Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, November 12, 2017


Daily Readings

Opening Sentence
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
~ Phillipians 1:2

Confession and Forgiveness

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
God is light; in him there in no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him, yet walk in the darkness, we lie and son not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
~ John 1:5b-8

Most holy and merciful Father, We confess to you and to one another, that we have sinned against you by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength. We have not fully loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not always had in us the mind of Christ. You alone know how often we have grieved you by wasting your gifts, by wandering from your ways. Forgive us, we pray you, most merciful Father; And free us from our sin. Renew in us the grace and strength of your Holy Spirit, for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen

Sunday Morning Prayer
God, as you gave us the sun to lighten our days, so you have given us your Word to lighten our minds and our souls. I pray that you will pour out on me your Spirit as I pray today, that my heart and mind may be opened to your Word, and that I may learn and accept your will for my life.

Shine within my heart, loving God, the pure light of your divine knowledge; open the eyes of my mind and the ears of my heart to receive your Word, this day and always, Amen


The Lessons

Wisdom 6:12-20
Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate. To fix one's thought on her is perfect understanding, and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought. The beginning of wisdom is the most sincere desire for instruction, and concern for instruction is love of her, and love of her is the keeping of her laws, and giving heed to her laws is assurance of immortality, and immortality brings one near to God; so the desire for wisdom leads to a kingdom.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Matthew 25:1-13
"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, 'Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, 'No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Here ends the Readings


Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

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


Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia!
Thanks be to God! Alleluia!

Closing Prayer
May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages. Amen
~ by Æthelwold, Bishop of Winchester, 958 A.D.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen
~ 2 Corinthians 13:14

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.

"Ready Or Not!" - The Sermon for SUNDAY, November 12, 2017


"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, 'Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, 'No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
~ Matthew 25:1-13


"Ready Or Not!"
by Scott Jensen
Our Savior Lutheran Church
Aiea, Hawaii

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Amen

A young man applied for a job as a farm-hand. When asked for his qualifications, he said, "I can sleep when the wind blows."

This puzzled the farmer, but he took a liking to the young man and hired him.

A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm. They quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure. They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened. A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace. The farm implements had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements. The tractor had been moved into the garage. The barn had been properly locked. All was well. Even the animals were calm.

It was then that the farmer grasped the meaning of the young man’s words, "I can sleep when the wind blows."

Because the farm-hand had performed loyal and faithful work when the skies were clear, he was prepared for the storm when it broke. Consequently, when the wind blew, he had no fear. He was able to sleep in peace.

In our Gospel message, we heard about a story of 10 virgins. This story was part of the marriage ritual that was much more elaborate than we’re used to today. It was customary in Jewish culture that after a couple was engaged, the groom would go away for about a year and prepare a home for the new family. When he returned, a great celebration was held to commemorate the newly married couple. Where today we honor the arrival of the bride and dedicate the day to her, in the past, the day was dedicated to the groom. There was a bit of mystery in the event as no-one knew precisely when he and the groomsmen would arrive. But, their arrival was led at night with a torch procession and the shouts of joy from the wedding party.

When the groom finally arrived, the bridesmaids would join the procession with their lamps and follow into the wedding feast. It was a huge foah-pah to come without a lit lamp. In fact, any bride’s maid who came without a lamp would be turned away at the door. They didn’t prepare for the feast and were obviously not a friend of the wedding party. The maids who were prepared entered the festivities with shouts of joy. They entered the wedding hall and the celebration that followed.

But, those who were not prepared, were left outside the gates. They were not allowed to join the celebration.

This story is one of the last parables Jesus told his disciples before he was arrested by the authorities. It was meant to reassure them as they prepared for the coming events, to give them courage and hope as they faced the unknown. The story was centered on a wedding celebration, a joyous event. For Christians, the coming of Jesus is good news, not bad. But, to be ready for the festive day, we need to prepare a bit.

After all, having good intentions does not equate to proper actions.

Intentions can be well placed, but they won’t shape your spiritual character.

Acting on intentions is more than thinking about what you’ll do, when you’ll do it, and how to get it done. It’s not a passive life spent waiting for an opportunity to present itself, but acting on the opportunities that are already available. There is no time like the present.

We need to be prepared for the master’s entrance. The 5 foolish virgins were equipped for the wedding feast. They had their lamps and they knew how to use them and where to get the oil. But, they chose to bring only a small amount of oil. They knew that the groom was coming, but they didn’t know when. None of them were able to say “I didn’t know to bring oil.” Instead, they chose to come with only minimal preparations. When they finally did see the master coming, they didn’t go right away and and buy the oil they needed. Instead, they looked for someone else to bail them out of trouble. But, that help never came. Why? Because you can’t establish a relationship through someone else’s actions. You have to do that yourself. The lamps were a symbol of that relationship with the master and we only have one master, Jesus Christ. Only we can build that relationship with Him.

