Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, August 19, 2017

The Nicene Creed
Opening Sentence
Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, "I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite."

Morning Prayer
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.

Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
O Changeless God,
Under the conviction of the Spirit I learn that
The more I do, the worse I am,
The more I know, the less I know,
The more holiness I have, the mores sinful I am,
The more I love, the more there is to love.
O wretched man that I am!

O Lord,
I have a wild heart
And cannot stand before thee;
I am like a bird before a man.
How little I love thy truth and ways!
I neglect prayer,
By thinking I have prayed enough and earnestly,
By knowing thou hast saved my soul.
Of all hypocrites, grant that I may not be an evangelical hypocrite,
Who sins more safely because grace abounds,
Who tells his lusts that Christ’s blood cleanseth them,
Who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell, for his is saved,
Who loves evangelical preaching, churches, Christians, but lives
My mind is a bucket without a bottom,
With no spiritual understanding,
No desire for the Lord’s Day,
Ever learning but never reaching the truth,
Always at the gospel-well but never holding water.
My conscience is without conviction or contrition,
With nothing to repent of.
My will is without power of decision or resolution.
My heart is without affection, and full of leaks.
My memory has no retention,
So I forget so easily the lessons learned,
And thy truths seep away.
Give me a broken heart that yet carries home the water of grace.

~ Taken from The Valley of Vision edited by Arthur Bennett

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 2 Samuel 16:1-23

[David’s Adversaries] When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, carrying two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred bunches of raisins, one hundred of summer fruits, and one skin of wine. The king said to Ziba, "Why have you brought these?" Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine is for those to drink who faint in the wilderness." The king said, "And where is your master's son?" Ziba said to the king, "He remains in Jerusalem; for he said, 'Today the house of Israel will give me back my grandfather's kingdom.'" Then the king said to Ziba, "All that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours." Ziba said, "I do obeisance; let me find favor in your sight, my lord the king."
[Shimei Curses David] When King David came to Bahurim, a man of the family of the house of Saul came out whose name was Shimei son of Gera; he came out cursing. He threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David; now all the people and all the warriors were on his right and on his left. Shimei shouted while he cursed, "Out! Out! Murderer! Scoundrel! The LORD has avenged on all of you the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, disaster has overtaken you; for you are a man of blood." Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head." But the king said, "What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD has said to him, 'Curse David,' who then shall say, 'Why have you done so?'" David said to Abishai and to all his servants, "My own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD has bidden him. It may be that the LORD will look on my distress, and the LORD will repay me with good for this cursing of me today." So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, throwing stones and flinging dust at him. The king and all the people who were with him arrived weary at the Jordan; and there he refreshed himself.
[The Counsel of Ahithophel] Now Absalom and all the Israelites came to Jerusalem; Ahithophel was with him. When Hushai the Archite, David's friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, "Long live the king! Long live the king!" Absalom said to Hushai, "Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?" Hushai said to Absalom, "No; but the one whom the LORD and this people and all the Israelites have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will remain. Moreover, whom should I serve? Should it not be his son? Just as I have served your father, so I will serve you." Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give us your counsel; what shall we do?" Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, the ones he has left to look after the house; and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened." So they pitched a tent for Absalom upon the roof; and Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the oracle of God; so all the counsel of Ahithophel was esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.

The Second Reading is taken from Acts 22:17-29
[Paul Sent to the Gentiles] "After I had returned to Jerusalem and while I was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance and saw Jesus saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.' And I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. And while the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing by, approving and keeping the coats of those who killed him.' Then he said to me, 'Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"
[Paul and the Roman Tribune] Up to this point they listened to him, but then they shouted, "Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live." And while they were shouting, throwing off their cloaks, and tossing dust into the air, the tribune directed that he was to be brought into the barracks, and ordered him to be examined by flogging, to find out the reason for this outcry against him. But when they had tied him up with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, "Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who is uncondemned?" When the centurion heard that, he went to the tribune and said to him, "What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen." The tribune came and asked Paul, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" And he said, "Yes." The tribune answered, "It cost me a large sum of money to get my citizenship." Paul said, "But I was born a citizen." Immediately those who were about to examine him drew back from him; and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him.

