Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, September 20, 2017

Opening Sentence
Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.

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
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy, whose trust, ever child-like, no cares can destroy, be there at my waking, and give me, I pray, your bliss in my heart, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith, whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe, be there at my labors, and give me, I pray, your strength in my heart, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace, your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace, be there at my homing, and give me, I pray, your love in my heart, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm, whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm, be there at my sleeping, and give me, I pray, your peace in my heart, Lord, at the end of the day. Amen.
~ Jan Struther, 1931

The Lessons

A reading from 1 Kings 22:1-28

[Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab]
1 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. 2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel had said to his officials, “Don’t you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?”

4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?”

Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”

6 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”

“Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”

8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.

9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”

10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. 11 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”

12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”

14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”

15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”

18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.

25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”

26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”

28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”

A reading from 1 Corinthians 2:1-13

1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

[God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit]
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

A reading from Matthew 4:18-25
[Jesus Calls His First Disciples]
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

[Jesus Heals the Sick]
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 72 Deus, judicium
[Of Solomon.]
1  Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.
2  May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice.
3  May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness.
4  May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor.
5  May he endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations.
6  May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth.
7  In his days may the righteous flourish and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.
8  May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9  May the desert tribes bow before him and his enemies lick the dust.
10  May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts.
11  May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him.
12  For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.
13  He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.
14  He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.
15  Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long.
16  May grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. May the crops flourish like Lebanon and thrive like the grass of the field.
17  May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. Then all nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed.
18  Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.
19  Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
20  This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 119:73-80 Manus tuæ fecerunt me[Yodh]
73  Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.
74  May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.
75  I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76  May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.
77  Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.
78  May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts.
79  May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes.
80  May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.

Psalm 119:81-88 Defecit in salutare
81  My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.
82  My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83  Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees.
84  How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors?
85  The arrogant dig pits to trap me, contrary to your law.
86  All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for I am being persecuted without cause.
87  They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88  In your unfailing love preserve my life, that I may obey the statutes of your mouth.

Psalm 119:89-96 In æternum, Domine
89  Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
90  Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.
91  Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.
92  If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
93  I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.
94  Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts.
95  The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.
96  To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.

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
O God, the everlasting Creator of all things, I pray for the souls of unbelievers, for they were made by you and formed in your image. Jesus, your Son, endured a most bitter death for their salvation. Permit not, I beseech you, Holy Lord, that your Son should be any longer despised by unbelievers, but accept the prayers of those who remember them and be mindful of your mercy. I pray you to forgive their idolatry and blasphemy, in the hopes that they too may some day know Him whom you have sent, the Lord Jesus Christ, that they may yet be redeemed and delivered, as was always the deep desire of your Son. Amen.

A Collect for Grace
O Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Divine Mercy Flood My Soul
Annie Karto

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

Closing Prayer
As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope. Amen.

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.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. (NRSV) Scripture taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the 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.

Prayer of the Day for WEDNESDAY, September 20, 2017

O God, the everlasting Creator of all things, I pray for the souls of unbelievers, for they were made by you and formed in your image. Jesus, your Son, endured a most bitter death for their salvation. Permit not, I beseech you, Holy Lord, that your Son should be any longer despised by unbelievers, but accept the prayers of those who remember them and be mindful of your mercy. I pray you to forgive their idolatry and blasphemy, in the hopes that they too may some day know Him whom you have sent, the Lord Jesus Christ, that they may yet be redeemed and delivered, as was always the deep desire of your Son. Amen.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, September 20, 2017

Joel 2:23 (NIV) Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.

