'I promised that your family and the family of your ancestor should go in and out before me forever' but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be treated with contempt. See, a time is coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your ancestor's family, so that no one in your family will live to old age. Then in distress you will look with greedy eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed upon Israel; and no one in your family shall ever live to old age. The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep out his eyes and grieve his heart; all the members of your household shall die by the sword. The fate of your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you-- both of them shall die on the same day. I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed one forever. Everyone who is left in your family shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and shall say, Please put me in one of the priest's places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.'"

The Epistle Lesson

The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Acts 2:22-36

"You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know-- this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. For David says concerning him, 'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.' "Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, 'He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.' This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."' Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."

The Holy Gospel Lesson

The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 20:41-21:4

Then he said to them, "How can they say that the Messiah is David's son? For David himself says in the book of Psalms, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."' David thus calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?" In the hearing of all the people he said to the disciples, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on."

Morning Psalms

Psalm 83 Deus, quis similis?
1   O God, do not be silent; do not keep still nor hold your peace, O God;
2   For your enemies are in tumult, and those who hate you have lifted up their heads.
3   They take secret counsel against your people and plot against those whom you protect.
4   They have said, "Come, let us wipe them out from among the nations; let the name of Israel be remembered no more."
5   They have conspired together; they have made an alliance against you:
6   The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; the Moabites and the Hagarenes;
7   Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines and those who dwell in Tyre.
8   The Assyrians also have joined them, and have come to help the people of Lot.
9   Do to them as you did to Midian, to Sisera, and to Jabin at the river of Kishon:
10   They were destroyed at Endor; they became like dung upon the ground.
11   Make their leaders like Oreb and Zeëb, and all their commanders like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12   Who said, "Let us take for ourselves the fields of God as our possession."
13   O my God, make them like whirling dust and like chaff before the wind;
14   Like fire that burns down a forest, like the flame that sets mountains ablaze.
15   Drive them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm;
16   Cover their faces with shame, O LORD, that they may seek your Name.
17   Let them be disgraced and terrified for ever; let them be put to confusion and perish.
18   Let them know that you, whose Name is YAHWEH, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 85 Benedixisti, Domine
1   You have been gracious to your land, O LORD, you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
2   You have forgiven the iniquity of your people and blotted out all their sins.
3   You have withdrawn all your fury and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
4   Restore us then, O God our Savior; let your anger depart from us.
5   Will you be displeased with us for ever? will you prolong your anger from age to age?
6   Will you not give us life again, that your people may rejoice in you?
7   Show us your mercy, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
8   I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.
9   Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
10   Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11   Truth shall spring up from the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12   The LORD will indeed grant prosperity, and our land will yield its increase.
13   Righteousness shall go before him, and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

Psalm 86 Inclina, Domine
1   Bow down your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and in misery.
2   Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful; save your servant who puts his trust in you.
3   Be merciful to me, O LORD, for you are my God; I call upon you all the day long.
4   Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
5   For you, O LORD, are good and forgiving, and great is your love toward all who call upon you.
6   Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer, and attend to the voice of my supplications.
7   In the time of my trouble I will call upon you, for you will answer me.
8   Among the gods there is none like you, O LORD, nor anything like your works.
9   All the nations you have made will come and worship you, O LORD, and glorify your Name.
10   For you are great; you do wondrous things; and you alone are God.
11   Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name.
12   I will thank you, O LORD my God, with all my heart, and glorify your Name for evermore.
13   For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the nethermost Pit.
14   The arrogant rise up against me, O God, and a band of violent men seeks my life; they have not set you before their eyes.
15   But you, O LORD, are gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and full of kindness and truth.
16   Turn to me and have mercy upon me; give your strength to your servant; and save the child of your handmaid.
17   Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed; because you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

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
Dear Heavenly Father, I am learning to understand what your Word says. Yet so often I simply hear it or read it and think about applying it, but get no further. I want to do it and intend to do it Lord, but it is gone from my mind so easily. I am deceiving myself if I simply hear it and do not make it a part of my life.

Please help me today to take one truth and apply it to my circumstances. Oh blessed Holy Spirit, nudge me, remind me throughout my day, again and again, for I know I will find freedom in obedience to your Word. I pray, show me what I need to focus on, right now and wherever the day might take me.

