Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, February 15, 2018

Jesus Prays for His Disciples
John 17:1-8

Daily Readings

Habakkuk 3:1-18
A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk according to Shigionoth. O LORD, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe, O LORD, of your work. In our own time revive it; in our own time make it known; in wrath may you remember mercy. God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. The brightness was like the sun; rays came forth from his hand, where his power lay hidden. Before him went pestilence, and plague followed close behind. He stopped and shook the earth; he looked and made the nations tremble. The eternal mountains were shattered; along his ancient pathways the everlasting hills sank low. I saw the tents of Cushan under affliction; the tent-curtains of the land of Midian trembled. Was your wrath against the rivers, O LORD? Or your anger against the rivers, or your rage against the sea, when you drove your horses, your chariots to victory? You brandished your naked bow, sated were the arrows at your command. Selah You split the earth with rivers. The mountains saw you, and writhed; a torrent of water swept by; the deep gave forth its voice. The sun raised high its hands; the moon stood still in its exalted place, at the light of your arrows speeding by, at the gleam of your flashing spear. In fury you trod the earth, in anger you trampled nations. You came forth to save your people, to save your anointed. You crushed the head of the wicked house, laying it bare from foundation to roof. Selah You pierced with their own arrows the head of his warriors, who came like a whirlwind to scatter us, gloating as if ready to devour the poor who were in hiding. You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the mighty waters. I hear, and I tremble within; my lips quiver at the sound. Rottenness enters into my bones, and my steps tremble beneath me. I wait quietly for the day of calamity to come upon the people who attack us. Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will exult in the God of my salvation.

Philippians 3:12-21
Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

John 17:1-8
After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed. "I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

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.
"Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you...

Prayer of the Day for THURSDAY, February 15, 2018


Please God our father, help me through the trials and tribulations I’m experiencing in my life. For years I have been victim to feeling alienated and alone, and I faithfully ask for your help. Guide me through these storms of life, and help me to remember that you alone are the way, the truth and the light. Stay with O, Lord in times when I feel there is no end to the pain I feel. Help me to remember, you, too carried a heavy cross, and yet you persevered. You knew our God had a plan, and that is what he intended for each and everyone of us, even though we may not understand. Please be at our side, and let us understand that by looking to you, we will obtain the wisdom and love that will complete us. Thank you Lord Jesus.
Amen

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, February 15, 2018


James 1:2-4  (NIV) [Trials and Temptations] Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Read all of James 1:2-4

Listen to James 1:2-4

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 - Celebrate the Reason Behind Your Trials


Celebrate the Reason Behind Your Trials

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
~ Acts 5:41 (NIV)

James pictures these disenfranchised Israelites as “falling into” trials. The phrase “falling into” might be better translated “encountering.” It is the same term used in the story of the good Samaritan of the man who “fell among thieves.”

By the use of these words, it is obvious that the suffering believers were not overtaken by some sinful activity or temptation. Rather, they were being exploited and slandered and litigated by the rich. God was allowing these experiences to strengthen and mature their faith.

For the Jews, the trials were packaged as persecution. For us today, they could be any number of things: the loss of a job, a divorce, trouble with our children, severe financial strain, illness or death in the family, or relational problems over which we have little control.

It would be easy for us to reason that since we are not experiencing any difficulty at this time, such teaching on trials is not applicable to us. But please note that James does not say if you encounter trials, but when you encounter trials.

And when these inevitable trials come, our first strategy, according to James, is to consider it all joy.

To consider it all joy in the midst of our trials is to respond with a deliberate, intelligent appraisal of our situation. We must learn to look at the experience from God’s perspective and recognize the trial not as a happy experience in itself but as a means of producing something very valuable in life.

Philip Yancey helps us to understand this often-misunderstood concept: “’Rejoicing in suffering’ does not mean Christians should act happy about tragedy and pain when they feel like crying. Such a view distorts honesty and true expression of feelings. Christianity is not phony. The Bible’s spotlight is on the end result, the use God can make of suffering in our lives. Before He can produce that result, however, He first needs our commitment of trust in Him, and the process of giving Him that commitment can be described as rejoicing.”

