Monday, February 19, 2018

The Daily Readings for MONDAY, February 19, 2018

The Proclamation of John the Baptist
Mark 1:1-8

Daily Readings

Genesis 37:1-11
Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. This is the story of the family of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, "Listen to this dream that I dreamed. There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf." His brothers said to him, "Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?" So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words. He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, "Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, "What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?" So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

1 Corinthians 1:1-19
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind-- just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you-- so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ." Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart."

Mark 1:1-13
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'" John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

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.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'"

Prayer of the Day for MONDAY, February 19, 2018

Father, your love for us surpasses all our hopes and desires. Forgive our failings, keep us in your peace and lead us in the way of salvation. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, February 19, 2018

1 John 4:7-8 (NIV) [God’s Love and Ours] Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Read all of 1 John 4

Listen to 1 John 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 - The Source of Love

The Source of Love

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
~ 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)

What if someone told you they loved you, but then spread a terrible rumor about you behind your back? Would you believe that person? Maybe if it happened once, you could forgive and move on. But if it happened over and over again, you’d have a good reason to doubt that person’s love.

As believers, we are supposed to love others as we love ourselves. Yet often we are guilty of treating people in unloving ways. We all do it, and that’s a shame, because it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there’s no reason for it to be that way.

We can use the excuse that we’re only human, but it’s not human love that we rely on. According to 1 John 4:8, the God we serve is love. Everything that is loving or shows love comes from him. He is the source of all love.

As his children, we have constant access to his love. When we have a hard time feeling love for other people, we only need to ask God for his love. That’s what he wants us to do. If we’re not showing God’s love to others, we give people a reason to doubt whether God’s love is really in us or if God’s love is even real. And once doubt creeps in, trust is hard to regain.
Father, your love for us surpasses all our hopes and desires. Forgive our failings, keep us in your peace and lead us in the way of salvation. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In Jesus,
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.
Do you think you are ever hard to love?

Un dia a la Vez - ¿Quién soy yo?

¿Quién soy yo?

Porque el Señor es bueno y su gran amor es eterno; su fidelidad permanece para siempre.
~ Salmo 100:5 (NVI)

La gran ventaja de poder declarar que somos hijos de Dios es entender que nuestra identidad debe estar en Él.

Dios es el Rey, y si somos sus hijos, no solo somos hijos del Rey, sino que debemos aprender a vernos como tales. Muchos que hacen este cambio se acercan muchísimo a Dios, pero se sienten muy pobres. ¿Crees que por ser cristiano debas tener escasez y mendigar? De seguro olvidas que tienes privilegios.

No importa la idea que te vendieron en tu niñez. Si te maltrataron, o fuiste la oveja negra de la familia, o si vienes de una iglesia legalista, Dios te recibe en sus brazos de amor. La prueba de que Dios nos lleva de su mano es que sentirás su presencia. Experimentarás cómo te concede las peticiones más profundas de tu corazón de una manera única.

Así que mi recomendación es que consigas una Biblia y una iglesia. ¡Esto es clave para alimentarte bien! También busca las más de tres mil promesas que Dios nos ofrece en su Palabra a cada uno de nosotros.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Dios es el Rey, y si somos sus hijos, no solo somos hijos del Rey, sino que debemos aprender a vernos como tales.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - RELGIOUS LIBERTY


So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
~ John 8:36 (NIV)

Ron Boyd MacMillan is a perceptive communicator. He writes for the next two days:

As my plane touched down after a trip to the Middle East, I breathed a big sigh of relief. I was back where I did not have to watch my back, be careful what I said, or where I went. Whew. I was back in a country that had religious freedom. I prayed to God, “Thank you for the men and women who fought to bring me this freedom. Thank God they won.”

Then two incidents happened one after the other that made me think again.

I was at an art exhibition and looking at a painting entitled, Man startled on a horse. I sought out the artist and said, “Was that the Apostle Paul on the Damascus road you were depicting?” I thought he would be pleased I had figured it out.

But he looked horrified, and glancing around he hissed, “For goodness sake keep quiet. Do you want me to get labeled as a religious artist? I’d never sell another painting if that happened.”

Then I was talking to a priest in charge of a large church in my city. His church had just received a large sum of money from the state for the refurbishment of a church hall. Then he said, “Well, we had to sign an agreement that the church would be available for everyone of any religion, and that we would not try to convert anyone. But we were happy to do that. We just want to be a community resource.”

Suddenly I became aware that I had to fight for religious liberty in my own country. I had thought that because certain toleration laws were in place, I was safe.

But no, it was clear from the artist that to admit one’s Christian faith in a public context was professional suicide.

How did my society suddenly get so prejudiced?

