Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, September 7, 2017

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

Confession and Forgiveness

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Almighty Father; we enter your presence confessing the things we try to conceal from you and the things we try to conceal from others. We confess the heartbreak, worry, and sorrow we have caused, that make it difficult for others to forgive us, the times we have made it easy for others to do wrong, the harm we have done that makes it hard for us to forgive ourselves. Lord have mercy and forgive us through Christ. Amen.

Morning Prayer
Heavenly Father, let me take up the shield of faith this morning and carry it before me throughout the day. For the darkness of the world attacks my soul from every direction.

The world wants me to hate myself and hate you, precious Lord. It tries at every turn to seduce me to the emptiness of revenge. It lures me to the love of money. Envy, anger, and vanity are the traps it sets. It tells me to worship myself until I am hollow. Pride is its bait, and death is its reward.

Defend me, I pray, against the constant assault of impurity that life in the world brings. Great and powerful God, I take up your shield, the only shield that can protect me: my hope and certainty that your love and promise to protect me, for all eternity, will be with me for the asking. For the only truth is yours, the only power is yours, and our only hope lies in you, our true and mighty and loving God. In Christ's name I pray, Amen.

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 1 Kings 11:1-13
[Solomon’s Errors] King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the Israelites, "You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you; for they will surely incline your heart to follow their gods" Solomon clung to these in love. Among his wives were seven hundred princesses and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not completely follow the LORD, as his father David had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrificed to their gods. Then the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of your father David I will not do it in your lifetime; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. I will not, however, tear away the entire kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen."

The Second Reading is taken from James 3:13-4:12
[Two Kinds of Wisdom] Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.
[Friendship with the World] Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, "God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"? But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
[Warning against Judging Another] Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 15:12-21
Pilate spoke to them again, "Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?" They shouted back, "Crucify him!" Pilate asked them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him!" So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
[The Soldiers Mock Jesus] Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
[The Crucifixion of Jesus] They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 37:1-18 Noli aemulari
1   Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
2   For they shall soon wither like the grass, and like the green grass fade away.
3   Put your trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
4   Take delight in the LORD, and he shall give you your heart's desire.
5   Commit your way to the LORD and put your trust in him, and he will bring it to pass.
6   He will make your righteousness as clear as the light and your just dealing as the noonday.
7   Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.
8   Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
9   Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
10   For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the LORD shall possess the land.
11   In a little while the wicked shall be no more; you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.
12   But the lowly shall possess the land; they will delight in abundance of peace.
13   The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash at them with their teeth.
14   The Lord laughs at the wicked, because he sees that their day will come.
15   The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow to strike down the poor and needy, to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
16   Their sword shall go through their own heart, and their bow shall be broken.
17   The little that the righteous has is better than great riches of the wicked.
18   For the power of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 37:19-42 Novit Dominus
19   The LORD cares for the lives of the godly, and their inheritance shall last for ever.
20   They shall not be ashamed in bad times, and in days of famine they shall have enough.
21   As for the wicked, they shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD, like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish; they shall vanish like smoke.
22   The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous are generous in giving.
23   Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land, but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
24   Our steps are directed by the LORD; he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
25   If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong, for the LORD holds them by the hand.
26   I have been young and now I am old, but never have I seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread.
27   The righteous are always generous in their lending, and their children shall be a blessing.
28   Turn from evil, and do good, and dwell in the land for ever.
29   For the LORD loves justice; he does not forsake his faithful ones.
30   They shall be kept safe for ever, but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
31   The righteous shall possess the land and dwell in it for ever.
32   The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and their tongue speaks what is right.
33   The law of their God is in their heart, and their footsteps shall not falter.
34   The wicked spy on the righteous and seek occasion to kill them.
35   The LORD will not abandon them to their hand, nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
36   Wait upon the LORD and keep his way; he will raise you up to possess the land, and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
37   I have seen the wicked in their arrogance, flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
38   I went by, and behold, they were not there; I searched for them, but they could not be found.
39   Mark those who are honest; observe the upright; for there is a future for the peaceable.
40   Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all; the future of the wicked is cut off.
41   But the deliverance of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
42   The LORD will help them and rescue them; he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them, because they seek refuge in him.

