Friday, October 13, 2017

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, October 13, 2017

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men
Daily Readings for
FRIDAY, October 13, 2017

2 Kings 23:36-24:17
Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, just as all his ancestors had done. In his days King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up; Jehoiakim became his servant for three years; then he turned and rebelled against him. The LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldeans, bands of the Arameans, bands of the Moabites, and bands of the Ammonites; he sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by his servants the prophets. Surely this came upon Judah at the command of the LORD, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, for all that he had committed, and also for the innocent blood that he had shed; for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to pardon. Now the rest of the deeds of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? So Jehoiakim slept with his ancestors; then his son Jehoiachin succeeded him. The king of Egypt did not come again out of his land, for the king of Babylon had taken over all that belonged to the king of Egypt from the Wadi of Egypt to the River Euphrates. Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign; he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, just as his father had done. At that time the servants of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it; King Jehoiachin of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself, his mother, his servants, his officers, and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign. He carried off all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he cut in pieces all the vessels of gold in the temple of the LORD, which King Solomon of Israel had made, all this as the LORD had foretold. He carried away all Jerusalem, all the officials, all the warriors, ten thousand captives, all the artisans and the smiths; no one remained, except the poorest people of the land. He carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon; the king's mother, the king's wives, his officials, and the elite of the land, he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. The king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon all the men of valor, seven thousand, the artisans and the smiths, one thousand, all of them strong and fit for war. The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

Matthew 9:27-34
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to him, "Yes, Lord." Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith let it be done to you." And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, "See that no one knows of this." But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district. After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, "Never has anything like this been seen in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons."

Morning Psalms
Psalm 140 Eripe me, Domine
1   Deliver me, O LORD, from evildoers; protect me from the violent,
2   Who devise evil in their hearts and stir up strife all day long.
3   They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adder's poison is under their lips.
4   Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who are determined to trip me up.
5   The proud have hidden a snare for me and stretched out a net of cords; they have set traps for me along the path.
6   I have said to the LORD, "You are my God; listen, O LORD, to my supplication.
7   O Lord GOD, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8   Do not grant the desires of the wicked, O LORD, nor let their evil plans prosper.
9   Let not those who surround me lift up their heads; let the evil of their lips overwhelm them.
10   Let hot burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the mire, never to rise up again."
11   A slanderer shall not be established on the earth, and evil shall hunt down the lawless.
12   I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the poor and render justice to the needy.
13   Surely, the righteous will give thanks to your Name, and the upright shall continue in your sight.

Psalm 142 Voce mea ad Dominum
1   I cry to the LORD with my voice; to the LORD I make loud supplication.
2   I pour out my complaint before him and tell him all my trouble.
3   When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path; in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
4   I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me; I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for me.
5   I cry out to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
6   Listen to my cry for help, for I have been brought very low; save me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
7   Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your Name; when you have dealt bountifully with me, the righteous will gather around me.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 141 Domine, clamavi
1   O LORD, I call to you; come to me quickly; hear my voice when I cry to you.
2   Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3   Set a watch before my mouth, O LORD, and guard the door of my lips; let not my heart incline to any evil thing.
4   Let me not be occupied in wickedness with evildoers, nor eat of their choice foods.
5   Let the righteous smite me in friendly rebuke; let not the oil of the unrighteous anoint my head; for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.
6   Let their rulers be overthrown in stony places, that they may know my words are true.
7   As when a plowman turns over the earth in furrows, let their bones be scattered at the mouth of the grave.
8   But my eyes are turned to you, Lord GOD; in you I take refuge; do not strip me of my life.
9   Protect me from the snare which they have laid for me and from the traps of the evildoers.
10   Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I myself escape.

Psalm 143 Domine, exaudi
1   LORD, hear my prayer, and in your faithfulness heed my supplications; answer me in your righteousness.
2   Enter not into judgment with your servant, for in your sight shall no one living be justified.
3   For my enemy has sought my life; he has crushed me to the ground; he has made me live in dark places like those who are long dead.
4   My spirit faints within me; my heart within me is desolate.
5   I remember the time past; I muse upon all your deeds; I consider the works of your hands.
6   I spread out my hands to you; my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land.
7   O LORD, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me; do not hide your face from me or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
8   Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning, for I put my trust in you; show me the road that I must walk, for I lift up my soul to you.
9   Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD, for I flee to you for refuge.
10   Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God; let your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
11   Revive me, O LORD, for your Name's sake; for your righteousness' sake, bring me out of trouble.
12   Of your goodness, destroy my enemies and bring all my foes to naught, for truly I am your servant.

