Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, August 9, 2018

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
John 1:43-51

The Daily Readings
THURSDAY, August 9, 2018

Old Testament
Judges 8:22-35
Gideon’s Idolatry
8:22 Then the Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also; for you have delivered us out of the hand of Midian.” 23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.” 24 Then Gideon said to them, “Let me make a request of you; each of you give me an earring he has taken as booty.” (For the enemy had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) 25 “We will willingly give them,” they answered. So they spread a garment, and each threw into it an earring he had taken as booty. 26 The weight of the golden earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold (apart from the crescents and the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and the collars that were on the necks of their camels). 27 Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his town, in Ophrah; and all Israel prostituted themselves to it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family. 28 So Midian was subdued before the Israelites, and they lifted up their heads no more. So the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.

Death of Gideon
29 Jerubbaal son of Joash went to live in his own house. 30 Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. 31 His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech. 32 Then Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash at Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 As soon as Gideon died, the Israelites relapsed and prostituted themselves with the Baals, making Baal-berith their god. 34 The Israelites did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hand of all their enemies on every side; 35 and they did not exhibit loyalty to the house of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done to Israel.

The Epistle
Acts 4:1-12
Peter and John before the Council
4:1 While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, 2 much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. 3 So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.

5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11 This Jesus is

‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
    it has become the cornerstone.’

12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

The Gospel
John 1:43-51
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
1:43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

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.
Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

The Morning Prayer for THURSDAY, August 9, 2018

Oh God, who has created all things, seen and unseen, this day is your creation and I give thanks to live in it. I pray that I will not shut you out of the day you have made, blinded by the petty concerns of life, but that I may be always open to your presence.

I open my body to you, for it is your breath that fills and warms the lifeless clay.

I open my eyes and ears to you, thankful for the light of your Word, which has brought me out of the shadow of ignorance.

I open my heart to you, aglow with thanks for your love, filling me with compassion, understanding, and peace.

I open my soul to you, grateful for your Spirit, who fills me with wisdom when I take a moment to listen.

All that I am, I open to you and I return to you, giving thanks every moment of my life for the blessings that fill this day. Through Christ I pray.

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, August 9, 2018

Luke 12:6-7 (NIV) Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Read all of Luke 12

Listen to Luke 12

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 - La recuperación por una pérdida

La recuperación por una pérdida

El Señor [...] restaura a los abatidos y cubre con vendas sus heridas.
~ Salmo 147:2-3 (NVI)

Hace unos meses llegó la triste noticia de la pérdida de la bebita de la cantante Shanna en un embarazo ya avanzado. ¡Cómo entristecen esas noticias! Nadie lo puede experimentar más que la madre que lo sintió en su vientre y tuvo la esperanza de recibirle.

Me sorprendió mucho y admiré el valor con el que nuestra Shanna recibió esta prueba. Desde el hospital en que se recuperaba, declaró: «Solo Dios sabe por qué evitó que naciera la bebita. Ya sabrá Él de qué la guardó. Yo seguiré adelante».

Les cuento esto porque se necesita estar muy lleno de nuestro Dios para recibir una noticia de tal envergadura con tanta madurez espiritual. Podemos ver una vez más que nuestro Padre cuida de nosotros y nos da su amor. Sé que muchas mujeres han pasado por esta misma situación y aún hay heridas abiertas que quiere sanar nuestro Señor.

Escuché a un predicador que enseñaba que para recuperarse debemos llorar lo perdido, fortalecernos en Dios y consultar con Él cuál es el paso a seguir.

Cuando entregamos esa carga tan pesada y ese dolor tan grande, Dios de seguro que va a actuar a nuestro favor.

Aunque en medio del dolor no vean una salida, recuerden que Él es su fortaleza y el único que les da la paz «que sobrepasa todo entendimiento» y que, además, «cuidará sus corazones y sus pensamientos en Cristo Jesús» (Filipenses 4:7).

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Hace unos meses llegó la triste noticia de la pérdida de la bebita de la cantante Shanna en un embarazo ya avanzado.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE PROCESS OF PERSECUTION-3: INJUSTICE


In his humiliation he [Jesus] was deprived of justice.
~ Acts 8:33a (NIV)

Christians experiencing persecution are following in the footsteps of their master, Jesus. In Acts chapter eight, Philip revealed to the Ethiopian eunuch that the passage from Isaiah 53 he was reading referred to Jesus who indeed was deprived of justice. Today in the Western world, we would describe His trial before crucifixion as occurring in a “kangaroo court!”

If disinformation about any group, including Christians, is disseminated long enough, no one will help when that group or person is discriminated against. Discrimination relegates Christians to second-class citizenship with inferior legal, social, political and economic status. Once discrimination takes place, no one will intervene when the mistreatment comes.

