Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, June 30, 2018

Dying and Rising with Christ
Romans 6:1-11

The Daily Readings
SATURDAY, June 30, 2018

Old Testament
Numbers 20:14-29
Passage through Edom Refused
20:14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, “Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the adversity that has befallen us: 15 how our ancestors went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians oppressed us and our ancestors; 16 and when we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice, and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt; and here we are in Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. 17 Now let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from any well; we will go along the King’s Highway, not turning aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.” 18 But Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through, or we will come out with the sword against you.” 19 The Israelites said to him, “We will stay on the highway; and if we drink of your water, we and our livestock, then we will pay for it. It is only a small matter; just let us pass through on foot.” 20 But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against them with a large force, heavily armed. 21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through their territory; so Israel turned away from them.
The Death of Aaron
22 They set out from Kadesh, and the Israelites, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. 23 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, 24 “Let Aaron be gathered to his people. For he shall not enter the land that I have given to the Israelites, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and bring them up Mount Hor; 26 strip Aaron of his vestments, and put them on his son Eleazar. But Aaron shall be gathered to his people, and shall die there.” 27 Moses did as the Lord had commanded; they went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole congregation. 28 Moses stripped Aaron of his vestments, and put them on his son Eleazar; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 When all the congregation saw that Aaron had died, all the house of Israel mourned for Aaron thirty days.

The Epistle
Romans 6:1-11
Dying and Rising with Christ
6:1 What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

The Gospel
Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
21:1 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
...if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

The Morning Prayer for SATURDAY, June 30, 2018


Dear Lord,

I saw the sun shining so brightly this morning. It made me remember of my family and how blessed I am that you have given them to me.

Thank you for my father, for enduring every hard day to be able to provide for us and never complains. Even on his weak days, he remains strong and hard working. Today he went to work early this morning to provide us with a good life here on earth.

Thank you for my mother who loves us unconditionally just like Mary loved Jesus. She provided us with breakfast food on the table which were very delicious.

Thank you for the gift of siblings, Lord. Life would be so dull without them. They are my first best friends and my first companions during breakfast talks.

You have truly great plans for everyone and that includes having the best siblings in the world. I may not say it as often, but I love them dearly. Bless our family today as we go our separate ways. Keep them safe from harm and lead us not into temptation. There is nothing more that I shall want but their happiness. Brings us all back home safely to each other, In Jesus’ name I pray.
Amen

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, June 30, 2018


Zechariah 14:9 (NIV) The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.

Read all of Zechariah 14

Listen to Zechariah 14

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Secretos para triunfar


Secretos para triunfar

Gracias a Dios que en Cristo siempre nos lleva triunfantes y, por medio de nosotros, esparce por todas partes la fragancia de su conocimiento.

Creo que este es un pensamiento que alguna vez todos hemos tenido: ser alguien, triunfar y que nos vaya bien. Y eso es lo que quiere Dios. Es más, Él quiere que prosperemos.

Sin embargo, ¿cuáles serían algunos secretos para triunfar? Quizá lo que te diga hoy sea lo que hay en mi corazón también. Sin embargo, en ocasiones y por diferentes razones, no lo ponemos en práctica. Quizá se deba a que no creemos en nosotros mismos o que les damos prioridad a otras cosas o personas. En mi caso, a veces pienso más en el beneficio de los demás que en hacer cosas para mis hijas, dejando mis sueños para el final.

Por ejemplo, yo quería hacer este libro, pero a la verdad no sabía por dónde empezar. Incluso, a menudo pensaba que no iba a ser capaz de escribir un libro. ¿A qué hora podría hacerlo? Aunque ya varias personas me habían sugerido que lo hiciera, siempre lo postergaba. Lo lindo de todo esto es que Dios ya tiene determinado lo que seremos y haremos, y nos da la pauta para seguirla. Así que seamos obedientes y emprendamos las cosas que Dios ponga en nuestros corazones de modo que logremos el verdadero triunfo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Creo que este es un pensamiento que alguna vez todos hemos tenido: ser alguien, triunfar y que nos vaya bien. Y eso es lo que quiere Dios. Es más, Él quiere que prosperemos.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE DISCIPLINE OF FASTING


THE DISCIPLINE OF FASTING

But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Jesus assumes in this passage that His followers practice fasting. He says “when” you fast—not “if” you fast and then goes on to give these instructions. Fasting is a significant spiritual activity that goes along with intensive prayer times. To fast means to put God first. Fasting is an attitude of the heart in which we interrupt our normal life to pray for a specific matter or cause. It means to abstain from food—and for some, even drink—so that we can focus on God and be more sensitive to spiritual matters. Fasting is also perseverance in prayer until you have received an answer—be it yes, no, wait or something different. In essence, fasting means that we rend our hearts before God, confess our sins and turn to the Lord anew (Joel 2:12-13).

