Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, October 7, 2017

Jesus Stills the Storm (Matthew 8:23-27)
2 Kings 19:21-36
This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: She despises you, she scorns you-- virgin daughter Zion; she tosses her head-- behind your back, daughter Jerusalem. Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and haughtily lifted your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! By your messengers you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, 'With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon; I felled its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses; I entered its farthest retreat, its densest forest. I dug wells and drank foreign waters, I dried up with the sole of my foot all the streams of Egypt.' Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should make fortified cities crash into heaps of ruins, while their inhabitants, shorn of strength, are dismayed and confounded; they have become like plants of the field and like tender grass, like grass on the housetops, blighted before it is grown. "But I know your rising and your sitting, your going out and coming in, and your raging against me. Because you have raged against me and your arrogance has come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth; I will turn you back on the way by which you came. "And this shall be the sign for you: This year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David." That very night the angel of the LORD set out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies. Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness. Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play." We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

Matthew 8:18-27
Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. A scribe then approached and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Another of his disciples said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?"

Morning Psalms
Psalm 107: Part II Posuit flumina
33   The LORD changed rivers into deserts, and water-springs into thirsty ground,
34   A fruitful land into salt flats, because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
35   He changed deserts into pools of water and dry land into water-springs.
36   He settled the hungry there, and they founded a city to dwell in.
37   They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, and brought in a fruitful harvest.
38   He blessed them, so that they increased greatly; he did not let their herds decrease.
39   Yet when they were diminished and brought low, through stress of adversity and sorrow,
40   (He pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes)
41   He lifted up the poor out of misery and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
42   The upright will see this and rejoice, but all wickedness will shut its mouth.
43   Whoever is wise will ponder these things, and consider well the mercies of the LORD.


Psalm 108 Paratum cor meum
1   My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and make melody.
2   Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp; I myself will waken the dawn.
3   I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4   For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5   Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, and your glory over all the earth.
6   So that those who are dear to you may be delivered, save with your right hand and answer me.
7   God spoke from his holy place and said, "I will exult and parcel out Shechem; I will divide the valley of Succoth.
8   Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my scepter.
9   Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it, and over Philistia will I shout in triumph."
10   Who will lead me into the strong city? who will bring me into Edom?
11   Have you not cast us off, O God? you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.
12   Grant us your help against the enemy, for vain is the help of man.
13   With God we will do valiant deeds, and he shall tread our enemies under foot.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 33 Exultate, justi
1   Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; it is good for the just to sing praises.
2   Praise the LORD with the harp; play to him upon the psaltery and lyre.
3   Sing for him a new song; sound a fanfare with all your skill upon the trumpet.
4   For the word of the LORD is right, and all his works are sure.
5   He loves righteousness and justice; the loving-kindness of the LORD fills the whole earth.
6   By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, by the breath of his mouth all the heavenly hosts.
7   He gathers up the waters of the ocean as in a water-skin and stores up the depths of the sea.
8   Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all who dwell in the world stand in awe of him.
9   For he spoke, and it came to pass; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10   The LORD brings the will of the nations to naught; he thwarts the designs of the peoples.
11   But the LORD'S will stands fast for ever, and the designs of his heart from age to age.
12   Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD! happy the people he has chosen to be his own!
13   The LORD looks down from heaven, and beholds all the people in the world.
14   From where he sits enthroned he turns his gaze on all who dwell on the earth.
15   He fashions all the hearts of them and understands all their works.
16   There is no king that can be saved by a mighty army; a strong man is not delivered by his great strength.
17   The horse is a vain hope for deliverance; for all its strength it cannot save.
18   Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, on those who wait upon his love,
19   To pluck their lives from death, and to feed them in time of famine.
20   Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
21   Indeed, our heart rejoices in him, for in his holy Name we put our trust.
22   Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, as we have put our trust in you.

