Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, February 17, 2019 - Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany


The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, February 17, 2019 - Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Opening Prayer

As we gather here in the harbor of your safety we thank you for fellowship and family.

We ask that you will strengthen us, restore us and inspire us with your love. Lord, would fill us with your peace so that as we journey onwards we would pour out your love and grace to others. We ask that our souls would catch the wind of your spirit so that we would take your promises to all the earth. Amen.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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.

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 left undone. 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
In spite of our individual inadequacies, God has called us together to be Christ’s Body, and each one of us is indispensable. God remembers us, giving each of us distinct gifts, equipping each of us to provide guidance and accountability for one another, that we all may become more faithful followers of Christ. We are all greater as one Body than any single member of us could be on our own.


The Lessons

First Reading
Jeremiah 17:5-10
5  Thus says the Lord:
   Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
     and make mere flesh their strength,
     whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
6  They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
     and shall not see when relief comes.
   They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
     in an uninhabited salt land.

7  Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
     whose trust is the Lord.
8  They shall be like a tree planted by water,
     sending out its roots by the stream.
   It shall not fear when heat comes,
     and its leaves shall stay green;
   in the year of drought it is not anxious,
     and it does not cease to bear fruit.

9  The heart is devious above all else;
     it is perverse—
     who can understand it?
10 I the Lord test the mind
     and search the heart,
   to give to all according to their ways,
     according to the fruit of their doings.

Psalm 1
The Two Ways
1  Happy are those
     who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
   or take the path that sinners tread,
     or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2  but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
     and on his law they meditate day and night.
3  They are like trees
     planted by streams of water,
   which yield their fruit in its season,
     and their leaves do not wither.
   In all that they do, they prosper.

4  The wicked are not so,
     but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
     nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6  for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
     but the way of the wicked will perish.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
The Resurrection of the Dead
15:12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.

The Gospel
Luke 6:17-26
Jesus Teaches and Heals
6:17 He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

Blessings and Woes
20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

   “Blessed are you who are poor,
     for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now,
     for you will be filled.
   “Blessed are you who weep now,
     for you will laugh.

22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

24 “But woe to you who are rich,
     for you have received your consolation.
25 “Woe to you who are full now,
     for you will be hungry.
   “Woe to you who are laughing now,
     for you will mourn and weep.

26 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer

Lord, thank you that we are a family in Christ. Help us to share his love and legacy with everyone that we encounter this week. May we lavish Christ’s abounding goodness upon our families, friends and colleagues. Holy Spirit, come and equip us in our workplace, guide us in our school life, and inspire us in our neighborhood. May we be your hands and feet to the needy, your words of affirmation to the oppressed and your arms of comfort to the lonely.

Thank you for choosing to use us to bring your kingdom here on earth. Amen.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

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.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven

“What Is Your Top Priority In Life?” The Sermon for SUNDAY, February 17, 2019 - Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany


Our Gospel message comes to us today from Luke the 6th chapter, beginning at the 17th verse.

6:17 He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. 20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. 24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. 26 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. (Luke 6:17-26, NRSV)

All mighty God, we thank you for your word and the way that you in it revealed to us who you are and what you've done for us in Christ. Now as we open that word we pray that your spirit may be present, that all thoughts of worry or distraction may be removed and that the Spirit will allow us to hear your voice. And so, oh God, fill us with your spirit through the reading and proclamation of your word this day. We pray in Jesus name. Amen

“What Is Your Top Priority In Life?”

What is your top priority in your life? What is your number one goal? We all have different goals, different priorities, things that are important to us, things that we would like to achieve in our lives. We might not formally put them down on paper, but there are certain things that are important to each of us. What is your number one priority? Some of your priorities might include losing weight, staying healthy, advancing in your job, saving for retirement, raising decent children. Those are all good priorities. But they’re also earthly. In other words, all of those priorities have to do with the here and now, this life, and not the life to come.

According to the Bible, as we think about our priorities in life, God wants our top priority, our number one goal, to be something that is not of this world. That number one priority is to be something higher than staying healthy. It’s supposed to be deeper than saving for retirement. It’s supposed to be more spiritual than just raising kids that are successful and stable in life. Those are all good things, but as we think about our top priority in life, God wants us to look up – to look away from this world, and to look heavenward, and to focus on something else. Today, we’re going to talk about what that something else is, that top priority, and how it affects the way we look at the things that happen in our lives.

