Monday, January 29, 2018

The Daily Readings for MONDAY, January 29, 2018

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life...”
John 6:35

Daily Readings

Genesis 19:1-29
The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed down with his face to the ground. He said, "Please, my lords, turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you can rise early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the square." But he urged them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them." Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof." But they replied, "Stand back!" And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them." Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near the door to break it down. But the men inside reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck with blindness the men who were at the door of the house, both small and great, so that they were unable to find the door. Then the men said to Lot, "Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city-- bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it." So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, "Up, get out of this place; for the LORD is about to destroy the city." But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or else you will be consumed in the punishment of the city." But he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and left him outside the city. When they had brought them outside, they said, "Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed." And Lot said to them, "Oh, no, my lords; your servant has found favor with you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life; but I cannot flee to the hills, for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die. Look, that city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there-- is it not a little one?-- and my life will be saved!" He said to him, "Very well, I grant you this favor too, and will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there, for I can do nothing until you arrive there." Therefore the city was called Zoar. The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD; and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the Plain and saw the smoke of the land going up like the smoke of a furnace. So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had settled.
Hebrews 11:1-12
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain's. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and "he was not found, because God had taken him." For it was attested before he was taken away that "he had pleased God." And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old-- and Sarah herself was barren-- because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, "as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore."
John 6:27-40
Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal." Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." So they said to him, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Then Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."
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.

Today the church remembers The Huguenots

St Bartholomew Night Massacre 1572
On this date January 29th, 1536, a general edict which encouraged the extermination of the Huguenots was issued in France. On March 1st, 1562 some 1200 Huguenots were slain at Vassy, France. This ignited the the Wars of Religion which would rip apart, devastate, and bankrupt France for the next three decades.

During the infamous St Bartholomew Massacre of the night of 23/24 August, 1572 more than 8 000 Huguenots, including Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, Governor of Picardy and leader and spokesman of the Huguenots, were murdered in Paris.

It happened during the wedding of Henry of Navarre, a Huguenot, to Marguerite de Valois (daughter of Catherine de Medici), when thousands of Huguenots converged on Paris for the wedding celebrations. It was Catherine de Medici who persuaded her weakling son Charles IX to order the mass murder, which lasted three days and spread to the countryside. On Sunday morning August 24th, 1572 she personally walked through the streets of Paris to inspect the carnage. Henry of Navarre's life was spared when he pretended to support the Roman Catholic faith. In 1593 he made his "perilous leap"and abjured his faith in July 1593, and 5 years later he was the undisputed monarch as King Henry IV (le bon Henri, the good Henry) of France.

When the first rumors of the massacre reached the Vatican in Rome on 2 September 1572, pope Gregory XIII was jubilant and wanted bonfires to be lit in Rome. He was persuaded to wait for the official communication.

The very morning of the day that he received the confirmed news, the pope held a consistory and announced that "God had been pleased to be merciful". Then with all the cardinals he repaired to the Church of St. Mark for the Te Deum, and prayed and ordered prayers that the Most Christian King might rid and purge his entire kingdom (of France) of the Huguenot plague.

On 8 September 1572 a procession of thanksgiving took place in Rome, and the pope, in a prayer after mass, thanked God for having "granted the Catholic people a glorious triumph over a perfidious race" (gloriosam de perfidis gentibus populo catholico loetitiam tribuisti).

Gregory XIII engaged Vasari to paint scenes in one of the Vatican apartments of the triumph of the "Most Christian King" over the Huguenots. He had a medal struck representing an exterminating angel smiting the Huguenots with his sword, the inscription reading: Hugonottorium strages (Huguenot conspirators).

In France itself, the French magistracy ordered the admiral to be burned in effigy and prayers and processions of thanksgiving henceforth on each recurring 24th August, out of gratitude to God for the victory over the Huguenots. 

The Edict of Nantes was signed by Henry IV on April 13th, 1598, which brought an end to the Wars of Religion. The Huguenots were allowed to practice their faith in 20 specified French "free" cities. France became united and a decade of peace followed. After Henry IV was murdered in 1610, however, the persecution of the "dissenters" resumed in all earnestness under the guidance of Cardinal Richelieu, whose favorite project was the extermination of the Huguenots.

