Friday, September 1, 2017

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, September 1, 2017

Maerten de Vos - St Paul Bitten by a Viper on the Island of Malta
Opening Sentence
The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.
~ John 4:23

Morning Prayer
God, let your Holy Spirit be powerful to direct my thinking today, so that it be empty of self pity, dishonesty, self-will, self-seeking and fear. Inspire my thinking, decisions and intuitions. Help me to relax and take it easy. Free me from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God, show me what I need to do to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service to you and my fellow man. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen

Confession of Sin

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 1 Kings 5:1-6:1, 6:7-7
[Preparations and Materials for the Temple] Now King Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father; for Hiram had always been a friend to David. Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, "You know that my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. So I intend to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD said to my father David, 'Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.' Therefore command that cedars from the Lebanon be cut for me. My servants will join your servants, and I will give you whatever wages you set for your servants; for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians." When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly, and said, "Blessed be the LORD today, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people." Hiram sent word to Solomon, "I have heard the message that you have sent to me; I will fulfill all your needs in the matter of cedar and cypress timber. My servants shall bring it down to the sea from the Lebanon; I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you indicate. I will have them broken up there for you to take away. And you shall meet my needs by providing food for my household." So Hiram supplied Solomon's every need for timber of cedar and cypress. Solomon in turn gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat as food for his household, and twenty cors of fine oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. So the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and the two of them made a treaty. King Solomon conscripted forced labor out of all Israel; the levy numbered thirty thousand men. He sent them to the Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts; they would be a month in the Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor. Solomon also had seventy thousand laborers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hill country, besides Solomon's three thousand three hundred supervisors who were over the work, having charge of the people who did the work. At the king's command, they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. So Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders and the Gebalites did the stonecutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house.

[Solomon Builds the Temple] In the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD. The house was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron was heard in the temple while it was being built.

The Second Reading is taken from Acts 28:1-16
[Paul on the Island of Malta] After we had reached safety, we then learned that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us unusual kindness. Since it had begun to rain and was cold, they kindled a fire and welcomed all of us around it. Paul had gathered a bundle of brushwood and was putting it on the fire, when a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "This man must be a murderer; though he has escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live." He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. They were expecting him to swell up or drop dead, but after they had waited a long time and saw that nothing unusual had happened to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god. Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It so happened that the father of Publius lay sick in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and cured him by praying and putting his hands on him. After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They bestowed many honors on us, and when we were about to sail, they put on board all the provisions we needed.

[Paul Arrives at Rome] Three months later we set sail on a ship that had wintered at the island, an Alexandrian ship with the Twin Brothers as its figurehead. We put in at Syracuse and stayed there for three days; then we weighed anchor and came to Rhegium. After one day there a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. There we found believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. The believers from there, when they heard of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him.

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 14:27-42
And Jesus said to them, "You will all become deserters; for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee." Peter said to him, "Even though all become deserters, I will not." Jesus said to him, "Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times." But he said vehemently, "Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you." And all of them said the same.

[Jesus Prays in Gethsemane] They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake." And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want." He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand."

Morning Psalms
Psalm 16 Conserva me, Domine
1   Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; I have said to the LORD, "You are my Lord, my good above all other."
2   All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, upon those who are noble among the people.
3   But those who run after other gods shall have their troubles multiplied.
4   Their libations of blood I will not offer, nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.
5   O LORD, you are my portion and my cup; it is you who uphold my lot.
6   My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
7   I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night.
8   I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
9   My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; my body also shall rest in hope.
10   For you will not abandon me to the grave, nor let your holy one see the Pit.
11   You will show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.


