Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, March 1, 2018

The Parables of Jesus
Mark 4:21-34

Daily Readings

Genesis 42:29-38
29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30 “The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’ 33 “Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the land.’” 35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!” 37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back.” 38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”

1 Corinthians 6:12-20
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Mark 4:21-34
21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” 24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” 26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” 30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” 33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The kingdom of God is like...

Prayer of the Day for THURSDAY, March 1, 2018

Father, you show your almighty power in your mercy and forgiveness. Continue to fill us with your gifts of love. Help us too hurry toward the eternal life you promise and come to share in the joys of your kingdom. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, March 1, 2018

John 14:6 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Read all of John 14

Listen to John 14

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 - Why would God regret his decision to create human beings?

Why would God regret his decision to create human beings?

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
~ Genesis 6:5-6 (NIV)

God created a world in which people were free to love him or not love him. By creating human beings in his image and likeness, God gave them a unique quality of relationship with each other and with him. God entrusted them with freedom, which included the possibility that they might turn away from him; unfortunately, that is what they did.

Even though God could foresee what people would do, he created them with the capacity to do as they chose. God condemns no one unjustly. He doesn’t cause anyone to sin. He is the judge of all the earth, and he will do right by everyone. He does not coerce humans into loving him, for that wouldn’t be love. Yet nothing can thwart his glory and grace.

God showed that he is abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6) by not leaving the human race in its sin. His grief over people’s sin led him to provide a way of redemption: Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the way to eternal life has been opened to all who trust in him for salvation (John 14:6).
Father, you show your almighty power in your mercy and forgiveness. Continue to fill us with your gifts of love. Help us too hurry toward the eternal life you promise and come to share in the joys of your kingdom. Grant 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

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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. Taken from NIV Quest Study Bible.
God showed that he is abounding in love and faithfulness.

Un dia a la Vez - Dios no te ha abandonado

Dios no te ha abandonado

El Señor omnipotente enjugará las lágrimas de todo rostro, y quitará de toda la tierra el oprobio de su pueblo. El Señor mismo lo ha dicho.
~ Isaías 25:8 (NVI)

A pesar de lo que hacemos en nuestra manera de vivir, vemos la mano de Dios.

Naigir, un hombre de bien y buena familia, es otro amigo que tuve la oportunidad de conocer. Un día, por ambición, acepta hacer uno de esos trabajitos por dinero. Sin pensarlo dos veces, se lanza y lo sorprenden. Lo que una vez le dijera un aparente amigo: «Tranquilo, todo está fríamente calculado», se convirtió en la pesadilla de su vida. Cae preso y sin ningún familiar en Estados Unidos. Lo que era una gran ambición quizá por ganarse unos cuantos verdes, se volvió en la más horrible de las tragedias.

Al igual que Víctor, conoce de Dios en ese lugar y empieza el cambio en su vida. Su testimonio llega a mis manos con una desgarradora carta, donde me pide que llame a su hijita por la radio el día del cumpleaños. Además, me pide que no le dijera a su hija dónde estaba.

Llegó el día e hicimos la llamada en mi programa radial «Buenos Días Familia». Cuando esa nena de solo ocho años de edad pasa al teléfono, escucha que es una sorpresa de su papá que dejó de ver de un día para otro hace cuatro años. Entonces se quebrantó y lloró de tal manera que todos en cabina quedamos en silencio.

¿Por qué llegar hasta el extremo de Naigir? Porque no nos conformamos con creerle a Dios. Dejemos que sea Dios el que nos provea todo lo que necesitamos. No vale la pena poner en riesgo nuestros hijos y nuestra felicidad. Recordemos que aunque Dios nos perdona, todo lo que hacemos mal tiene sus consecuencias.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
A pesar de lo que hacemos en nuestra manera de vivir, vemos la mano de Dios.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - ABC’S OF VICTORY


Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
~ Psalm 37:5-6 (NIV)

Although things are not perfect Because of trial or pain Continue in thanksgiving. Do not begin to blame, Even when the times are hard. Fierce winds are bound to blow. God is forever able. Hold on to what you know; Imagine life without His love, Joy would cease to be. Keep thanking Him for all the things Love imparts to thee. Move out of "Camp Complaining." No weapon that is known, On earth can yield the power Praise can do alone. Quit looking at the future; Redeem the time at hand; Start every day with worship. To "thank" is a command Until we see Him coming Victorious in the sky. We'll run the race with gratitude; Xalting God most high. Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but... 

Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad![1]

RESPONSE: I am too blessed to be stressed!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the encouragement I receive from following Your ways.

1. Author unknown.

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

NIV Devotionals for Men - The Highly Effective Christian

The Highly Effective Christian

Luke 19:11–27

Recommended Reading: Exodus 4:10–12; Isaiah 6:8; Ezekiel 2:1–7; 1 Corinthians 12:4–31

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey recommends the following mental exercise: Imagine that you’ve died and that four people representing different aspects of your life speak at your funeral: a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community. What would each one honestly say about your life?

While it’s not easy to imagine others testifying to the effectiveness of our lives in the context of a funeral, this exercise does provide some much needed perspective. There’s nothing like the end of a life to get others to consider the course of their days. Take a few minutes to seriously think about what these individuals might say about you to a gathered crowd.

Now take a few moments to imagine what Jesus would say about your Christian life to this point. What does he think about your faith? What does he think about your accomplishments for his kingdom? Would he describe you as someone growing closer to him each day?

Jesus told a story about three servants in order to illustrate that God expects each of us to be faithful with what he has given us. Of course, any number of fears might hinder us from using the gifts God gives us: fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of God’s disapproval, to name a few biggies. Failure to invest represents the most serious potential shortfall of all. Only when we use our faith does it stand a chance of growing. If we don’t exercise it, it becomes stagnant and lifeless. Can you think of anyone whose faith looks like that?

Let’s look ahead ten years and repeat the mental exercise. If you spend the next ten years investing your faith and wholeheartedly using the gifts God gives you to serve him, what would a relative, a fellow church member, a business colleague and someone else from your community be likely to say at your funeral? What would Jesus say?

To Take Away
  • What gifts and opportunities has God provided that you can use for him?
  • Be honest with yourself. How have you done at living a life of faith in God?
  • What aspects of your life have you been withholding from God? What steps can you take to invest these areas in faithful service to him?
Imagine that you’ve died and that four people representing different aspects of your life speak at your funeral:

Girlfriends in God - Rest and Just Be Held

Rest and Just Be Held

Today’s Truth

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.
~ Psalm 62:5 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

I could tell it was going to be another long night. I could not sleep. I prayed. I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours. But a quick glance at the alarm clock said it was only 2:30 a.m. I know. Only 2:30 a.m. Right? Hours of darkness spread before me and the battle was on.

I cried out to God, “Father! Why can’t I sleep? I am so tired and have been for weeks. You know that, Lord. Please let me rest!”

It was as if the Lord Himself walked into my room … into my soul … into my mind and said, “Finally! I have been waiting for you to come to the place where you realize that you need to rest in Me.”

I almost laughed out loud. Almost.

“But Lord, I have been asking You to help me sleep well for weeks! I don’t understand.” I cried out.

And then the answer came. Sleep and rest are two entirely different things.

My mind jumped back to the time when I was a young child. I really did have a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow. I can remember the day my mother showed me the lamb and explained that she did not have a bottle with which to feed the stray lamb. I did. I agreed to let the lamb have my bottle if I could have the lamb. I have been fascinated by the unique relationship between sheep and their shepherd ever since.

Sheep are dumb, can never be left alone, and often stray, requiring the shepherd to find and rescue them. The needs of sheep, compared to the needs of other animals, are greater because of their instinct to be afraid, and when faced with a fearful situation, to run. Without a shepherd to care for the sheep, they will not last long.

Like every sheep, I don’t like to be pushed. Good shepherds do not push, no matter how great the temptation. A good shepherd stands in front of his sheep, gently calling their names, leading them to a place where he has already been, positioning himself between danger and his sheep.

