Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, July 13, 2017

Acts 10:25 - On Peter's arrival Cornelius met him, and falling at his feet, worshiped him.
Opening Sentence

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

Morning Prayer
Oh God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all our sins, and cleansing us from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 1 Samuel 16:14-17:11
Now the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. And Saul's servants said to him, "See now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command the servants who attend you to look for someone who is skillful in playing the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will feel better." So Saul said to his servants, "Provide for me someone who can play well, and bring him to me." One of the young men answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence; and the LORD is with him." So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, "Send me your son David who is with the sheep." Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a kid, and sent them by his son David to Saul. And David came to Saul, and entered his service. Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. Saul sent to Jesse, saying, "Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight." And whenever the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, and the evil spirit would depart from him. Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. Saul and the Israelites gathered and encamped in the valley of Elah, and formed ranks against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield-bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us." And the Philistine said, "Today I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man, that we may fight together." When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

The Second Reading is taken from Acts 10:17-33
Now while Peter was greatly puzzled about what to make of the vision that he had seen, suddenly the men sent by Cornelius appeared. They were asking for Simon's house and were standing by the gate. They called out to ask whether Simon, who was called Peter, was staying there. While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Look, three men are searching for you. Now get up, go down, and go with them without hesitation; for I have sent them." So Peter went down to the men and said, "I am the one you are looking for; what is the reason for your coming?" They answered, "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say." So Peter invited them in and gave them lodging. The next day he got up and went with them, and some of the believers from Joppa accompanied him. The following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. On Peter's arrival Cornelius met him, and falling at his feet, worshiped him. But Peter made him get up, saying, "Stand up; I am only a mortal." And as he talked with him, he went in and found that many had assembled; and he said to them, "You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. Now may I ask why you sent for me?" Cornelius replied, "Four days ago at this very hour, at three o'clock, I was praying in my house when suddenly a man in dazzling clothes stood before me. He said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon, who is called Peter; he is staying in the home of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.' Therefore I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. So now all of us are here in the presence of God to listen to all that the Lord has commanded you to say."

The Holy Gospel is written in Luke 24:36-53
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you-- that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

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

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

The 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, Almighty and merciful, who heals those that are broken in heart, and turns the sadness of the sorrowful to joy; Let your fatherly goodness be upon all that you have made. Remember in pity those who are this day destitute, homeless, or forgotten by their fellow men. Bless the congregation of your poor. Uplift those who are cast down. For those who suffer innocently, I pray that you will sanctify their endurance of the wrongs worked on them, keeping their hearts free of bitterness. Cheer with hope all discouraged and unhappy people, and help those who are tempted into sin by their poverty; though they be troubled on every side, suffer them not to be distressed; though they be perplexed, save them from despair. Grant this, O Lord, for the love of him, who for our sakes endured poverty and blameless suffering, your Son, our Jesus Christ. 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.

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

Closing Prayer
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make me faithful to your Word that I may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord. 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, July 13, 2017

O GOD, Almighty and merciful, who heals those that are broken in heart, and turns the sadness of the sorrowful to joy; Let your fatherly goodness be upon all that you have made. Remember in pity those who are this day destitute, homeless, or forgotten by their fellow men. Bless the congregation of your poor. Uplift those who are cast down. For those who suffer innocently, I pray that you will sanctify their endurance of the wrongs worked on them, keeping their hearts free of bitterness. Cheer with hope all discouraged and unhappy people, and help those who are tempted into sin by their poverty; though they be troubled on every side, suffer them not to be distressed; though they be perplexed, save them from despair. Grant this, O Lord, for the love of him, who for our sakes endured poverty and blameless suffering, your Son, our Jesus Christ. Amen.

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, July 13, 2017

Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Read all of Philippians 2

Listen to Philippians 2

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Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - Before a Watching World

And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
~ Acts 2:47b (NKJV)

Show me a church that doesn’t have a constant flow of new believers coming in, and I will show you a church that is stagnating. The church needs new believers to remind us of what it is all about. And new believers need the church to stabilize them.

