Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Daily Readings for THURSDAY, September 6, 2018

Monastery of Barnabas at Salamis, Cyprus
Acts 13:1-12

The Daily Readings
THURSDAY, September 6, 2018

Old Testament
Job 16:16-22, Job 17:1, 13-16
16:16 My face is red with weeping,
    and deep darkness is on my eyelids,
17 though there is no violence in my hands,
    and my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, do not cover my blood;
    let my outcry find no resting place.
19 Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven,
    and he that vouches for me is on high.
20 My friends scorn me;
    my eye pours out tears to God,
21 that he would maintain the right of a mortal with God,
    as one does for a neighbor.
22 For when a few years have come,
    I shall go the way from which I shall not return.

Job Prays for Relief
17:1 My spirit is broken, my days are extinct,
    the grave is ready for me.

13 If I look for Sheol as my house,
    if I spread my couch in darkness,
14 if I say to the Pit, ‘You are my father,’
    and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’
15 where then is my hope?
    Who will see my hope?
16 Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
    Shall we descend together into the dust?”

The Epistle
Acts 13:1-12
Barnabas and Saul Commissioned
13:1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

The Apostles Preach in Cyprus
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now listen—the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.

The Gospel
John 9:1-17
A Man Born Blind Receives Sight
9:1 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

The Pharisees Investigate the Healing
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”

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.
Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

The Morning Prayer for THURSDAY, September 6, 2018

Thursday morning prayer

Lord on this day I remember that You go before me, so I pause to meditate on Your promises. Thank You Lord that You go with me, You lay a pathway, You watch over me like a shepherd. So I give You my fears, worries and anxieties. I lay all tension and stress at the foot of the cross. Thank You that You arose from the death, and that You bring life, freedom, hope and the promise of Heaven! Praise You that I am safe in Your presence.

May Thursday be a hope filled day, that floods my fears with light, a day that quiets all anxious thoughts as I encounter Christ. Let Thursday always prompt my heart to stop and find Your peace, and live upon the truth You give my eyes to You I lift.

Verse of the Day for THURSDAY, September 6, 2018

2 Timothy 1:13-14 (NIV) What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

Read all of 2 Timothy 1

Listen to 2 Timothy 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 - Oración por buenas decisiones

Oración por buenas decisiones

El que va por buen camino teme al Señor; el que va por mal camino lo desprecia.

Señor, te queremos dar muchas gracias por tu Palabra. Gracias por dejar entre nosotros ese Manual de Instrucciones que está lleno de recomendaciones y de consejos para que se apliquen a la vida de cada uno de tus hijos.

En estos días reflexionamos acerca de la sabiduría y la necedad y vimos que las dos pueden afectar nuestra vida para bien o para mal.

Por eso, hoy queremos decirte que necesitamos tu ayuda. Queremos que nos bendigas con una nueva porción de sabiduría, de modo que seamos capaces de hacer tu voluntad y andar como es debido en tus caminos todos los días de nuestra vida.

También te pedimos, mi Dios, que nos ayudes a ser equilibrados y no llegar a los extremos del legalismo ni del libertinaje. Sabemos que los extremos son malos.

Gracias por este nuevo día. Lo dejamos en tus manos y confiamos plenamente en ti.

En el nombre de Jesús oramos, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Señor, te queremos dar muchas gracias por tu Palabra...

Standing Strong Through the Storm - REAL LIFE FORGIVENESS


“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
~ Luke 6:37 (NIV)

Alexander Puerta has seen more than his share of tragedy. Raised on a small farm in Urabá region of northern Colombia, he was 17 when his father was murdered by an angry neighbor.

At 19, Alex nearly died of malaria. He called on a Christian evangelist to pray for him and experienced a miraculous recovery. That convinced him to accept Christ. He soon became a fervent evangelist himself and took a job at the Rancho Amelia banana plantation in Urabá.

A guerrilla army operating in the area mistakenly believed Rancho Amelia harbored a paramilitary squad. One morning in September 1995, they ambushed a bus carrying plantation employees, tied them up and threw them face down into a gully. The guerrillas then opened fire with machine guns on the helpless workers.

In the midst of the shooting, a bullet struck Alex Puerta at the base of his left eye, fractured his skull from the inside and exited, destroying his right eye and cheekbone. Amazingly, Alex did not lose consciousness, despite the excruciating pain and nearly suffocating in his own blood.

