Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Daily Readings for TUESDAY, October 3, 2017

Matthew 7:3
2 Chronicles 29:1-3, 30:1-27
Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the sight of the LORD, just as his ancestor David had done. In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them. Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover to the LORD the God of Israel. For the king and his officials and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the passover in the second month (for they could not keep it at its proper time because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem). The plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the passover to the LORD the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; for they had not kept it in great numbers as prescribed. So couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his officials, as the king had commanded, saying, "O people of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he may turn again to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your ancestors and your kindred, who were faithless to the LORD God of their ancestors, so that he made them a desolation, as you see. Do not now be stiff-necked as your ancestors were, but yield yourselves to the LORD and come to his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever, and serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger may turn away from you. For as you return to the LORD, your kindred and your children will find compassion with their captors, and return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him." So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun; but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Only a few from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the officials commanded by the word of the LORD. Many people came together in Jerusalem to keep the festival of unleavened bread in the second month, a very large assembly. They set to work and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for offering incense they took away and threw into the Wadi Kidron. They slaughtered the passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed, and they sanctified themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of the LORD. They took their accustomed posts according to the law of Moses the man of God; the priests dashed the blood that they received from the hands of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves; therefore the Levites had to slaughter the passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to make it holy to the LORD. For a multitude of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the passover otherwise than as prescribed. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "The good LORD pardon all who set their hearts to seek God, the LORD the God of their ancestors, even though not in accordance with the sanctuary's rules of cleanness." The LORD heard Hezekiah, and healed the people. The people of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the festival of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, accompanied by loud instruments for the LORD. Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill in the service of the LORD. So the people ate the food of the festival for seven days, sacrificing offerings of well-being and giving thanks to the LORD the God of their ancestors. Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the festival for another seven days; so they kept it for another seven days with gladness. For King Hezekiah of Judah gave the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep for offerings, and the officials gave the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. The priests sanctified themselves in great numbers. The whole assembly of Judah, the priests and the Levites, and the whole assembly that came out of Israel, and the resident aliens who came out of the land of Israel, and the resident aliens who lived in Judah, rejoiced. There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon son of King David of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests and the Levites stood up and blessed the people, and their voice was heard; their prayer came to his holy dwelling in heaven.

1 Corinthians 7:32-40
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord. If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his fiancee, if his passions are strong, and so it has to be, let him marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. But if someone stands firm in his resolve, being under no necessity but having his own desire under control, and has determined in his own mind to keep her as his fiancee, he will do well. So then, he who marries his fiancee does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better. A wife is bound as long as her husband lives. But if the husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, only in the Lord. But in my judgment she is more blessed if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

Matthew 7:1-12
"Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye. "Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you. "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 97 Dominus regnavit
1   The LORD is King; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad.
2   Clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and justice are the foundations of his throne.
3   A fire goes before him and burns up his enemies on every side.
4   His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees it and is afraid.
5   The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6   The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.
7   Confounded be all who worship carved images and delight in false gods! Bow down before him, all you gods.
8   Zion hears and is glad, and the cities of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD.
9   For you are the LORD, most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
10   The LORD loves those who hate evil; he preserves the lives of his saints and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11   Light has sprung up for the righteous, and joyful gladness for those who are truehearted.
12   Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, and give thanks to his holy Name.

Psalm 99 Dominus regnavit
1   The LORD is King; let the people tremble; he is enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth shake.
2   The LORD is great in Zion; he is high above all peoples.
3   Let them confess his Name, which is great and awesome; he is the Holy One.
4   O mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5   Proclaim the greatness of the LORD our God and fall down before his footstool; he is the Holy One.
6   Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among those who call upon his Name, they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
7   He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud; they kept his testimonies and the decree that he gave them.
8   O LORD our God, you answered them indeed; you were a God who forgave them, yet punished them for their evil deeds.
9   Proclaim the greatness of the LORD our God and worship him upon his holy hill; for the LORD our God is the Holy One.