And look at the priest blithely giving up his right to evangelize, without a thought to the long-term cost. Who was asking him to refrain from evangelizing? And how could he be so unaware of the freedom he just signed away?

RESPONSE: Today I will not assume that freedom is automatic. I will stand up for the truth of God’s Word and be truly free.

PRAYER: Lord, may I never take the free expression of my faith for granted. Help me to understand the challenges that representing Your truth will bring.

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 - Tamar, Daughter-in-Law of Judah

Tamar, Daughter-in-Law of Judah

Her name means: "Date Tree" or "Palm Tree"

Her character: Driven by one overwhelming need, she sacrificed her reputation and nearly her life to achieve her goals.
Her sorrow: That the men in her life failed to fulfill their responsibility, leaving her a childless widow.
Her joy: That her daring behavior resulted, not in ruin, but in the fulfillment of her hopes to bear children.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 38; Matthew 1:3

Her Story

Genealogies hardly make compelling reading at bedtime—or at any other time, for that matter. Perhaps you welcome them with a yawn, or skip over them entirely as you read through the Bible. But even long lists of bewildering names can reveal interesting insights into God's mysterious plan. That's the way the Scriptures work, yielding hidden riches on every page.

Take the genealogy in the first chapter of Matthew, for instance. It lists a grand total of forty-one male ancestors of Jesus, beginning with Abraham, and a mere five female ancestors, three of whose stories (those of Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba) are colored by such distasteful details as incest, prostitution, fornication, adultery, and murder.

Jesus, the perfect Son of the perfect Father, had plenty of imperfect branches in his family tree and enough colorful characters to populate a modern romance novel. That women should be mentioned at all in his genealogy is surprising, let alone that four of the five got pregnant out of wedlock. In addition, at least three of the women were foreigners, not Israelites.

Tamar fell into both categories. Her father-in-law, Judah (son of Jacob and Leah), had arranged for her to marry his firstborn, Er. Half Canaanite and half Hebrew, Er was a wicked man, whom God killed for his sins. That's all we know of him.

After Er came Onan, Judah's second son. As was the custom of the time, Judah gave Onan to the widowed Tamar, instructing him to sleep with her so that she could have children to carry on Er's line. But Onan was far too crafty for his own good. He slept with Tamar, but then "spilled his semen on the ground," thus ensuring Tamar's barrenness. That way he would not be saddled with the responsibility for children who would carry on his brother's line rather than his own. But God took note, and Onan, too, died for his wickedness.

Already Judah had lost two sons to Tamar. Should he risk a third? Shelah was his only remaining son, not yet fully grown. To placate his daughter-in-law, Judah instructed Tamar to return to her father's house and live as a widow until Shelah was of marriageable age. But time passed like a sluggish river, and Tamar continued to wear her widow's garments as Selah grew up.

After Judah's wife died, he set out one day for Timnah to shear his sheep. Hearing the news of her father-in-law's journey, Tamar decided to take desperate and dramatic action. If Judah would not give her his youngest son in marriage, she would do her best to propagate the family name in her own way. Shedding her widow's black, she disguised herself in a veil, impersonating a prostitute, and sat down beside the road to Timnah. Judah slept with her and gave her his personal seal and cord along with his staff in pledge of future payment.

About three months later, Judah learned that Tamar was pregnant, little realizing he was responsible for her condition. Outraged that she had prostituted herself, he ordered her burned to death. But before the sentence could be carried out, Tamar sent him a stunning message: "I am pregnant by the man who owns these. See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are."

The man who had so quickly passed judgment, little heeding his own secret tryst with a prostitute, was suddenly taken up short. To his credit, he told the truth, saying, "She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn't give her to my son Shelah."

Six months later, Tamar gave birth to twins. Once again, as with Jacob and Esau, the children struggled in her womb. A tiny hand came out and then disappeared, but not before being tied with a scarlet thread by the midwife. Then a small, slippery body emerged, but with no trace of the red thread. They named the first boy Perez (meaning "Breaking Out"). Then the little one with the scarlet ribbon was born and they named him Zerah (meaning "Scarlet"). Perez was recognized as the firstborn. From his line would come King David and finally, hundreds of years later, Jesus of Nazareth.

Judah had shown little concern regarding the continuance of his line. Instead, God used a woman, shamed by her own barrenness and determined to overcome it, to ensure that the tribe of Judah would not only survive but that it would one day bear the world's Messiah.

Her Promise

The story in Genesis 38 reveals nothing about Tamar's knowledge of God's hand in the events of her life. More than likely, she was totally unaware of the power of God at work. But he was at work nevertheless, bringing good out of tragedy and blessing out of less than honorable events.