Jesus spoke about this in our Gospel lesson for this morning. Jesus was able to look into the hearts of his listeners, and as he did that, he could see that many of them had worldly goals. They might have looked spiritual on the outside, because they were listening to Jesus, but on the inside, they were worldly. “My top priority in life is to make good money,” some of them were probably thinking. “My top goal in life is to be entertained. What’s important to me is to be popular.”

Look at how Jesus addresses their priorities in verse 24: “Woe to you who are rich,” Jesus said to them, “for you have received your consolation.” In other words, their life might be comfortable now, but it wouldn’t be comfortable in the life to come. Verse 25: “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.” Those people with a worldly outlook on life might be well-fed now, but they would someday be hungry in the life to come. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.” Those people with worldly goals would mourn and weep in the life to come. Verse 26: “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”

Jesus wasn’t condemning people because they had money, or because they had food or friends. What Jesus was condemning, was their lack of spiritual life. Their whole life was all about going to work, raising their kids, enjoying time with friends – having the good life, right here, and right now. It all seemed good on the outside, but on the inside, they had no faith, no thought of the life to come, no trust in Jesus. Inside, there was nothing spiritual at all. And that would come back to haunt them in the life to come.

This causes us to ask ourselves, “what is the focus of my life?” It is true, that we come here, and we read the word of God, just like those people listened to Jesus. But on the inside, am I really just a worldly person? I like to think that I am spiritual, but really, is my number one concern in life paying my bills? Is my number one concern in life recreation? Is God, his Word, his sacrifice for my sins, does that even make the top five of the things that I care about most in my life?

We all struggle with this. We live in a world that worships and adores the physical, earthly things of life. The Word of God, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, my future existence in the life to come – these are things that the world shakes its head at. And that affects you. It affects the way you think. Your priorities and my priorities in life are quite often upside down, backwards, worldly – God is at the bottom. If we are honest with ourselves, we must confess that at times, we have sinned this way. “Woe to you,” Jesus says this morning.

But what a comfort it is to know that Jesus, who spoke these words of woe, also speaks words of comfort to you. “I forgive you,” he says. Think of the sacrifice Jesus made to so that he could say, “I forgive you.” He did what he talked about here in our Gospel lesson – in verse 20, Jesus talked about being poor. When Jesus died on the cross, he was poor, he was penniless – worth nothing in the eyes of the world. In verse 21, Jesus talked about hunger. Very likely, Jesus suffered great hunger on the cross – there is no record of Jesus eating as he was tried and tortured. In verse 21, Jesus talked about weeping. Shortly before Jesus died, the Bible records how Jesus wept loudly because the people of Jerusalem had rejected him. In verse 22, Jesus talked about being hated, excluded, insulted, and rejected. All these things describe what Jesus went through as he died on the cross.

Why did he do it? What was his top priority? You know the answer. His ultimate purpose was to be a sacrifice for your sins, and for the sins of the whole world. His ultimate purpose was to make it possible for you, a sinner, to be forgiven, and to go to heaven. That was his top priority, that you would someday be able to spend an eternity with him in the life to come.

What Jesus did for us affects how we look at our lives here on this earth. We have lots of things we want to do while we are alive. But our top priority is to worship Christ with our lives, to serve him, to obey him, and to share him with others. Christ is number one. Because of what he did for me, that’s why our number one focus can’t primarily be on earthly, worldly things.

When the Devil sees that this is how you look at your life, he will try to make your life miserable. That’s what he did to the disciples. He caused them to be poor because they were serving Christ. But look at what Jesus said about their poverty, in verse 20: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Their reward was in the life to come. The Devil caused some of those disciples to experience hunger, to feel sadness. But look at what Jesus says to them in verse 21: “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.” The Devil caused some of them to experience hunger in this world, but in the world to come, they would be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now,” Jesus said, “for you will laugh.” The Devil made the lives of those disciples miserable, but Jesus promised them that they would experience joy and laughter in the life to come.

Look at verse 22: “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.” These are things that happened to those disciples. Verse 23: “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.”