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 SATURDAY, October 7, 2017


Almighty God, thank you for the work my hand may find this day. May I find gladness in all its toil and difficulty, its pleasure and success, and even in its failure and sorrow. I would look always away from myself, and behold the glory and the need of the world, that I may have the will and the strength to bring the gift of gladness to others; that with them I stand to bear the burden and heat of the day and offer you my work, as well as I may accomplish it, in your praise.
Amen

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, October 7, 2017


Psalm 63:1 (NIV) [Psalm 63] [A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.] You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

Read all of Psalm 63

Listen to Psalm 63

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 - Let Him Pray


Let Him Pray

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.
~ James 5:13-15 (ESV)

Prayer is the Christian's greatest but most frequently ignored privilege. The creator and sustainer of the universe has granted each of His children direct access to bring their burdens, their hopes, their fears, their plans, and their desires to Him. Jesus the Son of God can sympathize with our weaknesses, because He has been “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16).

Over and over in Scripture, the Lord urges us to draw near to Him, but for various reasons, we are often too reluctant to avail ourselves of this open invitation. For many of us, the idea of watching an hour of television seems routine, but the thought of an hour of prayer seems extraordinary, even sacrificial. This would not be so if we recognized the profound benefits of open communication with the God of grace.

One of the benefits of prayer is the stability it provides in the midst of the vacillating circumstances of life. James exhorts us to turn to the Lord not only during times of sorrow, but also during times of success. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises” (Jas. 5:13). When we experience emptiness, distress, and affliction we should cast all our anxieties upon God, knowing that He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7). When we experience joyfulness and cheer, James tells us to channel part of our exuberance in the form of thanksgiving and praise to God. The verb translated “let him sing praises” is also used in Romans 15:9 (“I will sing to Thy name”), 1 Corinthians 14:15 (“I shall sing with the spirit”), and Ephesians 5:19 (“singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord”). Music enhances individual and corporate worship because of the way it prepares the heart and helps us express our emotions to the Lord.

Sickness is another circumstance that calls for prayer. “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (Jas. 5:14). The word translated “sick” in this verse speaks of the weak condition caused by an illness. In verse 15, James uses a different word that means “to grow weary.” The person in mind is weakened and weary due to a sickness, but there is no indication that he is at death's door. James tells us that during times of serious illness, it is good to ask representatives of the church to come and pray for the restoration of the one who is sick. The “elders of the church” are spiritual leaders who have a close walk with the Lord, and the act of anointing with oil symbolizes the healing effects of prayer and enhances faith, especially since it is done in the name of the Lord. It is not the oil but the Lord who does the healing.

This passage does not teach that it is wrong to seek medical help. It is erroneous to teach that seeing a doctor indicates a lack of faith. We are dealing with a both/and rather than an either/or, since God can work through both prayer and medicine.

Whether we are cheerful or sorrowful, healthy or sick, God wants us to draw near to Him. In any and every circumstance, we can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Phil. 4:12-13).
Lord, imprint the power of prayer on my heart. Amen.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny


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Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Devotion shared by Ken Boa.
Prayer is the Christian's greatest but most frequently ignored privilege.

Un Dia a la Vez - ¿Qué declaras sobre los tuyos?


¿Qué declaras sobre los tuyos?

Cada uno cosecha lo que siembra [...] Por lo tanto, siempre que tengamos la oportunidad, hagamos bien a todos.

Si leíste el devocional anterior, sabes que hablamos de la importancia de declarar cosas positivas sobre nuestra vida y tomar como nuestras las promesas que Dios nos dejó en el Manual de Instrucciones.

No obstante, así como es importante para nosotros, también es importante hacerlo para los nuestros. ¿Qué cosas dices de tu cónyuge, tus hijos y tu familia?

Un gravísimo error es lo que declaramos sobre la vida de nuestros hijos. Con nuestras palabras necias atamos a los hijos con cosas terribles como estas: «Eres un tonto. No sabes hacer nada. Eres un inútil y un bruto». No tienes idea del daño y el efecto que esas palabras traerán sobre su vida. Llega a un punto que hasta se lo creen. Y lo estarás atando con esas declaraciones de por vida.

¿Cómo eres con tu esposa? ¿La humillas, la insultas o la maltratas de palabras? Hoy Dios te dice que el que toca a uno de sus hijos toca a la niña de sus ojos (véase Zacarías 2:8). Cuando se daña a un hijo de Dios, es como si se lo hicieran a Él. ¿Te imaginas?

