Monday, July 17, 2017

The Daily Readings for MONDAY, July 17, 2017

St. Peter’s Church in Antioch on the Orontes
Opening Sentence

I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord." Psalm 122:1

Morning Prayer
Good Morning Heavenly Father, and thank You for the glory of the sun. And thank You for the health I have to get my duty done. I shall devote the hours of this golden day to You, by honoring Your Holy Name in everything I do. I will pursue my daily art without complaint or fear and spend my every effort to be friendly and sincere. I know there have been many days that I have whiled away. But this is one that I will try, to make Your special day. And so once more, Good Morning Heavenly Father. And please depend on me because I want to honor You for all eternity. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being, whose face is hidden from us by our sins, and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts: cleanse us from all our offenses, and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires, that with reverent and humble hearts we may draw near to you, confessing our faults, confiding in your grace, and finding in you our refuge and strength; through Jesus Christ your Son.

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 1 Samuel 18:5-16, 18:27-30
David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; as a result, Saul set him over the army. And all the people, even the servants of Saul, approved. As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the towns of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. And the women sang to one another as they made merry, "Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands." Saul was very angry, for this saying displeased him. He said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands; what more can he have but the kingdom?" So Saul eyed David from that day on. The next day an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand; and Saul threw the spear, for he thought, "I will pin David to the wall." But David eluded him twice. Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. So Saul removed him from his presence, and made him a commander of a thousand; and David marched out and came in, leading the army. David had success in all his undertakings; for the LORD was with him. When Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in awe of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David; for it was he who marched out and came in leading them. David rose and went, along with his men, and killed one hundred of the Philistines; and David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king's son-in-law. Saul gave him his daughter Michal as a wife. But when Saul realized that the LORD was with David, and that Saul's daughter Michal loved him, Saul was still more afraid of David. So Saul was David's enemy from that time forward. Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle; and as often as they came out, David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his fame became very great.

The Second Reading is taken from Acts 11:19-30
Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called "Christians." At that time prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine over all the world; and this took place during the reign of Claudius. The disciples determined that according to their ability, each would send relief to the believers living in Judea; this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 1:29-45
As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, "If you choose, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I do choose. Be made clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 25 Ad te, Domine, levavi
1   To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; my God, I put my trust in you; let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2   Let none who look to you be put to shame; let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
3   Show me your ways, O LORD, and teach me your paths.
4   Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.
5   Remember, O LORD, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting.
6   Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according to your love and for the sake of your goodness, O LORD.
7   Gracious and upright is the LORD; therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
8   He guides the humble in doing right and teaches his way to the lowly.
9   All the paths of the LORD are love and faithfulness to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
10   For your Name's sake, O LORD, forgive my sin, for it is great.
11   Who are they who fear the LORD? he will teach them the way that they should choose.
12   They shall dwell in prosperity, and their offspring shall inherit the land.
13   The LORD is a friend to those who fear him and will show them his covenant.
14   My eyes are ever looking to the LORD, for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
15   Turn to me and have pity on me, for I am left alone and in misery.
16   The sorrows of my heart have increased; bring me out of my troubles.
17   Look upon my adversity and misery and forgive me all my sin.
18   Look upon my enemies, for they are many, and they bear a violent hatred against me.
19   Protect my life and deliver me; let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
20   Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for my hope has been in you.
21   Deliver Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 9 Confitebor tibi
1   I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all your marvelous works.
2   I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing to your Name, O Most High.
3   When my enemies are driven back, they will stumble and perish at your presence.
4   For you have maintained my right and my cause; you sit upon your throne judging right.
5   You have rebuked the ungodly and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
6   As for the enemy, they are finished, in perpetual ruin, their cities plowed under, the memory of them perished;
7   But the LORD is enthroned for ever; he has set up this throne for judgment.
8   It is he who rules the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with equity.
9   The LORD will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in time of trouble.
10   Those who know your Name will put their trust in you, for you never forsake those who seek you, O LORD.
11   Sing praise to the LORD who dwells in Zion; proclaim to the peoples the things he has done.
12   The Avenger of blood will remember them; he will not forget the cry of the afflicted.
13   Have pity on me, O LORD; see the misery I suffer from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gate of death;
14   So that I may tell of all your praises and rejoice in your salvation in the gates of the city of Zion.
15   The ungodly have fallen into the pit they dug, and in the snare they set is their own foot caught.
16   The LORD is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are trapped in the works of their own hands.
17   The wicked shall be given over to the grave, and also all the people that forget God.
18   For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.
19   Rise up, O LORD, let not the ungodly have the upper hand; let them be judged before you.
20   Put fear upon them, O LORD; let the ungodly know they are but mortal.

