Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, October 14, 2017

The Twelve Apostles
Daily Readings for
SATURDAY, October 14, 2017

Jeremiah 35:1-19
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah: Go to the house of the Rechabites, and speak with them, and bring them to the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers; then offer them wine to drink. So I took Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah son of Habazziniah, and his brothers, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites. I brought them to the house of the LORD into the chamber of the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was near the chamber of the officials, above the chamber of Maaseiah son of Shallum, keeper of the threshold. Then I set before the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, "Have some wine." But they answered, "We will drink no wine, for our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab commanded us, 'You shall never drink wine, neither you nor your children; nor shall you ever build a house, or sow seed; nor shall you plant a vineyard, or even own one; but you shall live in tents all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you reside.' We have obeyed the charge of our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab in all that he commanded us, to drink no wine all our days, ourselves, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, and not to build houses to live in. We have no vineyard or field or seed; but we have lived in tents, and have obeyed and done all that our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. But when King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon came up against the land, we said, 'Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and the army of the Arameans.' That is why we are living in Jerusalem." Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Go and say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Can you not learn a lesson and obey my words? says the LORD. The command has been carried out that Jonadab son of Rechab gave to his descendants to drink no wine; and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their ancestor's command. But I myself have spoken to you persistently, and you have not obeyed me. I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, sending them persistently, saying, 'Turn now everyone of you from your evil way, and amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them, and then you shall live in the land that I gave to you and your ancestors.' But you did not incline your ear or obey me. The descendants of Jonadab son of Rechab have carried out the command that their ancestor gave them, but this people has not obeyed me. Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem every disaster that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them and they have not listened, I have called to them and they have not answered. But to the house of the Rechabites Jeremiah said: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Because you have obeyed the command of your ancestor Jonadab, and kept all his precepts, and done all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab son of Rechab shall not lack a descendant to stand before me for all time.

1 Corinthians 12:27-13:3
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Matthew 9:35-10:4
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.


Morning Psalms

Psalm 137 Super flumina
1   By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembered you, O Zion.
2   As for our harps, we hung them up on the trees in the midst of that land.
3   For those who led us away captive asked us for a song, and our oppressors called for mirth: "Sing us one of the songs of Zion."
4   How shall we sing the LORD'S song upon an alien soil?
5   If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill.
6   Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.
7   Remember the day of Jerusalem, O LORD, against the people of Edom, who said, "Down with it! down with it! even to the ground!"
8   O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy the one who pays you back for what you have done to us!
9   Happy shall he be who takes your little ones, and dashes them against the rock!

Psalm 144 Benedictus Dominus
1   Blessed be the LORD my rock! who trains my hands to fight and my fingers to battle;
2   My help and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield in whom I trust, who subdues the peoples under me.
3   O LORD, what are we that you should care for us? mere mortals that you should think of us?
4   We are like a puff of wind; our days are like a passing shadow.
5   Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6   Hurl the lightning and scatter them; shoot out your arrows and rout them.
7   Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the great waters, from the hand of foreign peoples,
8   Whose mouths speak deceitfully and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
9   O God, I will sing to you a new song; I will play to you on a ten-stringed lyre.
10   You give victory to kings and have rescued David your servant.
11   Rescue me from the hurtful sword and deliver me from the hand of foreign peoples,
12   Whose mouths speak deceitfully and whose right hand is raised in falsehood.
13   May our sons be like plants well nurtured from their youth, and our daughters like sculptured corners of a palace.
14   May our barns be filled to overflowing with all manner of crops; may the flocks in our pastures increase by thousands and tens of thousands; may our cattle be fat and sleek.
15   May there be no breaching of the walls, no going into exile, no wailing in the public squares.
16   Happy are the people of whom this is so! happy are the people whose God is the LORD!