También, mujeres, ¿qué estamos declarando sobre los esposos? ¿Los humillamos, los insultamos, los maldecimos? Recordemos que nuestros esposos son la cabeza de la casa.

Por favor, pensemos antes de hablar y reconozcamos que todo lo que sembramos eso mismo cosecharemos.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - October 07, 2017


DISCOVERING JESUS

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

Camping experiences for me were always positive experiences. There you must live and practice your Christian faith twenty-four hours a day. And that deeply impacts the other campers.

Around the world, Open Doors sponsors camps—especially for discipleship training for young people. Twenty-three-year-old Roton is one of those youths who attended a camp in Bangladesh in early 2011 for young believers from Muslim background (MBB). He said, “To attend this camp, I traveled for seven hours. I walked thirteen kilometers before getting on the bus. It was exhausting, but I wanted to know more about Jesus.”

In a brief encounter with Open Doors during the camp, Roton shared that he felt pressure when he was just a new follower of Christ. “Many times, my Muslim friends would ask me why my family and I became Christians. They wanted to know how much [money] we got for converting. They asked me if the people who converted me stepped on the Koran or ate pork. I lost all my Muslim friends; everyone hated me and my family.”

Roton’s father was the first believer in the family, and boldly shared his faith with others. He read from the Koran, searching for portions that mentioned Jesus. Later on, however, his eye sight deteriorated to the point of blindness. So, he asked young Roton to read to him every day some passages from the Koran that specifically talked about Jesus.

“I just followed what I was told to do. In the beginning, I was reading for my father. But after few days, I realized that I was becoming more curious to find the truth myself. Because of the witness of the Koran, I found myself believing Jesus as the Holy one, the Messiah. I became a Christian soon after; I gave my life fully to Jesus,” Roton testified.

Discrimination soon followed Roton’s new found faith. His religion teacher mistreated him. When the school principal learned of his conversion, he was watched and compelled to recite Muslim prayers. People questioned him about Jesus Christ, but all that Roton knew about Christ he learned from the Koranic passages he read for his father. It was time to learn more. Instead of succumbing to the religious pressure he experienced, Roton—with encouragement from his father—set out on a journey to learn more about his Lord and Savior.

“I am so happy to be in this MBB youth camp. It’s my first. I saw that I am not alone! Many work together for Christ. In this camp, I discovered Jesus in the Old Testament. I will read the Old Testament more—together with the New Testament—so that I am prepared to answer questions people ask me. Someday, I want to study in a Bible school, so that I can help others who are on the same road as I am.”

RESPONSE: Today I will pass on to others all that I have learned and experienced in my relationship with Jesus.

PRAYER: Pray for young believers around the world who are in the process of developing their knowledge and discipleship in following Jesus. Pray too for camp leaders and trainers.

NIV Devotions for Couples - October 07, 2017


Making Peace With Each Other

Exodus 4:24–26

But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said.
~ Exodus 4:25 (NIV)

Zipporah performed hasty surgery on her son when she realized God was about to kill her husband, Moses. While it isn’t stated, evidently God was about to destroy Moses because he had failed to circumcise his son. Zipporah took the situation into her own hands, completing the act of obedience Moses had neglected to do.

But there seems to be an air of resentment in her abrupt actions. Perhaps she was angry at her husband for shirking his fatherly duties. Or maybe Zipporah resented having to perform a spiritual rite she herself didn’t believe in.

Whatever the details of a disagreement, resulting feelings can drive a wedge between spouses. Resentment can lead to barbed words, sarcastic comments and actions that undercut one another. For example, children came early in our marriage. I used to get so angry when Dan would nudge me to get out of bed in the middle of the night because the baby was crying. Both Dan and I desperately needed sleep, but I resented the assumption that it was my responsibility to get up with the baby. Lack of sleep, combined with my expectation that Dan share in the 3:00 a.m. feedings, fueled resentment in me. In a huff, I would perform my motherly duties, seething silently as Dan snored and I rocked a cranky baby. It didn’t take too many sleepless nights like that before we had built walls of anger between us.