Change my vision. Embolden me to practice what you reveal to me, for I am confident of the blessings that come from life in harmony with your Word. My life is yours: I give it to you, of my own free will, and pray you to take it up and show me your path. In the name of Jesus, I pray this with all my heart,


A Prayer to Witness to God’s Love
Dear Heavenly Father, I lower my head before you and confess that I have too often forgotten that I am your child. Too often, I carry on my life as if you do not exist, falling far short of being a bold witness to You. For this, I ask your forgiveness, and I pray that you will give me strength, courage, a clear mind and an open heart when you call upon me to witness to your mighty love. Remind me always to strive to be who You would have me be, no matter where I am, or what I am doing, or who I am with. Make me into your lantern, precious Lord, and let your light shine through me so bright that all can see it. 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

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

Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray, 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 22, 2017

Dear Heavenly Father, I am learning to understand what your Word says. Yet so often I simply hear it or read it and think about applying it, but get no further. I want to do it and intend to do it Lord, but it is gone from my mind so easily. I am deceiving myself if I simply hear it and do not make it a part of my life.

Please help me today to take one truth and apply it to my circumstances. Oh blessed Holy Spirit, nudge me, remind me throughout my day, again and again, for I know I will find freedom in obedience to your Word. I pray, show me what I need to focus on, right now and wherever the day might take me.

Change my vision. Embolden me to practice what you reveal to me, for I am confident of the blessings that come from life in harmony with your Word. My life is yours: I give it to you, of my own free will, and pray you to take it up and show me your path. In the name of Jesus, I pray this with all my heart,


Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, June 22, 2017

Psalm 121:7-8 (NIV) The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Read all of Psalm 121

Listen to Psalm 121

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

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - The Day You Find Out Why

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born...and the day you find out why."
~ Mark Twain

The experience people have in coming to Christ differs vividly from person to person. Many people are converted like Paul; they are figuratively struck as if by a bolt from God and have a sudden epiphany of Christ's love. For others it is a gradual process, and for some people who are raised in the church, they simply grow up with it, and into spiritual maturity.

Whatever bad they can say — and their inventiveness in creating criticisms is boundless — atheists cannot accuse any Christian of the great Existentialist misery: wondering about the meaning of life, and ultimately concluding that it has no more meaning than the three-day life of a mayfly. Even if they think we are deluded, they have to admit: We know where we're going!

One would hardly think of Mark Twain as a Christian apologist, but here we have him in a rare moment of sincerity; the most sarcastic man one can imagine, and yet he stopped for a moment and realized, that understanding the reason why you are born is the greatest moment in your life.

So let us rejoice together. We know where we are going and what we are supposed to do. We can let go of the anxiety and depression that beset the modern world. We must suffer many things, but here is something we can be thankful for, today and every day. Christ has given us purpose, and it is purpose that we will follow all our days, that will extend even as our bodies get old and feeble; our soul, and thus our true self, will forever stay vital and fresh.

Lord God, I thank you for giving me real purpose in my life, and I pray you will remind me to be thankful for it every day. Amen

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Un Dia a la Vez - Oración por una vida sencilla

No hagan nada por egoísmo o vanidad; más bien, con humildad consideren a los demás como superiores a ustedes mismos.

Señor, al cerrar hoy esta semana de trabajo de muchas luchas para unos y de celebraciones para otros, queremos agradecerte por dejarnos las instrucciones de vida en el Manual de Instrucciones, la Biblia.

Gracias porque allí podemos aprender las cosas que esperas de nosotros y nos permites ver los beneficios que tendremos cuando somos obedientes a tu Palabra.

Gracias, mi Señor, porque con tu ayuda pondremos en práctica el mayor ejemplo de humildad que nos dejó tu Hijo Jesucristo.

Quita de cada uno de nosotros toda prepotencia. Quita toda altivez. Quita todo orgullo que nos impide que veamos a nuestro hermano como a nosotros mismos.

Cambia los corazones de piedra por corazones de carne. Que seamos sensibles ante las necesidades de los demás. También, pon en cada uno tanto el querer como el hacer.

En el nombre de Jesús oramos, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Jesus said He would not leave us alone but would give us a Helper to be with us forever (John 14: 16-18). He taught us that the Holy Spirit would be our Counselor (John 14: 26). Jesus also called Him the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17).

Two sisters in southern China came to Christ in a house church meeting. Twenty months later a friend from Hong Kong visited them and asked what they had been doing since their conversion. “Starting home meetings,” was their timid response.

“How many home meetings?” “Only thirty,” was their halting reply.

“How many attend your meetings?” was the next nonchalant question. “Well, at the smallest one about two hundred and eighty!”

Now the questioner was totally involved and quickly continued, “How many attend your largest meeting?” “Not even 5000, only about four thousand nine hundred!”

The Hong Kong Christian was flabbergasted. And in his excitement quickly asked, “How do you ladies—both new Christians—know what to do?”

They simply replied, “We pray. And after we pray, the Holy Spirit tells us what to do!”