“The guerrillas came down the rows to find those who were still moving, finishing them off with a machete blow to the neck,” he recalls. “They reached me and I told them that Christ loved them. ‘This one’s alive!’ they said, and hit me twice very hard. They broke two teeth and cut off an ear lobe, but the machete did not penetrate my neck. Then they left.

“At that moment I heard a voice say, ‘Fight for your life.’ I felt such a strength and vitality that I succeeded in breaking my bonds. It hurt, but God gave me strength. When help arrived, they found me sitting up.” Alex was the only victim to survive the massacre. Twenty-five of his Rancho Amelia co-workers, including several women, lay dead in the gully.

Survival has been difficult. Alex underwent five surgeries to rebuild his shattered face. Doctors told him that he would never see again. He remembers the long months of convalescence with nothing to do but sit at home with only the family dog.

Today Alex serves as a voluntary chaplain of Prison Fellowship, preaching in chapel services at the Bellavista National Penitentiary and counseling inmates. Some of the prisoners with whom he has shared the gospel are former guerrillas. At least one, he has learned, was involved in the massacre at Rancho Amelia.

Alex let it be known that he has forgiven each of the assailants who blinded him and killed his friends. “If one decides to follow Jesus, the foundation is forgiveness,” he says. “Without it, there is no real Christian life.”

Recently, Alex accepted an invitation from Open Doors to become a regular trainer for Standing Strong Through the Storm seminars offered throughout Colombia. Feedback from seminar participants indicates that Alex is particularly effective in teaching about forgiveness.

RESPONSE: Today I will obey the Lord and forgive everyone who has hurt me.

PRAYER: Pray for Alex as he teaches SSTS seminars in Colombia. Pray his students will also forgive.

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 - Samuel: The King-Maker

Samuel: The King-Maker

1 Samuel 1:1—28:25

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
~ 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

Samuel glanced at the seven men standing in the shade. They were impressive specimens. Any of Jesse’s sons could have been God’s choice. He was suddenly glad he didn’t have to choose. God had just warned him about the danger of judging from appearance. He smiled sadly, remembering how impressed he had been at first by Saul’s good looks.

Samuel looked around, puzzled. He’d run out of sons, and God hadn’t chosen any of them. What was God’s plan in this situation? Turning to Jesse, he inquired, “Are these it? No more sons?”

The old man slowly counted his sons, one by one. He appeared confused for a moment, then said, “Oh, there is one other. Didn’t even think of him. My youngest, David, is out in the fields with the sheep.” The rest of the sons didn’t understand why they had been summoned, but they grumbled over having to wait for the runt to show up. His place was at the bottom of the pecking order. Shepherding was a smelly, outdoors-in-all-weather, protecting-stupid-sheep chore. Each of them had done it only until the next brother was old enough. As the youngest, it was David’s permanent role. It didn’t bother them to assign him the task; it did bother them that he enjoyed it so much.

Soon David came running in, exuding the pungent scents of field and flock. The brothers looked on with shock as Samuel removed an oil horn from his robe and poured the contents on their little brother’s head. They couldn’t imagine a higher honor—or a more obvious waste. But even they had to admit that as the oil dripped from David’s hair and chin, a certain wild delight and spirit seemed to fill him. Samuel smiled, David laughed, and a chill went up his siblings’ spines.

As Samuel walked to Ramah, he remembered another little boy, left in the charge of a priest named Eli. He considered how upbringing shapes a man and how God uses even hardships and pain to prepare his servants. He wondered about David’s future. He remembered God’s unusual call in his own life, the unexpected voice in the night that Eli had identified for him as the Lord’s. The old priest had told him to answer, “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10). Samuel chuckled softly and began to pray, “Lord, I’m still trying to listen. I never thought back then that you would make me a king-maker. So what’s next?”

Back to the Future
  • In what ways do you think God speaks to you?
  • What have you learned about the dangers of judging people by outward appearances?
  • How would you describe your attitude about God giving you directions?
The Story Continues …
To learn about Samuel’s background and see how God continued to work through him, read 1 Samuel 1:1—28:25.
In what ways do you think God speaks to you?

Girlfriends in God - What Do Others See in You?

What Do Others See in You?

Today’s Truth

I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith…

Friend to Friend

When I was growing up, ours was on the doorframe between the kitchen and the hall with the red carpet. A vertical trail of penciled dashes and dates that marked the growth of my siblings and I – that eventually got painted over. An archive of ages and heights that proved physical progress was really happening in the Eisaman household.

And boy did I want my growth to show.