That's the beauty of this story. God's power to bring positive things from the negative, even sinful, events of our lives is just as much at work now as in Tamar's day. We may not see it today or tomorrow—or perhaps ever—but we can trust the God we love to do what he loves: bring blessing to us in spite of ourselves.

This devotional is drawn from Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda. Used with permission.
Driven by one overwhelming need, she sacrificed her reputation and nearly her life to achieve her goals.

Girlfriends in God - Final Goals or Faithful Steps?

Final Goals or Faithful Steps?

Today’s Truth

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

Friend to Friend

Every year at New Years, I’ve made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in the next twelve months. The list usually looks a little something like this:
  • Lose twenty pounds
  • Read fifty books
  • Declutter the whole house
  • Grow my business by 20%
I spend a lot of time dreaming about what my life will look like if those things happen: how much better I’ll look, how much more peaceful my home will be, and how much more successful I’ll be if I can just accomplish those things.

But about three weeks into the New Year, my resolve starts to waiver. The first week I’m all starvation and Salvation Army. I will get this weight off – of my body as well as out of my house! And then obstacles come up and my “Eye of the Tiger” passion starts to fade. I realize that my New Year’s burst of energy has fizzled, and really, how did I expect to get all that done? So instead, I’ll eat the leftover chocolate Christmas orange and watch a Real Housewives marathon.

After decades of making goals, I’ve finally come to the realization that I’ve been doing it wrong all these years. My goals were always focused on the end, focused on the reward waiting when the huge goal was accomplished. I spent so much time focused on the outcome, the part that I tried to control but couldn’t, that I wasn’t paying attention to the part I needed to focus on – the small part that was my responsibility.

Instead of the final goal, I need to stay focused on the faithful step I can make.

Instead of outcomes, I need to stay focused on my output.

So instead of “Read fifty books” (the final goal), I now say “I will set aside thirty minutes in the evening for reading” (my faithful step).

Instead of “Lose twenty pounds” I now say, “I will walk for 30 minutes in the morning.”

Because when I am focused on the outcome, I miss the One who is making the miracle happen. I miss God’s hand in my life because I’m convinced that I’m the one who is making things happen.

We would all love to believe that we have absolute control over how our lives will turn out, but just like those who work the farm, some of us plant the seeds, some of us water, but the final results are up to God and God alone.

Our job, just like those farmers, is to faithfully show up and take the next step.

And as much as I would like to lose twenty pounds in the next year, the pounds can’t be the focus. This morning’s walk has to be.

What is your next most faithful step?

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank You for honoring not just the outcomes, but also the next steps. Help me to be faithful in everything You have for me, and to keep my eyes only on You.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

For one of the goals you have for yourself, what is the one, next, most faithful step you can take?

More from the Girlfriends

If one of your next most faithful steps is to start decluttering your home, join us in the Facebook group Clutter Free Academy where we help world changers get free from clutter so they can be free to go change their world.

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

Girlfriends in God
Every year at New Years, I’ve made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in the next twelve months.

LHM Devotion - February 19, 2018 "A Hole In the Roof"

Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"A Hole In the Roof"

Feb. 19, 2018

Read Mark 2:1-12

And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
~ Mark 2:3-5 (ESV)

It must have taken a lot of faith. Imagine being a paralyzed man confined to bed when your friends show up and tell you Jesus is in town. They want to ask Him to heal you. And since you can't walk, they're going to take you to Him in your bed, just as you are. It's a good thing there are four of them to carry you!

But it gets more exciting. There's such a crowd you can't even get into the house where Jesus is. You think you'll have to give up. Then someone says the dreaded words: "We could go up on the flat roof and make a hole..."

Up the outside stairs they take you -- you hold your breath and hope they don't drop you. Then they take off tiles and dig through the clay of the roof. Shouts come from below. People realize something's going on, and then your friends pull out the layer of branches below the clay. Dirt falls into the hole and sifts down on Jesus and the people closest to Him. Then your friends let your bed frame down through the hole, inch by inch, till you're hanging right in front of Jesus.

Surprisingly, Jesus ignores the roof hole, the crowd, and even your paralysis. He begins by saying, "Your sins are forgiven." Forget the wrecked roof, the wrecked body -- what matters right now is the wrecked soul. He says the gracious words that only He could say, because He is the One who will make them true by laying down His own life on the cross: "You are forgiven." Every bad thing you've said or thought or wanted -- all of that is wiped out. Only then does Jesus heal your body.

Shortly afterward, there is nothing left of this amazing miracle but the roof hole. No paralysis -- that's healed. No patient -- you've gone home at Jesus' command, taking your bed with you. No sin -- Jesus has taken that away with Him. The only thing left is the open sky seen through the roof -- because to Jesus, you matter more than any roof.

