Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, January 11, 2018

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
John 1:43-51
Daily Readings

Genesis 4:17-26
Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and named it Enoch after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methushael, and Methushael the father of Lamech. Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Adah bore Jabal; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have livestock. His brother's name was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. Lamech said to his wives: "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold." Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, "God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him." To Seth also a son was born, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to invoke the name of the LORD.

Hebrews 3:1-11
Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also "was faithful in all God's house." Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken later. Christ, however, was faithful over God's house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, as on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors put me to the test, though they had seen my works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known my ways.' As in my anger I swore, 'They will not enter my rest.'"

John 1:43-51
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!" Nathanael asked him, "Where did you get to know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you." Nathanael replied, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" Jesus answered, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these." And he said to him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."

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 THURSDAY, January 11, 2018

Father, you have called others to renounce the world and serve you in the solitude of the desert. By their prayers and examples, may we also learn to deny ourselves and to love you above all things. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, January 11, 2018

Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Read all of Colossians 3

Listen to Colossians 3

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 - God's Chosen Vessels

God's Chosen Vessels

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

Have you ever tried to get kids to do a job? Maybe you asked them to take out the trash or clean up a mess. But in the process of cleaning, they made a bigger one.

It is so much easier to say, “Never mind. I’ll just do it myself.” Yet why do you have children help you? It’s because you want to teach them responsibility. You want them to be involved in the process. You don’t ask children to help you because you need them. The fact is that you don’t need them. They need you.

When you stop and think about the entire process of evangelism, you may wonder why on earth God chooses to use people to reach people. If I were God, I would roll the heavens away, poke my face through, and say, “Hello, humanity. I am God, and you are not. Believe in me now, or you will die.” (Aren’t you glad that I’m not God?)

Or at the very least, if I were God I would raise up an army of angels to preach the gospel. Wouldn’t that be powerful to have an angel of the Lord come to you and declare the truth of Jesus Christ? But I would never use people. They are flawed. They make mistakes. They fall short. They are inconsistent. Sometimes they contradict what they say by the way they live.

But God in His great wisdom has chosen to use people to reach people. You can hardly find a story in the New Testament where an individual comes to faith apart from the involvement of another person. Yes, it was done through the Holy Spirit. But God worked through a person to bring someone to faith. And today, in the same way, God wants to use us.
Father, you have called others to renounce the world and serve you in the solitude of the desert. By their prayers and examples, may we also learn to deny ourselves and to love you above all things. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 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.
God uses people to reach people--and He wants to use you!

Un Dia a la Vez - Aeróbicos para el espíritu

Aeróbicos para el espíritu

Por la mañana, Señor, escuchas mi clamor; por la mañana te presento mis ruegos, y quedo a la espera de tu respuesta.
~ Salmo 5:3 (NVI)

La adquisición de sabiduría es una bendición para nuestra vida. Todos los días en las noticias escuchamos la importancia de hacer ejercicios y que debemos caminar por lo menos media hora. Si a eso le sumamos una alimentación balanceada, tendremos una vida de buena calidad.

Lo mismo sucede con nuestra vida espiritual. Debemos ejercitarla mediante la oración, los momentos de intimidad con Dios y al congregarnos. Asimismo, la lectura del Manual de Instrucciones, que es la Biblia, nos da la seguridad de lo que Dios espera de nosotros y cómo debemos actuar ante diferentes situaciones que tengamos que vivir. Y para llegar a esto que llamamos «aeróbicos espirituales», nos hace falta disciplina. Esto es lo que sucede cuando decidimos ir al gimnasio o comenzar una nueva dieta. Todo comienzo es difícil.

Cuando empecé a leer la Biblia por mi cuenta, les confieso que muchas veces no entendía o no lo podía interpretar. Sin embargo, alguien me sugirió que leyera Proverbios, pues hay treinta y un capítulos, que son los días que por lo general trae un mes del año, y fue de mucha bendición. De igual manera orar y asistir a una iglesia te ayudarán a mantenerte conectado con Dios todo el tiempo y, créeme, tu vida será bendecida.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THIS IS GOOD


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
~ Romans 8:28 (NIV)

A tribal king had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) as well as the lives of others and remarking, “This is good!” He based it on two scriptures: one that says that it is God’s will that we be thankful for ALL circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18); and Romans 8:28 which assures us that God can turn every situation (good or bad) into ultimate good. The king loved his friend’s positive outlook and took him with him wherever he went.

