Tuesday, April 16, 2019

tanding Strong Through the Storm - Wednesday, April 24, 2019



…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Scripture is God’s Word to us. Get to know it. It is the source of truth, assurance and comfort. Learn its lessons. Let God use it to speak to your heart. Look to it to cut through the enemy’s lies and spiritual deception, and to reveal the truth. Use it to persuade others about God’s love and forgiveness.

When God’s Spirit impresses us with a verse or a passage of Scripture to use in our battle against the enemy in a particular conflict, we are able to defeat our enemy. The Bible calls this taking the sword of the Spirit.

Jesus defeated Satan the three times he was tempted in the wilderness by using the sword of the Spirit. (see Matthew 4).

Ruth’s world changed when she chanced to find a Bible. She was fifteen when she was rummaging through her Muslim family’s library. She found it hidden behind the other books. She says, “I quickly read a few pages and the message immediately touched my heart, even though I understood practically nothing of it. Secretly I began to read the Bible regularly in my room. I knew that I had to do more with this. I wanted to get to know Jesus better.”

She adds, “I don’t remember how it happened, but my family realized that I was showing too much interest in Christianity. My whole family was against me, especially my mother.”

“You’re a Muslim,” she said. “Why are you throwing your life away? Why aren’t you like other girls? You’ll soon be going to university and then you’re going to marry a respected Muslim!”

Ruth’s voice falters and for a moment, she doesn’t say anything. “I suffered a lot,” she continues. “But still I kept reading the Bible in secret. The Lord Jesus keeps drawing me closer to Him.”

RESPONSE: Today I take the sword of the Spirit so I can expose the tempting words of Satan.

PRAYER: Lord may the two-edged sword of Your Word be ready in my hands today and in the hands of those reading it for the first time.

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

The Daily Lectionary for TUESDAY, April 16, 2019 - Holy Tue

The Daily Lectionary
TUESDAY, April 16, 2019 - Holy Tuesday
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Isaiah 49:1-7
The Servant’s Mission
49:1 Listen to me, O coastlands,
     pay attention, you peoples from far away!
   The Lord called me before I was born,
     while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
2  He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
     in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
   he made me a polished arrow,
     in his quiver he hid me away.
3  And he said to me, “You are my servant,
     Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4  But I said, “I have labored in vain,
     I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
   yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
     and my reward with my God.”

5  And now the Lord says,
     who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
   to bring Jacob back to him,
     and that Israel might be gathered to him,
   for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
    and my God has become my strength—
6  he says,
   “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
     to raise up the tribes of Jacob
     and to restore the survivors of Israel;
   I will give you as a light to the nations,
     that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

7  Thus says the Lord,
     the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
   to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
     the slave of rulers,
   “Kings shall see and stand up,
     princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
   because of the Lord, who is faithful,
     the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

Psalm 71:1-14
Prayer for Lifelong Protection and Help
1  In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
     let me never be put to shame.
2  In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
     incline your ear to me and save me.
3  Be to me a rock of refuge,
     a strong fortress, to save me,
     for you are my rock and my fortress.

4  Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
     from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5  For you, O Lord, are my hope,
     my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6  Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
     it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
   My praise is continually of you.

7  I have been like a portent to many,
     but you are my strong refuge.
8  My mouth is filled with your praise,
     and with your glory all day long.
9  Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
     do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
10 For my enemies speak concerning me,
     and those who watch for my life consult together.
11 They say, “Pursue and seize that person
     whom God has forsaken,
     for there is no one to deliver.”

12 O God, do not be far from me;
     O my God, make haste to help me!
13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
     let those who seek to hurt me
     be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 But I will hope continually,
     and will praise you yet more and more.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Christ the Power and Wisdom of God
1:18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

   “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
     and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

John 12:20-36
Some Greeks Wish to See Jesus
12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

Jesus Speaks about His Death
27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

The Unbelief of the People
After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

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
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Verse of the Day for TUESDAY, April 16, 2019 - Holy Tuesday

Romans 13:8 (NIV) Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Read all of Romans 13

Listen to Romans 13

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 - Día de testimonio


Día de testimonio

Cristo nos libertó para que vivamos en libertad. Por lo tanto, manténganse firmes y no se sometan nuevamente al yugo de esclavitud.
~ Gálatas 5:1 (NVI)

Mientras escribía el devocional anterior, mi Dios, que es tan lindo, me permitió tener otra vivencia para que se las relatara a ustedes. No lo hago porque me sucediera a mí, sino para reconocer la grandeza de nuestro Padre. Y también para testificar que cuando en verdad decidimos entregar toda nuestra vida en sus manos, Él nos honra y nos bendice.