These things Jesus said to those disciples, he also says to you. Once you become a Christian, once you believe that Jesus Christ has taken your sins away by his amazing sacrifice, once you believe that someday you will be with him in the life to come, once you believe that, your number one priority in life changes. You become less worldly. You still care about your job, and your family and friends, and the other things you have in this world. But your number one goal changes. To worship Christ, to serve him, to share him with others – that becomes the top goal in life.

And when that happens, the Devil will do the same things to you as he did to those disciples. Who knows what the Devil will do to you? Perhaps he will cause you to be poor and hungry. Perhaps he will bring great sadness into your life. Perhaps he will work it out that people will insult you and reject you because you’re wearing your faith on your sleeve.

But if your trust is in Christ, if your goal in life is to worship him, and to rely on him no matter what, then even those troubles won’t bother you. Because today Jesus promises you that you, too, can “rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.”

May God bless you with this kind of perspective, with this kind of focus, with Christ as your top priority. May he give you strength to look above and beyond the pleasures and sorrows of this world, because there is something greater, something deeper, something that will last forever. May you find it in Jesus.

Amen

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

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 your top priority in your life? What is your number one goal?

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, February 17, 2019


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.

Amen.




Early Morning Prayer


I come before you O Lord
As the sun rises may your hope rise up in me.
As the birds sing may your love flow out of me.
As the light floods into this new day,
May your joy shine through me.
I come before you, O Lord
And drink in this moment of peace,
That I may carry something of your hope, love and joy
Today in my heart.

Amen.

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, February 17, 2019


Romans 8:35,37 (NIV) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Read all of Romans 8

Listen to Romans 8

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 de fe


Oración de fe

Si confiesas con tu boca que Jesús es el Señor, y crees en tu corazón que Dios lo levantó de entre los muertos, serás salvo.
~ Romanos 10:9 (NVI)

Mi Dios, hace varios días que estoy leyendo este libro que alguien me regaló (o que compré), porque ya es tradición leer algo todos los días. Tal vez lo escuche a través de la radio, pues se oye bonito. Me inspira a cambiar, a hacer cosas distintas y a vivir una vida diferente a la que estoy viviendo.

Muchos me han dicho: «Haz la oración de fe y acepta a Jesús como tu Salvador». Sin embargo, Señor, aún no sé cómo hacerlo. A decir verdad, no quisiera cambiar de religión.

En este día y en esta hora, me encuentro de nuevo en este libro la oportunidad de hacer esta oración y deseo hacerla con todo mi corazón. Aunque hay cosas que no entiendo, y aunque a veces lo que veo no me gusta, quiero recibirte en mi corazón.

Señor Jesús, me presento delante de ti para pedirte perdón por mis pecados, para decirte que te recibo en mi corazón como el único Salvador de mi vida.

Por favor, escribe mi nombre en el libro de la vida y gracias por darme vida eterna. Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION AND RESCUE


THE MYSTERY OF REDEMPTION AND RESCUE

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…

The imagery of God’s intervention in the suffering of the Israeli’s in Egypt recorded in Exodus 3:7-8 has captured the imaginations of many oppressed people. For example, African-American believers see a strong parallel between American slavery and the bondage of the Jews in Egypt and God’s personal and powerful exodus rescue of His people.

New Testament writers saw a powerful parallel with our sinful, lost, human condition and God’s redemption through the sending of His only Son who “pitched his tent” among us and purchased our salvation with His shed blood. For example, in Colossians 1:13, the Apostle Paul states it clearly. We have been “rescued from” Satan’s dark domain and “brought into” the kingdom of God’s Son.

The Exodus passage also brings great hope to persecuted Christians today. God has feelings. He cares. He sees. He hears. He knows. He’s concerned. And in His time, He rescues! The mystery of this rescuing action is God’s timing. Galatians 4:4 tells us it was when “the time had fully come” that God sent His Son to redeem us. We saw two days ago that the Israelis waited hundreds of years for deliverance from oppression in Egypt and entrance to the promised land while “the sins of the Amorites reached full measure” (Genesis 15:16). God alone sees the end from the beginning. We wait for His timing in His promise of coming down to rescue us.

