Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, July 15, 2018 - Eight Sunday after Pentecost

The Death of John the Baptist
Mark 6:14-29

The Daily Readings
SUNDAY, July 15, 2018 - Eight Sunday after Pentecost
(Revised Common Lectionary Year B)

Greeting
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer of the Day (Collect)
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
Trusting God's promise of forgiveness, let us confess our sins against God and one another.

Eternal God our creator, in you we live and move and have our being. Look upon us, your children, the work of your hands. Forgive us all our offenses, and cleanse us from proud thoughts and empty desires. By your grace draw us near to you, our refuge and our strength; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Lessons

Old Testament
Amos 7:7-15
7:7 This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. 8 And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass them by; 9 the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste, and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
Amaziah Complains to the King
10 Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos has said, ‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.’” 12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.” 14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, 15 and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’

The Response
Psalm 85:8-13 Benedixisti, Domine
8 I will listen to what the Lord God is saying,
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to him.
9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth have met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring up from the earth,
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed grant prosperity,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him,
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

The Epistle
Ephesians 1:3-14
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

The Gospel
Mark 6:14-29
The Death of John the Baptist
6:14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” 17 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. 18 For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. 21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22 When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” 23 And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24 She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” 25 Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Apostle's Creed
We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

We believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Closing Prayer
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ ore Lord. Amen.

Blessing
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission. The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

"Giving In To Pressure" The Sermon for SUNDAY, July 15, 2018 - Eight Sunday after Pentecost


"Giving In To Pressure"

The Holy Gospel comes to us this morning from Mark the 6th chapter, beginning at the 14th verse.

King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

Here ends the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ!
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
Do you like flash back movies? The other night, July 4th, there was classic flash back movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney playing George M Cohan. Cagney is invited to the White House and sits with the President and tells the story of his life. When the story is over, we are brought back to the present time when Cohan is given the metal of honor by the President.

In our gospel lesson this morning, we are given a flash back by Mark. We are in the middle of Jesus’ ministry. We have seen miracles and healing, but now all of a sudden we are brought back to John the Baptist. Mark seems to think we need to know what exactly happened to John the Baptist, so we flash back to this point in history. Mark talks about John’s arrest in Mark 1:14a.

Herod has heard of Jesus and is wondering who he is. He asks, Is he Elijah? Is He a prophet? But Herod says is it john whom I beheaded, has been raised.

And then we get the story of the beheading of John the Baptist.

We need to take a look at this story to understand it.

"Herod the Great was King when Jesus was born. He was responsible for the massacre of the children in Bethlehem as he sought to kill the Child who was a threat to him. Herod the Great married a number of women and had a number of sons by them. Some were actually murdered by their father. Among those who were not was Herod Antipas, the Herod of this passage, and Herod Philip. They were half-brothers. Another half-brother was Aristobulus. Aristobulus had a daughter named Herodias. She married Herod Philip. They, in turn, had a daughter whose name was Salome.

Now comes a storyline that reads like a near-eastern version of Peyton Place. On a visit to Rome, Herod Antipas met his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias. She was a deceitful and ambitious woman who saw in Antipas a way to fulfill her own selfish desires. So he took her away from his brother and they came back to Palestine together. Of course, this sordid affair had already begun. You see, what you have to remember is that Herodias was Aristobulus’ daughter, who was Philip’s half-brother. That made Herodias Philip’s niece. Philip had married his own niece. And now his other half-brother had stolen her away from him."[1]

And now that brings us to today’s text. John found out that Herod had married his brother’s wife and said, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

Herodias wanted to kill John the Baptist, but having been arrested by Herod to keep him safe, she could not attack him. Herod would go to the jail cell to hear John preach. And I imagine that John would tell Herod what a bad fellow he was and his wife was just as bad.

So, Herodias hatched a plan involving her daughter, Salome, to kill John the Baptist. Herodias invited a large group of very powerful men to a banquet.

The men were enjoying themselves with fine food and drink. Then Salome came in to dance. She mesmerized the audience. She danced so well in fact that Herod said, "and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.”
23* And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”
Herod was so enamored with Salome he was willing to give her half the kingdom. So Salome runs out to see her mother to ask what should she do. And Herodias knew now she had what she wanted all along. She told her daughter Salome to ask for the head of John the Baptist. As text says: And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.”

So Salome runs back to Herod and says “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

Herod is now confused. He really likes John but how can he go back on his word with all the important men sitting around the table.

The text says:
26* And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.

27* And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison,

28* and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
So Herodias had her revenge. She silenced John the Baptist.