Henry IV's weakling sun, Louis the Thirteenth, refused them the privileges which had been granted to them by the Edict of Nantes; and, when reminded of the claims they had, if the promises of Henry the Third and Henry the Fourth were to be regarded, he answered that "the first-named monarch feared them, and the latter loved them; but I neither fear nor love them."

The Huguenot free cities were lost one after the other after they were conquered by the forces of Cardinal Richelieu, and the last and most important stronghold, La Rochelle, fell in 1629 after a siege lasting a month.

Louis XIV (the Sun King, 1643-1715) began to apply his motto l'état c'est moi ("I am the state") and introduced the infamous Dragonnades - the billeting of dragoons in Huguenot households. He began with a policy of une foi, un loi, un roi (one faith, one law, one king) and revoked the Edict of Nantes on 22 October 1685. The large scale persecution of the Huguenots resumed. Protestant churches and the houses of "obstinates" were burned and destroyed, and their bibles and hymn books burned. Emigration was declared illegal. Many Huguenots were burned at the stake. Many Huguenots who did not find their death in local prisons or execution on the wheel of torture, were shipped to sea to serve their sentences as galley slaves, either on French galley ships, or sold to Turkey as galley slaves. A vivid account of the life of galley-slaves in France is given in Jean Marteilhes's Memoirs of a Protestant, translated by Oliver Goldsmith, which describes the experiences of one of the Huguenots who suffered after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

Every Huguenot place of worship was to be destroyed; every minister who refused to conform was to be sent to the Hôpitaux de Forçats at Marseilles and at Valance. If he had been noted for his zeal he was to be considered "obstinate," and sent to slavery for life in such of the West-Indian islands as belonged to the French. The children of Huguenot parents were to be taken from them by force, and educated by the Roman Catholic monks or nuns.

At least 250,000 French Huguenots fled to countries such as Switzerland, Germany, England, America, the Netherlands, Poland and South Africa, where they could enjoy religious freedom. As many were killed in France itself. Between 1618 and 1725 between 5,000 and 7,000 Huguenots reached the shores of America. Those who came from the French speaking south of Belgium, an area known as Wallonia, are generally known as Walloons (as opposed to Huguenots) in the United States and elsewhere.

The organized large scale emigration of Huguenots to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa occurred during 1688 - 1689. However, even before this large scale emigration individual Huguenots such as François Villion (1671) and the brothers François and Guillaume du Toit (1686) fled to the Cape of Good Hope. In 1692 a total of 201 French Huguenots had settled at the Cape of Good Hope. Most of them settled in an area now known as Franschhoek ("French Corner"), some 70 km outside Cape Town, where many farms still bear their original French names.

A century later the promulgation of the Edict of Toleration on 28 November 1787 partially restored the civil and religious rights of the Huguenots in France.

Who were the Huguenots?

The Huguenots were French Protestants who were members of the Reformed Church which was established in 1550 by the reformer John Calvin.

The origin of the name Huguenot is uncertain, but dates from approximately 1550 when it was used in court cases against "heretics" (dissenters from the Roman Catholic Church). There is a theory that it is derived from the personal name of Besançon Hugues, the leader of the "Confederate Party" in Geneva, in combination with a Frankish corruption of the German word for conspiratoror confederate: eidgenosse. Thus, Hugues plus eidgenot becomes Huguenot, with the intention of associating the Protestant cause with some very unpopular politics.

As nickname and even abusive name it's use was banned in the regulations of the Edict of Nantes which Henry IV (Henry of Navarre, who himself earlier was a Huguenot) issued in 1598. The French Protestants themselves preferred to refer to themselves as "réformees" (reformers) rather than "Huguenots".

It was much later that the name "Huguenot" became an honorary one of which their descendants are proud.

