Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, November 11, 2018 - Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

The Widow’s Offering
Mark 12:41-44

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, November 11, 2018 - Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
(Revised Common Lectionary Year B)

Opening Prayer
Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy Spirit from me. Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
~ From Psalm 51

The Collect
O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he 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.

Most merciful God, We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have failed to do. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Words of Reassurance
If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
~ 1 John 1:9, NIV

The Lessons

First Reading
1 Kings 17:8-16
The Widow of Zarephath
17:8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” 15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

The Psalm
Psalm 146 Lauda, anima mea
1   Hallelujah! Praise the LORD, O my soul! *
I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
2   Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *
for there is no help in them.
3   When they breathe their last, they return to earth, *
and in that day their thoughts perish.
4   Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
whose hope is in the LORD their God;
5   Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
who keeps his promise for ever;
6   Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
and food to those who hunger.
7   The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
8   The LORD loves the righteous; the LORD cares for the stranger; *
he sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked.
9   The LORD shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations. Hallelujah!

Second Reading
Hebrews 9:24-28
9:24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

The Gospel
Mark 12:38-44
Jesus Denounces the Scribes
12:38 As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

The Widow’s Offering
41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

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.

Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

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.
She out of her poverty has put in everything she had...

"My Two Cents" The Sermon for SUNDAY, November 11, 2018

"My Two Cents"

The Holy Gospel comes to us today from Mark the 12th chapter, beginning at the 38th verse.

As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the gift of life and all that is needed to sustain us from day to day, but we are often unappreciative. You have revealed the depth of your love for us, through the life, death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus the Christ, yet we often fail to share your love with others. Through our baptism, you have claimed us as children of your kingdom, and heirs of eternal life, yet we often fail to express our gratitude for your gift of grace. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, move us to deeper faith, and empower us to live our lives in thanksgiving. We ask this in Christ’s name. Amen.

I find it interesting identifying the origin of popular words and phrases. No less so that the phrase many of us have often used, “But, that’s just my two cents.” Where did that phrase come from? Depending upon where one searches for the answer, we would discover that the English language contains many specific terms for goods or services that cost two cents (or twopenny, two-pence), some of them very old. We also might discover that over time two cents also became descriptors of items that weren’t worth much, if anything. Finally, somewhere in the mid-1920’s, we discover the phrase became attached to the practice of offering unsolicited advice. But, the earliest reference to anything analogous to “two cents” appears in the lesson of the widow's mite in the Gospel of Mark. In that earliest reference, the “two cents worth” has a totally different meaning than how we’ve come to us it. For the widow, the “two cents” was everything. For the wealthy who stood around her it didn’t mean much. I’m afraid we still take our “two cents” to be worth just that—two cents.

You know the scene. Jesus sits and watches as people put their offerings in the offering boxes around the Temple. There were 13 of them, in fact lined along the outside of one of the Temple courtyards. They looked like trumpets, and it was quite the show to watch persons go by and toss their coins into the horns. The noise would be predicated upon the type and number of coins a person dropped into the box. There were even some who would make a show of their offerings. That might be why Jesus said in the verses just prior to the example of the widow:
38 Jesus also taught: “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” (Mark 12: 38–40)
Remember that “the scribes” were the experts in the Law of Moses. They were teachers of the Law in schools and synagogues. They expounded on the Scriptures and preserved them. They were also referred to as lawyers and served as judges in the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court. Jesus warns His disciples “beware of these scribes.” He gives several reasons for His warning, but note one in particular: “They devour widows’ houses” (verse 40). They exploited widows. Jews and Christians have always been charged with a ministry of caring for widows. The Apostle James, in his letter says: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27). So, Jesus charges them with cheating widows rather than visiting them in their distress.

As judges, they also often denied widows justice in court. Remember the parable Jesus told about the widow and the unjust judge in Luke 18? Jesus says:
In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming” (Luke 18:2-5).
These “judges” tended to exploit widows and deny them justice.

As Jesus sits watching at the Temple, condemning those “scribes” or “judges,” he notices who is putting what in the Treasury, and he notices who makes the show of it. Doubtless, some of those who were putting money in were the very scribes Jesus was warning about, and doubtless they were some of the very ones making a show of it. Then, enter the “poor” widow who puts in her “two cents.”

Just how poor was the widow? The word “poor” suggests she was “utterly helpless, completely destitute, living in such absolute poverty that perhaps even needed necessities for survival such as food and shelter were lacking.” It was highly probable that she did not have another male relative to provide for her needs—no father, son, brother, or even a brother-in-law. Basically, there was no social safety net to capture this poor widow. No social security. No husband’s estate or pension. No pension of her own. She was not like Christie Walton. I actually read this headline one time: “The WalMart heir everyone believed was one of the richest women in America is actually poorer than people thought.” Christie Walton is John Walton’s widow, and she was originally believed to be worth $32 billion dollars. Turns out she’s only worth $5 billion. What a shame. Poorer than people thought, indeed! Definitely not the widow Jesus was referencing. No, I’m afraid we don’t know the value of the two pennies the widow placed in the Temple treasury.

