Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, October 12, 2017

A woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages touched the fringe of his cloak.
Daily Readings for
THURSDAY, October 12, 2017

2 Kings 23:4-25
The king commanded the high priest Hilkiah, the priests of the second order, and the guardians of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who made offerings to Baal, to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and all the host of the heavens. He brought out the image of Asherah from the house of the LORD, outside Jerusalem, to the Wadi Kidron, burned it at the Wadi Kidron, beat it to dust and threw the dust of it upon the graves of the common people. He broke down the houses of the male temple prostitutes that were in the house of the LORD, where the women did weaving for Asherah. He brought all the priests out of the towns of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from Geba to Beer-sheba; he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on the left at the gate of the city. The priests of the high places, however, did not come up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but ate unleavened bread among their kindred. He defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of Ben-hinnom, so that no one would make a son or a daughter pass through fire as an offering to Molech. He removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the LORD, by the chamber of the eunuch Nathan-melech, which was in the precincts; then he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. The altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, he pulled down from there and broke in pieces, and threw the rubble into the Wadi Kidron. The king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Destruction, which King Solomon of Israel had built for Astarte the abomination of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. He broke the pillars in pieces, cut down the sacred poles, and covered the sites with human bones. Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin-- he pulled down that altar along with the high place. He burned the high place, crushing it to dust; he also burned the sacred pole. As Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mount; and he sent and took the bones out of the tombs, and burned them on the altar, and defiled it, according to the word of the LORD that the man of God proclaimed, when Jeroboam stood by the altar at the festival; he turned and looked up at the tomb of the man of God who had predicted these things. Then he said, "What is that monument that I see?" The people of the city told him, "It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted these things that you have done against the altar at Bethel." He said, "Let him rest; let no one move his bones." So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria. Moreover, Josiah removed all the shrines of the high places that were in the towns of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the LORD to anger; he did to them just as he had done at Bethel. He slaughtered on the altars all the priests of the high places who were there, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem. The king commanded all the people, "Keep the passover to the LORD your God as prescribed in this book of the covenant." No such passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah; but in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this passover was kept to the LORD in Jerusalem. Moreover Josiah put away the mediums, wizards, teraphim, idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, so that he established the words of the law that were written in the book that the priest Hilkiah had found in the house of the LORD. Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.

1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Let Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

Matthew 9:18-26
While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live." And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well." Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. When Jesus came to the leader's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, "Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the report of this spread throughout that district.

Morning Psalms
Psalm 131 Domine, non est
1   O LORD, I am not proud; I have no haughty looks.
2   I do not occupy myself with great matters, or with things that are too hard for me.
3   But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother's breast; my soul is quieted within me.
4   O Israel, wait upon the LORD, from this time forth for evermore.


Psalm 132 Memento, Domine
1   LORD, remember David, and all the hardships he endured;
2   How he swore an oath to the LORD and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3   I will not come under the roof of my house, nor climb up into my bed;
4   I will not allow my eyes to sleep, nor let my eyelids slumber;
5   Until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."
6   The ark! We heard it was in Ephratah; we found it in the fields of Jearim.
7   Let us go to God's dwelling place; let us fall upon our knees before his footstool."
8   Arise, O LORD, into your resting-place, you and the ark of your strength.
9   Let your priests be clothed with righteousness; let your faithful people sing with joy.
10   For your servant David's sake, do not turn away the face of your Anointed.
11   The LORD has sworn an oath to David; in truth, he will not break it:
12   A son, the fruit of your body will I set upon your throne.
13   If your children keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their children will sit upon your throne for evermore."
14   For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired her for his habitation:
15   This shall be my resting-place for ever; here will I dwell, for I delight in her.
16   I will surely bless her provisions, and satisfy her poor with bread.
17   I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will rejoice and sing.
18   There will I make the horn of David flourish; I have prepared a lamp for my Anointed.
19   As for his enemies, I will clothe them with shame; but as for him, his crown will shine."


Psalm 133 Ecce, quam bonum!
1   Oh, how good and pleasant it is, when brethren live together in unity!
2   It is like fine oil upon the head that runs down upon the beard,
3   Upon the beard of Aaron, and runs down upon the collar of his robe.
4   It is like the dew of Hermon that falls upon the hills of Zion.
5   For there the LORD has ordained the blessing: life for evermore.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 134 Ecce nunc
1   Behold now, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, you that stand by night in the house of the LORD.
2   Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the LORD; the LORD who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.