But Herod must have felt guilty about the whole affair, because when he heard about Jesus’ teaching his first reaction was that John had been raised from the dead.

Herod was in a sense a tragic figure. He was boxed into a corner by his own pride. He could not retreat from the promise he made to Salome in front of all those powerful men. He couldn’t retreat so he had to follow through with granting the promise. He was sad, he was guilty, he was ashamed, but he could not back down. But he had to follow through so he ordered the beheading of John the Baptist.

Herod gave in to pressure, period. He had no back bone. He was pressured by his wife, by the important men at the party. So instead of standing up to them and saying that John was a decent kind of guy, he caved in to the pressure and had John the Baptist beheaded.

In our lives when the world clamors for us to do this, to do that, we need to have a back bone and stand up to those pressures.

Brian Stoffregen tells a story about two men and how they handled pressure in their lives.

There were two brothers in Georgia during the 1950’s. One decided that in opposition to the dominant culture of the day, he was going to support and participate in the formation of a multi-ethnic community. The other worked as an attorney for a prominent law firm. Both were Christians and attended church regularly.

As the multi-ethnic community formed and social pressure forced them into court proceedings, the one brother asked his attorney brother to help them with the legal work. The brother refused, saying that he could lose his job. The pressure increased to help with a reminder that he was a Christian. The lawyer responded, "I will follow Jesus to his cross, but it is his cross. I have no need to be crucified." To this his brother replied, "Then you are an admirer of Jesus, but not his disciple."

The one brother was willing to follow Jesus and his teaching no matter what happened to his life. He would not bow to the pressures of segregation. He wanted to see people from all walks of life living and working together.

A disciple of Christ needs to be his own boss. A disciple needs to be free from the pressures of the world. A disciple of Jesus needs to be award of peer pressure and when it goes against the teachings of Jesus, a disciples needs to steer clear of it.

Salome was pressured by her mother to ask for the head of John the Baptist. I would imagine that she might of wished for something else. Riches. A glamorous house. Servants. But she caved in to the pressures of her mother, Herodias, and asked for the head of John the Baptist.

And Herodias gave in to the pressure of hate in her live. She hated John for telling the truth. She was living in a sinful marriage. She wanted power that came with living with Herod and she did everything she could to marry him.

The main characters in our gospel lesson gave in to pressure.

In the following modern parable each person gave in to their own internal pressures.

"There are six people gathered around a dying campfire on a dark and bitter night. Each one has a stick which they might place on the fire. But, sadly, one by one they decide not to give what they have to keep the fire going. The lone woman does not give because there is a black man in the circle. The penniless tramp does not give because in that circle there is a member of the idle rich. The rich man does not give because he reasons his contribution would obviously help someone who was lazy and shiftless. Another didn’t give because one of the six didn’t belong to his church. The black man hung tight to his wood, because it was his way of getting even or back at all the whities. Still another would not give because he believed in giving only to those who also gave. And each one felt if he or she were asked to give with a personal invitation, or if they knew the need was really great, then they would give.

The parable ends with these words: "Six logs held fast in death’s hand was proof of human sin, the sin of pride, ego, and selfishness. They didn’t die from the cold of that night, the cold without, they died from the cold within each heart." ~author unknown

Giving in to pressure can lead to death. These six people gave in to the inner pressures in their lives. They were not willing to back away so they died.

Jesus and John on the other hand stood their ground. John preached a message of repentance till the day he died. Jesus was not pressured by the religious leaders of his day to conform to their ideas or practices. He did not jump through their hoops. Jesus led his own life which eventually led to the cross. But the resurrection followed.

John and Christ knew they drew strength from their own lives rooted and grounded in Christ.

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer says: "Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ."[2]

Living with and in Christ can help us avoid pressure. Living with and in Christ can help us not to follow the pressures all around us. Living with and in Christ can help us live a life that we can be proud of.

Amen

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1 Copyright © 1997 J. David Hoke. This data file is the sole property of the copyright holder and may be copied only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. All copies of this data file must contain the above copyright notice.
This data file may not be copied in part (except for small quotations used with citation of source), edited, revised, copied for resale or incorporated in any commercial publications, recordings, broadcasts, performances, displays or other products offered for sale, without the written permission of the copyright holder. Requests for permission should be made in writing and addressed to J. David Hoke, Pastor, New Horizons Community Church, 2303 Evesham Rd. Voorhees, NJ. 08043.
2 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "The Cost of Discipleship"

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission. Sermon Written by Pastor Tim Zingale July 10, 2006.

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, July 15, 2018


Oh heavenly Lord, who decreed that we should take one day of rest, one special day in remembrance of you, today I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the moment of His glorious victory over death. I add my voice to countless millions of others in thanks, in praise, and in awe of Your sacrifice for us.