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. As the king fired his gun at a pheasant that flew up from the long grass, the rifle backfired and blew off his right thumb. Looking at the king’s bleeding hand; his friend remarked as usual, “This is good!”

The king was angry and replied, “No, this is NOT good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail for his insensitivity.

About a year later, the king was hunting all alone in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, and were going to cook him in a big pot. As they set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb on his right hand. Being very superstitious, cannibals never eat anyone who is less than perfect. So they released the king.

Walking home he kept staring at his right hand without a thumb. “This IS good!” he said out loud. He was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his shabby treatment of his friend. So he went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.

“You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,” his friend replied as usual, “This is good!” “What do you mean, ‘This is good?’ How could it be good that I put my friend in jail for over a year?” “Well,” replied his friend, “if I had not been here in jail, I would have been out there with you!”

In our SSTS seminars we share this story early in the sessions and for the rest of the time together holding up four fingers on the right hand (with a hidden thumb) communicates clearly the message: THIS IS GOOD!

RESPONSE: Today I will focus by faith on the potential good that God wants to bring out of the negative challenges I face in my life.

PRAYER: Pray that all persecuted Christians will respond to their daily challenges with this faith perspective.

NIV Devotions for Men - Joseph: The Father of a Messiah

Joseph: The Father of a Messiah

Matthew 1:16—2:23; Luke 1:26—2:52

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

What was the most difficult part about being Jesus’ earthly father?

There were times when I felt very common and not at all up to the task. Occasionally the weight and seriousness of the responsibility would fall on me, and I felt completely inadequate. I was inadequate. Who is worthy to raise the Son of God? I asked God daily for strength and wisdom.

After Jesus was born and you had to flee to Egypt, were you afraid?

Initially, yes, I was very afraid. After the alarming vision, there was this urgency in me. I felt as though Herod’s guards were on their way, and if I didn’t move quickly, then … well, you know. But on our way to Egypt, I realized that God was directing the events here, not Herod or I. I said to myself, Wait a second. God knows the future. If something bad were going to happen, he would help us. I thought about the Israelites on their way out of Egypt, and if ever things started closing in around us to that degree, I knew we could be confident of a miracle.

How was your faith changed by that whole string of events surrounding the birth of Jesus?

It wasn’t just my faith. This child upended my whole life. I was talking about this with Zechariah one time, about how we had our whole lives planned until God showed up. Everything about our lives changed. But what a joy!

You mentioned joy. Explain what you mean.

Most people, when they think of Jesus, think about his strong teachings or his miracles or maybe even his death. But when I think of him, my mind goes back to this time, right after he was born. He had just awakened, I was holding him and he was looking around. Very alert. And he looked up at me and with his little fingers grabbed my finger. They say babies that young don’t smile, but he smiled, as if to say, “I’m glad to be here.” You know, Mary witnessed his death, and Peter felt his forgiveness on the beach after the denial. Thomas touched the scars in his hands, and John even saw a vision of him coming back as King. But I held that baby before all that. And that’s something I’ll never forget.

Back to the Future
  • The course of Joseph’s life was entirely redirected by God, and yet he reacted with grace and obedience. How difficult would it be for you to make massive life changes like Joseph? Why?
  • God entrusted the care of his Son Jesus to a man without much in the way of monetary resources. What does this show about God’s view of wealth? Of parenting?
  • Joseph was a man of faith. What have you learned from Joseph’s life that has strengthened your own faith?
Read Joseph’s Story:
For more on Joseph, read Matthew 1:16—2:23; Luke 1:26—2:52.

Girlfriends in God - Transforming a Painful Childhood into a Purposeful Adulthood

Transforming a Painful Childhood into a Purposeful Adulthood

Today’s Truth

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to…bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”.
~ Isaiah 61:1,3 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

In my last devotion we visited with Queen Esther, but I’m not quite ready to leave this little orphan-girl-turned-powerful-queen just yet. Reading her story gives me so much hope!While we don’t know much about Esther’s parents, we do know that she was an orphan who was raised by her cousin, Mordecai. As far as we can tell, she had no feminine influence in her life, and yet she grew to be a gracious lovely woman who won the favor of everyone she encountered.

Perhaps your childhood was less than ideal. Perhaps you had an alcoholic father, an absent father, an abusive mother, or an aloof mother. Perhaps you lived in poverty, grew up in an orphanage, a foster home, or with parents who felt you were a bother instead of a blessing. Even if you had a wonderful childhood, I bet you know someone who didn’t.