Psalm 135 Laudate nomen
1   Hallelujah! Praise the Name of the LORD; give praise, you servants of the LORD.
2   You who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.
3   Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praises to his Name, for it is lovely.
4   For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself and Israel for his own possession.
5   For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
6   The LORD does whatever pleases him, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the deeps.
7   He brings up rain clouds from the ends of the earth; he sends out lightning with the rain, and brings the winds out of his storehouse.
8   It was he who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, the firstborn both of man and beast.
9   He sent signs and wonders into the midst of you, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10   He overthrew many nations and put mighty kings to death:
11   Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, the king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan.
12   He gave their land to be an inheritance, an inheritance for Israel his people.
13   O LORD, your Name is everlasting; your renown, O LORD, endures from age to age.
14   For the LORD gives his people justice and shows compassion to his servants.
15   The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
16   They have mouths, but they cannot speak; eyes have they, but they cannot see.
17   They have ears, but they cannot hear; neither is there any breath in their mouth.
18   Those who make them are like them, and so are all who put their trust in them.
19   Bless the LORD, O house of Israel; O house of Aaron, bless the LORD.
20   Bless the LORD, O house of Levi; you who fear the LORD, bless the LORD.
21   Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, who dwells in Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

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 THURSDAY, October 12, 2017


Prayer of the Day

O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and I feel my weakness and helplessness, give me the sense of Your presence, Your love, and Your strength. Help me to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry me, for, living close to You, I shall see Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things. Amen.
~ (Saint) Ignatius of Loyola (1537)

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, October 12, 2017


Proverbs 1:8-9 (NIV) [Prologue: Exhortations to Embrace Wisdom][Warning Against the Invitation of Sinful Men] Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

Read all of Proverbs 1

Listen to Proverbs 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 - When We All Get To Heaven


When We All Get To Heaven

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.
~ John 14:2-4 (NRSV)

As Christians, we often talk about heaven. We discuss the relief from pain, misery and sorrow. We reminisce about loved ones who have already taken that journey. Even non-Christians talk of a resting place of peace when one dies. We all long for a place that has less turmoil than this life here on earth.

Christians believe that the gateway to heaven is through Jesus Christ. He fulfilled all the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament, of the coming Messiah. Jesus himself said that He was the gate, the door, the shepherd, and the way. He explained that the only way to the Father, was through Him.

Christ went on to tell us that He was going to prepare a place for us. He talked of mansions and a place of rest, free from sorrow or pain. He even told the man hanging on the cross next to Him, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” There it is! He called it, Paradise.

Webster’s Dictionary defines paradise as, “A place or state of bliss, felicity, or delight.” Also, two synonyms are Eden and Heaven. We know that Eden is where God created Adam and Eve. We also know that it was there man chose to sin.

Eve was enticed by Satan, himself. That was a pretty big enticement. Adam then was swayed by his wife. Through the ages, that baton of sin continues to be passed on from generation to generation. We are all victims of the curse of sin, and we love to involve others in our sin. It’s never fun to sin alone. We were all barred from that paradise called Eden, forever.

There is a paradise for us to have, though, and we call it heaven. God has paved the way through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus paid the price for our sins when He submitted Himself to a brutal death on the cross. He then rose victoriously and sits at the right hand of God, pleading our case. Anyone who turns from the wicked ways, and who seeks this Christ for forgiveness, will have this place of which He speaks: heaven!

We will be reunited with our loved ones; however, when we die, our eyes will be focused on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We will be content and happy in this place of paradise. We too, will be victorious over death and have life everlasting, because of Jesus.

There are words to an old song that goes, “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that shall be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!” We need to get our hearts ready and our vocal chords warmed up. A great day is coming!
Dear Father, Thank you for your Son, Jesus, who paved the way for us to have eternal life in paradise. Amen

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny


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Scripture taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Devotion shared by Jenny Calvert.
As Christians, we often talk about heaven.

Un Dia a la Vez - La infidelidad


La infidelidad

El que lleva a los justos por el mal camino, caerá en su propia trampa; pero los íntegros heredarán el bien.

Hombres, la infidelidad no es una moda ni te hace más hombre. Por el contrario, te hace más cobarde.