Psalm 15 Domine, quis habitabit?
1   LORD, who may dwell in your tabernacle? who may abide upon your holy hill?
2   Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right, who speaks the truth from his heart.
3   There is no guile upon his tongue; he does no evil to his friend; he does not heap contempt upon his neighbor.
4   In his sight the wicked is rejected, but he honors those who fear the LORD.
5   He has sworn to do no wrong and does not take back his word.
6   He does not give his money in hope of gain, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
7   Whoever does these things shall never be overthrown.

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
Let me love you, my Lord and my God, and see myself as I really am - a pilgrim in this world, a Christian called to respect and love all whose lives I touch, those in authority over me or those under my authority, my friends and my enemies. Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor. Help me to forget myself and reach out towards others. Amen.

A Prayer for the Renewal of Life
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; 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.

In your hands by Hillsong

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

Closing Prayer

Oh Lord as I face creation
Let me see with eyes made clear
By Your promise of salvation,
Never to return to fear.

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 MONDAY, July 17, 2017

Let me love you, my Lord and my God, and see myself as I really am - a pilgrim in this world, a Christian called to respect and love all whose lives I touch, those in authority over me or those under my authority, my friends and my enemies. Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor. Help me to forget myself and reach out towards others. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, July 17, 2017

Romans 1:16 (NIV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Read all of Romans 1

Listen to Romans 1

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

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - Why Christians Need Each Other

That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
~ 1 John 1:3 (NKJV)

Have you ever been having a conversation with someone when you overheard your name being mentioned across the room? Did you notice how suddenly you started listening?

When we speak of God’s name, He listens. Malachi 3:16 says, “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.”

The phrase “the Lord listened and heard” could be translated “to prick the ear, to bend down, so as not to miss a single word.”

The Lord loves it when we talk about Him together. That is what it means to fellowship. Acts 2:42 tells us that the early church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship.” That word fellowship comes from the Greek word koinonia, which could be translated “fellowship,” “partnership,” or “communion.” And it even could be translated “to be generous.” So this word koinonia encompasses all those ideas. It is far more than socializing. It is where people get together to talk about the things of God.

Sometimes I will hear people use Jesus’ name as profanity. I’ll say, “Careful. He listens when you say His name.” Jesus listens when we say His name. He is paying attention. He also listens when His people speak of Him and fellowship around His name. He loves it when we talk about Him. He listens when we speak His name.

Fellowship is praying together. It is serving together. It is giving together. It is aging together. These are the fibers of fellowship. Fellowship with God and with His people go together. And if you find yourself out of fellowship with God, you will soon find yourself out of fellowship with other believers as well.

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.
Fellowship with God and with His people go together.

Un Dia a la Vez - Todo falla… ¡Dios no!

Dios es fiel, y [...] él les dará también una salida a fin de que puedan resistir.

Cada cierto tiempo, es común escuchar que hubo una falsa alarma en algún lugar. Esto indica que de seguro algo no andaba bien. Cuando la alarma se dispara en nuestro negocio o en nuestra casa, nos ponemos súper alertas. Ahora bien, ¿te imaginas cuando fallan las alarmas de un aeropuerto causando confusión y dejando a más de doce aviones en tierra por horas hasta recibir una orden oficial para seguir indicaciones? Eso fue lo que pasó en un aeropuerto de Estados Unidos. Gracias a Dios solo fue una falsa alarma.

Te puedo decir que a menudo Dios es una alarma en nuestra vida. Una alarma que no falla, ni se equivoca. Cuando nos da una señal de alerta, es porque hay peligro cerca. Lo lamentable es que a veces no escuchamos, y cuando nos damos cuenta, es demasiado tarde y viene el golpe.

Recuerda que Dios no quiere que tú y yo tropecemos, sino que seamos felices. Sin embargo, debemos reconocer que en muchas ocasiones nos gusta hacer lo que nos parece y no disgusta hacer lo que nos indica Dios.

Así que te recuerdo una vez más que todo falla, pero Dios no. Las alarmas de Dios para nuestra vida nos pueden evitar catástrofes que nos dolerán toda la vida.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE MERCIFUL

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
~ Matthew 5:7 (NIV)

As we in humility recognize our “poverty of spirit,” God in His mercy forgives and equips us. Having received mercy, we are expected to show it to others.

The biblical term merciful is related to the word for empathy, which means the ability to get right inside another person’s skin until we see things with his eyes, think things with his mind and feel things with his feelings. This is what Jesus did for us in His incarnation. Thus:
Blessed are those who empathize with others until they are able to see with the eyes of others, think with their thoughts and feel with their feelings. The one who does this will find others do the same for him or her and will know that God did this for them in Christ Jesus.
How do we see our non-Christian friends? Can we see Muslims, for example, as real people groping in the semi-darkness, under the mere glimmer of light that a crescent moon provides, thinking that is all the light there is?