Psalm 17 Exaudi, Domine
1   Hear my plea of innocence, O LORD; give heed to my cry; listen to my prayer, which does not come from lying lips.
2   Let my vindication come forth from your presence; let your eyes be fixed on justice.
3   Weigh my heart, summon me by night, melt me down; you will find no impurity in me.
4   I give no offense with my mouth as others do; I have heeded the words of your lips.
5   My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law; in your paths my feet shall not stumble.
6   I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; incline your ear to me and hear my words.
7   Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand from those who rise up against them.
8   Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings,
9   From the wicked who assault me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.
10   They have closed their heart to pity, and their mouth speaks proud things.
11   They press me hard, now they surround me, watching how they may cast me to the ground,
12   Like a lion, greedy for its prey, and like a young lion lurking in secret places.
13   Arise, O LORD; confront them and bring them down; deliver me from the wicked by your sword.
14   Deliver me, O LORD, by your hand from those whose portion in life is this world;
15   Whose bellies you fill with your treasure, who are well supplied with children and leave their wealth to their little ones.
16   But at my vindication I shall see your face; when I awake, I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 22 Deus, Deus meu
1   My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?
2   O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer; by night as well, but I find no rest.
3   Yet you are the Holy One, enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4   Our forefathers put their trust in you; they trusted, and you delivered them.
5   They cried out to you and were delivered; they trusted in you and were not put to shame.
6   But as for me, I am a worm and no man, scorned by all and despised by the people.
7   All who see me laugh me to scorn; they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
8   He trusted in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, if he delights in him.
9   Yet you are he who took me out of the womb, and kept me safe upon my mother's breast.
10   I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born; you were my God when I was still in my mother's womb.
11   Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.
12   Many young bulls encircle me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
13   They open wide their jaws at me, like a ravening and a roaring lion.
14   I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint; my heart within my breast is melting wax.
15   My mouth is dried out like a pot-sherd; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.
16   Packs of dogs close me in, and gangs of evildoers circle around me; they pierce my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.
17   They stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.
18   Be not far away, O LORD; you are my strength; hasten to help me.
19   Save me from the sword, my life from the power of the dog.
20   Save me from the lion's mouth, my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.
21   I will declare your Name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
22   Praise the LORD, you that fear him; stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob's line, give glory.
23   For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them; but when they cry to him he hears them.
24   My praise is of him in the great assembly; I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.
25   The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the LORD shall praise him: "May your heart live for ever!"
26   All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations bow before him.
27   For kingship belongs to the LORD; he rules over the nations.
28   To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; all who go down to the dust fall before him.
29   My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him; they shall be known as the LORD'S for ever.
30   They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn the saving deeds that he has done.

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
Oh Heavenly Father, who has promised to send us a Spirit to lead us, if we but listen and hear his presence in the bustle of life, I pray for your direction and guidance in becoming a disciple of your word. Teach me to spread your truth, to anyone I might see who might be able to hear it. Let me always reach out and show your love to the world through my every action. I pray, Holy Spirit, show me your path in this wayward world. Mold me by the model of your Son, and let me every day approach nearer to his perfect service. Let me, too, be a fisher of men. Show me how; teach me to help guide others to you, both in my words and in my deeds. In the name of Christ, I pray, Amen.

A Collect for Fridays
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through 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.

Pentatonix Sings A Spine Chilling Cover Of ‘Hallelujah’
And It’s Going Viral

Hallelujah
Pentatonix
196,817,394 views

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

Closing Prayer
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
~ 2 Corinthians 13:14

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 FRIDAY, September 1, 2017


Oh Heavenly Father, who has promised to send us a Spirit to lead us, if we but listen and hear his presence in the bustle of life, I pray for your direction and guidance in becoming a disciple of your word. Teach me to spread your truth, to anyone I might see who might be able to hear it. Let me always reach out and show your love to the world through my every action. I pray, Holy Spirit, show me your path in this wayward world. Mold me by the model of your Son, and let me every day approach nearer to his perfect service. Let me, too, be a fisher of men. Show me how; teach me to help guide others to you, both in my words and in my deeds. In the name of Christ, I pray, Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, September 1, 2017


Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Read all of Proverbs 22

Listen to Proverbs 22

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 - Make Every Day Count


Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?"
~ Job 1:8 (NKJV)

Whenever I read the book of Job, my first thought is, “Lord, if you ever happen to feel particularly proud of me, would you keep it to yourself? Don’t brag if Lucifer is around” (not that He would).