Fasting is biblical. Consider the following: Moses fasted twice for forty days (Exodus 34:28); Daniel fasted (partially) for twenty-one days (Daniel 10:3); Joel called for a day of fasting (Joel 1:14; 2:12); Ezra withdrew for a period of fasting and mourning (Ezra 10:6); Elijah fasted for forty days (1 Kings 19:8); Leaders of the church in Antioch fasted (Acts 13:2-3); Jesus fasted for forty days (Luke 4:2); Paul and Barnabas fasted (Acts 14:23; 27:33).

Captain Bill Tinsley was arrested on false charges under President Marcos in the Philippines following the completion of Project Pearl in 1981. As the days of his confinement passed, Bill fasted from eating. After a few days of fasting, his blood pressure rose very higher. A doctor visited him daily. Everything possible was done to get him to eat. He was accused of staging a hunger strike. Bill carefully explained to his captors many times, “My fasting is a spiritual exercise. If I want my God to take my part, I must become weak that He may become strong. President Marcos is a very powerful man. I cannot fight him. I must let God take my part.” His explanation brought only a certain resignation by his jailers. They did not understand.

Each day during his captivity Bill went for a walk. A soldier always went along to guard against possible escape. On that tenth morning, after reading of Elijah’s running a great distance while fasting, Bill jogged. The soldier that went along couldn’t keep up and was forced to take shortcuts across the fields to stay with him.

“How can you be so strong without eating?” a colonel asked referring to the jogging incident that morning.

“It’s the power of God,” Bill told him sincerely. “And if you keep me here, you’re going to see me grow stronger and stronger!” The eyes of all the men present grew large. They believed him and that prospect was not to their liking. It was with some reluctance Bill later walked out of his cell for the last time. He had experienced God’s presence there. His captors, the same ones that had falsely arrested him, gave him a send-off as they would a dear friend.

RESPONSE: Today I resolve to practice all the spiritual disciplines…including fasting.

PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to practice fasting as a spiritual discipline without making it obvious.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

The NIV Couples Devotional - Ministering as a Team


Ministering as a Team

Acts 18:1–28

When Priscilla and Aquila heard [Apollos], they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
~ Acts 18:26 (NIV)

A couple in our church provides invaluable training for people who are planning to go into the ministry. Marshall and Chris show young couples how to love one another and how to raise their children wisely and well. They host a small group in their home in which they study and apply Scripture together. They talk through what it means to shape their homes around Christ, and how to do so while working in the church. Marshall and Chris share special meals with these couples and fuss over the kids.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But the work is draining. There are times when this mature couple would like a break from the emotional demands of such mentoring—even just a quiet night at home. Plus, it’s hard to constantly be saying goodbye to families they’ve grown to love who are moving on in ministry. But Marshall and Chris mentor others because they believe in building the church.

The apostle Paul knew a couple like that, a couple who always worked together as a team. Their names were Aquila and Priscilla. And they understood the price of following Christ. Paul wrote about them in Romans 16:3, saying, “They risked their lives for me.” Their initiative to live for others came from praying together and talking over ministry opportunities; it also came from a selfless love of other believers and, of course, their devotion to Jesus.

In more than 30 years of marriage, my wife and I have frequently invited people to stay in our home. Sometimes we offer a place to a student who is taking a two- or three-week class at Trinity Evangelical Seminary, which is near our home. Other times, we provide a place for someone who has nowhere else to go. Once we opened our home for 15 months to a young woman and her preschooler. Sometimes such commitments proved to be far more complicated than we had imagined; yet the rewards often exceeded our expectations.

Every ministry has its price and its privileges, and every ministry undertaken by a couple can be a challenge to their marriage. Learning to share the work, to complement one another’s gifts, and to pray together through difficulties are not always easy.

Think about some of the issues Aquila and Priscilla must have talked about and prayed through together. They must have recognized and valued one another’s natural and spiritual gifts and determined to work as a team. They were so good at working together that Scripture always mentions them as a team. They were such students of Scripture that they were able to make a significant contribution to the training of one of the church’s most promising leaders: Apollos. And they had the gift of hospitality, for a church met regularly in their home (see 1 Corinthians 16:19). What a model for marriage!