As we see them, mercy would be an appropriate word to describe our feeling and attitude as well as actions toward them. Just as we would go to the aid of a blind man heading in the wrong direction, so mercy should similarly drive us to go after them and show those who are willing to listen, the way to more complete light.

If we are secure in the knowledge that Christ is the Sun of Righteousness, then we do not need to prove anything but patiently and gently show others the way.

A relatively young man decided to work for the Lord in China. His father was not a Christian and very strongly opposed him. The son decided to attend a series of Christian meetings in one of the areas where he was serving. His father opposed so strongly that they quarreled before he left for the meetings. Then the son suddenly died while he was at the meetings.

The Christians there prayed and showed much concern. They knew that the news of the death would be hard for the father, so they asked a doctor to be there just in case the father needed him. When the father arrived and saw the love of the Christians, he gave his life to the Lord.

RESPONSE: Today I will see others as Jesus sees them and I will empathize with them as though in their skin.

PRAYER: Lord, help grow closer to You so that I will act like You, forgiving others and being sympathetic.

Women of the Bible - Athaliah and Jehosheba


Her name means: "The Lord Is Great"

Her character: Granddaughter of Omri, one of Israel's most idolatrous and evil kings, she was the daughter of Ahab and most likely of Jezebel as well. She was the only woman to rule over Judah. While Ahab and Jezebel spread Baal worship in the northern kingdom of Israel, Athaliah was busy promoting it a few years later in the southern kingdom of Judah. Controlled by her need for power, she murdered her own family members to secure it.
Her sorrow: That her attempt to destroy the royal line of Judah failed.
Her joy: That her ruthlessness paid off, at least for a time, making her the ruler of Judah.
Key Scriptures: 2 Kings 11; 2 Chronicles 22; 23:11-21


Her name means: "The Lord Is Great"

Her character: A princess and the wife of the high priest, she was a courageous woman whose actions preserved the line of Judah, from which the Messiah would come.
Her sorrow: To have endured Athaliah's reign in Judah and to have suffered the loss of many of her nephews at the queen's hand.
Her joy: To have preserved the life of her brother's youngest son, Joash, so that he could become the rightful king of Judah.
Key Scriptures: 2 Kings 11:2; 2 Chronicles 22:11

Their Story

Wicked queens are the stuff of fairy tales. Remember the snow queen in the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, or the evil queen in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Athaliah was at least as bad as her fairy-tale counterparts, a queen who chilled the hearts of God's people by murdering her own grandsons and promoting Baal worship in the southern kingdom of Judah, just as her parents, Ahab and Jezebel, had promoted it in the north.

Athaliah married the king of Judah, thereby cementing an alliance between the northern and southern kingdoms. But after a few years he died and was succeeded by Athaliah's son, Ahaziah. In just a few months, Jehu, Jezebel's nemesis, slaughtered the new king.

After Queen Athaliah's husband and son were killed, she must have felt vulnerable and isolated, doubly so since her father Ahab's line had also been destroyed in Israel. Her paranoia and lust for power formed a toxic mixture, moving her to murder her own son's children to secure Judah's throne for herself. Indeed she may even have gloated that she, Baal's emissary, had snuffed out Judah's royal heirs, making it impossible for God to fulfill his promise of a future Messiah from David's line in the tribe of Judah.

For a few years, from about 841-835 bc, Athaliah reigned in Judah, promoting Baal worship and leading the people further and further from God. But right under her nose a conspiracy was brewing. Unknown to her, one of her grandsons still lived. Her own stepdaughter, Jehosheba, had hidden the infant, Joash, before the queen could murder him along with Ahaziah's other sons. Married to the high priest, Jehosheba risked her life by tucking the royal heir away in the temple for six years. Then, when the boy turned seven, her husband arranged a coup, crowning young Joash king.

As soon as Athaliah caught wind of the plot, she rushed to the temple, tearing her robes and screaming, "Treason! Treason!" But like her mother, Jezebel, before her, no one paid the slightest attention. Instead, Queen Athaliah was promptly seized and executed just outside the temple. As soon as the queen was dispatched, the people of Judah celebrated by destroying the temple of Baal along with its chief priest.

While the comparisons between Athaliah and Jezebel are all too obvious, their story reminds us of another that took place seven hundred years before. Egypt's Pharaoh, determined to destroy God's people, had ordered every male baby drowned in the Nile River. Like Pharaoh, hoodwinked by one of his own children (his daughter saved Moses and raised him as her own), Athaliah was fooled by her stepdaughter, Jehosheba. Once again a woman's courage and compassion helped to subvert evil and keep the promise alive.