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

Prayer of the Day for FRIDAY, October 13, 2017

Prayer of the Day

O God, at whose word we go forth to our work and labor until the evening; Be merciful to all whose duties are difficult or burdensome, and comfort them in their toil. Shield from bodily accident and harm the workmen at their work. Protect the efforts of sober and honest industry, and do not let employers withhold the honest wages of those who labor. Incline the heart of employers and of those whom they employ to mutual forbearance, fairness, and good will.

Give the spirit of governance and of a sound mind to all in positions of authority. Bless all those who labor in works of mercy or in schools. Care for all aged persons, and all little children, the sick and the afflicted, and those who travel by land, sea, or air. Remember all who by reason of weakness are overtasked, or because of poverty are forgotten. Let the sorrows and regrets of prisoners come before you; and according to the greatness of your power, preserve those who are appointed to die. Give ear unto my prayer, O merciful and gracious Father, for the love of your dear Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, October 13, 2017

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Read all of Jeremiah 29

Listen to Jeremiah 29

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 Assurance of Salvation

The Assurance of Salvation

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure.
~ 2 Peter 1:10 (NKJV)

It is our duty to seek assurance of our salvation with diligence. This is not done out of idle curiosity about the state of our soul, but to enhance our growth in sanctification. Christians who remain uncertain about the state of their salvation are subject to all sorts of questions that paralyze their walk with Christ. They stumble in doubt and are vulnerable to the assaults of Satan. So we must seek to be assured of our salvation. There are four possible positions with respect to one's assurance of salvation:

Position One: There are people who are unsaved and know that they are unsaved. These people are aware of the enmity they have in their hearts toward God and clearly want nothing to do with Christ as their Savior. They are bold to proclaim that they do not need Christ. Such people are often openly hostile to the gospel.

Position Two: There are people who are saved but do not know they are saved. These people are actually in a state of grace but are uncertain of it. Perhaps they are wrestling with sin in their lives and doubt their own salvation because of a troubled conscience. In this group are those who have not yet made certain that they are among the elect.

Position Three: There are people who are saved and know that they are saved. This is the group who are certain of their election and calling. They have a clear and sound understanding of what salvation requires and know they have met the requirements. They have believed the testimony of the Holy Spirit when He witnessed to their spirits that they are the children of God (Romans 8:16).

Position Four: There are people who are not saved but confidently believe that they are saved. These people have assurance of salvation without salvation. Their assurance is a false assurance.

Because it is possible to have a false assurance of salvation, how do we know if we are in group three or group four? The easiest way to have a false assurance of salvation is to have a false doctrine of salvation. For example, if a person holds to a universalist view of salvation, he or she may reason as follows: “Every person is saved; I am a person; Therefore, I am saved.” But because the person's doctrine is faulty, his or her assurance has no firm basis.

Another way that people falsely assure themselves of salvation is by believing that they will get to heaven by trying to live a good life. Those who think they are living a good enough life to satisfy the demands of a holy God are only deluding themselves into thinking they are saved.

But what if a person has a sound doctrine of salvation? Is it still possible to have false assurance? We must answer yes. A person might think he has saving faith but not really possess it. The test for authentic assurance is twofold. On the one hand, we must examine our own hearts to see if we have true faith in Christ. We must see whether or not we have any genuine love for the biblical Christ. For we know such love for Him would be impossible without regeneration.

Second, we must examine the fruit of our faith. We do not need perfect fruit to have assurance, but there must be some evidence of the fruit of obedience for our profession of faith to be credible. If no fruit is present, then no faith is present. Where saving faith is found, fruit of that faith is also found.

Finally, we seek our assurance from the Word of God through which the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit that we are His children.
Lord, let me seek and gain assurance of my salvation. Amen.
~ R. C. Sproul, from “Essential Truths of the Christian Faith”

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV® Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

It is our duty to seek assurance of our salvation with diligence.

Un Dia a la Vez - Oración por fidelidad

Oración por fidelidad

Amen al Señor, todos sus fieles; él protege a los dignos de confianza.
~Salmo 31:23 (NVI)

¡Oh, Dios mío, qué claro eres en tu Palabra! Sin embargo, ¡qué necios somos! Por eso caemos con facilidad en las redes de Satanás que nos presenta todo llamativo y agradable. Entonces, a la larga viene el final tan amargo por nuestras equivocaciones.