As you live in the present consider the future, think forward to the future. Gloom now, but glory in the days to come.
Please God our father, help me through the trials and tribulations I’m experiencing in my life. For years I have been victim to feeling alienated and alone, and I faithfully ask for your help. Guide me through these storms of life, and help me to remember that you alone are the way, the truth and the light. Stay with O, Lord in times when I feel there is no end to the pain I feel. Help me to remember, you, too carried a heavy cross, and yet you persevered. You knew our God had a plan, and that is what he intended for each and everyone of us, even though we may not understand. Please be at our side, and let us understand that by looking to you, we will obtain the wisdom and love that will complete us. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen
In Jesus,
Chaplain Kenny

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

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.
For the Jews, the trials were packaged as persecution. For us today, they could be any number of things...

Un dia a la Vez - Oración por protección


Oración por protección

En paz me acuesto y me duermo, porque solo tú, Señor, me haces vivir confiado.
~ Salmo 4:8 (NVI)

Dios mío, Padre mío… solo tú me haces vivir confiado. A esta hora levanto mi oración para pedirte que me protejas de todo mal y peligro.

Ahora soy consciente de que el enemigo quiere destruirme, quiere aprovecharse de mi debilidad y quiere robarme la felicidad.

Te pido, Dios mío, que me ayudes a reconocerte cada día en mis caminos y me llenes de tu amor y de tu gozo.

Te suplico, Padre eterno, que guardes a mis hijos y a mi familia. Que guardes mi negocio, mi economía y mi trabajo, pero sobre todo que guardes mi integridad y mi testimonio.

Envía tus ángeles a mi alrededor, a mi casa y a mi auto. Dame un resto del día muy feliz.

Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Dios mío, Padre mío… solo tú me haces vivir confiado. A esta hora levanto mi oración para pedirte que me protejas de todo mal y peligro.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - WHEN LIFE STINKS, OUR PERSPECTIVE SHRINKS


WHEN LIFE STINKS, OUR PERSPECTIVE SHRINKS

The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land…”
~ Exodus 3:7-8 (NIV)

God’s chosen people were enslaved in miserable bondage and were crying out to Him in their suffering. God speaks to Moses about it at the burning bush and reveals His sustaining care for His people.

First of all, they were in Egypt because God cared for them. He rescued the Israeli nation from death by famine during the time of Joseph who himself was rescued from injustice and suffering to bring a solution to the coming famine crisis. This saved both the Israeli and the Egyptian nations. But a Pharaoh came along in time who did not know about Joseph and chose to persecute the growing Israeli population because of his fear of them.

In this situation they were not forgotten by the God of their fathers. Though, for wise reason, He delayed to appear in their behalf for several hundred years, yet He was not indifferent to their sufferings. Every tear they shed was preserved and every groan they uttered was recorded as testimony against their oppressors. Only God sees the beginning from the end. We are time-bound creatures and as problems arise, our perspective becomes diminished. African-American preachers articulate it this way: “When life stinks, our perspective shrinks!”

Years earlier God spoke to Father Abram in his sleep: “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there…In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure” (Genesis 15:13, 16). In this situation God reveals His plan to Abram ahead of time and explains the “why.” He does not always do this, but from this example we learn we can trust His Father-heart.

So today we pray for persecuted church members who are suffering severely from Satan’s tactics of deceit and intimidation: loss of family members (Nigeria), economic deprivation (India), incarceration in metal shipping containers (Eritrea), lack of personal peace (Pakistan), fear of discovery (Middle East). As we pray, we can rest in the fact that they (and we) are part of God’s wise and caring plan, no matter how inscrutable that plan may appear to human eyes. There is hope because He hears the cry; He sees the misery; He is concerned about the suffering. When it seems dark and hopeless, the persecuted testify “God is good—all the time!”

RESPONSE: I will live in the light of God’s loving care and view my problems from His perspective.

PRAYER: Pray that persecuted believers will trust God and not suffer from shrunken perspectives.

