Friday, September 22, 2017

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, September 22, 2017


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
O God, who hast ordained that whatever is to be desired should be sought by labour, and who by they blessing bringest honest labour to good effect, look with mercy upon my studies and endeavours. Grant me, O Lord, to design only what is lawful and right; and afford me calmness of mind and steadiness of purpose, that I may so do thy will in this short life, as to obtain happiness in the world to come, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
~ Samuel Johnson, 1764

The Lessons

A reading from 2 Kings 1:2-17
Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay injured; so he sent messengers, telling them, "Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury." But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Get up, go to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?' Now therefore thus says the LORD, 'You shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.'" So Elijah went. The messengers returned to the king, who said to them, "Why have you returned?" They answered him, "There came a man to meet us, who said to us, 'Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him: Thus says the LORD: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but shall surely die.'" He said to them, "What sort of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?" They answered him, "A hairy man, with a leather belt around his waist." He said, "It is Elijah the Tishbite." Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, "O man of God, the king says, 'Come down.'" But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then fire came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. He went up and said to him, "O man of God, this is the king's order: Come down quickly!" But Elijah answered them, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. So the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and entreated him, "O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. Look, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight." Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So he set out and went down with him to the king, and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron,-- is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?-- therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die." So he died according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. His brother, Jehoram succeeded him as king in the second year of King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son.

A reading from 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness," and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future-- all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

A reading from Matthew 5:11-16
"Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 69 Salvum me fac
1   Save me, O God, for the waters have risen up to my neck.
2   I am sinking in deep mire, and there is no firm ground for my feet.
3   I have come into deep waters, and the torrent washes over me.
4   I have grown weary with my crying; my throat is inflamed; my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
5   Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. Must I then give back what I never stole?
6   O God, you know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from you.
7   Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel.
8   Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach, and shame has covered my face.
9   I have become a stranger to my own kindred, an alien to my mother's children.
10   Zeal for your house has eaten me up; the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
11   I humbled myself with fasting, but that was turned to my reproach.
12   I put on sack-cloth also, and became a byword among them.
13   Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, and the drunkards make songs about me.
14   But as for me, this is my prayer to you, at the time you have set, O LORD:
15   In your great mercy, O God, answer me with your unfailing help.
16   Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; let me be rescued from those who hate me and out of the deep waters.
17   Let not the torrent of waters wash over me, neither let the deep swallow me up; do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
18   Answer me, O LORD, for your love is kind; in your great compassion, turn to me."
19   Hide not your face from your servant; be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
20   Draw near to me and redeem me; because of my enemies deliver me.
21   You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; my adversaries are all in your sight."
22   Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I could find no one.
23   They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
24   Let the table before them be a trap and their sacred feasts a snare.
25   Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and give them continual trembling in their loins.
26   Pour out your indignation upon them, and let the fierceness of your anger overtake them.
27   Let their camp be desolate, and let there be none to dwell in their tents.
28   For they persecute him whom you have stricken and add to the pain of those whom you have pierced.
29   Lay to their charge guilt upon guilt, and let them not receive your vindication.
30   Let them be wiped out of the book of the living and not be written among the righteous.
31   As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
32   I will praise the Name of God in song; I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
33   This will please the LORD more than an offering of oxen, more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
34   The afflicted shall see and be glad; you who seek God, your heart shall live.
35   For the LORD listens to the needy, and his prisoners he does not despise.
36   Let the heavens and the earth praise him, the seas and all that moves in them;
37   For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; they shall live there and have it in possession.
38   The children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his Name will dwell therein.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 73 Quam bonus Israel!
1   Truly, God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2   But as for me, my feet had nearly slipped; I had almost tripped and fallen;
3   Because I envied the proud and saw the prosperity of the wicked:
4   For they suffer no pain, and their bodies are sleek and sound;
5   In the misfortunes of others they have no share; they are not afflicted as others are;
6   Therefore they wear their pride like a necklace and wrap their violence about them like a cloak.
7   Their iniquity comes from gross minds, and their hearts overflow with wicked thoughts.
8   They scoff and speak maliciously; out of their haughtiness they plan oppression.
9   They set their mouths against the heavens, and their evil speech runs through the world.
10   And so the people turn to them and find in them no fault.
11   They say, "How should God know? is there knowledge in the Most High?"
12   So then, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase their wealth.
13   In vain have I kept my heart clean, and washed my hands in innocence.
14   I have been afflicted all day long, and punished every morning.
15   Had I gone on speaking this way, I should have betrayed the generation of your children.
16   When I tried to understand these things, it was too hard for me;
17   Until I entered the sanctuary of God and discerned the end of the wicked.
18   Surely, you set them in slippery places; you cast them down in ruin.
19   Oh, how suddenly do they come to destruction, come to an end, and perish from terror!
20   Like a dream when one awakens, O Lord, when you arise you will make their image vanish.
21   When my mind became embittered, I was sorely wounded in my heart.
22   I was stupid and had no understanding; I was like a brute beast in your presence.
23   Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24   You will guide me by your counsel, and afterwards receive me with glory.
25   Whom have I in heaven but you? and having you I desire nothing upon earth.
26   Though my flesh and my heart should waste away, God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
27   Truly, those who forsake you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful.
28   But it is good for me to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge.
29   I will speak of all your works in the gates of the city of Zion.