Señor, tú creaste el matrimonio y estableciste como mandamiento la fidelidad, a fin de que seamos felices y bendecidos.

Ayúdanos, Padre, a tener nuestra mirada puesta en ti y a huir de la tentación.

Danos tanto el querer como el hacer, y pon en cada uno de nosotros un nuevo amor por nuestros cónyuges.

Perdóname, mi Dios, y restaura mi vida. Dame la oportunidad de reconocer mi falta y recuperar mi matrimonio.

También te pido que me guardes de la amarga experiencia de la infidelidad y de todo peligro. No me dejes caer en tentación y líbrame del mal, de modo que sea capaz de cumplir el pacto de fidelidad que hice en el altar.

En el nombre de Jesús, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE BODY OF CHRIST AT WORK


…so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
~ Romans 12:5 (NIV)

Training for Christian women in Pakistan, where poverty and illiteracy abound, has proven to reflect the character of the body of Christ.

A student says, “It’s important for me to be here so I can learn to read and write. Then I can read the Bible for myself, which is the most important thing for me. I want the Gospel to spread throughout our country. Now I study hard and I can write my name. I intend to stand before the people and read the Bible by myself so that other people may be encouraged to learn to read and write in the same way.

One teacher named Gladys says, “I have a gift for sewing, cutting, and embroidery. The other gift God has given me is to share with other people and tell them about Jesus. That is the opportunity I have and that is what I am doing here. When I began here, I said to them, ‘I am not educated. I can’t teach anyone.’ But then the Lord said to me, ‘This is My work. I will use you.’

“We do face discrimination because we live in the midst of people who don’t want us to move forward, people who keep trying to push us down so that we will always be in slavery. But the women testify to what God has done for them in their lives. From the time they first come here, I can see God changing their lives because the way they speak changes and they talk about the love they’ve been shown and how that has affected their lives. If someday a mother’s children are Christian because I taught her, I would be so happy because I would know that God had done His work through me.

Another teacher reports, “I first came to the center to learn sewing skills. But my father took me out of the center. He sent me to work for a Muslim family who lived in Turkey. The family said that I should give up my faith because it was no good. I told them that God had blessed me through this faith, and that I could not find such a blessing anywhere else, and that my faith meant everything to me.

“Then one time, when their daughter was ill, they taunted me and said I better pray for her and see what Jesus would do. So I did pray for her, and she was healed. They knew I had prayed to my God for her and so they exclaimed, ‘Glory to God! Surely your Jesus does answer prayers.’

Before I left them, I testified to them, and they said that my prayers work, but I told them, ‘It’s not my prayers. It is the Lord who causes us to pray and it is the Lord who heals.’ And they had to admit that it was true, and that my God truly does work.”

Another student concludes, “The Church is the body of Christ. We have to help each other to share the love of Jesus as He has shown us.”

RESPONSE: Today I will share my giftedness with others and help build up the body of Christ.

PRAYER: Pray for the Open Doors training sessions around the world—especially among poor and illiterate Christian women.

Men of the Bible - James and John

James and John

John' name means: "Yahweh Has Been Gracious." James' name, a form of "Jacob," means "He Grasps the Heel" (figuratively, "He Deceives")

Their work: James and his younger brother John were career fishermen working in their father's business on the Sea of Galilee.
Their character: James was quiet and analytical; John was verbal and open. Both of these hardworking men were profoundly changed when they met Jesus. Not only did they follow him, but they were brought into his inner circle along with Peter, their friend and business associate.
Their sorrow: Following Jesus cost them everything. They left their family business, their familiar surroundings, their friends, and even their families to walk with the Savior.
Their triumph: What may have started as pure adventure—following the Teacher—ended in a revolution that changed the world.
Key Scriptures: Matthew 4:18-22; 16:13-17:9

A Look at the Men

Life was good for Zebedee. He owned a prosperous fishing enterprise, and he and his wife, Salome, had two sons who were partners with him in the business.

Although it must have been a blow to their fishing company when James and John left their nets to follow Jesus, there is no evidence that Zebedee and Salome resisted their sons' decision. "After all," they may have said to each other, "think how good this will be for the boys to be seen with the Teacher. Maybe it will even be good for business."