Their Promise

God always wins. That's a pretty simplistic way of saying it, but it's true nonetheless. Even when people like Athaliah try to stomp out an entire family and put an end to God's plan for redemption, when people like the priests of Baal lead others to worship idols instead of the true God, God will always triumph in the end. The negative forces of our culture make us wonder where we're headed as a people. Many of our leaders show little integrity or morality, and dishonesty is overlooked in the workplace. Kindness is often the exception rather than the rule. But don't despair. This is not a battle God plans to lose. In the end, he will prevail!

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.

Girlfriends in God - July 17, 2017

Awkward Love

Today’s Truth

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, and live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Friend to Friend

They started talking about us the second we walked out the door. You could almost feel the anticipation in the room—no one wanted to shoo us out, but they were all waiting for us to leave so they could talk about us. We didn’t fit in. It was obvious.

Later, I asked my friend how long it took for people to start talking about us after we left. And as I suspected, it began as soon as the door had shut behind us. We laughed about that, she and I, because really, what else do you do?

Our friendship began when she started working for me. I hired her to help twice a month with some housework, and I had been praying for her long before she came into my life. My degree is in Spanish, and it turned out that my Spanish is way better than her English, so somewhere in the middle of all that, we built a friendship.

Lupe is my friend. But we come from and live in different worlds.

So the day she invited us to her house for her son’s birthday party, I knew that if I ever wanted to bridge the gap for her to come here, we would need to go there first. The reason is simple. If you really want to build a bridge, you have to take the first step to know if it will hold or not. When we are divided by different worlds, the gap won’t close until we make a move to close it.

I want to tell you that when we went, there wasn't a single second of awkward and that we were instantly treated as family. I want to tell you that they taught us how to salsa and we danced the night away under piñatas and twinkly lights in a big backyard talking and laughing and feeling more at home there than if we had stayed at home.

But I can't.

Even knowing the language, my brain can't keep up with the cacophony of thirty different voices at a party. So I awkwardly engaged one patient person at a time and translated for my husband as we went.

One of the ladies who works with Lupe said to me in Spanish, "Oh wow! I didn't expect to see you here.” I could hear a few people ask, "Who are the gringos? Why are they here?" We were welcomed for sure, and all made definite efforts to engage one another, but man, the gap was a wide one!

We weren't the first ones to leave, but when we did, Lupe insisted I take home some of her homemade posolé.

Lupe told me later that her friends were amazed we came. In fact she talked so long about how shocked they were that I discovered a deeper level of this truth: If we want to love people well, we must learn how to do so at the expense of our own comfort.

It's so much easier to talk about bridging gaps than it is to actually do it. But Lupe makes a way for me in her spaces, and I make a way for her in mine. And while we wear a path back and forth between our two worlds, I'm sure that eventually those present divisions will become part of the very things we value most about one another.

Engaging the awkward, out of place, not-knowing-what-to-say moments in which we step across our own discomfort and into love, those are the times that make a life. And when we start seeing people instead of their differences, I'm convinced we will see God more than we ever could have before.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank You that out of a love so great for us, You willingly walked through not only discomfort but also even pain. Give us opportunities Father to rejoice in that extravagant love and to work towards restoration, unity, and peace among one another. Thank You for Your creativity in making Your children unique, and Lord, I pray that we would see more of You as we celebrate the ways You have made us different from one another. Lord, make us more concerned with love than we are with our own comfort. Show us more of You as we learn to love one another well.
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Think of someone with whom you can forge a relationship simply by being willing to potentially feels out of place. Reach out, build a bridge, and see all the ways God will open your eyes more fully to Him.

More from the Girlfriends

Logan Wolfram would give you full access to her pantry if you lived next door. She is a plate-juggling mom and interior decorator turned author, speaker, and host of the Allume Conference. She is a passionate leader who desires to see women live fully in Christ. Logan is the author of Curious Faith; Rediscovering Hope in the God of Possibility and is currently working on her second book, set to release fall of 2018. Along with her husband, Jeremy, she divides most of her time between wrangling two inquisitive boys and a 175-pound dog named Titan. They reside in Greenville, South Carolina.

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Daily Devotion July 17, 2017 "Co-heirs of Christ's Incredible Salvation"

Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible.

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, Speaker of The Lutheran Hour

"Co-heirs of Christ's Incredible Salvation"

July 17, 2017

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.

Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible. It tells it like it is in Jesus Christ. Throughout this chapter you hear words like "no condemnation," "set free," "hope," "more than conquerors," all of it in and through Jesus Christ. Read it, memorize it. It's the power of God for your salvation and mine. One way that Paul describes a believer's new life in Christ is to call us "co-heirs" with Christ, sharing in His cross-earned, resurrection-delivered glory.

Co-heirs with Jesus -- that means we get to live eternal lives with Him, in His righteousness, in His joy, with His peace. Can you even imagine? Sometimes it's almost too wonderful to be believed. Other times, I think we dismiss the things of Christ as if the inheritances we have in this world are so much better.

