Friday, September 8, 2017

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, September 8, 2017

Boasting about Tomorrow - James 4:13-15
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

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.

Morning Prayer
If things get tough today, Lord — and in all hard times — let me stay motivated and calm. Let me look at how far I have come rather than how far I still have to go. Let me continue counting my blessings, not what I've been missing. May every day bring new chances to grow, new beautiful things to see, new plans to do, and new goals to pursue, as every new day is Your miracle day. Amen.

Today's Readings

The First Reading is taken from 1 Kings 11:26-43
[Jeroboam’s Rebellion] Jeroboam son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow, rebelled against the king. The following was the reason he rebelled against the king. Solomon built the Millo, and closed up the gap in the wall of the city of his father David. The man Jeroboam was very able, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious he gave him charge over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph. About that time, when Jeroboam was leaving Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Ahijah had clothed himself with a new garment. The two of them were alone in the open country when Ahijah laid hold of the new garment he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. He then said to Jeroboam: Take for yourself ten pieces; for thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, "See, I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon, and will give you ten tribes. One tribe will remain his, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. This is because he has forsaken me, worshiped Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and has not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my sight and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, as his father David did. Nevertheless I will not take the whole kingdom away from him but will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of my servant David whom I chose and who did keep my commandments and my statutes; but I will take the kingdom away from his son and give it to you-- that is, the ten tribes. Yet to his son I will give one tribe, so that my servant David may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name. I will take you, and you shall reign over all that your soul desires; you shall be king over Israel. If you will listen to all that I command you, walk in my ways, and do what is right in my sight by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you, and will build you an enduring house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. For this reason I will punish the descendants of David, but not forever." Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam; but Jeroboam promptly fled to Egypt, to King Shishak of Egypt, and remained in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
[Death of Solomon] Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, all that he did as well as his wisdom, are they not written in the Book of the Acts of Solomon? The time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. Solomon slept with his ancestors and was buried in the city of his father David; and his son Rehoboam succeeded him.

The Second Reading is taken from James 4:13-5:6

[Boasting about Tomorrow] Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money." Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin.
[Warning to Rich Oppressors] Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

The Holy Gospel is written in Mark 15:22-32
Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take. It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews." And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 31 In te, Domine, speravi
1   In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2   Incline your ear to me; make haste to deliver me.
3   Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag and my stronghold; for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me.
4   Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength.
5   Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O LORD, O God of truth.
6   I hate those who cling to worthless idols, and I put my trust in the LORD.
7   I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy; for you have seen my affliction; you know my distress.
8   You have not shut me up in the power of the enemy; you have set my feet in an open place.
9   Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
10   For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
11   I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12   I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am as useless as a broken pot.
13   For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
14   But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. I have said, "You are my God.
15   My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16   Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me."
17   LORD, let me not be ashamed for having called upon you; rather, let the wicked be put to shame; let them be silent in the grave.
18   Let the lying lips be silenced which speak against the righteous, haughtily, disdainfully, and with contempt.
19   How great is your goodness, O LORD! which you have laid up for those who fear you; which you have done in the sight of all for those who put their trust in you.
20   You hide them in the covert of your presence from those who slander them; you keep them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21   Blessed be the LORD! for he has shown me the wonders of his love in a besieged city.
22   Yet I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from the sight of your eyes." Nevertheless, you heard the sound of my entreaty when I cried out to you.
23   Love the LORD, all you who worship him; the LORD protects the faithful, but repays to the full those who act haughtily.
24   Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 35 Judica, Domine
1   Fight those who fight me, O LORD; attack those who are attacking me.
2   Take up shield and armor and rise up to help me.
3   Draw the sword and bar the way against those who pursue me; say to my soul, "I am your salvation."
4   Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled; let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
5   Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the LORD drive them away.
6   Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
7   For they have secretly spread a net for me without a cause; without a cause they have dug a pit to take me alive.
8   Let ruin come upon them unawares; let them be caught in the net they hid; let them fall into the pit they dug.
9   Then I will be joyful in the LORD; I will glory in his victory.
10   My very bones will say, "LORD, who is like you? You deliver the poor from those who are too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them."
11   Malicious witnesses rise up against me; they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
12   They pay me evil in exchange for good; my soul is full of despair.
13   But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth and humbled myself by fasting.
14   I prayed with my whole heart, as one would for a friend or a brother; I behaved like one who mourns for his mother, bowed down and grieving.
15   But when I stumbled, they were glad and gathered together; they gathered against me; strangers whom I did not know tore me to pieces and would not stop.
16   They put me to the test and mocked me; they gnashed at me with their teeth.
17   O Lord, how long will you look on? rescue me from the roaring beasts, and my life from the young lions.
18   I will give you thanks in the great congregation; I will praise you in the mighty throng.
19   Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me, nor let those who hate me without a cause wink at each other.
20   For they do not plan for peace, but invent deceitful schemes against the quiet in the land.
21   They opened their mouths at me and said, "Aha! we saw it with our own eyes."
22   You saw it, O LORD; do not be silent; O Lord, be not far from me.
23   Awake, arise, to my cause! to my defense, my God and my Lord!
24   Give me justice, O LORD my God, according to your righteousness; do not let them triumph over me.
25   Do not let them say in their hearts, "Aha! just what we want!" Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up."
26   Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced; let those who boast against me be clothed with dismay and shame.
27   Let those who favor my cause sing out with joy and be glad; let them say always, "Great is the LORD, who desires the prosperity of his servant."
28   And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.