Psalm 100 Jubilate Deo
1   Be joyful in the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness and come before his presence with a song.
2   Know this: The LORD himself is God; he himself has made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
3   Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise; give thanks to him and call upon his Name.
4   For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 94 Deus ultionum
1   O LORD God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, show yourself.
2   Rise up, O Judge of the world; give the arrogant their just deserts.
3   How long shall the wicked, O LORD, how long shall the wicked triumph?
4   They bluster in their insolence; all evildoers are full of boasting.
5   They crush your people, O LORD, and afflict your chosen nation.
6   They murder the widow and the stranger and put the orphans to death.
7   Yet they say, "The LORD does not see, the God of Jacob takes no notice."
8   Consider well, you dullards among the people; when will you fools understand?
9   He that planted the ear, does he not hear? he that formed the eye, does he not see?
10   He who admonishes the nations, will he not punish? he who teaches all the world, has he no knowledge?
11   The LORD knows our human thoughts; how like a puff of wind they are.
12   Happy are they whom you instruct, O Lord! whom you teach out of your law;
13   To give them rest in evil days, until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14   For the LORD will not abandon his people, nor will he forsake his own.
15   For judgment will again be just, and all the true of heart will follow it.
16   Who rose up for me against the wicked? who took my part against the evildoers?
17   If the LORD had not come to my help, I should soon have dwelt in the land of silence.
18   As often as I said, "My foot has slipped, " your love, O LORD, upheld me.
19   When many cares fill my mind, your consolations cheer my soul.
20   Can a corrupt tribunal have any part with you, one which frames evil into law?
21   They conspire against the life of the just and condemn the innocent to death.
22   But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my trust.
23   He will turn their wickedness back upon them and destroy them in their own malice; the LORD our God will destroy them.

Psalm 95 Venite, exultemus
1   Come, let us sing to the LORD; let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
2   Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
3   For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4   In his hand are the caverns of the earth, and the heights of the hills are his also.
5   The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands have molded the dry land.
6   Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the LORD our Maker.
7   For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!
8   Harden not your hearts, as your forebears did in the wilderness, at Meribah, and on that day at Massah, when they tempted me.
9   They put me to the test, though they had seen my works.
10   Forty years long I detested that generation and said, This people are wayward in their hearts; they do not know my ways."
11   So I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest."

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 TUESDAY, October 3, 2017

All provident Lord, place Your holy fear as a guard before my eyes so they may not look lustfully; before my ears so that they may not delight in hearing evil words; before my mouth so that it may not speak any falsehoods; before my heart so that it may not think evil; before my hands so that they may not do injustice; before my feet, that they may not walk in the paths of injustice; but so direct them, that they may always be according to all Your commandments. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

Verse of the Day for TUESDAY, October 3, 2017

1 Peter 1:3 (NIV) [Praise to God for a Living Hope] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Read all of 1 Peter 1

Listen to 1 Peter 1

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - The Las Vegas Massacre

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you."
~ 1 Peter 4:12 (NKJV)

A 64-year-old man armed with more than 10 rifles shot and killed 58 people in what is being called, “the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.” Hundreds more were wounded.

The question that comes to mind at a time like this is. . . Why? Why did God allow such a horrible thing to happen?

A Barna Poll asked, “If you could ask God one question and you knew He would give you an answer, what would you ask?” The most common response was, “Why is there pain and suffering in the world?” If you are sharing the gospel, it won’t be long before someone asks, “How could a God of love allow tragedy, pain, and suffering?” C.S. Lewis said that the “problem of pain is atheism’s most potent weapon against the Christian faith.” More people point to the problem of evil and suffering as their reason for not believing in God than any other. It is not merely a problem; it is the problem.

So, why does God allow tragedy? If God can prevent such terrible tragedies, why does He allow them to take place? Here’s the classic statement of the problem: Either God is all powerful but not all good, and therefore He doesn’t stop evil—or He’s all good but not all powerful, and therefore He can’t stop evil.

The general tendency, of course, is to blame God for evil and suffering, transferring all responsibility to Him. So let’s look closer at the core question: If God is so good and loving, why does He allow evil?

The first part of this question is based on a false premise. People who express those words are essentially suggesting (or saying outright) that God must meet their own criteria of goodness. But who are they to set standards for God? When did they become the moral center of the universe? God isn’t good just because that’s my opinion of Him, or because I personally agree with His words or actions. God is good because He says He is! Jesus said, “No one is good—except God alone” (Luke 18:19 NIV).

