Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, August 3, 2017

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

Morning Prayer
I  will kindle my fire this morning in the presence of the holy angels of heaven; Without malice, without jealousy, without envy, without fear; without terror of any one under the sun, but the Holy Son of God to shield me.

God, kindle thou in my heart within a flame of love to my neighbour, to my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all; To the brave, to the coward, to the man in the street, O Son of the lovliest Mary, from the lowliest thing that lives to the Name that is highest of all. In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is nothing good in us. O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent; according to Your promises declared unto men in Christ Jesus our Lord. Grant that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; to the glory of His name. Amen

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 2 Samuel 4:1-12
When Saul's son Ishbaal heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. Saul's son had two captains of raiding bands; the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab. They were sons of Rimmon a Benjaminite from Beeroth-- for Beeroth is considered to belong to Benjamin. (Now the people of Beeroth had fled to Gittaim and are there as resident aliens to this day). Saul's son Jonathan had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled; and, in her haste to flee, it happened that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth. Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ishbaal, while he was taking his noonday rest. They came inside the house as though to take wheat, and they struck him in the stomach; then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. Now they had come into the house while he was lying on his couch in his bedchamber; they attacked him, killed him, and beheaded him. Then they took his head and traveled by way of the Arabah all night long. They brought the head of Ishbaal to David at Hebron and said to the king, "Here is the head of Ishbaal, son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life; the LORD has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring." David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, "As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life out of every adversity, when the one who told me, 'See, Saul is dead,' thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag-- this was the reward I gave him for his news. How much more then, when wicked men have killed a righteous man on his bed in his own house! And now shall I not require his blood at your hand, and destroy you from the earth?" So David commanded the young men, and they killed them; they cut off their hands and feet, and hung their bodies beside the pool at Hebron. But the head of Ishbaal they took and buried in the tomb of Abner at Hebron.

The Second Reading is taken from Acts 16:25-40
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God. When morning came, the magistrates sent the police, saying, "Let those men go." And the jailer reported the message to Paul, saying, "The magistrates sent word to let you go; therefore come out now and go in peace." But Paul replied, "They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves." The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. After leaving the prison they went to Lydia's home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 7:1-23
[The Tradition of the Elders] Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?" He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.' You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition." Then he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother' and, 'Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.' But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, 'Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban' (that is, an offering to God)-- then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this." Then he called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile." When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, "Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, "It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."

Morning Psalms
Psalm 70 Deus, in adjutorium
1   Be pleased, O God, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me.
2   Let those who seek my life be ashamed and altogether dismayed; let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and be disgraced.
3   Let those who say to me "Aha!" and gloat over me turn back, because they are ashamed.
4   Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation say for ever, "Great is the LORD!"
5   But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me speedily, O God.
6   You are my helper and my deliverer; O LORD, do not tarry.

Psalm 71 In te, Domine, speravi
1   In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be ashamed.
2   In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; incline your ear to me and save me.
3   Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; you are my crag and my stronghold.
4   Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
5   For you are my hope, O LORD God, my confidence since I was young.
6   I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother's womb you have been my strength; my praise shall be always of you.
7   I have become a portent to many; but you are my refuge and my strength.
8   Let my mouth be full of your praise and your glory all the day long.
9   Do not cast me off in my old age; forsake me not when my strength fails.
10   For my enemies are talking against me, and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together.
11   They say, "God has forsaken him; go after him and seize him; because there is none who will save."
12   O God, be not far from me; come quickly to help me, O my God.
13   Let those who set themselves against me be put to shame and be disgraced; let those who seek to do me evil be covered with scorn and reproach.
14   But I shall always wait in patience, and shall praise you more and more.
15   My mouth shall recount your mighty acts and saving deeds all day long; though I cannot know the number of them.
16   I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord GOD; I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.
17   O God, you have taught me since I was young, and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
18   And now that I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, till I make known your strength to this generation and your power to all who are to come.
19   Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens; you have done great things; who is like you, O God?
20   You have showed me great troubles and adversities, but you will restore my life and bring me up again from the deep places of the earth.
21   You strengthen me more and more; you enfold and comfort me,
22   Therefore I will praise you upon the lyre for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing to you with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.
23   My lips will sing with joy when I play to you, and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
24   My tongue will proclaim your righteousness all day long, for they are ashamed and disgraced who sought to do me harm.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 74 Ut quid, Deus?
1   O God, why have you utterly cast us off? why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
2   Remember your congregation that you purchased long ago, the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance, and Mount Zion where you dwell.
3   Turn your steps toward the endless ruins; the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
4   Your adversaries roared in your holy place; they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
5   They were like men coming up with axes to a grove of trees; they broke down all your carved work with hatchets and hammers.
6   They set fire to your holy place; they defiled the dwelling-place of your Name and razed it to the ground.
7   They said to themselves, "Let us destroy them altogether." They burned down all the meeting-places of God in the land.
8   There are no signs for us to see; there is no prophet left; there is not one among us who knows how long.
9   How long, O God, will the adversary scoff? will the enemy blaspheme your Name for ever?
10   Why do you draw back your hand? why is your right hand hidden in your bosom?
11   Yet God is my King from ancient times, victorious in the midst of the earth.
12   You divided the sea by your might and shattered the heads of the dragons upon the waters;
13   You crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him to the people of the desert for food.
14   You split open spring and torrent; you dried up ever-flowing rivers.
15   Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun.
16   You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.
17   Remember, O LORD, how the enemy scoffed, how a foolish people despised your Name.
18   Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; never forget the lives of your poor.
19   Look upon your covenant; the dark places of the earth are haunts of violence.
20   Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed; let the poor and needy praise your Name.
21   Arise, O God, maintain your cause; remember how fools revile you all day long.
22   Forget not the clamor of your adversaries, the unending tumult of those who rise up against you.