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
Holy God, whenever I am in fear that someone will be angry with me for telling the truth, let me remember that Christ did not come bearing a sword to kill his enemies, but a cross upon which his enemies would kill him. Be with me, Holy Spirit, when I am afraid to speak up against falsehood, knowing that people will be angry with me, for to follow Christ means to carry the cross. If I know that the powerful might hurt me, I also remember that the wounds of Christ were momentary. The power of this world will fade, but your truth will remain forever and will reward me for such good and truth as I can accomplish in my life, no matter what hostility it encounters from the evil of men. I pray you will imbue confidence in the depth of my heart, dear God, utter certainty that wounds suffered in your name will be healed forever, and rewarded in this life by the knowledge of your approval, and in the life to come by the peace of heaven. In Christ's name, 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.

Panis Angelicus (Bread of Angels)
written by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi
Peformed by Chloe Agnew
from the Celtic Woman concert at Slane Castle, Ireland

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

Closing Prayer
Now, oh Lord, I pray that you may lift up the light of your countenance upon me, and give me peace; in my going out and in my coming in; in my sitting down and my rising up; in my work and in my play; in my joy and in my sorrow, in my laughter and in my tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark. Amen.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

Prayer of the Day for FRIDAY, September 8, 2017

Holy God, whenever I am in fear that someone will be angry with me for telling the truth, let me remember that Christ did not come bearing a sword to kill his enemies, but a cross upon which his enemies would kill him. Be with me, Holy Spirit, when I am afraid to speak up against falsehood, knowing that people will be angry with me, for to follow Christ means to carry the cross. If I know that the powerful might hurt me, I also remember that the wounds of Christ were momentary. The power of this world will fade, but your truth will remain forever and will reward me for such good and truth as I can accomplish in my life, no matter what hostility it encounters from the evil of men. I pray you will imbue confidence in the depth of my heart, dear God, utter certainty that wounds suffered in your name will be healed forever, and rewarded in this life by the knowledge of your approval, and in the life to come by the peace of heaven. In Christ's name, I pray, Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, September 8, 2017

Psalm 143:10 (NIV) Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

Read all of Psalm 143

Listen to Psalm 143

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 - Right Where You Are

Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."
~ Luke 10:2 (NKJV)

It seems, unfortunately, that the church could be compared to a giant football game where 60,000 people in the stands watch 22 people do all the work. We stand on the sidelines and shout, “Go, Pack, go!” while God is saying, “I want you down on the field. I want you to carry the ball. I want you to be a part of what I’m doing.”

Jesus said, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2). Notice that Jesus did not say that we should pray the Lord would send out more observers—or more spectators or more complainers. Rather, He said we should pray the Lord would send out more laborers.