When mature believers are around young believers and they see them discover for the first time what it means to know Jesus, it can revive them. It’s like the difference between going to Disneyland with adults and going with children. We see things differently as adults. But when we go to Disneyland with children, everything changes because we see it all through their eyes.

The Bible tells us “the generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself” (Proverbs 11:25). New believers will replenish us. The first-century church had new believers continually coming in. As we read in Acts 2:47, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

What an attractive church this was to a lost and watching world as these believers learned, loved, cared, worshiped, and prayed. They looked out for each other. As a result, the world watched and paid attention—and people came to faith.

Witnessing is not just something we do; it’s something we are. Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

There was regular, even daily, growth in the first-century church. Evangelism wasn’t a periodic event here and there. They were engaging in it continually. And every church ought to be. Every week we should be giving people an opportunity to come to Christ.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2017 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.
Witnessing is not just something we do; it's something we are.

Un Dia a la Vez - Oración por los compromisos con Dios

Guárdame como a la niña de tus ojos; escóndeme bajo la sombra de tus alas.
~ Salmo 17:8 (RV-60)

Dios mío, esta semana ha sido una semana de pacto contigo. A través de estas pequeñas enseñanzas he comprendido que no solo debo cuidar mi vida, sino también debo guardar todo mi ser.

Gracias, Señor, porque quiero hacer el compromiso de guardarme por completo a ti. Ayúdame a estar limpio en lo que escucho, en lo que veo, en lo que toco, en lo que hablo.

Conviérteme en una persona de carácter y dame tanto el querer como el hacer. No te quiero fallar jamás.

Padre, entrego este día en tus manos y te declaro el Rey de mi vida y el Rey de mi corazón.

Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE POOR IN SPIRIT

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
~ Matthew 5:3 (NIV)

Acknowledging our poverty in spirit is humility. It occurs when a man or woman realizes his or her own utter lack of resources to meet life and finds his or her strength in God. Such an attitude leads one away from attachment to things to attachment to God and heaven. The word for poor here means absolute, abject poverty. We can thus paraphrase the first Beatitude this way:
Blessed are those who have realised their own utter helplessness and inadequacy and who have put their whole trust in God. Such a person will humbly accept the will of God and thus become a citizen of the kingdom.
Christians especially in countries like Pakistan find this a great comfort, for the majority of them are road sweepers and do menial jobs that others will not do. They are denied better jobs often because they are illiterate. Their children have no access to higher education and so the cycle of poverty continues with little hope of a break. Surely this message is also for them. As they put their complete trust and hope in the Lord, they are assured of a place in the Kingdom of God.

A Chinese Christian woman, a leader in her church, was arrested and put in prison. Led of the Lord, she volunteered to do hard labour, cleaning the filthy prison cells on her knees. This humble work gave her opportunity to sing and share Jesus with the prisoners in each cell. Through her words and actions many prisoners came to know the Lord in a personal relationship.

RESPONSE: Today I acknowledge my helplessness and inadequacy and place my complete trust in God.

PRAYER: Lord, help me express true humility in practical ways today and show that my trust is in You alone.

NIV Devotions for Men - Bless the Blesser

Numbers 6:22–27
Recommended Reading: Psalm 80:1–19; Ephesians 1:3–14; 1 John 1:5–7

Do you ever wonder what motivates people?

Not so much what moves someone to do something goofy, like wearing plaid knickers on the golf course or pouring ketchup on an otherwise perfectly good plate of scrambled eggs. Instead, you wonder what motivates a guy to bring coffee to a harried coworker during a normal workday or to take the kids out for dinner so his wife can enjoy an uninterrupted bubble bath. What causes someone to take an action that remains forever unknown to all but a few?

What motivated the person who carefully and skillfully etched the priestly blessing that would later be identified as Numbers 6:24–26 onto two small silver scrolls, each barely an inch long?

“The LORD bless you and keep you …”

Did this anonymous silversmith realize that he was recording the very words of Almighty God?