THE PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for how much You love me. Remind me of this when I am discouraged or afraid. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
If you had been the homeowner, how would you have reacted to this event?

Devocional del CPTLN de 19 de Febrero de 2018 "UNA ABERTURA EN EL TECHO"



19 de Febrero de 2018

Leer Marcos 2:1-12

Llegaron entonces cuatro hombres que cargaban a un paralítico. Como no podían acercarse a Jesús por causa de la multitud, quitaron parte del techo donde estaba Jesús, hicieron una abertura, y por ahí bajaron la camilla en la que estaba acostado el paralítico. Cuando Jesús vio la fe de ellos, le dijo al paralítico: "Hijo, los pecados te son perdonados".
~ Marcos 2:3-5 (RVC)

Deben haber tenido mucha fe. Imagina que eres paralítico confinado a tu cama, cuando de pronto se aparecen tus amigos quienes te dicen que Jesús está en el pueblo y que quieren pedirle que te sane. Como no puedes caminar, han decidido a llevarte con tu cama. ¡Menos mal que son cuatro!

Pero el nerviosismo no termina allí. La muchedumbre es tan grande, que ni siquiera pueden entrar a la casa donde se encuentra Jesús. Van a tener que darse por vencidos. Excepto que, de pronto, alguien dice las temidas palabras: "podríamos subir al techo y hacer una abertura...".

Y allí van, subiendo por la escalera exterior, mientras tú contienes la respiración y esperas que no te dejen caer. Luego quitan las tejas y escarban el barro del techo. De pronto se escuchan gritos: las personas que están debajo se dan cuenta que algo está sucediendo, mientras tus amigos quitan la capa de ramas que había debajo del barro. A través de la abertura cae tierra seca sobre Jesús y las personas a su alrededor.

Lentamente, tus amigos comienzan a bajar tu cama, hasta que estás colgando justo frente a Jesús.

Sorprendentemente, Jesús ignora la abertura en el techo, la muchedumbre e incluso tu parálisis, y dice: "Los pecados te son perdonados". Cada cosa mala que has dicho, pensado o querido es borrada. Y recién entonces Jesús sana tu cuerpo.

Poco tiempo después, lo único que queda de tan maravilloso milagro es la abertura en el techo. No más parálisis: está sanada. No más paciente: Jesús te ha enviado a tu casa, llevando contigo tu cama. No más pecado: Jesús lo ha quitado y cargado sobre sí. Lo único que queda es el cielo abierto que se ve a través del techo... porque para Jesús tú vales mucho más que cualquier techo.

ORACIÓN: Gracias, Señor, por amarme tanto. Recuérdame de tu amor cuando el desaliento o el temor me abruman. Amén.

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

Хлеб наш насущный - Всем не хватит?

Всем не хватит?

Читать сейчас: 2 Коринфянам 9:10-15 | Библия за год: Левит 25; Марка 1:23-45

Не забывайте также благотворения и общительности.

Мы возвращались домой из церкви. Моя старшая дочь сидела на заднем сиденье и жевала крекеры, а остальные дети упрашивали ее поделиться. Пытаясь сменить тему, я спросила дочку: «Чем вы сегодня занимались в классе?» Оказалось, делали корзинку с хлебом и рыбой. На уроке проходили рассказ о том, как мальчик принес Иисусу пять хлебов и две рыбы, а Он накормил ими 5 000 человек (Ин. 6:1-13).

«Какой добрый мальчик, – сказала я. – Может быть, Бог хочет, чтобы ты тоже поделилась своми крекерами?» «Нет, не хочет», – был ответ.

Я пыталась убедить ее дать немного малышам, но ничего не вышло. «Здесь на всех не хватит!» – сказала она.

Делиться трудно. Намного легче забрать все себе. Обычно мы оцениваем количество того, что имеем, и решаем, что на всех будет мало. Если начать раздавать, то не хватит для себя.

Павел напоминает, что все хорошее в нашей жизни приходит от Бога, Который желает, «чтобы [мы] всем богаты были на всякую щедрость» (2 Кор. 9:10-11). Математика небес считает не убытки, а благословения. Мы можем делиться с радостью, потому что Бог обещал позаботиться о тех, кто щедр к окружающим.
Небесный Отец, Ты заботишься обо мне. Помоги мне думать о других и делиться с ними Твоей добротой.
Если мы верим, что Бог добр, то должны быть щедрыми к людям.

автор: Лиза Самра

© 2018 Хлеб Наш Насущный
Если мы верим, что Бог добр, то должны быть щедрыми к людям.