No one can honestly pray for this work to be done if they are not willing to do it themselves. Let’s not sit around and say, “Yes, God, send more laborers into the harvest!” Instead, let’s say, “Lord, let it start with me. I will be a laborer. I don’t know what I can do. I don’t know what I can offer. I don’t have a lot. But it’s Yours, Lord. I give it to You.”

Just watch what God can do. He can do a lot with a little. He can take what you have and multiply it.

Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s the job of the professionals. Let the preachers do this preaching stuff. I’m just an ordinary person.”

There are many people you can reach far more effectively. You can reach them because they know you. They work with you. They live next to you. You are able to speak to them like perhaps no other person could. God has given you a group of people whom you can influence. God wants to use you right where you are.

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.
God can use you right where you are.

Un Dia a la Vez - Se crece con el dolor: Testimonio de sanidad (segunda parte)

Señor mi Dios, te pedí ayuda y me sanaste. Tú, Señor, me sacaste del sepulcro; me hiciste revivir de entre los muertos.

¿Se crece con el dolor? No sé cuál será tu respuesta, pero podemos sacar muchas reflexiones con esta frase, que no es para nada rebuscada, pues se hace realidad en la vida de los que llevan una relación con Dios.

Me refiero a la relación con Dios porque es la única manera en que podemos conocer su corazón y entender muchas de las cosas que permite en nuestra vida. El dolor es una de ellas.

En este mes de septiembre te contaré, a petición popular, del mes más traumático y doloroso de mi vida. Sé que de esta dura experiencia Dios te dará la porción de lo que tú debes aplicar a tu hermosa vida. En mi caso, la aprendí a apreciar cuando estuve a punto de morir.

Toda estadía en un hospital es dolorosa por los continuos pinchazos y los sufrimientos al recuperarnos de una intervención quirúrgica. Mi operación fue muy complicada. Necesité mucha morfina por varios días porque los dolores eran inmensos.

Experimenté otro dolor, el dolor del alma, de no poder ver a mi princesa pequeña que en ese tiempo tenía un año y medio. Me dolía dejar mi trabajo, no poder pararme ni moverme, y mi hija de tan solo dieciocho años a cargo de la casa, las cuentas, las hermanas y su abuelita. Me dolía mucho que me vieran tan enferma y sufrieran, pues hemos sido muy amigas.

Sin embargo, el dolor y el tiempo fue pasando y poco a poco me levanté de una manera milagrosa. ¡Alabado sea Dios!

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón


“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

The literal meaning of the word “forgiveness” in the New Testament is “to release; to hurl away; to free yourself.” The only way to break the chain or cycle of hurtfulness is to stop and ask forgiveness. This allows a relationship to start over and begin anew. The Russian writer, Solzhenitsyn, believed forgiveness is what truly makes us different from animals. Only humans can perform the most unnatural act of forgiveness that transcends the relentless law of nature.

A young Iranian lady, we’ll call Fatima, was full of hatred towards her mother-in-law. For fifteen years her mother-in law was her enemy and there was a great deal of enmity in the family.

Several times Fatima had even tried to kill her mother-in-law. Once she put poison in her soup hoping to kill her. The mother-in-law felt very sick after that and was taken to the hospital. The doctors took the poison out of her stomach and were able to save her life. On another occasion she had beaten her mother-in-law so badly that the ambulance took her to the hospital and again her life was saved. Other times she tried to kill her mother-in-law, but every time her life was saved miraculously.

The main reason for the hatred between Fatima and her mother-in-law was Fatima’s marriage to her son. The mother-in-law had even gone so far as to contact different witches in order to bring a curse on the life of Fatima.

One day Fatima got hold of the JESUS DVD and watched it. The love of Jesus had a great impact on her life. When she heard one of Jesus’ teachings that says: “Love your enemies and bless those who curse you,” she was deeply moved. She was especially touched by the fact that Jesus died on the cross for the sake of His enemies and even asked God to forgive them. At that moment Fatima fell on her knees and asked Jesus to come into her heart and change her. She turned over her entire life to Jesus. After that she sensed this deep love in her heart towards her mother-in-law.

