Friday, November 20, 2020

The Daily Bible Readings for FRIDAY, November 20, 2020

 

The Daily Readings
FRIDAY, November 20, 2020
Psalm 100; Isaiah 40:1-11; Revelation 22:1-9
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
Today’s Readings:
Psalm 100
We are the people of God’s pasture
1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Commentary

This song of praise should be considered as a prophecy, and even used as a prayer, for the coming of that time when all people shall know that the Lord he is God, and shall become his worshippers, and the sheep of his pasture. Great encouragement is given us, in worshipping God, to do it cheerfully. If, when we strayed like wandering sheep, he has brought us again to his fold, we have indeed abundant cause to bless his name. The matter of praise, and the motives to it, are very important. Know ye what God is in himself, and what he is to you. Know it; consider and apply it, then you will be more close and constant, more inward and serious, in his worship. The covenant of grace set down in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, with so many rich promises, to strengthen the faith of every weak believer, makes the matter of God's praise and of his people's joys so sure, that how sad soever our spirits may be when we look to ourselves, yet we shall have reason to praise the Lord when we look to his goodness and mercy, and to what he has said in his word for our comfort.


Isaiah 40:1-11
God will feed the people
40:1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.

3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Commentary

All human life is a warfare; the Christian life is the most so; but the struggle will not last always. Troubles are removed in love, when sin is pardoned. In the great atonement of the death of Christ, the mercy of God is exercised to the glory of his justice. In Christ, and his sufferings, true penitents receive of the Lord's hand double for all their sins; for the satisfaction Christ made by his death was of infinite value. The prophet had some reference to the return of the Jews from Babylon. But this is a small event, compared with that pointed out by the Holy Ghost in the New Testament, when John the Baptist proclaimed the approach of Christ. When eastern princes marched through desert countries, ways were prepared for them, and hinderances removed. And may the Lord prepare our hearts by the teaching of his word and the convictions of his Spirit, that high and proud thoughts may be brought down, good desires planted, crooked and rugged tempers made straight and softened, and every hinderance removed, that we may be ready for his will on earth, and prepared for his heavenly kingdom. What are all that belongs to fallen man, or all that he does, but as the grass and the flower thereof! And what will all the titles and possessions of a dying sinner avail, when they leave him under condemnation! The word of the Lord can do that for us, which all flesh cannot. The glad tidings of the coming of Christ were to be sent forth to the ends of the earth. Satan is the strong man armed; but our Lord Jesus is stronger; and he shall proceed, and do all that he purposes. Christ is the good Shepherd; he shows tender care for young converts, weak believers, and those of a sorrowful spirit. By his word he requires no more service, and by his providence he inflicts no more trouble, than he will strengthen them for. May we know our Shepherd's voice, and follow him, proving ourselves his sheep.


Revelation 22:1-9
Worship God alone
22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Commentary

Verses 1-5 — All streams of earthly comfort are muddy; but these are clear, and refreshing. They give life, and preserve life, to those who drink of them, and thus they will flow for evermore. These point to the quickening and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, as given to sinners through Christ. The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, applies this salvation to our souls by his new-creating love and power. The trees of life are fed by the pure waters of the river that comes from the throne of God. The presence of God in heaven, is the health and happiness of the saints. This tree was an emblem of Christ, and of all the blessings of his salvation; and the leaves for the healing of the nations, mean that his favour and presence supply all good to the inhabitants of that blessed world. The devil has no power there; he cannot draw the saints from serving God, nor can he disturb them in the service of God. God and the Lamb are here spoken of as one. Service there shall be not only freedom, but honour and dominion. There will be no night; no affliction or dejection, no pause in service or enjoyment: no diversions or pleasures or man's inventing will there be wanted. How different all this from gross and merely human views of heavenly happiness, even those which refer to pleasures of the mind!

Verses 6-9 — The Lord Jesus spake by the angel, solemnly confirming the contents of this book, particularly of this last vision. He is the Lord God faithful and true. Also by his messengers; the holy angels showed them to holy men of God. They are things that must shortly be done; Christ will come quickly, and put all things out of doubt. And by the integrity of that angel who had been the apostle's interpreter. He refused to accept religious worship from John, and reproved him for offering it. This presents another testimony against idolatrous worship of saints and angels. God calls every one to witness to the declarations here made.