Para los hombres que no tienen una vida espiritual sana, les cuesta mucho entender que debes ser hombre de una sola mujer. Aunque el mundo te tilde de tonto, esa es la voluntad de nuestro Dios. Por eso la fidelidad es la más hermosa cualidad y virtud que pueda tener un hijo de Dios.

¿Has pensado qué haría Jesús si lo hubieran tentado con la infidelidad? ¡Hubiera huido, ya que fue íntegro en todo!

Si quieres cambiar tu vida, debes dejar atrás el pecado de la infidelidad que desgracia tu vida y la de tu familia. El Manual de Instrucciones habla con dureza de las consecuencias. Recuerda lo que se declara en Romanos 6:23: «La paga del pecado es muerte». No te hablo de la muerte natural, sino de la muerte espiritual que pone un abismo entre Dios y tú, te aparta de su protección y te lleva a tocar fondo.

No es más hombre el que tiene más mujeres. Es más hombre el que solo tiene una. Si tienes más de una mujer, recapacita y permite que Dios te libere de esta doble vida. Renuncia a esa relación y arrepiéntete de corazón. Dios, que es un Padre de oportunidades, restaurará tu vida.

Recuerda que la verdadera vida no está en la tierra. La verdadera vida está cuando partamos de este mundo y tengamos que darle cuenta a Dios por lo que hicimos con nuestra vida y con nuestros hogares.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - I KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE


I KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
~ Psalm 31:7 (NIV)

Yesterday we read of the faith of Bahar from Central Asia. Pregnant with her sixth child, she lost her husband, Bahtiyar, to cancer. But the Muslims would not allow her to bury him in the town. She continues her story:

“We were all desperately trying to find a solution. In neighboring Kisul, a plot of land had been given to the Christians to be used as cemetery, so the believers started to dig a grave. Before they had finished, a crowd of people arrived on horseback and in a truck. Three mullahs, many young men, even women and people from the village administration, were shouting and threatening the believers. The atmosphere was grim and the believers had to leave the area to escape a beating.

“We were not able to bury my husband that day. The next day the believers secretly took his body and took it to a completely different place, much farther away from our village and buried him there at a Christian cemetery.

“Bahtiyar’s mother, with her addiction to alcohol, was targeted as the channel to put pressure on the family. She is seventy and not a believer in Christ. The Mullah convinced her that the family was a shame and blemish on the village and that she had to kick her daughter-in-law out of her house. She was very angry and told them to leave. She no longer even wanted to see her own grandchildren.”

During the months that the family were trying to find a solution for their situation, they got a visit from a pastor who lives in the capital city. He had heard about their situation and inquired how they were going to live.

“How? I don’t know! But one thing I know that God will not abandon us! He promised that in His Word and He is true to His Word. I think the pastor was touched by our situation; he started to help us and several other believers as well. They offered us a house in a nearby town. We were thrilled and we moved. Now we have our own place, with a small garden to grow vegetables. There will always be plenty of needs for the kids, but I have seen that God is faithful.

“When my little son was born I was so happy! Even though my husband is no longer with us, we make an effort to stay close as a family. The youngest ones do not realize yet that their dad has died; they think he has gone on a trip. We have not been able to visit the grave as we don’t have a car to go the cemetery.

“I don’t know what the future holds for us, but God is taking care of us. Thank you for praying for us. Pray also for the other families of believers who are still in the village and face hostility every day. Please pray for my mother in law; I would like to see the relationship restored, so that she can enjoy her grandchildren!”

RESPONSE: Though I also do not know what the future holds, I will trust in Him who holds the future!

PRAYER: Continue to pray for Bahar and her family, especially reconciliation with her mother-in-law.

NIV Devotions for Men - Asa: Not by Strength


Asa: Not by Strength

1 Kings 15:9–24; 2 Chronicles 14—16 

Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God.

It is an honor to interview a good king when there have been so many bad ones.

“Good” is a relative term among men and kings. The Lord is good. Even the best of men are weak and foolish.

What one thing have you learned during your long reign?

I have learned this: “It is not by strength that one prevails.” I might have learned it much sooner, because Hannah, the mother of Samuel, spoke these words long ago. But it is only now, near the end of my days, that I begin to see Hannah’s wisdom. Even so, I have not learned it completely.

Will you give us an example of what you mean?