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

Men's Devotional Bible - First Serve


First Serve

Mark 10:35–45
Recommended Reading: Joshua 24:14–27; Matthew 6:19–24; Ephesians 6:5–9

When was the last time you volunteered to do something in service to another person? If you’re a father, you’ve probably done something selfless already to serve your child or children today. If you’re a husband, chances are you can remember the last time you served your wife without her asking. But if you’re a single guy in your first job, scraping together a living and trying to make ends meet, it’s possible that it’s been a while. Most of us know we should serve others, but we don’t really know how. Talking about serving is a lot easier than actually doing it.

Jesus served throughout his ministry. When he served others, the act often involved self-sacrifice. Ultimately, he sacrificed his life for our sins. When we serve others, especially those who have no way of repaying us, we imitate Jesus. We represent Christ to those we serve. Kenneth Leech writes, “Christian spirituality is the spirituality of the Poor Man of Nazareth who took upon himself the form of a servant. To follow the way of the kingdom is therefore to follow him who fed the hungry, healed the sick, befriended the outcast, and blessed the peacemakers.”

Even with Jesus living and serving right in front of them, the disciples didn’t seem to get it. They wondered how they could be great. But Jesus answered, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” (Mark 10:43–44).

That’s the paradox of serving. When we give ourselves away in service, we find ourselves. When we empty ourselves in service, we find fulfillment.

A lot of people search for identity and self-fulfillment. Most look for it in repeated highs of promotions, exotic vacations or an endless parade of worldly possessions. But real fulfillment comes from serving God by serving others. When we give ourselves away in service to others, we find meaning and joy in life that selfishness can never equal.

To Take Away
  • What opportunities do you have to serve others—even people who can’t ever repay you?
  • What small and practical acts of service can you do at work or in your neighborhood to serve others?
  • What steps can you take to cultivate a selfless and humble heart of service?
When was the last time you volunteered to do something in service to another person?

Girlfriends in God - Is Your Past Still Tripping You Up?


Is Your Past Still Tripping You Up?

Today’s Truth

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

Friend to Friend

It spoke to me as I strolled down the check out aisle of Marshalls that day. The wall art that was featured on an impulse-buy rack.

Amen! I thought.

The message? Simple: “Don't Stumble On Things That Are Behind You.”

My mind reeled, and I thought hard about this seemingly simple directive that points to a habit that trips so many of us up: looking back. Allowing the past to deter and diminish our present and our future.

The Apostle Paul had a difficult past to contend with. His early years were spent learning laws and tormenting Chris followers. Then he met Jesus and everything changed for him. He chose to move forward as the new man he’d become.

Instead of wallowing in the muck of condemnation, he stepped into the grace of Christ with determination. With a fresh mission. He wrote a heart-felt message similar to the wall art in his New Testament letter to the believers in the church of Philippi. That familiar, challenging passage…

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But 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 3:10-14)

Many of us know this section of scripture, but it’s important for us to realize that the conversation doesn’t end there. What Paul says next is a game-changing statement:

Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (Philippians 3:15-16, ESV)

I want to be mature. I want to think this way. Don’t you?

I want to hold true to what I’ve attained in Christ.

It’s the way of life!

I read this and I begin to realize that what Paul is really saying is something to this effect: Let it go, people! Move on. Greater things await you. Don’t look back. It's no good for you. You won’t gain any traction on the plans that God has for you. If you choose to look back then you need to grow up because that is not where your promise lies. If you are mature in your faith you will believe the gospel. When you are forgiven … You. Are. Forgiven. Believe it. What Jesus did for you and me covers anything that we lay at His feet. Fully.

I’m reminded that it's time to move forward. That it’s time to fix my eyes on what is ahead, not on what is behind. That God’s mercies are new every day.

Clearly this press-on message is not about sweeping un-confessed sins under a rug and pretending they don’t exist. When we stumble - when we sin - we can’t just forget it and move on. We are to confess it to the Lord, and ask Him for forgiveness.

Grace meets us in the asking and settles it with God. Because of this we can move forward in His grace. Even when life is complicated and messy.

And it’s not about locking deep heart wounds in a secret compartment of your heart. The Bible invites us to take our aching, angry, abused, or offended hearts to Jesus so that He can give us the rest we long for. Healing for our heart wounds.