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 of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Patience
My Father, I pray that I may have patience to live through the difficulties of life. May I correct my faults, that they may not destroy my peace and take from me my strength; help me to center my life in brightness and hope. Amen.

A Prayer for Mission
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord You Have Come to the Seashore/Pescador de hombres
Composed by Msgr. Cesáreo Gabaráin (1936 -1991)
performed by Tim Lewis

Lord, when you came to the seashore,
You weren’t seeking the wise
or the wealthy,
But only asking that I might follow.

Oh Lord, in my eyes you were gazing
Kindly smiling,
my name you were saying,
All I treasured,
I have left on the sand there
Close to you,
I will find other seas.

Lord, you knew what my boat carried,
neither money
nor weapons for fighting
But nets for fishing, my daily labour.

Oh Lord, in my eyes you were gazing
Kindly smiling,
my name you were saying,
All I treasured,
I have left on the sand there
Close to you,
I will find other seas.

Lord, have you need of my labour—
hands for service,
a heart made for loving
My arms for lifting
the poor and broken.

Oh Lord, in my eyes you were gazing
Kindly smiling,
my name you were saying,
All I treasured,
I have left on the sand there
Close to you,
I will find other seas.

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.

Morning Prayer for THURSDAY, September 7, 2017

Heavenly Father, let me take up the shield of faith this morning and carry it before me throughout the day. For the darkness of the world attacks my soul from every direction.

The world wants me to hate myself and hate you, precious Lord. It tries at every turn to seduce me to the emptiness of revenge. It lures me to the love of money. Envy, anger, and vanity are the traps it sets. It tells me to worship myself until I am hollow. Pride is its bait, and death is its reward.

Defend me, I pray, against the constant assault of impurity that life in the world brings. Great and powerful God, I take up your shield, the only shield that can protect me: my hope and certainty that your love and promise to protect me, for all eternity, will be with me for the asking. For the only truth is yours, the only power is yours, and our only hope lies in you, our true and mighty and loving God. In Christ's name I pray, Amen.

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, September 7, 2017

Colossians 1:28 (NIV) He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

Read all of Colossians 1

Listen to Colossians 1

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 - Faded Flowers

There are (and have always been) people who, when they read something in the Bible that disagrees with their own ideas, simply change it. It's nothing new. Southern slaveholders and European colonialists had a theological jamboree, figuring out how to justify their actions from the pulpit. In the 4th century, Constantine put crosses on his army's shields and forced millions of people to become “Christians” — now there's a guy who appreciated irony. People were doing it in 60 A.D. — just read Galatians, or pretty much any of the church epistles.

They are missing out on something wonderful. It is true, that every person who reads the Bible is going to hear things they don't want to hear — or actually, things that they think they don't want to hear — and be asked to change both some of their opinions and some of their conduct. But a person has the faith to accept the Bible as God's Word, unchanging and immutable, receives a compass that will never point the wrong direction. Spiritually, intellectually, and morally, a Bible-based Christian is insulated from existential dilemma.

Thus, aside from the spiritual truth — we don't change God's Word because He is God and we are not — there is a practical reason for not messing with the Scripture. God is the only fixed point in the Universe, and the Bible is the only way to find Him. Changing it is like erasing lines on a road map and drawing in a shorter route. Once we know Him, we are like sailors in a terrible storm who have spotted the light from a lighthouse; they don't sit around debating where the lighthouse actually is. When Christ says I am the way, this is what He means.

And best of all, once we have faith in the immutability of Biblical truth, we realize: Christ promised us eternal life if we believe in Him, and He isn't going to change His mind. We are sealed in our salvation.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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Devotion by Mason Barge, Editor, Daily Prayer.
There are (and have always been) people who, when they read something in the Bible that disagrees with their own ideas, simply change it.

Un Dia a la Vez - Una nueva oportunidad: Testimonio de sanidad (primera parte)

En mi angustia invoqué al Señor; clamé a mi Dios, y él me escuchó desde su templo; ¡mi clamor llegó a sus oídos!

El mes de septiembre quedó marcado para siempre en mí, pues en un mes como este Dios me sanó de una grave enfermedad. Durante esa prueba, mi vida estuvo al borde de la muerte y pude comprender muchas cosas que vivo ahora: Disfrutar mi familia día a día, ser consciente que mi vida está en manos de Dios, que todo puede cambiar en un abrir y cerrar de ojos y que hoy estoy bien y mañana quizá no lo esté.