Iranian Christian leader, Mehdi Dibaj, spent over nine years in prison for his faith as a believer from Muslim background. He was emotionally prepared to die a martyr’s death. His day was indeed to come. In late 1993, he was tried on charges of apostasy (from Islam) after being a Christian for over forty years. He made his own defense and used his written statement to share his commitment to Jesus Christ. In early 1994, he was sentenced to execution. There was a great international outcry when the news of Mehdi Dibaj's scheduled execution was publicized. Suddenly on January 16, 1994, the Teheran government released Mehdi Dibaj from prison and denied it had sentenced him to death for converting from Islam to Christianity over forty years earlier.

It was a great day of rejoicing for the believers in Iran. When Mehdi Dibaj first met with them, their immediate response was to burst into song, “In the name of Jesus, we have the victory!” Even TIME magazine reported the release under the title “Answered Prayers.” Yet in God’s perfect timing, this man who had experienced God’s rescue multiple times was martyred by vigilantes after six months of freedom from prison.

RESPONSE: Today I will acknowledge God’s timing is best for me as I await His rescue.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for my deliverance from the kingdom of darkness to Your kingdom of light through Your Son, Jesus.

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 - I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190217

"I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus"

Feb. 17, 2019

1) "I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
Trusting only Thee;
Trusting Thee for full salvation,
Great and free."

A classic if there ever was one: "I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus." It's a simple statement of faith. I'm not clinging to my bank account, my promising career, or all the great things I think I do. I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, and there is nothing that compares to that.


2) "I am trusting Thee for pardon;
At Thy feet I bow,
For Thy grace and tender mercy
Trusting now."

My conscience tells me I've blown it. There's no getting around it, no escape hatch through which I can go swimming to the surface to get beyond my sin. "I am trusting Thee for pardon." And beyond that which is extended by Christ, there is no reprieve for my crimes.


3) "I am trusting Thee for cleansing
In the crimson flood;
Trusting Thee to make me holy
By Thy blood."

Like filthy grime that stains to the bone, such is the depth of my sin. My feeble efforts at making myself presentable are a cosmetic ruse. "I am trusting Thee for cleansing." Soiled rags are the best I have to offer—but—washed in His blood, I am made clean.


4) "I am trusting Thee to guide me;
Thou alone shalt lead,
Ev'ry day and hour supplying
All my need."

Though I chart a course and attempt to read the signs along the way, my perception is lacking, and my vision distorted. Setting out without You is like rowing a boat with one oar. "I am trusting Thee to guide me." Then, and only then, will my path be made straight.


5) "I am trusting Thee for power;
Thine can never fail.
Words which Thou Thyself shalt give me
Must prevail."

My thirst for control and lust to conquer betray my complete insufficiency. A lifetime of self-deception as to who's in charge shows that it is certainly not me. "I am trusting Thee for power." The white flag is raised; I relinquish the façade of control.


6) "I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus;
Never let me fall.
I am trusting Thee forever
And for all."

The self—and everything in it—that worships and adores me must go. It's a daily execution. This bloated beast, reeking with pride, animosity, and self-justification, must die. "I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, never let me fall." He asks for nothing more, and I am to give nothing less. "I am trusting Thee forever, and for all."

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, make Your love new to me every day. Keep the agony of Your sacrifice and the triumph of Your resurrection ever before me, shaping me into the person You want me to be. In Your Name I ask this. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber. It is based on the hymn, "I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
A classic if there ever was one: "I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus."

Unser Täglich Brot - Mut machende Atmosphäre

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2019/02/17/mut-machende-atmosph%c3%a4re/

Mut machende Atmosphäre

Lesung: Römer 15,1-7 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: 3.Mose 21–22; Matthäus 28

Ein jeder von uns lebe so, dass er seinem Nächsten gefalle zum Guten und zur Erbauung. Römer 15,2

Jedes Mal, wenn ich das Fitnesscenter in der Nähe unseres Hauses besuche, bin ich ermutigt. In der geschäftigen Atmosphäre bin ich umgeben von anderen, die etwas für ihre körperliche Gesundheit tun wollen. Plakate an den Wänden erinnern uns daran, dass wir uns nicht vergleichen wollen. Aber Worte und Taten, die zeigen, dass man einander unterstützt, sind immer willkommen.