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
How excellent is your loving kindness, O God; therefore do the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. Satisfy me, and all who pray with me, with the goodness of your House throughout this day. In your light make us to see light. May your Holy Spirit be with us in prayer and praise, in speaking and hearing from your holy Word. And bless us with all spiritual blessings in Jesus Christ, for His name’s sake. Amen.

Prayer to Love Others
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom you have taught us that love is the greatest good; defend me this day against all the instincts that tempt me away from love of my fellow man. Let me put aside every sort of prejudice and bias against other people who are different from me: those who have a different gender, or skin color, or accent, or who have different ideas about politics or how to drive a car or any of the thousand other differences that Satan uses to drive a wedge between me and all the other people of earth.

Let me accept others for who they are. Let me know that they are your creatures, and that you love them just as you love me. Let me not be stingy with my affection or my support of others out of jealousy, or greed, or pridefulness; but look upon the work of others, and their well-being, as I look upon my own.

I am weak, Lord, and I often stumble and let myself lapse into irritation or anger at others; but through your Holy Spirit, all things are possible; and I ask that today you be with me at every moment, and fill me with the capacity for love that only your Spirit can bring to me. In the name of my Lord Christ I ask this, 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.

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou and Thou only, stay first in my heart,
Great God of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

Great God of Heaven, Thy victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Irish folk melody
(Gaelic) lyrics attributed to Dallan Forgaill, 8th Century
This version tr. by Mary Elizabeth Byrne and Eleanor H. Hull

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

Closing Prayer
I dedicate this day to you, mighty God. I pray that your Spirit will lift me up this day, and that your face may shine upon me all the day long, that I might do your will and lead a new life in Christ, reborn in the Spirit. 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, August 3, 2017

How excellent is your loving kindness, O God; therefore do the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. Satisfy me, and all who pray with me, with the goodness of your House throughout this day. In your light make us to see light. May your Holy Spirit be with us in prayer and praise, in speaking and hearing from your holy Word. And bless us with all spiritual blessings in Jesus Christ, for His name’s sake. Amen.

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, August 3, 2017

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Read all of 1 Samuel 16

Listen to 1 Samuel 16

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 - God Will Use Evil for Good

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
~ Genesis 50:20 (NASB)


Son of Jacob
Graduate with honors from the University of Hard Knocks
Director of Global Effort to Save Humanity Succeeded

How? How did he flourish in the midst of tragedy? We don't have to speculate. Some twenty years later the roles were reversed, Joseph as the strong one and his brothers the weak ones. They came to him in dread. They feared he would settle the score and throw them into a pit of his own making. But Joseph didn't. And in his explanation we find his inspiration.

In God's hands intended evil becomes eventual good.

Joseph tied himself to the pillar of this promise and held on for dear life. Nothing in his story glosses over the presence of evil. Quite the contrary. Bloodstains, tearstains are everywhere. Joseph's heart was rubbed raw against the rocks of disloyalty and miscarried justice. Yet time and time again God redeemed the pain. The torn robe became a royal one. The pit became a palace. The broken family grew old together. The very acts intended to destroy God's servant turned out to strengthen him.

“You meant evil against me,” Joseph told his brothers, using a Hebrew verb that traces its meaning to “weave” or “plait.”

“You wove evil,” he was saying, “but God rewove it together for good.”

God, the Master Weaver. He stretches the yarn and intertwines the colors, the ragged twine with the velvet strings, the pains with the pleasures. Nothing escapes His reach. Every king, despot, weather pattern, and molecule are at His command. He passes the shuttle back and forth across the generations, and as He does, a design emerges. Satan weaves; God reweaves.
Lord, let me always see how good might be brought out of evil. Amen.
~ from “You'll Get Through This” by Max Lucado

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Seeking God?
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relationship with Jesus Christ.

Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Un Dia a la Vez - La unción

Pero tenemos este tesoro en vasos de barro, para que la excelencia del poder sea de Dios, y no de nosotros.

Cuando uno llega a los caminos de Dios, empieza a escuchar ciertas palabras que no conocemos y que a menudo repetimos, sin tener idea.

¿Qué es la unción? No es importante solo conocer el significado de la palabra como tal, sino también el modo de manifestarse en nuestras vidas.

La unción, según la describe la misma Biblia, es Dios haciendo cosas en la gente que solo Él puede hacer y que lo lleva a cabo por medio de nosotros, pero con su poder. A menudo vemos pastores y líderes que hacen cosas que solo son posibles con el poder de Dios y ahí es cuando decimos: «Esa persona tiene unción». El significado en la Biblia de la unción es «derramar, esparcir sobre algo». Mediante la unción Dios consagra al ungido para una función en particular dentro de sus propósitos y lo capacita para el servicio. Por lo tanto, Dios es el que prepara a esas personas.

Mi consejo es que no cuestiones cuando veas personas haciendo cosas que te sorprenden porque es Dios en ellas. Ahora bien, no todo el mundo tiene el poder para hacerlo. Hay muchas iglesias en las que se manipula a la gente y no hay ninguna unción, sino un montaje. Sé que es duro, pero es la verdad. Muchas iglesias usan el nombre de Dios para hacer cosas que Él no aprueba o que sencillamente no son su voluntad. Por ejemplo, una rosa, un manto o ciertos rituales que se apartan de la cobertura de nuestro Dios. Ten mucho cuidado con la iglesia que escoges y con lo que sucede allí dando por sentado que se hace en el nombre de Dios.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - FLEEING PERSECUTION

When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.

One of the clear biblical responses to persecution is to flee. But it is not the only response. Thus it is imperative that the persecuted believer is sure that his running away is in the will of God. History is full of examples of Christians who relocated because of religious persecution.

The early Christians in Jerusalem were not obeying Jesus’ orders in Acts 1:8 (evangelize to the ends of the earth) so God allowed an Acts 8:1 (persecution) to send them on their way. The original text indicates the persecution accomplished the will of God for as they scattered abroad, they went “gossiping” the gospel (Acts 8:4). The first meaning of the word “gossip” was “to chat” or “rehearse.” The early Christians, when scattered by persecution, could not help but repeat the glorious message of the gospel to everyone they met.

The Apostle Paul left Damascus over the wall in a basket when a life threat was discovered early in his ministry. He was not just trying to avoid persecution, but he knew it was not yet God’s timing for his life and ministry to end. That occurred years later in Rome.

Today an Egyptian Christian leader is in hiding because he has the highest price on his head—four times more than Osama Bin Laden ever had. Zakaria Botross’ entire life story is that of defying death. The total price for his elimination (a fatwa), at last report, was one hundred million dollars. This is because his ministry to Muslims is so challenging, effective and productive. If his arguments cannot be countered then his voice must be silenced.

He was one of the most striking figures of the Coptic Orthodox Church. In 1964 he had a conversion experience which changed the direction of his ministry to thousands of people. Not only did Father Zakaria preach for conversions to Christ and to strengthen believers, he also effectively rebutted accusations against Christianity made by Islamic leaders. He is a scholar of ancient Arabic and knows the Koran and the Hadith (Islamic traditions) so thoroughly that Islamic scholars find it difficult to refute his teaching or counter his challenges.

His zealous activities could not help but attract the notice of the authorities of the State. He was removed from his church. Twice he experienced imprisonment for ministering to Muslims and leading them to faith in Jesus. He was accused of the ultimate crime, evangelizing Muslims and thereby inciting religious factionalism. Then he was deported and exiled from Egypt. His subsequent ministry in Australia and the UK was successful but not with everyone’s approval.

Today as an elderly senior, he lives in hiding in the West because more than sixty million people—most are Muslims—watch his satellite TV programs and visit his website. Countless millions across the Arabic speaking world are turning to Christ annually because of his ministry.

Like the Apostle Paul, Father Zakaria runs and hides, not because he is afraid of dying, but by defying death has been able to have the most effective ministry in the world to Muslim people.

RESPONSE: Today I will resolve to only run from persecution when I know it is the will of God.

PRAYER: Pray for leaders like Zakaria Botross who have to live in hiding because of their effective ministry for the Lord and His church.