Huguenot Cross

Prayer of the Day for MONDAY, January 29, 2018

I love the security I find in you, God. Like a huge shield around and above me. No one can get in a killer blow because you are around me. Your grace hems me in. To follow you, Lord, doesn't always mean I will win popularity contests. Sometimes people have had justification for their anger. Whatever people think, I can go forward because you are with me. Not only do you surround me but you answer me. Wherever I am, valley or mountaintop, I can cry to you and I know that you will speak to me. You respond no matter what or where. Lord, thank you for your sustaining power in my life. Thank you that you have delivered me and you will never abandon me. I love you God.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, January 29, 2018

Psalm 3:1-3 (NIV) [A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.] Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

Read all of Psalm 3

Listen to Psalm 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 Chaplain Kenny "A Time to Listen, a Time to Talk"

A Time to Listen, a Time to Talk

Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
~ Psalm 3:1-3 (NIV)

Psalm 3 is a psalm of David, and one of its purposes is to teach us how to give voice to our tribulations. In the first two verses, he is — probably very realisitically — dealing with all of the enemies he had in his life. He was at war with almost everyone, at some point! But when we see how he handled all of his problems, we see that we can be honest with God about our troubles.

Right away, in verse three, he show us that, although we may be right in the middle of our suffering, we can rely on God. His enemies, in fact, specifically say that “God will not deliver him,” but David, God's anointed and holy king, knew better! His psalm is actually testimony from 3,000 years ago; David is witnessing to us. And we know, from history, that he was right, for he succeeded where generations had failed, in uniting Israel.

This points up a subtle difference, between talking to yourself and listening to yourself. If you listen to yourself, you are going to hear all of the self-defeating and sinful ideas that come from your earthly mind. But we are not passive victims of our psyche. We learn truths from Scripture that defeat the lies that we will hear, if we only listen to our brain. Our subconscious mind can be our enemy and rise up against us, like David's foes; but God is a shield for us and will lift up our head.
I love the security I find in you, God. Like a huge shield around and above me. No one can get in a killer blow because you are around me. Your grace hems me in. To follow you, Lord, doesn't always mean I will win popularity contests. Sometimes people have had justification for their anger. Whatever people think, I can go forward because you are with me. Not only do you surround me but you answer me. Wherever I am, valley or mountaintop, I can cry to you and I know that you will speak to me. You respond no matter what or where. Lord, thank you for your sustaining power in my life. Thank you that you have delivered me and you will never abandon me. I love you God. 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.
When we see how David handled all of his problems, we see that we can be honest with God about our troubles.

Un dia a la Vez - Dios alivia mi dolor

Dios alivia mi dolor

Responde a mi clamor, Dios mío y defensor mío. Dame alivio cuando esté angustiado, apiádate de mí y escucha mi oración.
~ Salmo 4:1 (NVI)

Oh, Dios mío, en ti confío. Sé que eres mi consuelo y que en medio de esta prueba tú estás conmigo.

Quiero decirte, mi Dios, que aunque no entiendo el porqué estoy viviendo esta situación y estoy sufriendo, te ofrezco a ti cada lágrima, cada noche sin dormir, cada pensamiento negativo que ha llegado a mi mente de que mejor sería no existir y deposito mi corazón en ti para que lo llenes de tu amor.

Señor, renuévame y restaura mi alma. Permite que muy pronto pueda encontrar alivio a esta situación y logre ver la salida en medio de esta tribulación.

Señor, tú eres mi refugio y mi esperanza.

Señor, que se haga tu voluntad y no la mía.

Y ayúdame a aprender de esto que hoy me permites vivir.

Que pueda crecer después de esta prueba y sea capaz de ayudar a otras personas que sufren.

Gracias, mi Dios, por formar en mí el carácter de tu Hijo Jesucristo.

Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - SATAN’S ATTACK ON THE BIBLE


For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Brother Andrew continues his teaching on Satan’s strategic attacks:

The second prong of Satan’s attack is on the written word of God. He has historically tried to prevent Christians from having access to the Bible.

Satan understands the power of the Word of God. At the temptation of Jesus, he even made a sly attempt to use Scripture (actually misapplying it) to deflect Jesus from His true mission (Luke 4:1-3). Twisting Scripture is still a favorite tactic of Satan, and we believers need to know the Word so we can respond, just as Jesus did, with a well-applied “It is written…”

Peter recognized the significant role the Word has in our salvation. In his epistle to Christians passing through “fiery trials” he gives the words of encouragement in today’s scripture above.

Now you can understand my life’s passion to distribute the Bible, even in places where its importation or distribution is prohibited. Because I’ve gone around the world preaching that message, many people assume that I must have been the first “God’s smuggler.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

I personally believe that the first Bible smuggler probably was Timothy, the man Paul looked upon as his son in the gospel. This young man of delicate health, but of great spirituality and loyalty, was converted in Paul’s first campaign at Lystra. At the end of his life, when Paul was in prison in Rome, he looked to Timothy for comfort. In a letter to him, Paul asked his friend to bring his books to the prison the next time he visited.