Read all of Joel 2

Listen to Joel 2

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 - With Generous Hands

“Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
~ Hebrews 13:2 (NLT)

In “Streams In The Desert”, Vol. 2, Mrs. C. E. Cowman recalled an old legend about three fair maidens who lived in a royal palace. It went like this: While they were in the garden one morning with its streams and roses, there arose the question as to which of them had the most beautiful hands. Eleanor, who had tinted her white fingers while gathering strawberries, thought hers the most beautiful. Antoinette had been among the fragrant roses and her hands had their dewy sweetness. To her they were the loveliest. Joan had dipped her dainty fingers in the lucid stream and as the clear water sparkled on her fingers she thought her hands the most beautiful. Just then there came a poor girl who asked for alms, but the royal maidens drew aside their rich robes and turned away. The girl passed to a cottage nearby and a woman with a sun-burned face and toil-stained hands gave her bread. The poor girl, so the legend goes, was immediately transformed into an angel and appeared at the garden gate saying, “The most beautiful hands are those which are found ready to bless and help their fellowmen.”

In the Old Testament Abraham displayed the same type of hospitality as the woman with the “sun-burned face and toil-stained hands”. He welcomed three strangers who were standing nearby where he was camping in an oak grove. He ran out to meet them and invited them to rest in the shade of a tree while he had his servants retrieve water so the men could wash their feet. He then asked Sarah, his wife, to prepare food for them. He treated them as honored guests. It is often suggested he entertained angels.

In the United States during World War II times were difficult. Jobs were hard to find, especially in small towns, and food was rationed. There were many family men out of work. They traveled from town to town to try to find work.

My paternal grandmother exemplified the meaning of being hospitable to strangers during those difficult and lean times. When one of those men would knock on the door of her home and ask for food, she would always provide food for them, even if all she had to offer was a meager sandwich. Could she possibly have entertained an angel(s)?

Frances R. Havergal stated: “Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.” May we keep this thought in mind the next time we have the opportunity to bless and help our fellowmen.
Lord, guide us to opportunities to be hospitable to show Your love. Amen.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, NLT® copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Devotion shared by Ann Brock.
In “Streams In The Desert”, Vol. 2, Mrs. C. E. Cowman recalled an old legend about three fair maidens who lived in a royal palace. It went like this...

Un Dia a la Vez - Oración por nuestra defensa

Yo le digo al Señor: «Tú eres mi refugio, mi fortaleza, el Dios en quien confío».

Señor, ¡qué cosas tan hermosas nos has dejado en tu Palabra! Cuando leo el Salmo 91, comprendo, mi Dios, que si soy obediente a tu Palabra, mi vida estará siempre bajo tus alas. Con tus cuidados y protección. Que no debo temer a nada ni nadie porque eres mi Defensor.

En tu Palabra prometiste no abandonarme y estar conmigo en todo momento.

Ayúdame, Señor, a darte todo mi amor y a confiar plenamente en tu poder.

Dios mío, no temeré y descansaré en ti.

Por más noticias preocupantes que se escuchen afuera, yo creeré en ti.

Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO DO GOD’S WILL

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the Persecuted Church.”

While living in Hong Kong, I used to make a point of having dinner with many of the Open Doors supporters worldwide that gave up some holiday time to courier Bibles into China. Often in the course of their travels some of them would meet famous house church leaders and say, “To be truthful, I was a bit disappointed in meeting.” They would add something like, “I thought these people would be remarkable saints, and of course they were, but they were also quite prejudiced, or rude, or had some other feature that I did not think worthy of a very spiritual leader.” They assumed that the persecuted were “super-saints.” But they are not.

It is a very unfortunate trend to idolize the persecuted. We assume that if a Christian survives twenty years in a stinking prison cell they are in a completely different spiritual category from ourselves. They are of course different in what they have experienced, but that does not necessarily make them more spiritual. As J.C. Ryle once put it, “Even the best of men are only men at the best.” They often retain the blind spots and prejudices of their culture.

On one occasion I was taking a distinguished Bible teacher to meet a revival leader in Lanzhou, Gansu province. This Chinese leader had seen over 50,000 people come to know the Lord through his ministry over a ten-year period, but to our amazement he taught that “you can only come to faith on a Sunday.” He had been taught Christianity by his beloved grandmother, who believed the Lord would only listen to pleas for repentance on a Sunday. We talked and argued about this, and eventually he threw us out shouting, “You just hate my Granny.” I hear now, years later, that he has extended the “repentance period” to Saturday as well. Yet he is still an extremely effective evangelist despite this chronic, man-made obstacle he has erected to the grace of God!