“The LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you …”

Did he know that his work would survive thousands and thousands of years, until rediscovered one day in a burial cave in modern Jerusalem?

“The LORD turn his face toward you …”

Did this artisan know that what he inscribed on finger-sized scraps of silver would, in the 21st century, become the oldest known record of any written Scripture text?

“… and give you peace.”

And did he know that, as you read these words, you would need God’s blessing to provide heavenly light and grace and peace in your life this very day?

Do you ever wonder what motivates people?

To Take Away
  • What incites you to take small actions that benefit other people but seem to offer no reward for you?
  • How have others shown kindness to you recently?
  • In what specific ways has God blessed you, kept you and turned his face toward you during the past year? How can you pass on the blessing?

Girlfriends in God - July 13, 2017

What’s Your Temperature?

Today’s Truth

Search Me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Friend to Friend

I got a phone call in the middle of the school day from my son Preston. He was calling from the nurse’s office at the middle school. Here’s how the conversation went:

“Hey mom. It’s Preston. I’m not feeling well and I have a temperature of 96.5. Can you come get me?”

“96.5 degrees?” I asked. “Honey, that’s below normal! That doesn’t sound right.”

“I know,” he said, “but I don’t feel well. Can you please come pick me up?”

“Sure, honey. I’ll be right there.”

I chuckled the whole way to the school at what he had said. Surely he misread the thermometer! A normal temperature is 98.6 degrees. Something was off.

I got to the school in a North Carolina minute and headed straight to the nurse’s office. While Preston packed his bag to go home, I spoke privately to the school nurse. With a grin on her face, she explained to me that Preston was resistant to putting the thermometer under his tongue as she had instructed him to do. He wasn’t comfortable with that. “So,” she said, “he held the thermometer between his lips.” The nurse and I exchanged amused glances as I thanked her for helping my son.

Although Preston knew something wasn’t right with his body, the nurse didn’t get an accurate temperature reading because he didn’t place the thermometer deep enough into his mouth. He didn’t let it probe past the surface of his lips.

Later that night, as I thought back on the day, the Lord spoke to my heart. I realized that I’m often as stubborn as Preston because there are many times when I resist having an accurate reading of my spiritual wellness. Times when I won’t let God probe past the surface of my heart, my actions, my attitudes, and my perspective … when I don’t allow God to reveal the accurate spiritual temperature of my life. Because I’m not always comfortable with deeper-level stuff… so I don’t sit still to listen.

I was disturbed by that thought.

I needed to be disturbed by that thought. By that reality.

Just because I’ve been a Christian for a long time does not mean that I’m always in perfect spiritual health. In fact, the more I learn about God’s holiness through the Bible, the more I realize how much I need His grace and strength every day to lead me in His wellness.

You might not “feel well” today. Perhaps you have spiritual indigestion from your marriage, your children, your friendships, your finances, your singleness, or your conversations. You could be “sick” from the shows you watch, the internet relationships you’ve developed, the gossip or harsh words you’ve allowed to pass from your lips, or the jealousy you feel in your heart. Maybe you haven’t allowed your heart to be probed recently... you’ve been resistant because you don’t like to feel uncomfortable, convicted or exposed.

The Bible tells us that the kindness of God leads us to repentance, and repentance leads us to restoration. To wellness and holiness in Christ.

What’s your spiritual temperature? Are you hot or cold? Is the flame of faith in your heart fading or raging? Have you sat still long enough lately to ask God to search your heart?

It’s time for an accurate reading, friend.

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Let’s Pray

Holy Father, as the psalmist prayed, I ask that you would, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
In Jesus’s Name I pray,

Now It’s Your Turn

Take a spiritual inventory today. Spend a few moments considering your spiritual wellness. Ask God to probe your heart and reveal areas in your life that need to be made right as you answer the following questions:

What is your quiet time like?

Is God a top priority in your life?

Do you set aside time regularly to read your Bible?

Read John 15:1-11, then write a prayer response.

