Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, December 27, 2017 - Feast Day of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

Jesus and the Beloved Disciple
John 21:19-24
Daily Readings

Exodus 33:18-23
Moses said, "Show me your glory, I pray." And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, 'The LORD' and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But," he said, "you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live." And the LORD continued, "See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen."

Psalm 92 Bonum est confiteri
1   It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD,
and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High;
2   To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning
and of your faithfulness in the night season;
3   On the psaltery, and on the lyre,
and to the melody of the harp.
4   For you have made me glad by your acts, O LORD;
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
5   LORD, how great are your works!
your thoughts are very deep.
6   The dullard does not know, nor does the fool understand,
that though the wicked grow like weeds, and all the workers of iniquity flourish,
7   They flourish only to be destroyed for ever;
but you, O LORD, are exalted for evermore.
8   For lo, your enemies, O LORD, lo, your enemies shall perish,
and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
9   But my horn you have exalted like the horns of wild bulls;
I am anointed with fresh oil.
10   My eyes also gloat over my enemies,
and my ears rejoice to hear the doom of the wicked who rise up against me.
11   The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
12   Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
shall flourish in the courts of our God;
13   They shall still bear fruit in old age;
they shall be green and succulent;
14   That they may show how upright the LORD is,
my Rock, in whom there is no fault.

1 John 1:1-9
We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life-- this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us-- we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

John 21:19-24
(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, "Follow me." Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!" So the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?" This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.

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.

Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

Saint John
Apostle and Evangelist

Today the church remembers Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist.

The companionship of youth is one of the great pleasures of most of our lives. Jesus was no exception. His closest circle of intimate companions included Peter and the brothers, James and John, all fishermen by trade. They seem to have been at times a rowdy crew. Jesus referred to the brothers as "Sons of Thunder." It seems particularly appropriate that during the festive season of Christmas we remember this group of friends and especially John, Jesus's closest friend.

John is called the "Beloved Disciple." It was John who reclined nearest to Jesus at the Last Supper and it was to John that Jesus, on the cross, committed the care of his mother. Peter and John seem to have remained lifelong friends. Together they went to the Lord's tomb. They were together at Pentecost and participated together in the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. Together they appeared before the Sanhedrin and together they went to lay their hands on those who had been baptized in Samaria.

John visited the island of Patmos, but his most significant work seems to have been done in Ephesus. The New Testament writings which bear his name were apparently compiled there. He is said to have died in Ephesus, though others say he died on Patmos. In any case, tradition tells us he died quietly, in his sleep, presumably the only one of the Twelve to die a natural death.

Illumine us also with the brightness of your light. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.
Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of the Day for WEDNESDAY, December 27, 2017 - Feast Day of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist

Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light, that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, December 27, 2017

Revelation 22:7 (NIV) [Jesus said] “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”

Read all of Revelation 22

Listen to Revelation 22

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 Star

The Star

Jesus said, “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
~ Revelation 22:7 (NIV)

The excitement and anticipation of Christmas Day is past, and the gifts are unwrapped. Are you returning your nativity scene back into the box to use the following year? Did you survive all the hustle and bustle of activities?

Almost 2,000 years ago, the excitement in Bethlehem did not cease immediately the day after Christmas. In the Book of Matthew, the “wise men” (also known as the Magi), from “Eastern lands” arrived on the scene in Jerusalem after Jesus was born in Bethlehem. There is not an interval of time mentioned in Matthew between the birth of Jesus and the wise men's appearance.

There is very little known about the Magi. Warren W. Wiersbe wrote, “The word translated wise men (magi) refers to a group of scholars who studied the stars. Their title connects them with magic, but they were probably more like astrologers”. Matthew does not tell the ancestry or the exact number of the wise men. However, it is generally assumed that there were three and that is based on the three gifts they presented to Jesus. Their gifts were gold, frankincense, and myrrh which symbolized Christ's identity and mission; “gold was a gift for a king; frankincense was a gift for deity; and myrrh was a spice used to anoint the dead”.

In Jerusalem the Magi asked: “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him”. God gave them a road sign to guide them to the Messiah; the star. This star was not an ordinary star, but an extraordinary bright star that announced the birth of the Messiah. Some researchers think the “star in the East” was a comet; others think it was a conjunction, or a gathering of planets in the night sky.