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
God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace, I have tried to read your Bible and find your Word and your will for me, and to study it. But I think so many thoughts about it, and then I start to think I know something, and then I see another church or hear a pastor or read something, and I think, “that person is wrong”. Or the pastor of my church or a Bible teacher will tell me one thing, and then somebody else will tell me something completely different.

Please, dear God, help me and every person who confesses Christ as his Lord and Savior, not think that they know everything and get into arguments with each other. Let us always remember that it is not other Christians who are our enemies, just because they think something different, or baptize people differently, or have different ideas about sacraments or church leadership or whatever foolish doctrine we might fight about. Let us always remember that there was one Christ, one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and one church. Heal any and all divisions between Christians, Holy God.

And let me be part of the solution and not part of the problem, I pray. Let me put first your command, that we bear with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Let me not be made angry or self-righteous by doctrine, but remember always who our true enemy is and direct my efforts to the defeat of atheism and the death that comes from living in the flesh. In the name of Christ, hear my prayer, 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.


Here I Am, Lord/The Lord of Sea and Sky
National Youth Choir of Scotland

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

Closing Prayer
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make me faithful to your Word that I may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord. 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.
~ 2 Corinthians 13:14

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

Prayer of the Day for FRIDAY, September 22, 2017


God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace, I have tried to read your Bible and find your Word and your will for me, and to study it. But I think so many thoughts about it, and then I start to think I know something, and then I see another church or hear a pastor or read something, and I think, “that person is wrong”. Or the pastor of my church or a Bible teacher will tell me one thing, and then somebody else will tell me something completely different.

Please, dear God, help me and every person who confesses Christ as his Lord and Savior, not think that they know everything and get into arguments with each other. Let us always remember that it is not other Christians who are our enemies, just because they think something different, or baptize people differently, or have different ideas about sacraments or church leadership or whatever foolish doctrine we might fight about. Let us always remember that there was one Christ, one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and one church. Heal any and all divisions between Christians, Holy God.

And let me be part of the solution and not part of the problem, I pray. Let me put first your command, that we bear with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Let me not be made angry or self-righteous by doctrine, but remember always who our true enemy is and direct my efforts to the defeat of atheism and the death that comes from living in the flesh. In the name of Christ, hear my prayer, Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, September 22, 2017


Romans 15:7 (NIV) Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Read all of Romans 15

Listen to Romans 15

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Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - The Message Proclaimed


And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"

From the original Greek, we could translate the final question in Romans 10:14 as, “How shall they hear without one preaching?” The Phillips translation puts it this way, “How can they hear unless someone proclaims Him?” Therefore, we see the emphasis is not on a preacher, but on preaching.

We may think the work of evangelism is only for those who are called to be evangelists. Granted, there are people in the church whom God has raised up to be evangelists, and certainly, evangelism is not limited to those who preach to hundreds or thousands at a time. I have seen many individual believers who obviously have this gift.

While it is true that some are called to be evangelists, it is also true that every Christian is called to evangelize. Many times, however, we avoid sharing our faith, deciding instead to just live it out, be a good witness, and leave the preaching to others.

Yet in 1 Corinthians 1:21, it says, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”

This does not mean that we need to scream, yell, and wave a Bible to get the point across. What it does mean is that we are to recognize the primary way God has chosen to reach the lost is through the proclamation of the gospel–by people. God has chosen the agency of His proclaimed Word to bring people to salvation.

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 has chosen to reach the lost through the proclamation of the gospel by you and me!

