Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, August 9, 2017

If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Mark 8:34
Opening Sentence
Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3

Morning Prayer
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
Holy god, Lord most gracious!
Rebuke us not in your anger, nor chasten us in your wrath!
Holy you have called us to come to you.
We feel unworthy, for we have failed you again and again.
We feel like running away, yet you keep calling us.
Have mercy on us, O God.
Have mercy!

Holy God, Father most gracious!
Rebuke us not in your anger, nor chasten us in your wrath!
Heal us from our sin, for we are troubled.
Deliver us for the sake of your steadfast love.
Our sins trouble us, O God.
We are troubled by how they have hurt others.
We are troubled by how they have hurt us.
Your ways are right! O righteous God!
And whenever we have refused to follow them
we have found out how right they are.
Have mercy on us, O God.

Holy God, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us for the sake of your Son,
who died to free us from our sins.
To you be honor and glory! Amen.

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 2 Samuel 9:1-13
[David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth] David asked, "Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan's sake?" Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and he was summoned to David. The king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" And he said, "At your service!" The king said, "Is there anyone remaining of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?" Ziba said to the king, "There remains a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet." The king said to him, "Where is he?" Ziba said to the king, "He is in the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar." Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. Mephibosheth son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David, and fell on his face and did obeisance. David said, "Mephibosheth!" He answered, "I am your servant." David said to him, "Do not be afraid, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan; I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you yourself shall eat at my table always." He did obeisance and said, "What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I?" Then the king summoned Saul's servant Ziba, and said to him, "All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master's grandson. You and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him, and shall bring in the produce, so that your master's grandson may have food to eat; but your master's grandson Mephibosheth shall always eat at my table." Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Ziba said to the king, "According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so your servant will do." Mephibosheth ate at David's table, like one of the king's sons. Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba's house became Mephibosheth's servants. Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he always ate at the king's table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

The Second Reading is taken from Acts 19:1-10
[Paul in Ephesus] While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" They replied, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." Then he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They answered, "Into John's baptism." Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied-- altogether there were about twelve of them. He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of the Way before the congregation, he left them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 8:34-9:1
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."

Morning Psalms
Psalm 119:97-104 Mem Quomodo dilexi!
97   Oh, how I love your law! all the day long it is in my mind.
98   Your commandment has made me wiser than my enemies, and it is always with me.
99   I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your decrees are my study.
100   I am wiser than the elders, because I observe your commandments.
101   I restrain my feet from every evil way, that I may keep your word.
102   I do not shrink from your judgments, because you yourself have taught me.
103   How sweet are your words to my taste! they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
104   Through your commandments I gain understanding; therefore I hate every lying way.

Psalm 119:105-112 Nun Lucerna pedibus meis
105   Your word is a lantern to my feet and a light upon my path.
106   I have sworn and am determined to keep your righteous judgments.
107   I am deeply troubled; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word.
108   Accept, O LORD, the willing tribute of my lips, and teach me your judgments.
109   My life is always in my hand, yet I do not forget your law.
110   The wicked have set a trap for me, but I have not strayed from your commandments.
111   Your decrees are my inheritance for ever; truly, they are the joy of my heart.
112   I have applied my heart to fulfill your statutes for ever and to the end.

Psalm 119:113-120 Samekh Iniquos odio habui
113   I hate those who have a divided heart, but your law do I love.
114   You are my refuge and shield; my hope is in your word.
115   Away from me, you wicked! I will keep the commandments of my God.
116   Sustain me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be disappointed in my hope.
117   Hold me up, and I shall be safe, and my delight shall be ever in your statutes.
118   You spurn all who stray from your statutes; their deceitfulness is in vain.
119   In your sight all the wicked of the earth are but dross; therefore I love your decrees.
120   My flesh trembles with dread of you; I am afraid of your judgments.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 81 Exultate Deo
1   Sing with joy to God our strength and raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob.
2   Raise a song and sound the timbrel, the merry harp, and the lyre.
3   Blow the ram's-horn at the new moon, and at the full moon, the day of our feast.
4   For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.
5   He laid it as a solemn charge upon Joseph, when he came out of the land of Egypt.
6   I heard an unfamiliar voice saying, "I eased his shoulder from the burden; his hands were set free from bearing the load."
7   You called on me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered you from the secret place of thunder and tested you at the waters of Meribah.
8   Hear, O my people, and I will admonish you: O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
9   There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not worship a foreign god.
10   I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and said, "Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it."
11   And yet my people did not hear my voice, and Israel would not obey me.
12   So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their hearts, to follow their own devices.
13   Oh, that my people would listen to me! that Israel would walk in my ways!
14   I should soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes.
15   Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last for ever.
16   But Israel would I feed with the finest wheat and satisfy him with honey from the rock.