La historia que quiero contarles es de una chica que me llamó para decirme que desde hacía varios meses tenía pensado quitarse la vida debido a sus muchos problemas. Entonces, llamó a nuestro programa radial y, gracias a Dios, pudimos ayudarla, tranquilizarla y ubicarla de modo que recibiera el apoyo necesario.

Hoy, dándole las gracias a Dios, me llamó para decir que me escucha todos los días, que está tranquila, trabajando y que vive con su mami. Además, está asistiendo a un grupo de oración y apoyo, y en estos momentos espera con ilusión su tercer hijo. De las muchas cosas lindas que me contó, me llenó de alegría cuando dijo: «De lo que sí estoy segura por completo es que no vuelvo a las drogas. Dios me liberó y me quitó el deseo. Ahora, al mirar atrás, veo el tiempo que perdí no estando con mis hijas y el dinero que gasté en las drogas».

Las dos le dimos muchas gracias a Dios por este hermoso testimonio que, una vez más, nos muestra que no hay circunstancia que Él no pueda cambiar. Hoy es tu oportunidad.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Mientras escribía el devocional anterior, mi Dios, que es tan lindo, me permitió tener otra vivencia para que se las relatara a ustedes.




Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall…danger…?
~ Romans 8:35f (NIV)

The question asked is a personal one. Not “what” can separate us but “who”? The inference is our enemy, Satan, who tries every tactic he can garner to make us think we can be separated from Christ’s love. Today we look at his tactic of “danger.”

Dr. Paul Negrut pastored the largest Baptist church in Europe which is located in Oradea, Romania. He served the church faithfully under the cruel Ceaucescu regime and often suffered personal mistreatment.

He shared with our Open Doors leaders that the most difficult time he remembers was a night he returned home rejoicing after a very successful evangelistic crusade. But when he walked in the house, he saw his wife weeping and his nine-year-old daughter was trembling. Through her tears his wife shared that when their daughter was coming home from school that day, the Securitate (Romanian secret police) tried to rape her to destroy her and the family.

Paul said, “That night I was in a great struggle. For the first time I was thinking to emigrate from Romania. I asked the Lord, ‘Should I leave the blessing of suffering or should I endure to see my girl like that?’

“I talked to my wife and after prayer, we chose to stay. Two days later they tried to rape our daughter again. And two days later they tried to rape my wife. But every time God was protecting them in a miraculous way.”

Today Dr. Paul Negrut is the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Oradea and the Chancellor of Emmanuel Baptist University. Dr. Negrut weathered the days of communism in Romania and rose to great influence when the Iron Curtain came down. He was offered a job with the new democratic government in a free Romania, but turned it down believing that serving the Lord was a higher calling. Emmanuel University and the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Oradea are known throughout Europe. The university trains people from all over Romania and many other parts of the world.

RESPONSE: I will live this day in the awareness that danger can never separate me from Christ’s love.

PRAYER: Help me remember, Lord, that You are there in the midst of all my troubles.

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

Girlfriends in God - Giving Thanks in All Things


Giving Thanks in All Things

Today’s Truth

“These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
~ 1 Peter 1:7 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

I am told that in the famous lace shops of Belgium there are certain rooms used for spinning the finest and most delicate designs of lace. Each room is completely dark – except for one small window. Through this tiny window, light shines directly on the work at hand. A solitary spinner works in the darkness, sitting where the narrow stream of light will fall on the delicate thread. The choicest pieces of lace, the most exquisite designs, are created when the worker is in the dark and only his work is in the light. When it comes to handling hurt, we often find ourselves sitting in the darkness of frustration and pain, wondering if anything good can possibly be salvaged from the broken pieces of our lives.

