Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Daily Readings for WEDNESDAY, January 24, 2018

The Authority of the Son
John 5:19-29

Daily Readings

Genesis 16:1-14
Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, and Sarai said to Abram, "You see that the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her." And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, "May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my slave-girl to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!" But Abram said to Sarai, "Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please." Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she ran away from her. The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, "Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?" She said, "I am running away from my mistress Sarai." The angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit to her." The angel of the LORD also said to her, "I will so greatly multiply your offspring that they cannot be counted for multitude." And the angel of the LORD said to her, "Now you have conceived and shall bear a son; you shall call him Ishmael, for the LORD has given heed to your affliction. He shall be a wild ass of a man, with his hand against everyone, and everyone's hand against him; and he shall live at odds with all his kin." So she named the LORD who spoke to her, "You are El-roi" for she said, "Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?" Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

Hebrews 9:15-28
For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Hence not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you." And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

John 5:19-29
Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life. "Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out-- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

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 WEDNESDAY, January 24, 2018

Compassionate Lord, we pray for those who have been devastated by recent natural disasters. We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort. Surround them with our prayer for strength. Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma and devastation. May they have the courage to face the long road of rebuilding ahead.

We ask your blessing also on all those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their security and their hope. Bless the work of relief agencies and those proving emergency assistance. May their work be guided by the grace and strength that comes from You alone.

Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected, even after the crisis is over. We ask this in Jesus' name.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, January 24, 2018

John 9:31 (NIV) We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.

Read all of John 9

Listen to John 9

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 - I Hear You

I Hear You

We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.
~ John 9:31 (NIV)

Have you ever been within earshot of a conversation going on, in which you wish you hadn’t heard? Maybe the dialog was about one of your loved ones, and the words were cutting, cruel, and degrading. The words were definitely hurting your feelings, because they were talking about someone you love. You may even move from your spot to go to them and say, “I’m standing right here. I hear you!”

The other day I was having a conversation with a neighbor, complaining about a certain someone. This morning during prayer God spoke to my heart. He reminded me that he was standing right beside me, listening. Psalms 139:5 says, “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” I was reminded of His daily presence in my life. Everything I do and say, He knows and hears.

I was also reminded that He loves each and every person that He created. My sniveling does not bring glory and honor to God. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds me of the discipline I receive from the Holy Spirit. Using restraint of my words by letting no unwholesome thing come out of my mouth, but only things that are good to build up, is a great reminder from Ephesians 4:29

I had to confess, and ask for forgiveness. It also made me think, how many times have I said something, totally forgetting, I am not alone? Even though physically there may not be another person in sight, if I am grumbling about another person, or even if I am criticizing myself, God is listening. Negative talk and attitudes are not pleasing to God’s ears.

Not only did I ask for forgiveness, but I asked God to help me remember; when I need to complain about one of His children, GO TO HIM! I know He will listen and help me in the matter. I also asked Him to remind me on a daily basis that I am never alone. He is always in earshot as He reminds me, “I am standing right here. I hear you!”
Dear Lord, Thank you for always being present, but help me remember that. Help me to speak with awareness that you are listening. Amen
In Jesus,
Chaplain 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.
Have you ever been within earshot of a conversation going on, in which you wish you hadn’t heard?

Un Dia a la Vez - Vuelve a empezar

Vuelve a empezar

Pon en manos del Señor todas tus obras, y tus proyectos se cumplirán.

Si escudriñamos el Manual de Instrucciones, nos encontraremos muchas historias en las que por diferentes circunstancias se llegó a un punto de perderlo todo y volver a empezar.

Ese fue el caso de Job, a quien Dios permitió que Satanás tocara y lastimara su vida y lo probara en todo. Después de tener muchas riquezas, familia, ganado, tierras y salud, Job quedó de un momento a otro en la más profunda pobreza, soledad y abandono. Hasta terminó rascándose con una teja. ¿Te imaginas?

¿Cuál sería nuestra actitud ante Dios si nos sucediera a nosotros? No obstante, lo determinante en la vida de este hombre es que supo aceptar la voluntad de Dios y no fue en su contra. Por eso Dios lo prosperó de nuevo y le dio dos veces más de lo que tenía. Después de esos sucesos, Job vivió ciento cuarenta años y disfrutó una larga vida.

Esta historia nos deja varias enseñanzas: Dios es un Dios de nuevos comienzos. Si has sido un fracasado, Dios te invita hoy a que te levantes y le creas. Te pide que le entregues tu corazón y toda tu vida en sus manos. Confiando en que Dios te sacará del lugar en el que estás y te pondrá otra vez en lugares de privilegio, ¿por qué no te das una nueva oportunidad?

Te invito a hacer esta corta, pero poderosa oración: «Señor Jesús, te pido perdón si te he juzgado. Te pido perdón por haberte cuestionado. Hoy quiero entregarte mi corazón y quiero que me des una nueva vida en Cristo Jesús. Amén y amén».

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - BROTHERLY LOVE


Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.
~ Hebrews 13:1 (NIV)

As we see in Hebrews chapter twelve, once we “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,” we will be aware of how we should then live. The writer now turns to the issue of brotherly love and he uses the verb form of repeated action. Keep on loving, over and over. Jesus Himself said that this would be the sign to the world of true discipleship—love for one another.

In China a house church network leader was being pursued by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) due to his active ministry. He had to be on the run and couldn’t go home because the PSB were waiting for him at his house.

His wife went through much emotional suffering since she didn’t know where her husband was. Other believers were afraid to come to the meeting held at the house and even other co-workers didn’t come near due to fear. The wife had no money and eventually ran out of food. That was the hardest time in her life.