For the Magi, the actual journey to Bethlehem most likely took them a long time because Matthew states: “When they went into the house (not a manger), they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him”. The “wise men” recognized Jesus Christ as the Messiah when He was a child. As was typical, when venerating a king, they kneeled down and this gesture showed great respect and adoration for Jesus as they worshiped Him as the Messiah.

The Old Testament stated various prophecies (road signs) telling God's people centuries ago when, and how, the Messiah would be born. Christians in this day of age also have available Biblical prophecies (road signs) to keep in your thoughts. God's people today are comforted by the fact of knowing that Jesus came as was prophesied and we also know the joy that Jesus Christ will come again. That is the only hope for our future.
Lord Jesus, thank You for being our “bright morning star” that guides us as we live each day. Constantly remind us that You are the Alpha and the Omega. 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.
The excitement and anticipation of Christmas Day is past, and the gifts are unwrapped...

Un Dia a la Vez - Pasos firmes

Pasos firmes

El Señor afirma los pasos del hombre [...] podrá tropezar, pero no caerá, porque el Señor lo sostiene de la mano.

Siempre he pensado en lo difícil que debe ser caminar sobre arena movediza, con esa sensación de dar un paso firme y de repente ver que tu pisada va hacia lo profundo.

Entonces, si no tienes algo en qué apoyarte o en qué dejar firme tu otro pie, sin duda alguna se te hundirán los dos.

Siempre que tengo la oportunidad de ir al mar, algo que me intranquiliza es precisamente el no tener seguridad en mis pasos. Las pisadas sin ver por dónde camino es como esperar que,de un momento a otro, tropiece con una roca o una planta marina. De verdad, no es mi mejor plan.

Por eso ahora en mi vida me gusta estar muy atenta a mis pasos. Además, me parece muy importante que los pasos que dé cada día sean seguros, firmes y en una senda trazada por mi Dios.

Cuida tus pasos y sigue las huellas de Jesús. De esta manera, nunca irás al abismo, y si tropiezas y caes, Dios te levantará y sanará.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - HARVEST TIME IN CHINA


The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
~ Luke 2:20 (NIV)

House churches in China love to celebrate Christmas—without Santa and the commercialization found in the west which, sadly, is now creeping into the profit-centric malls in China’s cities. They revel in the opportunity to share about the coming of Jesus Christ and God’s love to colleagues, friends and neighbors who usually do not mind attending special Christmas gatherings in the spirit of the season.

Increasingly, house churches plan elaborate programs with performances, such as ice-breakers, Christmas carols, dances and sketches—to till the soil of each heart—before culminating with an evangelistic message. Several rent public halls or banquet rooms in hotels and create a festive air with decorations of balloons, ribbons and artificial flowers.

Brother Kao says, “We found out that it was possible for us to rent meeting halls in some places that were usually used for wedding dinners. So, with the Christmas season fast approaching, we booked such halls at multiple locations in preparation for our Christmas evangelistic outreach,” Kao continued. Then the church put together a program and began practicing hard on the short plays about two months before.

“There was this one hall that had just been used for a wedding banquet. When we arrived to put up our Christmas decorations, we found it was already beautifully done up so we merely added a few more Christmas touches. We had our church members invite their unsaved friends and relatives. Because Christmas is viewed as a Western celebration, many people are curious and open to finding out what it’s all about, so they readily come.”

The hall was packed with many first-time guests. The program began with the singing of some Christmas carols and everyone sang with gusto, even though they might not have understood what the lyrics meant. Then the plays followed, dramatizing the story of Noah and the flood, showing the depravity of man, and how only eight were saved. At the end of it, the pastor went up on stage, explained what the whole story meant and shared about man’s need for a Savior before making an altar call.

Kao explained, “Each night at every location where we held this outreach program, an average of one hundred people would pray to become children of God. And because we had received the materials from Open Doors earlier, we were able to give each new believer a Bible and a book on the spot. We find that doing so helps them to further understand the decision they have made and enables them to grow in their new life in Christ.”

“Please inform our brothers and sisters who are praying for us that we are putting the books you supplied to good use and giving them to new Christians,” he voiced gratefully.

RESPONSE: Today I will pray for those who have not yet heard the Good News about Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Thank God that house churches in China have such effective outreaches at Christmas time. Pray against hindrances and interferences from the local authorities.

Girlfriends in God - Rediscovering Wonder

Rediscovering Wonder

Today’s Truth

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
~ Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)

Friend to Friend

Sometimes all the good things in my life overwhelm me… not in a wondrous, “wow we are blessed” kind of way. Instead I get overwhelmed by all that has to be done and the lack of margin that accompanies these blessings. I can so easily lose the wonder and beauty of my gifts.