I will never forget the day I learned that God really can turn tragedy into triumph. I was sitting at my desk, working on an assignment from the counselor I had been seeing. For months, I had been wrestling with my past; slowly, methodically working through painful issues and buried memories that seemed to be feeding the clinical depression I was battling. As page after page filled with harsh realities, a memory slammed into my heart and mind.

The pain was overwhelming as a vile scene from my childhood slowly took shape. I could hardly breathe as I frantically tried to escape the certainty I had been molested. The perpetrator had been our family doctor and friend. He had even provided free medical treatment when we had not money to pay. I had trusted him, counted on him. As a nurse, my mother had worked beside this man every single day and often watched his children when he and his wife went out.

Anger unlike any I had ever known fueled violent thoughts of revenge and retaliation. I was angry with this man – and angry with God. How could He have let this happen? Where was the light in this dark place?

For months, I worked through painful memories and raging emotions until I saw the first glimmer of light. It was wrapped in chosen forgiveness. And I began to see that had I never been wounded so badly, I would never have been able to forgive so freely – and in doing so, discover a depth of healing and freedom only the greatest pain can produce. Today, I can honestly thank God for all He has accomplished in me through the sin of that man.

There are no accidents with God, nor is He surprised by anything or anyone in the life of His child. God uses even the most horrendous circumstances for our good. The same can be said of relationships. Every relationship – difficult or easy – comes to us for a purpose, wrapped in God’s love and plan and faithfully delivered with His permission. The apostle Paul gives clear directions for the handling of these difficult relationships:

“Live in peace with each other. Encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:13-18). It is only in God’s economy that being thankful transforms tragedy into triumph.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come into Your presence, choosing to believe that You are faithful and will do what You have promised to do in Your Word. I lay my pain at Your feet and surrender my hurt to You. Only You can ease my pain and restore my joy. Only You can turn the broken places of my life into living illustrations of Your sufficiency and power. I praise Your name, Lord, and choose to trust You today.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Do you really believe that an attitude of gratitude helps us measure our problems against the limitless power of God, turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones? Explain.

Read Psalm 43:4. “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.” What does it mean to “go to the altar of God” in dealing with hurt and pain in your life?

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:18. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” How does this verse apply to the way you handle hurt and pain in your life?

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A solitary spinner works in the darkness, sitting where the narrow stream of light will fall on the delicate thread.

LHM Daily Devotions - OUR PLACE OR HIS?



Apr. 16, 2019

... Judas turned aside to go to his own place. (Acts 1:25, ESV)

How do you feel about Jesus' betrayer?

It would be interesting to take a survey. I suspect a lot of people would say very angry things. After all, what he did was terrible. He betrayed the innocent Son of God into the hands of His enemies and brought about His death. Surely many people would use words of fire to describe that.

But that's not what Peter did. After it was all over, Peter described Judas with very restrained language. He called him "a guide to those who arrested Jesus" but nothing more. He referred to him as one who "was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry." And when the whole group of Christians prayed together about Judas' replacement a few minutes later, they said only, "Judas turned aside to go to his own place" (Acts 1:16-17, 25).

Why were they so restrained? I think it's for just the reasons Peter highlighted in his word choices. Judas "was numbered among us"—he was one of us, not some unique stranger who did what we could never do. That is the terror of Judas—that he is so much like us, that any of us could have betrayed Jesus the same way. That all of us, in fact, do betray Jesus in our words, acts, and thoughts on a daily basis—whenever we harm our neighbors or simply refuse to care for them, whenever we behave in ways that lead the watching world to turn away from the truth of Jesus' Gospel.

Judas "turned aside to go to his own place." How easily we could do the same! It is the grace of the Holy Spirit that keeps us with Jesus, repentant, forgiven, thankful for the mercy He has won for us. When we think of Judas, let's do it with fear and trembling—and with intense gratitude to God who has given us a place that isn't ours, a place in His own kingdom.

THE PRAYER: Lord, keep us always with You. Amen.

  • How do you deal with your anger at people who do evil?
  • What effect do you think Peter's own denial of Jesus had on his attitude toward Judas?
  • How does God help you when you are tempted to do evil? If you are willing, give examples or tell a story.

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
How do you deal with your anger at people who do evil?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 16 de Abril de 2019 - ¿Nuestro lugar o el suyo?


¿Nuestro lugar o el suyo?