We can’t fully grasp what it meant for her to put in her two cents worth. Jesus calls his disciples together and says ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’

Jesus knew that these are not just two coins, but the woman’s last two. It was all she had to live on says the text. The original Greek word used is ‘bios’ from which we get biology, the study of life. This widow put her whole life into the temple treasury that day. The widow gave 100% of her money. She is down to two practically worthless little coins and trusts it all to God, she laid her whole self before God. For the widow, it wasn’t just a matter of giving. It was a matter of going “all-in.” It seems almost reckless to us. It sounds so much like a poor person sending in the last two dollars they have to a television evangelist. We scratch our head and wonder, “Why would they do that?” But, I might suggest it is reckless—reckless trust, and that’s just the type of trust God honors and Christ commends. Her two cents represents total abandon to the Kingdom of God. It is full-on faith. The widow could easily have retained one of the coins for herself. It wouldn’t have been much but it would have been something. Instead, she gave her life. And the call of Jesus to us is the give all we have. That’s a reckless thing to do because we never know where it will lead us, never know what we might be called to do.

For the woman the giving was sacrificial. It’s never the amount given that matters, but the cost to the giver. It’s not the size of the gift but the sacrifice of the gift. I might even suggest that her giving was never about money. It was always about her heart. That’s what she put in the Temple treasury that day—she put her heart. She was totally committed.

A modern parable:
"Once upon a time, a pig and a chicken were walking down a village street. They came upon a church sign which was advertising a bazaar and breakfast which was going to be held in a few days.

At the bottom of the sign the menu was given, it read ’Ham and eggs will be served from 6:30 to 8:00 am.’ The chicken turned to the pig and said, "See!!’ Even we can help the work of the church!!!"

"Yes," said the pig, "but yours is only a contribution, mine is a SACRIFICE."
Jesus contrasted two different types of people. Those who put a lot in, but their heart wasn’t in the right place. It was more about themselves than about the Kingdom. Then, there was the widow who put all in that day. What a difference!

Today a lot of people categorize church into one of two categories. The first category would be those who ask, “What do I get out of church?” Or, they might ask, “What does the church provide in support for my family?” Or, “Does the worship service give me strength and encourage me?” Maybe, “What am I getting when I attend church?”

The second category would be those who ask, “What do I give to church?” I give praise to God in worship. I serve others whenever I have an opportunity. I use my gifts and talents to organize and plan ministries. I give my financial resources to the local church. I join in a partnership with the larger connection of churches around the world. I share my story about what Christ has done for me, and so I’m witnessing my faith to lead others to Christ.

These are briefly, both what we get out of church, and what we give to church. We must be careful which question we find ourselves asking, for therein lies the key to understanding the value of our “two cents.” When we only ask the what am I getting question, we come perilously close to being the former in today’s text. Sure, they put in much from their abundance, but there wasn’t much heart in the offering. When we ask the “what am I giving” question, it reflects a heart tuned to the heart of God and to the needs of the world around us.

The truth is: When we’re not getting much out of church, it is most likely we’re not giving much to church. The life of a disciple is one whose heart is “all-in.” The widows “two cents” were everything. I trust my “two cents” will be everything, too.

Someone may ask, “Well what good can I do? I am too old, or too young. I am too poor, or too sick. I have too many children to care for. I am a widow. I am too busy. I am too weak. The job is impossible for me to do. It’s asking too much. What can one person do?”

Martha Berry was a lady with a vision to help children. She had a dream to start a school for poor children in Georgia. When she started she had no books, nor building. More importantly, she had no money. What she did have was a vision of how things could be, and she had a desire to go out and live out that dream. She went to Henry Ford to ask for a donation. Mr. Ford reached into his pocket and gave Martha Berry a dime.

Most people would have been insulted. Seriously, a multi-millionaire, and all he could give her was a dime? But, Martha Berry took that dime and bought a packet of seeds, and she took the seeds and planted a garden, and she raised the crop and sold it and bought more seeds. After three or four harvests she had enough money to purchase an old building for the children. She returned to Mr. Ford and said, “Look what your dime has done.”

Mr. Ford was so impressed that he donated a million dollars to the Martha Berry School for Children.

