Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, October 7, 2018 - Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus Blesses Little Children
Mark 10:13-16

The Daily Readings
SUNDAY, October 7, 2018 - Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
(Revised Common Lectionary Year B)

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

Prayer of the Day (Collect)
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and 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
Genesis 2:18-24
2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
    for out of Man this one was taken.”

24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

The Psalm
Psalm 8 Domine, Dominus noster
1 O Lord our Governor, *
how exalted is your Name in all the world!
2 Out of the mouths of infants and children *
your majesty is praised above the heavens.
3 You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, *
to quell the enemy and the avenger.
4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
5 What is man that you should be mindful of him? *
the son of man that you should seek him out?
6 You have made him but little lower than the angels; *
you adorn him with glory and honor;
7 You give him mastery over the works of your hands; *
you put all things under his feet:
8 All sheep and oxen, *
even the wild beasts of the field,
9 The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, *
and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
10 O Lord our Governor, *
how exalted is your Name in all the world!

The Epistle
Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12
God Has Spoken by His Son
1:1 Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Exaltation through Abasement
2:5 Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. 6 But someone has testified somewhere,

“What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    or mortals, that you care for them?
7 You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
    you have crowned them with glory and honor,
8     subjecting all things under their feet.”

Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, 9 but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying,

“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”

The Gospel
Mark 10:2-16
10:2 Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” 5 But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children
13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

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.

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.
Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.

"The Strongest Faith In The World" The Sermon for SUNDAY, October 7, 2018 - Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

The Strongest Faith In The World

It was a big day at the convention center. The parking lot was jammed, as the cars drove back and forth trying to find the last remaining parking places. People were standing in line to get into the auditorium. Every seat was taken, and people were spilling out into the lobby and hallways.

Why was it such a big day at the convention center? A very interesting person would be speaking that day. A very unique person. What made this person so special and so unique was his very high level of faith. This person had the strongest faith of all believers in all the world. He was going to speak that day and reveal his secret to having such a strong faith.

The limousine pulled up to the convention center. People crowded against the window to see if they could catch a glimpse of the strongest believer in all the world. But you couldn’t see him. His entourage quickly escorted him into the building, amid all the flashing cameras and microphones. It almost looked like they were carrying him, but you couldn’t see.

What would he be like? Apparently, he trusted in God more than any one else on the face of the earth. Normal people experience doubts from time to time, but this person has never doubted once in his life. As you stand there, waiting for him to walk onto the stage, you read the poster that describes him. He does believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. OK. Science and intellectual arguments don’t bother him. That’s good. He has witnessed tragedies in the world. And he has experienced personal tragedies in his life. But those things never once caused him one doubt. That’s pretty impressive. This strong believer has listened to atheists, evolutionists, strong proponents of other religions like Islam and Buddhism. He has heard every anti-Christian argument ever made since Adam and Eve. But he has never doubted once.

And today, he’s going to reveal the secret of having such a strong faith. The lights are starting to dim. People are quieting down. The introduction is made. The audience gasps as he walks onto the stage.

What do you see? You can’t believe it. It’s a two-year old toddling across the stage. This is the person who believes in God more than anyone else? It looks like he’s still wearing a diaper. This is the person who has never once doubted even when faced personal tragedy? This is it? A two-year old? How can he be my role model for a strong Christian faith?

But then you remember the words of Jesus,
“Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).
“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15).
The faith of a child is the faith that Jesus wants you and me to have. To simply believe in Jesus, to simply take him at his Word, even when everything in the world tells me the opposite – that’s childlike faith. No doubting. No second-guessing. No trying to figure everything out with my logic. Just believing. Trusting that what God says is true, no matter what. That’s child-like faith. And what is the secret? The child on the stage begins to sing, “Jesus loves me this I know – Why? How? - For the Bible tells me so.” Has God really made it that simple? Are you carrying around the secret to having a strong faith? That Bible you have. Read it. Take God at his word, no matter what. Believe the simple truth that Jesus loves you and died for you and rose again. Keep that Bible open in your life, and God will give you a faith that can move mountains.
We pray, dear Lord, give me a child-like faith. Take away all of my doubts, and help me to trust in you as the Savior who died for me, and rose again, and who loves me and takes care of me every day. Amen.
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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 contributed by Don Schultz.
The limousine pulled up to the convention center. People crowded against the window to see if they could catch a glimpse of the ...

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, October 7, 2018

Sunday morning prayer

Lord on this special day, I run into Your loving arms. May Sunday be a celebration, filled with thankfulness, where I connect with the presence of Heaven, seek Your beauty and goodness, and cherish special family time together. Come fill my heart afresh with Your love. May it overflow with Heaven's bounty, moving through this rest day and into the week ahead.