It is also obvious that these two ladies were then obedient to the Holy Spirit’s direction. The goal of all Christians should be to live so completely under the control of the Holy Spirit that it can be said we are walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). As Paul reminded the Galatian Christians, they began their Christian lives by a miracle work of God, new birth in Jesus, and they could only expect to continue it by God’s power. This fact is even more evident in a hostile environment.

RESPONSE: The Holy Spirit wants to be my guide and counselor today. I will be obedient to His leading.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to walk this day in the power of Your Holy Spirit. May I also keep in step!

NIV Devotions for Men - “I’m Starving”

Genesis 25:27–34

Recommended Reading: Mark 9:43–48; Romans 8:5–16; Hebrews 12:14–29

This is a story that really connects with men. We can understand how Esau felt after he came in from a long day in the fields. He had been hunting, and he was tired, hot and famished. Hunger consumed him, so much so that his appetite, and his desire for immediate gratification, overruled his self-control. He had no thought for the future. He saw it, smelled it and wanted that stew—now.

We’ve all been there, literally and figuratively. Just before mealtime you’re raiding the cupboard or the fridge. “Where’s something to tide me over? Got to have something! So what if I ruin my appetite?” You want it now.

And food is just the beginning: New electronic “toys” beckon. Our vehicle’s odometer turns over a certain number of miles, and we start thinking about a newer vehicle. The latest vacation spot beckons. So to get what we want, now, we unadvisedly bust the budget.

We see an alluring woman and lust sparks our desire. We take a step closer. Our appetite overrules self-control. But there’s always a price to pay.

There’s no doubt about it, while we’re in this body we’re consumed with a gnawing sense that we have this hole in our lives that needs to be filled. We long to fill that hole with any number of material things and experiences, both good and bad. But no matter how much money we make or what kinds of pursuits we chase after, that hunger for more still eats away at us.

Instead of going to God’s Word for direction when tough temptations loom, or instead of using the brains he gave us, we go with our gut. Or worse, we fly on autopilot, not giving a second thought to the consequences of our actions.

Like Esau giving up his birthright for some bread and stew, we sometimes exchange true joy for a temporary thrill, a blessed future for immediate fulfillment. We carelessly toss aside our imperishable spiritual birthright for a consumable—and fleeting—fantasy.

The rewards of obedience to God’s will are flushed away every day by such hasty choices. We give up our financial security or our own sexual purity for a rush that lasts only seconds. The regret, however, can last for years.

So before giving in, stop and pray. Give it some time. Then take another look at the price tag on that spiritual birthright God offers. It’s marked “priceless.”

To Take Away
  • What “hungers” control you or draw you away from God?
  • Do you think “living for the moment” can kill the soul? Why?
  • What are some ways you can resist temptation and hold on more tightly to your birthright?

Girlfriends in God - June 22, 2017

Help! I’m Stuck

Today’s Truth

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
~ Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

I was enjoying a few moments of silence when I heard our two-year-old granddaughter bouncing down the hallway. Nori is a beautiful little girl with bright blue eyes and dimples that could charm the warts right off a frog. She jabbers constantly in a language that seems to be easily understood by other two-year-olds. Adults? Not so much. But I am learning.

I could tell by the tone of her voice that whatever Nori was talking about was a problem, and she did not like it one bit! She rounded the corner pushing her baby doll stroller and intensely fussing, “Tuck! Beebee tuck!” It took me a minute to assess the crisis. “Mimi! Beebee tuck!” she kept insisting. And then I saw the problem.

Nori had jammed one of her large baby dolls into a small stroller and the doll was indeed “tuck.” To prove her point, Nori vigorously yanked on the doll’s head and arms in an effort to free her precious baby. The doll was still stuck. “Mimi, hep!” I knew exactly what that meant. I was being drafted into action.

Nori had done an excellent job of getting her baby doll stuck in that stroller. Arms and legs were threaded through the plastic bars on each side of the stroller while the doll’s head was jammed between the handle and the basket. Nori eyed me suspiciously, obviously doubtful that I had what it took to get the job done. But after several minutes of pushing, pulling, shoving and wiggling, Nori’s doll was finally set free.

When I handed the baby doll to Nori, she jumped up and down, clapping her hands in delight. “Beebee not tuck, Mimi!” she exclaimed.

My mind immediately went to a deeper truth about trials, hard times, and pain. I know what it is like to be stuck in my pain, to stare at life through the rough knothole of agony. I have cried out to God, pleading with Him to set me free. Sometimes He takes away the pain. Sometimes He strengthens me to endure the pain, but either way, He sets me free to become more like Jesus and to know Him more.

God covers each pain with His infinite love and mercy, bringing hope and encouragement where there was once only despair.

Pain strengthens our faith and builds endurance, the ability to stay under the load. We have a loving Father who is committed to building the character of His Son in us. His love wants what is best for us, not what is easiest.

