Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Daily Readings for TUESDAY, August 22, 2017

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
Opening Sentence
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

Morning Prayer
O Lord Jesus Christ, draw thou our hearts unto thee; join them together in inseparable love, that we may abide in thee, and thou in us, and that the everlasting covenant between us may stand sure forever. O wound our hearts with the fiery darts of thy piercing love. Let them pierce through all our slothful members and inward powers, that we, being happily wounded, may so become whole and sound. Let us have no lover but thyself alone; let us seek no joy nor comfort except in thee. 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.

~ The Book of Common Worship (1932)

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 2 Samuel 18:9-18
Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. His head caught fast in the oak, and he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. A man saw it, and told Joab, "I saw Absalom hanging in an oak." Joab said to the man who told him, "What, you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have been glad to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt." But the man said to Joab, "Even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not raise my hand against the king's son; for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying: For my sake protect the young man Absalom! On the other hand, if I had dealt treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof." Joab said, "I will not waste time like this with you." He took three spears in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absalom, while he was still alive in the oak. And ten young men, Joab's armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him, and killed him. Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops came back from pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained the troops. They took Absalom, threw him into a great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of stones. Meanwhile all the Israelites fled to their homes. Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself a pillar that is in the King's Valley, for he said, "I have no son to keep my name in remembrance" he called the pillar by his own name. It is called Absalom's Monument to this day.

The Second Reading is taken from Acts 23:12-24
[The Plot to Kill Paul]
In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on the pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his case. And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives." Now the son of Paul's sister heard about the ambush; so he went and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him." So he took him, brought him to the tribune, and said, "The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you." The tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, "What is it that you have to report to me?" He answered, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more thoroughly into his case. But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they kill him. They are ready now and are waiting for your consent." So the tribune dismissed the young man, ordering him, "Tell no one that you have informed me of this."
[Paul Sent to Felix the Governor]
Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, "Get ready to leave by nine o'clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Felix the governor."

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 11:27-12:12
[Jesus’ Authority Is Questioned]
Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?" Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me." They argued with one another, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?' But shall we say, 'Of human origin'?"-- they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And Jesus said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."
[The Parable of the Wicked Tenants]
Then he began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'?" When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 120 Ad Dominum
1   When I was in trouble, I called to the LORD; I called to the LORD, and he answered me.
2   Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips and from the deceitful tongue.
3   What shall be done to you, and what more besides, O you deceitful tongue?
4   The sharpened arrows of a warrior, along with hot glowing coals.
5   How hateful it is that I must lodge in Meshech and dwell among the tents of Kedar!
  Too long have I had to live among the enemies of peace.
7   I am on the side of peace, but when I speak of it, they are for war.

Psalm 121 Levavi oculos
1   I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?
2   My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
3   He will not let your foot be moved and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.
4   Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep;
5   The LORD himself watches over you; the LORD is your shade at your right hand,
6   So that the sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7   The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; it is he who shall keep you safe.
8   The LORD shall watch over your going out and your coming in, from this time forth for evermore.

Psalm 122 Lætatus sum
1   I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."
2   Now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
3   Jerusalem is built as a city that is at unity with itself;
4   To which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, the assembly of Israel, to praise the Name of the LORD.
5   For there are the thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
6   Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you.
7   Peace be within your walls and quietness within your towers.
8   For my brethren and companions' sake, I pray for your prosperity.
9   Because of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek to do you good."

Psalm 123 Ad te levavi oculos meos
1   To you I lift up my eyes, to you enthroned in the heavens.
2   As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
3   So our eyes look to the LORD our God, until he show us his mercy.
4   Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy, for we have had more than enough of contempt,
5   Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, and of the derision of the proud.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 124 Nisi quia Dominus
1   If the LORD had not been on our side, let Israel now say;
2   If the LORD had not been on our side, when enemies rose up against us;
3   Then would they have swallowed us up alive in their fierce anger toward us;
4   Then would the waters have overwhelmed us and the torrent gone over us;
5   Then would the raging waters have gone right over us.
6   Blessed be the LORD! he has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.
7   We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowler; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.
8   Our help is in the Name of the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 125 Qui confidunt
1   Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but stands fast for ever.
2   The hills stand about Jerusalem; so does the LORD stand round about his people, from this time forth for evermore.
3   The scepter of the wicked shall not hold sway over the land allotted to the just, so that the just shall not put their hands to evil.
4   Show your goodness, O LORD, to those who are good and to those who are true of heart.
5   As for those who turn aside to crooked ways, the LORD will lead them away with the evildoers; but peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 126 In convertendo
1   When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, then were we like those who dream.
2   Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.
3   Then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
4   The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed.
5   Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses of the Negev.
6   Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy.
7   Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