In 2 Timothy 4:13 it becomes clear Paul was requesting that scrolls of Old Testament Scriptures be brought to him for further study. But how could Timothy get them into Rome and into the jail when, by that time, Christians has already become an outlawed sect? The only possible way would have been to smuggle them in with other items.

Billy Graham, in his book Hoofbeats, suggests that John the apostle had to write his Revelation secretly, while closely guarded by the Romans. The parchment manuscript pages would have been smuggled off the island of Patmos and Christian volunteers copy them for the churches…

This world is an enemy-occupied territory filled with souls to whom Christ holds rightful claim. Under Christ’s command, we invade countries by any means that will help us to get in with the Word of God…

Today I want others to have what makes me grow spiritually—the Bible.

RESPONSE: Today I will make every effort to ensure that the Bible is available to everyone to read and practice.

PRAYER: Pray for many believers around the world still waiting for their first personal Bible.

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

Women of the Bible - Rebekah


Her name means: "Loop" or "Tie"

Her character: Hardworking and generous, her faith was so great that she left her home forever to marry a man she had never seen or met. Yet she played favorites with her sons and failed to trust God fully for the promise he had made.
Her sorrow: That she was barren for the first twenty years of her married life, and that she never again set eyes on her favorite son, Jacob, after he fled from his brother Esau.
Her joy: That God had gone to extraordinary lengths to pursue her, to invite her to become part of his people and his promises.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 24; 25:19-34; 26:1-28:9

Her Story

The sun was dipping beyond the western rim of the sky as the young woman approached the well outside the town of Nahor, five hundred miles northeast of Canaan. It was women's work to fetch fresh water each evening, and Rebekah hoisted the brimming jug to her shoulder, welcoming its cooling touch against her skin.

As she turned to go, a stranger greeted her, asking for a drink. Obligingly, she offered to draw water for his camels as well. Rebekah noticed the look of surprised pleasure that flashed across his face. Ten camels could put away a lot of water, she knew. But had she overheard his whispered prayer just moments earlier, her astonishment would have exceeded his: "O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too'—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac."

A simple gesture. A generous response. A young woman's future altered in a moment's time. The man Rebekah encountered at the well, Abraham's servant, had embarked on a sacred mission—to find Isaac a wife from among Abraham's own people rather than from among the surrounding Canaanites. Like her great-aunt Sarah before her, Rebekah would make the journey south to embrace a future she could hardly glimpse. Betrothed to a man twice her age, whose name meant "Laughter," she felt a sudden giddiness rise inside her. The God of Abraham and Sarah was wooing her, calling her name and no other, offering a share in the promise. God was forging a new nation to be his own people.

Isaac was forty when he first set eyes on Rebekah. Perhaps his heart echoed the joy of that first man, "Here at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!" So Isaac and Rebekah entered the tent of his mother Sarah and made love. And the Bible says that Rebekah comforted Isaac after the death of his mother.

Rebekah was beautiful and strong like Sarah, yet she bore no children for the first twenty years of her life with Isaac. Would she suffer as Sarah did the curse of barrenness? Isaac prayed and God heard, giving her not one, but two sons, who wrestled inside her womb. And God told her: "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."

During the delivery, Jacob grasped the heel of his brother Esau, as though striving for first position. Though second by birth, he was first in his mother's affections. But his father loved Esau best.

Years later, when Isaac was old and nearly blind, he summoned his firstborn, Esau. "Take your quiver and bow and hunt some wild game for me. Prepare the kind of meal I like, and I will give you my blessing before I die."

But the clever Rebekah overheard and called quickly to Jacob, suggesting a scheme to trick the blessing from Isaac. Disguised as Esau, Jacob presented himself to his father for the much-coveted blessing.

Isaac then blessed Jacob, thinking he was blessing Esau: "May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."

Isaac had stretched out his hand and passed the choicest blessing to his younger son, thus recalling the words spoken about the two children jostling for position in Rebekah's womb. The benediction thus given could not be withdrawn, despite the deceit, despite Esau's tears, and despite his vow to kill Jacob. Afraid lest Esau take revenge, Rebekah persuaded Isaac to send Jacob north to find a wife from among her brother Laban's daughters.