Job 1 shows us that the devil has access to the throne of God, even after the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We also see that in spite of his power and wicked agenda, he must ask permission when it comes to the child of God because of a hedge of protection the Lord has placed around us.

Having said that, when your number is up, your number is up. We all have to die one day. No one has a guarantee of living to the age of 90 or 100, or even 50, 60, or 80. We don’t know when our time will come. Therefore, we want to always be ready to meet God and make every single day count. Don’t say you will get right with God in your old age. You might not have the luxury of old age. Serve Him now, whatever your age may be. In the New Testament we read of Jesus saying to Peter, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail” (Luke 22:31–32).

This is a reminder that when the devil comes knocking at your door, it’s a good thing to say, “Lord, would You mind getting that?” We don’t want to answer, because we are no match for the devil. Though he is a powerful foe, he certainly is not as powerful as God. We don’t want to tangle with him. We want to stand behind God’s protection.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny


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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2017 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.
Serve God today--make every day count for Him!

Un Dia a la Vez - Un nuevo día


¡Despierten, arpa y lira! ¡Haré despertar al nuevo día! [...] Te alabaré, Señor [...] Pues tu amor es tan grande que rebasa los cielos.
~ Salmo 108:2-4 (NVI)

Cada día trae su propio afán. Entonces, ¿por qué nos vamos a afanar por el día de mañana? Hasta la Biblia nos recomienda que dejemos el estrés y vivamos cada día como si fuera el último.

Eso no significa que no te proyectes al futuro y que no planifiques. Estas cosas son buenas. Lo que no es bueno es que te dejes robar la bendición al preocuparte antes de tiempo.

Aprender a descansar en el Señor nos trae muchas ventajas, pues vives en paz y afrontas tus problemas confiando en que tendrán solución. Aun estando en aprietos financieros, conoces quién es Dios que no te desampara ni de día ni de noche. Cuando descansas en Dios, es porque has entendido en realidad que tu Padre que está en los cielos cuidará de tus hijos aun cuando partas de este mundo.

Comencemos entonces a darle gracias a Dios por el día de hoy. Además, vivamos a plenitud y saquemos el mejor provecho del mismo aunque venga con cosas que no esperábamos.

Ora cada mañana y encomiéndale tu camino al Señor. Preocúpate por los negocios de Dios y Él se preocupará por los tuyos.

Gracias, Señor, por este nuevo amanecer. Lo entrego en tus manos. En el nombre de Jesús, amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - MARTYRDOM


Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

In Ambon, Indonesia, a Christian youth camp was held in early 1999 with the theme “Soldiers of the Cross!” The camp was attacked by an angry group of Muslim extremists and a 15-year-old boy named Roy Pontoh was singled out for carrying his Bible and interrogated.

When asked, “Who are you?” he replied, “I am a soldier of Jesus Christ.” The angry mob chopped at his left arm with a machete. The questioning continued, “Who are you?” And again Roy answered, “I am a soldier of Jesus Christ.” Then they chopped at his right arm.

When they tried to force him to say, “Allahu Akbar,” he replied, “As far as I know, Jesus Christ is the only Lord.” Now the seething angry crowd cut open his stomach and demanded again, “Who are you?” With his last breath, Roy gasped, “I am a soldier of Jesus Christ.” The mob cut off his head and threw his body in a ditch.

Martyrdom may be the end result of those who endure. In addition to Jesus, three martyrs are named in the New Testament—John the Baptist, Stephen and James. Some of the unnamed heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews 11:37 were also martyred.

Martyrdom is described as a legitimate response to persecution. This is not easily understood in our day and in our culture that specializes in personal “rights” and the avoidance of suffering. But a special crown is awaiting those who lay down their lives for their faith.