What is “two cents” worth? Everything.
O Lord, you graciously pour out your blessings on us. Your gifts surround us. Despite our abundance, help us see the widow’s gift, for we long to give as she did, gladly giving all she had. All we have is a gift from your hand. Help us loosen our hands, giving to work of this church on your behalf, for in giving freely to you, we gain the opportunity to live abundant lives! 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.
What is “two cents” worth?

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, November 11, 2018

Sunday morning prayer

My loving God, I thank You for bringing me safely to another day of worship. How I desire to praise You with a pure heart and right spirit! To that end, I again ask Your forgiveness for all my sins and renewing of my faith. As I speak to You today, fill my heart with true praise and thankfulness for all You have done for me. Lead me to appreciate more fully the blessings of worshiping with my fellow Christians. Thank You for the opportunity to pray and study Your Word with other believers. Make me a faithful witness in my congregation and my family so that others will see me leaning only on You, who saved me in Jesus Christ.

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.

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, November 11, 2018

1 John 2:15-16 (NIV) Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

Read all of 1 John 2

Listen to 1 John 2

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 - Los dos cimientos

Los dos cimientos

Todo el que me oye estas palabras y no las pone en práctica es como un hombre insensato que construyó su casa sobre la arena [...] y esta se derrumbó.
~ Mateo 7:26-27 (NVI)

Hoy terminamos los veintiún días y sé que mi Dios nos ha dado tremendas armas, instrucciones y doctrinas para que seamos felices mediante la obediencia. Si no leíste estos veintiún días, léelos cuando puedas. Hay cosas sencillas y prácticas que nos dejó Dios y que estoy segura que, si las aplicamos, daremos mejores frutos.

Este último llamado de nuestro Padre tiene que ver con lo más importante: La base de todo lo que hacemos, o sea, la estructura que determinará nuestra vida. ¿Dónde vamos a construir? ¿Sobre la arena o sobre la Roca que es Cristo? La vida construida sobre la Roca resistirá cualquier ataque, tormenta y desafío que se presente en nuestro diario vivir.

Por favor, dejemos la vida trivial. Dejemos de vivir a nuestra manera y de tomar decisiones que distorsionen lo que Dios ya planeó para cada uno de nosotros. Aprendamos de una vez por todas de las equivocaciones y de los golpes que hemos sufrido. Luego, permitamos que nuestro Señor nos dé esos cimientos para ser absolutamente felices en Cristo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Hoy terminamos los veintiún días y sé que mi Dios nos ha dado tremendas armas, instrucciones y doctrinas para que seamos felices mediante la obediencia.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - REMEMBER


Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
~ Exodus 17:14 (NIV)

Joshua led the Israeli army in the fight against their long-time enemies, the Amalekites. Moses went up to the top of the nearby hill. As long as his hands were held up, the Israelis were winning. When he grew tired of holding up his hands, he sat on a rock and Aaron and Hur each held up one of Moses’ arms till sunset when Joshua finally overcame the enemy.

The Lord instructs this event to be “remembered.” It was to be written down—the first time in scripture—as a permanent reminder. God’s people are explicitly called to remember both God’s deliverance and His judgment of the wicked.

The Bible records a number of events that people remembered. After Jacob’s dream at Bethel, he used the stone pillow on which he slept as a pillar of remembrance. After the Israelis finally crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, they took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan and set them up as a memorial about which they were to tell their children. Memorials help us to remember what God has done and enable us to trust Him for the future.

Esdras is a church leader in southern Mexico. He is also a lawyer and therefore is able to stand up for the rights of many indigenous people who are persecuted for their Christian faith.

He will always remember a significant event when God’s protection was evident. He says, “I was visiting in Mitziton, an area where more than half of the community are Christians. The authorities wanted to turn two hundred Christians out of their homes and drive them out of the town. I intervened and was able to prevent them from having to leave. After this, I was publicly threatened with death. That day I was not able to return to my hometown and we spent the night in the home of a Christian. It was outside the town and there were no houses nearby.

“At about eleven o’clock in the evening, a strange sensation came over me. Something seemed wrong, but I didn’t know what the matter was. At a quarter to twelve, two trucks turned up with twelve men. They were heavily armed with guns. I was completely alone with Marilene and our little baby. That day, we happened not to have any connection to the radio or mobile phone. I couldn’t phone anyone and there was no chance of calling for help. The attackers came closer and closer. They called out, ‘Now we’ve got him. He can’t get away now. Now we’re going to shoot him dead.’

“Suddenly something unexpected happened. The gardener, an old man who lived in the grounds, turned on the lights around the house. I hadn’t asked him to do anything. When the attackers saw all those lighted lamps, they cried, ‘Where have all those guards come from?’

“They slunk off and we were spared. Maybe they saw angels, who had come to guard us.” Esdras now travels the world and remembers publicly God’s great deliverance.