NIV Devotions for Men - Nothing but a Number

Joshua 13:1–7
Recommended Reading: Genesis 6:5—9:17 (especially 7:6); Luke 2:36–38

Japanese mountain climber Yuichiro Miura reached the summit of Mount Everest at age 70. George Brunstad was also 70 when he swam the English Channel. Naval officer Grace Hopper became the first female rear admiral of the United States Navy when she was 79. Margaret Haggerty completed her quest to run a marathon on each of the seven continents when she was 84.

If stories like these teach us anything, it’s that senior adults are capable of amazing things.

That was certainly true of Joshua. Even though he was probably nearing the century mark, God had a plan for him. Age didn’t matter to God. Rather than telling Joshua to rest, retire or step aside for a younger replacement, God instructed him to get to work.

Perhaps we should take a cue from God in our attitude toward older adults. From an early age most of us were taught to respect our elders. However, too often we confuse politeness for respect. What’s the difference? Politeness might include offering a hand to senior adults when they struggle with steps or making awkward small talk with aging relatives at family gatherings. Respect, however, would include realizing that with their years of challenges and experiences these adults are a rich, God-given resource.

In this age of politically correct labels, perhaps a better name for senior citizens is “ultra-experienced adults.” God entrusted Joshua with an important duty a quarter century after Joshua reached retirement age because of his vast military experience and knowledge.

Think of the older adults you know. How does God want to use them in your life? What experiences of theirs might benefit you? What life lessons have they learned that might keep you from making a bad decision? And what might you be able to learn from hearing their stories and asking for their advice?

To Take Away
  • How would you describe your attitude toward senior adults?
  • Think of two or three seniors you know. What might getting to know them better add to your life?
  • What steps can you take this week to build a mutually beneficial relationship with an older adult?

Girlfriends in God - August 03, 2017

A Love That Meets You In The Lonely Places

Today’s Truth

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
~ Psalm 90:14 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

I’m needy when it comes to love. Remember that game Hungry Hungry Hippos? Well, I’m pretty much Hungry Hungry Gwenno. (Don’t remember that game? Google it and then buy it for your four-year-old nephew, neighbor, or grandkid. You’ll thank me.)

It seems our old friend Moses was a bit of a hungry hippo too. In Psalm 90 he asked God to fill him and God’s people full of love:
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (v. 14).
Love this! Note that Moses connected the love of God with a satisfaction that put a song in his heart and a skip in his step.

Yes. I want this too. So my prayer each morning becomes, Satisfy me with Your love today, Lord. Fill me with Your joy and gladness, and lead my actions to sing of You.

As I pray this, God’s companionship meets my loneliness.

His grace overwhelms my grump.

His joy trumps my anger.

His provision satisfies my need.

David recognized that he needed God’s all-satisfying love too. He celebrated it ... was desperate for it ... was responsive to it. Look at what he penned in the familiar words of Psalm 63:
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (vv. 1–5)
I see my own heart reflected in David’s words and realize that when I’m hankering for a hunk of love, my longings are best met in the arms of my Lord. His is the love of power and glory. His love is “better than life.” And, like David, I choose to respond to His love with worship. My lips will glorify Him. I will lift up my hands. I will praise the all-worthy One. In doing so, my soul is secure.


Ultimately I experience the satisfaction of God’s love through Jesus. God’s perfect love compelled Him to sacrifice His Son to bridge the chasm of death between His holiness and my humanness. His is the love that holds, the love that heals, the love that refines, the love that calls my waywardness back to purity with kindness, the love that is always with me, that rejoices over me with singing and takes “great delight” in me (Zeph. 3:17).

This sacred, scarlet love of Jesus is the only water that can quench the desperate longings of my thirsty soul. If I want all the love God has for me, my feeble hands must reach for the ones that were pierced for my transgressions.

Every day.

When the sun shines.

When the storm screams.

I find God’s love when I reach out to Jesus.

His is the only love that satisfies.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, You are perfect love ... and all that my soul longs for. When I’m dizzy with discontent, please remind me that Yours is the love that satisfies.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Psalm 86:15. What five words or phrases are used to describe God in this verse? How similar or different are these from the way you perceive God right now? Write a responsive prayer in your journal or on the wall of my blog.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s message is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It ALL.

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LHM Daily Devotion - August 3, 2017 "A Beautiful Picture"

One of the most famous photographs coming out of World War II...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"A Beautiful Picture"

August 3, 2017

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
~ John 3:16 (ESV)

One of the most famous photographs coming out of World War II was taken by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945. The picture shows six U.S. Marines placing our flag on the top of Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi. The photograph won the Pulitzer Prize for photography, was used in the 7th War Loan Drive, graced the covers of countless newspapers and magazines, and served as inspiration in the creation of the Marine Corp Memorial at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia.

That's a lot of mileage for a single photograph.