The appropriate response to persecution that one chooses depends on that person’s intimate relationship with God the Holy Spirit and openness to His direction.

No doubt if you and I had talked to Roy Pontoh before his death, we may not have detected such bravery and loyalty to Jesus. Roy passed the hot water test with flying colors. He graduated to a special place with his Lord as a victorious overcomer.

Overcomers are like tea bags. You have to put them in hot water to know how strong they are!

RESPONSE: Today I will live in faith and assurance that even in the test and threat of death I can be a victorious overcomer.

PRAYER: Pray that all those who may face physical death today for the cause of Christ will walk in faith and realize they will never die.

Men of the Bible - Hosea


His name means: "Yahweh Has Delivered"

His work: Hosea was a prophet in Israel. Like other prophets, his charge was to call the people to repentance. However, he was also called to show them by his own life what it felt like to be a forgotten and yet merciful God.
His character: In obedience Hosea was willing to abandon his own dreams and marry a harlot. His love foreshadowed Christ's love for the church.
His sorrow: His unrepentant and unfaithful wife left him with their three children and a deep, aching hurt.
His triumph: Because of his selflessness and his willingness to forgive, his wife Gomer was restored.
Key Scriptures: Hosea 1-3

A Look at the Man

Telling stories is often the most powerful way to communicate truth, and speaking in parables was Jesus' method of choice. But sometimes in the Bible, God asked people not only to tell stories but to live them, to be the parable. This was the lot of Hosea.

The thought of falling in love with a prostitute is repugnant to any man. The thought of marrying her is even more revolting. But this is precisely what God ordered Hosea to do.

How can I love a woman who has "loved" so many? he must have wondered. How can I make a covenant with someone whose conduct deserves condemnation, not forgiveness?

But regardless of his questions, Hosea did exactly as the Lord told him. Hosea married a common harlot, a woman who knew nothing of virtue or faithfulness. As a learned man, Hosea knew that he could not reply to the Almighty's directive, "You don't know what you're asking me to do." He knew full well that God knew exactly what he was doing. As a prophet, Hosea had been called to preach repentance to God's people. He had tried to fill his message with the passion of the sovereign God, whose provision, love, and mercy had been scoffed at or ignored. These Jews were even worshiping other gods. The chosen people were playing the harlot.

Now, with this assignment, Hosea would come to understand what this felt like. His love would be poured out to a woman who by the laws of the time deserved nothing less than a public execution for her blatant transgressions. But God took Hosea and made him the fool—the lover of the undeserving, the keeper of the vows, and the redeemer of the repeat offender. And though the people could not see God, they saw in the life of this man a compelling example of divine love—bold and just, yet relentlessly merciful.

Reflect On: Hosea 3:1–3
Praise God: For his love for you.
Offer Thanks: For God’s relentless pursuit of his unfaithful and wayward children.
Confess: Your own sinfulness and your spirit of judgment rather than compassion for others.
Ask God: To fill you with Hosea’s kind of willingness to serve and his mercy and love.

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

Girlfriends in God - September 01, 2017


The Me I Want To Be

Today’s Truth

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Friend to Friend

The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Galatia during his second missionary journey. He was frustrated that many believers were wavering in their faith. Not good.

In Galatians 5, he reminded the believers that Christ died so that they could be free. And he was careful to distinguish that their freedom was not to sin but from sin.

He went on to tell them of the spiritual battle that was taking place between their fleshly desires and their holy desires. Between walking by the Spirit and walking by the flesh.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Galatians 5:16–18)

How can we be led by the Spirit and not by the flesh? Paul spelled it out in the next few verses by identifying what flesh-led living looks like. Here’s his list:
Sexual immorality
Impurity
Debauchery
Idolatry and witchcraft
Hatred
Discord
Jealousy
Fits of rage
Selfish ambition
Dissensions
Factions and envy
Drunkenness
Orgies and the like

“And the like” means this list is not exhaustive, but it should help us get the gist. All of these are ungodly choices that oppose the will of God.