When I am tired and ready to give up, I tend to withdraw from the other sheep and even from my Shepherd. Many of us have somehow bought into the lie that we can make it on our own or that the rules, the commandments of God, do not necessarily apply to us - just those other sheep. The longer I serve God, the more I realize just how much we need each other and how much we need Him. When will I learn that I cannot do life on my own – as a sheep or as a shepherd?

A good shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, just as Jesus Christ laid down His life for you and for me. I am so glad He was willing to give His life for every single sheep – the cute, fluffy ones as well as the dirty, broken lambs like me.

I needed to stop, listen for His voice, rest in Him, and just be held. I mentally pictured laying down every uncertainty in my life at the feet of Jesus, my Shepherd. I then knew that sleep would come. I also knew that I had found rest in my Shepherd.

Let’s Pray

Lord, I am so thankful You are my Shepherd and that no matter how deep the valley or dark the pit, You have gone before me and made a way. Help me understand that Your ways are higher than mine. Forgive me when I complain that the way You have made for me is harder than I want it to be. I surrender my life to You, Lord, my God, and my Shepherd.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now it’s Your Turn

Here is a challenge for every Girlfriend in God. Read Psalm 23 once a day for one month. Record the psalm in your journal. Let every word soak into your heart, mind and soul. When fear comes, turn to God. When you are in need, trust the Shepherd. When confusion surrounds you, trust your Father to make the crooked paths straight. Rejoice daily in the fact that you are His lamb and He is your Shepherd.

More from the Girlfriends

You can't eliminate stress, but you can learn to control stress before it controls you. Mary Southerland transforms the promises of the Twenty-third Psalm into easy-to-implement, practical steps that will hand you the keys to stress management. Escaping the Stress Trap is a story-filled, humorous, and helpful approach to dealing with the pressures of life. The chapter-by-chapter study guide included is ideal for both personal and small group studies.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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

Girlfriends in God
I could tell it was going to be another long night...

LHM Devotion - March 1, 2018 - Just a Colt

Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Just a Colt"

Mar. 1, 2018

Read Matthew 21:1-11

(Jesus said) "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once."

It was just a colt -- a young donkey, old enough to carry someone safely, but young enough that nobody had trained it that way yet. And it was still with its mother.

That was the animal Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem as King and Savior. It was customary for Jewish royalty to ride donkeys or mules -- we can read about it in the days of King David -- but surely all those animals were well-trained before the princes ever sat on them. Riding an unbroken colt is a good way to end up on your backside in the dust!

That's even more likely if the animal you're riding has no proper bridle or saddle, just a cloak or two thrown across its back. Add in the noise of screaming crowds, the waving of palm branches, the press of human bodies -- it's a recipe for disaster.

But not for Jesus, no. That unbroken colt carried Him safely and calmly through the crowds, right through the gates of Jerusalem. Jesus' divine power no doubt had something to do with it -- as well as His kindness and forethought in having the disciples bring the colt's older and wiser mother along as well. By evening the two donkeys would have been safely back home, sleeping in peace.

The same could not be said for Jesus Himself. Jesus' own nights of safety could be counted on a single hand -- Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday evening He would eat His last meal with the disciples He loved; a few hours later He would be arrested. There would be no sleep for Him again until after the cross.

He knew this, of course -- and He welcomed it. By His suffering and death, He would save all of us, young and old, foolish and wise alike. His sleep in death meant that we would be able to sleep in peace. And His resurrection in joy and power means that we who belong to Him can always wake up in trust and hope. He cares for us, even us. There can be no greater proof of it.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You gave Your life to make me safely Yours. Thank You. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
When you were young, what comfort allowed you to sleep in peace?
Cuando eras joven, ¿qué comodidad te permitía dormir en paz?