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 11:1-11
[Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem] When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'" They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!" Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 107:33-43 Posuit flumina
33   The LORD changed rivers into deserts, and water-springs into thirsty ground,
34   A fruitful land into salt flats, because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
35   He changed deserts into pools of water and dry land into water-springs.
36   He settled the hungry there, and they founded a city to dwell in.
37   They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, and brought in a fruitful harvest.
38   He blessed them, so that they increased greatly; he did not let their herds decrease.
39   Yet when they were diminished and brought low, through stress of adversity and sorrow,
40   (He pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes)
41   He lifted up the poor out of misery and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
42   The upright will see this and rejoice, but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
43   Whoever is wise will ponder these things, and consider well the mercies of the LORD.

Psalm 108 Paratum cor meum
1   My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and make melody.
2   Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp; I myself will waken the dawn.
3   I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4   For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5   Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, and your glory over all the earth.
6   So that those who are dear to you may be delivered, save with your right hand and answer me.
7   God spoke from his holy place and said, "I will exult and parcel out Shechem; I will divide the valley of Succoth.
8   Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my scepter.
9   Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it, and over Philistia will I shout in triumph."
10   Who will lead me into the strong city? who will bring me into Edom?
11   Have you not cast us off, O God? you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.
12   Grant us your help against the enemy, for vain is the help of man.
13   With God we will do valiant deeds, and he shall tread our enemies under foot.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 33 Exultate, justi
1   Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; it is good for the just to sing praises.
2   Praise the LORD with the harp; play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.
3   Sing for him a new song; sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
4   For the word of the LORD is right, and all his works are sure.
5   He loves righteousness and justice; the loving-kindness of the LORD fills the whole earth.
6   By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7   He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin and stores up the depths of the sea.
8   Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
9   For he spoke, and it came to pass; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10   The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11   But the LORD'S will stands fast for ever, and the designs of his heart from age to age.
12   Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! happy the people he has chosen to be his own!
13   The LORD looks down from heaven, and beholds all the people in the world.
14   From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze on all who dwell on the earth.
15   He fashions all the hearts of them and understands all their works.
16   There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army; a strong man is not delivered by his great strength.
17   The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; for all its strength it cannot save.
18   Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, on those who wait upon his love,
19   To pluck their lives from death, and to feed them in time of famine.
20   Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
21   Indeed, our heart rejoices in him, for in his holy Name we put our trust.
22   Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, as we have put our trust in 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
Lord Jesus, I want to love with Your love those souls that are withering or lost. Enable me to remove any prejudices, judgments, and assumptions from my heart so that I may see them as You do: glorious and beloved children of the Father who have the opportunity for eternal life with Him. Remind me that You love them as much as You do me, and that at some point, You used someone to revive me as I withered and to bring me into Your flock when I was lost. Amen.

A Prayer for Saturdays
Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

Down by the riverside
Dinah Shore & Mahalia Jackson

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

Closing Prayer
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always. 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 SATURDAY, August 19, 2017

Lord Jesus, I want to love with Your love those souls that are withering or lost. Enable me to remove any prejudices, judgments, and assumptions from my heart so that I may see them as You do: glorious and beloved children of the Father who have the opportunity for eternal life with Him. Remind me that You love them as much as You do me, and that at some point, You used someone to revive me as I withered and to bring me into Your flock when I was lost. Amen.

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, August 19, 2017

1 John 5:12 (NIV) Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Read all of 1 John 5

Listen to 1 John 5

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 - Awakened In The Night

“I pray for you constantly.”
~ Ephesians 1:16b (NLT)

Intercessory prayer is simply the act of praying for other people. For a Christian, it is a powerful spiritual gift to perform for others. In 1 Timothy believers are advised to pray, and to make intercession for “all people”.

Henry G. Bosch presented an example of the power of intercessory prayer when he related a story about an “outstanding incident” that happened in April, 1912 when the Titanic sank in the Atlantic. Over fifteen hundred people died.

The story went like this: A Colonel Gracie was a passenger. Colonel Gracie “helped launch a few life boats” with “women and children” aboard. By then he had “resigned himself” to dying. As the Titanic was sinking “beneath the waves he was sucked down in the great whirlpool of water, and he thought he had breathed his last” breath. He called on God for help and “he tried desperately to swim to the surface”.

In the meantime, in America, his wife was awakened in the night and was filled with “great concern” for her husband as she sensed he was in great danger although she had no way of knowing his situation. “Believing that she had been awakened for a purpose”, she began praying asking the Lord for her “husband's safe return”. She prayed for “several hours” and at “5 o'clock” in the morning she felt a great “peace” and was able to rest.

In the meantime, “out in the Atlantic, Colonel Gracie had bobbed to the surface near a capsized boat. Comparing notes later, he and his wife found that while she was agonizing in prayer, he had been clinging desperately to this overturned craft”. At about 5 o'clock “a lifeboat came alongside and rescued him”.