Recently, I saw another photograph. In many ways it differs from Rosenthal's picture. This photo was taken in a time of peace and not of war. The photo will not raise a ton of money, nor will it ever appear on any magazine covers. The greatest difference is this: while Rosenthal's photo shows men putting up the flag, this picture shows men taking it down.

Still, there is a moving similarity between the pictures. Let me describe the photo for you.

The picture, taken by Josh Edelson, shows some California firefighters who had been assigned the job of protecting 50 homes from a wildfire. In the background you can see the flames coming over the top of a hill. What you can't see are the propane tanks that were blowing up and the power lines which were falling. Amazingly, the firefighters are not looking at the fire; their eyes are fixed upon an American flag, which had been left flying from a home's second-floor balcony.

The photographer said the firefighters spotted "Old Glory," spoke together for a second, and then climbed up to remove the flag to a place of safety.

So there you have it: two immensely moving photos of men with flags. With many differences, these pictures move us because of something they have in common: they both recognize that some things are important; some things are worth our time, and some things are worth dying for.

Similarly, when the Lord looks at us, I think He feels the same way. Read through Scripture and you will see that He thinks we are important, worthy of His time and, yes, even worth dying for.

Now it's true there were no photographs taken at the Bethlehem stable or the site of Jesus' crucifixion at Jerusalem. Even so, the Gospel paints a beautiful picture showing God's commitment to rescuing His lost and condemned children.

And although no cameramen were posted outside the Savior's borrowed grave, the events of Resurrection Sunday have changed this sinful world. More importantly, the resurrection of the Redeemer says His work has been completed and for those who are brought to faith, there is forgiveness and life eternal.

All of which makes for a most beautiful picture, indeed.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, those who stood at the foot of Your cross were horrified by the injustice of the occasion. There is no doubt it was a terrible event. Still, we who have seen You in the word-pictures of the Gospels, rejoice in Your sacrifice which forgives and saves. May others join us in seeing Your love. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional de 03 de Agosto de 2017

Alimento Diario


03 de Agosto 2017

El ladrón no viene sino para hurtar, matar y destruir; yo he venido para que tengan vida, y para que la tengan en abundancia.
~ Juan 10:10 (RVC)

George Horn, de 48 años de edad, es un hombre excepcional, y esto no es un cumplido.

Un día, George entró en una Iglesia Católica en la Florida, fue hasta el altar, y tomó el crucifijo... pero no para adorarlo. No. George utilizó el crucifijo para forzar la caja de donaciones en la cual los feligreses depositan ofrendas por las velas que encienden.

No conforme con llevarse solamente el dinero de las ofrendas, George también saqueó la caja de donaciones para los pobres.

Para mí George es excepcional: no tiene problema alguno con robarle a los pobres, al Señor, o a cualquiera en general. George ha demostrado ser culpable de cometer un acto voluntario de profanación e impureza.

Por supuesto que George no está solo. Las personas le roban al Señor constantemente.
  • Si bien no son captados en video de una cámara de vigilancia, como fue el caso de George, ni tampoco dejan evidencia de huellas digitales o ADN, igual le roban al Señor. ¿Cómo?Al no darle la devoción que le corresponde al Creador.
  • Al no agradecerle al Salvador por su sacrificio, muerte y resurrección.
  • Al no vivir en agradecimiento por todo lo que el Señor nos da.

Efectivamente, mucha gente le roba al Señor. Y eso está mal. Nosotros, que hemos sido redimidos por el Cristo, necesitamos darle gracias y adorarle; necesitamos servir y obedecer a nuestro Señor.

Si hacemos estas cosas, también podemos ser excepcionales... pero en una forma buena y que Dios aprueba.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, te pido que mi vida sea excepcional. Que esté excepcionalmente agradecido por el amor excepcional que nos has demostrado en el sufrimiento y sacrificio de Jesús. Y que el perdón y la salvación que él ha ganado sean una fuente de júbilo excepcional. 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 - Peace and Trust
Bible in a Year: Psalms 63–65; Romans 6

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

When I was six years old I rode a roller coaster for the first time with my older brothers. As soon as we hit a turn at a high speed I started to yell: “Stop this thing right now! I want to get off!” Of course the roller coaster didn’t stop, and I had to “white knuckle” it, hanging on tight for the rest of the ride.

Sometimes life can feel like an unwanted roller coaster ride, with “downhill” drops and hairpin curves we never see coming. When unexpected difficulties occur, the Bible reminds us that our best recourse is to place our trust in God. It was in a tumultuous time when invasion threatened his country that the prophet Isaiah, inspired by the Spirit, discerned this powerful promise from the Lord: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isa. 26:3).