Shallow love rescues easily and quickly.

Real love walks with us through each trial. God wants us to trust Him, even when life makes no sense, and even when there seems to be no explanation.

Isaiah 55:8-9 The Lord says, ‘My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like My ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.’

God’s comfort is most cherished when pain is the strongest. The darker it gets, the brighter His light shines. We may be down, girlfriend, but we are never out, because God is the Shepherd of every valley, Lord of every storm, and Friend of the wounded heart.

When God pushes you to the edge, trust Him fully … because only two things can happen. Either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly. Either way, God’s got you – and you are truly free.

Let’s Pray

Father, I celebrate the freedom I have in You. No matter how deep the pain may be, You surround me with Your love and strengthen me for every trial. Teach me how to embrace my pain and allow You to use it for my good and Your glory. Oh Father, there is such freedom in knowing You! Thank You!
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read James 1:2-3 My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.

Think back over the past month. What trials have you faced? What was your response to those trials? Has God strengthened you or taught you a lesson through your trials? In your journal, record what God has accomplished in your life and how He has strengthened your faith through the tough times you have experienced.

More from the Girlfriends

Pain is a reality of life. How can we face and deal with pain in a way that pleases God? In her MP3 download, Strength for the Storm, Mary shares fresh strategies that will help you learn how to handle difficult times.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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 22, 2017 "True Worth"

On the Hollywood Walk of Fame, there is only one actor whose name and...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"True Worth"

June 22, 2017

For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep.

On the Hollywood Walk of Fame, there is only one actor whose name and character are on the star. That person is Clayton Moore, aka The Lone Ranger. There are other actors, however, who have also been intimately connected with the characters they have played. One of them was Adam West, the actor who had the title role in the 1960's series Batman.

West, who died a few weeks ago at the age of 88, complained that when the series was cancelled he found it difficult to get serious and steady work. That was because every time an audience looked at him, all they could see was a man in a cowl, a mask, and tights.

But this devotion is not about Adam West; it's about the car he drove in the series: the Batmobile. The Batmobile was a modified 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car. And, unlike its driver, it never had any difficulty finding work. Sold to a car customizer in 1965, it was restored and kept in a private collection from where it did personal appearances.

In January of 2013, the Batmobile went on the auction block. It was bought by a businessman from Phoenix, Arizona, by the name of Rick Champagne. Mr. Champagne laid out a total of $4.2 million for the one-of-a-kind vehicle. Did you get that number? That's $4.2 million dollars for a remade, reconstituted vehicle, which was almost 60 years old. What could make it worth that much?

The answer to that question is a simple one. It is worth that much because that is the price Mr. Champagne was willing to pay. This takes me to the next question: what are you worth? I mean, take a look at you.

• You had a soul which was blackened by sins of thought, word, and action.
• Your relationship with your Creator was a pitiful thing.
• Your life in this world was limited to a few decades of pain, worry, sorrow, and sadness.
• Your life in the next world was going to be an eternity of misery.

Put you on the auction block and you wouldn't expect anybody to offer a plugged nickel for you.

Even so, the Heavenly Father, in His grace and compassion remembered what He had originally wanted for you -- what He wanted you to be again. To make that happen He offered the only price that was guaranteed to end the bidding -- the only price which could not be beaten. He offered the life of His one-and-only Son.

It was a price that was paid. Jesus came into this world and lived a life of sacrifice to win our rescue. Every moment of every day was part of the payment, which had been offered. It was a payment that was finished when He carried our sins to Calvary's cross and gave up the ghost.

With His glorious third-day resurrection from the dead, all could see that the price had been accepted and all who were brought to faith in Him would have a new Owner, a new home, a new life without hurt or pain. It is a role worth having.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I a poor, miserable sinner give thanks that You, the Creator of all that is, have loved me, rescued and restored me. By Your grace may others believe this wonderful truth. 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 22 de Junio de 2017

Alimento Diario

Un lugar no muy bueno para ir a conocer

22 de Junio 2017

No lo harán, padre Abrahán. Pero si alguien de entre los muertos va a ellos, sí se arrepentirán.
~ Lucas 16:30 (RVC)

Forbes Traveler es una revista muy leída por aquellos a quienes les gusta mucho salir de viaje y ver el maravilloso mundo que Dios creó. Esa revista publicó una lista de las peores trampas para turistas que hay en el mundo.

Ustedes saben de qué hablo: esos lugares que se anuncian con un "no pierda la oportunidad de visitar...", donde uno paga cinco veces más por un recuerdito que ni siquiera está hecho en el país, lugares donde se ven multitudes de turistas pero no a los habitantes nativos, y donde los sitios dignos de ver están cubiertos de murales con comerciales.