Click here to LISTEN to a song called Restore that connects with this devotion beautifully.

More from the Girlfriends

FREE EBOOK: Gwen Smith is a speaker, worship leader, songwriter, and author of the 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.

(CLICK HERE to get a FREE Downloadable “7 Day I WANT IT ALL” Devotional Ebook.)

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725, Matthews, NC 28106

LHM Daily Devotion - July 13, 2017 "Consistency"

Over the years, it has been my privilege to run into the occasional...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Tempting Fate"

July 13, 2017

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.

Over the years, it has been my privilege to run into the occasional family whose children seem to have turned out better than all right. No, not all those children were brilliant or athletic or leaders, but they were special. They were young men and women of integrity. They didn't go along with the crowd unless they thought the crowd was going in the right direction.

I have made it a habit to ask the parents of these children two questions: What did you do right? and What did you do that other parents don't.

Most of the time -- not all of the time, but most of the time -- the parents said Jesus was part of their family. Jesus wasn't a name that was heard just on Sundays. On the contrary, Jesus was part of the day-to-day workings of the family. The other thing all of these parents said was this: "We were consistent. We said what we meant; we meant what we said."

Those parents didn't make threats or promises they weren't ready to keep. When they said, "We're going to the movies." They went to the movies. When it came time for discipline, they didn't exaggerate a promised punishment. These parents didn't say, "If you don't behave, I'm going to give you a time out that will last until you're old enough to vote."

I have to confess there are times I wish the Lord acted the way those parents did.

People might take the Lord more seriously if He punished certain sins with certain consequences. Think about it. Suppose every time someone went ten miles over the speed limit, God would give them a flat tire. I'd wager they would watch their speedometer more closely. Suppose, every time you spoke evil about somebody your taxes went up. There's no doubt in my mind that you would be careful about what you said about others.

Well, God doesn't always work that way.

He doesn't always punish us immediately or directly or completely. Because that is so, much of humanity disregard Him, disdain Him, feel free to disobey Him. Just as bad, no, even worse, is the fact that since God's punishment isn't always obvious and instant, many folks wrongly and dangerously conclude that God -- if there really is a God -- isn't serious about what He says.

God is serious. He was serious when He promised punishment for our sins. He was serious when He sent His Son as the sacrifice to save us. He remains serious when He reminds us He is coming again, and we need to be ready. We need to be ready because, as the Psalmist says,"He will not always chide; He will not keep His anger forever."

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may we see Your consistency, Your constancy. May we remember that salvation comes through Jesus Christ, and punishment awaits those who disregard Your Word, Your promises, Your Son. In His Name we pray. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional de 13 de Julio de 2017

Alimento Diario


13 de Julio 2017

Vengan ahora, y pongamos las cosas en claro. Si sus pecados son como la grana, se pondrán blancos como la nieve. Si son rojos como el carmesí, se pondrán blancos como la lana.
~ Isaías 1:18 (RVC)

Los seres humanos hacen cualquier cosa con tal de cubrir sus pecados y sus fallas. No hace mucho una señora, Directora de Educación para Adultos en una universidad estatal, compartió la triste historia de un hombre que se presentó en la escuela para aprender a leer.

Lo que le sorprendió no fue que el hombre no supiera leer, sino que su esposa no lo sabía. En sus once años de matrimonio, él había logrado ocultárselo. ¿Cómo lo logró? Fácil... cada noche, después de la cena, el hombre se sentaba en el sofá de la sala, sostenía el periódico y durante una hora pretendía leer.

Ese hombre bien podría ser la representación de la humanidad, ya que la mayoría de nosotros, al igual que él, tratamos de esconder nuestras fallas mostrando lo bueno y disimulando lo malo.

Lamentablemente, cuando se trata del pecado, disimular es todo lo que podemos hacer. Disimular, enmascarar, camuflar o cubrir nuestros pecados...

Únicamente el Señor es quien tiene el poder de borrar nuestros pecados. Sólo a través de la sustitución del Salvador enviado del cielo, nuestros pecados color escarlata quedan blancos como la nieve.