Psalm 127 Nisi Dominus
1   Unless the LORD builds the house, their labor is in vain who build it.
2   Unless the LORD watches over the city, in vain the watchman keeps his vigil.
3   It is in vain that you rise so early and go to bed so late; vain, too, to eat the bread of toil, for he gives to his beloved sleep.
4   Children are a heritage from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is a gift.
5   Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.
6   Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! he shall not be put to shame when he contends with his enemies in the gate.

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
Glory to You, Lord God, bringing from the depth of the earth an endless variety of colors, tastes and scents;
Glory to You for the warmth and tenderness of the world of nature;
Glory to You for the numberless creatures around us;
Glory to You for the depths of Your wisdom, the whole world a living sign of it;
Glory to You: on my knees, I kiss the traces of Your unseen hand;
Glory to You, enlightening us with the clearness of eternal life;
Glory to You for the hope of the unutterable, imperishable beauty of immortality;
Glory to You, O God, from age to age.

A Prayer for Peace
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Mission
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Ave Maria
Sergei Rachmaninoff

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

Closing Prayer
Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth and in all gentleness and in all freedom from anger and forbearance and steadfastness and patient endurance and purity. Amen.
~ Polycarp of Smyrna (69-156)

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 TUESDAY, August 22, 2017

Glory to You, Lord God, bringing from the depth of the earth an endless variety of colors, tastes and scents;
Glory to You for the warmth and tenderness of the world of nature;
Glory to You for the numberless creatures around us;
Glory to You for the depths of Your wisdom, the whole world a living sign of it;
Glory to You: on my knees, I kiss the traces of Your unseen hand;
Glory to You, enlightening us with the clearness of eternal life;
Glory to You for the hope of the unutterable, imperishable beauty of immortality;
Glory to You, O God, from age to age.

Verse of the Day for TUESDAY, August 22, 2017

Romans 8:32 (NIV) He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Read all of Romans 8

Listen to Romans 8

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 - Rotting from Within

"No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity."
~ Isaiah 59:4 (NKJV)

We’re living in a time of amazing contradictions. As we look at the turmoil in our nation, we see that America is reaping the results of years of disobedience to God and His Word. We have worked so hard to remove God and His Word from our courtrooms, our classrooms, and our society in general.

We are seeing sin’s effect all around us, because we don’t have a set of absolutes concerning morality and right and wrong. We have been so careful to arm ourselves to the teeth against the enemy on the outside that we’ve forgotten the enemy on the inside.

Writing about the fall of Rome, historian Will Durant said, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals...”

We are rotting from within. How are we going to solve this dilemma? Let me say this. No politicians or government programs are going to do it for us. While they can bring some help and assistance, it won’t get to the root of the problem. The only answer for the ills of this country is a Heaven-sent spiritual awakening, a revival.

I am not suggesting a turn toward spirituality or a turn to a god, whatever you conceive him or her or it to be. I am talking about a return to the true and living God, the God our founding fathers cited, the God we have always believed in from the beginning but have forgotten. There never will be a spiritual awakening in this nation until we believe in the one and only true God and His Son Jesus Christ. Without this, there never will be moral change or a cure to our countless social ills.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

Seeking God?
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2017 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.
The only answer for the ills of this country is a Heaven-sent spiritual awakening.

Un Dia a la Vez - El enojo

No te apresures en tu espíritu a enojarte; porque el enojo reposa en el seno de los necios.