For their part, James and John would never look back. They lived with the Savior. They walked hundreds of miles with him and saw him perform awesome miracles, all the while wondering who he was. Whenever he was asked by commoners and Pharisees, he sidestepped their questions. Why doesn't he just go ahead and declare his messiahship? the disciples wondered.

And then, after two years of being with Jesus, Zebedee and Salome's sons went to the mountain with their friend Peter and saw the light. These men caught a glimpse of the glory of God. And like Moses and Isaiah before them, they were completely dumbfounded. This was the Messiah. They no longer doubted.

From that moment forward, Jesus had a special relationship with James, John, and Peter. He put them in his inner circle as his closest associates. When James and John reported this to Zebedee and Salome, they must have been proud. But Salome took a step beyond good sense when she went to Jesus with an ill-advised request. "One day, when you come into power," she said to the Savior, thinking he would one day be an earthly king, "could you give my sons the highest rank in the land? So lofty would be their positions that one would sit to the right of your throne and one would sit to the left."

This request wasn't just coming from a doting mother. She and her sons had discussed it, for when Jesus said, "You don't have any idea what you're asking," the answer was in the plural. "Yes, we do!" they answered.

When the other disciples heard about James's and John's request, they were outraged—probably because they had wanted these positions of prominence for themselves!

And then, in one short moment, history's most profound lesson in leadership was delivered. Jesus' words must have seared the disciples' hearts. "Heathen leaders take their power and cram it down the throats of their subjects," he told them. "But you're not to do this."

James's and John's faces must have flushed. Jesus was talking to all twelve of the disciples, but it was these two brothers who really felt the sting of his words. Sideward glances from the others made it worse.

"Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave." James and John were transfixed by Jesus' words, but he wasn't quite finished. "I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve," Jesus said. Then he added, "And to give my life as a ransom for many."

Following Jesus' resurrection, James, John, and five other disciples were back on the sea late at night. They fished all night but caught nothing. As the morning sun peeked over the horizon, they saw a man standing on the shore. "Throw your net on the right side of the boat," he hollered to them. When they did, they couldn't pull the net in because it was so full of fish. "It's Jesus," John said, recognizing the cadence of his voice and the power of his words. "It's Jesus!"

Once on shore, the disciples and Jesus had breakfast together. His final words after the meal, although directed at Peter, were surely for each of the seven disciples who were there. They are words for us as well. "You want to lead?" Jesus asked. "Then feed my sheep."

Reflect On: Matthew 4:18–20
Praise God: For God’s glory.
Offer Thanks: For the life-changing power of God’s presence and holiness.
Confess: Any unwillingness to risk it all to be Jesus’ disciple—any temptation to treat Jesus like your buddy or your example rather than the glorified and perfect Son of the living God.
Ask God: To challenge you to acknowledge his presence more frequently. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, listen to his voice saying to you, “Follow me.”

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media. Coming this fall: watch for Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler.

Girlfriends in God - God Allows U-Turns

God Allows U-Turns

Today’s Truth

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!

Friend to Friend

Laura lived in a small town with parents who were morally sound and family oriented. She went to church from her earliest remembrance and was baptized when she was 12 years old. In high school, she began dating Barry. After Laura went off to college, both of Barry’s parents died. He was lonely and missed the close-knit family he had once enjoyed.

After Laura’s first year of college, Barry began talking marriage. He had not gone to college and wanted her to come home and be his wife. Laura was torn, but made the decision to marry Barry and continue working toward her degree.

Laura and I held hands and prayed together before she walked down the aisle. It was a beautiful day as I stood with her and the two were united as man and wife. But after the wedding comes the marriage–something that neither the 19-year-old Laura nor Barry was prepared to face.

After five years, Laura was bored with the marriage, restless in her job, and disappointed in her husband. While working in a medical office, Bob, a salesman for an international medical supply company, took on their account. Bob was older and lived what seemed like an exciting lifestyle. The relationship started as friendly bantering, and progressed to enticing flirtation. Laura found herself looking forward to Thursdays—the day the rep made his weekly visits.

A touch here, a lunch there, and soon an affair ensued. Laura packed her bags, left her marriage, her job, and her hometown to move to greener pastures. But the greener pastures weren’t so green. Thorns infested the relationship. Bob wasn’t interested in anything long term. Laura was just a young plaything he toyed with on weekends. What promised to be an exciting life away from small town America, away from a mundane, monotonous marriage, turned into a deep, dark pit of regret and remorse. Laura discovered Bob wasn’t anything special. He was just someone different—a diversion. And she was his flavor of the month.