Lee Eclov

Let’s Talk
  • What about Priscilla and Aquila’s relationship appeals most to us?
  • What couples do we know who have effective ministries together (whether in their home or beyond it)? What are some ministries that most appeal to us as a couple? Why?
  • What steps might we take to expand or deepen our household ministry as a couple? Are we sensing that God wants us to open our home to others to perhaps lead a youth group, parent foster children, mentor engaged couples or host a neighborhood Bible study?
There are times when this mature couple would like a break from the emotional demands of such mentoring—even just a quiet night at home.

LHM Devotion - June 30, 2018 - Schadenfreude

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20180630

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Schadenfreude"

Jun. 30, 2018

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

About three weeks ago, I had an old high-school classmate call me up and ask, "Klaus, how is your German vocabulary?" Before I could answer, he asked, "Do you remember what the definition of schadenfroh is?"

I was in luck. That word was one of about a half-dozen words whose meaning has stayed with me over the years. He seemed somewhat disappointed when I shared the definition: "Schadenfroh is a nasty rejoicing over another person's misfortune."

The example I hear most often is when you are driving down the highway, doing the posted speed limit, and maybe you're even doing a couple extra miles above the posted speed limit. You look in your rearview mirror, and you see a car in the far distance. When you look a second time, you note he has moved up considerably. A third look is unnecessary because he is on your bumper.

The man passes and, in a minute, has disappeared over the next hill.

You pretty much forget the speed demon. You forget until, 20 miles down the road, you see the flashing lights of a highway patrol car. The officer is writing the speeder a citation. Now tell me, what do you feel when you drive past the pair? What do you say to yourself?? In all likelihood you have a little smile on your face as you rejoice in the misfortune of the speeder.

If you say, "He's getting what's coming to him," that is schadenfroh.

My friend agreed, and then he told me about a new internet hero: Indiana State Trooper Sergeant Stephen Wheeles. It appears Sergeant Wheeles had done something unusual: Invoking the state's "slowpoke" laws, he had pulled someone over who was going slow -- so slow the driver was holding up somewhere around 20 vehicles. Thousands of folks were praising the officer and rejoicing over the woman who'd been pulled over.

That's when my friend asked, "Is rejoicing over someone's misfortune a sin?"

It was an interesting question. When I think of the Savior, He seems most concerned about the sinners of this world. The evangelists tell us Jesus has sympathy, compassion, care, and love for people. I never see Him laughing at the problems and pains of others.

The Bible holds no command which exactly says, "Thou shalt not schadenfroh!" On the other hand,

* when the bad thief on the cross was making fun of the Savior, he was reprimanded by the good thief.

* when a man came to David to report he had killed King Saul, David didn't commend the man for bragging about the dead king's misfortune. No, David doesn't reward the man; he has the man executed.

When it comes to schadenfroh, I guess Luther gave us some pretty good guidelines when he wrote the meaning to the Eighth Commandment. How did the Reformer say it? "We should befriend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything." There's just not much room in that passage for rejoicing in the problems of others.

THE PRAYER: Lord, may my heart, mind, and tongue come together to build people up and point them to the Savior. Help me avoid anything that will separate anyone from You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one carried by Sunny Skyz on June 20, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://www.sunnyskyz.com/blog/2535/Cop-Pulls-Over-Car-Going-Slow-In-Fast-Lane-And-Becomes-Internet-s-New-Hero

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
About three weeks ago, I had an old high-school classmate call me up and ask...

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Ánh Sáng Cho Trần Gian

https://vietnamese-odb.org/2018/06/30/anh-sang-cho-tran-gian/

Ánh Sáng Cho Trần Gian

Đọc: Khải huyền 3:14-22 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Gióp 17-19; Công vụ 10:1-23

Nầy, Ta đứng ngoài cửa mà gõ; nếu ai nghe tiếng Ta mà mở cửa cho thì Ta sẽ vào cùng người ấy, ăn bữa tối với người và người với Ta. Khải huyền 3:20

Một trong những tác phẩm hội họa mà tôi yêu thích được treo tại nhà nguyện của Trường Đại học Keble ở Oxford, nước Anh. Bức họa Ánh Sáng Cho Trần Gian của họa sĩ người Anh, William Holman Hunt vẽ hình Chúa Jêsus đứng cầm một cái đèn trong tay và gõ cửa một ngôi nhà.