Wondrous things like nature, family, friends, purpose, opportunities, and a loving God surround me. Yet these blessings so often lose their wonder as I attempt to manage them rather than relish and share them. I wonder if you can relate to complaining rather than savoring blessings similar to these scenarios:
  • Yes you will be traveling a lot, which is hectic, but is it because you get to visit family or your child has an opportunity to travel and play sports?
  • Going to doctor’s appointments and dealing with health issues is certainly difficult, but has the Lord provided excellent medical care and friends to come alongside?
  • The calendar may be crammed full for a few weeks, but are many of the events and celebrations evidence of the abundance of opportunities and people in our lives?
Imagine for a moment how our complaints would sound to a family living in a hut in a third world country. Each of our blessings is meant to be a gift we treasure and offer up to the Lord rather than one more thing we have to manage.

The Israelites in the wilderness got their eyes off their blessings and lost the wonder of what the Lord had done. They had seen God:
  • Split the Red Sea so they could walk through
  • Provide water to drink from a rock when they were thirsty
  • Put manna on the ground each morning so they wouldn’t starve
God did some pretty wondrous things for them, yet they complained about the length of the journey, the leadership, the lack of variety of food, and many other frustrations they encountered. So later when their 40 years of wandering was complete, the Lord instituted a system of offerings to help them remember all He had done. (Numbers 28:1-15)

These offerings were perpetual reminders for the people to respond to their God with gratitude. There was no other God who created everything, worked miracles, provided supernatural food, and made good on His promises. By offering daily, weekly, and monthly sacrifices, they would institute a rhythm of life to help them with thankfulness.

God instituted this plan for worship that involved a lot of blood and sacrifice. In history, the wilderness wanderers stood on the other side of the cross of Christ. These offerings pointed toward ultimate sacrifice and redemption through the blood of Christ. They were a temporary covering to remind the people of God’s holiness and their own sinfulness.

Sacrifices such as these after the cross would be redundant and unnecessary because they were shadows that pointed to Christ. But to the Israelites who lived before the cross, they reminded the people of the blessing of God’s grace. The emphasis on offerings in Numbers reminds us of the enormity of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

Under the New Covenant, the need for these sacrifices is obsolete. However, God still calls us to spiritual rhythms to help us keep our blessings in perspective. Romans 12:1-2 reminds us to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Him. We worship Him by offering our lives to Him and seeking His way over our own desires and feelings. We ask God to transform us by aligning our thoughts with His. To rediscover wonder means allowing God to change the way we think about our blessings.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, please help to appreciate and savor my blessings. I don’t want to focus on the inconveniences than sometimes accompany the good things in my life and miss out on seeing You in everything. Help me Lord to offer myself continually to you. I love you Jesus and am so grateful for the offering of Your life on the cross. Help me to rediscover today the wonder of You.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

How are you doing? Do you find yourself managing your blessings or taking the time to relish them? God Himself is our greatest blessing, yet so often we lose the wonder of His grace. Remember that He is the God who splits seas and provides for needs. Then ask the Lord to transform you into a new person by changing the way you think about your activities and responsibilities. Will you join me today in rediscovering wonder?

More from the Girlfriends

Melissa Spoelstra is a women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages know Christ more intimately through serious Bible study. This devotion was adapted from her newest Bible study, Numbers: Learning Contentment in a Culture of More. Visit to sign up for a free 7-day contentment project, which includes taking five minutes each day to focus on the wonder of God.

Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God

LHM Advent Devotion - December 27, 2017 "TROUBLED"

Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries


December 27, 2017

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
~ Matthew 2:3 (ESV)

Are you troubled? Is there something, or someone, who is disturbing your peace? Are you in a situation where you just can't stop worrying, no matter what you do?

The people of Jerusalem were in that situation when the magi showed up looking for Jesus. They knew that King Herod was both paranoid and violent. He constantly worried about someone taking away his throne. He even killed his own wife and children for that reason. This was not a man the people of Jerusalem wanted to see upset. Who knew what he would do next?

And so they worried and waited. What else could they do?