The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2020, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2019 was Year C. 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 what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org
The Daily Readings for FRIDAY, November 20, 2020
Psalm 100; Isaiah 40:1-11; Revelation 22:1-9 (KJV)

Prayer of the Day for FRIDAY, November 20, 2020

 

Prayer of the Day
Friday, November 20, 2020


Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, "Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good."
Jeremiah 16:19 (NIV)

Lord our God, we come to you burdened and driven by every kind of need and oppression, but you will bring light into every situation; in your great goodness and faithfulness you will continue to help. We come to you because you are our help. We want to draw strength from your Word so that we can remain steadfast in these times, awaiting your help and already finding joy and certainty in our expectation. For your kingdom is coming, and your will is being done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, November 20, 2020

 

Verse of the Day
FRIDAY, November 20, 2020


Psalm 95:1-2
O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
Read all of Psalm 95

Listen to Psalm 95

The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — A "Free" Lesson

 

A "Free" Lesson

The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

If you're a parent, you teach your children to be responsible. You preach to them that if they want something, they must earn it. With this idea ingrained in our minds from our youth, is it any wonder there are misunderstandings about salvation, justification, and eternal life? The work-to-earn-benefits mentality is so pervasive, that when we consider the Gospel, it sounds so foreign, so unlikely, so totally unbelievable.

That being said, Romans 3:22-24 is clear: salvation is a "gift." But how can that be? Something like salvation can't come easy. There has to be some effort; we've got to work for it to earn it, right? Such was the thinking during the Reformation. The institutional church was teaching—and people were believing—that getting to heaven required our effort: saying a certain number of prayers, doing religious and social duties, etc.

By using Scripture, Martin Luther and other reformers demonstrated what the Bible had been saying all along. You can't earn God's forgiveness and eternal life. It's free! God loves you. And He gives it to you because of Jesus. We haven't been good enough. Jesus has. We don't do well enough. Jesus did. We can't work hard enough. Jesus could. It's not our effort that saves us. It's the work of Jesus, and Jesus alone.

On the cross Jesus took our sins, all of them, on Himself. He took the punishment we deserved. He took our burden, and He died in our place to earn our forgiveness. When Jesus said, "It is finished" (see John 19:30), He meant it. Mission accomplished! And when He rose from the dead, the Father put His seal on His Son's work of redemption. Now, eternal life is offered to all who believe in Him—as a gift!

So now when you're teaching your kids to work hard for what they want in this life, you can do so with a clear conscience. This is how the world works. It's how society functions. But the most important lesson for them (and us) is that this isn't how God operates. We can't earn His favor. There's nothing we can do because there's nothing we could do.

God's forgiveness of our sins and the gift of eternal salvation have been purchased on our behalf by Jesus. They are freely given to all who we trust in Him as their Lord and Savior. It may not fit our thinking of how things work in this world, but that shouldn't surprise us. God is in the business of doing things we wouldn't expect, saving us in a way that runs contrary to the world's thinking.

"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart'" (1 Corinthians 1:18-19).

Heavenly Father, thank You for the underserved gift of Your Son Jesus. In His Name we pray. Amen.

by Rev. Dr. Kurt Taylor, Director of Church Ministries program at Concordia University Wisconsin.

Reflection Questions:
1. Do you have a hard time accepting something from someone without the urge to give them something back?

2. Have you ever tried to "earn" God's love and forgiveness? What did you do to do that?

3. How do you explain to someone that God's love is free and available to all?

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
If you're a parent, you teach your children to be responsible. You preach to them that if they want something, they must earn it.

Standing Strong Through the Storm — LOVE IS THE ANSWER

 
LOVE IS THE ANSWER

He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.

When a bomb ripped through a church in Alexandria, Egypt on New Year’s Day, 2011, Christians across the western world reeled with shock. Twenty-one believers were killed in the attack, and many others were wounded. While Christians in the west watched the news reports with disbelief, local believers say the attack came as no surprise.

Responses to the vicious attack were varied. While some cried for revenge, others have responded differently trusting God to redeem these lives.

One explanatory story from Egypt is this:

Devil: “I just killed 21 of your family.”

Jesus: “You didn’t kill 21 of my family. You just sent them on ahead to me, and you mobilized the church to pray.”