Devocional del CPTLN de 01 de Marzo de 2018 - SÓLO UN BURRITO



1 de Marzo de 2018

Leer Mateo 21:1-11

Y [Jesús] les dijo: "Vayan a la aldea que tienen ante ustedes. Allí encontrarán una burra atada, junto con un burrito; desátenla y tráiganmelos. Si alguien les dice algo, respóndanle: 'El Señor los necesita. Luego los devolverá.'"
~ Mateo 21:2-3 (RVC)

No era más que un burrito. Suficientemente grande como para cargar a una persona, pero tan joven que todavía no había sido entrenado para nada. Y todavía estaba con su mamá.

Ese fue el animal que Jesús eligió para entrar en Jerusalén como rey y salvador. Era costumbre que la realeza judía montara burros o mulas: lo podemos leer en la historia del Rey David. Pero antes que ningún príncipe se subiera a uno de esos animales, ya habían sido bien entrenados. Después de todo, montar uno que no haya sido domesticado, probablemente nos deje de espaldas en el suelo. Y eso todavía es más probable si el animal no tiene montura ni riendas, sino sólo un manto sobre su lomo, y tiene que pasar en medio de una muchedumbre ruidosa.

Sin embargo, nada de eso sucedió con Jesús. Ese burrito sin domesticar lo llevó calmadamente en medio de la muchedumbre a través de las puertas de Jerusalén. Indudablemente, el poder divino de Jesús tuvo algo que ver, al igual que el hecho que sus discípulos llevaron también a su mamá. Al atardecer, los dos burros ya estarían de vuelta en su casa descansando tranquilos.

No podemos decir lo mismo de Jesús. Las noches tranquilas que le quedaban podían ser contadas con los dedos de una mano: domingo, lunes, martes y miércoles. La noche del jueves sería su última comida con los discípulos que amaba. Unas horas más tarde sería arrestado, y ya no dormiría más hasta después de la cruz.

Por supuesto que él sabía todo esto... y estaba de acuerdo. Con su sufrimiento y muerte nos habría de salvar a todos, jóvenes y ancianos, tontos y sabios. Y con su poderosa y gloriosa resurrección nos habría de garantizar la vida eterna junto a él en el cielo.

ORACIÓN: Querido Jesús, gracias por dar tu vida para hacerme 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.

Хлеб наш насущный - Мы не сломаемся

Мы не сломаемся

Читать сейчас: Матфея 6:25-34 | Библия за год: Числа 23-25; Марка 7:14-37

Да и кто из вас, заботясь, может прибавить себе росту хотя на один локоть?

Жительница Калифорнии и любительница солнца, я боюсь холода. Но мне нравятся фотографии со снежными пейзажами. Поэтому я не смогла удержаться от улыбки, когда подруга из Иллинойса поделилась зимней фотографией молодого деревца, которое она сфотографировала из своего окна. Хотя присмотревшись, я погрустнела: тонкие ветки пригнулись к земле под тяжестью намерзшего льда.

Сколько еще они смогут выдержать, прежде чем сломаются под весом этих тяжелых оков? Ледяное бремя на хрупком деревце напомнило мне о моих собственных плечах, на которых приходится тащить немало жизненных забот.

После того как Иисус сказал ученикам, что их главное сокровище находится на небе, Он побудил их освободиться от беспокойных мыслей. Создатель и Хранитель вселенной любит Своих детей и заботится о них. Поэтому нет нужды терять время и силы на переживания. Бог знает наши нужды и обещает их восполнять (Мф. 6:19-32).

Он также знает, что мы подвержены тревогам. Поэтому призывает нас прийти к Нему, довериться Его заботе и жить верой (Мф. 6:33-34).

В этой жизни мы будем переживать трудности, испытывать чувство неопределенности, отчего плечи могут поникнуть. Мы все порой склоняемся к земле под тяжестью забот. Но с верой в Бога мы устоим и не сломаемся.
Спасибо, Господь, за Твои слова, что нам ни о чем не нужно беспокоиться. Ты никогда не подведешь нас и позаботишься обо всех нуждах.
Заботы не сломают нас, если мы доверяемся Подателю всех благ.

© 2018 Хлеб Наш Насущный
Жительница Калифорнии и любительница солнца, я боюсь холода.