Một chi tiết thú vị trong bức tranh là cửa nhà không có tay cầm. Khi người ta thắc mắc về việc thiếu mất tay cầm để mở cánh cửa, Hunt giải thích rằng ông muốn thể hiện hình ảnh trong Khải huyền 3:20: “Nầy, Ta đứng ngoài cửa mà gõ; nếu ai nghe tiếng Ta mà mở cửa cho thì Ta sẽ vào…”

Những lời của sứ đồ Giăng và bức vẽ đó đã nói lên sự nhân từ của Chúa Jêsus. Ngài nhẹ nhàng gõ cửa lòng chúng ta với lời hứa ban bình an. Chúa Jêsus đứng và kiên nhẫn đợi chúng ta đáp lời. Ngài không tự mở hay đẩy cửa để bước vào cuộc đời chúng ta. Ngài không áp đặt ý muốn của Ngài trên chúng ta. Thay vào đó, Ngài ban cho mọi người món quà cứu rỗi và ánh sáng để soi đường chúng ta đi.

Hễ ai mở cửa, Ngài hứa sẽ bước vào. Không có đòi hỏi hay điều kiện nào khác.
Lạy Chúa, cảm ơn Ngài đã ban món quà cứu rỗi và hứa sẽ bước vào khi chúng con mở cửa lòng. Hôm nay, xin giúp con đáp ứng với món quà này và mở cửa lòng mình tiếp nhận Ngài.
Hãy mở cửa lòng đón nhận Chúa Jêsus, Ngài đang kiên nhẫn chờ đợi bạn.


© 2018 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Một trong những tác phẩm hội họa mà tôi yêu thích được treo tại nhà nguyện của Trường Đại học Keble ở Oxford, nước Anh. Bức họa Ánh Sáng Cho Trần Gian của họa sĩ người Anh, William Holman Hunt vẽ hình Chúa Jêsus đứng cầm một cái đèn trong tay và gõ cửa một ngôi nhà.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, June 29, 2018

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men
Matthew 20:29-34

The Daily Readings
FRIDAY, June 29, 2018

Old Testament
Numbers 20:1-13
The Waters of Meribah
20:1 The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there. 2 Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron. 3 The people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had died when our kindred died before the Lord! 4 Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5 Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.” 6 Then Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting; they fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 8 Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and command the rock before their eyes to yield its water. Thus you shall bring water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drink for the congregation and their livestock. 9 So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he had commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me, to show my holiness before the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and by which he showed his holiness.

The Epistle
Romans 5:12-21
Adam and Christ
5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— 13 sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. 14 Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. 16 And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17 If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. 19 For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Gospel
Matthew 20:29-34
Jesus Heals Two Blind Men
20:29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” 32 Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
“Lord, let our eyes be opened.”

The Morning Prayer for FRIDAY, June 29, 2018


Dear Lord,

This daylight, upon waking and getting ready for my day, I pray that you give me strength today, to be strong for You in this world full of temptations.

Lord, You know that there are struggles I will go through today. I pray that you be with me as I go through them. Carry me when I am too weak. If I stumble into temptation, forgive me Father. Lead me away from them, Father. I need Your strength to overcome these evils.

When I triumph against them, I praise you, Father. For without You, I will not be where I am and I will not have the strength I have. Bless my loved ones with the strength You have given me, Lord. You are worthy of all praises and the entire honor in the world. You are my strength and my protection.

Keep me and my family safe at all times, Lord, especially those who are in transit during this morning.

In Your Son Jesus’ name, I pray,
Amen

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, June 29, 2018


Psalm 138:8 (NIV) The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.

Read all of Psalm 138

Listen to Psalm 138

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Morning Devotions with Chaplain Kenny - Before Abraham Was, I Am


Before Abraham Was, I Am

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
~ John 11:25-26 (NIV)

In his early ministry, Jesus performed miracles and taught, but was fairly cryptic in the claims he made about himself. As his earthly ministry advanced towards its end, he became more overt in his claims.

Modern man seeks to explain Jesus as a teacher of ethics, simply a good man speaking the truth to power. But Jesus himself doesn’t allow for such a tepid assessment. Both Jesus’ contemporary followers and enemies knew this. The Pharisees knew exactly who Jesus was claiming to be, and they knew that many believed in him, so they sought to kill him.

“‘You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, and you will indeed die in your sins.’ ‘Who are you?’ they asked… ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ ” (John 8:23-25, 58)

It’s offensive, this notion that we need Jesus to save us. We’re independent by nature, and our mind recoils at our utter dependence on a savior. We resist the notion that our sins require any sort of atonement. But it’s true, and our sin made Christ’s death necessary.

As I believe C.S. Lewis wrote, Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or the messiah. His claims leave no room for any other conclusion. Who do you believe him to be?
Lord Christ, let me always dwell in knowledge of your divinity. Amen.
In Jesus,
Chaplain Kenny

Seeking God?
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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’s offensive, this notion that we need Jesus to save us.