It reminded me of an event and an ensuing question that happened in the life of golfer, Curtis Strange. It happened at the Masters, one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year. It happened on the Augusta National golf course -- one of the hardest golf courses to play, and it happened on "Amen Corner," in the midst of the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes where "amens" are often spoken after prayers are answered, in sometimes miraculous ways.

Curtis Strange stepped up to the tee box on the par 3 12th hole, teed the ball up, and hit a beautiful shot. It was flying directly at the flag stick on the green. When the ball hit the green, it began to roll straight towards the hole, and yes, incredibly, it dropped in the cup for a hole in one. The crowd went crazy with applause and cheering. Then Curtis Strange did an interesting thing. He leaned down, reached into the cup, picked up the ball, and he tossed it into the creek. Now the media went even crazier. With cameras on him and microphones, they asked him, "Why did you do that? Why didn't you keep it?" One person said, "You could have left it to your grandchildren."

I love his response. He said this: "I certainly hope that when I'm gone I have something better than a golf ball to leave to my grandchildren." Curtis Strange had much more to give his children and his grandchildren than a golf ball from the Masters. Sure, it was a hole in one. Sure, it was an exciting moment. But the love of a father, the love of a grandfather -- that would be infinitely more precious to those in his family.

Sometimes, I think that we are a bit foolish like those reporters that day. Sometimes we need straight talk that cuts through all the hype of this world and says, "There's something way more precious than this." That's what Paul is trying to tell us all today. In Christ, by the power of His Spirit, we are adopted into His family by faith; we are His children; we are His heirs. There's a love that God the Father has for you in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray you see how precious that really is for you today.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, sometimes we yearn for the things of this world so much that we denigrate or even dismiss what is precious from You. Give us faith to trust in the things that are eternal, the things You gift to all those who believe, the things that last. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional de 17 de Julio de 2017

Alimento Diario

Hasta que cinco años nos separen...

17 de Julio 2017

Le preguntaron: 'Entonces, ¿por qué Moisés mandó darle a la esposa un certificado de divorcio y despedirla?' Él les respondió: 'Moisés les permitió hacerlo porque ustedes tienen muy duro el corazón, pero al principio no fue así.'
~ Mateo 19:7-8 (RVC)

El año que viene, Pam y yo cumpliremos 50 años de casados.

Todos esos años juntos, como en todos los matrimonios, han estado marcados por momentos buenos y momentos malos, momentos felices y momentos tristes. El que aún nos mantengamos juntos se debe a la gracia del Señor, al amor de una maravillosa mujer, al apoyo de las buenas personas que nos rodearon y a ser conscientes que el divorcio nunca fue una opción.

Pero supongamos... sólo supongamos, que nuestro matrimonio nunca hubiera tenido todo ese apoyo. Esa pregunta fue formulada por Helen Goltz de Australia, quien considera que el matrimonio para toda la vida se ha convertido "en cosa del pasado".

¿Qué es lo que Helen propone? Ella sugiere que, así como tenemos contratos a plazo fijo para comprar propiedades, carros y seguros, deberíamos tratar lo mismo en el matrimonio. Helen piensa que las parejas deberían tratar de hacer del matrimonio un contrato renovable por cinco años. De esa manera, si alguno no es feliz, al finalizar el contrato podrían irse cada uno por su lado, o renovarlo por cinco años más.

Si bien suena algo extraño, no me sorprendería que en algunos años más alguien venga a proponer esa idea. Después de todo, Jesús no se sorprendió cuando los fariseos le dijeron que Moisés había permitido el divorcio por cualquier motivo. Jesús no se sorprendió, pero tampoco se impresionó, sino que defendió el matrimonio y la idea de Dios de que la unión voluntaria de un hombre y una mujer es para toda la vida. Él dijo: "Moisés les permitió hacerlo porque ustedes tienen muy duro el corazón, pero al principio no fue así".

Su respuesta puede ser aplicada a otras situaciones. Cada vez que el mundo dice que las Escrituras deben ser reemplazadas por una nueva moralidad, o por ninguna moralidad, nosotros, los que hemos sido redimidos por la sangre de Jesucristo, podemos decir: "Esa idea nació de un corazón endurecido, y no de la voluntad de Dios, porque lo que ellos proponen no es el camino que Dios quiere que su pueblo siga".

Aunque diciendo esto pueda que no nos haga tener un montón de simpatizantes, por lo menos sabrán cuál es nuestra posición: del lado del Señor, cuyo amor se muestra en la cruz, y no en un contrato de duración determinada.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, te doy gracias porque el compromiso con la humanidad que demostraste en Jesús no tiene límite ni es sólo por un tiempo, sino para siempre. Permite que mi vida esté igualmente comprometida con Él. En su 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 - Just Like Dad

The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19

Isn’t it endearing to see a child mimicking his parents? How often we’ve seen the young boy in a car seat, gripping his imaginary steering wheel intently while keeping a close eye on the driver to see what Daddy does next.