Help me, dear Lord, to dedicate these few moments to You completely. You have taught us that we may dwell with you, even while we are caught in this difficult world, and I pray to dwell with you fully now. Guard me against wandering of mind and the intrusion of mundane thought, so that I may be fully present with you, through the power of Your Holy Spirit.

And in the coming week, I pray that my mind may constantly turn to you, so that I may always remember you when I am tempted to anger, to selfishness, to lust for power and the vanities of this world, or any of the myriad temptations that might assail me in the course of life. In the name of Christ and through faith in Him, I pray,
Amen

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, July 15, 2018


James 1:21 (NIV) Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Read all of James 1

Listen to James 1

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

Un dia a la Vez - ¿Qué pasa con el amor?


¿Qué pasa con el amor?

El amor debe ser sincero. Aborrezcan el mal; aférrense al bien.
~ Romanos 12:9 (NVI)

A veces hay que preguntarse qué pasa con el amor y si es una farsa. Es posible que digas: «Bueno, ¿y qué le pasó a Claudia? ¿Por qué habla así del amor?».

Mientras escribía este libro, me entero que una persona que decidió dar un cambio en su vida aceptando a Jesús y dándose ella misma una oportunidad, se casó por tercera vez y a los cuatro meses su pareja le pegó. ¿Te parece conocida esta historia? Claro que debe parecerte conocida. Es el pan nuestro de cada día. Lo digo con mucha tristeza, pues las parejas se casan muy enamoradas y, en cuanto se acaba la luna de miel, hay abusos.

La pregunta que me viene a la mente es esta: ¿Estamos teniendo a Dios en cuenta en nuestras decisiones, sobre todo en preguntarle si es la persona idónea? Me refiero en este caso a Mirka Dellanos, la periodista de Univisión que ha sufrido tantas desilusiones en el amor. Hace un tiempo, decide hacer un giro en su vida y tiene un encuentro personal con Jesús. Empieza a asistir a una iglesia y comienza a testificar de hacer la voluntad de Dios.

Poco después se casa de manera sorpresiva y al mes y medio el hombre estuvo en la cárcel por abuso doméstico y con restricción para no acerársele.

¿Dime si no parece una historia de novela? Sin embargo, no es así. Eso es lo que está pasando en los hogares cristianos. El enemigo no quiere parejas felices. Quiere robar el matrimonio, matar el amor y destruir la felicidad y la esperanza.

¿Con quién te vas a casar? Por favor, CONSÚLTALO con el Señor.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
A veces hay que preguntarse qué pasa con el amor y si es una farsa.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE MEEK


THE MEEK

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
~ Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

Meekness is not to be confused with weakness. In scripture, meekness means “power under control.” In this context, the contrite, praying person is blessed with the indwelling control of the Holy Spirit and the inheritance promised to the believer even in conflict.

History shows that it is the people who have learned this, people with their passions, instincts and impulses under disciplined control, who have been great. (see Numbers 12:3 and Proverbs 16:32) Thus:
Blessed are those whose every instinct, every impulse, and every passion is under the control of God’s Spirit! They will be right with God, self and others and enter the life which God alone can give.
Pray for this meekness when entering into dialogue with those of opposing positions. There will be times when patience and self-control will be sorely tested. There may also be times when the Spirit will suggest a change of direction in the dialogue or a strategic retreat that looks suspiciously like defeat. To be meek is to be able to willingly accept temporary defeat in order that there may later be victory in the Spirit.

A co-worker in China was struggling with the attitudes of a house church group who forbade hand-clapping during the singing of hymns. One leader complained bitterly. Every evening in the brothers’ sleeping quarters, he would complain further. The group would then debate endlessly on whether or not clapping hands during singing was permissible. It was like the black smoke pouring out from the weeds.

This continued until the afternoon of the last day, when God used His Word, and the Holy Spirit did an amazing work. This brother stood up and admitted his wrongdoing. He asked God to forgive his ignorance, stubbornness and defensiveness. With his confession, Christ’s love tore down an invisible wall. It was as if the Lord “broke down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” The response of the workers as they prayed together was, “The glorious King has come.” Thank and praise the Lord. He was completely victorious.

RESPONSE: Today I will quit calling the shots and surrender complete control to God.

PRAYER: Lord, today I completely surrender to the control of Your Spirit in my life. Help me to be meek.

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

LHM Devotion - July 15, 2018 - Cancel That Reservation

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20180715

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Cancel That Reservation"

Jul. 15, 2018

(Jesus said) "In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also."
~ John 14:2-3 (ESV)

During our years of traveling for The Lutheran Hour, Pam and I had the opportunity of staying at many wonderful hotels, and a few that were stinkers.