Cuando leía el artículo, inmediatamente pensé: "Ajá, Wall Drug en South Dakota." Y por favor no se enojen conmigo. Me encanta la ciudad de Wall Drug y siempre la visito cuando viajo por ese precioso estado, y más que nada me gusta Wall Drug porque sus habitantes admiten abiertamente que el lugar es una trampa para turistas.

Pero Wall Drug no estaba en la lista que publicó Forbes. En su lugar había lugares como el Fisherman's Wharf en San Francisco y las Grandes Pirámides de Egipto. También estaban en la lista el Times Square de Nueva York, el Castillo de Blarney, la torre Eiffel, la torre inclinada de Pisa, y la Plaza de San Marcos en Venecia. Quedé sorprendido, pues con la excepción de uno o dos, he visitado todos esos lugares.

A pesar de que cada persona tiene una lista diferente de lugares que quiere evitar, hay un lugar en particular que debería estar en la lista de todo el mundo, y no, no es el centro comercial local en el día después de Acción de Gracias. Estoy hablando del infierno. Así es, el infierno es el lugar que todos deberíamos evitar. Si bien es cierto que el camino que lleva al infierno es amplio, bien pavimentado y lleno de atracciones tentadoras a la vista y atrayentes al alma, con todo esto, todo aquel que ha ido a ese lugar ha sufrido una gran decepción, realmente una grandísima decepción.

Este es ciertamente el caso del hombre rico en la parábola de Jesús que estaba tan triste por haberse ido al infierno, que pedía que una persona muerta volviera a los vivos para advertir a sus hermanos.

Podríamos pensar que una persona resucitada desviaría a la gente del infierno hacia el cielo, pero este no es siempre el caso. Jesús, el Hijo perfecto de Dios, fue crucificado y ha vuelto para advertirnos, pero a pesar de que Jesús ha conquistado y vencido la muerte, la gente continúa dudando y no cree. Prefieren caer en la trampa para turistas que les ha tendido el diablo.

Esta es la razón por la cual los cristianos debemos continuar compartiendo a Jesús el Salvador, quien es el único guía y dador de vida y del cielo. Necesitamos ayudar a la gente para que eviten caer en esa trampa para turistas de donde nadie puede escapar.

ORACION: Señor Jesús, ayúdame a hacer todo lo que pueda para ayudar a otros a no caer en la trampa del diablo que es el infierno. Hazme testigo de tu persona. 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 - Silence

Bible in a Year: Esther 6–8; Acts 6

How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Habakkuk 1:2

Skittish chickens scattered as relief trucks clattered past the weathered huts of the village. Barefoot children stared. Traffic on this rain-ravaged “road” was rare.

Suddenly, a walled mansion loomed into view of the convoy. It was the mayor’s house—although he didn’t live in it. His people lacked basic necessities, while he lounged in luxury in a distant city.

Such unfairness angers us. It angered God’s prophet too. When Habakkuk saw rampant oppression he asked, “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Hab. 1:2). But God had noticed, and He said, “Woe to him who piles up stolen goods . . . who builds his house by unjust gain!” (2:6, 9). Judgment was coming!

We welcome God’s judgment of others, but there’s a pivot point in Habakkuk that gives us pause: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (2:20). All the earth. The oppressed along with oppressors. Sometimes the appropriate response to God’s seeming silence is . . . silence!

Why silence? Because we easily overlook our own spiritual poverty. Silence allows us to recognize our sinfulness in the presence of a holy God.

Habakkuk learned to trust God, and we can too. We don’t know all His ways, but we do know that He is good. Nothing is beyond His control and timing.

Lord, when trouble comes we can pray like Habakkuk, “We have heard of your fame; we stand in awe of your deeds. Repeat them in our day; in our time make them known” (Hab. 3:2).

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
Proverbs 29:7

Ministérios Pão Diário - Seja você mesmo
A Bíblia em um ano: Ester 6–8, Atos 6

…éreis estranhos e inimigos no entendimento […], agora, porém, vos reconciliou… Colossenses 1:21,22

Para aqueles dentre nós que não praticamos o dom espiritual do evangelismo, a palavra testemunho pode suscitar lembranças desagradáveis ou ansiedades. Na verdade, algumas vezes me senti um fracasso total quando tentei seguir os métodos conhecidos para facilitar o testemunho.

Jim Henderson, autor de um livro sobre como compartilhar a sua fé, conseguiu transformar o assunto em algo menos ameaçador para mim, sugerindo uma forma alternativa quanto à forma de pensar a respeito disso. Em vez de usar as palavras ou a história de outras pessoas, ele apenas sugere: “seja você mesmo”.