Let me assure you of this, no matter what your childhood memories hold, God can and will use every bit of it for His purposes and for His glory…if we let Him. It doesn’t matter how you started; what matters is how you finish.

Paul said, “This one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Paul had to put his past behind him to accomplish what God had called him to do in the present.

Likewise, when we put our painful pasts behind us and obey what God is calling us to do in the present we will experience a fruitful, fulfilling, fascinating adulthood. He can take those miseries of the past and turn them into ministries in the present. He can take our messes in life and turn them into messages of hope. God took a frightened orphan girl and used her to accomplish a great mission. He did it for Queen Esther. He wants to do it for you.

Let’s Pray

Lord, I want to be like Esther. Not that I want to be a queen, but that I want to be your servant for such a time as this. Help me to not dwell on what went wrong in my past, but to look forward to what You want me to do right in my present and my future. Choose me. Send me. Use me.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

If you read Esther 1–4 in my last devotion, God Has Big Dreams for You, I encourage you to read Esther 5–10 today.

It’s a fun story for all of us girls! No wonder the Jews still celebrate her today.

I’d love to know your favorite part of Esther’s story. Click over to my Facebook page and tell me your favorite part, and I’ll tell you mine.

More from the Girlfriends

Looking to discover God’s plan for your life? Then check out my book The 5 Dreams of Every Woman…and How God Longs to Fulfill Them. You’ll read about Sarah who interfered with God’s dream, Naomi who forgot God dreams, and Esther who accomplished God’s dreams. If you are ready to place your hand in God’s and go to the exciting place He has for you, then this book is for you! Come on! Let’s dream again!

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

Girlfriends in God

LHM Devotion - January 11, 2018 "Real Healing"

Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Real Healing"

Jan. 11, 2018

(excerpts) - all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. ... And when it was day, He departed ... And the people sought Him ... but He said to them, "I must preach the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose."
~ Luke 4:41-43 (ESV)

According to those who keep track of things in the medical world, we have left behind a most interesting and successful year. Maladies which once seemed to be impervious to the microscopes of medicine are weakening, and infirmities which once seemed to be invincible are now becoming, well, it appears they are becoming ... vincible. Among the notable highlights are the following:

• Huntington's disease is an illness which takes healthy protein and transforms it into a killer of brain cells. The new therapy blocks the change and stops the vicious brain disease.

• Hemophilia is a genetic aberration which doesn't allow its victim to create a protein which stops bleeding. Last year 13 people underwent gene therapy, and today 11 of them are creating near-normal levels of the protein.

• Sickle cell anemia occurs when the body produces blood cells shaped like a sickle. These sickle cells lock together and stop healthy blood flow. Last year, science altered the bone marrow instructions of a young person. Today that individual is producing normal round blood cells.

I am pleased to say the above list is nowhere near complete. One medical trial has seen one half of Type 2 diabetics have their conditions reversed; elsewhere, surgeon-scientists have operated on unborn babies to repair faulty DNA, and premature lambs have survived in an artificial womb.

Today there is cause for the world to rejoice, and for the family of faith to give thanks to the Lord for raising up scientists who are concerned with the sad human condition that sin has brought into this world, and whose minds can conceive possible solutions to seemingly impossible situations.

Amazing as all this has been, it pales when compared to the healing power of the Christ. Luke records the day when all manner of sick were brought to the Savior. The text says Jesus "laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.... And when it was day, He departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought Him and came to Him, and would have kept Him from leaving them, but He said to them, 'I must preach the Good News' ..."

What a wonderful day that had been. So many broken lives had been mended; so many hopes had been answered. Still, even though the people wished the healings would continue, Jesus knew He had other work. Full-time healing of the body would have to take second place to the healing of souls sickened by sin. That is why Jesus announced, "I must preach the Good News of the kingdom of God ... for I was sent for this purpose."

Jesus knew that healing a soul for eternity took priority over healing a body for a few years.

It is a lesson many TV evangelists have forgotten, but to the faithful church and Christian, the salvation story won by the Redeemer is our business, first, foremost and always.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we give thanks for medical breakthroughs, but we rejoice even more in the spiritual breakthrough Jesus won through His life, suffering, death, and resurrection. May the world hear the Gospel message, which saves sin-sickened souls. This we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
According to those who keep track of things in the medical world, we have left behind a...