Examples of such injustice against Christians abound around the world: ID cards in a country where Christianity is an unacceptable entry in the religion column; daughters abducted because they are Christians; expulsion from the community just because they are evangelicals.

Christians in Pakistan are a small minority among a large Muslim majority and often face such discrimination. The problem is compounded by the fact that many Christians are illiterate and poor. One Christian teacher at a center training Christian women recently said, “We do face discrimination because we live in the midst of people who don’t want us to move forward; people who keep trying to push us down so that we will always be in slavery.”

But there is one repeated scene of injustice against Christians that occurs in Pakistan which brings me to tears which involves young Christian girls. As a father of two daughters and having six granddaughters, I shudder every time I read news reports that describe Christian family injustice in this land. The stories usually work out this way:

Muslim women must marry Muslim men but Muslim men are allowed to marry any woman they wish with the proviso that any children must be raised as Muslim. Consequently in Pakistan there are Muslim men who often desire some of the very beautiful young Christian girls in the community but realize there is no way their Christian families will agree to marriage. So these men resort to abduction.

The Christian father’s only option is to go to court where the judge—usually a Muslim—hears the case and pronounces to the Christian father, “Your daughter voluntarily converted to Islam and voluntarily married this Muslim man so you are to have no more contact with her. One of the most recent cases involved two young Christian sisters aged thirteen and ten. In this case, the judge allowed the ten-year-old to return home to her family but not the thirteen-year-old.

Safwan, a secret believer in Algeria, found a Christian pamphlet between the paperwork given him at work and started reading it. Upon discovering him reading the pamphlet, his boss reported him to the police. Later that night the police visited him and searched his entire home. They found Christian CD’s, several Christian movies and a New Testament. “It was clear to them that I had become a Christian. My boss fired me.”

RESPONSE: Today I will work toward justice for everyone in my own country and around the world.

PRAYER: Lord, be with those experiencing discrimination today because they love and serve You.

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 - Nothing but a Number

Nothing but a Number

Joshua 13:1–7
Recommended Reading: Genesis 6:5—9:17 (especially 7:6); Luke 2:36–38

Japanese mountain climber Yuichiro Miura reached the summit of Mount Everest at age 70. George Brunstad was also 70 when he swam the English Channel. Naval officer Grace Hopper became the first female rear admiral of the United States Navy when she was 79. Margaret Haggerty completed her quest to run a marathon on each of the seven continents when she was 84.

If stories like these teach us anything, it’s that senior adults are capable of amazing things.

That was certainly true of Joshua. Even though he was probably nearing the century mark, God had a plan for him. Age didn’t matter to God. Rather than telling Joshua to rest, retire or step aside for a younger replacement, God instructed him to get to work.

Perhaps we should take a cue from God in our attitude toward older adults. From an early age most of us were taught to respect our elders. However, too often we confuse politeness for respect. What’s the difference? Politeness might include offering a hand to senior adults when they struggle with steps or making awkward small talk with aging relatives at family gatherings. Respect, however, would include realizing that with their years of challenges and experiences these adults are a rich, God-given resource.

In this age of politically correct labels, perhaps a better name for senior citizens is “ultra-experienced adults.” God entrusted Joshua with an important duty a quarter century after Joshua reached retirement age because of his vast military experience and knowledge.

Think of the older adults you know. How does God want to use them in your life? What experiences of theirs might benefit you? What life lessons have they learned that might keep you from making a bad decision? And what might you be able to learn from hearing their stories and asking for their advice?

To Take Away
  • How would you describe your attitude toward senior adults?
  • Think of two or three seniors you know. What might getting to know them better add to your life?
  • What steps can you take this week to build a mutually beneficial relationship with an older adult?
How would you describe your attitude toward senior adults?

Girlfriends in God - I’m Needy When It Comes to Love

I’m Needy When It Comes to Love

Today’s Truth

God is love. (1 John 4:8b, NIV)

Friend to Friend

My mom tells a story that when I was a toddler, I used to push my older brother and sister off my dad’s lap so I could cuddle with him all by myself. I still do this with my kids and husband. It might look different today, but my goal is the same: I want more love. And I’m not above pushing someone else out of the way to move myself forward.

My love hunger stumps me. I’ve been a Christian since I sat on a little plastic Sunday-school chair and learned Bible stories from a flannel-graph board. If I’m so into Jesus—and I promise you, I am—then why am I still needy?

Why is my heart such a love vacuum?

I long to be known, adored, and fully accepted.

I may not verbalize it often, but this desire plays on repeat in my internal dialogue.