You have heard of my fortified cities and my army of half a million men. Then Zerah the Cushite came against me with an army twice that size. My only prayer was that the Lord would help the powerless against the mighty. My army prevailed, but not by its own might.

Why do you say you have not learned this completely?

Four years ago the king of Israel meant to invade our land. Instead of relying on the Lord, I sent silver and gold to Ben-Hadad in Damascus, who attacked Israel from the rear. Thus we fought off the invasion, but at the same time we were plunged into further war.

You spoke of relying on God rather than on personal strength. But what about the endless wars in your people’s history?

Not endless. Our prophets could tell you more about this than I can. For now, our people must survive. In days to come, however, a king will rise from David’s royal house. He will—well, I cannot tell you what he will do, exactly. But his kingdom will bring peace and justice. Then these hideous wars will end.

What one thing do you most want to tell our readers?

Rely upon the Lord. I have not always done so, and I am the worse for it.

Forgive me for not walking with you through the garden to the gate. You see the problem I have with my feet. Even as an old man I remain foolish. I have sought physicians, but I have sought the Lord too late!

Back to the Future
  • In what areas of your life are you tempted to rely on your own strength?
  • How would you respond to someone who asked you, “What does it mean to rely on the strength of the Lord?”
  • What practical steps can you take to become more dependent on the Lord’s strength?
Read Asa’s Story:

The detail is found in 1 Kings 15:9–24; 2 Chronicles 14—16. Also Read Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2:1–10.

Girlfriends in God - Uncluttering Your Heart


Uncluttering Your Heart

Today’s Truth

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
~ Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was to twirl in the grass. With arms out stretched, I’d spin around and around until I was silly-dizzy, and then fall to the ground with a giggly heart. It was thrilling, invigorating and a fun, simple way to spend a lazy summer day in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Now that I’m older, I can’t handle spinning in circles. My body rejects any twisty endeavor. Nausea quickly sets in and reminds me that I’m not a young “spinny-girl” anymore.

Several years ago while my family and I were at an amusement park, in an effort to gain favor in the eyes of my kids and earn imaginary super mom points I enthusiastically got on a ride that spun in circles. My hero-husband always goes on this type of ride with our children, so I thought, If Brad can do it, then I can do it, right?

 Not. So. Much.

I walked up the ramp to the wretched “Wheel of Whirl” naively optimistic and walked down the ramp having made a great big fool of myself. The park employee had to stop the ride to let me off.

Bad decision.

Yucky feelings followed. Instead of becoming super mom I became super sick mom. My center of balance and emotions were completely thrown off leaving my poor family with the disenchanted consequences of my twirling ambitions.

Just like that day in the amusement park, I constantly find myself thrown off balance from the wheeling whirl of life clutter.

Why?

Simply put: I complicate my life.

If we’re being honest, then I’d have to confess that I am one of my own biggest obstacles to living as an uncluttered woman. I know that I should depend solely on God for direction and strength, but the simple fact is I often don’t.

Most of us would admit that this is the case. Right?

It’s hard to sift through all that is thrown at us each day. Clutter happens and navigating this silly-dizzy world is difficult. There are ten bazillion things that vie for our attention and clutter our faith: emotions, materialism, negative thinking, overbooked schedules, doubts, legalism, laziness, self-reliance, our past pains and failures, technology, work, our desire to control things, finances, debt, stress, addictions, discontentment and relationships. And I’m just getting started!

The Bible instructs us to direct our silly-dizzy days toward God.

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3, NIV)

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33, NIV)

In His presence, God gives order to both our thoughts and our to-do lists.

Everything changes when we seek God first and commit our plans to Him.

Becoming an uncluttered woman is all about personal contact with Jesus. You and I will experience greater peace and deeper faith as we determine to respond to His constant invitation to come.

And don’t worry … Jesus is no stranger to clutter.

He walked the same earth we do and dealt with the same struggles and problems we deal with. He loved many a cluttered woman while here on earth and many more before and since His ascension. He knows your clutter – all of your complicated stuff – and He invites you to come just the same.

When we position ourselves in the presence of the Peace-giver and ask Him to lead and prioritize our heart matters, the uncluttering begins. And in the uncluttering our chaos is calmed.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, Thanks for reminding me that I can always come to You and trade in my exhaustion for Your rejuvenation. Please bring order to my day and establish my priorities according to Your will. Show me how to become an uncluttered woman.
In Jesus' Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” What are you seeking first? Are there activities, emotions, relationships, or thoughts in your life that need to be committed to the Lord? Spend a few moments in prayer and ask the Lord to establish your plans according to His will.