Brother Andrew writes: What is your first thought when someone offends you? Anger? Indignation? Perhaps, if we’re honest, our hearts even want to see some kind of retaliation or revenge. But you know, Jesus is clear: revenge is not the answer. Love is. Especially when it comes to the Muslim world. That’s why, instead of retaliating when we read of a bomb attack against our fellow believers, I suggest our response should be repentance! Repentance that we have not prayed, have not cared, have not gone to the Muslim world to proclaim the true life and freedom we have in Jesus! Let’s keep asking God to truly change our hearts—that we might love, serve and pray more fervently…for the advancement of His kingdom and the glory of His name in the Muslim world and beyond!

RESPONSE: Today, I will seek to keep my eyes on Jesus and try to understand things from His perspective.

PRAYER: Lord, change my heart, so I am filled with Your compassion and thus love, serve, and pray more fervently.


Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
When a bomb ripped through a church in Alexandria, Egypt on New Year’s Day, 2011, Christians across the western world reeled with shock. Twenty-one believers were killed in the attack, and many others were wounded.

Men of the Bible — Lazarus

 
Lazarus

His name means: “God Helps”

His work: Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary, the family who hosted Jesus in their home when he traveled through Bethany.
His character: Little is known about Lazarus other than that he was one of Jesus’ close friends.
His sorrow: Lazarus had a terminal illness and eventually succumbed to it.
His triumph: Very few have had the experience of hearing Jesus’ voice from the tomb. Lazarus was such a person.
Key Scriptures: John 11


A Look at the Man

The story of Lazarus’s resurrection is filled with ironies.

We know where Lazarus lived—Bethany—and the names of his two sisters—Mary and Martha—but we have no record of a single word he spoke or even a mention of what he was like. We don’t know his occupation, who his parents were, or, if he was married, the names of his wife and children.

If it hadn’t been for his special friendship with the Savior, Lazarus’s death wouldn’t even have merited a footnote in the gospel account. Yet his story is one of the most well-known in all of Scripture.

When word reached Jesus that Lazarus was deathly ill, Jesus seemed unaffected—almost cavalier—about it. Of course, people bringing bad news to Jesus would have been a nonstop event during his waking hours, but Lazarus was his friend—his good friend. Jesus suggested that he and his disciples should visit Bethany—in two days!

Like a wife kindly taking her husband aside to challenge his bad manners, we can imagine the disciples suggesting that Jesus might want to reconsider his decision. “How will this look to the family?” they may have counseled.

“I’m doing this for you,” was Jesus’ perplexing response.

At the same time, the disciples were not eager to travel west to Bethany. No doubt, they would have to go through Jerusalem, where, just a few days before, a handful of Jewish leaders had threatened to stone Jesus. He had said, “My Father and I are one,” and these people weren’t willing to accommodate a man who claimed to be equal with God.

Two days later, the disciples were willing to take their chances. Helping a desperate friend like Lazarus was more urgent than any danger they may have encountered. As they reached the outskirts of Bethany, first Martha and then Mary ran to meet Jesus, reporting the news he already knew. Once again, Jesus did not seem eager to help—at least not within Martha and Mary’s time frame.

Jesus asked where Lazarus’s body was entombed and made his way to the site along with a cadre of curious—and a few cynical—onlookers. At no point in this story, however, did he seem to be in a hurry.

Soon he arrived at the cemetery. Can you envision Jesus standing in front of his friend’s burial cave? It had been four days since Lazarus had died. His two sisters, now standing at Jesus’ side, were in a quandary. They were hoping for a miracle, but they were just as concerned about how much their decaying brother’s body would smell. The people who had come, standing behind Jesus and Lazarus’s sisters, completed the picture.

Everyone stopped talking as Jesus lifted his head to the heavens to pray. “Father,” he began, “I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you would. But for the benefit of these people standing here, I especially thank you for listening this time.”

People shifted nervously in their places, but no one spoke. Those in the back of the crowd craned their necks to see what might happen next.

“Lazarus, come out!” Jesus said in a voice much louder than anyone had ever heard him use. The living God had just spoken. If he hadn’t identified his friend by name, every crypt in the entire cemetery would have emptied.

And then Lazarus appeared. In his own time and with only the sound of his voice, the Messiah had brought a corpse to its feet.