Psalm 82 Deus stetit
1   God takes his stand in the council of heaven; he gives judgment in the midst of the gods:
2   How long will you judge unjustly, and show favor to the wicked?
3   Save the weak and the orphan; defend the humble and needy;
4   Rescue the weak and the poor; deliver them from the power of the wicked.
5   They do not know, neither do they understand; they go about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6   Now I say to you, 'You are gods, and all of you children of the Most High;
7   Nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince.'"
8   Arise, O God, and rule the earth, for you shall take all nations for your own.

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
Grant me, most merciful Jesus, your grace, that it may be with me and labor with me and dwell within me, this day and all the days of my short life.

Give me grace always to desire and seek what is most acceptable to you; whatever is most pleasing in your sight, let me do that. Let my will always follow yours; let your will be mine. Reform me into a spiritual perfection impossible for the world, which might be gained only by your grace; and help me to live in accord with it.

Let there be between you and me only one will, so that I may love what you love and hate what you hate; make me unfit to want anything that is unworthy in your sight, or to disdain whatever you might approve. Save me, Christ, I pray, out of love; for unworthy I might be, yet I love you dearly. Amen.

Prayer for Help with the Burdens of Life
Grant me, I pray, your divine helping grace; endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering and to you, my only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort; trusting your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when you know it is for the best, you will deliver me from my troubles, and turn my distress into comfort, and I will rejoice in your mercy, and exalt and praise your Holy Name, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

A Prayer for Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

You Raise Me Up
by Celtic Woman

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

Closing Prayer
Lord, in utter humility I thank you and glorify you, that you might hear the prayer of one so small as myself, amidst the billions of souls among billions of stars in one of billions of galaxies in your universe. Let me go forth in your peace, keeping your Spirit always in my mind; and bless me, I pray, that I might always follow your will and live in the radiance of your blessing. 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 WEDNESDAY, August 9, 2017

Grant me, most merciful Jesus, your grace, that it may be with me and labor with me and dwell within me, this day and all the days of my short life.

Give me grace always to desire and seek what is most acceptable to you; whatever is most pleasing in your sight, let me do that. Let my will always follow yours; let your will be mine. Reform me into a spiritual perfection impossible for the world, which might be gained only by your grace; and help me to live in accord with it.

Let there be between you and me only one will, so that I may love what you love and hate what you hate; make me unfit to want anything that is unworthy in your sight, or to disdain whatever you might approve. Save me, Christ, I pray, out of love; for unworthy I might be, yet I love you dearly. Amen.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, August 9, 2017

Luke 12:6-7 (NIV) Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Read all of Luke 12

Listen to Luke 12

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Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - Keep A Firm Grip On Hope

I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again—my Savior and my God!
~ Psalm 42:5b (NLT)

Hope is a precious word! Webster's Dictionary describes hope as: “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best; to believe or trust.”

An apostle of faith George Mueller, the founder of the Bristol Orphanage in England, stated: “There is never a time when we may not hope in God! Whatever the necessities, however great our difficulties, and though to all appearances help is impossible, yet our business is to hope in God, and it will be found that it is not in vain.”

In the Book of Lamentations, Jeremiah was grieving because Babylon had destroyed Jerusalem. His grief ran very deeply, and he became remembered as the “weeping prophet”. He cried until his tears no longer came. His heart was broken because the people had rejected God who loved them.

However, in the midst of all the tragedy, Jeremiah expressed faith and hope in God. He stated: “There's one other thing I remember...I keep a grip on hope: God's loyal love couldn't have run out, His merciful love couldn't have dried great Your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God.”

Have you lost all hope? Are you facing an overwhelming problem? Are you believing that the solution will not turn out for the best? Stop, and take time to roll this problem over to God. It is then that He is able to bring hope into your life.

A. W. Tozer stated: “Faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God.” Learn to depend on God's faithfulness. Because God is, you have hope. Remain confident that He is your light, even in the darkest of days. He has an endless supply of compassion and loyal love, and His everlasting arms are sustaining you. Because He is enthroned in heaven, you can count on Him listening to you. Because He is, you can be certain that He is watching over you as you come and go.