Lord on this special day, I run into Your arms. Spend cherished time with family, and find shelter in Your palm. May Sunday be a celebration, full up to the brim, with Heaven's promise ringing loud, and Your love flowing in.

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, October 7, 2018

Matthew 18:3 (NIV) And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Read all of Matthew 18

Listen to Matthew 18

New International Version (NIV) 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 declaras sobre los tuyos?

¿Qué declaras sobre los tuyos?

Cada uno cosecha lo que siembra [...] Por lo tanto, siempre que tengamos la oportunidad, hagamos bien a todos.

Si leíste el devocional anterior, sabes que hablamos de la importancia de declarar cosas positivas sobre nuestra vida y tomar como nuestras las promesas que Dios nos dejó en el Manual de Instrucciones.

No obstante, así como es importante para nosotros, también es importante hacerlo para los nuestros. ¿Qué cosas dices de tu cónyuge, tus hijos y tu familia?

Un gravísimo error es lo que declaramos sobre la vida de nuestros hijos. Con nuestras palabras necias atamos a los hijos con cosas terribles como estas: «Eres un tonto. No sabes hacer nada. Eres un inútil y un bruto». No tienes idea del daño y el efecto que esas palabras traerán sobre su vida. Llega a un punto que hasta se lo creen. Y lo estarás atando con esas declaraciones de por vida.

¿Cómo eres con tu esposa? ¿La humillas, la insultas o la maltratas de palabras? Hoy Dios te dice que el que toca a uno de sus hijos toca a la niña de sus ojos (véase Zacarías 2:8). Cuando se daña a un hijo de Dios, es como si se lo hicieran a Él. ¿Te imaginas?

También, mujeres, ¿qué estamos declarando sobre los esposos? ¿Los humillamos, los insultamos, los maldecimos? Recordemos que nuestros esposos son la cabeza de la casa.

Por favor, pensemos antes de hablar y reconozcamos que todo lo que sembramos eso mismo cosecharemos.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
¿Qué declaras sobre los tuyos?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - DISCOVERING JESUS


And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
~ 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)

Camping experiences for me were always positive experiences. There you must live and practice your Christian faith twenty-four hours a day. And that deeply impacts the other campers.

Around the world, Open Doors sponsors camps—especially for discipleship training for young people. Twenty-three-year-old Roton is one of those youths who attended a camp in Bangladesh in early 2011 for young believers from Muslim background (MBB). He said, “To attend this camp, I traveled for seven hours. I walked thirteen kilometers before getting on the bus. It was exhausting, but I wanted to know more about Jesus.”

In a brief encounter with Open Doors during the camp, Roton shared that he felt pressure when he was just a new follower of Christ. “Many times, my Muslim friends would ask me why my family and I became Christians. They wanted to know how much [money] we got for converting. They asked me if the people who converted me stepped on the Koran or ate pork. I lost all my Muslim friends; everyone hated me and my family.”

Roton’s father was the first believer in the family, and boldly shared his faith with others. He read from the Koran, searching for portions that mentioned Jesus. Later on, however, his eye sight deteriorated to the point of blindness. So, he asked young Roton to read to him every day some passages from the Koran that specifically talked about Jesus.

“I just followed what I was told to do. In the beginning, I was reading for my father. But after few days, I realized that I was becoming more curious to find the truth myself. Because of the witness of the Koran, I found myself believing Jesus as the Holy one, the Messiah. I became a Christian soon after; I gave my life fully to Jesus,” Roton testified.

Discrimination soon followed Roton’s new found faith. His religion teacher mistreated him. When the school principal learned of his conversion, he was watched and compelled to recite Muslim prayers. People questioned him about Jesus Christ, but all that Roton knew about Christ he learned from the Koranic passages he read for his father. It was time to learn more. Instead of succumbing to the religious pressure he experienced, Roton—with encouragement from his father—set out on a journey to learn more about his Lord and Savior.

“I am so happy to be in this MBB youth camp. It’s my first. I saw that I am not alone! Many work together for Christ. In this camp, I discovered Jesus in the Old Testament. I will read the Old Testament more—together with the New Testament—so that I am prepared to answer questions people ask me. Someday, I want to study in a Bible school, so that I can help others who are on the same road as I am.”

RESPONSE: Today I will pass on to others all that I have learned and experienced in my relationship with Jesus.

PRAYER: Pray for young believers around the world who are in the process of developing their knowledge and discipleship in following Jesus. Pray too for camp leaders and trainers.