The peace our Savior gives us as we turn to Him “transcends all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). I will never forget the words of a woman who was struggling with breast cancer. After a group from our church prayed for her one evening, she said, “I don’t know what will happen, but I know that I’ll be okay, because the Lord was here with us tonight.”

Life will have its difficulties, but our Savior, who loves us more than life, is greater than them all.

Lord, help me to trust in You so that I may live in peace.

Jesus is our peace.

Ministérios Pão Diário - Alimentador de esquilos
Leia: Salmo 65
A Bíblia em um ano: Salmos 63–65, Romanos 6

Coroas o ano da tua bondade; as tuas pegadas destilam fartura. v.11

Anos atrás, coloquei um alimentador de esquilos numa árvore, a alguns metros da nossa casa. É uma peça simples — duas tábuas e um prego no qual se prende uma espiga de milho. E desde então, todas as manhãs, um esquilo vem desfrutar da refeição do dia. É um animal bonito — preto com a barriga redonda acinzentada.

Sento-me na varanda dos fundos, pela manhã, e o observo enquanto come. O animalzinho arranca cada grão da espiga, segura-o com as mãos, vira-o e come o que está dentro do grão. No fim do dia, não sobram grãos, somente uma pequena e arrumada pilha de sobras de cascas debaixo da árvore.

Apesar dos meus cuidados por ele, o esquilo tem medo de mim. Quando me aproximo, ele foge, refugia-se numa árvore, grita quando chego muito perto. Ele não sabe que sou eu que providencio a comida para ele.

Algumas pessoas agem assim com Deus, e fogem dele, com medo. Não reconhecem que Ele as ama e provê ricamente para que desfrutem de tudo (Salmo 65:11).

Henry Scougal, um pastor escocês que viveu no século 17, escreveu: “Nada tem mais poder de atrair nossas afeições do que saber que somos amados por aquele que é inteiramente amoroso […]. Isso deve nos surpreender e alegrar; e deve afastar o nosso medo e amolecer os nossos corações.” O amor de Deus é o amor perfeito que “expulsa o medo” (1 João 4:18).

Seu amoroso Pai celestial nunca tira os olhos de você.

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Bình An và Tin Cậy
Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Thi Thiên 63–65; Rô-ma 6

Ta để sự bình an lại cho các con. Ta ban sự bình an của Ta cho các con. Sự bình an Ta cho các con không giống như thế gian cho. Lòng các con chớ bối rối và đừng sợ hãi. Giăng 14:27

Lúc sáu tuổi, tôi được chơi tàu lượn trên không với các anh lần đầu tiên. Khi chiếc tàu lướt nhanh đến một khúc ngoặt, tôi bắt đầu hét lên: “Dừng lại ngay đi! Em muốn xuống!” Đương nhiên là chiếc tàu cứ lướt tới, và tôi đã phải “bám thật chặt,” dựa người sát vào ghế cho đến khi kết thúc.

Cuộc đời đôi lúc cũng giống như chuyến tàu lượn trên con đường gập ghềnh qua những “con dốc” đứng và những chỗ quanh quẹo gấp khúc mà chúng ta không bao giờ lường trước được. Khi khó khăn bất ngờ ập đến, Kinh Thánh nhắc chúng ta rằng cách tốt nhất là đặt lòng trông cậy nơi Chúa. Chính trong lúc hỗn loạn trước nạn ngoại xâm, tiên tri Ê-sai được Thánh Linh thần cảm đã nhận được lời hứa đầy quyền năng từ Chúa: “Người nào để tâm trí mình nương cậy nơi Chúa thì Ngài sẽ gìn giữ người trong sự bình an trọn vẹn, vì người tin cậy Ngài” (Ês. 26:3).

Khi chúng ta tìm đến Cứu Chúa, Ngài sẽ ban cho chúng ta sự bình an “vượt trên mọi sự hiểu biết” (Phil. 4:7). Tôi không quên được lời tâm sự của một phụ nữ đang tranh chiến với bệnh ung thư vú. Một buổi tối nọ, sau khi các tín hữu trong hội thánh cầu nguyện cho cô, cô chia sẻ: “Tôi không biết điều gì sẽ xảy ra, nhưng tôi biết rằng tôi sẽ ổn thôi, bởi vì Chúa đang hiện diện với chúng ta tối nay.”

Cuộc đời sẽ có những khó khăn, nhưng Cứu Chúa chúng ta, Đấng yêu thương chúng ta hơn mạng sống mình, là Đấng vĩ đại hơn tất cả.

Lạy Chúa, hôm nay xin giúp con tin cậy nơi Ngài, để sống và kết quả trong sự bình an Ngài ban.

Chúa Jêsus là sự bình an của chúng ta.