Surely the great point is this: flawed as some Chinese leaders were, they did the will of God mightily. They labored in a country that has seen the number of Christians grow from less than one million in 1949 to over eighty millions today—the largest revival in the history of Christendom. God didn’t stop pouring out his Spirit because his saints were imperfect.

If the persecuted teach us anything, it is that God will work through us even despite our prejudices, blind spots and eccentricities. If we offer ourselves, we will be used…as we are.

We do not have to be perfect to do God’s will. Otherwise, no one could.

RESPONSE: Today I will walk in faith thankful that I do not have to be perfect to do God’s will.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, that You can still use me with all my imperfections and blind spots.

Girlfriends in God - September 20, 2017

The Price of Surrender

Today’s Truth

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses since He had the same temptations we do, though He never once gave way to them and sinned. So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive His mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need.

Friend to Friend

I learn a lot from our grandchildren. Justus, our eight-year-old grandson, came up with what I thought was an ingenious plan for disobedience when he was a toddler. Our daughter called one day, laughing. “Mom, I have to tell you what your grandson just said.”

Now when Danna refers to Justus as “your grandson” it generally means he has done something wrong – an extremely rare occurrence as far as I can tell.

Danna said, “I told Justus it was time to put away his toys and get ready for his nap. He stopped what he was doing, and I could tell he was seriously thinking about what I had asked him to do. Then his eyes sparkled, and he let out a huge sigh. It was obvious he had made a decision. Justus then smiled sweetly and said, ‘No tank you, Mama. Maybe tomowow!”

Maybe tomorrow.

I often do the same thing when God asks me to do something. I want to obey Him. But right now, it is inconvenient, and I just don’t want to do it. Maybe tomorrow I will.

I wonder.

Did Jesus question God or wonder why He had agreed to such a ridiculous plan? Seriously. Giving up heaven for earth – a throne for a manger? To live among frail humanity bent on self-destruction. To suffer and die for people who hated Him, tortured and betrayed him, and thought He was nothing more than a fraud?

Did Jesus find it hard to obey God?

If I am brutally honest, I tend to think the obedience of Jesus came a lot easier to Him than it does to me. After all, He was fully God and fully man – an enigma my skeptical mind and doubting heart simply can’t comprehend.

That is when I play the God card. Really. How hard could it have been for Jesus to obey God? How could He give into temptation? He was God.

But He was also man.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered (Hebrews 5:7-8, NIV).

God did not give Jesus the power to obey simply because He was His Son. Jesus learned obedience the same way we must learn obedience – through desperate cries for strength to make the right choices and through tears of anguish and repentance when we make the wrong choices.

Jesus found the strength to obey God through a holy and radical submission to God. He learned obedience through pain and suffering. The word “learned” indicates a continual choice and the ongoing process of falling down, learning the lesson each failure holds, and getting back up again – determined to make the right choice. And we must do the same, knowing and willingly accepting the fact that surrender is costly, painful, life changing – and worth it all.

God’s truth is for today – not tomorrow.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You, laying down my plan and embracing Yours. Give me the strength to obey You. When I fail, please forgive me, and help me begin again. Today, I choose to live a life of obedience to You. I surrender.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Psalm 119:34. Record it in your journal, and make it your prayer today.

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart (Psalm 119:34, NIV).

What is God asking you to do – today? Are you willing to step out in faith and obey Him? Do it!

More from the Girlfriends

Need help learning to trust God? Check out Mary’s 10-Day Trust Adventure for a ten-day faith tune-up.

Check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website. And be sure to connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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

Girlfriends in God

LHM Daily Devotion - September 20, 2017 "Unknown"

The title of the article in the New York Post captured my attention.

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour


September 20, 2017

(Jesus said) "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains."