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

LHM Daily Devotions - Our Father, by Whose Name

"Our Father, by Whose Name"

Oct. 7, 2018

"O Christ Thyself a Child within an earthly home, with heart still undefiled Thou did to manhood come, our children bless in every place that they may all behold Thy face, and knowing Thee may grow in grace.

O Spirit who does bind our hearts in unity, who teaches us to find the love from self set free, in all our hearts such love increase that every home by this release may be the dwelling place of peace."
The first line of this hymn has captured my imagination: "O Christ Thyself a Child within an earthly home, with heart still undefiled Thou did to manhood come."

With all respect to Mary and Joseph, earthly homes are messy places to grow up. Because they're full of humans, families are learning and growing in responsibility, patience, maturity, and grace -- all together under the same roof. And with imperfect people in charge, the struggles show up in a myriad of ways: abuse, neglect, poverty, addiction, divorce, silent treatment, temper tantrums (both children or adults), depression, anxiety, and the list goes on. Even the most loving homes have sibling rivalries, grief over losses, and difficult transitions that tempt the best of us to focus only on ourselves.

But Jesus, a baby, then a toddler, developed through all the stages of childhood with a heart that never once, not even one time, was defiled by the selfishness that so often consumes our early years! I wonder what it was like to watch Him grow, to see Him cry for milk, utterly dependent as an infant. Or as a toddler, to watch His curiosity with a friend's toy express itself in patience and gentleness. Can you imagine Him as a young scholar, not participating in debates about who was the best in class but, instead, considering others as better than Himself?

Yet, we know that He learned and grew along with all human children in order to redeem the full spectrum of our human experience. So, I challenge you, in the context of your current family relationships, to identify a place where your heart is tempted and perhaps has even succumbed to selfishness. Then imagine Jesus in your same situation. What does love, peace, patience, goodness, sacrifice, gentleness, and self-control look like in your shoes? In other words, and at the risk of being cliché, "What would Jesus do?"

While Scripture is the only infallible source of knowing God, it is good for us to use all our faculties, including our imaginations, in relationship to our Creator. So, take time to look at Jesus' words and actions in Scripture and imagine if He were interacting with the others in your context. Remember His words of compassion, the way He showed love and concern, His willingness to be there for others. Ask God to help you model the Savior's life in your own life, especially in forgiveness -- as God has forgiven you in His Son. It's a way of sharing God's character with others, following the Savior's lead, in life's big and little things. And all of us can aspire to grow in grace and peace by seeing even a small glimpse of the goodness in Jesus.

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for taking on human form in order to relate to all of our trials and temptations. Thank You for living with an undefiled heart that continues to point the way for us when we get derailed or self-absorbed. Teach us Your way that we may truly grow in grace and peace. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by AmyRuth Bartlett. It is based on the hymn, "Our Father, by Whose Name."  Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
The first line of this hymn has captured my imagination ...

Notre Pain Quotidien - Un bon accueil pour tous

Un bon accueil pour tous

[Pratiquons] le bien envers tous, et surtout envers les frères en la foi. Galates 6.10

Durant de récentes vacances, ma femme et moi avons visité un célèbre complexe sportif. Avec ses portes grandes ouvertes, il semblait nous inciter à en faire le tour. Nous nous sommes alors plus à admirer les lieux et les terrains de sport superbement aménagés. Comme nous étions sur le point de partir, quelqu’un nous a arrêtés pour nous indiquer sèchement que nous n’étions pas censés nous trouver là. Soudain, on nous a ainsi rappelé que nous étions des étrangers, ce qui nous a mis mal à l’aise.

Au cours des mêmes vacances, nous avons visité une église. Ses portes étaient elles aussi ouvertes, si bien que nous y sommes entrés. Quelle différence ! De nombreuses personnes nous y ont chaleureusement accueillis et nous ont fait nous sentir comme chez nous. Nous en sommes sortis après le culte d’adoration nous sachant les bienvenus et acceptés.

Malheureusement, il n’est pas rare que des étrangers se fassent servir le message non verbal « vous n’est pas censés vous trouver là » dans une église. La Bible nous appelle pourtant à exercer l’hospitalité envers tous, à aimer notre prochain comme nous‑même, qu’il soit croyant ou non, ce qui signifie assurément l’accueillir dans notre vie et notre église (voir MT 22.39 ; HÉ 13.2 ; LU 14.13,14 ; RO 12.13 ; GA 6.10).

En accueillant tout le monde à bras ouverts et en démontrant de l’amour chrétien, nous reflétons l’amour et la compassion de notre Sauveur.

En exerçant l’hospitalité, nous manifestons la bonté de Dieu.

© 2018 Ministères NPQ
Durant de récentes vacances, ma femme et moi avons visité un célèbre complexe sportif.