Each time my dad lined us up to draw lines just above our highest hairs, I would stretch my spine to the sky. {It's even possible that I might’ve lifted my heels occasionally. Possible. Just throwing it out there. Don’t judge me. Dad always bumped us back down…}

I loved to see the tangible distance between where I used to be and where I was.

I loved seeing the evidence of advancement. Progress. Growth.

I still do.

In his letter to Timothy, Paul encouraged him to set an example to other believers in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity (1 Timothy 4:12). He also challenged his young protégé to devote himself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation (encouraging others), and to teaching.

He told Timothy to be intentional. Move forward in faith. Grow in such a way that it impacts others.

“Practice these things. Immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15)

I read this and I wonder. What type of spiritual progress can be seen in my life? Am I setting an example in conduct… in the way I behave, react, respond and live? Do I set an example for others in the words I use… in the ways I love… in my purity? Do I reflect Jesus in these things? Am I growing in His image?

These questions drive me to my knees. I’m forced to ask God to search me and know me – inside and out. I ask Him to show me the ways that I’ve grown and to show me the ways I still need to grow.

The progress I want to see in my life is no longer about a height chart - it’s about a depth chart. I want there to be visible evidence of my faith in Jesus that doesn’t waver in the winds or crumble in the uncomfortable. Don’t you?

Though our faith is unseen (Hebrews 6:1) let’s press on in progress and move forward in the hope, joy, love and peace of Christ so that others will be inspired to do the same.

Let’s live today in such a way that our behaviors, responses and attitudes showcase a vibrant, honest faith that’s deeply rooted and growing.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank You for being so gracious and compassionate with me. Thank You for  loving me where I used to be – in spite of me – and for loving me where I am today. Please forgive me for the times I try to move forward without You. Help me to prioritize progress and seek You continually so that others will clearly see You in me.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Philippians 1.

How does the beginning of this letter to the people of Philippi that was written long, long ago stir you toward growing in Christ today? Grab your journal and write a prayer of response. Click here to write a prayer of response on the wall of my blog.

More from the Girlfriends

Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith is hosting a FREE online Bible Study, a PSALM ADVENTURE, beginning September 9th. We’ve gotten countless messages asking how you can know what God says about forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, finances, relationships and hope. You want to know and trust God more, and learn how to connect your personal struggles to His promises.

That’s exactly what we’re going to explore in our PSALM ADVENTURE because we’re going right to the source of all grace and truth: the Bible. Join Gwen for this four-week study. LEARN MORE and REGISTER TODAY by visiting

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

Girlfriends in God
When I was growing up, ours was on the doorframe between the kitchen and the hall with the red carpet.

LHM Daily Devotions - Be Opened

"Be Opened"

Sep. 6, 2018

And looking up to heaven, He sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."
~ Mark 7:34 (ESV)

Mark 7 tells the story of the time people brought Jesus a man who could neither hear nor speak. Jesus took him off privately and touched his ears and tongue. Then Jesus said, "Be opened," and the man could speak and hear.

That was a great miracle! Jesus said, "Be opened," and the man's ears and mouth were opened. Nobody had ever seen anything like that before.

But then Jesus tried to do the opposite. He tried to shut the mouths of the onlookers who saw the miracle. The Gospel says, "Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more He charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it" (Mark 7:36).

It probably would have been a miracle if Jesus could have shut their mouths! People talk about what they see, especially when it's as wonderful as Jesus' actions. The news went all over the country, and Jesus was mobbed with crowds coming to Him.

How about us? Jesus doesn't say "Be quiet" to us. Instead, He says, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Jesus kept His promise and sent the Holy Spirit to live in His people on Pentecost. Now all of us have the privilege of telling others about the wonderful things Jesus has done -- for us, and for them, too.

We are the people Jesus has rescued through His love. We know what He has done for us -- how God came into our world as a human baby, born into a poor family, utterly dependent on the very people He made. As a child, He became a refugee in another country. As a man, He was homeless and poor. He traveled around teaching and healing thousands of people like this man. Jesus faced the hatred of the religious leaders of His day, and eventually submitted to arrest, torture, and execution. All this He did because it was how God planned to rescue us from sin and evil, breaking the power of the devil over us. Who else but our God would choose to save people in such a humble, painful way as that?

But that isn't the end of the story. On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again. Death's doors are open now, and they will never be shut again. Everyone who trusts in Jesus has His promise that we, too, will rise again and come out through those open doors into the kingdom of God He has promised us. We will live forever in joy and peace with God our Savior.