The final irony was that the Savior raised Lazarus from the dead with his voice but didn’t speak the removal of Lazarus’s grave clothes. He certainly could have finished the job, but he didn’t. Instead, a man wrapped tightly from head to foot stood there in front of his own burial cave—and in front of everyone. “Take off the grave clothes and let him go,” Jesus ordered the gawking crowd.

The last act of this incredible miracle—the unbinding and releasing of the man—was left to his family and friends.

Reflect On: John 11:38–42
Praise God: For his resurrection power.
Offer Thanks: For God’s love for you, for calling you by name and redeeming you from darkness into the light of his glory.
Confess: Your complacency, your willingness to make the best of your “tombs” rather than daily abandoning them and walking into the light.
Ask God: To fill you with the same sense of wonder and gratitude that Lazarus felt as he stood in the mouth of his burial crypt. And ask him to show you others who need your hands to unwrap their “grave clothes.”


Today’s reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book’s title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
The story of Lazarus’s resurrection is filled with ironies.

John Piper Devotional — Five Reasons Death Is Gain

 
Five Reasons Death Is Gain

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

How is it “gain” to die?

1) Our spirits will be made perfect (Hebrews 12:22-23).

There will be no more sin in us. We will be done with the inner war and the heartrending disappointments of offending the Lord who loved us and gave himself for us.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and the church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the just which have been made perfect.
2) We will be relieved of the pain of this world (Luke 16:25).

The joy of the resurrection will not yet be ours, but the joy of freedom from pain will be. Jesus tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man to show the great reversal that is coming.
[The rich man] he cried out and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.”
3) We will be given profound rest in our soul (Revelation 6:9-11).

There will be a serenity beneath the eye and care of God that surpasses anything we have known here on the softest summer evening by the most peaceful lake at our most happy moments.
I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer.”
4) We will experience a deep at-homeness (2 Corinthians 5:8).

The whole human race is homesick for God without knowing it. When we go home to Christ, there will be a contentment beyond any sense of security and peace we have ever known.
We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
5) We will be with Christ (Philippians 1:21–23).

Christ is a more wonderful person than anyone on earth. He is wiser, stronger, and kinder than anyone you enjoy spending time with. He is endlessly interesting. He knows exactly what to do and what to say at every moment to make his guests as glad as they can possibly be. He overflows in love and with infinite insight into how to use that love to make his loved ones feel loved. Therefore Paul said…
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I am to live in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better.
How is it “gain” to die?

Un dia a la Vez — Matrimonios con compromiso

 
Matrimonios con compromiso

Tengan todos en alta estima el matrimonio y la fidelidad conyugal, porque Dios juzgará a los adúlteros y a todos los que cometen inmoralidades sexuales.

En estos últimos meses, Dios ha puesto en mi corazón un deseo muy grande de orar e interceder por los matrimonios. Tanto es así, que un día en la oración que hago al aire y en vivo por la radio, de repente sentí que debía interceder en ese momento por las parejas. Las palabras que salían de mi boca no eran mías, venían de parte de Dios.

En mi oración, les decía a todos que el corazón de Jesús estaba triste por los muchos divorcios y el dolor que se les causaba a los hijos. También instaba a los oyentes a no ser egoístas y a dejar de solucionar los problemas matrimoniales solo con el divorcio. Que fuéramos más conscientes de nuestros errores y defectos que los de nuestros cónyuges. Que empezáramos el cambio en nosotros en lugar de exigirlo en nuestras parejas. Por último, Dios puso en mí el clamor por ser firmes a la hora del matrimonio. Que había que dejar el interés de casarse sin motivos y haciendo pactos que se rompen al poco tiempo.

El matrimonio es una institución creada por Dios. Por lo tanto, es una decisión seria. Los que hemos tomado malas decisiones en cuanto a esto, pero que nos hemos arrepentido, no podemos cometer nunca más los mismos errores.

Si tú estás solo y en esa búsqueda de casarte, mi consejo es que esperes en Dios. Deja que Él te muestre con quién debes casarte y que sea en su tiempo perfecto.


Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
En estos últimos meses, Dios ha puesto en mi corazón un deseo muy grande de orar e interceder por los matrimonios. Tanto es así, que un día en la oración que hago al aire y en vivo por la radio, de repente sentí que debía interceder en ese momento por las parejas.

