Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, October 21, 2017

"What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Matthew 11:7-8
Daily Readings for
SATURDAY, October 21, 2017

2 Kings 25:8-12, 25:22-26
In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month-- which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon-- Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the LORD, the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. All the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon-- all the rest of the population. But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest people of the land to be vinedressers and tillers of the soil. He appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan as governor over the people who remained in the land of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had left. Now when all the captains of the forces and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they came with their men to Gedaliah at Mizpah, namely, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite. Gedaliah swore to them and their men, saying, "Do not be afraid because of the Chaldean officials; live in the land, serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you." But in the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama, of the royal family, came with ten men; they struck down Gedaliah so that he died, along with the Judeans and Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. Then all the people, high and low and the captains of the forces set out and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.

1 Corinthians 15:12-29
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ-- whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "All things are put in subjection," it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all. Otherwise, what will those people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?

Matthew 11:7-15
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!

Morning Psalms
Psalm 20 Exaudiat te Dominus
1   May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble, the Name of the God of Jacob defend you;
2   Send you help from his holy place and strengthen you out of Zion;
3   Remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice;
4   Grant you your heart's desire and prosper all your plans.
5   We will shout for joy at your victory and triumph in the Name of our God; may the LORD grant all your requests.
6   Now I know that the LORD gives victory to his anointed; he will answer him out of his holy heaven, with the victorious strength of his right hand.
7   Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will call upon the Name of the LORD our God.
8   They collapse and fall down, but we will arise and stand upright.
9   O LORD, give victory to the king and answer us when we call.


Psalm 21 Domine, in virtute tua
1   The king rejoices in your strength, O LORD; how greatly he exults in your victory!
2   You have given him his heart's desire; you have not denied him the request of his lips.
3   For you meet him with blessings of prosperity, and set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
4   He asked you for life, and you gave it to him: length of days, for ever and ever.
5   His honor is great, because of your victory; splendor and majesty have you bestowed upon him.
6   For you will give him everlasting felicity and will make him glad with the joy of your presence.
7   For the king puts his trust in the LORD; because of the loving-kindness of the Most High, he will not fall.
8   Your hand will lay hold upon all your enemies; your right hand will seize all those who hate you.
9   You will make them like a fiery furnace at the time of your appearing, O LORD;
10   You will swallow them up in your wrath, and fire shall consume them.
11   You will destroy their offspring from the land and their descendants from among the peoples of the earth.
12   Though they intend evil against you and devise wicked schemes, yet they shall not prevail.
13   For you will put them to flight and aim your arrows at them.
14   Be exalted, O LORD, in your might; we will sing and praise your power.

Evening Psalms
Psalm 110 Dixit Dominus
1   The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."
2   The LORD will send the scepter of your power out of Zion, saying, "Rule over your enemies round about you.
3   Princely state has been yours from the day of your birth; in the beauty of holiness have I begotten you, like dew from the womb of the morning."
4   The LORD has sworn and he will not recant: "You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."
5   The Lord who is at your right hand will smite kings in the day of his wrath; he will rule over the nations.
6   He will heap high the corpses; he will smash heads over the wide earth.
7   He will drink from the brook beside the road; therefore he will lift high his head.


Psalm 116 Dilexi, quoniam
1   I love the LORD, because he has heard the voice of my supplication, because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him.
2   The cords of death entangled me; the grip of the grave took hold of me; I came to grief and sorrow.
3   Then I called upon the Name of the LORD: "O LORD, I pray you, save my life."
4   Gracious is the LORD and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
5   The LORD watches over the innocent; I was brought very low, and he helped me.
6   Turn again to your rest, O my soul. for the LORD has treated you well.
7   For you have rescued my life from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.
8   I will walk in the presence of the LORD in the land of the living.
9   I believed, even when I said, "I have been brought very low." In my distress I said, "No one can be trusted."
10   How shall I repay the LORD for all the good things he has done for me?
11   I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the Name of the LORD.
12   I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
13   Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his servants.
14   O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant and the child of your handmaid; you have freed me from my bonds.
15   I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon the Name of the LORD.
16   I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
17   In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!


Psalm 117 Laudate Dominum
1   Praise the LORD, all you nations; laud him, all you peoples.
2   For his loving-kindness toward us is great, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures for ever. 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 SATURDAY, October 21, 2017


Lord, give me each day the wisdom to see which things are important, and which things are not. Show me how best to use the time and talents you have given me. Help me to use all my opportunities wisely, that I may share, through service to others, the good gifts I have received from you.
Amen.

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, October 21, 2017


Psalm 40:8 (NIV) I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”

Read all of Psalm 40

Listen to Psalm 40

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 - At The Feet Of Jesus


At The Feet Of Jesus

“Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what He taught.”
~ Luke 10:39 (NLT)

When you awake in the morning, do your thoughts immediately turn to a situation that you are going to have to face at your place of employment? Is there a possibility you may be losing your job? You immediately become fretful and your priorities become clouded. Do you focus on the worry, or do you reach for your Bible to sit at the feet of Jesus Christ to place this burden at Jesus' feet?