Por lo tanto, si hay algún pecado que le molesta y que no logra sacarse de encima, pruebe dárselo al Señor. Porque gracias a la vida, muerte, resurrección y presencia de Jesús, el perdón ha sido dado a millones... y también puede ser dado a uno más - usted.

ORACIÓN: Amado Señor, te doy gracias porque, en la persona de tu Hijo, has otorgado perdón a la larga fila de pecadores que te han buscado. Ayúdame a encontrar júbilo en el regalo de misericordia expresado en la sangre derramada en la cruz, que ha cambiado mi vida ahora y para la eternidad. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

De una devoción escrita originalmente para "By the Way"

© 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 - Intimate Details
Bible in a Year: Psalms 7–9; Acts 18

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Psalm 139:2

The universe is astonishingly grand. Right now the moon is spinning around us at nearly 2,300 miles an hour. Our Earth is spinning around the sun at 66,000 miles an hour. Our sun is one of 200 billion other stars and trillions more planets in our galaxy, and that galaxy is just one of 100 billion others hurtling through space. Astounding!

In comparison to this vast cosmos, our little Earth is no bigger than a pebble, and our individual lives no greater than a grain of sand. Yet according to Scripture, the God of the galaxies attends to each microscopic one of us in intimate detail. He saw us before we existed (Ps. 139:13–16); He watches us as we go about our days and listens for our every thought (vv. 1–6).

It can be hard to believe this sometimes. This tiny “pebble” has big problems like war and famine, and we can question God’s care in times of personal suffering. But when King David wrote Psalm 139 he was in the midst of crisis himself (vv. 19–20). And when Jesus said God counts each hair on our heads (Matt. 10:30), He was living in an age of crucifixion. Biblical talk of God’s caring attention isn’t a naïve wish. It is real-world truth.

The One who keeps the galaxies spinning knows us intimately. That can help us get through the worst of times.

Father God, Your eye is on me as much as it is on the stars in the sky. Thank You for Your love, Your care, Your attention.

The God of the cosmos cares for us intimately.

Ministérios Pão Diário - O hábito da preocupação
A Bíblia em um ano: Salmos 7–9, Atos 18

É difícil viver sem certo grau de ansiedade e preocupação, não é mesmo? Preocupamo-nos com tudo: casamento, filhos, contas, emprego, dinheiro, peso, saúde, se vamos casar ou não e até com as rugas que aparecem no rosto e no pescoço.

A preocupação, li em algum lugar, é um ato de meditação. Quando nos preocupamos, colocamos a nossa atenção e energia nos problemas e não no Senhor. Mantemos nossa mente e “conversa interior” nas dificuldades, e elas se tornam maiores do que na verdade são. Maiores do que as promessas do Senhor e até maiores do que o próprio Mestre.

Como quebrar este hábito de meditar negativamente? Uma pequena dica é: confronte cada problema com as promessas bíblicas e com o caráter do nosso bom e generoso Deus. A Bíblia nos diz que Abraão conseguiu manter uma atitude positiva, mesmo diante de grandes obstáculos: “E, sem enfraquecer na fé, embora levasse em conta o seu próprio corpo amortecido, sendo já de cem anos, e a idade avançada de Sara, não duvidou, por incredulidade, da promessa de Deus; mas, pela fé, se fortaleceu, dando glória a Deus” (Romanos 4:19,20).

E o Senhor Jesus disse que por mais ansioso que alguém esteja, não poderá acrescentar um simples segundo ao curso de sua vida. Medite nas Escrituras e memorize-as para quebrar e vencer este mau hábito que nos afasta de descansar no Senhor.