Devocional CPTLN — Una lección gratis

 

Una lección gratis

La justicia de Dios, por medio de la fe en Jesucristo, es para todos los que creen en él. Pues no hay diferencia alguna, por cuanto todos pecaron y están destituidos de la gloria de Dios; pero son justificados gratuitamente por su gracia, mediante la redención que proveyó Cristo Jesús.

Si eres padre, enseñas a tus hijos a ser responsables: por ejemplo, les dices que si quieren algo, deben ganárselo. Con esta idea arraigada en la mente desde nuestra juventud, ¿es de extrañar que haya malentendidos sobre la salvación, la justificación y la vida eterna? La mentalidad de trabajar para ganar beneficios es tan generalizada que, cuando consideramos el Evangelio, suena extraño, improbable y totalmente increíble.

Dicho esto, Romanos 3: 22-24 es claro: la salvación es un "regalo". ¿Pero cómo puede ser esto? Algo como la salvación no puede ser fácil. Tiene que haber algún esfuerzo; tenemos que trabajar para ganarlo, ¿verdad? Tal fue el pensamiento durante la Reforma. La iglesia institucional estaba enseñando, y la gente creía, que llegar al cielo requería nuestro esfuerzo: decir un cierto número de oraciones, cumplir con deberes religiosos y sociales, etc.

Usando las Escrituras, Martín Lutero y otros reformadores demostraron lo que la Biblia había estado diciendo todo el tiempo. Nadie puede "ganarse" el perdón de Dios y la vida eterna. ¡Es gratis! Dios te ama y te lo da por Jesús. No hemos sido lo suficientemente buenos, pero Jesús sí. No hacemos todas las cosas bien, pero Jesús sí. No podemos trabajar lo suficiente, pero Jesús sí. No es nuestro esfuerzo lo que nos salva: es la obra de Jesús y solo de Jesús.

En la cruz Jesús tomó nuestros pecados, todos ellos, sobre sí mismo. Allí recibió el castigo que merecíamos. Él tomó nuestra culpa y murió en nuestro lugar para ganar nuestro perdón. Cuando Jesús dijo: "Consumado es" (ver Juan 19:30), lo dijo en serio. ¡Misión cumplida! Y cuando resucitó de los muertos, el Padre selló la obra de redención de su Hijo. Ahora, la vida eterna se ofrece a todos los que creen en él, ¡como un regalo!

Así que, cuando les enseñes a tus hijos a trabajar duro por lo que quieren en esta vida, puedes hacerlo con la conciencia tranquila. Así es como funciona el mundo. Así es como funciona la sociedad. Pero la lección más importante para ellos (y para nosotros) es que así no es como Dios funciona. No podemos ganarnos su favor. No hay nada que podamos hacer porque no hay nada que podríamos hacer.

El perdón de Dios y el regalo de la salvación eterna han sido comprados en nuestro nombre por Jesús y son dados gratuitamente a todos aquellos quienes confían en él como su Señor y Salvador. Puede que no se ajuste a nuestra forma de pensar sobre cómo funcionan las cosas en este mundo, pero eso no debería sorprendernos. Dios se dedica a hacer cosas que no esperaríamos, salvándonos de una manera que va en contra de nuestra forma de pensar.

"El mensaje de la cruz es ciertamente una locura para los que se pierden, pero para los que se salvan, es decir, para nosotros, es poder de Dios. Pues está escrito: «Destruiré la sabiduría de los sabios, y desecharé la inteligencia de los inteligentes.»" (1 Corintios 1:18-19).

ORACIÓN: Padre Celestial, gracias por el don de tu Hijo Jesús. En su Nombre oramos. Amén.

Adaptado del mensaje, "Cuando lo libre significa gratis", del Rev. Dr. Kurt Taylor, director del programa de Ministerios de la Iglesia en la Universidad de Concordia, Wisconsin.

Para reflexionar:
1. ¿Has intentado "ganarte" el amor y el perdón de Dios? ¿De qué manera?

2. ¿Cómo le explicas a alguien que el amor de Dios es gratuito y está disponible para todos?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Si eres padre, enseñas a tus hijos a ser responsables: por ejemplo, les dices que si quieren algo, deben ganárselo.

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày — Bỏ Qua Mâu Thuẫn

 

Bỏ Qua Mâu Thuẫn

Đọc: Ê-phê-sô 4:26-32 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Ê-xê-chi-ên 14-15; Gia-cơ 2

Đừng căm giận cho đến lúc mặt trời lặn.