God is good, whether I believe it or not. He and He alone is the final court of arbitration. As Paul said, “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4 KJV). And what is “good”? Good is whatever God approves. And it’s good because He approves it! “That’s circular reasoning!” Well, maybe, but everything begins and ends with God. I think of it more as biblical reasoning. In Isaiah 1:18, God invites, “Come now, and let us reason together” (NKJV) or “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out” (MSG). You see, God’s thoughts are above our thoughts. There’s no higher standard of goodness than God’s own character—and His approval of whatever’s consistent with that character. So God is good. Period.

Now let’s come back to the second part of the question. Why does He allow evil?

Remember that mankind was not created evil. In their original state, Adam and Eve were innocent, ageless, and immortal. But from the very beginning—from the time that God gave life to Adam and Eve, man has had the ability to choose right or wrong. He made his choice (and then his choice made him!).

Had man never sinned, there would have been no resulting curse. But now it’s too late. Romans 5:12 says, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the [entire human race]. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (NLT).

What this man in Las Vegas did is pure evil. The point to keep in mind here is that humanity—not God—is responsible for sin.

So why didn’t God create human beings to be incapable of sin? If God hadn’t given us a free will, we would merely be puppets on a string, remote-controlled robots that bow before Him at the touch of a button. God wants to be loved and obeyed by creatures who voluntarily choose to do so. Love cannot be genuine if there’s no other option. You and I can choose to love God. And if we’re realistic, we have every reason in the world to make that choice.

Most of us can accept the idea of suffering in general, especially when it happens as a consequence of bad behavior. When bad things happen to bad people it seems appropriate, fitting, understandable. So, its’ not suffering that troubles us; it’s undeserved suffering.

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Even more, why do bad things happen to godly people? There are times I just don’t know why God does or does not do certain things. I, like you, am mystified by a lot of it. So here is my answer: I just don’t know!

Listen: being a Christian does not mean you will not suffer. We may ask the question, “Why me?” but we could more easily ask, “Why not me?” As 1 Peter 4:12 tells us “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (ESV). Our trials and sufferings should not be seen as strange but expected. Jesus Himself assured us that there will be suffering in our lives: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NKJV).

Here is what we need to know: we need to prepare for suffering. Suffering will come; it’s not a matter of if, but when and how much.

As you read this, and you do not have any suffering or tragedy, I would say, “Rejoice, and enjoy it!” But know that hardship will come. Here is the bottom line: you are either coming out of a storm or headed into another. “People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire” (Job 5:7 NLT). It’s just a matter of time. In this life, the only way to avoid suffering is to die. So like the diligent squirrel gathering nuts for winter, store these truths in your heart.

As Randy Alcorn says in his book If God Is Good, Why? “Most of us don’t give focused thought to evil and suffering until we experience them. This forces us to formulate perspective on the fly, at a time when our thinking is muddled and we’re exhausted and consumed by pressing issues. People who have “been there” will attest that it’s far better to think through suffering in advance.” In other words, be prepared ahead of time!

Our hearts go out to the families of those that were killed. We need to pray for them.

We thank God for the courageous first responders who are still on the scene. And we pray for the hundreds of wounded people. May God extend His comfort to them.

Events like this remind us that life is short and eternity is real and very close. This is why all of us should always be ready to stand before God. And the only way to be ready is by having put your faith in Jesus Christ.

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 New King James Version®, NKJV® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the 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. Scripture taken from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Scripture taken from The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2017 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.
Why did God allow such a horrible thing to happen?

The Decisive Difference

The Decisive Difference


Occasionally I see this bumper sticker that says, "I brake for antique shops." I'm not a bumper sticker guy, but I think we would qualify for that over the years, depending on who was driving-my wife or me. If it was my wife, we were a lot more likely to break for an antique shop. But my wife was not so much into collecting old stuff, it was more about finding items that she had as a girl growing up on a farm that had very few modern conveniences. And she had an eye for what was real and what was just a reproduction: Depression Glass, pottery, butter churns, even old violins. Take the famous Stradivarius violin. You know, there are relatively few originals. There are a lot of copies.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Decisive Difference."

Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between what's real and what's a copy in antiques and in people; especially people who claim that they belong to Jesus Christ.