Robert Hugh Morris an American statesman (1734-1806), stated: “God brings no man into the conflicts of life to desert him. Every man has a friend in heaven whose resources are unlimited; and on Him he may call at any hour and find sympathy and assistance.”

Like Jeremiah, keep a firm grip on hope, and place your faith and trust in Him.
Lord, thank You that Your compassions fail not. Thank You for being our friend in heaven. Amen.
In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, NLT® copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Have you lost all hope? Are you facing an overwhelming problem? Are you believing that the solution will not turn out for the best?

Un Dia a la Vez - La recuperación por una pérdida

El Señor [...] restaura a los abatidos y cubre con vendas sus heridas.
~ Salmo 147:2-3 (NVI)

Hace unos meses llegó la triste noticia de la pérdida de la bebita de la cantante Shanna en un embarazo ya avanzado. ¡Cómo entristecen esas noticias! Nadie lo puede experimentar más que la madre que lo sintió en su vientre y tuvo la esperanza de recibirle.

Me sorprendió mucho y admiré el valor con el que nuestra Shanna recibió esta prueba. Desde el hospital en que se recuperaba, declaró: «Solo Dios sabe por qué evitó que naciera la bebita. Ya sabrá Él de qué la guardó. Yo seguiré adelante».

Les cuento esto porque se necesita estar muy lleno de nuestro Dios para recibir una noticia de tal envergadura con tanta madurez espiritual. Podemos ver una vez más que nuestro Padre cuida de nosotros y nos da su amor. Sé que muchas mujeres han pasado por esta misma situación y aún hay heridas abiertas que quiere sanar nuestro Señor.

Escuché a un predicador que enseñaba que para recuperarse debemos llorar lo perdido, fortalecernos en Dios y consultar con Él cuál es el paso a seguir.

Cuando entregamos esa carga tan pesada y ese dolor tan grande, Dios de seguro que va a actuar a nuestro favor.

Aunque en medio del dolor no vean una salida, recuerden que Él es su fortaleza y el único que les da la paz «que sobrepasa todo entendimiento» y que, además, «cuidará sus corazones y sus pensamientos en Cristo Jesús» (Filipenses 4:7).

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE PROCESS OF PERSECUTION-3: INJUSTICE

In his humiliation he [Jesus] was deprived of justice.
~ Acts 8:33a (NIV)

Christians experiencing persecution are following in the footsteps of their master, Jesus. In Acts chapter eight, Philip revealed to the Ethiopian eunuch that the passage from Isaiah 53 he was reading referred to Jesus who indeed was deprived of justice. Today in the Western world, we would describe His trial before crucifixion as occurring in a “kangaroo court!”

If disinformation about any group, including Christians, is disseminated long enough, no one will help when that group or person is discriminated against. Discrimination relegates Christians to second-class citizenship with inferior legal, social, political and economic status. Once discrimination takes place, no one will intervene when the mistreatment comes.

Examples of such injustice against Christians abound around the world: ID cards in a country where Christianity is an unacceptable entry in the religion column; daughters abducted because they are Christians; expulsion from the community just because they are evangelicals.

Christians in Pakistan are a small minority among a large Muslim majority and often face such discrimination. The problem is compounded by the fact that many Christians are illiterate and poor. One Christian teacher at a center training Christian women recently said, “We do face discrimination because we live in the midst of people who don’t want us to move forward; people who keep trying to push us down so that we will always be in slavery.”

But there is one repeated scene of injustice against Christians that occurs in Pakistan which brings me to tears which involves young Christian girls. As a father of two daughters and having six granddaughters, I shudder every time I read news reports that describe Christian family injustice in this land. The stories usually work out this way:

Muslim women must marry Muslim men but Muslim men are allowed to marry any woman they wish with the proviso that any children must be raised as Muslim. Consequently in Pakistan there are Muslim men who often desire some of the very beautiful young Christian girls in the community but realize there is no way their Christian families will agree to marriage. So these men resort to abduction.

The Christian father’s only option is to go to court where the judge—usually a Muslim—hears the case and pronounces to the Christian father, “Your daughter voluntarily converted to Islam and voluntarily married this Muslim man so you are to have no more contact with her. One of the most recent cases involved two young Christian sisters aged thirteen and ten. In this case, the judge allowed the ten-year-old to return home to her family but not the thirteen-year-old.