¿Qué nos pasa, Dios mío? Soy la primera es humillarme delante de ti, pues hay cosas en nuestra vida que aborrecemos y que no queremos soportar más. Te hacemos promesas y te volvemos a fallar de nuevo.

Cuando quiero hacer el bien, hago lo contrario.

¡Qué condición tan triste para los que te amamos!

En nuestro andar contigo hemos hecho grandes cambios. Sin embargo, aún quedan cosas que de seguro entristecen tu corazón y el enojo es una de ellas.

No permitas que el enojo haga nido en nuestros corazones.

Perdónanos, Señor, y fortalécete en nuestras debilidades. Por eso, danos el valor para ser hombres y mujeres nuevos en Cristo Jesús.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - LIVE EACH DAY AS YOUR LAST

[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

On that fateful Sunday morning in January 1996, Joy Dimerin’s beloved fiancé, Severino Bagtasos, was killed when a lone gunman stormed into the church that he pastored and shot him twice. Severino was killed on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in the predominantly Muslim town of Alat on Jolo Island, in southern Philippines. He had a zeal in reaching Muslims for Christ. Joy and Severino were supposed to get married in May 1997.

“By the grace of God, I am doing well and still enjoying the ministry,” testifies Joy. She admits that feelings of loneliness and emptiness were the most difficult things she faced after her beloved Severino died. “I was afraid that I wouldn’t find a godly man like him again,” confides Joy. “I learned to see God’s purpose in my life,” Joy added. “I learned to accept whatever circumstances come my way and look at them as God’s instruments in molding me and in making me a better person. Through [Severino’s] life I learned commitment to the ministry and to prayer. Through his death, I learned to always be prepared to face the Author and Finisher of my faith. Through this tragedy, I learned to live each day as though it were my last.”

Severino’s killer was a Tausug. “God had intended it to be so,” she says. As a Tausug she feels compassion for her people because they are blinded by their beliefs. She now serves the Lord by reaching out to them and the Sama Muslims of southern Philippines. “I have forgiven the one who killed Junie. It’s hard to live with the hurt, the pain, and an unforgiving spirit, especially as I work with Muslims. I have learned to look at them the way God does. It’s only through the Gospel that they will change,” said Joy with no trace of bitterness in her voice. The people who wanted Severino dead had the opportunity to hear the Gospel during Severino’s funeral service, perhaps the only time they would hear the love of Christ preached openly.

Joy received thousands of letters from all over the world through Open Doors, giving her words of comfort and assuring her of prayers being said for her. In a letter to her encouragers, she wrote, “Two years of being broken-hearted led me to spiritual wholeness.” This was one of the paradoxes in her life. “I learned to be independent but dependent upon God, especially with regards to my daily walk with Him. I learned to be courageous and tough, but soft-hearted to the needy and suffering Christians.” Perhaps, only those who have suffered can truly understand those who are suffering. And those who have experienced healing can truly empathize with those who are hurting.

Four years later, God brought Joy on staff with Open Doors. “I never thought that God would call me to minister to the suffering church through Open Doors. God had allowed the great pain in my life for me to understand those who are in pain. He allowed me to suffer that I may best minister to the suffering.”

RESPONSE: I will live today as though it were my last: loving, forgiving, serving!

PRAYER: Pray for Joy in her important ministry in the Muslim areas of the southern Philippines.

Girlfriends in God - August 22, 2017

That One Lost Sheep

Today’s Truth

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
~ Romans 12:5 (KJV)

Friend to Friend

Sometimes it is the little things that really get to me. As a writer, I spend a great deal of my time in front of a computer – with which I have a love-hate relationship. I love the convenience a computer offers when it comes to recording the thoughts and truths God gives me to share, but there are times when I would like to throw my laptop into the nearest body of water and be done with it.

I can remember the days when I literally wrote out every word of a lesson or devotion because I was terrified of even trying to use a computer. But the day finally came when I realized that the good reasons for using a computer far outweigh the bad, and decided it was time to take the plunge.

Through trial and error, and the patience of friends who have repeatedly rescued me from countless cyber disasters, I have evolved into a fairly capable computer operator.