Max Lucado stated: “You are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others”. Jesus is the perfect example for God's people to follow by praying powerful intercessory prayer for loved ones, and for others who you may only know by name. For example: Jesus prayed for the lost, the disciples, future believers, and He interceded for all types of circumstances. In the Book of John, nearing the time of His crucifixion, Jesus stated: “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me because of their testimony.”. He prayed for everyone who was currently following Him, plus people in the future, and as a Christian, that includes you.

God's people have been given the pleasure to prayerfully intercede for others. They have been given the honor of being able to call upon God at any time, even when awakened in the night, as the wife of Colonel Gracie was.

Intercessory prayer is a powerful gift that you as a believer may present to others. There is nothing that takes the place of it. In James, it states: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”, and God hears every one.
Lord God, thank You for the privilege of praying for others. Help us to be more aware of this gift from You. 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. Devotion shared by Ann Brock Ludington.
Intercessory prayer is simply the act of praying for other people.

Un Dia a la Vez - Palabras, palabras, palabras

En las muchas palabras no falta pecado; mas el que refrena sus labios es prudente.

Tus palabras tienen más valor de lo que quizá te hayas imaginado. ¿Cuántas veces por palabras dichas sin pensar te has visto comprometido, atado y metido en problemas?

Hay un refrán popular que dice que las palabras se las lleva el viento. Yo diría que esto sucede en algunos casos. Por lo general, toda palabra que sale de tu boca toma una fuerza que va más allá de lo razonable. Por eso es tan importante que pensemos antes de hablar, que pensemos antes de dar nuestra palabra.

Dar nuestra palabra implica compromiso y a veces por emoción, o por las circunstancias, nos vemos comprometidos a aceptar negocios, llamados ministeriales e incluso relaciones que sabemos que no son la voluntad de Dios. Entonces, cuando queremos retractarnos de lo que dijimos, nos interpretan mal y una vez más se perjudica el testimonio.

Dos consejos en este día: Primero, piensa antes de hablar y comprometer tu palabra.

Segundo, debemos tener como prioridad consultarlo todo con nuestro Dios.

No hagas nada por pena. Es mejor ponerse rojo por un momento que rosado por el resto de tus días.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - PERSEVERANCE

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”

The greatest example of Christian perseverance for me is Sister Alice Yuan from China. Her pastor husband, Allen Yuan, was imprisoned for almost twenty-two years for refusing to join the government controlled church in the middle 1950’s. She says:

“When my husband Allen was sent to prison in April 1958, I was told that I would never see him again. I felt completely miserable and continually blamed God. The future looked so terribly bleak. I had the care of six children and my mother-in-law. I was only earning 80 cents a day. How could I keep my family alive on that?

“When it all became too much for me, one night I heard a voice: ‘My child, I have everything in My hands. These things come from Me.’ I replied, ‘If these things come from You, please protect me and my family. Do not allow me to dishonor Your name. I want to serve You and glorify Your name’.”

“Then I received peace in my heart. I was encouraged by Psalm 68:19, Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. In those difficult years, people let me down, but God never abandoned me. But he did put me through trials.

“The first trial was the struggle to survive. I was only earning 80 cents a day. How could we get by on that? But God took care of us, in the same way that he took care of Elijah. He promised to be my shepherd and provider.

“One evening, my mother-in-law said that there was no food anymore in the house. The next morning, at five to six there was a knock on the door. ‘Are you sister Alice?’ asked a woman in her sixties, whom I didn’t know. ‘God wanted me to give you this.’ She put a package in my hand and disappeared. When I opened the parcel I found there was rice in it and some other food and a banknote to the value of about four month’s salary of a professor! Praise the Lord. Where man comes to an end, God begins! This was only one of the many miracles which kept us alive all those years.”

Tomorrow we’ll conclude her story of faithfulness and perseverance as well as God’s miraculous care for His own.

RESPONSE: Today I will not complain about discomforts but thank God for all His blessings!

PRAYER: Lord, You desire faithfulness and perseverance. Help me develop these qualities in my life.

NIV Devotions for Couples - Providing for the Family

1 Timothy 5:1–16

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
~ 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

Recently a friend recommended a course offered at her church titled “Financial Self-Defense.” My first thought was that the church should offer another one called “Financial CPR” for those whose finances need complete resuscitation.