Un Dia a la Vez - Espera tu bendición


La bendición de Jehová es la que enriquece, y no añade tristeza con ella.

Cada día que pasa puedo ser testigo de cómo mi amado Dios tiene muchas bendiciones separadas para nosotros. Lo que sucede es que a menudo colocamos nuestras expectativas y sueños en otras personas que quizá no nos ayuden a llevarlos a cabo. No se trata de que sean malas personas, sino que no son el canal de bendición que Él tiene para nosotros.

¿Cuántas veces te han ilusionado, te han prometido ayuda, y a la hora de la verdad nada de nada? Es verdad que se siente frustración y que hasta decimos: «No vuelvo a confiar en nadie».

Hay cosas que tú y yo debemos tener como una fórmula de vida y es que debemos aprender a identificar las cosas que vienen de parte de Dios, así como las personas que son canal de bendición.

Siempre debemos pedirle al Señor que nos guíe y nos muestre las cosas con claridad, a fin de que no nos confundan y, mucho menos, que nos engañen.

Es preferible que esperes tu bendición y saber que viene con la aprobación del cielo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - DEALING WITH DIFFERENCES


“Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
~ Luke 9:49-50 (NIV)

The disciples complained to the Lord Jesus that some other men who were not of their group were ministering in Jesus’ name. The disciples had forbidden them to continue, but Jesus rebuked them. The Lord had to deal with Peter very specifically through a vision and a dramatic experience before he could say, I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right (Acts 10: 34,35).

The Apostle Paul enlarged on this idea in Romans 14. He summarized his teaching when he said, Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?” (Romans 14:4). You then, why do you judge your brother?…for we will all stand before God’s judgment seat” (Romans 14:10).

We must be very careful about rejecting someone simply because they do not serve the Lord the same way we do. If we quietly go about the work the Lord has given us, we need not be overly concerned about how others feel led to serve Him.

In Eritrea, Helen Berhane experienced differences among believers even in the horrible conditions of the shipping container prison. She writes in her book, Song of the Nightingale:

It was an incredible experience to share my imprisonment with others who were also imprisoned for their faith. However, with Christians from six different denominations in one container, we often found that we disagreed. For example, there was one lady who was a traditional Orthodox Christian; a very strong believer. If I told a joke as part of my Bible teachings she disapproved, so she actually began to pray and worship alone, and even eat alone. I found it amazing that even in a container she would not socialize with Christians she perceived to be too worldly! Other people argued over how we prayed. Some people preferred to pray silently, while others would pray out loud, and in such a small space it was easy to see why this was a problem.

I had to remind them, “We are not in our churches now. In our own church halls we can do as we please, but here we must tolerate each other’s differences. If we keep fighting they may send us to the underground prisons in the mountains, so we must be thankful for our freedom to worship together here, and not argue about the ways we used to worship when we were free.”[1]

RESPONSE: Today I will be very careful about rejecting someone simply because they do not serve the Lord the same way I do.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to be humble in dealing with believers who see things differently than I.

1. Helen Berhane, Song of the Nightingale (Colorado Springs: Authentic Media, 2009), pp. 49-50.

Men of the Bible - John the Baptist


His name may mean: "Yahweh Has Been Gracious"

His work: He was the forerunner of Jesus, called to live in the spirit and power of Elijah. John prepared the way by preaching the need for repentance.
His character: John was completely focused on his assignment, unaffected by anything other than his message. And he wasn't willing to take on this duty without plenty of preparation.
His sorrow: A prophet's greatest joy is in preaching. But John spent the final days of his life in prison, unable to do what God had called and gifted him to do.
His triumph: God chose John to baptize his Son. No greater honor has ever been given a man.
Key Scriptures: Luke 1:5-25; 3:1-20

A Look at the Man

People in Israel were expecting the Messiah. The prophet Malachi had spoken of a redeemer, saying, "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes" this long-awaited day of the Lord had melted into years, decades, centuries. Generations had come and gone, and still there was silence. God's voice was not heard.

But then came John with the clear-cut assignment pronounced centuries earlier by the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord; make straight paths for him.'" John's voice was so strong and so persistent that it was heard even in the king's palace. When Herod learned that John had pronounced judgment on his illegal and immoral marriage to his brother's wife, he threw the prophet in prison.

While imprisoned, John felt the need of reassurance about the one whose way he was preparing. Had he, like so many others, secretly hoped the Messiah would be like other great kings, using military force to overthrow his adversaries? But Jesus had assembled no armies. Perhaps, he may have thought, Jesus would use political force. But civil reform would never prove to be part of Jesus' agenda.