After that experience, Fatima visited her mother-in-law taking flowers and sweets for her. She fell on her knees in front of her and asked for her forgiveness for all the bad things she had done against her. Fatima told her that her life was changed and Jesus had created a new love in her heart towards her. The mother-in-law in turn asked Fatima to forgive her for all the curses she had tried to bring into her life. She also gave her life to Jesus as the result of her daughter-in-law’s evangelism. They entered into a beautiful relationship with one another from that moment onwards.

RESPONSE: Today I will ask forgiveness—as Jesus said—of people I have hated and treated poorly.

PRAYER: Thank You Father for Your example in loving the just and the unjust. Help me to practice this as Your son or daughter.

Men of the Bible - Jonah

His name means: "A Dove"

His work: He was a northern kingdom prophet.
His character: Jonah must have been a gifted communicator. Why else would God choose him to preach repentance and grace to the pagan city of Nineveh? But Jonah was a proud man, a rebellious prophet, and a sulker.
His sorrow: Jonah was sad that the Ninevites had repented and that God had granted them mercy. Jonah would have preferred seeing these pagans punished for their sinfulness.
His triumph: That God had spared his life from the belly of the fish.
Key Scriptures: The book of Jonah; Matthew 12:38-41

A Look at the Man

Prophets often scandalized God's people, ill-prepared as they were to hear the unvarnished truth about their spiritual condition. But in Jonah's case it was the prophet who was scandalized, not by another prophet, but by God himself. For one day he heard God issue an incredible command: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me."

Could God possibly mean it? It was one thing to endure mockery and ridicule from your own people whenever you preached repentance, but going to the capital city of Assyria was dangerous, perhaps deadly. The Ninevites, after all, were a violent and ruthless people who had already brutalized many Israelites. What's more, Jonah despised them. So, like a rebellious teenager, he ran away, except that he wasn't fleeing his parents, he was running from the Creator of the universe.

But, as Jonah soon discovered, you can't outrun God. Instead, he found himself surrounded by the entrails of a great fish. There in the darkness, Jonah was ready to pray.

"In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help and you listened to my cry…. You brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God…. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good."

From inside the fish, Jonah was calling his fear, his defiance, his pride, and his willful disobedience by a new name: "idols." And he was identifying the ship, the storm, and the fish as something they had never been called before: "grace." And once Jonah acknowledged these truths, God gave him another chance to obey, and the great fish vomited Jonah onto dry land. Even though Nineveh was probably more than five hundred miles away, Jonah headed for the city.

In the same way he had prepared the fish to swallow the prophet, God prepared the people for Jonah's message. "The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth to show their sorrow for their sin."

But now, instead of rejoicing at the way God had used him, Jonah acted like a spoiled child. Although he had taken God's message to the Assyrian capital city, he had no mercy for the people himself. He would have much rather watched Nineveh burn than have seen its people repent and avert God's judgment. He believed God's gift of grace belonged exclusively to his own countrymen.

How little did Jonah perceive the nature and intentions of the living God for whom he spoke. His running and his sulking demonstrate how little he understood about God's great compassion and his desire to forgive anyone who repents of his or her sins.

Reflect On: Jonah 2
Praise God: For his grace—in its many forms.
Offer Thanks: For God’s call on your life and his willingness to make certain that you hear his voice.
Confess: Your own foolishness and rebellion, remembering that nothing escapes his watchful eye.
Ask God: To fill you with a renewed gratitude for his presence and love for the lost.

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 08, 2017

Come Thirsty, Leave Satisfied

Today’s Truth

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”.
~ John 4:13-14 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

We all come into the world thirsty. From the time my son made his first cry in the delivery room, he began rooting around for something to drink. God planned it that way. Our bodies are 50- to 60-percent water and must be replenished continuously. When we go without water, our skin grows clammy, our eyes become scratchy and our head starts to pound. We need water to keep our mouths moist enough to swallow, our vital organs plump enough to function, and our joints lubricated enough to flex. One week without water, and we simply dry up and die.