While returning home from a speaking event, I decided to use the three-hour flight time to work. It was one of those unusually sweet and highly productive times when the words came easily and eventually formed sentences that actually made sense.

I was on a roll – and so was my laptop when the plane suddenly hit an air pocket and dropped what felt like a mile. I watched in horror as my laptop caught air, crashed to the floor of the plane, and slid under the seat in front of me. Fortunately I had saved my work and desperately hoped the laptop had not been damaged in its fall. When the plane and everyone on board regained their composure, I quickly retrieved the computer and breathed a sigh of relief after a quick inspection that revealed a couple of new but minor scratches.

I opened the computer, ready to resume my work. But then I saw it, the now empty space where the “B” key was supposed to be. It had popped off in the fall and was nowhere to be found. I wasn’t too concerned. I mean - how important is one little key? There are plenty of other keys from which to choose. They all look pretty much the same. A missing letter or symbol here or there can’t be that much of a problem, can it?

As I began my work, I soon discovered just how much of a problem one little missing computer key could be. All of a sudden, it seemed like every other word I needed contained a “B.” My frustration level rose as my finger instinctively kept hitting the spot where the “B” usually was and found … nothing. Finally, I decided I really needed that key and went looking for it.

The passengers around me joined in the search, and it was only a few minutes before the person seated in front of me shouted, “Got it!” I snapped the missing “B” back into place. I was amazed at how much better the whole keyboard seemed to function now that the lost key was back where it should be.

We all lose our way at one time or another. An unexpected life storm knocks us flat. A bad choice causes us to stumble and fall. We snap under the pressure of a difficult relationship, and no one seems to care or even notice the pain we feel. But then, like a Shepherd searching for that one lost sheep, God turns to us and hears our cry. He lifts us out of the darkness, gives us a safe place to stand, and fills our heart with a new song of praise. And He uses people to do it all. In fact, God delights in using people to reach out and minister to other people who are wounded and lost.

God created us to need each other. We are daughters of the King, sisters in Christ and Girlfriends in God. When one hurts, all of us should feel the pain. When one of us has fallen, we need to reach out, link arms and hold on until the storm has passed. Who needs your love and encouragement? Remember the lesson of the missing “B” and ask God to love others through you … today.

Let’s Pray

Father, I know You want me to share the love I have found in You. Forgive me for the many times I have been too busy to see the needs around me. Break my heart for those who are in pain and feel hopeless. Encourage them through me, Lord. Fill my heart with Your love so that I can give it away.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Galatians 5:22-23. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Make a list of the attributes listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Beside each one, write the name of someone who needs you to live out that quality in his or her life. Here are a few examples to help you get started:

Love: Jane - my neighbor who is struggling with her teenage son
Joy: Sally - my friend who has just discovered she has breast cancer

Make a specific plan for meeting each need. (I will take Jane to lunch.)

Put a time limit on it. (I will take Jane to lunch on Thursday.)

Record your experience in your journal.

A lack of replenishing relationships was one of the main reasons Mary found herself in a pit of clinical depression. In her book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, shares how God taught her to let down the walls and allow others help her.

More from the Girlfriends

God’s truth is for today. I wonder what would happen if we put into action the truth we already know. I have a challenge for us all. This week, let’s be “God with skin on” to the people who cross our path each day.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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 22, 2017 "God Saves the Man"

In the ancient world, the Greeks had an expression...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"God Saves the Man"

August 22, 2017

For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

In the ancient world, the Greeks had an expression, "The garment makes the man."

That thought was recycled in 16th-century England where it became "apparel makes the man." One-hundred years later, people commented it was "the tailor who makes the man." Toronto, Canada, has at least one 18-year-old man who also agrees with the sentiment.

Let me tell you about the young fellow. He had made an appointment for a job interview but due to recent difficulties, he had neither a shirt, nor a presentable tie to wear. It was then he made a bad decision. He went to the local Wal-Mart and shoplifted the items. Well, he attempted to steal the items.

The boy never made it out the door before store security collared him and called the cops.