Evening Psalms

Psalm 104 Benedic, anima mea
1   Bless the LORD, O my soul; O LORD my God, how excellent is your greatness! you are clothed with majesty and splendor.
2   You wrap yourself with light as with a cloak and spread out the heavens like a curtain.
3   You lay the beams of your chambers in the waters above; you make the clouds your chariot; you ride on the wings of the wind.
4   You make the winds your messengers and flames of fire your servants.
5   You have set the earth upon its foundations, so that it never shall move at any time.
6   You covered it with the Deep as with a mantle; the waters stood higher than the mountains.
7   At your rebuke they fled; at the voice of your thunder they hastened away.
8   They went up into the hills and down to the valleys beneath, to the places you had appointed for them.
9   You set the limits that they should not pass; they shall not again cover the earth.
10   You send the springs into the valleys; they flow between the mountains.
11   All the beasts of the field drink their fill from them, and the wild asses quench their thirst.
12   Beside them the birds of the air make their nests and sing among the branches.
13   You water the mountains from your dwelling on high; the earth is fully satisfied by the fruit of your works.
14   You make grass grow for flocks and herds and plants to serve mankind;
15   That they may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden our hearts,
16   Oil to make a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen the heart.
17   The trees of the LORD are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which he planted,
18   In which the birds build their nests, and in whose tops the stork makes his dwelling.
19   The high hills are a refuge for the mountain goats, and the stony cliffs for the rock badgers.
20   You appointed the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows the time of its setting.
21   You make darkness that it may be night, in which all the beasts of the forest prowl.
22   The lions roar after their prey and seek their food from God.
23   The sun rises, and they slip away and lay themselves down in their dens.
24   Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening.
25   O LORD, how manifold are your works! in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
26   Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number, creatures both small and great.
27   There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan, which you have made for the sport of it.
28   All of them look to you to give them their food in due season.
29   You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.
30   You hide your face, and they are terrified; you take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust.
31   You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth.
32   May the glory of the LORD endure for ever; may the LORD rejoice in all his works.
33   He looks at the earth and it trembles; he touches the mountains and they smoke.
34   I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being.
35   May these words of mine please him; I will rejoice in the LORD.
36   Let sinners be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked be no more.
37   Bless the LORD, O my soul. Hallelujah!

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

Prayer of the Day for SATURDAY, October 14, 2017


All-powerful and ever-living God, direct your love that is within us, that our efforts in the name of your Son may bring mankind to unity and peace. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, October 14, 2017


Romans 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Read all of Romans 12

Listen to Romans 12

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Morning Devotions with Cap'n Kenny - Come and See!


Come and See!

"Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?"
~ John 4:29 (NLT)

There is a lot of power in the simplicity of a changed life. After Jesus spoke with the woman at the well in Samaria, she immediately went out and began to tell others. The Bible tells us that she “left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?’ ” (John 4:28–29).

Her testimony was so powerful that people believed as a result. The passage goes on to say, “Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, ‘He told me everything I ever did!’ ” (verse 39). That is the power of a changed life.

When the Jewish leaders questioned the man whom Jesus healed, he replied, “I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25).

It’s so important when you can share the before and after of what God has done for you. Maybe people would never imagine that you used to be what you were or that you used to do what you once did, because you have been so transformed by Jesus Christ. And when you share that story, it can speak to them in a special way.

It is interesting how often the apostle Paul, who was a brilliant orator, a great communicator, and a wonderful intellect, would use his testimony to speak to people. When he was speaking before the Roman governor in Acts 24, he began with his own story of how he came to faith. Then he went to the essential core message of the gospel.

Your testimony, your story, is a way to begin building a bridge. It’s a bridge to get to the bigger story, which is Jesus.

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny


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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation®, NLT® copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Devotion by Greg Laurie © 2017 Harvest Christian Fellowship; all rights reserved.
Never underestimate the power of a changed life.

Un Dia a la Vez - La pereza


La pereza

Perezoso, ¿hasta cuándo has de dormir? [...] Así vendrá tu necesidad como caminante, y tu pobreza como hombre armado.

Una cosa es pasar el rato, que por cierto es muy agradable, y otra muy diferente es ser perezoso. La pereza no habla lo mejor de nosotros, ya que es como una carta de presentación.

Aparte de lo que puede afectar en tu trabajo y te dé mala fama, quizá no te tengan en cuenta para cosas que te gustarían. Incluso, me atrevería a decir que es fatal para tu casa.

En lo personal, no podría estar al lado de un esposo perezoso. ¡Qué terrible es que nosotras como mujeres, que debemos tener el respaldo de nuestra pareja, nos toque hacerlo «todo» porque no podamos contar con él debido a que siempre está dormido o a que todo le dé pereza! Tal vez para algunos les resulte extraño saber que Dios hable en la Biblia de esta condición.