Jesus described both the real ones and the copies in the story He told in Matthew 13, beginning in verse 24. It's our word for today from the Word of God. He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared." Jesus said the man's servants wanted to go out and pull up the weeds, but he stopped them. "'No', He answered, 'because while you are pulling out the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

When Jesus explained His parable later, He made clear that the wheat represents those who really do belong to Him, and the weeds; they represent those who look like they belong to Him, but they don't. That's a pretty sobering thought-sitting next to one another in church may be two people who are singing the same songs, believing the same beliefs, saying the same words, but one is headed for heaven and the other is headed for hell. And no one on earth can tell the difference. But on Judgment Day it will be very clear who was real and who was the look-alike. That's why God says in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith."

For some of us church folks, the business of being a Christian is really more of a religion, or a performance, or maybe a belief, or a script where we've got all the right words. You can have all that and you can miss what this is all really about; a deep love personal relationship with Jesus Christ based on His dying for your sins. It is a relationship you can only begin one way. You begin it the day you tell Him you are putting your total trust in Him, consciously giving all of you to Him. With all your Christianity, it's possible you've missed Christ, even though everyone around you thinks you know Him. That's everyone except Jesus.

It's very hard to admit that you've never really given yourself to Him, but it's fatal not to. So would you let this be the day that you finally, consciously and clearly make Jesus Christ your personal Savior from your personal sin. Tell Him, "Jesus, I want to know you for real. I'm pinning all my hopes on You like a drowning person would grab a rescuer."

Then go to our website and check that out. Because there you will find the information you need to secure your relationship with Christ and know for sure you've got Him in your life and in your heart and in your future. Our website - ANewStory.com. Would you go there today?

There's all the difference in the world between someone who really belongs to Jesus and someone who just looks like they do. It's actually the difference between heaven and hell.

Copyright 2017 - All Rights Reserved - Ron Hutchcraft Ministries

Un Dia a la Vez - Oración por dominio propio

Oración por dominio propio

Dios [...] nos enseña a rechazar la impiedad y las pasiones mundanas. Así podremos vivir en este mundo con justicia, piedad y dominio propio.

Padre de la gloria, me presento delante de ti para darte gracias por un nuevo día. Para reconocerte como el Dios de mi vida.

¡Oh, Señor, cuánto te necesita mi alma!

Hoy, mi Dios, necesito tu intervención milagrosa, ya que mi carácter es débil y me resulta difícil tener dominio propio.

Muchas veces me he prometido cambiar y dejar malos hábitos, pero vuelvo a recaer o incluso a fallar.

Por eso, mi Señor, en este día vengo ante ti para hacer un pacto contigo, pues sé que solo con tu ayuda saldré adelante.

Dios mío, hoy te entrego este hábito (decir el tuyo) y te prometo que me esforzaré al máximo para no fallarte.

Gracias, mi Dios, porque sé que cuento contigo. Tú me darás la fuerza que necesito y podré dar testimonio de tu poder.

En el nombre de Jesús, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - October 03, 2017


Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
~ Philemon 1:7 (NIV)

Twenty-nine-year-old Maryam Rostampour and thirty-two-year old Marzieh Amirizadeh spent 259 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison in 2009 in Iran. They had to overcome the fear of life imprisonment and the possibility of execution because they loved and followed Jesus Christ. They had to remain strong through weeks in solitary confinement, and endless hours of interrogation by Iranian officials and religious leaders. They had to endure months of harsh living conditions and debilitating sickness. In their first interview (with Sam Yeghnazar of Elam Ministries), they shared what life was like in prison and how they survived.

Marzieh said, “I would like to thank them [prayer partners] for their prayers and support, and the letters they sent us. During this time it wasn’t just Maryam and Marzieh who were imprisoned, but all these prayer warriors. This was a great encouragement for us. We felt their presence alongside us. So please keep praying for those who are in prison for their faith, believers in Afghanistan and Pakistan…Don’t think that your prayers are unimportant.”

She added, “We heard that people sent us letters in prison, but we didn’t get any of them. Just hearing that people sent us letters, was a great encouragement to us. And what’s interesting is that the guards who opened our letters, read the Bible verses and the prayers, and were impacted. We know this because they told us and mentioned some of the verses from the gospel. I can’t thank them [those who sent letters] with all that is in my heart; I can say ‘thank you,’ but this is not enough.”

Maryam concluded, “I thank them. It’s true we didn’t see the letters they sent, but we knew there was a large group supporting us. This was a huge encouragement to us and helped us to stand firm. We heard from our guards that forty to fifty letters were coming every day. They saw how Christians stood together to support their own. This was something that gave us hope.”