RESPONSE: Today I will commit to remember the acts of God in my life and record them for the future.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for remembrance days we have of Your blessings and Your deliverance. 

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 - Consider How the Birds Above

"Consider How the Birds Above"

Nov. 11, 2018

"Be on your guard against all greed, For life is more than what we own. Our Father knows our ev'ry need, Before our needs to us are known.

"Be not afraid to suffer loss, Of all the things for which you pray, For He who faced for you the cross, Will give you strength to live each day."

This has been a year of losses for me and my family. We've had a dozen people we cared for die -- two in our own family -- and several others go on hospice. My husband had a stroke as well. I'm ready to say goodbye to 2018!

When I think of loss, I think of fear. How could I not? And yet our hymn today says, "Be not afraid to suffer loss of all the things for which you pray." At first sight, that's scary. I pray for many things I don't want to lose: my husband, my family, my church, my health. How can I not be afraid at the idea of losing what I love?

But the hymn goes on: "For He who faced for you the cross, will give you strength to live each day." Okay. I know this is true. It's only Jesus who makes it possible for me to go on each day, facing new losses and knowing more will come in the future.

You see, the worst part of loss is not knowing where the lost one has gone or what has happened to that lost one. Will we ever again see what we have lost? Is he or she safe? Will I ever regain the thing I have lost?

If we believe in a great blank -- a void, that swallows up all our losses -- then there is no hope. What we have lost is gone forever, never to resurface, never even to have an existence apart from me. It's just -- gone. Who cannot fear that?

But if we believe in a God whose eye is on the sparrow, a God who has numbered every hair on our heads, who calls us His own children, then our losses change. What we lose, we lose into His hands. That person I love -- she is in God's care. That thing I can no longer do because the disability of my body makes it impossible -- God can restore that in the resurrection. Even those things I have forgotten are in the mind of God, who never forgets. He does not lose the past, as I do. He is the One who created time.

That gives me the strength to go on living, trusting Jesus who loved me -- who loved you! -- so much that He lost everything for us: home, family, life itself on the cross. He entrusted Himself to God the Father, knowing that God would bring Him again from the dead, and would restore life to Him and life to us who love Him. If God can restore Jesus, surely, we can safely entrust everything else we love into His hands. And we can bear our losses with patience -- with grief, yes, but with hope as well. For, as Paul put it, "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day" (2 Timothy 1:12 NIV).

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it's all in Your hands -- our loved ones, friends, our health, even our lives. Teach us to trust in Your love -- a love that shone most clearly in the sending of Your Son Jesus on our behalf. It is in His Name we pray. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo. It is based on the hymn, "Consider How the Birds Above." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
I'm ready to say goodbye to 2018!

Notre Pain Quotidien - Espoir et confiance

Espoir et confiance

La Bible en un an : Jérémie 50 ; Hébreux 8

[Car] Christ est ma vie, et mourir m’est un gain. V. 21

Le Dr William Wallace était un chirurgien missionnaire à Wuzhou, en Chine, dans les années 1940 lorsque le Japon a attaqué la Chine. Wallace, qui dirigeait à l’époque l’hôpital Stout Memorial, a donné l’ordre de charger l’équipement hospitalier sur des barges et de continuer à fonctionner comme un hôpital en parcourant les rivières afin d’éviter les attaques de l’infanterie.

En période périlleuse, Philippiens 1.21 – l’un des versets préférés de Wallace – lui rappelait que, s’il vivait, il avait encore du travail à faire pour le Sauveur, mais que, s’il mourait, il avait la promesse de passer l’éternité avec Christ. Ce verset a revêtu une signification particulière lorsque, emprisonné à tort, Wallace est mort en 1951.

Les écrits de Paul reflètent une profonde dévotion à laquelle nous pouvons aspirer en tant que disciples de Jésus. Elle nous permet d’affronter des épreuves et même des dangers pour Dieu. Le Saint‑Esprit et les prières de nos intimes dynamisent cette dévotion (V. 19). Il s’agit également d’une promesse. Même si nous nous consacrons à un service continuel en situation difficile, nous le faisons selon ce rappel : si notre vie et notre travail se terminent ici‑bas, nous avons encore la joie de savoir que nous passerons l’éternité en compagnie de Jésus.

Dans nos pires moments, étant résolus à marcher avec Christ et à garder le regard fixé sur la promesse de l’éternité à ses côtés, puissions‑nous bénir les gens par une vie et des actes empreints de l’amour de Dieu.

Les sacrifices que nous faisons pour Dieu permettent de manifester son amour.

© 2018 Ministères NPQ
Le Dr William Wallace était un chirurgien missionnaire à Wuzhou, en Chine, dans les années 1940 lorsque le Japon a attaqué la Chine.