Trên bia tưởng niệm nơi mộ phần của nhà khoa học nổi tiếng người Hà Lan, Albert Einstein không nhắc đến những tranh cãi khoa học của họ. Thay vào đó, ông nhắc lại “lòng nhân từ không bao giờ dứt” của Hendrik A. Lorentz, nhà vật lý học yêu dấu được biết đến bởi lối sống giản dị và đối xử công bằng với mọi người. Einstein nói: “Ai nấy đều vui vẻ đi theo ông vì họ cảm thấy ông ấy không bao giờ có ý ra lệnh nhưng luôn giúp đỡ.”

Lorentz đã truyền cảm hứng cho các nhà khoa học bỏ qua định kiến chính trị mà hợp tác với nhau, đặc biệt sau Đệ Nhất Thế Chiến. “Thậm chí trước khi chiến tranh kết thúc”, Einstein nói về người thắng giải Nobel như mình, “[Lorentz] đã cống hiến cả đời cho việc hòa giải.”

Làm công việc giải hòa cũng nên là mục tiêu của mọi thành viên trong hội thánh. Thật vậy, một số mâu thuẫn là điều không thể tránh khỏi. Nhưng chúng ta phải làm bổn phận của mình là tìm ra những giải pháp hòa bình. Phao-lô viết: “Đừng căm giận cho đến lúc mặt trời lặn” (Êph. 4:26). Để cùng nhau lớn lên, vị sứ đồ khuyên “chớ có một lời độc ác nào ra từ miệng anh em, nhưng khi đáng nói, hãy nói những lời tốt đẹp, có tính xây dựng để đem ơn phước đến cho người nghe” (c.29).

Cuối cùng, Phao-lô nói: “Hãy loại bỏ khỏi anh em những sự cay đắng, phẫn nộ, tức giận, la lối, lăng mạ, cùng mọi điều hiểm độc. Hãy cư xử với nhau cách nhân từ và dịu dàng, tha thứ nhau như Đức Chúa Trời đã tha thứ anh em trong Đấng Christ vậy” (c.31-32). Từ bỏ mâu thuẫn bất cứ khi nào chúng ta có thể sẽ giúp gây dựng hội thánh Chúa. Thật vậy, chúng ta tôn vinh Ngài qua điều đó.
Chúa có thể giúp chúng ta giải quyết mâu thuẫn như thế nào? Để tôn kính Chúa và hội thánh, bạn nên bỏ qua mâu thuẫn nào?
Lạy Chúa yêu thương, khi con đối diện với mâu thuẫn, xin nhắc tấm lòng con trao cơn giận lên cho Ngài.

bởi Patricia Raybon

Chú Giải

Là những người tin nơi Đấng Christ, Phao-lô khuyên chúng ta phải sống khác biệt với những người không tin. Đời sống của chúng ta phải nên thánh – biệt riêng và dâng cho Chúa (Ê-phê-sô 4:20-24). Lời nói của chúng ta phải chân thật, giúp ích, xây dựng, khích lệ và ích lợi cho người khác (c.25, 29). Qua năng quyền của Thánh Linh sống trong chúng ta, chúng ta phải bỏ những lời nói độc ác và lăng mạ, cùng với sự cay đắng, giận dữ, cay nghiệt, vu khống hoặc lời nói ác ý (c.29-31). Cách chúng ta tha thứ cho người khác là phẩm chất của những người tin nơi Chúa Jêsus. Chúng ta phải tha thứ như Chúa đã tha thứ cho chúng ta (c.32; Cô-lô-se 3:13). Bằng chứng chúng ta được Cha Thiên Thượng tha thứ là khi chúng ta sẵn lòng tha thứ cho người khác. Những tín hữu được tha thứ trong Chúa Jêsus là những người biết tha thứ cho người khác (Ma-thi-ơ 18:21-35; Lu-ca 7:36-50).

K. T. Sim

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Trên bia tưởng niệm nơi mộ phần của nhà khoa học nổi tiếng người Hà Lan, Albert Einstein không nhắc đến những tranh cãi khoa học của họ. Thay vào đó, ông nhắc lại “lòng nhân từ không bao giờ dứt” của Hendrik A. Lorentz, nhà vật lý học yêu dấu được biết đến bởi lối sống giản dị và đối xử công bằng với mọi người.