Anybody else?

The fact of the matter is, I want more love than any human could ever give me. I often look to my husband, children, and friends to fill this ache that churns within me. When will I learn that my people can never fully satiate my longing for more?

I’m so thankful that the Bible reminds me of this intensely personal truth: God is my heavenly Father—my Abba—who loves me in the way I’ve always wanted to be loved.

Perfectly. All-sufficiently.

I do want the love of my people. And that’s okay. But I can’t expect imperfect human beings and relationships to satisfy my heart cravings. Only God can satisfy.

Only God.

The apostle Paul wrote the book of Ephesians to strengthen and encourage the believers in Ephesus. He wanted the people to “get” the magnitude of God’s love and prayed that the Lord would help them experience the reality of it. This is a portion of what Paul wrote:

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:17–19)

Paul associated the love of God with power. It’s almost as if he was saying, “If you can get this ... if you can wrap your head and heart around the truth of just how much God loves you, it will blow you away with blessing. Your faith will pack a punch, and you’ll never be the same.”

Man! I sure like the sound of that, don’t you? Don’t you want to be “rooted and established” in God’s love? Don’t you want your awareness of His love to fill you “to the measure of all the fullness of God”?

Sign me up! I need it. I want it. I want it all.

Check this out. The New Testament part of Scripture was written primarily in Greek. The transliteration of the Greek word for rooted that’s used in this passage is rhizoō, which means “to cause to strike root, to strengthen with roots, to render firm, to fix, establish, cause a person or a thing to be thoroughly grounded.” Figuratively it means to “become stable.” So my personal summary is this: God’s love should stabilize my faith. My acceptance of His love for me will strengthen and “fix” me.

Mind. Blown.

God’s love is that thing I need the most. I want that strength. I want that stability. I want every blessing of His love in my life. His Word tells us the love-well of Jesus is wide, long, high, and deep. So today, I’ve decided to stop expecting others to meet my love needs and am instead asking God to help me be rooted and established in the fullness of His all-satisfying love. Join me?

Let’s Pray

Lord, Please help me to be rooted and established in Your love. Would you stabilize my faith and allow me to grasp the power of Your love for me?
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Psalm 27:1-14. Note some of the ways that God shows His love for us. Write down a Scripture verse about love and apply it to your life.

More from the Girlfriends

We’re pleased to announce the new GRACEOLOGY with Gwen Smith podcast! Hang out with Gwen and friends when you go on walks, exercise, run errands or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?)Each GRACEOLOGY with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more. These discussions are going to encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes, or visit for more information.

Are you an INSTAGRAM girl? Connect with Gwen there! (Her Insta stories are fun!)

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

Girlfriends in God
My mom tells a story that when I was a toddler, I used to push my older brother and sister off my dad’s lap so I could cuddle with him all by myself.

LHM Devotion - August 9, 2018 - Slipping Through Our Fingers

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Slipping Through Our Fingers"

Aug. 9, 2018

(Jesus said) "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
~ Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

The expert on time management was speaking to a group of business students.

Standing before this group of high-powered over-achievers, he pulled out a one-gallon wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Next, he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them one at a time into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked the class, "Is this jar full?"

Everyone in the class said, "Yes."

The instructor came back: "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, causing the pieces of gravel to work down between the big rocks. He smiled and asked the group once more, "Now, is the jar full?"

By this time, the class was onto him. "Probably not," one of them answered.

"Good!" he replied.

And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in, and it filtered into the empty spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.

Once more he asked the question, "Is the jar full?"

"No!" the class shouted.

Without replying, the expert grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked the same question I'm asking you: "What is the point of this illustration?"

In the classroom, one eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is no matter how full your schedule may be, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"

"No," the speaker said, "you are wrong."

So now I ask, what is the point? Give up? The point of this illustration is simply this: if you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all. Want that again? If you don't take care of the big things first, you'll never get them to fit in.

What kind of big things do we need to take care of? How about

1. attending worship, receiving Communion, and supporting those who are in your earthly family of faith?

2. sharing the Savior with unbelievers, doubters, and deniers?

3. being turned to Jesus and allowing your sinful burdens to be lifted from your conscience, heart, and soul?

Truly, there may be many important things on your agenda and calendar.

Every one of these items calls and clamors for your time and attention. Today we ask the Lord to show us how to discern the important from the inconsequential and how to keep the important things of the Lord at the top of our agenda.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I know that Your ways are not mine, and Your thoughts are too lofty for me to comprehend. For that reason, I need the Holy Spirit to direct my moments and my days. Please, always direct me to that which pleases You. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
The expert on time management was speaking to a group of business students.