When you notice resentment creeping in or a disagreement escalating in your relationship, admit your anger and call an immediate cease-fire. Take some advice from marriage counselor Scott M. Stanley (Marriage Partnership, Fall 1995). Agree on a specific time when you can talk. Then sit down together and use a small object, such as a pen, to indicate who has the floor. The person holding the pen is the speaker. When the pen changes hands, the roles change. The speaker’s job is to get his or her point across. The listener’s job is to absorb information and give feedback by paraphrasing what the other has just said.

While this approach feels somewhat artificial, it greatly enhances communication by slowing things down and emphasizing listening and working together. It helps you, as James 1:19 says, to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” It’s a great tool for aiding interaction and understanding. And it helps to insure that resentments don’t fester or turn into full-blown arguments.

When you sense resentment growing within you, ask yourself what expectations you have of your spouse, particularly in a situation that’s brewing trouble between you. Very often, resentment grows from unmet expectations. Zipporah expected something from Moses. I expected something of Dan. Recognizing what your expectations are is the first step toward resolving resentment.

Marian V. Liautaud

Let’s Talk
  • Is there some area of our marriage in which we feel that one of us has unmet expectations? Let’s talk about some of those expectations.
  • When one of us gets angry, do our arguments quickly get out of hand? How can we put a stop to that pattern?
  • Let’s try a pen-passing conversation on a nonthreatening topic. How does that approach differ from the way we usually try to resolve a problem? In what ways could this approach help?

LHM Daily Devotion - October 7, 2017 "Tasty"

Both my grandmothers were good German cooks. And, yes, I know there are...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour



"Tasty"

October 7, 2017

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
~ Genesis 3:6 (ESV)

Both my grandmothers were good German cooks. And, yes, I know there are connoisseurs who would say that good German food is a contradiction in terms.

That being said, to the best of my knowledge, neither of them ever used a hot pepper in any of their culinary creations. Black pepper was usually as wild as they ever got. As far as cooking with chili peppers, that was a temptation they found easy to resist.

For those of you who don't know, the heat of a chili pepper is measured in Scoville units.

A bell pepper has 0 heat and, therefore, it registers 0 on the Scoville scale. A banana pepper will come in around 500 Scoville units, and a really hot jalapeño registers 10,000. Now that gives you some perspective when I say the hottest chili pepper in the world used to be the Carolina Reaper, which registered 2.2 million Scoville units.

Having watched people eat a Carolina Reaper, I can offer this single piece of advice: don't.

But the reign of the Carolina Reaper is over. Its crown has been captured by a new chili called the "Dragon's Breath." That pretty, little, bright red chili sets the record by chalking up 2.48 million Scoville units.

• In practical terms, that chili is hotter than the pepper spray used by the U.S. Army.
• The grower says touching the pepper numbs your skin.
• More than one newspaper has said that anyone who eats the pepper raw and whole could die from anaphylactic shock.


So the question arises: why would anybody grow, mess around with, or eat such a barn burner?

The best answer to that question can be found in Genesis 3 where we see Adam and Eve eating the fruit from a tree, which had been forbidden to them. Why did they do it? The answer is threefold:

1. The fruit was good for food.
2. The food was pleasant to the eye.
3. Because they thought they could get away with it.


Adam and Eve didn't get away with it, and neither will the folks who eat the Dragon's Breath chili. The truth is the Lord has laid out His Commandments, and every time we try to circumvent or rewrite them we get into trouble.

Which leads this devotion to say give thanks to the Lord who has had mercy on you. Through His Son the terrible punishment that resulted from our eating the forbidden fruit has been erased. Because of Him you have been forgiven and saved from the fires of hell, which are hotter than a Dragon's Breath chili.

But, even so, still don't eat the forbidden fruit.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive ears that don't hear You and eyes that still long for the forbidden fruits of sin. Grant that our hearts and minds, saved by Jesus, may learn to trust You and You alone. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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