The reward of faith is freedom in Christ. The past has no hold on us.

Grace fixes the gaze of the believer forward.

So the next time I’m tempted to look back at a failure or an old heart wound, I will remember the wall art wisdom from Marshalls and choose not to beat myself up, not to re-hash that painful conversation, not to blame that person … not to stumble on things that are behind me.

Instead I will reach for grace. I will reach for Jesus and call to Him for help.

And in the reaching I begin to take my place among the mature-in-faith.

Let’s Pray

Holy Lord, Thank You for grace. Please help me move beyond the hurdles that trip me up and give me the strength and wisdom to look up and see the hope I run toward in Christ.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Struggling with this? Let me ask you a few direct questions {in love}. Do you really think that living in the past and letting it loom large in your now is helping you? Is it empowering you to grow in strength, dignity and joy? Is it fueling you toward the prize that awaits you in Christ? No? Then be done with it in Jesus’ name. Spend a few moments in prayer and write about this in your journal.

CLICK to TWEETThe reward of faith is freedom in Christ. The past has no hold on us. @GwenSmithMusic @TweetWithGiG

More from the Girlfriends

Tired of life living you … instead of the other way around?

This study will help you:

* Step into the renewal and rest that is best for your weary, stressed-out heart so that you won't be shaken by the swirling pace of this fast-moving world.

* Quiet feelings of loneliness, fear, and doubt by accepting the Biblical truth that even when you feel unseen, anxious, and afraid, God is present, peace-giving, and compassionate.

* Learn practical prayer points that will clear away heart clutter, calm concerns, and bolster believing.

JOIN US March 5 - April 9 as we study "I WANT IT ALL” by Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith. Sign up today for FREE: https://gwensmith.net/iwia2018

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/
It spoke to me as I strolled down the check out aisle of Marshalls that day.

LHM Devotion - February 15, 2018 "Stones or Bread?"

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20180215

Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Stones or Bread?"

Feb. 15, 2018

Read Matthew 4:1-4

And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."
~ Matthew 4:3 (ESV)

I suppose the stones by Jesus' feet looked a little like loaves of bread. To someone who had gone hungry for over a month, they probably really looked like bread. But they weren't. Nobody wants a mouthful of rocks.

And so the devil proposed a plan to Jesus. "Turn these stones into bread." Easy, right? Never mind the fact that God doesn't do that sort of thing -- that bread comes from a living grain which grows in earth which was only rock hundreds or thousands of years ago, before it eroded. Skip that process. Never mind all the hard work that goes into farming and baking. Skip that too. Never mind that it would be for Jesus' own personal convenience! Just do it. It's fast and easy. Meet your own needs first.

But Jesus said no -- and continued to suffer hunger. The bread He ate later, He got the hard way.

Sometimes I wonder if God was ever tempted to just wave a hand and immediately change our stony hearts into living, warm ones. How easy it would be! No trouble, no waiting, no suffering-no cross.

And that's the problem. Jesus doesn't take the easy way out. If He's going to transform our stony hearts, He's going to do it God's way, in God's time -- through His own suffering, death, and resurrection. He's going to do it even if it means He has to be worn down like rocks slowly becoming earth. He's going to do it even if He must make Himself the single grain of wheat He described to His disciples, the one that "falls into the earth and dies... (and) bears much fruit" (see John 12:24).

And that's exactly what He did. Jesus followed "every word that comes from the mouth of God" (see Matthew 4:4). Today He lives -- never to die again -- and we live, too.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for Your patience and willingness to do what's right. Give me a heart that is like Yours. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
I suppose the stones by Jesus' feet looked a little like loaves of bread.

Devocional del CPTLN de 15 de Febrero de 2018 "¿PIEDRAS O PAN?"


ALIMENTO DIARIO

"¿PIEDRAS O PAN?"