Un dia a la Vez - Oración por paz en el corazón


Oración por paz en el corazón

La paz les dejo; mi paz les doy. Yo no se la doy a ustedes como la da el mundo. No se angustien ni se acobarden.
~ Juan 14:27 (NVI)

Acuérdate, Señor, de tu ternura y gran amor que siempre me has demostrado.

Ayúdame, Señor, a relacionarme cada día más contigo y así poder confiar plenamente en ti.

Perdóname por los momentos en que he hecho todo en mis propias fuerzas, poniendo la confianza en mi propia sabiduría.

Deseo, Señor, ser una persona madura en ti y me comprometo a conocerte mejor, a pasar más tiempo a tu lado y así poder experimentar la bendición de tenerte como el Padre que cuida de mi familia y de mí.

Gracias, mi Señor, y te entrego el resto de este día en tus manos. En el nombre de Jesús, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Oración por paz en el corazón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - PRAY AS A WARRIOR


PRAY AS A WARRIOR

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.

Today’s devotional comes from a Bible study prepared by a church leader in North Korea encouraging his fellow believers to “pray as a warrior.” It is fascinating to see how our persecuted brothers and sisters in North Korea regard prayer. He begins in Colossians 4:12-13:

What can we learn from this? That Epaphras wrestled in prayer. He prayed as a warrior. The word “wrestling” in the text means “battling, fighting.” We, too, must pray as warriors. I must do so. In the past, I often went to the mountains and prayed all night…God uses this prayer to open doors. It is not for nothing that Paul tells us at the beginning of chapter four that we must be watchful and thankful and must keep praying. Then…God opens doors to proclaim the mystery of Christ.

What does “praying as a warrior” entail?

1. Discovering God's will - Just like Paul, we must take our strategies from the Lord God. Paul wrestled in prayer in order to discover the will of God. This meant that God was able to lead him…When we make plans, we must pray according to His will. The Spirit knows what Satan is intending. God will reveal it to us and warn us if there is any danger.

2. Concentrated prayer - We must pray in a concentrated way, and for a long time…while I was praying in a concentrated way, a sentence came to my mind: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” I did not know this text. When I spoke to a friend about it, he told me that it is in the Bible, in Philippians 4:13. There was much sin in my life. I had to pray long and often in order to break down the barriers between God and me. This, too, is praying as a warrior.

3. Prayer of sacrifice - The prayer of a warrior is also the prayer of sacrifice. Praying is the most important thing you do in a day. Whatever you do each day, begin everything with prayer. Prayer is the shortest way, not the longest! By sacrificing yourself and applying yourself to praying as a warrior, God will open the hearts of people and break through their thinking…this type of prayer helps us to conquer evil with good. This is why we pray that Kim Jong-Il will become a Christian. And even more, that he will combat the evil in our society.

Epaphras remained faithful to Jesus Christ until the end. He was a prayer warrior. In this, he followed our Lord Himself…How can we manage without this prayer?

RESPONSE: Today I will pray as a warrior…especially remembering Christians in North Korea.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the example of Epaphras in the hard work of wrestling in prayer.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

Men of the Bible - Naaman


Naaman

His name means: "Pleasantness"

His work: Naaman was the commander of Syria's army.
His character: A brave man lauded for his military victories, his position would have guaranteed considerable respect in both Syria (known as Aram) and Israel. He would have been accustomed to getting his way, especially with social inferiors, which is what he may have considered Elisha and most everyone else in Israel. His no-nonsense approach made it difficult for him to follow Elisha's instructions.
His sorrow: Naaman suffered from leprosy, not the illness we call Hansen's Disease, but a skin disorder so serious that he left his country to seek healing in Israel.
His triumph: To have received not only the healing he asked for, but a relationship with the one true God.
Key Scriptures: 2 Kings 5; Luke 4:27

A Look at the Man

Naaman, a man whose success as a military commander placed him close to the king of Syria, was faced with a choice. Listen to his wife's servant girl, to the lowly messenger of a prophet, and to one of his own servants, and obey. Or return home with his dignity intact but without the healing he longed for. It wasn't an easy choice for a proud man to make. Give up your sense of how things should go, of how people should treat you, of how you should conduct yourself for the chance—not the certainty—of being healed.

Naaman nearly made the mistake of cherishing his pride at the cost of the miracle he desired. Yet something inside him asserted itself, some hope that perhaps the prophet's crazy instructions were not as crazy as they seemed. So he took a chance, deciding to let go of his own ideas of how his healing should be accomplished, deciding to let go of his own perceptions of how the universe should be ordered.