Ist das nicht ein gutes Bild dafür, wie es auch im geistlichen Bereich unseres Lebens aussehen sollte? Wer versucht, geistlich „in Form” zu kommen, im Glauben zu wachsen, fühlt sich manchmal vielleicht als Außenseiter, weil er in der Nachfolge nicht so „fit” ist wie andere.

Paulus macht uns dazu den kurzen, knappen Vorschlag: „Tröstet euch untereinander und einer erbaue den andern” (1.Thess. 5,11). Und an die Gläubigen in Rom schrieb er: „Ein jeder von uns lebe so, dass er seinem Nächsten gefalle zum Guten und zur Erbauung” (Röm. 15,2). Weil wir erkannt haben, wie liebevoll und gnädig Gott mit uns ist, wollen wir diese Gnade durch Mut machende Worte und Taten an andere weitergeben.

Wir wollen einander annehmen (V.7), unser geistliches Wachstum aber wollen wir Gott überlassen — und dem Wirken seines Heiligen Geistes. Wir wollen täglich seine Nähe suchen und dabei für unsere Geschwister im Glauben eine Atmosphäre der Ermutigung schaffen, in der auch sie im Glauben wachsen können.
Herr, hilf mir heute, anderen Mut zu machen. Hilf mir, Dinge zu sagen, die sie nicht nach unten ziehen, sondern näher und tiefer zu dir bringen.
Ein Wort der Ermutigung kann den Unterschied machen, ob jemand aufgibt oder weitermacht.


© 2019 Unser Täglich Brot
Jedes Mal, wenn ich das Fitnesscenter in der Nähe unseres Hauses besuche, bin ich ermutigt.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for SATURDAY, February 16, 2019


The Daily Lectionary
SATURDAY, February 16, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 1
The Two Ways
1  Happy are those
     who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
   or take the path that sinners tread,
     or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2  but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
     and on his law they meditate day and night.
3  They are like trees
     planted by streams of water,
   which yield their fruit in its season,
     and their leaves do not wither.
   In all that they do, they prosper.

4  The wicked are not so,
     but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
     nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6  for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
     but the way of the wicked will perish.

Jeremiah 17:1-4
Judah’s Sin and Punishment
17:1 The sin of Judah is written with an iron pen; with a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts, and on the horns of their altars, 2 while their children remember their altars and their sacred poles, beside every green tree, and on the high hills, 3 on the mountains in the open country. Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your sin throughout all your territory. 4 By your own act you shall lose the heritage that I gave you, and I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.

Luke 11:24-28
The Return of the Unclean Spirit
11:24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

True Blessedness
27 While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

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 Daily Lectionary is a three year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2019, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2018 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest on what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org

The Morning Prayer for SATURDAY, February 16, 2019


Saturday morning prayer

Lord on this preparation day, I jump into all that You have given me. Might I embrace each part of this glorious time, enjoying the service, relishing in the challenges, engaging with the fun and celebrating with laughter.

Lord on this day, may I enjoy the beauty of the created world all around me. Might I run, drive, walk and sing in the freedom of this day! Thank you that right now I can feel Your love flowing through each vein of my being, causing me to pulsate with vision and life. Lord, on this day I jump into all that You have given me. Amen.

Lord, on this preparation day, I wake to live and give.
May it be a worthwhile day, fill up to the brim.
A day with service, laughter, work and play,
A time to run and sing.
May Saturday be a day I walk
And breathe your goodness in,
Enjoy the beauty all around
And freedoms joy within.

Early Morning Prayer


I come before you O Lord
As the sun rises may your hope rise up in me.
As the birds sing may your love flow out of me.
As the light floods into this new day,
May your joy shine through me.
I come before you, O Lord
And drink in this moment of peace,
That I may carry something of your hope, love and joy
Today in my heart.

Amen.

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, February 16, 2019


1 John 3:11 (NIV) For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

Read all of 1 John 3

Listen to 1 John 3

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 - Dame sabiduría


Dame sabiduría

Si a alguno de ustedes le falta sabiduría, pídasela a Dios, y él se la dará [...] Pero que pida con fe, sin dudar.