Check our website for names and addresses of Christians in prison for their faith whom you can write to and pray for.

RESPONSE: Today I will pray for and send letters to Christians in prison for their faith to encourage them in their persecution.

PRAYER: Pray for hope and encouragement for Christian prisoners—especially those in solitary confinement—in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Girlfriends in God - October 03, 2017

Gossip is Deadly

Today’s Truth

Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down,”.
Proverbs 26:20 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

A monster was sneaking into my yard in the dark of night and devouring my prize plants. I never saw his beady eyes or heard his pounding footsteps—just the aftermath of his destruction. He left a trail of slime as he moved from plant to plant, leaving large gaping holes in broadleaf Gerbera daisies, gnawing entire velvety trumpet-shaped blossoms on purple petunias and reducing bushy begonias to naked stalks.

I asked a neighbor about my flowerbed’s demise and she determined, “You’ve got slugs.”

Slugs!” I exclaimed. “The yard monster is a tiny little slug?”

“You can put out slug bait to catch them and see for yourself,” my confident neighbor continued.

I sprinkled slug bait all around the yard and then waited. The next morning I viewed the “monsters” remains. The beasts were about ¼ inch long—about the size of my little toe nail.

How could something so small cause so much damage in such a short amount of time? I mused. Then my mind thought of something else that is very small that can cause enormous damage in a short amount of time…gossip. King Solomon wrote, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” Just as one tiny slug can destroy an entire flowerbed, so can one tiny morsel of gossip destroy a person’s reputation, mar one’s character, and devour a friendship.

In the South we have this knack for making gossips sound…almost nice. All you have to do is add “bless her heart” to the end of the sentence. It goes like this: “Susie gained fifty pounds with that last pregnancy, bless her heart.” “Marcy’s husband ran off with his secretary, bless her heart.” “I heard Clair yelling at the postman yesterday, bless her heart.” But all the “bless her hearts” don’t mask what it really is…gossip.

Solomon wrote, “Whoever repeats the matter separates close friends,” (Proverbs 17:9 NIV).  Charles Allen, the author of God’ Psychiatry observed: “Those of great minds discuss ideas, people of mediocre minds discuss events, and those of small minds discuss other people.”  Maybe if we are spending our time talking about people, we need to fill our minds with better material such as good books and other reading material (and I don’t mean People Magazine or the National Enquirer).

What exactly is gossip? Webster defines gossip as ”easy, fluent, trivial talk, talk about people behind their backs.” It is repeating information about another person’s private affairs. If you have to look around to make sure that no one can hear what you are saying, you are probably gossiping. If you would not say something in front of the person you are talking about, then you’re probably gossiping.

We have often heard the phrase, “knowledge is power.” Perhaps that is why gossip is so appealing. It suggests a certain amount of power because, “I have the inside scoop.” But gossip is not power. On the contrary it shows a lack of power…lack of self-control.

Today, let’s make our lives a NO GOSSIP ZONE.

Let’s Pray

Lord, please keep a guard over my mouth today. If I even consider gossiping about someone, convict me before a word leaves my mouth. May the words of my mouth be pleasing in Your sight today.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Go back to Webster’s definition of gossip.  Can you think of anything you have said in the last week that would fit that description?

Let’s say “no” to gossip. If you are willing to eliminate gossip from your life, click over to www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes and type in the following words: I’m living in a NO GOSSIP ZONE.

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion was taken from my book, The Power of a Woman’s Words. If you would like to learn how to control your words and use them to speak life into those around you, then this is the book for you. Visit www.sharonjaynes.com to download a free chapter or watch a video. It also has a companion Bible Study Guide and DVD.

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

Girlfriends in God

LHM Daily Devotion - October 3, 2017 "Forgotten? Not Likely"

Lukas Cavar is a 19-year-old freshman at Indiana University. Cavar is...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

"Forgotten? Not Likely"

October 3, 2017

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Lukas Cavar is a 19-year-old freshman at Indiana University.

Cavar is also a spelunker, which is just a big-word way of saying he enjoys stalagmites and stalactites and the myriad wonders of exploring caves. Most recently, he and 12 other members of the school's Caving Club did some underground work at Sullivan Cave, which is located just a few miles away from the University.

At the end of the day, everyone agreed that it had been a fun time.