16 de Abril de 2019

... para que tome la parte de este ministerio y apostolado, de la que Judas cayó por su transgresión para irse a donde le correspondía.
~ Hechos 1:25 (RVC)

¿Cómo te sientes con respecto al traidor de Jesús?

Sería interesante hacer una encuesta. Se me ocurre que muchas personas deben estar enojadas. Después de todo, lo que hizo fue terrible: traicionó al Hijo inocente de Dios, entregándolo a sus enemigos y provocando así su muerte.

Pero con Pedro fue distinto. Después que había terminado todo, Pedro describió a Judas con un lenguaje muy sobrio. Lo llamó: "el que guió a los que prendieron a Jesús". Dijo que había sido "como uno de los nuestros, porque era parte de este ministerio". Y cuando todo el grupo de cristianos oraron juntos por el reemplazo de Judas unos minutos después, sólo dijeron: "Judas cayó por su transgresión para irse a donde le correspondía" (Hechos 1: 16-17, 25). ¿Por qué estaban tan restringidos? Creo que es por las razones que Pedro destacó en sus palabras. Judas estaba considerado "como uno de los nuestros"; era uno de ellos, no un extraño que había hecho lo que ellos jamás habrían hecho.

Ese es el problema con Judas: que se parece tanto a nosotros, que cualquiera de nosotros pudo haber traicionado a Jesús de la misma manera. Y en realidad, cada vez que dañamos o no protegemos a nuestro prójimo, o cada vez que nos comportamos de una manera que hace que el mundo que nos observa se aleje de la verdad del evangelio de Jesús, estamos traicionando a Jesús.

Judas se apartó "para irse a donde le correspondía". ¡Con cuánta facilidad podríamos hacer lo mismo! Pero la gracia del Espíritu Santo nos mantiene con Jesús: arrepentidos, perdonados, agradecidos por la misericordia que él nos ha ganado. Entonces, cuando pensemos en Judas, hagámoslo con temor y temblor y con intensa gratitud a Dios por habernos dado un lugar que no merecíamos: un lugar en su reino.

ORACIÓN: Señor, mantennos siempre contigo. Amén.

  • ¿Cómo crees que la negación de Pedro de Jesús afectó su actitud hacia Judas?
  • ¿Cómo te ayuda Dios cuando estás tentado a hacer el mal?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Cómo te ayuda Dios cuando estás tentado a hacer el mal?

Nuestro Pan Diario - Celebrar la creatividad


Celebrar la creatividad

Leer: Génesis 1:1-21 | La Biblia en un año: 1 Samuel 30–31 Lucas 13:23-35

Dijo Dios: Produzcan las aguas seres vivientes… (v. 20).

Una medusa rara vez vista se mecía con la corriente del océano cerca de la costa de Baja California. Su cuerpo brillaba con matices fluorescentes azules, púrpuras y rosados contra el fondo de agua oscura, mientras sus tentáculos se movían elegantemente para impulsarse. Al mirar este video asombroso de National Geographic, reflexionaba en cómo había escogido Dios el diseño específico de esta hermosa criatura gelatinosa. Él también diseñó los otros 2.000 tipos de medusas que se han identificado hasta octubre de 2017.

Aunque reconocemos a Dios como el Creador, ¿nos detenemos lo suficiente como para considerar realmente la profunda verdad revelada en el primer capítulo de la Biblia? Nuestro Dios asombroso generó luz y vida con el poder de su palabra en este mundo creativamente diverso: «Y creó Dios los grandes monstruos marinos, y todo ser viviente que se mueve, que las aguas produjeron» (Génesis 1:21). Los científicos han descubierto solo una fracción de las maravillosas criaturas que el Señor creó en el principio.

Dios también esculpió intencionalmente a cada persona, y nos dio un propósito aun antes de que naciéramos (Salmo 139:13-16). Al celebrar su creatividad, podemos regocijarnos en todo lo creativo que podemos hacer para su gloria.
Señor, gracias por permitirnos disfrutar de tu asombrosa creación.
¿Qué talentos creativos te ha dado Dios? ¿Cómo podrías usarlos para su gloria?

© 2019 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario
Una medusa rara vez vista se mecía con la corriente del océano cerca de la costa de Baja California.