Since we’ve gone there devotionally, let’s go deeper by exploring this topic musically. Click here to join me on my blog and watch the music video for Uncluttered. Then share a few thoughts on my wall about your top clutter concerns – or simply write, “I’m done with the clutter!”

More from the Girlfriends

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A Word With You - Why Rocky Always Wins


Why Rocky Always Wins

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Not long ago I got to take one of my favorite East Coast walks. You know, growing up in Illinois, I didn't know much about the ocean. So when we moved to New Jersey, I quickly developed a pretty deep love for the ocean. So it's no surprise that Ocean City is one of my favorite places to go, right? And I love to walk out on the long, rock jetties that reach out into the sea from the beach. I really love it at high tide when the surf's crashing in around those rocks. When you see some of those monster waves surging toward those rocks, it looks like there's going to be a classic confrontation between the irresistible force (the ocean) and the immovable object (the rocks). Well, I'll tell you, the ocean sure overwhelms everything else in its way. But every time those rocks I stand on meet the mighty power of the sea, the winner is always the same. The wave is shattered. The rock remains.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why Rocky Always Wins."

Our word for today from the Word of God is about heavy surf-a list of some of the powerful waves that come crashing into all our lives. In 2 Corinthians 6:4-5, Paul says, "As servants of God, we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger."

Paul is describing here three terrible trios-monster waves that overwhelm many people. The first terrible trio is troubles, hardships (by the way, the word in the original Greek is "calamities"), and distresses (the Greek is literally "narrow straits" where you're feeling really boxed in). Secondly, there are beatings (obviously, that means physical attacks), imprisonments (maybe those times in your life when you feel confined), riots (which, for us, can apply to times when it seems everyone's turning against you). Finally, Paul points out the waves of hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger.

Got any waves like that beating on you? Well, you'll be encouraged with how Paul demonstrated how to handle them. He starts this hammering list with the words "in great endurance." That means perseverance and steadfastness. In fact, the root of the word here is the word for "staying where you are." Paul's says, "I'm not going anywhere. I'm taking my stand and nothing can move me." He says it is possible to be hit by high tide after high tide and still be the rock that is unmoved.

If you know Christ, you have in Him the power to be a rock-person just like Paul. Remember, the rock smashes the wave; the wave doesn't smash the rock! In football, they'll talk about whether or not a player can take a hit. Well, Paul could-and so can you-if you're drawing on the same stabilizing source of endurance.

Listen for it in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9. Paul says, "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God." Now that's it - right there - the secret of endurance when yours is gone-relying on your God. That means meeting intimately with Him each new day and getting a daily refill of His strength, and experiencing His renewing presence.

There's no guarantee you won't be hit by heavy seas - or even hurt by heavy seas. But as long as you are God's servant, drawing deeply on His strength, you will never be moved by heavy seas. Is it high tide for you right now? Maybe even storm tide? Well, you're going to make it! Because in Philippians 4:13 it says, "You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength." And the promise of Romans 8:37, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."

After the waves have finished their battering and the tide has receded, you'll still be there-only stronger than ever. In Christ, you're a rock-and remember, the rock always smashes the waves!

LHM Daily Devotion - October 12, 2017 "Knowing Us"

In 1937, you might have seen five signs along our nation's highways...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour



"Knowing Us"

October 12, 2017

O Lord, You have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

In 1937, you might have seen five signs along our nation's highways. They read, 

The cannibals / Took just one view / And said / He looks too nice / To stew/ Burma-Shave

Of course, that was then, and this is now. No longer will the message on the sign be "one size fits all." Today we are seeing the dumb static billboard message being transformed before our very eyes. Appearing in select spots around the country is the smart digital billboard.

Here's how the smart digital billboard works:

1. The billboard looks at you, and a roadside camera reads your license plate, and sends it to

2. a computer, which will tell it who you are, your address, age, race, income level, etc. and then

3. flash a tailor-made ad up on the screen that advertisers think will be of special interest to you.

If there are a number of cars, the computer will decide if it wishes to go after one special customer, or average things out to appeal to the most people passing by.