As the years passed, Rebekah must have longed to embrace her younger son, hoping for the privilege of enfolding his children in her embrace. But more than twenty years would pass before Jacob returned. And though Isaac would live to welcome his son, Rebekah would not.

When Rebekah was a young girl, God had invited her to play a vital role in the story of his people. He had gone to great lengths to pursue her. Like Sarah, she would become a matriarch of God's people, and like Sarah, her heart would divide itself between faith and doubt, believing that God's promise required her intervention. Finding it difficult to rest in the promise God had made, she resorted to trickery to achieve it.

The results, mirroring her own heart, were mixed. Though Jacob indeed became heir to the promise, he was driven from his home and the mother who loved him too well. In addition, he and his descendants would forever be at odds with Esau and his people, the Edomites. Two thousand years later, Herod the Great, who hailed from Idumea (the Greek and Roman name for Edom) would slaughter many innocent children in his attempt to destroy the infant Jesus.

Yet God was still at work, graciously using a woman whose response to him was far less than perfect, in order to accomplish his purposes.

Her Promise

Rebekah heard Abraham's servant describe how he had prayed and how he was sure she was the woman God intended for Isaac. God himself had divinely orchestrated the events. Rebekah seemed to have known that and, when asked, answered simply, "I will go."

Did Rebekah fully realize God's plan for her? Was she open to following that plan? Or was she simply entranced with the romantic notions of a young girl looking for her knight in shining armor? Whatever her motivation, the events were planned by God, and he was able and willing to faithfully continue to fulfill his promises through her.

God's faithfulness, despite our waywardness and contrariness, is evident both throughout Scripture and throughout our lives. He will be faithful; he promises.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda (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.

LHM Devotion - January 29, 2018 "God's There"

Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"God's There"

Jan. 29, 2018

And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And He called His disciples to Him and said to them ... "she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
~ Mark 12:42-44 (ESV excerpts)

Sometimes I wonder about things the Bible felt no need to talk about.

For example, I wonder if the Sanhedrin managed to kill Lazarus even as they did Jesus. Another one of my wonderings is what happened to the widow who gave all she had? What happened to her?

Some people would say she prospered and lived happily ever after. If you think that, I'm not going to argue. There are certainly a lot of people in the Bible whom God decided to bless because they were faithful. In spite of occasional slips and sins made by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, God still took care of them. God has a wonderful track record of bestowing blessings upon His people. God gives to His people in abundance. How does He say it? Oh, I remember "good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over" (see Luke 6:38).

Still, I think it's dangerous to tell faithful Christians that they are going to have an easy life.

Some of the most faithful Christians I know are brothers and sisters around the world who are persecuted by their governments. As a parish pastor, I've seen numerous committed Christians endure one tragedy after another. Life isn't easy for them. No, I'd feel really uncomfortable making that kind of guarantee.

Is that just my opinion? Not really.

Jesus said, "If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (see Luke 9:23). Jesus promises a cross to His faithful people, and Paul shared some of those crosses when he wrote, "Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure" (see 2 Corinthians 11:20-29).

No, being a Christian doesn't guarantee that you will live a life that is simple, safe, secure, free from shadow, sadness, and sorrow. There's no guarantee for you or for the widow at the temple.

We've come back to that widow, haven't we? Would you like to know the rest of her story -- how things turned out for her? As I've already said, I can't supply the particulars, but there are some things I can say. I know that between the day when she put her mites into the temple's collection box and the day she breathed her last -- if she continued to trust her Lord -- I know the Lord never let her down.

If her life was hard, He was there to help her. If she was sad, He was there for her to lean on. Then, when her story was over, when the last chapter of her life had been written and the book was closed, God took her right past death and brought her to an eternity of happiness she could never have imagined: a place beyond her fondest dreams.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me remember that when it's my time to go, You will be there. Until then, may each day be filled with trust that You love me and can bring me through all the world may throw at me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Sometimes I wonder about things the Bible felt no need to talk about...

Devocional del CPTLN del 29 de Enero de 2018 "Amor"



29 de Enero de 2018

Pero Dios muestra su amor por nosotros en que, cuando aún éramos pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros.
~ Romanos 5:8 (RVC)

Para nuestros lectores de esta Devociones, esta es una historia de amor verdadero.