Devocional del CPTLN del 11 de Enero de 2018 "Lo que podemos cambiar"


"Lo que podemos cambiar"

11 de Enero de 2018

Y yo estaré con ustedes todos los días, hasta el fin del mundo. Amén.
~ Mateo 28:20b (RVC)

En la boca de los niños se encuentra una fuente de inspiración e ilustración. El verano pasado tuve la oportunidad de ver un juego de beisbol de niños de cinco años.

Como llegué tarde, tuve que preguntarle a uno de los jugadores cómo iba el partido. "Estamos perdiendo 25-0", respondió el pequeño. Sorprendido, en un tono tan comprensivo como pude, le dije: "Debes estar muy desanimado". "¿Por qué habría de estar desanimado", me contestó, "si todavía no hemos tenido oportunidad de batear?"

¡Qué lección para los adultos! El pequeño no estaba preocupado por lo pasado, algo que no podía cambiar, sino que esperaba el momento en que podría marcar la diferencia.

La primera vez que las palabras del pequeño jugador me inspiraron fue cuando estaba atrapado en medio del tráfico, sin poder hacer nada. Primero estuve tentado a enojarme con los conductores que no sabían manejar, con los constructores que habían diseñado la autopista, en fin, con cualquiera que se me atravesara en el camino.

Pero entonces recordé: "¿Por qué voy a enojarme por algo que no puedo cambiar?". Finalmente, el tráfico se aligeró y llegué a mi destino con energía para hacer lo que tenía que hacer.

Hay muchas situaciones en mi vida, y en la suya, que no podemos cambiar; cosas en las que no podemos hacer una diferencia porque la situación o circunstancia están en el pasado o fuera de nuestro alcance.

Concentrémonos, entonces, en las cosas que sí podemos cambiar, y pidámosle al Señor que nos de el coraje, la dirección y su bendición en lo que queremos lograr.

Cuando procedemos de acuerdo a los planes de Dios, podemos estar seguros que él cumplirá su promesa de estar con nosotros y bendecirnos.

ORACIÓN: Señor y Salvador, ayúdanos a influenciar de manera positiva a quienes nos rodean, de tal forma que muchos más te glorifiquen. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

De una devoción escrita originalmente para "By the Way"

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Qu’y a-t-il à l’intérieur ?

Qu’y a-t-il à l’intérieur ?

Lisez : 2 corinthiens 4.7-18
La Bible en un an : Genèse 27 – 28 ; Matthieu 8.18-34

Nous portons ce trésor dans des vases de terre, afin que cette grande puissance soit attribuée à Dieu, et non pas à nous. (V. 7)

« Veux‑tu voir ce qu’il y a à l’intérieur ? » m’a demandé mon amie. Je venais de la complimenter sur la poupée de chiffon d’époque que sa fille tenait dans ses bras. Curieuse, du coup je lui ai répondu que oui, je voulais vraiment voir. Elle a alors retourné la poupée et a ouvert une fermeture éclair discrète dans son dos. Du corps en tissu, Emily a doucement retiré un trésor : la poupée de chiffon qu’elle avait serré contre elle avec amour au fil des années de son enfance plus de deux décennies auparavant. La poupée « extérieure » n’était qu’une coquille à laquelle le corps intérieur donnait force et forme.

Paul décrit la vérité de la vie, de la mort et de la résurrection de Jésus comme un trésor que transporte la frêle humanité des enfants de Dieu. Ce trésor permet à ceux qui ont foi en lui de surmonter une adversité inimaginable et de continuer à le servir. Lorsqu’ils le font, sa lumière – sa vie – brille de tout son éclat entre les « fissures » de leur humanité. Paul nous encourage tous à ne pas perdre courage (2 CO 4.16), car Dieu nous donne la force d’accomplir son œuvre.

Comme la poupée « intérieure », le trésor de l’Évangile en nous procure tant un but à notre vie qu’une force d’âme. Lorsque l’Évangile brille à travers nous, Dieu en invite d’autres à se demander : « Qu’y a‑t‑il à l’intérieur ? » Nous pouvons alors leur ouvrir notre cœur et leur révéler la promesse porteuse de vie et du salut de Christ.

L’Évangile de vérité brille à travers le brisement des chrétiens.

par Kirsten Holmberg

© 2018 Ministères NPQ
Veux‑tu voir ce qu’il y a à l’intérieur ?