Esto nunca pasó por mi mente. Ni siquiera consideré que estaría casi cinco meses fuera de mi trabajo. Mis princesas tampoco se imaginaron jamás que una operación de colon se convirtiera en una pesadilla al ver a su mamá en una condición tan crítica por un mes y medio en el hospital, con ocho recaídas que significaron ocho veces más en el hospital y dos años de recuperación.

Hoy agradezco a mi Dios por sus cuidados. Mis hijas también valoran más a su mami y testifican que, a pesar de lo traumático que vivieron, saben que Dios me sanó y cuidó de ellas en esos días sombríos.

Además, pude experimentar el poder de la oración. Así que, debido a la oportunidad que tengo de escribir este libro, puedo agradecerles a cada uno de mis oyentes y familiares que alzaron una voz de clamor… ¡Gracias!

Cada prueba que vivas te hace crecer como persona. Maduras y aprendes una lección de vida. Por eso quiero repetirte la frase que aprendí de mi cuñado, el pastor Fernando García: «Dios es bueno todo el tiempo, todo el tiempo bueno es Dios».

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - FORGIVENESS IS NOT AN OPTION

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
~ Mark 11:25 (NIV)

Our founder, Brother Andrew, says, “Forgiveness is the very core of the gospel message. I am a Christian only because God forgave me everything. There is no other ground on which to stand…not my repentance, not my praying the sinner’s prayer. Nothing made me a child of God except God forgave. And He did it two thousand years ago through Jesus on the cross. Jesus took all that sin and nailed it to the cross and He says, ‘Now, go, and put it into practice.’”

Poso, Indonesia is a beautiful place on a central island of the country. There we meet an elderly, physically weak, Christian mother who shares through her tears the tragedy that befell her seventeen-year-old daughter Alfita in 2005.

“My daughter Alfita was so beautiful. She loved Jesus, and she loved to sing. She loved spending time with her friends. One day, Alfita and three of her friends were walking to school. They always took a path that went deep into the jungle, far away from our village. Along the path grew beautiful flowers and my daughter loved flowers. That day, she and her friends, Theresia, Yarni, and Noviana stopped to pick flowers for their hair…”

The girls were all from Christian families. Three young Muslim men were waiting on the jungle path and savagely beheaded three of the girls including Alfita. The fourth girl, Noviana, survived her machete wounds.

The three men were tried for murder in the capital, Jakarta. Noviana and the families in question had to make witness statements. However, they first shook the hands of the murderers as a sign of forgiveness. Two years later, the suspects were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.

The request for forgiveness came from one of the murderers. “It was very difficult to comply with this request,” said the older brother of Noviana. “But we wanted to keep to Jesus’ teaching and because of this, we are able to forgive. We hope that our step will also restore the peace in our town of Poso in Central Sulawesi.”

The family members prefer not to talk about the day itself. During the hearing, Noviana again had to see pictures of her beheaded friends and answer questions by the prosecutors and lawyers.

Alfita’s mother was severely traumatized by the murder of her daughter. She concludes, “All I could do was ask God for His peace, the peace that cannot be explained, that comes from trusting in Him. At the funeral He gave me that peace. Even though Alfita was brutally killed, I knew that she was safe in God’s arms in heaven…After that, when I knew God’s comfort in my heart, I was finally able to do as God commanded…so I let go of my right for revenge. I’m not bitter. I’ve forgiven the murderers and asked God to forgive them. I’ve prayed that they will realize what they’ve done.”

RESPONSE: Today I will confront my own trials and forgive those against whom I am holding anything.

PRAYER: Pray for complete healing of the trauma in the lives of these four families in Indonesia.

NIV Devotions for Men - Inward Remembrance, Outward Adoration

2 Kings 17:7–29
Recommended Reading: Psalm 42:1–2; 84:1–12; Hebrews 12:28

Many years ago a number of skylarks imported from England began to breed and dot the American landscape. One day, a man who studied birds sat listening with solemn interest to the song of the immigrant birds. Nearby, an Irish laborer—hearing the song of the bird he’d heard in his mother country—stopped, took off his hat and turned his face skyward. A look of awe and joy washed across his face. His inward remembrance and love of country produced an outward response.