This is what Jesus has done for us, closing the way to hell and opening the doors of heaven to all who believe. Truly, "He has done all things well" (Mark 7:37).

THE PRAYER: Dear Father, give me the Holy Spirit and open my mouth to tell others about what Your Son Jesus has done for us. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Mark 7 tells the story of the time people brought Jesus a man who could neither hear nor speak.

Devocional del CPTLN del 06 de septiembre de 2018 - El calor de la mano de Dios


El calor de la mano de Dios

06 de Setiembre de 2018

Así como los cielos son más altos que la tierra, también mis caminos y mis pensamientos son más altos que los caminos y pensamientos de ustedes.
~ Isaías 55:9 (RVC)

No soy una persona muy diestra, por lo que me asombran los milagros de la tecnología moderna. Y no estoy hablando solamente de cosas grandes como reactores nucleares y telescopios espaciales. No, me refiero a esas cosas pequeñas como el velcro y la harina leudante para pasteles.

Una revista japonesa publicó una larga lista de esas cosas que me asombran. En una de sus páginas, tenía la imagen de una mariposa. La mariposa era de un simple color gris y tenía instrucciones para que el lector pusiera la mano sobre ella. Cuando la imagen era calentada por el calor de la mano, la mariposa grisácea se transformaba en un arco iris intermitente de colores.

Digo que esto es un "milagro de la tecnología", pero no es así, pues hay una explicación científica y comprensible para muchas personas. Pero yo no lo puedo comprender, así como tampoco puedo comprender cómo es que Dios puede amar a un pecador como yo. No lo puedo comprendo, pero a causa de Jesús sé que es así.

Como la imagen de la mariposa en la revista, el amor de Dios por mí es un misterio, pero puedo ver los resultados.

Gracias al sacrificio de Jesús, todos los que creemos en él descubrimos que nuestras vidas ya no son de un lánguido gris, ni trabajamos solamente para llevar a casa el cheque de pago, ni nos desesperamos cuando las circunstancias parecen ser negras y deprimentes.

Gracias a Jesús, este día es especial. Gracias a la paz que viene del perdón ganado por las manos clavadas de Jesucristo, este día puede estar lleno de hermosos colores de alegría y gozo en el Señor.

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, te doy gracias porque tu mano siempre está extendida hacia mí, un pobre pecador. Gracias a tu sacrificio soy bendecido con el regalo de la salvación. Amén.

De una devoción escrita originalmente para "By the Way"

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
No soy una persona muy diestra, por lo que me asombran los milagros de la tecnología moderna.

Хлеб наш насущный - Христово благоухание

Христово благоухание

Читать сейчас: 2 Коринфянам 2:14-17 | Библия за год: Притчи 6-7; 1 Коринфянам 2

Ибо мы Христово благоухание Богу в спасаемых и в погибающих.2 Коринфянам 2:15

Вспотевший и запыленный Боб вышел из автобуса, в котором проехал несколько часов. Долгое путешествие утомило его. Знакомых в этом районе не было. Зато были друзья друзей, которые радушно приняли его и предложили ужин. Боб мгновенно почувствовал себя как дома: уютно и умиротворенно. К нему относились тепло и искренне.

Позже, размышляя о том, почему он ощутил такой мир в незнакомом месте, Боб нашел ответ во Втором послании к коринфянам. Апостол Павел пишет там, что последователи Христа имеют особый аромат – «Христово благоухание». «Так и есть», – сказал Боб сам себе. Его новые друзья имели этот «живительный запах».

Павел пишет, что Бог всегда дает христианам «торжествовать во Христе и благоухание познания о Себе распространяет нами во всяком месте» (2 Кор. 2:14). Он ссылается на известный обычай древнего мира. Когда победоносная армия шла по улицам города, в ее честь воскурялись благовония. Это был запах победы и радости. Таким же образом Божий народ несет с собой приятное благоухание для тех, кто поверит. Мы создаем этот запах не сами. Его дает нам Бог, Который и ведет нас по миру, распространяя «благоухание познания о Себе».

Боб – мой отец. Описанное путешествие произошло больше сорока лет назад. Но он хорошо его помнит. И часто рассказывает старую историю о людях, которые «пахли, как Христос».
Небесный Отец, благодарим, что Ты ведешь Твой народ в победоносном шествии и распространяешь через нас благоухание Твоей истины.
В ком из ваших друзей вы ощущаете «Христово благоухание»?

Вспотевший и запыленный Боб вышел из автобуса, в котором проехал несколько часов.