I remember doing the same thing when I was young. Nothing gave me greater pleasure than doing exactly what my dad did—and I’m sure he got an even bigger kick watching me copy his actions.

I would like to think God felt the same way when He saw His dearest Son doing exactly what the Father did—reaching out to the lost, helping the needy, and healing the sick. Jesus said, "the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does" (John 5:19).

We too are called to do the same—to “follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love” (Eph. 5:1–2). As we continue growing to be more like Jesus, may we seek to love like the Father loves, forgive like He forgives, care like He cares, and live in ways that please Him. It is a delight to copy His actions, in the power of the Spirit, knowing that our reward is the affectionate, tender smile of a loving Father.

Jesus, thank You for showing us the way to the Father. Help us to be more and more like You and the Father each day.

Our Daily Bread welcomes writer Leslie Koh! Meet Leslie and all our authors at

The Father gave us the Spirit to make us like the Son.

Ministérios Pão Diário - Manuseie com cuidado
A Bíblia em um ano: Salmos 18–19, Atos 20:17-38

Visitei Jacarta, na Indonésia, quando fui convidado como palestrante de uma conferência bíblica numa igreja daquela cidade. Antes do início do primeiro culto pela manhã, um dos anciãos locais pediu-me que lhe desse a minha Bíblia. Ele explicou que os anciãos eram responsáveis pela confiabilidade dos ensinamentos que eram dados à congregação, e que ele devolveria a minha Bíblia diante de toda a congregação. Essa era uma maneira tangível de mostrar para a família da igreja que a liderança me confiava o ministério da Palavra naquele dia.

Aquele costume era sério e encorajador. Recordou-me de que o privilégio de apresentar as verdades bíblicas às pessoas não é algo que se deve fazer de forma negligente. Também foi animador ver como os anciãos, na Indonésia, levavam a sério a responsabilidade pelos cuidados do rebanho.

Em Atos 20, lemos que Paulo se encontrou com os anciãos da igreja de Éfeso. Sendo responsável por esses líderes, o apóstolo advertiu-os do perigo de falsos mestres (vv.28,29) e da responsabilidade da liderança da igreja em ajudar a congregação a crescer no conhecimento da Palavra de Deus (v.32).

Não importa qual o nosso chamado, devemos manusear com cuidado a Palavra de Deus. E se assim fizermos, o povo de Deus crescerá espiritualmente.

Deus usa a Sua Palavra para transformar o Seu povo.

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Giống Cha
Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Thi thiên 18-19; Công vụ 20:17-38

Con không thể tự mình làm điều gì, nhưng chỉ làm điều Con thấy Cha làm; vì bất cứ điều gì Cha làm, Con cũng làm như vậy. Giăng 5:19

Thật đáng yêu biết bao khi thấy một đứa trẻ bắt chước bố mẹ mình! Chúng ta có lẽ vẫn thường thấy một cậu bé ngồi trong xe, chăm chú nắm chặt tay lái tưởng tượng, mắt dán nhìn để xem bố làm gì kế tiếp.

Tôi nhớ mình đã làm điều đó khi còn nhỏ. Không gì khiến tôi vui hơn là làm đúng những gì bố tôi làm—và tôi chắc rằng ông còn vui hơn khi nhìn tôi bắt chước những hành động của ông.

Tôi nghĩ Đức Chúa Trời cũng cảm thấy như vậy khi thấy Con yêu dấu của Ngài làm đúng những gì Cha đã làm—đến với những người hư mất, giúp đỡ người nghèo và chữa lành người bệnh. Chúa Jêsus phán: “Con không thể tự mình làm điều gì, nhưng chỉ làm điều Con thấy Cha làm; vì bất cứ điều gì Cha làm, Con cũng làm như vậy” (Giăng 5:19).

Chúng ta cũng được kêu gọi làm giống như vậy — “Vậy, anh em hãy trở nên những người bắt chước Đức Chúa Trời như các con yêu dấu của Ngài. Hãy bước đi trong tình yêu thương” (Êph. 5:1-2). Khi chúng ta tiếp tục tăng trưởng để giống Chúa Jêsus hơn, nguyện chúng ta sẽ yêu thương như Cha yêu thương, tha thứ như Ngài tha thứ, quan tâm như Ngài quan tâm và sống đẹp lòng Ngài. Thật vui khi noi theo những hành động của Ngài, bởi năng lực của Đức Thánh Linh, biết rằng phần thưởng của chúng ta là nụ cười trìu mến của Cha yêu thương.

Lạy Chúa Jêsus, cảm ơn Ngài đã chỉ cho chúng con thấy con đường đến với Đức Chúa Cha. Xin giúp chúng con mỗi ngày càng giống Ngài và giống Cha Thiên Thượng hơn.