Devocional del CPTLN del 09 de Agosto de 2018 -


Murphy sigue estando vivo

09 de Agosto de 2018

Dios es nuestro amparo y fortaleza, Nuestro pronto auxilio en todos los problemas. Por eso no tenemos ningún temor. Aunque la tierra se estremezca, y los montes se hundan en el fondo del mar; aunque sus aguas bramen y se agiten, y los montes tiemblen ante su furia.
~ Salmo 46:1-3 (RVC)

¿Saben a quién me refiero cuando hablo de Murphy? Murphy es el que inventó la ley que dice: "Si algo puede salir mal, va a salir mal".

Me parece que el pasado Viernes Santo, Murphy estaba en la ciudad de Filadelfia.

Digo esto por lo que sucedió allí. La semana pasada salió una noticia que decía que el Viernes Santo la compañía de cable estaba trasmitiendo un servicio especial de Semana Santa desde el Vaticano cuando, exactamente a las 2 de la mañana, comenzó a sonar el Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Emergencia.

¿Qué tiene que ver esto con la ley de Murphy? Las personas que estaban mirando el servicio de Viernes Santo del Vaticano de pronto se encontraron con que el Sistema de Alerta de Emergencia les había cambiado de canal, y de pronto estaban mirando otro programa que no tenía nada que ver con la transmisión del Vaticano.

Casi todos podemos recordar alguna instancia en la que recibimos una visita de Murphy. Todavía recuerdo las palabras floridas de un camionero que entraron por el sistema de audio mientras yo estaba predicando, o el día que la persona que estaba a cargo de nuestro sistema de audio en la iglesia se olvidó de apagar su micrófono y se puso a hablar de su vida personal con su compañero en el estudio mientras toda la congregación escuchaba.

Todos tenemos días o momentos en los que nos parece que todo nos sale mal. En esos momentos es bueno que recordemos que tenemos un Dios que es nuestra ayuda segura en momentos de angustia.

Ese Dios, que envió a su Hijo para que pagara el precio por nuestro rescate y muriera para que nosotros pudiéramos vivir perdonados y para siempre, ha prometido estar con nosotros. Es por ello que el salmista pudo decir: "No temeremos aunque se desmorone la tierra y las montañas se hundan en el fondo del mar; aunque rujan y se encrespen sus aguas, y ante su furia retiemblen los montes."

Dios, nuestro amparo y fortaleza. Dios, nuestro motivo de alegría.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, a pesar de los problemas y las dificultades de la vida sé que, gracias a Jesús, vamos a tener la victoria final. Gracias porque todo lo que está mal en este mundo, un día tú lo transformarás en bien. En el nombre de mi Salvador. Amén.

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Saben a quién me refiero cuando hablo de Murphy?

Хлеб наш насущный - Добрый папа

Добрый папа

Читать сейчас: Псалом 62 | Библия за год: Псалтирь 76-77; 2 Петра 2

Я вспоминаю о Тебе на постели моей, размышляю о Тебе в ночные стражи.Псалом 62:7

Когда наш сын Ксавьер был маленьким, муж регулярно уезжал в командировки. И хотя он часто звонил, телефонные разговоры не всегда могли утешить малыша. Он хотел к папе. Тогда я доставала наши фотоальбомы, укладывала Ксавьера в кроватку и показывала ему фотографии, на которых они были вместе с папой.

«Ты это помнишь?» – спрашивала я. Ксавьер понемногу успокаивался, разглядывал снимки и часто говорил: «Папа хороший».

Я понимаю, как мальчику не хватало отцовской любви. Когда мне бывает трудно или одиноко, я тоже хочу ощущать себя любимой, особенно моим Небесным Отцом.

Давид писал о своей жажде Бога, когда скрывался от врагов в иудейской пустыне (Пс. 62:1-2). Воспоминания о Божьей безграничной силе и всеобъемлющей любви побуждали его к поклонению (Пс. 62:3-5). В трудное время Давид все равно мог радоваться любящей отцовской заботе своего Бога (Пс. 62:5-8).

Когда нам трудно и кажется, что Бог скрыл Свое лицо, нам тоже нужно вспоминать прекрасные качества Небесного Отца и проявления Его любви. Размышления о Божьем Слове и нашем собственном опыте веры напомнят нам о бесчисленных способах, которыми любящий Создатель заботится о нас.
Господь, спасибо, что Ты так часто показываешь нам Свою бесконечную любовь. Мы видим ее и на страницах Библии, и в собственной жизни.
Воспоминания о Божьих делах убеждают нас в Его любви.

© 2018 Хлеб Наш Насущный
Когда наш сын Ксавьер был маленьким, муж регулярно уезжал в командировки.