…não vos inquieteis com o dia de amanhã… —Mateus 6:34

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Từng Chi Tiết
Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Thi thiên 7-9; Công vụ 18

Chúa biết khi con ngồi, lúc con đứng dậy; từ xa Chúa biết rõ tư tưởng con. Thi thiên 139:2

Vũ trụ thật rộng lớn biết bao. Ngay lúc này mặt trăng đang quay quanh trái đất gần 2.300 dặm/giờ. Trái Đất đang quay quanh mặt trời 66.000 dặm/giờ. Mặt trời là một trong 200 tỷ ngôi sao cùng hàng nghìn tỷ hành tinh khác trong thiên hà, và thiên hà đó chỉ là một trong 100 tỷ cái khác vút qua không gian. Thật đáng kinh ngạc!

So với vũ trụ bao la này, Trái Đất nhỏ bé của chúng ta chẳng khác nào một viên sỏi và mỗi người chẳng khác nào một hạt cát. Tuy nhiên, Kinh Thánh cho biết rằng Chúa của hoàn vũ chăm sóc mỗi cá nhân nhỏ bé đến từng chi tiết. Ngài đã biết chúng ta từ trước khi chúng ta tồn tại (Thi 139:13-16); Ngài nhìn xem chúng ta sống động mỗi ngày và lắng nghe từng tư tưởng của chúng ta (c.1-6).

Đôi khi thật khó để tin điều này. “Viên sỏi” nhỏ xíu này lại gặp những nan đề lớn như chiến tranh và đói kém, và chúng ta nghi ngờ sự chăm sóc của Chúa trong những lúc phải chịu khổ một mình. Nhưng khi vua Đa-vít viết Thi Thiên 139, ông đang gặp khủng hoảng (c.19-20). Và khi Chúa Jêsus phán rằng Đức Chúa Trời đếm từng sợi tóc trên đầu của chúng ta (Mat. 10:30), Ngài đang sống trong thời đại mà người ta hành hình bằng việc đóng đinh trên thập tự giá. Lời Kinh Thánh nói về sự quan tâm chăm sóc của Đức Chúa Trời không phải là một ước ao ngây ngô. Đó là chân lý có thật trong thế giới này.

Đấng giữ cho các thiên hà vận hành là Đấng biết tường tận về chúng ta. Chính điều này có thể giúp chúng ta vượt qua những lúc tồi tệ nhất.

Lạy Chúa, mắt Ngài luôn đoái xem con như Ngài cũng chăm xem các ngôi sao trên trời. Cảm ơn Ngài luôn yêu thương, chăm sóc và đoái đến con.

Chúa của vũ trụ quan tâm chăm sóc chúng ta đến từng chi tiết.

Nuestro Pan Diario - Detalles íntimos
La Biblia en un año: Salmos 7–9; Hechos 18

Tú has conocido mi sentarme y mi levantarme; has entendido desde lejos mis pensamientos (v. 2).

El universo es increíblemente grandioso. La luna gira a nuestro alrededor a casi 3.700 kilómetros (2.300 millas) por hora. La Tierra gira alrededor del sol a 106.000 kilómetros (66.000 millas) por hora. El sol es una de 200.000 millones de estrellas y billones de planetas en nuestra galaxia, la cual es apenas una de entre 100.000 millones en el espacio. ¡Asombroso!

En comparación, nuestra pequeña Tierra es apenas una piedrita; y nuestra vida, un grano de arena. Sin embargo, según la Escritura, el Dios de las galaxias está pendiente de cada uno de nosotros, por más microscópicos que seamos. Nos vio antes de que existiéramos (Salmo 139:13-16); nos observa y escucha lo que pensamos (vv. 1-6).

A veces, esto puede ser difícil de creer. Esta «piedrita» tiene grandes problemas, como la guerra y el hambre, y podemos dudar del cuidado de Dios cuando sufrimos. Pero, cuando el rey David escribió el Salmo 139, estaba en medio de una crisis (vv. 19-20). Y cuando Jesús dijo que Dios cuenta nuestros cabellos (Mateo 10:30), vivía en una época de crucifixiones. Las palabras de la Biblia sobre el cuidado amoroso de Dios son verdades prácticas, no deseos ingenuos.

Aquel que mantiene las galaxias girando nos conoce íntimamente. Eso puede ayudarnos a superar los peores momentos.