Naaman's obedience would have felt uncomfortable. How much easier it would have been to play it safe and do what came naturally—to nurse his anger and preserve his dignity. Instead, Naaman did exactly as he was told, and his obedience opened his heart to a greater miracle than the one for which he longed. Instead of a proud man, he became a humble one. Instead of a man incapable of knowing God, he became a man who knew and celebrated the fact that in all the earth there is only one God, the God who loved him and made him whole.

Reflect On: 2 Kings 5:15–17
Praise God: For offering salvation as a free gift to all.
Offer Thanks: For God’s gift of salvation to you.
Confess: Any tendency you may have to think that God cannot or will not work in the lives of certain individuals, groups, or nations.
Ask God: To give you a heart as loving as his for those who are far from him.

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.
Naaman, a man whose success as a military commander placed him close to the king of Syria, was faced with a choice.

Girlfriends in God - Unlocking the Power of Praise


Unlocking the Power of Praise

Today’s Truth

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
~ Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

My 21-year-old daughter, Taylor, stares at me as she sits propped up in her hospital bed. Not many young adults would ask for a hospital bed in their room, but she hasn’t been able to ask me for anything in 15 years. I attempt to read the communication in her eyes and will her body language to reveal her needs and desires. She’s been a frontline disease fighter since birth and since age 4, we’ve faced the eventual outcome of no cure and no treatment. My thoughts turn to prayer, an instinctive reflex I’ve cultivated for all these years, but somehow, I can only be silent.

Though I can find no words in the moment, I long for God’s presence. Just as my girl will move her leg over to touch mine so she can simply know that I am here, so I find myself seeking moments to be still and know that He is God and yes, He is here. I remind myself that prayer begins with praise. Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name.

How do I find words to praise God when my child, my heart existing outside my body, is suffering? Limbs that once ran everywhere have withered down to skin and bone.  Hands that once grabbed with lightning speed can barely hold a sippy cup to her mouth. Voice box that once chimed “Mom-my” is lost, never to be returned on this earth. Though together we’ve practiced gratitude day after day, frankly, we are running out of things to be thankful for.

But Jesus didn’t begin His prayer with thanksgiving. And the praise didn’t begin with things God has given. Nor did it begin with God’s work. Jesus first reminded God of Who He is. With this epiphany, the prayer that I couldn’t begin starts to form as I grip my girl’s hand.Just as Jesus began his prayer with words of adoration, so my prayer reflex is stimulated to follow his model.

Praise is the most powerful tool in our prayer arsenal. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. (Hebrews 13:15, NIV) As today’s truth explains,the blood of Jesus sacrificed on the cross provides our direct access to God. As a result, we are privileged to enter the presence of our Father and whisper praises directly to Him! When we stand before the Almighty God, we come as we are. It doesn’t mean we have a complete understanding of His work in our lives. It simply means our hearts are trusting and believing Him to be the ever-present, never-changing God who loves us beyond our comprehension.

When we can’t find praise in our hearts because we don’t understand what God is doing, we can always praise God for Who He is. He is the God Who never changes and has loved us since the beginning of time. Praise Him!

Let’s Pray

Dear Father, I praise You right now for Who You are. Thank You for being the Creator of all life and love. You are the Holy God who longs to be in relationship with me. I praise You for being the God of the universe and yet my very best Friend. May this prayer of praise continue to echo in my heart because I know You are in control of every moment I live and every breath I breathe. May my breath be spent praising You and building Your kingdom.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Try to stop thinking about the circumstances and situations in your life that you can’t wrap your head around for a moment and instead, focus on God’s greatness.

What is one attribute or characteristic of God you can praise Him for right now?


More from the Girlfriends

Does the longing to understand God’s plan interfere with your ability to trust Him fully? Take the One More Step 5- day devotional challenge or grab your copy of Rachel’s book, One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up.

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

Girlfriends in God

http://girlfriendsingod.com/events/

My 21-year-old daughter, Taylor, stares at me as she sits propped up in her hospital bed. Not many young adults would ask for a hospital bed in their room, but she hasn’t been able to ask me for anything in 15 years.

LHM Devotion - June 29, 2018 - Safe Arrival

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20180629

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Safe Arrival"

Jun. 29, 2018

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
~ John 3:16 (ESV)

The parents of 15-year-old Yahya Abdi are no longer together.

Yahya Abdi's father told his son he is not with the boy's mother because she was killed in a rocket attack, which had been directed against the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Speaking from a refugee camp in Ethiopia, Yahya Abdi's mother says she is not with her husband because they split in 2006.