Đức Chúa Cha ban Thánh Linh Ngài cho chúng ta để khiến chúng ta giống Con Ngài.

bởi Leslie Koh

Nuestro Pan Diario - Igual que Papá
La Biblia en un año: Salmos 18–19; Hechos 20:17-38

… todo lo que el Padre hace, también lo hace el Hijo igualmente (v. 19).

¿No es encantador ver a un hijo imitar a sus padres? Como el niñito sentado en un auto, que toma su volante imaginario con determinación y espía de reojo a su papá mientras este conduce, y hace lo mismo que él.

Recuerdo que yo hacía lo mismo cuando era pequeña. Nada me gustaba más que hacer exactamente lo mismo que mi papá… y estoy segura de que él disfrutaba aun más al verme copiar sus acciones.
Me gusta pensar que Dios el Padre sintió lo mismo al ver que su querido Hijo hacía exactamente lo que Él hacía: alcanzaba a los perdidos, ayudaba a los necesitados y sanaba a los enfermos. Jesús dijo: «No puede el Hijo hacer nada por sí mismo, sino lo que ve hacer al Padre; porque todo lo que el Padre hace, también lo hace el Hijo igualmente» (Juan 5:19).

Nosotros somos llamados a hacer lo mismo; a ser «imitadores de Dios como hijos amados», y a «[andar] en amor» (Efesios 5:1-2). A medida que vamos pareciéndonos más a Jesús, que podamos buscar amar como ama el Padre, perdonar como Él perdona, interesarnos como se interesa y vivir de manera que le agrade. Es un placer copiar en el poder del Espíritu lo que Dios hace, sabiendo que nuestra recompensa es la sonrisa afectuosa y dulce de un Padre amoroso.

Jesús, gracias por mostrarnos el camino al Padre. Ayúdanos a parecernos cada vez más a ti y al Padre.

El Padre nos dio al Espíritu para hacernos más parecidos al Hijo.

© 2017 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario

Unser Täglich Brot - Wie der Vater

Der Sohn kann nichts von sich aus tun, sondern nur, was er den Vater tun sieht; denn was dieser tut, das tut gleicherweise auch der Sohn. Johannes 5,19

Wie oft haben wir schon beobachtet, wie der kleine Junge im Auto so tut, als sitze er hinter dem Steuerrad, und dabei seinen Papa beobachtet, um jede Bewegung nachzumachen. Und wir finden das niedlich.

Ich weiß noch, wie ich das als Kind auch gemacht habe. Nichts hat mir größere Freude bereitet, als genau dasselbe zu tun wie mein Papa—und vermutlich hat er sich genauso über mich gefreut oder sogar noch mehr.

Ich stelle mir vor, dass es Gott genauso ging, als er seinem Sohn zusah, wie er tat, was der Vater tat—die Verlorenen suchte, den Bedürftigen half und die Kranken heilte. Jesus hat gesagt: „Der Sohn kann nichts von sich aus tun, sondern nur, was er den Vater tun sieht; denn was dieser tut, das tut gleicherweise auch der Sohn“ (Joh. 5,19).

Genauso sollen wir es auch machen—Gottes Beispiel folgen „als die geliebten Kinder und [lebt] in der Liebe, wie auch Christus uns geliebt hat“ (Eph. 5,1-2). Wenn wir Jesus ähnlicher werden wollen, wollen wir lernen, so zu lieben, wie der Vater liebt; vergeben wie er vergibt; uns um andere kümmern, wie er es tut; so leben, wie es ihm gefällt. Es ist eine Freude, ihn nachzuahmen, in der Kraft des Geistes, und zu wissen, dass wir mit dem zärtlichen, liebevollen Lächeln unseres Vaters belohnt werden.

Jesus, hab Dank, dass du uns den Weg zum Vater zeigst. Hilf uns, dir und dem Vater immer ähnlicher zu werden.

Der Vater hat uns den Geist gegeben, damit wir dem Sohn ähnlicher werden.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Comme papa
Lisez : Jean 5.17‑20 
La Bible en un an : PSAUMES 18 – 19 et ACTES 20.17‑38

[Le] Fils ne peut rien faire de lui même, il ne fait que ce qu’il voit faire au Père ; et tout ce que le Père fait, le Fils aussi le fait pareillement. V. 1

N’est‑il pas attachant de voir un enfant imiter ses parents ? Il nous arrive souvent de voir de jeunes garçons dans leur siège de voiture en train de s’imaginer au volant tout en gardant le conducteur à l’oeil pour voir ce que papa fera par la suite.