In spite of the PSB officers standing outside, an elderly Christian lady approached the house and boldly entered. The wife was surprised and asked the elderly woman why she was willing to take the risk. The lady said she wasn’t afraid because she knew the woman’s husband was serving the Lord and she was also serving the same Lord. The old lady prepared some noodles for young wife and her child. The young wife was really impressed with this love. Also the old lady told her that many outside were praying for them so this also brought tremendous strength and encouragement as they continued to suffer isolation.

Another house church leader in China spent time in prison. He wrote to his fellowship, “It is because of your prayers that I could go through the most difficult times while in prison. My mother, who also prayed for me every day, knew that there were many brothers and sisters who did the same for her son and that she was not alone. She too, would like to express her thanks to those who prayed for me.

“Following my release, I spent two weeks with my whole family. My daughter shared that she thought I was a bad person because she had seen the policeman arrest me right before her eyes. She was very angry with me until the day she received a card from a fellow Christian. In the card were the words, ‘Your father is a hero for he has suffered for Christ.’ Immediately all her anger dissipated and she became very proud of having a father who is a hero and willing to suffer for Christ.”

RESPONSE: Today I will make an extra effort to show love to all Christian brothers and sisters.

PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to make love for the brethren a daily repeated action, for Your glory!

Girlfriends in God - Three Answers You Need to Know

Three Answers You Need to Know

Today’s Truth

“In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth”.
~ Genesis 1:1 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

Who are you?

Where did you come from?

Why are you here?

These are three very important questions to which you need to know the answer.

When I was writing my chapter for our new GiG book, Knowing God by Name, I discovered that the very first name for God in the Bible is Elohim, and it is found in the very first sentence of God’s Word. “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 NIV).

Before the creation of the world, there was nothing. Our human minds can’t even conceive or imagine nothing. But into the nothing God spoke, and what was not became what is.

When God hung the sun in the morning sky and the moon in the inky expanse; when He sprinkled the stars to dance in the night; when He separated the waters of heaven from the waters of the earth; when He shaped the dry land, scattered seed for vegetation, stocked the seas with marine life and filled skies with winged foul; He did so with words. “And God said, ‘Let there be’… And it was so.”  “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth” (Psalm 33:6 NIV).

But on the sixth day, God did a little something different. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’” (Genesis 1:26 NASB).

So the holy hand of God bent low, gathered dust of the ground, and with sacred fingertips formed man. God then leaned over the lifeless form, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).

After each of the first five days of creation, as the sun set over the horizon, God said, “It is good.” Six times, at the end of each phase of His handiwork, He reiterated his approval. We ride the rhythm of repetition only to be brought to a sudden halt by the Creator’s words when He looked at the lone man with no suitable companion. “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18 NIV).

“So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:21-22 NIV).

Eve was the crowning touch of God’s creative masterpiece and the inspiration of man’s first poetry. She was not an afterthought, but God’s grand finale – His magnificent masterpiece. God concluded the first week of the world’s existence and the curtain fell with the words: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31a NIV).

Knowing God as Elohim answers three big questions for all of us. Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here?

Who are you? You are an image bearer of God. Elohim said, “Let Us make man in Our own image.”

Where did you come from? God fashioned you, formed you, and created your innermost being.

Why are you here? You were created for God and to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7), because it pleased Him to do so (Ephesians 1:5). The concept of glory can be a difficult concept to wrap our human minds around. Simply put, God’s glory is how He makes His presence known. You, my friend, are a platform from which God displays His magnificence and makes His presence easy to see.

Knowing you were created by God and for God, answers a thousand questions. You have great value and great purpose, regardless of how you feel about yourself, regardless of how you came into this world, regardless of what others have said about you in the past. Every human life is sacred, no matter how it began.

Now let me go a little deeper.  As you ponder God speaking the universe into existence with but a word, is there anything in your life that is too difficult for Him to take care of?

Any problem too complex to solve?

Any illnesses too severe to heal?

Any child too rebellious to tame?

Any marriage too far gone to restore?

Oh sister, nothing is impossible for Elohim, The Mighty Creator. He can breathe life into any seemingly hopeless situation that comes your way. “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37 NIV). You can depend on Elohim to weave a design out of the tangled circumstances of your life, even when they may seem as shapeless and void as the earth was prior to His first utterance of “Let there be.”

Let’s Pray

Elohim, Mighty Creator, I praise You for all that You have made. Thank You for the way You have fashioned my body. Tiny eyelashes that keep dust from my eyes. Flexible fingers that grasp and hold. Legs that stand and bend. Feet that walk and run. A heart that beats. A mind that thinks. Skin that protects. A soul that loves. I pray that I will represent You well today - that I will glorify You in all that I do.
In Jesus Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

What do you think it means to be created in the image of God?

Read Genesis 1:31. How did God feel about what He had made?

Based upon God’s response to His creation, what conclusion can you draw about your value as a woman created in the image of God?

Does knowing that you are created to reflect God (to glorify God) affect how you live?

Is there any change you need to make to better reflect Him?

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion was adapted from our new Girlfriends in God book, Knowing God by Name. Throughout Scripture, God reveals His complex character by identifying Himself by different names—names that shed light on who He is and how we should relate to Him. We invite you to join us in Knowing God by Name as we take an in-depth look at 40 different names that shed light on 40 different reasons you can trust Him, depend on Him, and know that He loves you. Click here to learn more and download a free sample chapter.

Also, if you haven’t already, I’d love for you to sign up for my blog for more inspiration, encouragement, and fun giveaways. When you do, you’ll receive a FREE downloadable coloring book companion journal for Take Hold of the Faith You Long For.

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

Girlfriends in God