After her divorce was final, Laura was left all alone in a strange town. “What have I done?” she cried.

Laura’s husband remarried and put the broken pieces of his life back together. Laura, on the other hand, was just broken.

Laura turned away from our friendship when she headed down the road to self-destruction. But after she came to her senses, she called me full of remorse and sadness. I welcomed her in my arms, held her close to my heart, and brought her to my hometown. My husband and I found her a job, helped her get her finances in order, and directed her to a great Bible-based church. That’s what it looked like on the outside, but here’s what really happened.

Laura, in her own words, stood before Jesus like the woman caught in adultery. She felt the stares of her accusers and recoiled at the rocks that would surely fly. In her own mind, she stood naked and ashamed before her community, her childhood church body, and her lifelong friends. But more importantly, she stood in shame before Jesus.

“I didn’t think God would forgive me,” she began. “I had hurt my family, my husband, and my witness. What would God want with someone like me?”

“Laura,” I began, “we are all sinners. We are all saved by grace. None of us deserves it. That’s what makes grace, grace. You made a terrible mistake. But so did the woman who the Pharisees brought to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. What did Jesus do with that woman? What did He say?”

“He told her to go and sin no more.”

“Exactly. He told her to leave her life of sin. That doesn’t mean that she never sinned again. But we can safely believe that she left this lifestyle, this sinful relationship, and began a new life. That is what Jesus will do for you. That is what He does for all of us.”

God promises: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NIV). Another translation uses the words “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NASB). I love the picture of God washing away all our sins, erasing the list of offenses, throwing our sins into the deepest of seas. All gone.

Laura did begin again. She repented of her sin, immersed herself in Bible study and ministry, and began a new life totally committed to the One who forgave her and set her free from condemnation. And that my friend, is what Jesus does for each and every one of us who come to Him with a repentant heart ready to start anew.

After Laura began her new life, she followed hard after God. She was so grateful for a chance to start again, and she gave her life to serving and honoring Jesus.

Sometime during her fifth year at her new church, she met a wonderful Christian man, Peter. After they were married, Laura and Peter committed their lives to serving God wherever He led. After a missions trip to Eastern Europe, they both felt God calling them to return on a more permanent basis. Now, for more than 10 years, Laura and Peter have been serving God in Eastern Europe, planting churches and loving people to Christ. She has agreed with Paul who wrote, “This one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining toward what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13). But friend, it is a choice.

See, God doesn’t just set us free from our past. He sets us free to an exciting future. And Jesus showcased the woman caught in adultery in John 8 and my friend, Laura, to show us how.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, thank You for being a God who allows U-turns. Not only do You forgive me of my sin, You allow me to start anew.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read the story of the woman caught in adultery from your own Bible and note the difference in how the religious people harshly dealt with the woman and how Jesus tenderly dealt with her.

Which way do you tend to deal with other people’s sins?

Which way do you want other people to deal with yours?

Did you know that God allows U-turns in your own life?

Is there an area where you need to make a U-turn and head back toward God?

Are you ready to repent of your sin, accept God’s forgiveness, and begin a new life filled with purpose? If so, it is only a prayer away.

More from the Girlfriends

HowJesusBrokeTheRules-150x232Today’s devotion was taken from my book, How Jesus Broke the Rules to Set You Free: A Woman’s Walk in Power and Purpose. In this book we study each woman Jesus encountered in the New Testament and see how her story is your story. Jesus came to set women free! In a day when they moved about as shadows in the culture, rarely seen and seldom heard, Jesus broke the cultural rules to heal them, save them, and then send them. He risked His reputation to save theirs…and yours. The book comes with a study guide and is perfect for women’s Bible study groups. But be prepared, you’ll fall in love with Jesus all over again. That is a blessing in itself! Right now, this book is on sale for 33% off.

Visit my website and sign up for my blog, and I’ll email you a link to download my new beautiful adult coloring book journal for free!

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Girlfriends in God

LHM Daily Devotion - October 13, 2017 "Survival"

For most of their 45 years of marriage, Joseph and Phyliss Badame were...

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour


October 13, 2017

(Jesus said) "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
~ John 10:10 (ESV)

For most of their 45 years of marriage, Joseph and Phyliss Badame were survivalists. She was a teacher, and he was an architect, but both believed in, and prepared for, a global economic catastrophe.

Part of their preparation was trying to convince family and friends that they, too, should prepare.