15 de Febrero de 2018

Leer Mateo 4:1-4

El tentador se le acercó, y le dijo: "Si eres Hijo de Dios, di que estas piedras se conviertan en pan".
~ Mateo 4:3 (RVC)

Quizás las piedras que estaban a los pies de Jesús parecían pequeños panes. "Di que estas piedras se conviertan en pan." Fácil, ¿verdad? Más allá del hecho que Dios no hace ese tipo de cosas, pues el pan se hace a partir de una semilla viva que crece en la tierra que durante cientos o miles de años erosionó de la roca. Más allá del trabajo duro que implica labrar y cultivar la tierra, y amasar y hornear. ¡Más allá de que sólo sería para el bien personal de Jesús! "Sólo hazlo. Es rápido y fácil. Satisface primero tus deseos."

Pero Jesús dijo que no y siguió sufriendo hambre. El pan que comió más tarde, lo obtuvo con gran esfuerzo.

A veces me pregunto si en algún momento Dios estuvo tentado de cambiar instantáneamente nuestros corazones de piedra en corazones vivos y cálidos. ¡Qué fácil sería! No más problemas, no más espera, no más sufrimiento... no más cruz.

Pero ese es el problema. Jesús no toma la salida fácil. Si va a transformar nuestros corazones de piedra, lo va a hacer a la manera de Dios y en el tiempo de Dios: a través de su propio sufrimiento, muerte y resurrección. Lo va a hacer aun cuando ello signifique que tenga que ser apedreado, convirtiéndose lentamente en tierra. Lo va a hacer aun cuando ello signifique que tenga que convertirse en ese grano de trigo que describió a sus discípulos, el que cae en la tierra y muere para producir muchos frutos (ver Juan 12:24).

Y eso es exactamente lo que hizo. Jesús siguió "toda palabra que sale de la boca de Dios" (ver Mateo 4:4). Y porque así lo hizo, hoy vive-eternamente-y nosotros también.

ORACIÓN: Querido Jesús, gracias por tu paciencia y deseo de hacer lo que es correcto. Renueva y limpia mi corazón para que sea cada vez más como el tuyo. Amén.

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Quizás las piedras que estaban a los pies de Jesús parecían pequeños panes.

Хлеб наш насущный - Его водительство

https://russian-odb.org/2018/02/15/%d0%b5%d0%b3%d0%be-%d0%b2%d0%be%d0%b4%d0%b8%d1%82%d0%b5%d0%bb%d1%8c%d1%81%d1%82%d0%b2%d0%be/

Его водительство

Читать сейчас: 3 Царств 19:19-21 | Библия за год: Левит 17-18; Матфея 27:27-50


[Елисей] встал и пошел за Илией и стал служить ему.

В детстве я с нетерпением ждала вечерних воскресных собраний в нашей церкви. Они были потрясающие. Вечер воскресенья часто означал, что к нам приедут миссионеры или другие приглашенные служители. Я заслушивалась их проповедями. Эти люди были готовы оставить семью и друзей, а также дом, имущество и карьеру, чтобы отправиться в незнакомые и порой опасные места для служения Богу.

Подобно тем миссионерам, Елисей тоже многое оставил ради служения (3 Цар. 19:19-21). Мы мало знаем о его жизни до встречи с пророком Илией. Разве только то, что он занимался земледелием. Илия нашел его на поле, когда Елисей ходил за плугом, и набросил на него свой плащ (символ пророческого служения), тем самым призвав идти за собой. Елисей попросил разрешения проститься с родителями, а затем принес в жертву волов на огне из упряжи и отправился за Илией.

Хотя далеко не каждому нужно совершать такие подвиги, Господь хочет, чтобы мы все следовали за Ним и каждый поступал «так, как Бог ему определил, и каждый, как Господь призвал» (1 Кор. 7:17). Я по себе знаю, что служение Богу может быть непростым в любом месте, даже если мы никогда не выезжали из дома.
Дорогой Господь, сделай нас Твоими миссионерами там, где Ты нас поместил: близко или далеко, дома или в чужой стране.
* * *
Как нам следовать за Христом? Прочитайте о пути веры Марии Магдалины в брошюре «Наученная Иисусом».
Бог покажет, как служить Ему в любом месте.


© 2018 Хлеб Наш Насущный
В детстве я с нетерпением ждала вечерних воскресных собраний в нашей церкви.