Adela tiene 78 años de edad, vive en Róterdam, Países Bajos, y ha fumado, y tratado de dejar de fumar, durante 50 años.

Como tantos otros, Adela ha fallado una y otra vez... continuamente... hasta hace poco.

Me complace anunciar que Adela finalmente ha renunciado a sus cigarrillos, puros y pipas. ¿Le gustaría saber cuál es el secreto de su éxito? Lo compartiré con ustedes aun cuando no le será útil a nadie más. Su arma secreta es: Leo, de 79 años de edad.

Leo le pidió a Adela que se casara con él, pero se rehusó a hacerlo hasta que ella dejara de fumar.

Adela dice: "Mi fuerza de voluntad nunca fue suficiente para terminar con mi adicción al tabaco. Pero el amor sí lo fue." Otra victoria para el amor.

El amor ha visto muchas otras victorias semejantes a lo largo de los siglos: ha terminado guerras, ha hecho la vida más fácil a millones, y puede transformar nuestros días en algo increíblemente maravilloso.

El poder del amor está vigente cada día de nuestra vida.

Por supuesto que, cuando hablamos de amor, seríamos terriblemente descuidados si no resaltáramos el más grande amor que este viejo mundo pecaminoso y triste ha visto jamás. Los lectores de estas Devociones Diarias inmediatamente sabrán que nos referimos, por supuesto, al amor que la humanidad ha recibido del Dios Trino.

El amor del Señor es increíblemente único.

El amor de Dios da aun cuando las personas no lo quieren y creen que no lo necesitan. El amor de Dios tiene iniciativa propia, se auto genera y es auto suficiente. El amor de Dios llega a aquéllos que son rechazados o no son amados por su apariencia física. Al amor de Dios no lo detiene ni la política, ni el tiempo, ni siquiera la tumba.

El amor de Dios está personificado en Jesús, y nos llega a través del poder del Espíritu Santo.

Y cuando el amor de Dios encuentra un lugar en los corazones pecadores, perdona, restaura, y transforma.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, no existe amor que se acerque a tu amor. Gracias por amarnos con amor eterno. Concédeme la gracia de amar a otros así como tú me has amado. 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.
Para nuestros lectores de esta Devociones, esta es una historia de amor verdadero.

Хлеб наш насущный - Как дети

Как дети

Читать сейчас: Матфея 18:1-5; 19:13-14
Библия за год: Исход 21-22; Матфея 19
Скачать MP3

Если не обратитесь и не будете как дети, не войдете в Царство Небесное.

Однажды вечером, укладываясь спать, наша двухлетняя дочь удивила маму вопросом: «Мама, а где Иисус?»

Луанн ответила: «Иисус на небесах, и Он также здесь, вместе с нами. А если ты попросишь, то Он придет в твое сердечко».

– Я хочу, чтобы Он пришел в сердечко.

– Когда подрастешь, то сможешь Его пригласить.

– Я хочу пригласить Его сейчас!

И наша девочка сказала: «Иисус, пожалуйста, приди в мое сердечко и живи со мной». Так началось ее путешествие веры.

Когда ученики спросили Иисуса, кто больший в Царстве Небесном, Он позвал ребенка, поставил его посреди них и сказал: «Если не обратитесь и не будете как дети, не войдете в Царство Небесное... и кто примет одно такое дитя во имя Мое, тот Меня принимает» (Мф. 18:1-5).

Доверчивый ребенок – образец угодной Богу веры. Кроме того, Господь хочет, чтобы мы принимали всех, кто открывает для Него сердце. «Пустите детей и не препятствуйте им приходить ко Мне, ибо таковых есть Царство Небесное» (Мф. 19:14).
осподь Иисус, благодарим Тебя за призвание следовать за Тобой с детской верой.
Вера во Христа должна быть как вера ребенка.

автор: Дэвид Маккасланд

© 2018 Хлеб Наш Насущный
Однажды вечером, укладываясь спать, наша двухлетняя дочь удивила маму вопросом: «Мама, а где Иисус?»