Así comienza una bellísima canción. Sé que no todos conocen al intérprete. La canción se llama «Dame sabiduría» y al cantante le dicen cariñosamente «Perucho» (Héctor Perucho Rivera), donde dice «dame sabiduría para alargar mis días».

En el Manual de Instrucciones se nos enseña que si tenemos falta de sabiduría, se la pidamos a Dios y Él nos la dará en abundancia (Santiago 1:5). También en ese mismo capítulo de Santiago, Dios nos advierte que pidamos con fe para que no seamos «como las olas del mar, agitadas y llevadas de un lado a otro por el viento» (v. 6).

La sabiduría nos capacita para enfrentarnos a diferentes pruebas. Al mismo tiempo, nos invita a tener un gran gozo. Algo muy interesante es que la sabiduría no es la posesión de información, sino la cordura.

A las mujeres se nos afirma con claridad en Proverbios 14:1 lo siguiente: «La mujer sabia edifica su casa; la necia, con sus manos la destruye».

La Biblia dice también que «el corazón del sabio hace prudente su boca, y añade gracia a sus labios» (Proverbios 16:23, rv-60).

Cuando aprendemos a ser sabios, sabemos que tomaremos mejores decisiones. Seremos mejores seres humanos y sabremos administrar como Dios quiere nuestra vida en general.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Así comienza una bellísima canción. Sé que no todos conocen al intérprete. La canción se llama «Dame sabiduría» y al cantante le dicen cariñosamente «Perucho» (Héctor Perucho Rivera), donde dice «dame sabiduría para alargar mis días».

Standing Strong Through the Storm - GOD AS DELIVERER


GOD AS DELIVERER

“And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Moses may have been delighted to hear that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was a God with a heart for His people’s suffering. Delighted too that this God with such a father’s heart then rises from His throne—not commanding armies of angels to relieve the suffering of His people—and comes down in His own person to deliver them from the hands of the Egyptians.

But Moses is totally taken back by the command, “I am sending YOU, Moses, to Pharaoh in order to bring the Israelis out of Egypt.” Moses reaction is one of self-deprecation and insecurity. He poses innumerable questions and obstacles. God promises to go with him and give Moses the exact words to say. God is able to deliver. And often He will ask YOU to be His agent.

In Iran, Pastor Haik Hovsepian (martyred in 1994) recorded many messages. It has been possible to distribute thousands of his tapes. One of the people who recently got hold of a tape is a Quran reciter. He has a very powerful voice and many times he has been invited to recite the Quran in different mosques in Iran. He also passionately recited about the life of the dead Imams (Muhammad’s descendants) in mourning ceremonies in order to make people cry. He used to be a very religious person himself.

When he got hold of a sermon of Haik, he realized that through religion he cannot be saved. He was in captivity of some immoral sins such as alcohol abuse and adultery. When he heard about the difference between religion and salvation of Jesus, the Spirit of God spoke to his heart. Every time he listened to this tape, he felt even more convinced that he needed the salvation of Jesus, until he finally gave his life to the Lord. By then he was not only liberated from the captivity of his sins, but also from the captivity of the religion with which he was identifying. He is now using his voice to sing for the Lord and shares about Jesus wherever he goes.

As he was a well-known person among Muslim religious leaders and other people, one evening the secret police knocked at his door. Two weeks later, they released him from prison on bail until his trial date. He had to borrow half of the money from his relatives as his savings were not enough. Since he lost his job as a Quran reciter, he does not have any source of income, so it is difficult for him to live and to pay the money back to his family. He is trusting God to totally deliver him. Praise God for the steadfast faith of this brother in following Jesus.

RESPONSE: Today I will trust God for deliverance from every challenge and temptation I face.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for this precious deliverance record of Your power and goodness. I am available to act as Your agent in this world of suffering.

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

The NIV Couples Devotional - When Excuses Won’t Do


When Excuses Won’t Do

Judges 6:1–27

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
~ Judges 6:15 (NIV)

Isn’t God amazing? Throughout the Bible he patiently works with complainers, self-doubters and rebels. And not only that, but God also works his plan through truly weak people, like Gideon—or like a man and woman in marriage.