Os testemunhos de segunda mão não são aceitos nas cortes; somente os de primeira mão são dignos de confiança. O mesmo se aplica na área espiritual. A história autêntica da obra que Cristo fez em nossas vidas é o melhor testemunho que temos. Não precisamos torná-lo uma peça erudita nem dramatizá-lo. Quando falarmos a verdade sobre o poder de Cristo para nos salvar e nos livrar do pecado, nosso testemunho terá credibilidade.

Se a ideia de assistir a algumas aulas sobre “como testemunhar” ou decorar planos prontos o impede de testemunhar, tente uma forma diferente, apenas, seja você mesmo! Assim como o homem cego, que Jesus curou, diga simplesmente: “…uma coisa sei: eu era cego e agora vejo” (João 9:25).

Se você quiser testemunhar de Cristo, conte-lhes o que Ele fez por você.

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Im Lặng
Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Ê-xơ-tê 6-8; Công vụ 6

Lạy Đức Giê-hô-va! Con kêu cứu mà Ngài không lắng nghe... cho đến chừng nào? Ha-ba-cúc 1:2

Đàn gà sợ hãi chạy tan tác khi những chiếc xe tải cứu trợ ồn ào băng qua các túp lều tả tơi của ngôi làng. Bọn trẻ chân đất nhìn chăm chú. Hiếm khi có xe cộ chạy trên “con đường” bị mưa bão tàn phá này.

Đột nhiên, một biệt thự có tường bao quanh lờ mờ hiện ra trong tầm mắt của đoàn xe. Đó là nhà của thị trưởng—dù ông không sống ở đó. Dân chúng của ông thiếu nhu yếu phẩm, trong khi ông sống xa hoa tại một thành phố xa xôi.

Sự bất công đó khiến chúng ta tức giận. Điều đó cũng khiến tiên tri của Chúa tức giận. Khi Ha-ba-cúc thấy áp bức tràn lan, ông hỏi: “Lạy Đức Giê-hô-va! Con kêu cứu mà Ngài không lắng nghe… cho đến chừng nào?” (Hab. 1:2). Nhưng Chúa đã thấy và Ngài phán: “Khốn cho kẻ gom góp của cải chẳng thuộc về mình… kẻ thu lợi bất nghĩa cho nhà mình!” (2:6, 9). Sự phán xét đang đến!

Chúng ta mong đợi sự xét đoán của Chúa trên người khác, nhưng có một điểm quan trọng trong Ha-ba-cúc khiến chúng ta ngừng lại: “Đức Giê-hô-va ngự trong đền thánh Ngài; trước mặt Ngài, mọi người trên đất hãy lặng thinh!” (2:20). Mọi người trên đất. Kẻ bị áp bức và kẻ áp bức. Đôi khi, thái độ xứng hợp đối với việc dường như Chúa im lặng là… im lặng!

Sao lại là im lặng? Vì chúng ta dễ bỏ qua tình trạng nghèo đói thuộc linh của mình. Im lặng cho phép chúng ta nhận ra tội lỗi mình trong sự hiện diện của một Đức Chúa Trời thánh khiết.

Ha-ba-cúc đã học tin cậy Chúa và chúng ta cũng có thể tin cậy Ngài. Chúng ta không biết hết đường lối Ngài, nhưng chúng ta biết Ngài là tốt lành. Không gì ngoài tầm kiểm soát và thời điểm của Ngài.

Lạy Chúa, khi hoạn nạn xảy đến, nguyện chúng con có thể cầu nguyện như Ha-ba-cúc: “Con đã nghe danh tiếng Ngài nên con kính sợ Ngài. Lạy Đức Giê-hô-va! Giữa năm tháng vần xoay, xin Chúa phục hưng công việc Ngài, và tỏ cho mọi người biết” (Ha. 3:2). A-men.

Người công chính biết quyền lợi của người nghèo khổ, còn kẻ ác không hiểu điều tri thức ấy. Châm ngôn 29:7

© 2017 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày

Nuestro Pan Diario - Silencio

La Biblia en un año: Ester 6–8; Hechos 6

¿Hasta cuándo, oh Señor, clamaré, y no oirás; y daré voces a ti a causa de la violencia, y no salvarás? (v. 2).

Hubo un gran revuelo en la aldea al ver unos camiones de socorro que pasaban por el «camino» destrozado por la lluvia. De repente, el convoy divisó la casa del alcalde… aunque este vivía lujosamente en otra parte, mientras que a su pueblo le faltaban las cosas básicas para vivir.

Esta clase de injusticia irritaba al profeta de Dios. Habacuc preguntó: «¿Hasta cuándo, oh Señor, clamaré, y no oirás?» (Habacuc 1:2). Sin embargo, Dios sí había escuchado, y respondió: «¡Ay del que aumenta lo que no es suyo…! […] ¡Ay del que obtiene ganancias ilícitas…!» (2:6, 9 LBLA). ¡El juicio se acercaba!