My husband and I are financial idiots. We continue to be thankful for those smarter than we are who are willing to step alongside us to walk us through mortgage paperwork and insurance headaches. In keeping with our simple financial minds, our financial goals are pretty simple: tithe and give offerings faithfully; get out—and stay out—of debt (I’m hoping we’ll get there yet!); and take care of our family, including our parents, should that become necessary.

But, like most people, we have times of severe financial stress. One of the worst times was when our children were young and the furnace in our big, old house gave out for good. It was December, a time when it starts to get really cold in Illinois, where we live. And December is also a time when our bank account is emptier than usual because of Christmas spending.

Our furnace repairman was a deacon at our church, and he encouraged us to let our church help us pay for the furnace through the benevolent fund. It’s an extremely humbling experience to lean on your Christian brothers and sisters this way, but we gratefully accepted the help. As recipients of that financial aid, we now are more keenly aware of the importance of giving to the benevolent fund at our church. We know what it feels like to need a cash rescue.

Generally, though, David and I work hard to provide for our children—by giving them, not a luxurious life, but a simple, safe and healthy one. This is a Biblical concept. The apostle Paul wrote that it is a shame for believers not to set a loving example by generously providing for their own households. The church plays a role in helping those who are alone in the world—those who are orphaned, widowed or abandoned. But Paul reminded Timothy that Christians who fail to take responsibility for their own families are worse than unbelievers. That’s quite a reminder!

David and I need God’s help to achieve our financial goals, and we’re trusting God to help us be the ones to provide for the needs of our four kids and our parents. With God’s help, we can keep his admonition in mind to care for our own household.

Annette LaPlaca

Let’s Talk
  • What financial goals do we share as a couple?
  • Have we encountered difficulties in providing for our own household? How have we gotten help? In what ways has that assistance helped us become more discerning about handling money?
  • How is financially providing for our family part of our calling as Christians?

LHM Daily Devotion - August 19, 2017 "Real Lies"

It seemed like a good idea at the time. The folks loved animals and...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Real Lies"

August 19, 2017

(Jesus said) "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
~ John 8:44 (ESV)

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

The folks loved animals and hated to see them suffer. They especially hated seeing animals being raised in pens and living their lives just waiting to be slaughtered. Those thoughts gave birth to what seemed to be a good idea at the time.

These folks parked their vehicle a half mile away from their target which was the mink farm in Eden Valley, Minnesota. They cut the fence to the farm and opened the cages of the minks, so the liberated beasties could run free. It must have been a sight, watching somewhere between 30-40,000 farm-raised mink heading out to enjoy a life of freedom in the Minnesota countryside.

As they drove away from their evening's work, the vandals must have congratulated themselves for a job well done, for an idea which seemed good at the time.

Folks, I'm here to tell you the idea wasn't all that good.

Generally speaking, farm-raised mink aren't able to live in the wild. Indeed, the owner of the farm estimates half of his minks succumbed to the elements in the first week. Others are biting the dust even as you read this. No, it wasn't a good idea at the time.

As I've read through Scripture, I've noticed when Satan coaxes people he often makes his temptations seem like splendid ideas ... at the time. For instance, in the Garden of Eden, he didn't say, "Hey, Adam, Eve, eat this fruit. You're going to get old, get sick, and die -- as will everybody who comes after you." If he had done that, we might still be living in Eden.

He didn't go to Pontius Pilate and say, "Look, if you let Jesus be crucified, you will become the most famous Roman of all time. The problem is you will be famous because you were a coward who refused to let an innocent man go free." If Satan had said that, Pilate may have grown a backbone.

He didn't go to Ananias and Sapphira and tempt them with the words, "Hey, old buddies! Don't you think it would be proper to lie to the Holy Spirit in your church, so you can keep a nest egg for a rainy day. Of course, if you do that, you're both going to drop dead and be carried out to be buried."

And I'm sure he doesn't come to us with a seductive, "Hey, listen to me. I've got a great idea which is going to make you feel really stupid, give you a guilty conscience, and make you miserable every time you remember what you've done."

No, Satan is good at his lies which lead us to sin. Indeed, he is almost as good as Jesus is at forgiving us for listening to, and following after, Satan's suggestions. And thank God He is. If it were not for the forgiveness Jesus has won for us in His life, death, and resurrection, there would be no hope.

But there is hope, and it is given to all who follow and believe in the Christ. And that's the truth.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive me for those all-too-often times when I follow Satan's seductions and not Your Word. Keep me in Your grace, and give me wisdom to discern Your truth from his lies. In Jesus' 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).