Gideon had good reason to fear an assignment from God to deliver the children of Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. His faith and his clan were weak, and the Israelites were mixing Baal worship with God worship. Even just talking to the Lord must have struck fear in Gideon’s heart: Didn’t he also deserve to be punished for failing to worship God with his whole heart?

Gideon thought his conversation with God was all about him. But, as we find out, Gideon came to realize he was just a player in God’s story, and God was the One with the power to save Israel. God patiently worked with Gideon to remove his doubts and to make him aware that God alone was his strength, telling him in verse 16, “I will be with you.”

So how do we complainers, self-doubters and rebels respond when we encounter God’s assignments in our married life? The first challenge is that there are two of us for God to deal with. Since God established the marriage covenant, he’s not inclined to undermine it by leading a husband and wife in different directions.

When my husband Grey and I were ending a one-year overseas mission assignment, the director of the mission agency challenged us to return as career workers. Grey was game, but I was unwilling to commit because I didn’t want to take on the challenge of raising financial support. We had funded one year of mission work with our own savings, but relying on God to lead people to support us caused me great anxiety.

While Grey stayed steady in his commitment to return to the mission field, I, like Gideon, whined about it and then asked God for a sign. When the first sign came (I encouraged Grey to look for a job in the United States, but all those career doors closed), I asked for another sign. Gideon-like, I was setting up my own fleece experiments.

This time God’s response was unmistakable. People started giving to us. Check after check finally brought me to the conclusion that God wanted to use us, ordinary people, to do his work overseas. We were nothing special, but raising support went well. We went back to the field for nine more years.

Gideon’s story, and the whole Bible, is full of principles we can apply to our lives today. Each day of marriage we can recall God’s blessings to us, be assured that he is with us—even in our weaknesses—and believe that he has work for us to do.

Mary Ann Jeffreys

Let’s Talk
  • What are some methods God uses to lead our decision making in marriage?
  • How do we distinguish God’s leading from our own desires and goals?
  • When we sense God leading each of us in different directions, how can we come to agreement?
Throughout the Bible he patiently works with complainers, self-doubters and rebels. And not only that, but God also works his plan through truly weak people, like Gideon—or like a man and woman in marriage.

LHM Daily Devotions - Signs of Healing

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190216

"Signs of Healing"

Feb. 16, 2019

This was now the second sign that Jesus did when He had come from Judea to Galilee.
~ John 4:54 (ESV)

It's easy to get caught up in the big "splash" of an event, isn't it? The right-now impact of some incident might not always be the big thing, however. Jesus and His miracles are a case in point. As spectacular as they were, they were frequently a means to an end, and not an end in themselves. There was something more than the wow-factor of the immediate circumstance that made them so vital.

Let me demonstrate by citing portions from John 4:46-50. where we find a miracle from Jesus early on His ministry. John says. "So He (Jesus) came again to Cana in Galilee, where He had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to Him and asked Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, 'Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.' The official said to him, 'Sir, come down before my child dies.' Jesus said to him, 'Go; your son will live.' The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way."

John wraps up the story with these words: "This was now the second sign that Jesus did when He had come from Judea to Galilee."

The important word here is "sign."

A sign can direct you to some destination, someplace where you are not now but want to be. Jesus used His healing miracles as signs, directing you and me to where He wants us to be. In other words, Jesus' miracles were not the goal any more than signs are a destination. The sign directs us and, likewise, Jesus intended His miracles to direct people to a greater goal. That goal —that destination —was so people would believe in Him as their Savior. The official we just heard about did. After Jesus said, "Go; your son will live," the Bible reports that in addition to the man's son getting healed, the man's entire family became believers!

You see, Jesus' healing miracles are signs pointing to Him as the Savior sent into the world by God the Father.

Sadly, not everyone got that message in Bible times, and many don't get it today. In Luke 17 Jesus cured 10 lepers. Only one of them came back to Jesus to give Him thanks. The other nine thought their healing was the goal. Jesus did commend the one leper who returned, the one who read the sign correctly, the one who came to Jesus.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You use signs to get our attention and point us to Your Son as Lord and Savior. Sharpen our spiritual awareness, so we do not miss the signs You lovingly place in our lives. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

From "Healing Miracles by Jesus," a sermon excerpt from Dr. Dale Meyer, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
It's easy to get caught up in the big "splash" of an event, isn't it?