We also come into the world spiritually thirsty. From the time we are cut loose from our mother’s nourishing umbilical cord, we begin our journey to discovering the living water to satisfy the soul. Oh, we may not know it yet, but God has placed the desire in each and every one of His image bearers. Until we meet Jesus at the well, we fumble about, trying to quench the God-given thirst with anything and anyone who offers temporary relief. But it is just that…temporary.

As Peter Kreeft once wrote in his book, Three Philosophies of Life, “It is only in a relationship with Jesus that we discover “the ultimate purpose for which we were created, the meeting and marriage between ourselves and God…the highest and holiest and happiest hope of the human heart, the thing we were all born hungering (and thirsting) for, hunting for, longing for.”

The Samaritan woman we meet in John, chapter 4, had tried drinking from many shallow streams. But they had all left her thirsty for more—or at least for something different. Jesus offered her freely flowing, resplendently refreshing water. Water that bubbles up from the indwelling Holy Spirit and quenches every thirst, washes away every sin, and flows into every nook and cranny of our beings. He invites us to come often and drink deeply.

I live on a lake. I can look at the lake, swim in the lake, and even stand in the lake…and still die of thirst. The only way for the water to enter my system is to scoop it up and drink.

Likewise, we can read about Jesus, listen to sermons about Jesus, and even believe that He was a good man. But until we actually believe that Jesus is God’s Son, the Messiah, who died for our sins and rose again…until we partake of Jesus and make him Lord of our lives, we will remain thirsty.

In The Silver Chair, the fourth book in the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis describes this scene:

A character, Jill, finds herself transported to Narnia as if she were caught up in a dream. The first creature she encounters is Aslan the lion, the Christ figure throughout the series. Aslan appears for a moment, and then stalks slowly back into the forest. Jill is terribly afraid of meeting up with the lion, but her increasing thirst drives her in search for water. Alas! Jill discovers a stream, but she has to pass Aslan to reach it.

“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.

“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.

“Then drink,” said the Lion.

“May I-could I-would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“Will you promise not to do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.

“I make no promise,” said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.

“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.

“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.

Let’s Pray

Dear LORD, I come to You thirsty today. I pray that You will fill me with living water that never shall run dry. Forgive me when I skip away to drink from other streams that never satisfy. I know that Jesus is the living water, and I drink deeply from Him today.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

What other “streams,” besides Jesus, have you drunk from to try and quench your thirst?

What was the end result?

What are some ways that we can quench our thirst with Jesus, the Living Water?

More from the Girlfriends

HowJesusBrokeTheRules-150x232Today’s devotion was taken from my book, How Jesus Broke the Rules to Set You Free: A Woman’s Walk in Power and Purpose. In this book we study each woman Jesus encountered in the New Testament and see how her story is your story. Jesus came to set women free! In a day when they moved about as shadows in the culture, rarely seen and seldom heard, Jesus broke the cultural rules to heal them, save them, and then send them. He risked His reputation to save theirs…and yours. The book comes with a study guide and is perfect for women’s Bible study groups. But be prepared, you’ll fall in love with Jesus all over again. Click on the book to watch the book trailer. That is a blessing in itself! Right now, this book is on sale for 33% off.

Visit my website and sign up for my blog, and I’ll email you a link to download my new beautiful adult coloring book journal for free!

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LHM Daily Devotion - September 8, 2017 "God Is There"

During the days of Queen Victoria there was a young lady who had to take...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"God Is There"

September 8, 2017

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

During the days of Queen Victoria there was a young lady who had to take a long journey on the newly constructed railroad, and she had to travel alone.

This young lady had learned enough geography to know her trip would cross any number of large rivers. Crossing those rivers was a matter of concern to the girl as she had no idea how such a passage could safely be made.

As she drew near the first river, she saw the bridge which took her over the river as if it had not been there. Soon there was another river and another bridge. It didn't take long before the girl leaned back and with a relieved sigh, said, "I don't have to worry, somebody has built bridges for me all the way!"

She had it figured out. Somebody had delivered her. That little girl had learned a valuable lesson.