Although the Israelites expressed an outward worship, they didn’t possess an inward love of God. Sure, an observer might believe that they worshiped God inwardly. But in truth, their hearts secretly served other gods. “In their secret chambers of idolatry and imagery,” said Clarence Macartney, “they bowed down before the grinning images of Baal.”

Today, as we express our adoration and worship of God, we can either be like the student of birds or like the Irishman who responded emotionally to their song. The observer simply admires what takes place, but experiences no feelings of love and devotion. However, the true worshiper—upon hearing songs about God and words of his heavenly home—feels his heart beat faster, thinking of a glorious hope for the future. And all of us long to feel this beat, because it makes our hearts come alive.

Anyone can go through the outward motions. But we can’t worship by just playing a role. We have to make it the aim of our heart. When we offer our heart to God in love and adoration, he, in return, washes awe and joy across our soul.

To Take Away
  • How does “going through the motions” of worship make you feel?
  • In what ways do you sincerely worship God?
  • How does your worship of God affect your daily living?

Girlfriends in God - September 07, 2017

Standing Firm When Your Faith Feels Flimsy

Today’s Truth

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Friend to Friend

In his letter to the believers in Ephesus, the apostle Paul talked straight about the spiritual battle of faith. He exhorted them to:

Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Eph. 6:10–13 ESV)

In recognizing that the battle is real, I’m motivated to prepare for the fight. The Bible maps out my rules of engagement and holds my trembling hands until they calm. I have to keep in mind that the battle is ultimately not mine. It is God’s. And when I suit up in His strength, He goes before me and fights on my behalf.

What help do I have to stand firm against attacks from Satan and his cronies?

Truth: Protects me against damaging lies.

Righteousness (by faith through grace in Christ): Annihilates my sin.

Peace: Guards my heart and mind. Motivates me to share the hope of Jesus.

Faith: Protects me from attacks and extinguishes the flaming darts of the Evil One.

Salvation: In Christ alone. Conquers death. It is finished. Team Victory wins.

The sword of the Spirit: The Word of God. Inherent. Flawless. Guides me in all truth.

Pray in the Spirit: Connects me to God’s power.

How do I invite the Holy Spirit to lead me each day? By putting on the armor of God in prayer and stepping up in faith to stand firm in His power. (Note to self: review that list when I feel exhausted, intimidated, and battle worn.)

Let’s connect another power dot here. When Jesus promised to send His disciples the Helper, He linked the Holy Spirit to truth: “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you in all truth” (John 16:13). Truth has to lead my battles. When I believe lies, I choose to join Team Defeat. (No thank you.)

Jesus went on to pray for us, His followers, that the truth would protect us from Satan:

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (John 17:15–17).

God’s Word is truth, and truth protects us. It sanctifies us. Helps us grow in holiness. Helps us recognize the difference between God’s ways and the ways of the world.

The Holy Spirit leads me to a faith with greater power because the Spirit of God will always lead me in the ways of the Word. Toward knowing, obeying, loving, and trusting Jesus in everything. I want that. So I pray with the psalmist, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Ps. 25:5).

Yes. Faith is a tug-of-war, but I’m not without hope, help, or power.

And neither are you.

When we call upon the Holy Spirit, who is the anchor of all things truth, comfort, guidance, and power, He helps us gain traction in every battle of life.

Let’s Pray

Lord, thank You for the presence of Your Holy Spirit in my life. Please open my eyes wide to all the courage, strength, and wisdom You have for me in Christ.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

In what area of your life do you feel the enemy is attacking you? What is one thing you’ll do or believe today to help you stand firm in the power of God? “Today I will ...” (Tweet your answer to me @GwenSmithMusic or leave a comment on my Facebook wall.)

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.

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Girlfriends in God

LHM Daily Devotion - September 7, 2017 "Watershed"

Have you ever heard of a "watershed moment?"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour


September 7, 2017

...there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him.
~ Luke 5:12a-13 (ESV)

Have you ever heard of a "watershed moment?"

A watershed moment is an event which is of such intensity and importance to us that we never forget it. It is an event which forever changes how we think of ourselves, or somebody else.