Safwan, a secret believer in Algeria, found a Christian pamphlet between the paperwork given him at work and started reading it. Upon discovering him reading the pamphlet, his boss reported him to the police. Later that night the police visited him and searched his entire home. They found Christian CD’s, several Christian movies and a New Testament. “It was clear to them that I had become a Christian. My boss fired me.”

RESPONSE: Today I will work toward justice for everyone in my own country and around the world.

PRAYER: Lord, be with those experiencing discrimination today because they love and serve You.

Girlfriends in God - August 09, 2017

God Sees You

Today’s Truth

She [Hagar] gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me”.
~ Genesis 16:13 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

Let’s face it. People let us down. They disappoint us. And so does God. Often our experiences fall short of our expectations for God to meet all our needs the way we think He should, and like a lover who has been wronged, we tend to guard our hearts against future disappointment by lowering our expectations and trust. But make no mistake about it, God sees. God understands. He is not aloof.

One day I was sitting on the patio with my friend Beth and her stepfather, Sam, waiting for the grill to heat up before placing steaks on to cook. Beth’s mom opened the door and gave Sam his orders — telling him what to do and how to do it. When she went back inside, Sam made a hand signal, pointing in one ear and out the other. We all three laughed. Then he placed his ruddy hand on Beth’s arm, a hand worn by years of working under the hood of cars of every make and model.

“She was pretty hard on you growing up, wasn’t she?” he asked.

“You have no idea,” Beth answered with a sigh.

But Sam did have an idea. He understood. And that one simple gesture let her know that he had peered into her heart and had seen the truth. The weathered, uneducated country mechanic had looked under the hood of her heart with wisdom and seen the damaged engine within. A heart, though healed by Christ, that still felt the phantom pains of a little girl who felt she was never good enough, who was constantly told what to do and how to do it—and who never did it quite right. Sam saw her heart, and for that, Beth loved him. And so did I.

How like God. He places His hand on your shoulders, looks into your eyes, and lets you know that He understands. “I see you,” He says. “I see what you are going through.” Like Hagar who experienced a sudden glory moment with God in the desert, we too can know God as El Roi, “the God who sees me,” (Genesis 16:13).

The book of Hebrews tells us that we have a High Priest, Jesus, who understands what we are going through. He “sympathizes” with our weakness (Hebrews 4:15). The word “sympathizes” comes from two Greek words, smy and pathos, meaning, “suffer with.” We are not alone in our suffering and there are glory moments to be found in the dark if we will keep our eyes open to see.

God did not write the story of your life and then sit back to watch it play out. He is in the story with you. As a matter of fact, He has the leading role. Oh, we try to butt in and take the spotlight. We try to push Him out of the way and take over the lead. But when we get to heaven and look at the playbill, we will see that God had the leading role all along, and our names were there in supporting roles as a display of His glory. Oh, if we only knew.

Let’s Pray

El Roi, I praise You that You are the God Who sees me. You know everything that I am going through, everything I have gone through, and everything I will go through in the future. Thank You for watching over me and always doing what is in my best interest. I love you, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Have you ever felt like God didn’t care about you?

Did you realize that many people in the Bible felt the same way?

But what is the promise of Hebrews 13:5? “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

What does “never” mean? You got it! It means never!

More from the Girlfriends

How do you trust God in tough times? It comes by having a consistent daily walk with you live and move and have your being in Him. The more you know Him, the more you trust Him. If you would like to experience God in the midst of your difficulties as well as your victories, then A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More will help you get there. Click here to download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer.

Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.

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

LHM Daily Devotion - August 9, 2017 "Growing Tired"

As far as I can remember, Britain's Prince Philip has always been...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Growing Tired"

August 9, 2017

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
~ Isaiah 40:28 (ESV)

As far as I can remember, Britain's Prince Philip has always been ... Prince Philip.

I remember him that way because he and Queen Elizabeth were married in 1947, the year before I was born. He was 26 and she was 21 when they said their "I dos." Two years later, when Elizabeth became the ruling monarch, he promised himself to be her "liege man of life and limb." From that moment on, as far as the government was concerned, Philip had officially agreed to play a supporting role.

It's a role he has played well for over 65 years.