* For example, there was a hotel in Texas where black mold put the shower off limits. We would have gone elsewhere, but this hotel was the only hotel in a 50-mile radius.

* Then there was the hotel in Cairo where Pam picked up one of our towels and uncovered a cockroach which was approximately 2 ½ inches in length.

* Most notable was the hotel in Turkey where we were given a key to a room that was already occupied by another couple.

Thankfully, we never had to stay at the Birmingham Best Inn at Oldbury, Wolverhampton, England. TripAdvisor reports that the Birmingham Best Inn is listed as Britain's worst hotel. It has achieved this questionable status because it has received 303 one-star ratings. That means that more than 300 guests have said the hotel was terrible.

In their descriptions, some guests have said that the hotel is smelly, has broken furniture, features graffiti on some of the guestroom walls and ceilings. Others have shared their accommodations had mold, stained carpets, collapsing curtains, and dirty bed linen.

Truth be told, I know about another place which is far, far worse than the Birmingham Best Inn at Oldbury, Wolverhampton, England. Understand, I have never stayed there personally, but from what I've been told, those who do can expect to find a place where there is

* darkness filled with weeping and gnashing of teeth (see Matthew 22:13);

* a fiery furnace (see Matthew 13:41-42);

* a lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15).

There is no doubt the people who end up staying there will give the place an even worse review than the folks have bestowed upon the Birmingham Best Inn. Indeed, they will tell you, "If you can avoid staying here, you are well advised to go elsewhere." The problem is, at one time, there was nowhere else for humanity to go. Because of our numerous, unforgiven sins, everyone in the human race was destined to spend a very lengthy time in hell.

Now here's the good news: hell, the place I've been speaking about, is a very bad place, but because of Jesus Christ nobody ever has to stay there.

You see, Jesus has, with His perfect life, His fulfillment of the Law, His victory over death itself, has done all that was necessary to cancel humanity's reservation in hell. Now, with Holy Spirit-given faith in Jesus as Savior, forgiven souls are rescued and find they have been given a permanent reservation in heaven.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord for cancelling my reservation in hell, I give thanks. For preparing a home for me in heaven, I praise Your Name. Amen.

The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Richard Spillet for Daily Mail on July 5, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5920511/Britains-worst-hotel-gets-303-one-star-TripAdvisor-reviews.html

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
During our years of traveling for The Lutheran Hour, Pam and I had the opportunity of staying at many wonderful hotels, and a few that were stinkers.

Notre Pain Quotidien - Le meilleur des cadeaux


Le meilleur des cadeaux

Lisez : Luc 11.9-13

[Cherchez], et vous trouverez. (V. 9)

Tandis que je faisais mes valises pour rentrer à Londres, ma mère s’est approchée de moi avec un cadeau en main : l’une de ses bagues que j’admirais depuis longtemps. Étonnée, je lui ai demandé : « Pourquoi fais‑tu ça ? » Elle m’a répondu : « Je crois que tu devrais en profiter maintenant. Pourquoi attendre que je meure ? Elle ne me va plus de toute façon. » Avec un sourire, j’ai reçu son cadeau inattendu, un héritage anticipé qui me réjouit.

Ma mère m’a fait un présent matériel, mais Jésus me promet que son Père donnera le Saint‑Esprit à ceux qui le lui demanderont (LU 11.13). Si des parents souillés par le péché peuvent fournir de quoi subsister (comme du poisson ou des œufs) à leurs enfants, à combien plus forte raison notre Père céleste en procurera‑t‑il à ses enfants. Par le don du Saint‑Esprit (JN 16.13), nous pouvons connaître l’espoir, l’amour, la joie et la paix même en temps difficiles – et nous pouvons partager ces dons avec les autres.

Il se peut que tout jeunes, nous ayons eu des parents incapables de nous aimer et de bien prendre soin de nous. Il se peut aussi que nous ayons eu pour parents de brillants exemples de l’amour sacrificiel. Ou encore, il est possible que nous ayons vécu un entre-deux. Or, peu importe quelle a été notre expérience de vie avec nos parents terrestres, nous pouvons compter sur la promesse que notre Père céleste nous a faite de ne jamais cesser de nous aimer. Il a fait don du Saint‑Esprit à ses enfants.

Notre Père fait de bons cadeaux.


© 2018 Ministères NPQ
Tandis que je faisais mes valises pour rentrer à Londres, ma mère s’est approchée de moi avec un cadeau en main : l’une de ses bagues que j’admirais depuis longtemps.