El libro de Proverbios nos pone como ejemplo el insecto más organizado y trabajador:

La hormiga. ¿Sabías que la hormiga prepara su comida en el verano y recoge en el tiempo de la siega su mantenimiento? Sus caminos son organizados a pesar de que no tienen gobernador, ni señor.

¿Tú necesitas un jefe para trabajar y hacer las cosas con excelencia? Si eres ese tipo de persona que le cuesta ser activo y cumplir con sus obligaciones, piensa que Dios te está observando y no hay nada más gratificante que todo lo que hagamos lo hagamos como para el Señor.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - I AM VALUABLE


I AM VALUABLE

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
~ Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

She hadn’t laughed for nearly two years, ever since her father’s tragic death in August, 2009. Even though she still liked sports and talking with her friends, Ruth’s eyes didn’t shine anymore, like other teenagers. And she never returned their laughter. Never again, Ruth thought, would she feel the joy she once had, before her father was killed. A fourteen-year-old girl at the time, she still believed two years later that she was to blame for the murder of her father, a well-known church leader in eastern Colombia.

The day the guerrillas shot him, he was waiting for her in an isolated place. Her parents had given Ruth permission to go play soccer. But she was late coming back, so her father had gone looking for her. Bitterness started to fill her heart, as she became angry with herself, convinced she had caused her father’s death. At her fifteenth birthday party, she couldn’t stop her tears from falling. “I don’t want to live anymore!” she sobbed. Suicidal thoughts became part of her daily life, as she kept fighting with her sisters and wrestling with an unhappiness about everything that made her life unbearable.

Her widowed mother, who was receiving regular emotional and material support through Open Doors’ program for martyrs’ families, admitted that although all four of her children were struggling with problems over their father’s death, Ruth’s condition was the worst.

But God turned things around for Ruth in July, when she was one of thirty widows’ children invited to an “orphan encounter” camp sponsored by Open Doors for children and teenagers from six different regions of Colombia. For three days, God used counselors to confront Ruth with the reality of her pain and start her on the path of healing.

At one point, she was asked to write down on some papers all the things that she wanted to fill her heart. “I want to fill my heart with forgiveness for myself, and for those who killed my father,” Ruth wrote. Then she went on to tell the others what she had written, something that she had not had the courage to talk about publicly before. Together the children and teens sometimes smiled over what they’d shared, along with tears as they released their need to cry out their pain. As they faced the words of Scripture taught to them and prayed together, the walls that Ruth had built up in her heart started to fall down.

Overjoyed, Ruth said, “It is so hard to find people who really take care of me. I thought there weren’t any! But now I realize that there are some, and even that I’m valuable for those who I don’t even know! I would like to be a good Christian and serve the Lord with all my heart.”

RESPONSE: Today I will recognize that I am also valuable to God who loves me.

PRAYER: Pray for the many children in the persecuted church who need emotional healing.

NIV Devotionals for Couples - Don’t-Mean-It Sins


Don’t-Mean-It Sins

Leviticus 4:27–35

If any member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, when they realize their guilt and the sin they have committed becomes known, they must bring as their offering for the sin they committed a female goat without defect.

Everyone roared with laughter at Maggie’s story about Brad’s klutziness in fixing the car. Brad was mortified.

Thad had been paying bills online and then, without ever really planning to, he found himself deep in pornography. Melanie walked in and found him viewing images he had no business seeing.

Arthur and Gabriela thought they were just getting together with some friends from church, but then they found themselves caught up in an angry coup to get rid of the pastor. Six months later, the church was in shambles, and Arthur and Gabriela were wondering how they let themselves get involved in the mess.

Sometimes we sin without meaning to. We aim for righteousness, honor and wisdom, but we miss by a mile. Leviticus 4:2 introduces a Hebrew word for sin that means “to miss the mark.” George R. Knight, professor of church history at Andrews University Theological Seminary (Berrien Springs, Michigan), explains, “You have missed, not because you are wicked, but because you are stupid, silly, careless, inattentive, perhaps lazy, or more probably because you do not possess the proper aim in life.”