Хліб Наш Насущній - Проявлення доброти

https://ukrainian-odb.org/2019/02/16/%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%be%d1%8f%d0%b2%d0%bb%d0%b5%d0%bd%d0%bd%d1%8f-%d0%b4%d0%be%d0%b1%d1%80%d0%be%d1%82%d0%b8/

Проявлення доброти

Читати: Дії 9:32-42 | Біблія за рік: Левит 19−20 ; Матвія 27:51-66

А в Йоппії була одна учениця, на ймення Тавіта... Вона повна була добрих вчинків та милостині, що чинила. — Дії 9:36

“Естера, тобі подарунок від нашої подруги Хелен!” – сказала мама, повернувшись з роботи додому. В дитинстві ми жили дуже скромно, тому отримання посилки поштою було для нас наче друге Різдво. Завдяки цій чудовій жінці, я відчула, що Бог мене любить, пам’ятає і цінує.
Напевно саме так почувалися й ті бідні вдовиці, яким Тавіта (що в перекладі Сарною зветься) шила одяг. Вона була ученицею Ісуса, жила в Йоппії і була відома своїми добрими ділами – “повна була добрих вчинків та милостині” (Дії 9:36). Але потім вона захворіла й померла. Сталося, що в цей час апостол Петро завітав до сусіднього міста, тому двоє віруючих вирушили до нього і вмовляли прийти у Йоппію.

Коли апостол Петро прибув, удовиці, яким Тавіта допомагала, демонстрували йому докази її доброти – “сукні й плащі, що їх Сарна робила, як із ними була” (в. 9). Ми не знаємо, чи ці жінки просили Петра “щось зробити”, але Дух Святий спонукав апостола помолитись – і Бог повернув Тавіту до життя! Результатом такої Божої ласки було те, що “це стало відоме по цілій Йоппії, і багато-хто в Господа ввірували” (в. 42).

Коли ми виявлятимемо доброту до оточуючих нас людей, то це допоможе їм подумки линути до Бога і відчувати, що Він їх любить.
Дорогий Господи, допоможи мені слідувати за Тобою і являти доброту до оточуючих людей, щоб вони могли побачити в мені Тебе.
“Будь живим відображенням Божої доброти – доброти на твоєму обличчі, доброти у твоїх очах, доброти у твоїй усмішці”. Мати Тереза


© 2019 Хліб Наш Насущній
В дитинстві ми жили дуже скромно, тому отримання посилки поштою було для нас наче друге Різдво.

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, February 15, 2019

1 Peter 1:25

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, February 15, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 1
The Two Ways
1  Happy are those
     who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
   or take the path that sinners tread,
     or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2  but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
     and on his law they meditate day and night.
3  They are like trees
     planted by streams of water,
   which yield their fruit in its season,
     and their leaves do not wither.
   In all that they do, they prosper.

4  The wicked are not so,
     but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
     nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6  for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
     but the way of the wicked will perish.

Jeremiah 13:20-27
20 Lift up your eyes and see
     those who come from the north.
   Where is the flock that was given you,
     your beautiful flock?
21 What will you say when they set as head over you
     those whom you have trained
     to be your allies?
   Will not pangs take hold of you,
     like those of a woman in labor?
22 And if you say in your heart,
     “Why have these things come upon me?”
   it is for the greatness of your iniquity
     that your skirts are lifted up,
     and you are violated.
23 Can Ethiopians change their skin
     or leopards their spots?
   Then also you can do good
     who are accustomed to do evil.
24 I will scatter you like chaff
     driven by the wind from the desert.
25 This is your lot,
     the portion I have measured out to you, says the Lord,
   because you have forgotten me
     and trusted in lies.
26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,
     and your shame will be seen.
27 I have seen your abominations,
     your adulteries and neighings, your shameless prostitutions
     on the hills of the countryside.
   Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
     How long will it be
     before you are made clean?

1 Peter 1:17—2:1
1:17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21 Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.

22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For

   “All flesh is like grass
     and all its glory like the flower of grass.
   The grass withers,
     and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

That word is the good news that was announced to you.

The Living Stone and a Chosen People
2:1 Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

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 Daily Lectionary is a three year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2019, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2018 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest on what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org
“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”