Another king, Jesus' ancestor David, had the answer:
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
(Psalm 62:1-2, 8)
You may be living at someone else's mercy-under the power of a family member, boss, neighbor, or politician. And if that person is evil or even just unstable, it is reasonable to be afraid. Yet God invites us to lean on Him when we are troubled. We find our hope in the Prince of Peace, Jesus of Bethlehem. He is our refuge, for He has come to be our Savior. And all the Herods in the world can't take us out of His care.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, keep us close to You in times of trouble, and help us. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Are you troubled? Is there something, or someone, who is disturbing your peace? Are you in a situation where you just can't stop worrying, no matter what you do?

Devociones de Adviento de 27 de Diciembre de 2017 "¿Preocupado?"



27 de Diciembre de 2017

Cuando el rey Herodes oyó esto se turbó, y toda Jerusalén con él.
~ Mateo 2:3 (RVC)

¿Estás preocupado? ¿Hay algo, o alguien, que disturba tu paz? ¿Estás pasando por una situación que, por más que trates, no deja de preocuparte?

Así estaban los habitantes de Jerusalén cuando los reyes magos llegaron allí en busca de Jesús. Sabían que el rey Herodes era paranoico y violento, y que siempre temía que alguien le quitara el trono. ¡Hasta había asesinado a su propia esposa e hijos por esa razón! Los habitantes de Jerusalén no querían fastidiarlo. ¿Quién sabía lo que podría hacer?

Así es que se preocuparon y esperaron. ¿Qué más podían hacer?

David, otro rey y antepasado de Jesús, tenía la respuesta:
Sólo en Dios halla tranquilidad mi alma;
sólo de él viene mi salvación.
Sólo Dios es mi salvación y mi roca;
porque él es mi refugio, jamás resbalaré.
Pueblos todos, ¡confíen siempre en Dios!
Vacíen delante de él su corazón!
¡Dios es nuestro refugio! (Salmo 62:1-2, 8)
Quizás estés viviendo a la merced de otra persona, ya sea un familiar, jefe, vecino o político. Y si esa persona es mala o inestable, es razonable que tengas miedo. Pero, aun en esas circunstancias, Dios nos invita a apoyarnos en él. En Jesús de Belén, el Príncipe de Paz, encontramos nuestra esperanza. Él es nuestro refugio, porque ha venido para ser nuestro Salvador. Y ni siquiera todos los Herodes del mundo nos pueden separar de su cuidado.

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, cuando me turban los problemas, ayúdame a buscar refugio en ti. Amén.

© Copyright 2017 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Journal de remerciement

Journal de remerciement

Lisez : Psaume 117
La Bible en un an : Zacharie 1 – 4 ; Apocalypse 18

Louez l’Éternel, vous toutes les nations, célébrez-le, vous tous les peuples ! (V. 1)

Nouvellement chrétienne, j’ai eu un mentor spirituel qui m’a encouragée à tenir un journal de remerciement. C’était un carnet que j’emportais partout où j’allais. Parfois, j’y notais une action de grâces dans l’immédiat. D’autres fois, je l’y inscrivais à la fin de la semaine durant un instant de réflexion.

Noter ses sujets de louanges est une bonne habitude à entretenir, que j’envisage de reprendre. Cela m’aiderait à rester consciente de la présence de Dieu dans ma vie, et reconnaissante pour sa générosité et ses bons soins.

L’auteur du plus court des Psaumes, le Psaume 117, encourage tout le monde à louer Dieu, « [car] sa bonté pour nous est grande » (V. 2).

Réfléchissez‑y un peu : Comment Dieu vous a‑t‑il témoigné son amour aujourd’hui, cette semaine, ce mois‑ci et cette année ? Ne vous en tenez pas qu’au spectaculaire. Son amour se voit dans les situations ordinaires et quotidiennes. Puis remarquez comment il a démontré son amour envers votre famille, votre Église et les autres. Laissez votre esprit s’imprégner de l’amour infini qu’il nous porte à tous.

Le psalmiste a ajouté que « sa fidélité [de Dieu] dure à toujours » (V. 2, italiques pour souligner). Autrement dit, il continuera à nous aimer ! Ainsi, nous continuerons à avoir de nombreuses raisons de le louer dans les jours à venir. En tant que ses enfants bien‑aimés, puissions‑nous veiller à ce que notre vie soit riche en louanges et en actions de grâces destinées à Dieu !

Remerciez Dieu tant de l’ordinaire que de l’extraordinaire.

© 2017 Ministères NPQ
Nouvellement chrétienne, j’ai eu un mentor spirituel qui m’a encouragée à tenir un journal de remerciement.