The title of the article in the New York Post captured my attention. It said, "This is what would happen if North Korea launched a real attack."

The article began with a number of assumptions. For example, the author pretty much counted on the fact that the North Korean dictator would continue to rankle most of the rest of the world. Then there was the acknowledgment that while self-preservation might be paramount to most nations' decision-makers, North Korea was more concerned about saving face and not being pushed around.

The rest of the article was filled with a great many seriously depressing facts. Here are just a few. The article said that if North Korea launched an attack,

• President Trump would have ten minutes to decide if he wanted to retaliate;
• a North Korean missile would take a half hour to reach Los Angeles or Seattle;
• East Coast cities like New York and Washington would have 30 to 40 minutes to prepare;
• folks in the USA should be thankful because people in Seoul would have only six minutes to find suitable shelter, and the population of Tokyo would be limited to ten or eleven minutes before a North Korean missile would detonate.

Depressing? You bet! But it could get worse.

Rather than using its nukes, North Korea might elect to launch medium-range missiles armed with chemical and biological warheads. Not even the experts know if any of our counter measures could stop cruise missiles or disease-bearing artillery shells.

Any reader who waded through that article had to feel well educated. The only real question the article left unanswered was what would we do in case of a nuclear attack?

• Would we spend the minutes calling and reassuring our family and friends of our love?
• Would we try to apologize to all those whom we have hurt?
• Would we throw the world's shortest party?
• Would we quit our job and tell the boss what we really thought of him?

Or we could share the Savior with an unbeliever for one last time; or spend those minutes in prayer and thanks that the Savior's grace and salvation remains unaffected by wars and rumors of wars and, because of Jesus, we will be more than victors (see Romans 8:31-39).

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me be prepared for the unknown hour when You will come or when I will leave. Grant me a faith which is unshakable. In Jesus' Name I pray 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 20 de Setiembre de 2017

Alimento Diario

El resentimiento

20 de Setiembre 2017

Desechen todo lo que sea amargura, enojo, ira, gritería, calumnias, y todo tipo de maldad. En vez de eso, sean bondadosos y misericordiosos, y perdónense unos a otros, así como también Dios los perdonó a ustedes en Cristo.

La "Casa del Resentimiento".

Quizás nunca haya oído hablar de ella, pero la "Casa del Resentimiento" estaba en la ciudad de Nueva York, donde había sido construida por un millonario llamado Joseph Richardson.

La intención original de Richardson había sido construir esa casa (prácticamente inusable) para venderla a alguno de sus vecinos, pero ninguno estuvo dispuesto a pagar lo que pedía. Aun así la construyó... una casa de cinco pies de ancho, donde vivió el resto de su vida lleno de resentimiento.

Si se fija en las casas de la calle en la que usted vive, probablemente encuentre muchas casas como esa. No serán casas de cinco pies de ancho, sino más bien casas comunes y corrientes, muy semejantes a la suya. Pero, más allá de las apariencias externas, muchas de ellas también podrían ser llamadas "Casas de Resentimiento", pues quienes las habitan son personas resentidas y enojadas con quienes les rodean. Personas que son incapaces de perdonar una discusión, un entredicho, o una ofensa.

¡Qué triste es vivir así! ¡Cuánto necesitan esas personas al Señor que les puede mostrar cómo perdonar y liberarse del resentimiento!

Jesús mismo oró, y nos enseñó a orar: "perdónanos nuestras deudas así como nosotros perdonamos a nuestros deudores". Él vivió su vida de esa manera, y espera que quienes han sido limpiados de sus pecados por su sacrificio, también lo hagan.

Acerquémonos, pues, a quienes viven en esas "Casas de Resentimiento", para que puedan salir de ellas y así conocer y recibir la libertad que sólo el perdón de Jesucristo puede dar.

ORACIÓN: Querido Dios, crea en mí un corazón puro y sensible. No permitas que en mi casa reine el resentimiento, y ayúdame para guiar a otros a que salgan del suyo. Te lo pido en el nombre del Salvador. 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.