When John's emissaries questioned Jesus, they found him at work, curing diseases, giving sight to the blind, delivering those who were possessed by evil spirits. Jesus merely replied to their questions with the command: "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard."

Imagine how John must have been pleased with this message. This is not what I expected in the Messiah, he may have thought. But Jesus must be from God. No one could do these things unless he was the one we have waited for.

A short time later, John was beheaded by Herod. By his life and by his death he prepared the way of the Lord, whose kingdom was not of this earth. Jesus said of John: "I tell you the truth. Among those born of a woman there has not risen anyone greater than John."

John said of Jesus, "One more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.... He must become greater; I must become less." A perfect summary of what it means to prepare the way of the Lord.

Reflect On: Luke 3:7–14
Praise God: For his faithfulness.
Offer Thanks: For God’s plan of salvation, for the obedience of John the Baptist, and for sending his Son.
Confess: Your fear of boldness in speaking the truth and in telling of your love for God and your faith in him.
Ask God: For opportunities to tell others of his mercy and for courage to speak.

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 22, 2017


Putting My World Back Together

Today’s Truth

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
~ Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

A father was trying to take his Sunday afternoon nap but having little success because his young son kept waking him up with the complaint, "Daddy, I'm bored." The father knew he needed to come up with some kind of plan to keep the little boy occupied, or there would be no nap. He glanced at the newspaper lying on the coffee table and had what he thought was a brilliant plan to keep his son busy and give him more time to sleep.

The father picked up the paper and pointed to a picture of the world on the front page. "This is a picture of the world, but it is also a puzzle," the father explained. He then ripped the picture into about fifty pieces, handed them to his young son and said, "I want you to put it all back together." He lay down to finish his nap, thinking he would get at least another hour of sleep.

In about fifteen minutes, the little boy woke him up saying, "Daddy, I've got it finished. It's all put together." The father could not believe it. His son was too young to know much about geography. "How did you do that?" he asked in amazement. "Dad, there was a picture of a person on the back page of that newspaper, and when I got my person put together, the world looked fine."

Pain can rip our lives apart. We frantically try to find some way to put it all back together, but the broken pieces don't seem to fit anymore. What then?

Trust God. Like the children of Israel, just stick your toes in the water, and watch God part the raging sea before you.

You may be desperately clinging to the broken and mismatched remnants of your life, wondering how you can go on. Whispers of the enemy creep into your heart, soul, and mind, taunting you with the lie that you are just too dirty and too broken for God to love or use. You might as well give up.

No! That is a lie from the pit and smells like smoke!

God is drawn to broken people, choosing the most broken to do His highest work. His light shines best through broken people.

There are no accidents with God, nor is He surprised by anything or anyone in the life of His child. God uses even the most horrendous circumstances for our good. Every circumstance comes to us for a purpose, bound by God’s love and plan, and faithfully delivered with His permission.

Only God can take the broken pieces of your life and make something beautiful out of each one. He is waiting for you to let go … and trust Him. And you really can trust God.

No one loves you like He does.

You may not always understand or even like His process, but you can always trust His heart of love for you.

Let’s Pray

Father, I choose to believe You are faithful and will do what You promise to do in Your Word. I believe that when I lay my pain and hurt at Your feet, You can and will transform it all into something beautiful. I choose to believe You will turn the broken places of my life into living illustrations of Your sufficiency and healing power.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read the following verse about the good that God can bring out of the difficult times in life. Record the verse in the journal. Then write it in your own words as it applies to your life.

Isaiah 45:3 (NLT) “And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”

More from the Girlfriends

If you need help navigating the treacherous waters of the darkness, check out Mary’s book, Hope in the Midst of Depression. Check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website. And be sure to connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

Seeking God?
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Girlfriends in God


LHM Daily Devotion - September 22, 2017 "Was He Serious?"

Over the years, I've heard a number of Christians say most sincerely...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour



"Was He Serious?"

September 22, 2017

Now great crowds accompanied Him, and He turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple."
~ Luke 14:25-27 (ESV)

Over the years, I've heard a number of Christians say most sincerely, "Oh, if only I could have been there when the Savior walked the earth. I would love to have heard Him preach. I'd give just about anything to have seen some of His miracles. I would, I think, have stayed awake with Him as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. I'm pretty sure I would have shouted for His release when He was unfairly tried. I certainly wouldn't have called out for Pontius Pilate to release the criminal Barabbas."

I neither question nor disagree with the sincerity of those words; most of the time I agree.

Still, there are times when I am glad I wasn't there. I'm glad I wasn't there because I don't know exactly what I would have done and how I would have reacted. I'm not entirely sure I would have always understood some of the things Jesus was saying and doing.

Today it's fashionable to think of Jesus as being gentle, kind, mild-mannered, gracious, and loving. Too often we forget that Jesus had another side, a deeper side, a side that is sometimes difficult for many of His followers to understand.

For example, listen carefully to what Jesus said, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple."

Did you hear that? Those words don't sound like something that would come out of the mouth of the Prince of Peace, the Christ who told us to love our enemies.

I know many Christians who try to minimize those words, try to change them, even ignore them. They say, "Oh, Jesus really didn't mean what He said. Not really. Jesus just wanted the folks in the crowd to know that following Him wasn't something to be taken lightly."

Me, I think Jesus was serious.

The disciples thought He was serious. They left their boats, their places of business, their families, and they followed Him. Two-thousand years of martyrs have thought Jesus was serious. History has two millennia filled with Christians who were exiled from community, family, and friends because they loved the Christ.

Are we really ready to tell them that Jesus was just joking? Jesus knew what He was saying. Jesus meant what He was saying. He meant every word that He said to the crowd that day.

He meant it every bit as much as the Heavenly Father meant it when He said, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3). It's a question of priorities and our faith-motivated willingness to follow the Savior who gave up His throne in heaven and His life here on earth -- so we might be forgiven and saved.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that my love for You may reflect the love and commitment the Savior has shown for me in His sacrifice which saves. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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CPTLN Devocional de 22 de Setiembre de 2017


Alimento Diario

Como un padre

22 de Setiembre 2017

Y seré un Padre para ustedes, y ustedes serán mis hijos y mis hijas. Lo ha dicho el Señor Todopoderoso.

El padre puede ser una tremenda bendición en la vida. A través de estudios se ha llegado a la conclusión que la presencia o ausencia del padre en la vida de un niño es el factor que más ayuda a predecir si va a terminar la escuela secundaria, si va a ir a la universidad, si se va a involucrar en crímenes o uso de drogas o, en el caso de una niña, si va a quedar embarazada antes de los 18 años.

El padre también puede ser una tremenda bendición en la vida espiritual. Cuando el padre es el primero en profesar su fe en Jesucristo, su familia le sigue en un 93% de los casos.

No es de extrañar, entonces, que Dios quiera relacionarse con nosotros como Padre.

Dios se identifica a sí mismo como "Padre" para que podamos comprender cuánto nos ama. Él nunca va a ser como un padre humano, que son imperfectos, porque él es perfecto y santo. Y como tal, hace por sus hijos lo que un Padre perfecto y santo debe hacer: los ama, los protege, los escucha, los consuela, los dirige, los sirve, los ayuda y los rescata.

El mayor acto de amor de Dios fue enviar a su hijo Jesucristo a morir en una cruz para pagar por los pecados de todas las personas. Todo aquél que profesa su fe en él lo recibe como su Señor y Salvador y se convierte en hijo de Dios - y Dios se convierte en su Padre.

Un padre no es padre simplemente porque haya generado biológicamente un hijo. Lo que lo convierte en padre es lo que hace por ese hijo. Dios se comporta como nuestro Padre, amándonos a través de su hijo Jesucristo, y nos trata siempre como sus hijos. Él es el modelo perfecto a seguir.

ORACIÓN: Querido Dios, al entregar a tu hijo Jesucristo para que muriera por nosotros demostraste que nos amas como Padre, y al darnos el regalo de la fe nos convertiste en tus hijos. Te damos gracias por tener compasión de nosotros, y te pedimos que tu bendición nunca nos abandone. En el nombre de tu Hijo. Amén.

Biografía del autor: Kevin Wendt se graduó del Seminario Concordia de Fort Wayne, Indiana, en 1993, y actualmente está sirviendo en la congregación Grace en Destin, Florida. Previamente sirvió congregaciones en Ft. Wayne, Indiana; Rochester, Minnesota; Macomb, Michigan, y St. Louis, Missouri. Junto con su esposa Jennifer tienen tres hijos: Amanda, Andrew, y Aaron.

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