Nuestro Pan Diario - Paz y confianza
La Biblia en un año: Salmos 63–65; Romanos 6

La paz os dejo, mi paz os doy […]. No se turbe vuestro corazón, ni tenga miedo (Juan 14:27).

Cuando tenía seis años, subí por primera vez a una montaña rusa con mis hermanos mayores. En cuanto llegamos a un giro a gran velocidad, rompí a gritar: «¡Detengan esto ahora mismo! ¡Quiero bajarme!». Por supuesto, la montaña rusa no se detuvo, y tuve que aguantarme hasta que terminó el recorrido.

A veces, la vida puede parecer un recorrido no deseado en una montaña rusa, con caídas «en picado» y curvas cerradas que no anticipamos. En esos casos, la Biblia nos recuerda que nuestro mejor recurso es confiar en Dios. Cuando su país estaba bajo amenaza de invasión, el profeta Isaías, inspirado por el Espíritu, entendió esta poderosa promesa del Señor: «Tú guardarás en completa paz a aquel cuyo pensamiento en ti persevera; porque en ti ha confiado» (Isaías 26:3).

La paz que nuestro Salvador nos da «sobrepasa todo entendimiento» (Filipenses 4:7). Nunca olvidaré las palabras de una mujer que luchaba contra el cáncer de mama. Después de que un grupo de nuestra iglesia tocó música para ella una noche, la mujer dijo: «No sé qué sucederá, pero estaré bien, porque el Señor estuvo con nosotros esta noche».

La vida tendrá sus dificultades, pero nuestro Salvador, quien nos ama infinitamente, es más grande que todas ellas.

Señor, ayúdame a confiar en ti hoy, para poder vivir y fortalecerme con la paz que tú das.

Jesús es nuestra paz.

Por jb

Unser Täglich Brot - Friede und Vertrauen
Bible in a Year: Psalm 63–65; Römer 6

Den Frieden lasse ich euch, meinen Frieden gebe ich euch. Nicht gebe ich, wie die Welt gibt. Euer Herz erschrecke nicht und fürchte sich nicht. Johannes 14,27

Mit sechs Jahren nahmen mich meine älteren Brüder zum ersten Mal mit auf eine Achterbahn. Schon als wir mit hohem Tempo in die erste Kurve gingen, schrie ich: „Halt! Haltet sofort an! Ich will aussteigen!“ Natürlich hielt die Bahn nicht an und ich klammerte mich für den Rest der Fahrt an den Haltegriffen fest, bis mir die Hände weiß wurden.

Manchmal kann das Leben uns vorkommen wie eine unerwünschte Fahrt auf der Achterbahn. Völlig unvorhersehbar geht es plötzlich bergab oder um eine scharfe Kurve. Die Bibel sagt uns, dass es bei unerwarteten Problemen unsere beste Hilfe ist, wenn wir unser Vertrauen auf Gott setzen. In einer bewegten Zeit, als sein Land von Feinden bedroht war, erhielt der Prophet Jesaja durch Gottes Geist die gewaltige Zusage: „Wer festen Herzens ist, dem bewahrst du Frieden; denn er verlässt sich auf dich“ (Jes. 26,3).

Der Friede, den der Herr uns gibt, wenn wir uns ihm zuwenden, ist „höher als alle Vernunft“ (Phil. 4,7). Nie werde ich die Worte einer Frau vergessen, die an Brustkrebs erkrankt war. Nachdem eine Gruppe unserer Gemeinde eines Abends für sie gebetet hatte, sagte sie: „Ich weiß nicht, was kommt. Aber ich weiß, dass es gut wird, weil der Herr heute hier bei uns war.“

Im Leben gibt es Probleme, aber unser Erlöser, der uns mehr liebt als das Leben, ist größer als sie alle.

Lieber Herr, hilf mir, dir heute zu vertrauen, damit ich leben und den Frieden erfahren kann, den du schenkst.

Jesus ist unser Friede.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Paix et confiance
Lisez : Ésaïe 26.1-9
La Bible en un an : Psaumes 63 – 65 et Romains 6

Je vous laisse la paix, je vous donne ma paix. Je ne vous donne pas comme le monde donne. Que votre cœur ne se trouble point, et ne s’alarme point. Jean 14.27

À l’âge de six ans, j’ai fait pour la première fois une balade en montagnes russes avec mes frères aînés. Dès que nous avons pris un virage à vive allure, je me suis mis à crier : « Arrêtez ça tout de suite ! Je veux débarquer ! » Bien entendu, cela ne s’est pas produit, et j’ai dû subir cette expérience affolante jusqu’à la fin, cramponné de toutes mes forces à la voiturette.