She also maintains that her husband's reports of her demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Well, when Yahya Abdi found out his mother was alive, he was seized by an overwhelming desire to return to his home country and see her. Yahya Abdi's father, speaking from a more practical and sensible position, says they can't go back because of "present living conditions."

Of course, being what they are, 15-year-old boys are not always practical and, most certainly, they are not always swayed by sensible arguments made by parents. That becomes even more true when one of those parents has been caught in a serious and often-repeated lie.

"An overwhelming desire to return home" explains why Yahya Abdi ended up at the airport in San José, California. He surveyed the planes and realized he could stow himself away in the wheel well of a Boeing 767. Wearing a San Francisco Giants hoodie, he climbed aboard and, approximately five hours later, ended up landing in Hawaii. That's right: Maui, Hawaii.

Now all kinds of things happened after this story first broke in 2014.

The mother of Yahya Abdi filed papers to come to America, so she might reclaim her children whom she says were stolen from her when Yahya Abdi's father came to America. The San José Airport redesigned its security system which had been so easily circumvented by a determined 15-year-old boy. A fair amount of investigation has not revealed whether Yahya Abdi has taken a class on how to read maps or decipher an airplane's designated destination.

Now in all this confusion, there is a lesson to be learned here: that lesson is this: if you want to get to a specific spot, you need to get on the right plane.

Now I know that sounds like a no-brainer and, in many ways, it is. But when it comes to going to heaven, many people seem to think and act like Yahya Abdi. They are of the opinion any religion is going to get them there, which just isn't so. There are a great many religions that are taking their adherents in a completely different -- and wrong -- direction.

Understand, that's not my opinion. These two passages from Scripture say it all:

* John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

* Acts 4:12 - And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Simply stated: if you want to get to heaven, Jesus is the One who can take you there.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I rejoice that You have not only sent Your Son to save me, You have also given me faith in the Redeemer whose life was offered to buy my forgiveness and save my soul. May I be used to help others see that Jesus is the only way to salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Mark Memmott for NPR on April 24, 2014. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/04/24/306417578/stowaway-teens-father-was-shocked-to-hear-son-was-in-hawaii

See also: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2612589/EXCLUSIVE-Pictured-teen-stowed-Hawaiian-jets-wheel-mother-Africa-revealed-boy-discovered-father-lied-died-rocket-attack.html

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
The parents of 15-year-old Yahya Abdi are no longer together.

CPTLN Devocional de 29 de Junio de 2018 - Un amor increíble


ALIMENTO DIARIO

Un amor increíble

29 de Junio de 2018

En esto consiste el amor: no en que nosotros hayamos amado a Dios, sino en que él nos amó a nosotros, y envió a su Hijo en propiciación por nuestros pecados.
~ 1 Juan 4:10 (RVC)

Una de las primeras cosas que nos viene a la mente cuando pensamos en Dios, es su amor. Ningún ser humano puede amar tanto como Dios. Su amor llega hasta el rincón más lejano del universo. Es casi imposible imaginar cuán maravilloso es.

El amor de Dios supera totalmente el amor natural que un padre tiene por sus hijos. Dios nos ama aun cuando somos rebeldes y obstinados. Cada persona ha heredado una naturaleza pecadora. Eso es lo que hace que el pecado nos resulte tan atractivo. Fíjese la próxima vez que esté con sus amigos, y verá cuán cierto es esto. ¿Alguna vez se han burlado de usted porque no ha querido hacer lo que era correcto? Probablemente no. Pero tanto sus amigos como colegas o compañeros con toda seguridad se van a burlar de usted si se niega a ser cómplice en algo que no es bueno. Es más difícil hacer lo correcto, que dejarse llevar por la mayoría y hacer algo incorrecto.

Por causa de nuestra atracción natural hacia el pecado no somos amigos, sino enemigos de Dios. Sin embargo, Dios nos amó tanto, que sacrificó la vida de su Hijo por nosotros. En Romanos 5:7-8 Pablo dice: "Es difícil que alguien muera por un justo, aunque tal vez haya quien se atreva a morir por una persona buena. Pero Dios muestra su amor por nosotros en que, cuando aún éramos pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros."

Si Dios nos ama tanto que dio a su único Hijo para salvarnos, no hay dudas que nos va a cuidar de todas las formas posibles y se va a encargar de que tengamos todo lo que necesitamos para crecer y madurar tanto física como espiritualmente. Gracias al amor de Dios podemos tener paz aun en medio de las dificultades. Dios nos ama perfectamente y nunca permite que suframos, a menos que sea parte de su gran plan para nuestras vidas. Él usa tanto lo bueno como lo malo que experimentamos para hacernos madurar y crecer espiritualmente.