Everyone agreed it had been a grand time -- everyone that is -- except for Cavar. You see, somehow, someway, he became separated from the rest of the group. Somehow, someway, he wasn't missed when the others got into their vehicles to return to the school.

Nobody noticed that Cavar wasn't around on Sunday night and Monday morning and Monday afternoon and evening. Finally, someone did notice he wasn't around. No, it wasn't the school or his fellow spelunkers. It was Cavar's parents who filed a missing person's report with the school, and news of the report eventually reached the Caving Club's leaders.

Quick as a shot, they were out to Sullivan Cave where they found their missing pal. During the 60-plus hours he had been missing, Cavar had stayed hydrated by licking water off the cave's walls. He had unsuccessfully tried to pick the cave's padlocked gate and, after he had beaten back some panic attacks, used his cell phone to text a farewell to those people whom he held dear. Knowing the signal would never get out of the cave, it was his hope that when his lifeless corpse was found, some forensic expert would have the wisdom to charge his phone and share his last thoughts.

The aftermath of all this is Cavar's parents are happy, and the Caving Club is not because they had ignored some of the safety rules, which are at the heart of cave exploration. As for Cavar, he returned to class on Thursday with a new attitude. He said, "I'm really glad to be alive. It feels like I've been given a second chance."

When I first heard the story of Cavar, it seemed proper to spend some time pointing out how much his story and ours are similar. You know,
  1. like Lukas we were in darkness and unable to help ourselves; 
  2. like him we should be glad for a Savior who came to give us a second chance.
The only problem with that approach was this: while Cavar had been forgotten by his fellow club members, we sinners have always been remembered. Read through Scripture and you will see that while humanity regularly forgets the Lord, the Lord never forgets humanity.

When our first ancestors walked away from God in the Garden of Eden, it was the Triune Deity who came looking for us, and it was the Father who promised to send His Son as the suffering Sacrifice who would carry our transgressions, receive our punishment, forgive, and save our souls.

No, the Lord never forgot us, and because of that we can be glad to be alive.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I always remember -- and never forget -- the love You have given me in the Savior, Jesus Christ. It is in His Name we pray. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional de 03 de Octubre de 2017

Alimento Diario

Renovados por amor

03 de Octubre 2017

El Señor está en medio de ti, y te salvará con su poder; por ti se regocijará y se alegrará; por amor guardará silencio, y con cánticos se regocijará por ti.

La historia que voy a contar es TOTALMENTE inventada. Juan estaba pasando por una muy mala racha. El negocio no andaba bien, la esposa le había dicho que lo dejaba y no tenía suficiente dinero para pagar la hipoteca de su casa.

Como si todo eso fuera poco, cuando estaba en camino al trabajo tuvo un accidente. Si bien no fue su culpa, su auto se dañó totalmente. Y, mientras esperaba por la grúa, el causante del accidente le dijo que no tenía seguro.

Fue en ese momento en que Juan, mirando al cielo, preguntó: "Señor, ¿por qué yo?" En respuesta, retumbó una voz fuerte que dijo: "La verdad Juan, es que no me caes muy simpático."

La razón por la que esta historia me hace sonreír es porque es absolutamente imposible. Nada así podría suceder jamás, dado que el Señor nos ama a todos por igual.

Sé que esto debería ser obvio, pero lo cierto es que la mayoría de nosotros hemos tenido momentos en los que nos hemos sentido como Juan.

Desde que nos levantamos hasta que nos acostamos, nos vemos acechados por dificultades y problemas de todo tamaño que nos hacen pensar que a Dios no le caemos bien.

Cuando eso nos ocurre, debemos recordar que el amor del Señor es constante. Porque el Señor amó a los primeros pecadores, Adán y Eva, prometió enviar a su Hijo para ser nuestro Salvador.

Sin importar lo que las circunstancias de estos días nos indiquen, sin importar lo difícil que pueda ser la vida, usted puede estar seguro que el Señor desea lo mejor para usted.

El pesebre, la cruz y la tumba vacía le dicen a la humanidad que Dios desea perdonar, salvar, ayudar, restaurar y dar esperanza.

ORACIÓN: Amado Señor, concédenos fe para creer que es el pecado del mundo, y no tu desaprobación, lo que causa las penas en esta vida. Danos tu Espíritu Santo, para que podamos confiar plenamente en ti y en tu constante amor. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

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