Those who keep track of royal statistics say that Philip has made 5,496 speeches, written 14 books, and taken 637 visits to other countries. He is the Royal patron, president, or member of 780 organizations, and he has made 22,219 solo public appearances. His last such act took place this month at Buckingham Palace where he endured a rain storm to greet some Royal Marines who had walked more than 1,664 miles to raise money for charity.

But now, according to the palace PR man, Philip is tired and is stepping down from many duties.

True, he still takes the stairs rather than the elevator, and he can still fit into the uniform he wore the day he got married. But, quite frankly, Philip is weary, and he is wearing out. Recent years have seen him hospitalized for a grab bag of illnesses and maladies.

That is why, after more than 65 years, Philip is going into semi-retirement.

Yes, he may still make an occasional appearance alongside his wife but, for the most part, Philip is through with his official, day-to-day schedule. He is done and is going to try and enjoy a much-needed rest.

Reading that story about Philip, I began to wonder, when will God decide He needs a rest? Think about it: not only has the Triune God created the universe and all that is in it, He also made our first ancestors and established them in an ongoing and harmonious relationship with Him.

Sadly, Adam and Eve didn't remain faithful, and they lost much of what the Lord had given them. Yes, they lost much, but not all. They still had the Lord's love and His mercy. Centuries later, in Bethlehem, that love and grace, became human. For the next decades, Jesus fulfilled the Law, resisted temptation, carried our sins, and died the death that should have been ours.

Read through the Gospels and you will find there was never a time when Jesus grew so tired He was ready to step away from His mission and do something else. He did all He had been asked to do and His third-day resurrection from the dead says His unwavering, unrelenting, uncompromising sacrifice has been accepted, and because it is -- all who believe are forgiven and saved.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have saved me and continue to support me. Grant that I may have a spirit which never wearies of thanking You for the forgiveness and salvation the Savior has won for me. Keep me ever thankful for all You do. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional de 09 de Agosto de 2017

Alimento Diario

Belleza física

09 de Agosto 2017

Jesús extendió la mano, lo tocó y le dijo: 'Quiero. Ya has quedado limpio.' Y al instante su lepra desapareció.
~ Mateo 8:3 (RVC)

Al entrar la bandera de China al Estadio Nacional de Beijín, en la ceremonia de apertura de las Olimpíadas en ese país en el 2008, la pequeña Lin Miaoke cantó la "Oda a la Tierra Madre".

Lástima que ese momento tan espectacular terminó siendo empañado cuando se descubrió que la pequeña Lin no era en realidad quien cantaba, sino que la voz pertenecía a una niña de 7 años llamada Yang Peiyi.

La pregunta inevitable es: ¿Por qué no dejaron que Yang cantara ante la multitud reunida en el estadio y los millones de personas que miraban desde sus hogares?

La respuesta es muy simple: Yang no era suficientemente bonita.

Así de simple. Políticos de alto rango habían decidido que sólo quienes tenían un cierto grado de belleza podían participar de la ceremonia, pues tenían que lucir bien ante el mundo... y Yang no entraba en ese modelo de perfección. Esa es la razón por la cual Yang va a seguir siendo desconocida, y la niña que apareció en televisión va a seguir siendo aplaudida.

Cuando escuché esta historia me puse a pensar en la forma en que el Salvador actuó con los leprosos.

Aunque no sabemos las condiciones físicas del hombre que se menciona en el texto de esta devoción, sí sabemos que estaba obligado a mantenerse alejado de las personas sanas. Y cuanto más progresaba la enfermedad más fácil se le haría alejarse, pues la lepra se aseguraba de desfigurar el rostro y resto del cuerpo.

¿Qué hizo el Salvador cuando se encontró con este leproso? Ni salió corriendo lleno de repulsión, ni se puso a gritarle y apedrearlo. Por el contrario, Jesús se le acercó para tocarlo y curarlo.

La ausencia de belleza física y los pecados que manchan nuestras almas no evitan que Jesús se acerque a nosotros. El Hijo de Dios, que dio su vida en la cruz y resucitó de la tumba para que seamos perdonados y adoptados en la familia de la fe, siempre está dispuesto a acercarse a nosotros.

Sí, escuchó bien: a pesar de lo que somos, el Cristo resucitado, con las cicatrices de los clavos en sus manos, se acerca para tocarnos, limpiarnos, y sanarnos.

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, gracias por entregarte como sacrificio por mi salvación y por limpiarme a través de tu sangre. Ayúdame a servirte y honrarte cada día de mi vida. En tu nombre. Amén.

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