Aceptamos gustosos el juicio de Dios para los demás, pero, en Habacuc, hay un punto que nos hace detenernos: «el Señor está en su santo templo; calle delante de él toda la tierra» (2:20). Toda la tierra. Los oprimidos y los opresores. A veces, la respuesta adecuada al aparente silencio de Dios es… ¡silencio!

¿Por qué silencio? Porque, con facilidad, olvidamos nuestra propia pobreza espiritual. El silencio nos permite reconocer nuestra maldad en presencia de un Dios santo.

Podemos aprender a confiar en Dios, como Habacuc. No conocemos todos sus caminos, pero sí sabemos que Él es bueno. Nada escapa a su control y sus tiempos.

Señor, «aviva tu obra en medio de los tiempos, en medio de los tiempos hazla conocer» Habacuc 3:2

Conoce el justo la causa de los pobres… Proverbios 29:7

Unser Täglich Brot - Schweigen
Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Ester 6–8; Apostelgeschichte 6

Herr, wie lange soll ich schreien und du willst nicht hören? Habakuk 1,2

Langsam fuhr der Lastwagen mit Hilfsgütern an den verwitterten Hütten vorbei. Plötzlich kam ein gemauertes Haus in Sicht. Es gehörte dem Bürgermeister. Doch er wohnte nicht hier, sondern in seiner Luxuswohnung in der Stadt, während die Bevölkerung kaum das Lebensnotwendigste hatte.

Solche Ungerechtigkeit macht uns wütend. Sie machte auch Gottes Propheten zornig. Als Habakuk die Unterdrückung seines Volkes sah, fragte er: „Herr, wie lange soll ich schreien und du willst nicht hören?“ (Hab. 1,2). Aber Gott wusste Bescheid und antwortete: „Weh dem, der sein Gut mehrt mit fremdem Gut . . . der unrechten Gewinn macht zum Unglück seines Hauses“ (2,6.9).

Wir freuen uns, wenn Gottes Gericht andere trifft, aber im Buch Habakuk steht ein Satz, der uns zum Nachdenken bringen sollte: „Der Herr ist in seinem heiligen Tempel. Es sei vor ihm stille alle Welt!“ (2,20). Alle Welt. Die Unterdrückten wie die Unterdrücker. Die passende Antwort auf Gottes scheinbares Schweigen ist manchmal . . . Schweigen!

Wieso? Weil wir über unsere eigene geistliche Armut gern hinwegsehen. Das Schweigen hilft uns, im Angesicht eines heiligen Gottes zu erkennen, wo wir selbst schuldig sind.

Habakuk lernte, Gott zu vertrauen, und das können auch wir. Wir wissen nicht, was er vorhat, aber wir wissen, dass er gut ist. Nichts entgleitet seiner Kontrolle.

Herr, wenn Probleme kommen, können wir beten wie Habakuk: „Ich habe die Kunde von dir gehört, ich habe dein Werk gesehen. Mache es lebendig in naher Zeit, und lass es kundwerden in naher Zeit“ (Hab. 3,2).

Der Gerechte weiß um die Sache der Armen; der Gottlose aber weiß gar nichts.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Silence

Lisez : Habakuk 1.1‑4 ; 2.20
La Bible en un an : ESTHER 6 – 8 et ACTES 6

Jusqu'à quand ô Éternel ? J'ai crié, et tu n'écoutes pas ! Habakuk 1.2

Le grondement des camions de secours a vite fait fuir les poulets en passant devant les masures du village sous le regard fixe d’enfants aux pieds nus. Sur cette « route » ravagée par les pluies, la circulation était rare. Soudain, une maison cossue entourée d’une haute clôture est apparue au convoi. C’était la maison du maire, même s’il ne l’habitait pas. Son peuple n’avait pas d’articles de première nécessité en quantité suffisante, alors que lui menait grand train dans une ville située à une certaine distance de là.

Une telle injustice nous met en colère, comme cela a été le cas du prophète Habakuk. À la vue d’une oppression endémique, il a demandé : « Jusqu’à quand, ô Éternel ? J’ai crié, et tu n’écoutes pas ! » (HA 1.2.) Reste que l’ayant remarquée, Dieu lui a répondu : « Malheur à celui qui accumule ce qui n’est pas à lui ! […] celui qui amasse pour sa maison des gains iniques » (2.6,9). Ce n’était qu’une question de temps avant que le jugement tombe !