Il arrive parfois que la vie nous semble être une virée en montagnes russes, avec des descentes abruptes et des virages en épingle auxquels nous ne nous attendions pas. Lorsque des difficultés surgissent soudain devant nous, la Bible nous rappelle que le mieux consiste à mettre notre foi en Dieu. À une époque tumultueuse où l’on menaçait d’envahir son pays, le prophète Ésaïe, inspiré par l’Esprit, a discerné cette puissante promesse émanant du Seigneur : « À celui qui est ferme dans ses sentiments tu assures la paix, la paix, parce qu’il se confie en toi » (ÉS 26.3).

La paix que notre Sauveur nous procure lorsque nous nous tournons vers lui « surpasse toute intelligence » (PH 4.7). Je n’oublierai jamais ce que m’a dit un soir une femme atteinte du cancer après qu’un groupe de gens de mon Église a prié pour elle : « J’ignore ce qui se produira, mais je sais que tout ira bien pour moi, parce que le Seigneur était là parmi nous ce soir. »

La vie comporte son lot de difficultés, mais notre Sauveur, qui nous aime plus que la vie, les transcende toutes.

Jésus est notre paix.

© 2017 Ministères NPQ

Хліб Наш Насущній - Мир та довіра
Читати: Ісаї 26:1-9
Біблія за рік: Псалми 63−65 ; Римлян 6

Зоставляю вам мир, мир Свій вам даю! Я даю вам не так, як дає світ. Серце ваше нехай не тривожиться, ані не лякається! — Івана 14:27

У шість років я вперше зі своїми братами покатався на американських гірках. Але як тільки ми рвонули вперед на великій швидкості, я почав волати: “Зупиніть це! Я хочу вийти!” Звісно, ніхто американську гірку не зупиняв, і я змушений був терпіти цей жах до кінця, вчепившись побілілими пальцями за поручні.

Інколи життя нагадує таке небажане катання на американських гірках зі стрімкими падіннями вниз і крутими віражами. Коли нас раптово спіткають різні проблеми, Біблія нагадує, що найкращий спосіб впоратись із ними – довіритись Богу. То були буремні, тривожні часи – загроза вторгнення лютого ворога, – коли пророк Ісая, натхнений Божим Духом, приніс народу від Господа цю велику обітницю: “Думку, оперту на Тебе, збережеш Ти у повнім спокої, бо на Тебе надію вона покладає” (Іс. 26:3).

Той мир, що нам його дає Спаситель, є “вищий від усякого розуму” (Фил. 4:7). Ніколи не забуду слова однієї жінки, що хворіла на рак грудей. Після того, як одного вечора група віруючих з нашої церкви помолилась за неї, вона сказала: “Я не знаю, що на мене чекає, але знаю, що зі мною все буде гаразд. Господь був цього вечора тут, із нами”. В житті бувають різні труднощі, але наш Спаситель – Хто полюбив нас більше за Своє життя – могутніший за всіх їх.

Дорогий Господи, допоможи мені, будь ласка, довіряти сьогодні Тобі, щоб я міг жити й духовно процвітати в тому мирі, що Ти даєш.

Ісус – наш мир

Хлеб наш насущный - Мир и упование
Читать сейчас: Исаия 26:1-9
Библия за год: Псалтирь 62–64; 1 Петра 1

Мир оставляю вам, мир Мой даю вам; не так, как мир дает, Я даю вам. Да не смущается сердце ваше и да не устрашается. — Иоанна 14:27

В шесть лет я впервые проехался на американских горках со своими братьями. Когда мы на высокой скорости приблизились к первому крутому повороту, я начал вопить: «Не хочу! Выпустите меня!» Конечно, остановить аттракцион было невозможно, и мне пришлось, вцепившись в поручни, дотерпеть до конца.

Иногда жизнь бывает похожа на такие горки со взлетами, падениями и неожиданными поворотами. Когда мы встречаем на пути подобные «сюрпризы», Библия напоминает, что в таких случаях нужно положиться на Бога. Было бурное время, жестокие враги угрожали стране, когда пророк Исаия, вдохновленный Святым Духом, произнес великое Божье обетование: «Твердого духом Ты хранишь в совершенном мире, ибо на Тебя уповает он» (Ис. 26:3).

Мир, который Спаситель дает обратившимся к Нему, «превыше всякого ума» (Флп. 4:7). Я никогда не забуду слов женщины, которая боролась с раком груди. Когда мы однажды вечером ее посетили и помолились, она сказала: «Я не знаю, что со мной будет, но верю, что все будет хорошо. Сегодня вечером Господь был с нами».

Не бывает жизни без трудностей, но любящий нас Спаситель больше чем жизнь. И конечно, Он больше всех трудностей.

Дорогой Господь, помоги мне сегодня довериться Тебе, чтобы жить и возрастать в мире, который Ты даешь.

Иисус – наш мир