In the Book of Luke, there is an illustration of Jesus visiting His friends, Mary and Martha. Mary and Martha lived in Bethany a tiny village on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. They both loved Jesus and served Him.

On this great occasion when Jesus visited the ladies in their home their personal priorities were opposite regarding how they handled His presence. Martha, in her hospitality mode, chose to make her priority to focus on the big meal that she was preparing, and worrying about whether the food was perfectly cooked and properly presented to Jesus.

Mary chose a totally opposite priority. She made the decision not to get upset or worry about the details of the big meal. She quietly went to sit at the feet of Jesus to listen to His teaching.

W. Hay Aitken, from “Thoughts for the Quiet Hour”, stated: “At Jesus' feet--that is our place of privilege and of blessing, and here it is that we are to be educated and fitted for the practical duties of life. Here we are to renew our strength while we wait on Him, and to learn how to mount on wings as eagles; and here we are to become possessed of that true knowledge which is power. Here we are to learn how real work is to be done, and to be armed with the true motive power to do it. Here we are to find solace amidst both the trials of work--and they are not few--and the trials of life in general; and here we are to anticipate something of the blessedness of heaven amidst the days of earth; for to sit at His feet is indeed to be in heavenly places, and to gaze upon His glory is to do what we shall never tire of doing yonder.”

Where are your priorities when a burden is heavy? Which person do you resemble, Martha or Mary? Do you fret and worry like Martha? Or do you immediately go to sit at Jesus' feet like Mary? Jesus stated: “There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it--and I won't take it away from her.”

Jesus is waiting for you to sit quietly at His feet! By being in His presence you will know Him, and you can cast your burden upon Him.
Lord God, thank You for allowing us to sit at Your feet. Amen.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny


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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, NLT® copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Devotion shared by Ann Brock.
At Jesus' feet--that is our place of privilege and of blessing.

Un Dia a la Vez - Los deseos de Dios


Los deseos de Dios

Ante ti, Señor, están todos mis deseos; no te son un secreto mis anhelos.
~ Salmo 38:9 (NVI)

Dicen que en veintiún días algo que hacemos se convierte en hábito. Así que al buscar palabra que Dios pusiera en mi corazón para cada uno de nosotros este año, encontré veintiún deseos específicos, o principios de vida, que Dios espera de nosotros. Muchos de estos los hemos escuchado, repetido y practicado. Sin embargo, lo más importante es que cada uno de los que amamos a Dios queremos conocerle, agradarle y hacer su voluntad.

Durante los próximos veintiún días reflexionaremos en esos deseos y principios de vida y estoy segura que Dios abrirá nuestro entendimiento a fin de que logremos comprender mejor su Palabra y su corazón.

Dios mío, ayúdanos a comprender tu Palabra. Danos sabiduría y permite que cada uno de nosotros reciba la instrucción y la preparación de modo que seamos capaces de vivir como tú esperas. Que con palabras sencillas comprendamos la bendición de ser obedientes.

Señor Jesús, entregamos en tus manos estos próximos días que combinaremos con oración y ayuno.

Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - FACING TRIALS


FACING TRIALS

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
~ James 1:2-4 (NIV)

James, in his letter to the early Christians, lists the qualities that many kinds of trials develop in us.

She stood outside the doorway of the church intrigued by the love and joy displayed by those inside. The missionary had asked her to come in, but she had politely declined. This was a hostile area in the Philippines, and her father had strictly forbidden her to have anything to do with “those Christians.”

Unknown to the little Filipino girl, the missionary was praying fervently for her soul. Finally one Sunday morning, the little girl accepted the invitation to attend the Sunday school class. There she also opened her heart to Jesus and became a child of God. The missionary presented her with a beautiful white dress, representing the fact that Jesus had washed all her sins away.

The next Sunday the little girl was nowhere to be found. Concerned for the girl, the missionary travelled to her home village. Arriving at her home, she found the young, new believer lying in the dirt. Her white dress was torn, filthy, and soaked in blood. The girl’s father hadn’t shared the missionary’s joy in his daughter’s new-found faith. In a drunken rage he had beaten her, repeatedly kicked her, and left her to die.

The missionary gently lifted the fragile girl and carried her back to the church where a doctor rushed to help. But there was nothing he could do. He removed the ragged dress and cleaned her up, but her injuries were too severe. The missionary stayed with her, trying to comfort her during her final hour.

Upon regaining consciousness the little girl made an unusual request. She insisted on holding in her hand the white dress the missionary had given her. They explained that it was torn and soaked with blood and dirt. With the simple faith of a child she whispered, “I just want Jesus to know that I was willing to bleed for Him.”

RESPONSE: Today I acknowledge that struggles and trials are exactly what I need in my life. Without them, I would be crippled. I would never fly!

PRAYER: Lord, cause my suffering to make what I really believe to be evident to others.