My church-girl temptation is to look at this list and see how I measure up. Am I good enough, God? (Someone hit a game-show buzzer!) Not what I should do. This list should serve as a resource to me and as a reminder that while “orgies” and “witchcraft” might not be my biggest struggles, “fits of rage” and “selfish ambition” sure can sneak into my moments.

I walk in the flesh when I blow a gasket with my people, in traffic, in that email, or at my job. I walk in the Spirit when I ask the Lord to take away my anger and frustrations, help me sift through ungodly emotions, provide the grace He promises, and help me respond to my people in a way that brings Him honor and glory.

I walk in the flesh when I think more about myself than others. When I want to be first, be the best, have the most, be the boss, tell everyone else how they should behave, or demand to sit in a prominent position. I walk in the Spirit when I humble myself before Jesus, when I look out for the interests of others and esteem them as better than myself (Phil. 2:3–4), and when I serve others and give my life away for the sake of Jesus (Matt. 20:26–27).

Ultimately, when I walk in the Spirit, my life will echo the characteristics of Jesus. That’s the me I want to be. I will bear the fruit of His Spirit and choose responses, thoughts, and attitudes that exemplify the power of God at work in and through me.

Ready for one more list? Here’s the Vogue magazine cover of true beauty ... The fruits of walking in the Spirit are:
Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control

I want the beauty of God’s Spirit to be visible in my life. Don’t you?

Paul went on to sum up the fruit bearing this way: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:24–25).

There it is plain as day, one of the greatest challenges to humankind: the call to live out the love and freedom of Christ by laying aside all desires, thoughts, decisions, and responses that are against God’s will and, instead, putting on the humility of Jesus and yielding our hearts to His Spirit.

If I want all of the power God has for me, I need to rely on His Spirit and look to Him as my helper, comforter, advocate, and counselor who leads me in all truth. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).

I pray this for you. I pray this for me.

Because I want to trust God for all of the joy and peace He will give me.

I want to overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I want the Holy Spirit to consume my heart.

Completely.

Imagine what our lives, families, churches, and communities would look like if you and I invited the Spirit of God within us to connect our life dots and prepare us for spiritual battles each day. Surely the world would see a beautiful, vibrant, powerful faith picture.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Help me to live by Your Spirit today so that I am prepared to represent You well in each opportunity that comes my way.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Ephesians 5:8. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” What would it look like for you to walk in the Spirit as a child of light with your choices and responses today? How will that impact those around you?

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It All.

SPECIAL OFFER: If this message is where you are and you need more practical help, Gwen is offering a 20% OFF discount on the I Want It ALL book from her site when you use the coupon code: 20OFF. Click here to get yours now.

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

Girlfriends in God


LHM Daily Devotion - September 1, 2017 "More than Wishful Thinking"

Not so long ago, I read about a woman who had driven about 50 miles to...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour



"More than Wishful Thinking"

September 1, 2017

(Jesus said) "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
~ John 14:27 (ESV)

Not so long ago, I read about a woman who had driven about 50 miles to visit an old friend.

They had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, when it was time to go home, she found her keys were locked in the car, and there was nobody around who could help her. Finally, the lady called her husband. She prepared herself for some husbandly observations like "What were you thinking of?" and "Women drivers!" She did hear those, but she also heard him say, "You stay put" -- as if she had an option -- "and I'll come on out and bring you my set of keys."

As she stood by the side of her locked car, she continued to talk with her sympathetic friend.

During the course of their sharing, her friend tried one of the back doors and found it to be open. Her friend commented: "If your husband was going to be upset with you for having to make the drive out here because you locked your keys in your car, just how angry is he going to be when he finds he made the trip for no reason at all?"

To which the lady replied, "I don't think he'll be upset," and she locked the door and shut it.

It would be a wonderful thing if we could take care of all our worries by pushing a button and slamming a door. Unfortunately, most of our worries don't seem to be so easily solved.

Think about it.