Padre, gracias por tu amor, tu cuidado y tu atención.

El Dios del cosmos se interesa íntimamente por nosotros.

© 2017 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Jedes Detail
Die Bibel In Einem Jahr: Psalm 7–9; Apostelgeschichte 18

Ich sitze oder stehe auf, so weißt du es; du verstehst meine Gedanken von ferne. Psalm 139,2

Das All ist unglaublich groß. Genau jetzt dreht sich der Mond mit einer Geschwindigkeit von etwa 3700 Kilometern pro Stunde um die Erde. Die Erde kreist mit mehr als 100,000 Kilometern pro Stunde um die Sonne. Unsere Sonne ist einer von 200 Milliarden anderen Sternen und Billionen von anderen Kometen in unserem Sonnensystem und das ist nur eines von 100 Milliarden, die sich im All bewegen. Gewaltig!

Verglichen damit ist unsere kleine Erde nicht größer als ein Kieselstein und unser Leben nicht mehr als ein Sandkorn. Und doch kennt der Gott des Universums jedes mikroskopisch kleine Wesen von uns bis ins Detail. Er sah uns schon, ehe wir existierten (Ps. 139,13-16). Er wacht über uns in unserem Alltag und hört auf unsere Gedanken (V.1-6).

Das ist manchmal kaum zu glauben. Unser kleine Kugel hat große Probleme, wie etwa Kriege und Hungersnöte, und wenn es uns schlecht geht, fragen wir uns manchmal, ob es Gott nicht kümmert. Aber als David Psalm 139 schrieb, hatte er selbst Probleme (V.19-20). Und als Jesus sagte, Gott würde jedes Haar auf unserem Haupt zählen (Matth. 10,30), stand er kurz vor seiner Kreuzigung. Wenn die Bibel sagt, dass Gott uns sieht, ist das kein naives Wunschdenken, sondern gelebte Wahrheit.

Der Gott, der macht, dass die Sonne sich dreht, kennt uns genau. Das kann uns auch durch die schwersten Zeiten hindurchtragen.

Himmlischer Vater, dein Auge wacht über mir genauso wie über die Sterne am Himmel. Danke, dass du mich siehst, mich liebst und für mich sorgst.

Der Gott des Universums sorgt auch für uns.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Des détails intimes
Lisez : Psaume 139.1‑18
La Bible en un an : PSAUMES 7 – 9 et ACTES 18

Tu sais quand je m’assieds et quand je me lève, tu pénètres de loin ma pensée. V. 2

L’univers est d’une immensité étonnante. En ce moment, la Lune tourne autour de nous à environ 3700 km/h. Notre Terre tourne autour du Soleil à 106 000 km/h. Notre Soleil compte parmi les 200 milliards d’autres astres et les trillions d’autres planètes de notre galaxie. Et celle‑ci n’est qu’une parmi 100 milliards d’autres qui filent à vive allure dans l’espace. C’est stupéfiant !

Par comparaison avec ce vaste cosmos, notre petite Terre a la taille d’un galet et la vie de chacun de nous a celle d’un grain de sable. Pourtant, selon la Bible, le Dieu des galaxies veille sur la vie microscopique de chaque être humain jusque dans ses détails les plus intimes. Il nous voyait déjà avant même notre existence (PS 139.13‑16) ; il veille sur nous tout au long de la journée et de la nuit en tendant l’oreille à chacune de nos pensées (V. 1‑6).

Cela nous est parfois difficile à croire. Le minuscule « galet » qu’est notre vie doit affronter d’énormes problèmes comme la guerre et la famine, et nous pouvons nous interroger au sujet des soins de Dieu. Pourtant, lorsque le roi David a écrit le Psaume 139, il vivait lui‑même une crise (V. 19,20). Et lorsque Jésus a dit que Dieu comptait chacun des cheveux de notre tête (MT 10.30), il était au seuil de la Crucifixion. Ce que dit la Bible au sujet des tendres soins de Dieu ne constitue pas un voeu pieux, mais la pure vérité.