NIV Devotions for Couples - Waiting for a Sign

Waiting for a Sign

Numbers 9:15–23

Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.
~ Numbers 9:17 (NIV)

So often, married life feels like little more than a series of decisions: Should we buy that house? Is it the right time to start a family? Do we need to save more money for the future? So often, we look to God for some kind of clear answer telling us just what to do.

Early in our marriage, my husband began looking for a job closer to our home. He happened upon a job opening at a social service agency just a few blocks from our apartment. Not only was the job close, but it was the kind of work he was passionate about at the kind of organization he’d wanted to work for. The company was even willing to let him work flexible hours so he could be home with our baby part of the day.

My husband sailed through his interview and was offered the job right away. Before he said yes, we talked briefly about the wisdom of taking the job. As we reviewed the circumstances it seemed that God had dropped this opportunity in his lap. We didn’t need to discuss the issue for long. We felt God’s leading very clearly.

While wandering through the wilderness, the people of Israel knew when to move and when to stay put because God gave them a sign: if the cloud that covered the tabernacle stayed put, they were to do likewise; when the cloud moved, they were to move. In our situation, we felt that the “cloud” had moved, and that my husband should take the job.

But we don’t always get a clear sign from God. There have been many, many times when we have prayed, sought the advice of friends and family, and waited for God to point us in the right direction, only to get . . . nothing. For example, when I was trying to decide whether I should quit my job, I agonized for months with no sense of what God wanted me to do. Where was our sign?

The truth is, God doesn’t always move the clouds to show us which way to go. Instead, God asks us to be faithful, to make choices with our lives that honor him. He asks us to get our priorities in order, to turn away from worldly standards of success and achievement and to bend our will to that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And as we follow his example, walking in his ways, we begin to think more like him. Paul tells us in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

We will make our share of mistakes in life decisions. At times, we will undoubtedly go when we should stay and stay when we should go. But the promise that God gives us is that no matter where we go—to a new state, to a new job, to a new stage of family life—our God goes with us.

Carla Barnhill

Let’s Talk
  • What choices have we made as a couple? Has there been a time when we’ve had to step out in faith without a clear sense of what the right choice was? How was God present with us in that uncertain situation?
  • What kind of decision makers are we? What are some ways we can show each other support and respect when we have a difficult decision to make?
  • What people do we trust to help us think through difficult decisions? If we can’t think of anyone, maybe we should develop deeper relationships with a few other couples from church.

LHM Daily Devotion - October 21, 2017 "The Spirit of the Law"

Twenty-nine-year-old, two-tour veteran of Iraq, Taylor Winston is...
Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour



"The Spirit of the Law"

October 21, 2017

But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day." Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?"
~ Luke 13:14-15 (ESV)

Twenty-nine-year-old, two-tour veteran of Iraq, Taylor Winston is a truck thief.

That being said, we need to add, Taylor Winston is a very, very special truck thief. This is his story. Winston was dancing with his girlfriend near the stage when rapid fire shots rang out at the Las Vegas concert. Like thousands of others who were there, he ran for cover. Actually, he ran toward some trucks that were parked on the other side of a fence; one of those trucks still had its keys.

When the shots stopped, Winston drove his stolen truck back to the venue.

There he loaded into the truck the worst wounded people he could find and raced them to Desert Springs Hospital Center. In the stolen truck, he went back for another load of wounded, and then another, and yet another.

Altogether, Winston thinks he took somewhere between 20 and 30 people to the hospital in his stolen truck. Now there is a reason I keep mentioning the fact that Winston's truck was stolen.

The truth is stealing a truck is a violation of the law. It is grand theft. I think we all have to agree: stealing trucks is something which is just plain wrong.

Now, my question before you is this: if you were the owner of that truck, would you press charges against Winston? If you were a policeman, would you arrest him for the law he had broken? If you were the district attorney, would you call a press conference and say that you were going to prosecute Winston to the fullest extent of the law?

I don't think so. Why? Because while Winston may not have followed the letter of the Nevada law, he certainly understood, and followed, the Lord's law of love. Anybody who understands that understands the story from which our text is taken.

Jesus had come across a woman who had been disabled for 18 years and had healed her.

Seeing that, the head of the synagogue got all unglued. He told everyone who would listen that healings should be done Sunday through Friday, but not on the Sabbath. Hearing what was being said, Jesus set things straight by saying, "If you fellows can take care of your animals on the Sabbath, I can take care of God's needy children."

And, I guess that means there are times the spirit of love can trump the niceties of the law. It means if the Lord can take care of a crippled lady on the Sabbath, Taylor Winston can rush some wounded, bleeding, and dying people to the hospital in a stolen truck.

Oh, you should know, Winston returned the stolen truck on Monday.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it often takes humankind's worst to show us humankind's best. I give thanks that even as one man was taking lives, many people were trying to save them. I also rejoice that I have a Savior who lived and died to rescue the souls of all humanity from sin, the devil, and death. In His Name I pray. Amen.

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