All of us ought to echo her and say, "I don't have to worry, the Lord has built bridges for me that will take me over every dangerous place." We can say that; we can believe that, because it is true. God has built bridges, He has always built bridges so humanity might be delivered and ultimately reach our final destination.

Look to the Garden of Eden. Mankind's rebellion had created a gulf between heaven and hell; between the Creator and His created. Adam and Eve could not bridge that gulf, but the Lord did when He promised His Son as the Sacrifice which would buy our freedom.

When the world had become evil, God spoke to Noah and his boys. He had them build an ark which bridged the world which once was, and the new world which offered humanity a second chance.

When the Children of Israel were caught between the chariots of Pharaoh and the Red Sea, God opened that body of water and created a bridge of dry ground over which His people were delivered.

God builds bridges. Before we were ever born He knew our pains, our problems, our sins, our shortcomings, our demons, our diseases, our disobedience. He saw these things and in love He built bridges whereby people of faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit, could safely cross.

Again, and again He extends the invitation: "Call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you."

And again, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."

To these Jesus adds the invitation: "Come unto me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." It is a promise and an invitation for deliverance that He keeps.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may believe and trust You to be there to provide that which I need to be Your faithful follower. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional de 08 de Setiembre de 2017

Alimento Diario

Una nación santa

08 de Setiembre 2017

Ocozías, hijo de Ajab comenzó a reinar sobre Israel... Pero Ocozías siguió el mal ejemplo de su padre, de su madre y de Jeroboán hijo de Nabat, e hizo lo malo a los ojos del Señor, haciendo pecar al pueblo de Israel.

A veces todo tiene que ver con la forma en que fuimos criados. Permítame contarle la historia de dos familias muy diferentes.

El padre de la primer familia tenía fama de ser muy malo. La gente le temía tanto, que le habían puesto el sobrenombre de "hombre malo". Cuando murió, el hijo mayor ocupó su lugar, y fue aún más malo y corrupto que su padre. Muy pronto, todos lo conocían como "el hijo mayor del hombre malo". Al igual que su padre, vivió y murió miserablemente, y nadie lamentó su muerte.

El padre de la segunda familia era un policía que luchaba contra todo tipo de corrupción. Una mañana, después de la devoción familiar, le dijo a su hijo que se pusiera sus sandalias. Mientras la familia observaba, el joven se las calzó. Entonces el padre le dijo: "Sigue mis pasos, así como yo he seguido con fe los pasos de Jesucristo, nuestro Salvador". Y, tras haber dicho esas palabras, el hombre falleció. El hijo de ese hombre ha mantenido la fe hasta el día de hoy así como su padre se lo enseñó y se lo pidió, y actualmente sirve como voluntario en el ministerio de Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones en Nigeria.

La Escritura de hoy nos dice que el Rey Ocozías hizo cosas que ofenden a Dios, al igual que su padre Acab, quien reinó antes que él. La verdad es que son muchas las personas que sufren en la vida por seguir los pasos de sus padres. Hay quienes crecen viendo a sus padres pelear todo el tiempo, o sufriendo abusos verbales o emocionales, y cuando crecen repiten las mismas conductas.

Pero eso no es lo que Dios espera de nosotros. Él quiere que vivamos vidas responsables y rectas. Como cristianos nos alegramos porque a través de la fe en la obra salvadora de Jesús somos una nueva creación. Esa razón es más que suficiente para ser agradecidos y vivir nuestras vidas en forma honorable y humilde en servicio a nuestro Señor y Salvador.

Pedro entendía bien lo especial que es ser amado por Dios: "Pero ustedes son linaje escogido, real sacerdocio, nación santa, pueblo adquirido por Dios, para que anuncien los hechos maravillosos de aquel que los llamó de las tinieblas a su luz admirable" (1 Pedro 2:9).

Sigamos en los pasos de nuestro bendito Salvador que está sentado a la diestra de Dios el Padre todopoderoso.

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, con tu poder mantennos como una nación santa para tu gloria ahora y para siempre. Amén.

Biografía del autor: Esta devoción fue escrita por un voluntario de Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones en África Occidental.

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