Celui qui veille à la rotation des galaxies nous connaît intimement. Or, cette réalité peut nous aider à traverser nos pires épreuves.

Le Dieu du cosmos veille intimement sur nous.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Він знає все
Читати: Псалом 138:1-8
Біблія за рік: Псалми 7−9 ; Дії 18

Ти знаєш сидіння моє та вставання моє, думку мою розумієш здалека. — Псалом 138:2

Всесвіт неймовірно великий. Місяць обертається навколо земної кулі зі швидкістю 3 700 км за годину. Наша Земля рухається навколо сонця зі швидкістю 106 000 км за годину. Сонце – одна з двохсот мільярдів зірок. А наша галактика – одна зі 100 мільярдів інших галактик, що розташовані у космічному просторі.

У порівнянні з величезним космосом, наша Земля не більша за маленький камінець. А життя кожної окремої людини – просто піщинка. Однак, як свідчить Святе Письмо, Той, Хто створив всі незчисленні галактики, знає найдрібніші подробиці життя кожного з нас. Господь бачив нас ще до нашого народження (Пс. 138:13-16). Він споглядає наше ходіння в житті; Йому відома кожна наша думка (Пс. 138:1-6).

В це іноді важко повірити. Люди мають великі проблеми: війни, голод тощо. І у хвилини страждань інколи ладні сумніватись у Божій турботі. Але коли цар Давид писав Псалом 138, то сам перебував у критичному становищі (Пс. 138:19-20). А в ті часи, коли людей розпинали на хрестах, Ісус навчав, що Бог знає кількість волосин на нашій голові. Отже, біблійні слова про Боже турботливе відношення до нас – то не наївна мрія, а істина реального життя.

Той, Хто тримає у купі всі галактики Всесвіту, знає нас особисто. Віра в це – велика допомога в найгірші часи нашого життя.

Отче, Твій погляд пильнує моє життя, як кожну зірку Всесвіту. Дякую за Твою любов, увагу й турботу.

Бог Всесвіту піклується про кожного з нас особисто.

Хлеб наш насущный - Личная забота
Читать сейчас: Псалом 138:1-18
Библия за год: Псалтирь 7–9; Деяния 18

Ты знаешь, когда я сажусь и когда встаю; Ты разумеешь помышления мои издали. — Псалом 138:2

Вселенная невероятно огромна. Прямо сейчас Луна вращается вокруг нас со скоростью около 3 700 км/ч. Наша Земля летит по орбите вокруг Солнца со скоростью 108 000 км/ч. Солнце – одна из 200 миллиардов звезд и многих сотен миллиардов планет в галактике Млечный Путь. А она, в свою очередь, – только одна из 100 миллиардов других, разбросанных по космосу. Уму непостижимо!

По сравнению с этим бескрайним космосом наша земля – крохотная песчинка, а мы сами – и вовсе ничто. И все же, согласно Библии, Бог вселенной уделяет каждому микроскопическому человеческому существу большое внимание. Он видел нас еще до рождения (Пс. 138:13-16). Он наблюдает за нами каждый день и знает все наши мысли (Пс. 138:1-6).

В это иногда трудно поверить. На этой «песчинке» много проблем, таких как война или голод, и мы иногда сомневаемся в Божьей заботе, особенно когда страдаем. Но Давид при написании Псалма 138 сам находился в глубоком кризисе (Пс. 138:19-20). А в то время, когда Иисус говорил, что Бог счел все волосы на наших головах, людей распинали на крестах. Библейская истина о Божьем заботливом внимании – не просто наивная мечта. Это вселенская истина.

Тот, Кто удерживает галактики на их местах, хорошо знает каждого из Своих детей. Пусть это поможет нам в трудные времена.

Отец и Бог, Твои глаза обращены ко мне, как и к небесным звездам. Благодарю Тебя за удивительную любовь, заботу и внимание.

Бог вселенной нежно заботится о нас.