Je me rappelle en avoir fait autant lorsque j’étais enfant. Rien ne me plaisait davantage que d’imiter mon père. Et je suis certain que de me voir ainsi copier ses actions l’amusait encore plus que moi.
Je me plais à croire que Dieu en a éprouvé autant de voir son précieux Fils faire exactement ce que le Père faisait : secourir les gens perdus, venir en aide aux démunis et guérir les malades. Jésus a dit que « le Fils ne peut rien faire de lui‑même, il ne fait que ce qu’il voit faire au Père ; et tout ce que le Père fait, le Fils aussi le fait pareillement » (JN 5.19).

Nous aussi sommes appelés à faire de même : « Devenez donc les imitateurs de Dieu, comme des enfants bien‑aimés ; et marchez dans l’amour » (ÉP 5.1,2). Tandis que nous continuons de ressembler de plus en plus à Jésus, aspirons à aimer comme le Père aime, à pardonner comme il pardonne, à prendre soin d’autrui comme il le fait et à vivre d’une manière qui lui est agréable. C’est formidable de copier ses actions, par le pouvoir de l’Esprit, en sachant que cela nous vaudra pour récompense le sourire tendre et affectueux d’un Père bien‑aimé.

Le Père nous a donné l’Esprit pour nous rendre semblables au Fils.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Наслідування батька
Читати: Івана 5:17-20
Біблія за рік: Псалми 18−19 ; Дії 20:17-38

Син нічого робити не може Сам від Себе, тільки те, що Він бачить, що робить Отець; бо що робить Він, те так само й Син робить. — Івана 5:19

Хіба не викликає ніжні почуття маленька дитина, що намагається наслідувати своїх батьків? Скільки разів ми бачили маленьких хлопчиків на задньому сидінні в машині, що тримають уявний руль і не зводять при цьому очей зі свого батька – щоб бачити, що той робитиме далі.

Пригадую, що й сам таке робив, коли був малим. Ніщо не приносило мені більшого задоволення, як точне імітування того, що робив мій батько. І, гадаю, він отримував велике задоволення, споглядаючи це. Приємно думати, що Бог напевно відчував подібну радість і задоволення, коли бачив, як Його Син робить те ж саме, що й Він, – спасає грішників, допомагає нужденним, зцілює хворих. Ісус Сам сказав: “Син нічого робити не може Сам від Себе, тільки те, що Він бачить, що робить Отець; бо що робить Він, те так само й Син робить (Ів. 5:19).

Ми покликані наслідувати приклад Ісуса: “Будьте наслідувачами Богові, як улюблені діти, і поводьтеся в любові” (Еф. 5:1-2). Якщо дійсно бажаємо уподібнюватись Ісусу, то давайте будемо любити так, як наш Небесний Отець. Давайте так прощати, як Він прощає; піклуватися про інших так, як Він піклується. Це приносить справжню насолоду, коли ми імітуємо дії Христа в силі Святого Духа, бажаючи найвищої нагороди – ніжної, схвальної посмішки нашого Небесного Отця.

Ісусе, дякуємо за те, що вказуєш нам шлях до Отця. Допоможи нам щодня все більше уподібнюватись Тобі.

Отець дав нам Свого Духа, щоб зробити нас схожими на Свого Сина.

Автор Леслі Ко

Хлеб наш насущный - Как папа
Читать сейчас: Иоанна 5:17-20

Сын ничего не может творить Сам от Себя, если не увидит Отца творящего, ибо, что творит Он, то и Сын творит также. — Иоанна 5:19

Разве не интересно наблюдать, как дети повторяют поведение своих родителей? Например, как малыш в машине деловито крутит воображаемый руль, краем глаза следя за папой: что он будет делать дальше? Помню, как сам делал то же самое в детстве. Ничто не доставляло мне большего удовольствия, чем повторять все, что делал папа. Уверен, что и он веселился, глядя на мое «попугайское» поведение.

Мне хочется думать, что Бог также радовался, видя, как Его Единородный Сын делает то же, что делал Отец: ищет погибших, помогает нуждающимся, исцеляет больных. Иисус сказал: «Сын ничего не может творить Сам от Себя, если не увидит Отца творящего, ибо, что творит Он, то и Сын творит также» (Ин. 5:19).

И мы призваны к тому же. «Подражайте Богу, как дети возлюбленные, и живите в любви», – писал апостол Павел (Еф. 5:1-2). Возрастая в подобии Христу, будем стремиться любить, как любит Небесный Отец, прощать, как прощает Он, заботиться подобно Ему и вообще жить так, как желает Он. Нам самим понравится подражать Его делам в силе Святого Духа, зная, что наградой будет похвала от любящего Отца.

Господь Иисус, благодарим Тебя за то, что показал нам пути Отца. Помоги каждый день стараться быть похожими на Тебя и отражать Твой характер.

Отец дал нам Духа Святого, чтобы сделать похожими на Своего Сына.

автор: Лесли Ко