The call was answered by Officer Niran Jeyanesan. Evaluating the situation, the officer made some quick decisions. First, he decided not to book or press charges against the young fellow. Second, the officer decided to buy the shirt and tie for the boy with his own money.

Knowing he would be criticized for going soft on crime, the officer explained, "He wanted to go get that job. That was in his mind. I think he truly made a mistake."

It is my hope and prayer the officer is right, and the young man is touched by the gesture which has kept his record clean and him out of the hoosegow.

If you look at what happened when the Heavenly Father sent His Son into this world to reclaim sinful humanity, you will find some similarities, and some differences, in the stories:

Difference 1: Unlike the Toronto lad, our sins were already on record, and our punishment was a foregone conclusion.
Difference 2: There was no way that a just and fair Lord could ignore His Laws and forget about our transgressions.
Difference 3: If the Lord wanted to redeem us, the price to Him was going to be personal and painful.

As I said, there also were similarities:

1. Like the officer, the Triune God was saddened and moved by our helpless situation.
2. Like the officer, the Lord decided He would take care of the matter completely.
3. Like the officer, the Lord believed those who were redeemed would try to do better in the future.

This of course explains how it was that God's Son was sent into this world as true Man and God. As a human being, Jesus lived, suffered, died, and rose for our redemption. Now He sends the Spirit into the world to call people from what they were and direct them to be what God wants them to be.


Well, it may be that clothes can make a superficial change on the outside of a man, but it is the Christ who makes the changes which save both body and soul.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may be truly grateful for Your mercy that has rescued me from sin, the devil, and death. May my life be a model of thanksgiving to the Savior. In His 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 22 de Agosto de 2017

Alimento Diario


22 de Agosto 2017

Y no había entre ellos ningún necesitado, porque todos los que poseían terrenos o casas los vendían, y el dinero de lo vendido lo llevaban y lo ponían en manos de los apóstoles, y éste era repartido según las necesidades de cada uno.

Los momentos más felices de mi vida los viví en pueblos pequeños. A mi esposa y a mí nos gusta mucho disfrutar de las ventajas que se tienen al vivir en un lugar donde todos se conocen por nombre.

Por supuesto que algunas cosas son siempre iguales, sin importar donde uno viva. Recuerdo una mañana de lunes, cuando nos llamaron del único banco del pueblo para decirnos que a todas las iglesias locales les estaban pidiendo si podían ir a depositar lo antes posible las ofrendas del domingo, ya que se habían quedado sin billetes de un dólar.

¿Por qué hicieron ese pedido a las iglesias, si lo que necesitaban eran billetes de un dólar? Porque sabían que muchas personas ponen billetes de un dólar en la ofrenda.

Para algunos, un dólar significa mucho. Pero hay otros que ponen un dólar en la ofrenda porque la noche anterior gastaron muchísimo más en diversiones.

Le doy gracias al Señor porque él no fue así de tacaño con nosotros.

Que quede en claro que esto no se aplica sólo a las ofrendas de dinero, sino también a la forma en que respondemos a las necesidades de quienes están pasando por dificultades físicas, mentales o espirituales.

Si como pueblo de Dios estamos siempre tratando de dar lo menos posible, difícilmente estaremos dando el debido respeto al Salvador, que dio todo por nuestra salvación.

Por otro lado, cuando el Espíritu Santo nos reta a hacer grandes cosas en honor de nuestro misericordioso Dios, todos nos beneficiamos. Nosotros nos sentimos en paz, los demás son bendecidos por nuestro trabajo y, aún más importante, el nombre de Jesús es reconocido como fuente de bendición.

Es por todo eso que quiero decir: en el nombre de Jesús, hagan todo lo que esté a su alcance, toda vez que puedan, por todos los que puedan. Nunca se arrepentirán.

ORACIÓN: Amado Señor, gracias por todo lo bueno que has hecho por nosotros, y sobretodo gracias por conseguir nuestra inmerecida salvación. En el nombre de mi Redentor te pido que me ayudes a recordar a todo aquel cuya necesidad es mayor que la mía. Esto lo pido en el nombre de Jesús, quien entregó todo por mi redención. Amén.

De una devoción escrita originalmente para "By the Way"

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