Girlfriends in God - Let’s Get This Straight

Let’s Get This Straight

Today’s Truth

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
~ Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

Friend to Friend

“Dear Sharon,” the letter began, “I found your e-mail on your website. I was searching for some information on what the Bible says about affairs. Somehow I came upon your site. I feel like I am on the verge of destroying my life. My life with my husband had never been good—marginal at best. I find myself working hard on my appearance so other men will notice and desire me. We have four children, and I’m miserable. My husband is in the military and away at boot camp. I’m glad he’s gone.

“I am on the verge of having an affair with just about anyone to escape my marriage. I don’t want to look back on my life and think I could have been happy with someone else. I feel like I am trapped in a loveless marriage. I want a divorce.”

Friend, can’t you just see the enemy rubbing his hands together like an anxious fly? I bet he shuddered when she clicked the SEND button on her computer screen and sent this e-mail to me. “Oh no,” I imagine him saying. “This could ruin everything.” He knew that I would help her recognize the lie.

When you consider the words in the previous letter, they really aren’t that different from the lies Eve believed in the Garden. God is holding out on me…I would be happy if…I’m going to take control of this situation… Rain on the consequences. Anything is better than this. 

When I hear stories of women overcome with hopelessness and despair, my heart breaks. This is not what God had in mind when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to die on Calvary’s cross, rise from the darkened tomb, and ascend to heaven from the Mount. This is not what God intended for His bride when He gave her the gift and the power of the Holy Spirit. No, Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). So what has happened to block the flow of abundant life into the hearts of men and women? Why are we not living in victory? Where is the living water? I believe the flow is blocked because we believe lies rather than the truth.

Robert McGee, author of Search for Significance, wrote, “One of the biggest steps we can take toward consistently glorifying Christ and walking in peace and joy with our heavenly Father is to recognize the deceit which had held us captive. Satan’s lies distort our true perspective, warp our thoughts, and produce painful emotions. If we cannot identify those lies, then it is very likely that we will continue to be defeated by them.”

John 10:10 reveals Jesus’ intention for abundant life and the enemy’s intention to block it. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” We have already realized who the real enemy is, and he is doing everything in his power to keep Christians from experiencing the abundant life. His ultimate goal is our utter destruction and his MO is lies.

The Bible says, “For we are not ignorant of his [Satan’s] schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11 nasb, emphasis added). “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11, emphasis added). His schemes include a step-by-step progressive plan of one lie that leads to another lie that leads to another lie. He begins small and works his way up to more destructive and disastrous misbeliefs. The way we stop the progression is to do as Barney Fife suggests in The Andy Griffith Show: “Nip it in the bud.” Recognize the lie the moment it enters your mind.

But the only way to recognize a lie is to know the truth. We must know the truth so that when a counterfeit comes along we recognize right away its lack of authenticity.

When someone is training to become a bank teller, he or she is taught how to recognize counterfeit money. However, the instructors do not teach what counterfeit bills look like. Rather, they teach what genuine money looks like. They study the markings, the coloring, and the feel of real money so when the counterfeit comes along, the teller can recognize it.

D. L. Moody once said, “The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.”

So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to lay the straight stick of God’s Word alongside every thought that enters our minds. And then we’re going to make a decision: true or false.

That decision can determine the destiny of your day.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, please help me to detect the lies that tumble about in my mind. Give me the wisdom to recognize the lies, reject the lies, and replace the lies with truth...You Truth. I pray the Holy Spirit will convict me quickly, and that I will respond obediently.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Write down three lies that you have believed about yourself. Pray and ask God to show you what they are.

Now go back and write down three truths from Scripture that debunk those lies.

If you can’t think of the truths from Scripture, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

More From the Girlfriends

You’ve heard the lies before. Maybe even whispered one or two to yourself from time to time. Maybe repeated them so often you’ve started to believe them. “Nobody loves me. I’m worthless. I would be happier married to someone else. I’m just not good enough.” The list goes on. It’s time to recognize the enemy’s lies and to replace those lies with the Bible’s liberating truth. It’s time to renew your mind and think God’s thought rather than be held in bondage by the enemy’s deceptions. It’s time to be set free to see yourself as God see you: His holy, chosen, cleansed, forgiven and dearly loved child. Now that’s a truth worth repeating. To learn more, check out my book, I’m Not Good Enough...and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves.

Seeking God?
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Girlfriends in God