It was a fruitless quest. The folks Joseph and Phyliss talked to remain unmoved and lived their lives as if nothing negative would ever occur. The laissez-faire attitude of the people closest to them was a bothersome thing. Eventually, the couple decided: "If our friends and family won't get prepared, we will make preparations for them."

Eventually, Joseph and Phyliss had shelter, water, dried food, and supplies stored to take care of 100 people for a prolonged period of time. But then Phyliss was diagnosed with cancer. Taking care of her during a prolonged illness exhausted the couple's money supply. After her death, Joseph realized there just wasn't that many people left who would join him in his shelter, and he lost interest.

This year the bank decided to foreclose on his property. That could have been the end of the story if it had not been for Victoria and Anthony Barber who were hired to provide a concession stand at the foreclosure sale. As they talked, Victoria shared how her family in Puerto Rico had lost everything. At that moment an idea was born.

Joseph thought, "If this food isn't going to help my family, why shouldn't it help someone else?" He gave the food to the Barbers who are doing all they can to get that lifesaving food to that storm- devastated country.

A great many years ago, our Heavenly Father looked at humanity, and He could see a global, spiritual catastrophe which was going to affect every sinner who would ever live. Knowing that we were unable to do anything to prepare for this disaster of damnation, He decided that He would put into force a plan which had the ability to save not just a hundred people or a million. No, God's plan was large enough, complete enough, that it could save everyone who would be brought to faith.

So that we might have life and have it to the full, the Lord made an investment.

That investment was not in time or money, like that made by Joseph and Phyliss. No, the Lord's investment called for the sacrifice of His only Son. So that we might be rescued, the Lord sent His Son into this world to live His life as one of us. For 33 years, Jesus walked among us. During those years He kept the Law, resisted temptation, and carried our sins. His work was finished as He died our death on the cross.

The promise of salvation once made to Abraham and his descendants was broadened to include all of humanity.

It was a promise which said, "God would have all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth." (See 1 Timothy 2:3-4.) It was a promise that says because of the Savior we are forgiven and can have life to the full.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Jesus is the Way and Truth. May we follow Him and Your Word. Grant us the discernment to realize that it is only in Him that we can have forgiveness, salvation, and a full life. In Jesus' Name we ask it. Amen.

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

CPTLN Devocional de 13 de Octubre de 2017

Alimento Diario

Sus heridas, nuestra salud

13 de Octubre 2017

Pero él será herido por nuestros pecados; ¡molido por nuestras rebeliones! Sobre él vendrá el castigo de nuestra paz, y por su llaga seremos sanados.
~ Isaías 53:5b (RVC)

¡Cuánto nos ama Dios el Padre, que envió a su propio Hijo a morir por nuestros pecados!

La crucifixión de Jesucristo a manos de las autoridades romanas que gobernaban en Palestina en el primer siglo, fue el resultado de una morbosa conspiración. Siglos antes, el profeta Isaías ya la había predicho, describiendo con detalles exactos la misión del Mesías y mostrando, así, la ceguera de quienes instigaron y finalmente lograron cometer semejante acto. El crimen que cometieron contra el Hijo de Dios, era parte del propósito con que el Padre había enviado a su Hijo a nacer en Belén.

"Con todo, él llevará sobre sí nuestros males, y sufrirá nuestros dolores, mientras nosotros creeremos que Dios lo ha azotado, lo ha herido y humillado. Pero él será herido por nuestros pecados; ¡molido por nuestras rebeliones! Sobre él vendrá el castigo de nuestra paz, y por su llaga seremos sanados." (Isaías 53:4-5).

Durante su pasión, Cristo ofreció su misericordia incluso a quienes estaban en su contra. En vez de reprenderlos por estar pecando contra Dios, les dijo palabras llenas de gracia y esperanza: "Padre, perdónalos, porque no saben lo que hacen" (Lucas 23:34ª).

El Cordero de Dios enviado por el Padre vino a quitar los pecados del mundo. ¡Demos gracias a Dios por su don inefable! (2 Corintios 9:15).

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, gracias por el incomprensible amor que mostraste a la humanidad a través de la obra redentora de tu Hijo en la cruz. Perdona nuestros pecados, restáuranos a través de tu Palabra, y enséñanos a confiar siempre en ti. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Biografía del autor: Esta devoción está basada en un texto enviado por un voluntario de la Oficina de Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones en Latvia.

© 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.