According to one of the developers of the smart billboard, from beginning to end, this whole process only takes a second or two. Of course, the smart billboard doesn't need to work fast when it is examining and evaluating a bicycle rider or a pedestrian. And, yes, it can read a lot of information about you by calculating the speed you walk, the length of your stride, and a host of other small bits of information.

As I read about the smart billboard, I found the whole idea a little bit creepy. Yes, I know my web-browsing habits are reported to all kinds of advertisers who select what little commercials they are going to throw at me. Still, the idea that I'm not going to be anonymous even in my own vehicle is somewhat unsettling.

In contrast to the knowledge gleaned by the smart billboard, we have the Triune God. As our Designer and Maker, the Lord knows us from the inside out. Not just our buying habits, but everything about us is knowledge possessed by our Lord.

Sadly, when we say everything in the previous statement, we have to confess there are some things we wish would stay hidden. Our sins, our shortcomings, our many transgressions put us in opposition to the Lord and worthy of condemnation.

In response to our helplessness, the Lord has decided to give us not what we want, like a smart billboard might. No, in the Person of His Son, the Lord gives us what we most need: forgiveness of sins, salvation, and a home in heaven. With gladness at what the Lord has done, we are able to place ourselves in the hands of God and, like the psalmist, say, Lord, "Lead me in the way everlasting" (see Psalm 139:24).

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we give thanks that even though You know our many sins, You still love us and have worked to save us. May we continue to rejoice in the salvation our Savior has won. In Jesus' 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 12 de Octubre de 2017


Alimento Diario

Autenticidad

12 de Octubre 2017

Esto les causa gran regocijo, aun cuando les sea necesario soportar por algún tiempo diversas pruebas y aflicciones; pero cuando la fe de ustedes sea puesta a prueba, como el oro, habrá de manifestarse en alabanza, gloria y honra el día que Jesucristo se revele. El oro es perecedero y, sin embargo, se prueba en el fuego; ¡y la fe de ustedes es mucho más preciosa que el oro!
~ 1 Pedro 1:6-7 (RVC)

Carolina Hayes es una mujer de principios. Digo esto porque, a pesar de todo, aún sigue protegiendo a Bruce.

Hace un tiempo Bruce, un cerdo de 177 libras, se apareció en su pequeña granja en Australia. Carolina le curó los rasguños y las heridas que tenía, y lo alimentó, haciéndolo sentirse como en su casa.

Bruce demostró su gratitud volviéndose agresivo y exigiendo más alimento del que Carolina podía compartir. Al no conseguir lo que quería, fue al garaje y destruyó un colchón, rompió en dos el palo de una escoba, y luego comenzó a mordisquearle los tobillos, y a dar golpes contra la puerta a las 4 de la mañana.

Finalmente, Carolina se dio cuenta que Bruce la tenía cautiva en su propia casa.

Si Bruce me hubiera hecho todo eso a mí, ya hace tiempo que hubiera estado sobre mi mesa... no en mi mesa, sino sobre mi mesa.

Pero Carolina, además de ser vegetariana y amante de los animales, es una mujer de principios. Lo que hizo fue llamar a las autoridades y pedirles que se hicieran cargo de Bruce. También solicitó que no fuera enjaulado, que no fuera llevado al matadero, y que no fuera lastimado. Como mujer de principios que es, Carolina simplemente quería que se llevaran a Bruce.

Se me ocurre que cuando Pedro escribió las palabras que sirven de texto para esta reflexión, estaba orando para que los cristianos sean personas de principios, especialmente en lo que respecta a su fe.

Es cierto que se pasa por tiempos difíciles; es cierto que el mundo es a veces agresivo y pone a prueba la fe. Pero, más allá del dolor que se pueda sentir, Pedro quería que quienes han sido lavados en la sangre del Salvador resucitado, se aferren con firmeza a la fe que recibieron en el bautismo.

Pedro quería que los creyentes sean cristianos con principios.

¿Por qué? Porque al pasar por pruebas y persecuciones, el Señor perfecciona nuestra fe y la hace mejor, más pura y más valiosa de lo que era antes.

Seamos siempre cristianos con principios... cueste lo que cueste.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, gracias por habernos dado la fe a través de nuestro bautismo. Danos fuerza y perseverancia para soportar las pruebas de esta vida aferrándonos a ti, de tal forma que nuestra fe sea cada vez más pura y refinada. En el nombre de tu hijo 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.