When you share your worries with a friend, they usually say something sympathetic like "Hey, hang in there. This is going to be all right. Things will work out just fine. You're worrying about nothing." Occasionally they will say, "Hey, things could be worse, you know" and then they tell of somebody who had things worse than Job.

I've seen people, people on their deathbeds, who wanted to talk about leaving this world, and the family stopped all conversation by saying, "Don't talk that way. You're going to beat this thing and get better. You're just having a temporary setback."

Now, I know, and you know, that all of those speakings and sayings are offered with the best of intentions. But, those sayings, no matter how sincerely they are given are, in the final analysis, pretty empty and meaningless.

In contrast, I would like you to hear the Savior say, "Peace."

When Jesus said, "Peace," He was saying to those who heard Him "be well," "be whole," "be at rest." Now coming from anybody else other than the Son of God -- the world's Redeemer -- those words would be no more than wishful thinking and upbeat optimism.

Coming from Jesus, they are everything. They are everything because His life was given to put some weight into those words. Because of the forgiveness He has won, we are given a firm, powerful hope. We are given peace.

THE PRAYER: Gracious God, for Your love which was put into visible action in the Person of the Savior, I give thanks. May I be granted the vision to recognize His sacrifice and shared victory over sin, the devil, and death. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional de 01 de Setiembre de 2017


Alimento Diario

Ayuda divina

01 de Setiembre 2017

Porque no tenemos un sumo sacerdote que no pueda compadecerse de nuestras debilidades, sino uno que fue tentado en todo de la misma manera que nosotros, aunque sin pecado. Por tanto, acerquémonos confiadamente al trono de la gracia, para alcanzar misericordia y hallar gracia para cuando necesitemos ayuda.

En Missouri, donde está la central de Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones, a la gente le gusta contar historias acerca del Presidente Truman, quien fuera oriundo de este estado.

Una de mis historias favoritas sucedió casi enseguida después que Truman había completado su último mandato como Presidente. Yendo a su casa, cerca de la ruta 40, Truman le dijo a su chofer que parara al costado del camino, ya que había visto a una mujer que estaba tratando de juntar a los cerdos que se le habían escapado de la granja. El ex presidente decidió ayudarle.

La noticia de que un ex presidente estuvo dispuesto a ayudar a una mujer que estaba en aprietos llegó a Independencia, su ciudad natal, antes que él. Cuando algunos incrédulos le preguntaron si era cierto que había ayudado a una mujer a juntar sus cerdos, Truman explicó: "Sí, alguien tenía que ayudarle. Además, yo fui granjero mucho antes de ser Presidente".

¿Ha notado con qué facilidad nos sorprendemos cuando alguien "grande" se toma el tiempo de ayudar a otra persona? Si esto es así, y lo es, cuánto más debería sorprendernos e impresionarnos que Jesús se haya convertido en uno de nosotros para poder salvarnos.

Después que la humanidad pecó, el Padre mostró su amor y gracia por nosotros prometiéndonos un plan de salvación. Esa promesa fue cumplida en la persona de su propio Hijo. Los evangelios dicen cómo Jesús caminó y ministró entre nosotros y se dio a sí mismo como rescate por nuestra salvación.

Como nuestro Sumo Sacerdote, Jesús permitió ser sacrificado para que nosotros, pecadores perdonados, podamos acercarnos al trono de gracia de Dios, donde recibimos misericordia y ayuda en nuestros momentos de necesidad.

Si el Señor parafraseara al Presidente Truman, diría: "Sí, alguien tenía que ayudar a la humanidad, y yo era el único que podía".

ORACIÓN: Poderoso Creador, te doy gracias por mostrar tu amor por mí al sacrificar a tu Hijo para que borrara mis pecados. Gracias por ser un Dios de amor. Ayúdame a compartir tu amor con quienes me rodean. En tu nombre. Amén.

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. ¡Utilice estas devociones en sus boletines! Usado con permiso. Todos los derechos reservados por la Int'l LLL.