Nous voyons d’un bon oeil le jugement divin contre autrui, mais le livre d’Habakuk donne matière à réflexion : « L’Éternel est dans son saint temple. Que toute la terre fasse silence devant lui ! » (2.20.) Toute la terre. Tant les opprimés que les oppresseurs. Parfois, la seule réponse qui vaille au silence apparent de Dieu, c’est… le silence !

Pourquoi le silence ? Parce que nous faisons facilement fi de notre propre pauvreté spirituelle. Or, le silence nous permet de reconnaître notre état de péché en présence d’un Dieu saint. Faisons‑lui confiance !

Le juste connaît la cause des pauvres, mais [pas] le méchant. PR 29.7

Хліб Наш Насущній - Тиша
Біблія за рік: Естер 6–8 ; Дії 6

Аж доки я, Господи, кликати буду, а Ти не почуєш? — Авакума 1:2

Налякані курчата бігли хто куди, коли між хатинками вбогого селища з гуркотом проїжджали фури з гуманітарною допомогою. Босоногі діти здивовано дивились на них. Машини на цій розбитій дощами дорозі були рідкістю.

Раптово в очі конвою впав обнесений стіною розкішний особняк. То був будинок мера – хоча він і не жив у ньому. Людям його селища бракувало найнеобхідніших речей, в той час як сам він байдикував у розкоші в далекому місті. Така несправедливість розгнівила колись і пророка Авакума: “Аж доки я, Господи, кликати буду, а Ти не почуєш?” (Ав. 1:2). Але Бог відповів: “Горе тому, хто для себе розмножує те, що не його!.. Горе тому, хто неправедний зиск побирає для дому свого” (Ав. 2:6, 9). Суд гряде!

Ми позитивно ставимося до Божого суду над іншими, але книга пророка Авакума змушує нас зупинитись і замислитись: “А Господь у Своїм храмі святім, мовчи перед обличчям Його, уся земле!” (Ав. 2:20). Мають мовчати і кривдники, і скривджені. Інколи найбільш слушна наша реакція на Боже мовчання – тиша!

Чому тиша? Тому що дуже легко, дивлячись на кривду інших, забути про власну духовну убогість. Тиша дозволяє нам усвідомлювати свою гріховність у присутності святого Бога. Авакум навчився довіряти Богу. Ми також можемо навчитися цьому. Бог усе контролює і для всього у Нього є свій час.

Боже, коли приходить лиха година, допоможи згадати молитву Авакума: “Господи, звістку Твою я почув та й злякався!.. Господи… у гніві про милість згадай!” Ав. 3:2.

“Праведний знає про право вбогих, безбожний же не розуміє пізнання про це”. — Приповістей 29:7

Хлеб наш насущный - Молчание
Читать сейчас: Аввакум 1:1-4; 2:20
Библия за год: Есфирь 6-8; Деяния 6

Доколе, Господи, я буду взывать – и Ты не слышишь? — Аввакум 1:2

Перепуганные куры бросились в разные стороны, когда фуры с гуманитарной помощью прогрохотали мимо ветхих хижин деревни. Босоногие детишки таращили на них глаза. Движение на этих размытых дождем дорогах было редким. Неожиданно в поле зрения водителей показался обнесенный высокой стеной особняк. Это был дом мэра, но он здесь не жил. Его людям не хватало предметов первой необходимости, а он упивался роскошью в большом городе.

Такая несправедливость вызывает возмущение. Этими же чувствами был охвачен и Божий пророк. Видя притеснение и насилие, Аввакум спрашивал: «Доколе, Господи, я буду взывать – и Ты не слышишь?» (Авв. 1:2). Но Бог все видел и сказал: «Горе тому, кто без меры обогащает себя не своим – надолго ли?.. Горе тому, кто жаждет неправедных приобретений для дома своего» (Авв. 2:6, 9). Суд был близок.

Мы приветствуем Божий суд над злодеями, но в Книге пророка Аввакума есть стих, который заставляет задуматься: «Господь – в святом храме Своем; да молчит вся земля пред лицом Его!» (Авв. 2:20). Вся земля! Угнетенные вместе с угнетателями. Порой самый лучший отклик на кажущееся Божье молчание – это… молчание!

Зачем нам молчать? Потому что мы легко упускаем из виду собственную духовную нищету. Молчание позволяет нам признать свою греховность в присутствии святого Бога. Аввакум научился доверять Богу. И мы можем это сделать. Нам не дано знать всех Его путей, зато мы знаем, что Он благ. Все в мире протекает под Его контролем и совершается в Его сроки.

Господи, когда придут беды, помоги нам вспомнить молитву Аввакума: «Услышал я весть Твою и убоялся. Господи! Соверши дело Твое среди лет, среди лет яви его» (Авв. 3:2).

«Праведник тщательно вникает в тяжбу бедных, а нечестивый не разбирает дела».