Over the years I have visited with 70, 80 and 90 year old grandparents who can still vividly recall the childhood day when Dad implied they were stupid. Actually, he didn't imply it, he said it. "You're stupid." From that moment on they thought of themselves that way. They remember the time the teacher handed back their test papers and, as she placed theirs on the desk, she whispered, "You had the lowest grade in the class. You're going to have to try harder."

These watershed moments were recalled with almost crystal-like clarity.

From a nursing home or living room these seniors can describe every detail of that day. And, I believe if I had the time to come to the home of every Daily Devotioner, every one of you could share one or more such watershed moments of your own.

Indeed, you already remember such an event, don't you? Was it when you were young and everybody in your class was invited to the birthday party and you weren't? Was it the day the boss passed you up for a promotion; or the day your spouse gave you an especially cruel verbal cut; or the day the bank teller looked down her nose and gave you a cold stare?

I can't guess what your "watershed moments" were, but you know.

If you can remember those watershed moments, I would like you to take a second look at the watershed moment in our text above.

It tells of a man with a particularly unappealing and loathsome disease who came to Jesus. He had a simple appeal, "If you want, You can make me clean." To anyone who heard it, it was an outrageous request. To Jesus, it was an heartfelt appeal coming from a desperate and lonely man. Faster than I can say it Jesus replied, "I want to make you well" and He touched the man.

Yes, Jesus touched the man... and the man was well. And that is a watershed moment.

And it is your watershed moment, too.

No matter how badly you feel about yourself; no matter what others have told you, Jesus wants it to be different. Jesus came to save the world, but He also came to save you; to rescue you; to forgive you. Today, your repentant heart can say, "Jesus, if you want, you can help me." Then listen carefully as He assures, "At the cross and the empty tomb, I already did."

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for a Savior Who died to free me from my sins I shall always be eternally grateful. When the world wishes to hurt me, let me hear the loving and comforting words of my Redeemer. In His 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 07 de Setiembre de 2017

Alimento Diario

Tener fe

07 de Setiembre 2017

Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree no se pierda, sino que tenga vida eterna.

Hoy voy a hablar sobre las abuelas.

¿Sabía usted que una de las tareas de las abuelas es tener siempre en su cartera fotos de sus nietos?

Hace poco conocí a una abuela que realmente se deleitaba en hablar de sus nietos. Debo reconocer que sus nietos son preciosos y muy bien educados, y así se lo hice saber, diciéndole: "Tiene unos nietos encantadores. ¿Cuántos años tienen?"

Sin titubear ni un segundo, la abuela me contestó: "El doctor tiene cinco, y el embajador tiene tres".

No me sorprendería para nada que el día de mañana esos niños hagan realidad las esperanzas de esa abuela. No son muchos los niños que crecen teniendo a alguien que tenga tanta confianza en ellos como esta abuela.

¿No sería maravilloso si todos tuviéramos a alguien así? ¿No es cierto que nos esforzamos más cuando sabemos que hay alguien que cree en nosotros? ¿No es cierto que cuando alguien espera mucho de nosotros, hacemos lo mejor que podemos para no defraudarle?

Lo reconozcamos o no, todos desearíamos que alguien nos cuidara como una abuela. La buena noticia es que, aun cuando no todos contemos con el cuidado de una abuela, sí podemos contar con el cuidado de nuestro Salvador, quien vino a este mundo para transformarnos y hacernos aptos para servirle.

Jesucristo confía en que haremos lo mejor por servir a los demás, por dar testimonio de nuestra fe y por servir a nuestro Padre en el cielo. Él confía en que vamos a vivir cada uno de nuestros días en agradecimiento por lo que él ha hecho por nosotros.

La mayoría de nosotros no somos ni seremos embajadores o doctores, pero todos y cada uno de nosotros podemos ser fieles seguidores de Jesús.

ORACIÓN: Querido Señor, gracias por rescatarme del poder del mal y de la muerte eterna, y por confiar en que sea tu testigo. Ayúdame para que viva de acuerdo a tu voluntad, alabándote por las maravillosas cosas que has hecho por mí. En el hombre de Jesús. Amén.

De una devoción escrita originalmente para "By the Way"

© 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.