Add to that Hebrew word for sin the word “unintentionally,” and it suggests someone wandering away like a silly sheep or someone who isn’t thinking. We sometimes feel we ought to be given a break if we didn’t really mean to sin. But the Bible doesn’t cut us any slack. Whether we mean it or not, sin damages our relationship with God and with others. Anyone who is married knows that unintentional hurts, such as teasing about someone’s weaknesses or being chronically late or missing a birthday, can do a lot of harm.

Leviticus 4 shows that God takes unintentional sins seriously. Forgiveness is available, but it doesn’t come cheap. No quick, “Oops, sorry. Guess I wasn’t thinking.” Specific instructions were given in Leviticus 4 for how different groups were to deal with these kinds of sins. While the details differed a little from one group to another, the basic corrective steps were the same for each situation: bring an offering, then have it sacrificed to atone for the sin.

Today, we who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are grateful that we don’t have to go through the laborious and gruesome atonement rituals of the Old Testament. Still, as we read through the requirements in Leviticus, we realize how the sacrificial system illustrates the seriousness of sin. These sin sacrifices did not overdramatize the sinner’s situation; rather, they underdramatized it. The blood of animals could never pay for sin, whether unintentional or not. God mercifully accepted such sacrifices until his plan could be carried out to give his one and only Son, Jesus, as the complete sacrifice for sin.

Sin is terrible—even when it’s unintentional. Praise God that Christ’s death provides forgiveness for us and that his indwelling Spirit gives us the strength to aim straight at godliness.

Lee Eclov

Let’s Talk
  • What unintentional sins have we committed that proved our aim was way off?
  • What happens when we do not take such sins as seriously as God does?
  • As we read Leviticus 4:27–35, let’s imagine doing each corrective step. What would it feel like? How would we be affected?

LHM Daily Devotion - October 14, 2017 "One Wonders Why"

For a pastor, invocations are a way of life. Invocations are the way...
Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour



"One Wonders Why"

October 14, 2017

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

For a pastor, invocations are a way of life. Invocations are the way Sunday worship begins. There are invocations at Baptisms, weddings, confirmations, and funerals. Invocations are expected at graduations and installations and meetings. Although these events differ, they all begin by asking for a blessing.

Now you don't have to take my word for it. Good, old Merriam Webster defines the word "invocation" this way: "the act or process of petitioning for help or support; specifically, often capitalized: a prayer of entreaty (as at the beginning of a service of worship)."

Now if you understand that definition, you will also understand why Florida's Brevard County Commissioner said no to David Williamson when he offered to give the invocation at their meeting. Understand, it wasn't that the commissioners didn't like Williamson; they just didn't understand why an atheist would want to give an invocation.

To Williamson's request the commissioners basically said we want our invocations given by folks who believe in God, and they passed a resolution to that effect.

It was a resolution which generated a lawsuit. And, now, the lawsuit has generated a decision. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida said it was unlawful for the board to limit who would give invocations at their meetings.

The official rendering was this: "the County is attempting to require that God be mentioned in invocations by limiting the sphere of invocation givers to those who believe -- or who the County thinks believe -- in one God. This practice cannot be squared with controlling precedent, and the County's invocation practice cannot be defended based on a 'religiosity' requirement."

So there you have it.

The County Commissioners have told Mr. Williamson he is free to give an invocation.

Now I don't know what Mr. Williamson's invocation will sound like. Even as it was difficult for me to imagine why an atheist would want to try and give an invocation in the first place, it is even more difficult for me to imagine what he might say.

It is my hope he is respectful of the occasion and our Lord.

That is my hope because the Lord does not appreciate anyone diminishing Him or the work which He has done to save us. To rescue us from sin, death, and Satan, the Lord sacrificed His only Son. It was an unprecedented act of grace and love, which cost Him dearly. For that reason, He does not take kindly to individuals or nations who try to lessen that act.

As our text for today warns: "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap." And, just a thought, those aren't bad words to include as part of an invocation.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, how sad and foolish unbelievers must appear to You. You have done all which is necessary to rescue them, and still they try to convince themselves You don't exist and the Savior is a myth. Turn their hearts to the Redeemer and away from any desire to ignore and insult You. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).