Qué tesoro tenemos en la promesa que Dios nos dio en Juan 3:16: "Porque tanto amó dios al mundo, que dio a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo el que cree en él no se pierda, sino que tenga vida eterna".

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, gracias por amarnos más de lo que podemos comprender. Gracias por el regalo de la salvación a través de tu Hijo. En su nombre. Amén.

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Una de las primeras cosas que nos viene a la mente cuando pensamos en Dios, es su amor.

Хліб Наш Насущній - Малюнки любові

https://ukrainian-odb.org/2018/06/29/%d0%bc%d0%b0%d0%bb%d1%8e%d0%bd%d0%ba%d0%b8-%d0%bb%d1%8e%d0%b1%d0%be%d0%b2%d1%96/

Малюнки любові

Читати: 2 Івана 1:1-6 | Біблія за рік: Йова 14−16 ; Дії 9:22-43

Благаю тебе, пані, не так, ніби пишу тобі нову заповідь, але ту, яку маємо від початку, − щоб ми любили один одного!2 Івана 1:5

Ми з дітьми започаткували нову практику. Щовечора перед сном ми сідаємо за стіл, беремо кольорові олівці, свої щоденники і малюнками та записами відповідаємо на два запитання: Де я сьогодні виявив любов? Де я сьогодні не виявив любов?

Любов до ближнього є важливим аспектом християнського життя “від початку” (2 Ів. 1:5). Саме про це апостол Іван пише у своєму Другому посланні, благаючи читачів любити один одного і виявляти Богу послух (2 Ів. 1:5-6). Любов – одна з улюблених тем апостола Івана в його посланнях. Він каже, що справжня, діюча любов є одним зі способів знати, що ми “з правди” і живемо у присутності Бога (1 Ів. 3:18-19). Коли ми з діточками розважаємо про таку чесноту як любов, то виявляємо, що в нашому житті вона набирає форму простих дій: поділитись парасолькою, підбадьорити сумних, приготувати для інших улюблену страву. Подібним чином, прояви нелюбові в тій же мірі практичні: розповсюдження пліток, небажання ділитися, задоволення власних бажань без урахування потреб інших.

Подібні обговорення перед сном допомагають нам більше пильнувати себе протягом дня, краще чути голос Святого Духа і реагувати на Його спонукання на нашому життєвому шляху. З допомогою Святого Духа ми вчимося ходити в любові (2 Ів. 1:6).
Господи, навчи нас любити не тільки словами, але також і вчинками. Допоможи виявляти послух Твоїй заповіді любові. 
* * *
Прочитайте брошуру “То що ж є любов?”
Яким чином я можу сьогодні виявити любов до інших?


© 2018 Хліб Наш Насущній
Ми з дітьми започаткували нову практику. Щовечора перед сном ми сідаємо за стіл, беремо кольорові олівці, свої щоденники і малюнками та записами відповідаємо на два запитання: Де я сьогодні виявив любов? Де я сьогодні не виявив любов?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, June 28, 2018

The Budding of Aaron’s Rod
Numbers 17:1-11

The Daily Readings
THURSDAY, June 28, 2018

Old Testament
Numbers 17:1-11
The Budding of Aaron’s Rod
17:1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Israelites, and get twelve staffs from them, one for each ancestral house, from all the leaders of their ancestral houses. Write each man’s name on his staff, 3 and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each ancestral house. 4 Place them in the tent of meeting before the covenant, where I meet with you. 5 And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout; thus I will put a stop to the complaints of the Israelites that they continually make against you. 6 Moses spoke to the Israelites; and all their leaders gave him staffs, one for each leader, according to their ancestral houses, twelve staffs; and the staff of Aaron was among theirs. 7 So Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant. 8 When Moses went into the tent of the covenant on the next day, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted. It put forth buds, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites; and they looked, and each man took his staff. 10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the covenant, to be kept as a warning to rebels, so that you may make an end of their complaints against me, or else they will die.” 11 Moses did so; just as the Lord commanded him, so he did.

The Epistle
Romans 5:1-11
Results of Justification
5:1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

The Gospel
Matthew 20:17-28
A Third Time Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
20:17 While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; 19 then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised.”
The Request of the Mother of James and John

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 26 It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
When Moses went into the tent of the covenant on the next day, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted. It put forth buds, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds.