Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, November 10, 2017 - Veteran's Day

Jesus Walks on Water - Matthew 14:22-36
Daily Readings

Ezra 9:1-15
After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, "The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and in this faithlessness the officials and leaders have led the way." When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat appalled. Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice. At the evening sacrifice I got up from my fasting, with my garments and my mantle torn, and fell on my knees, spread out my hands to the LORD my God, and said, "O my God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors to this day we have been deep in guilt, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as is now the case. But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, who has left us a remnant, and given us a stake in his holy place, in order that he may brighten our eyes and grant us a little sustenance in our slavery. For we are slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to give us new life to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem. "And now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land that you are entering to possess is a land unclean with the pollutions of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations. They have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, so that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.' After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this, shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you destroy us without remnant or survivor? O LORD, God of Israel, you are just, but we have escaped as a remnant, as is now the case. Here we are before you in our guilt, though no one can face you because of this."

Revelation 17:1-14
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk." So he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of whores and of earth's abominations." And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly amazed. But the angel said to me, "Why are you so amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. "This calls for a mind that has wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; also, they are seven kings, of whom five have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are united in yielding their power and authority to the beast; they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful."

Matthew 14:22-36
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. After the people of that place recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

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, November 10, 2017 - Veteran's Day


Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, November 10, 2017


Matthew 24:6 (NIV) You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Read all of Matthew 24

Listen to Matthew 24

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 - Veterans Day


Veterans Day

“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”
Matt. 24:6 (NIV)

When Dwight D. Eisenhower was President from 1953 to 1961, he received a letter from eight-year-old Keith Aiken of Trumbull, CT. Kevin wrote, “After listening to the news about the cold war, I am worried about the people in the world. In thinking it over, I have a plan. Get all the leaders together who want war, put them in a ring and let them fight it out.”

I’m sure that many veterans of foreign war feel this way about war. Just let those who want to fight, do the fighting! Don’t involve everybody else in it!

War is a terrible thing and yet it seems that war is inevitable in our world.

Matt. 24:6 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”

Most Bible commentators believe, however, that Jesus was talking about the coming destruction of Jerusalem, which took place about 70 A.D. But could it be that wars are also a sign of the second coming of Christ? Many people believe so. Wars do seem inevitable.

Gen. Sherman once said, “You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is hell!”

I don’t question Sherman’s feelings and convictions about war. If you’ve never been there you just don’t know. However, I have heard it put this way. WAR IS HELLISH, BUT NOT HELL! Based on Scripture, I would say this is true. Nothing is as horrible as hell.

WWII qualifies it as perhaps the greatest war, or the most hellish war in history. In all, 61 countries with 1.7 billion people, three-fourths of the world’s population, took part.

In terms of money spent, it has been put at more than $1 trillion dollars, which makes it the most expensive war of all.

The human cost of lives, not including the 5 to 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, is estimated to have been 55 million dead – 25 million of those military and 30 million civilian. War is indeed hellish!

Some aspects of war are never right, regardless of the war, but we must support those are willing to go and give on behalf of their country!

As someone wrote:

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN, who salutes the Flag, Who serves under the Flag.

John Stuart Mill, philosopher from London, England, died in 1873, said, “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight is a miserable creature…”

There are some things are worth fighting for: our freedom in America and our freedom in Christ!

Today we want to honor all our armed service veterans. To you, veterans, we owe a debt of gratitude because you were willing to go, to serve and to give on behalf of the United States of America! God bless you!
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny


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Scripture taken from The Holy Bible,  New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

Un Dia a la Vez - Los dos cimientos


Los dos cimientos

Todo el que me oye estas palabras y no las pone en práctica es como un hombre insensato que construyó su casa sobre la arena [...] y esta se derrumbó.
~ Mateo 7:26-27 (NVI)

Hoy terminamos los veintiún días y sé que mi Dios nos ha dado tremendas armas, instrucciones y doctrinas para que seamos felices mediante la obediencia. Si no leíste estos veintiún días, léelos cuando puedas. Hay cosas sencillas y prácticas que nos dejó Dios y que estoy segura que, si las aplicamos, daremos mejores frutos.

Este último llamado de nuestro Padre tiene que ver con lo más importante: La base de todo lo que hacemos, o sea, la estructura que determinará nuestra vida. ¿Dónde vamos a construir? ¿Sobre la arena o sobre la Roca que es Cristo? La vida construida sobre la Roca resistirá cualquier ataque, tormenta y desafío que se presente en nuestro diario vivir.

Por favor, dejemos la vida trivial. Dejemos de vivir a nuestra manera y de tomar decisiones que distorsionen lo que Dios ya planeó para cada uno de nosotros. Aprendamos de una vez por todas de las equivocaciones y de los golpes que hemos sufrido. Luego, permitamos que nuestro Señor nos dé esos cimientos para ser absolutamente felices en Cristo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - REMEMBER


REMEMBER

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
~ Exodus 17:14 (NIV)

Joshua led the Israeli army in the fight against their long-time enemies, the Amalekites. Moses went up to the top of the nearby hill. As long as his hands were held up, the Israelis were winning. When he grew tired of holding up his hands, he sat on a rock and Aaron and Hur each held up one of Moses’ arms till sunset when Joshua finally overcame the enemy.

The Lord instructs this event to be “remembered.” It was to be written down—the first time in scripture—as a permanent reminder. God’s people are explicitly called to remember both God’s deliverance and His judgment of the wicked.

he Bible records a number of events that people remembered. After Jacob’s dream at Bethel, he used the stone pillow on which he slept as a pillar of remembrance. After the Israelis finally crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, they took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan and set them up as a memorial about which they were to tell their children. Memorials help us to remember what God has done and enable us to trust Him for the future.

Esdras is a church leader in southern Mexico. He is also a lawyer and therefore is able to stand up for the rights of many indigenous people who are persecuted for their Christian faith.

He will always remember a significant event when God’s protection was evident. He says, “I was visiting in Mitziton, an area where more than half of the community are Christians. The authorities wanted to turn two hundred Christians out of their homes and drive them out of the town. I intervened and was able to prevent them from having to leave. After this, I was publicly threatened with death. That day I was not able to return to my hometown and we spent the night in the home of a Christian. It was outside the town and there were no houses nearby.

“At about eleven o’clock in the evening, a strange sensation came over me. Something seemed wrong, but I didn’t know what the matter was. At a quarter to twelve, two trucks turned up with twelve men. They were heavily armed with guns. I was completely alone with Marilene and our little baby. That day, we happened not to have any connection to the radio or mobile phone. I couldn’t phone anyone and there was no chance of calling for help. The attackers came closer and closer. They called out, ‘Now we’ve got him. He can’t get away now. Now we’re going to shoot him dead.’

“Suddenly something unexpected happened. The gardener, an old man who lived in the grounds, turned on the lights around the house. I hadn’t asked him to do anything. When the attackers saw all those lighted lamps, they cried, ‘Where have all those guards come from?’

“They slunk off and we were spared. Maybe they saw angels, who had come to guard us.” Esdras now travels the world and remembers publicly God’s great deliverance.

RESPONSE: Today I will commit to remember the acts of God in my life and record them for the future.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for remembrance days we have of Your blessings and Your deliverance.

NIV Devotionals for Couples - The Big Effect of Little Choices


The Big Effect of Little Choices

Judges 16:1–21

Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.
~ Judges 16:4 (NIV)

Samson seemed to have all the right stuff. An angel announced his birth and instructed his parents to raise him to live as a lifelong Nazirite, a person set apart by God. As a result of his standing, he was to abstain from grape products, have no contact with dead bodies and forego haircuts (see Numbers 6:1–8). Samson grew up with godly parents who loved him. He was given a life purpose—to begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines—and an incredible strength to help him achieve the task.

But Samson’s privileged beginnings didn’t automatically endow him with moral integrity. Over the course of his life, he deliberately participated in the things he and his parents had promised not to do. He ate honey from a lion’s carcass, violating his Nazirite vow in order to delight himself with something sweet (see Judges 14:8–9). Instead of being a great warrior against the Philistines, Samson’s crusades were often spurred by personal vendettas. And he had an insatiable appetite for Philistine women. Ultimately, one of those women, Delilah, learned the secret of Samson’s strength and traded that knowledge for a large sum of money.

Maybe you remember learning in church school that Samson was strong because he had long hair. Actually, Samson’s strength wasn’t in his hair but in his relationship with God. When his head was shaved, it was merely an outward indication of what he had already lost inside.

Ultimately Samson was unable to fully realize his potential or use the gifts God had given him. This is true of many of us. Though God has uniquely gifted us for his purpose, we are unable to live up to our potential because we continually fall victim to our sinful nature.

Samson didn’t turn toward sin in one grand decision. A lifetime of little choices resulted in Samson’s demise. Similarly, it isn’t the politician’s final bribe, but rather his early career decisions to bend the rules that lead to his downfall. It isn’t the public moral failing of the religious leader, but the many unconfessed sins that preceded it, that brings him down. It’s not the addiction, but the little indulgences that fed the addiction, that kills a family.

This principle also applies to our marriages. Most Christians don’t wake up one day and decide to throw their marriage and family away with one grand affair. The separation begins with participating in a bit of seemingly innocent flirting at work or sending an innocuous email to an old friend or confiding a bit of unhappiness with one’s spouse to a sympathetic friend.

Before making what appears to be a harmless decision, stop and evaluate the cost. Success is less about having the right stuff than it is about choosing the right way. A lot of little choices done God’s way will add up to a lifetime of purpose.

Jennifer Schuchmann

Let’s Talk
  • Beginning with Samson’s birth in Judges 13, examine the decisions that Samson made in his life. Which ones led him to God? Which ones separated him from God?
  • What were the costs Samson paid for his decisions?
  • As a Nazirite, Samson had specific things that set him apart for God. What things set us apart for God? What sets our marriage apart as a Christian marriage?

LHM Daily Devotion - November 11, 2017 "Just What I Always Needed"

Well, it's not yet Thanksgiving and this is the second of our...
Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour



"Just What I Always Needed"

November 11, 2017

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.
~ 1 Peter 3:18 (ESV)

Well, it's not yet Thanksgiving and this is the second of our pre-Christmas devotions. Now, I know some of you may think I'm jumping the gun, but I've noticed the department stores have their holy-day displays up, and my mailbox is packed with Christmas catalogues.

Unfortunately, the one Christmas book I have not yet received is from a local Texas company. Of course, I'm referring to the 91st Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. But not to worry, one of my friends has let me borrow his catalogue, and I want to spent some serious time looking at what Neiman Marcus believes is the stuff you and I should want.

Now, to be truthful, I didn't know I wanted most of these things. That's mostly because I didn't know most of these things existed until I saw this catalogue. Now lest you accuse me of speaking ambiguously, I am ready to tell you about some of the gifts which I'm pretty sure you don't have.

Gift number one that I should want: his and hers 12-cylinder Rolls Royce cars. One is grey with a black interior, the other orange with a white interior. I'm pretty sure your family dog can fit in the back seat of either vehicle. Price: $885,375

Gift number two that I should want: an opportunity to explore the gem fields of Zambia with jeweler Stephen Webster. After your trip, which takes in the Victoria Falls, you will go to London to design a piece of jewelry which has a 7.2-carat emerald as the centerpiece. Price: $300,000

Gift number three that I should want: if I was a golfer, which I'm not, I'd want the gift which lets me go to the 2018 Ryder Cup with team Captain Jim Furyk. It is understood that VIP tickets to everything are included. Price: $250,000

Gift number four that we should want: Actually, this last gift is for us. It includes a private New Year's Eve party, 150 hotel rooms for two nights, drinks, dinner, a DJ, and a great view of the ball-drop in Times Square. Price: $1.6 million.

So there, my friends, you have it, some of the things the well-paid buyers at Neiman Marcus think I should want this Christmas. Now, my memory is not what it used to be, so I had to go back to Matthew and Luke to see just how many of these things appear in the Nativity story.

Can you believe it? Not one of these was listed!

We shouldn't be surprised. You see, the Lord didn't take a look at sinful, lost humankind and say, "What would you like from Me?" He had a pretty good idea we would come up with something like a his-and-her four-horse chariots or VIP tickets to Rome's gladiatorial games. No, the Lord didn't concern Himself with what we wanted.

He gave us what we needed. And what we needed most of all was a Savior.

We needed Someone who could do all the things we could not, Someone who could fulfill the Law, carry our sins, resist temptation, and do all this knowing He would die on a Roman cross. We needed God's Son. And for those who have been given this gift, they know He is the best gift of all.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for giving us Your Son, accept our praise. For not giving us what we wanted, please receive our gratitude. 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).