In many ways, we’re not so different from the foolish maids. Although many are often concerned with projecting how the stock market will fluctuate, how retirement accounts are shaping up and where the most comfortable place to settle-down might be, we don’t spend the same type of energy looking at this same criteria in our spiritual life. Sometimes, we let that slide. Sometimes, we let that wait for another day.

Many of those things that we continue to put off, we’ll never get around to completing. What if you did the same thing with your retirement plan? What if you waited until the day you retired to plan your financial future? Would you be financially secure? Most of us would not be ready unless we planned.

Preparing for the future is not something that happens overnight. It takes time. Many students are known to cram for the exams just before midterms and finals. They wait until the last minute to study for the test. More often than not, they know exactly when the finals are going to be given. But, they don’t study all semester. Instead, they wait until the last minute, try to make up for lost time by staying up all hours of the night, and do their best to be minimally prepared for the test. I’ve been one of these students, once or twice. Many of you might have crammed as well. But, this doesn’t work well when preparing for the future feast.

There is no time to procrastinate. We don’t know when the master will arrive to start the celebration. But, we know he’s coming. If we decide to wait until later in life and cram for the exam, we may not be prepared for what’s to come. We may not be ready for the feast and may end up locked outside the celebration.

The message Jesus has for us was one of constant preparation and joy, because we know that the celebration is coming. When the time comes we will be rescued and brought into the joyous affair.

He expects us to act like the men of Sir Ernest Shackleton who were left on Elephant island. In 1912, the Arctic explorer left some of his men on the isolated island with the intent of returning for them and carrying them back to England. But he was delayed. By the time he could go back for them, the sea had frozen and he had no access to the island. Three times he tried to reach them but was prevented by the ice. Finally, on his fourth try, he broke through and found a narrow channel.

Much to his surprise, he found the crewmen waiting for him, supplies packed and ready to board. They were soon on their way back to England. He asked them how they knew to be ready for him. They told him they didn’t know when he would return, but they were sure he would. So every morning, the leader rolled up his bag, and packed his gear and told the crew to do the same saying, “Get your things ready, boys. The boss may come today.” The crew leader did his crew a favor by keeping them prepared, everyday, for twenty-two months.

Preparation like that is what’s expected. Action, not just words. Good intentions to not necessarily become good actions. Procrastinate and you may never get around to it. Cram, and you may never have the time to prepare. Just like Sir Shackleton’s crew, we never know when Jesus will return. But, we can be confident that He’s coming back for us. We have no time to waste and preparations to make. Use the equipment you have available and build your spiritual self. Plan for the future and get ready for the big event. How you choose to prepare is your decision. Opening the door to the celebration is God’s. We have to be ready, because we don’t know when The Master will return. Prepare well, so you too can sleep when the wind blows.


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

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. Sermon shared by Scott Jensen on Nov 12, 2008.

Prayer of the Day for SUNDAY, November 12, 2017


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

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, November 12, 2017


Colossians 1:9 (NIV) For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,

Read all of Colossians 1

Listen to Colossians 1

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

Exploring the Parables with Cap'n Kenny - The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:1-13
1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

THINK ABOUT IT
It was customary for a couple’s engagement to last about one year in Jewish tradition. After the engagement was complete, the groom would proceed to the house of his bride, escort her back to his home and begin a seven-day marriage festival. Preparation for he unexpected hour of the groom’s arrival was part of the local customs.

TALK ABOUT IT
What can you do to prepare for Christ’s return?

In Jesus,
Cap'n Kenny

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

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 compromiso


Oración de compromiso

A ti, oh Dios de mis padres, te doy gracias y te alabo, porque me has dado sabiduría y fuerza.
~ Daniel 2:23 (RV-60)

Señor, te agradecemos de todo corazón que nos permitieras estudiar estos veintiún principios de vida. Para muchos, son del todo nuevos, pero gracias a tu Palabra tan sencilla y práctica para seguir, sabremos tomar decisiones adecuadas.

Te pedimos perdón por las esferas en las que encontramos que estábamos fallando.

Gracias porque me hiciste ver la realidad y ahora puedo enderezar mis caminos y hacer cambios radicales.

Reconozco, Dios mío, que te necesito. Sin ti la vida es imposible de llevar.

Ayúdame, mi Jesús, a buscarte cada día y a aplicar tu Palabra en mi vida. ¡Te amo!

En el nombre de Jesús oramos, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - PRAY WITH THE PERSECUTED


PRAY WITH THE PERSECUTED

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
~ John 15:16 (NIV)

The first request of us from the persecuted church is that we pray for them. And correspondingly, they are usually great models of people of prayer which we can emulate. But we often need to be reminded that they do not ask us only to pray for them but also to pray with them. If we only pray for them, we will pray for their safety and the termination of their persecution. They want us to pray with them which means we will pray for: the advance of the gospel in their land; that they will bear fruit that will last; and for perseverance and fearless courage in the face of suffering.

Pastor Samuel Lamb from Guangzhou, China, has an interesting prayer for severe situations of persecution which expresses his trust in a great God. He prays: “Lord, I rejoice in how You are going to work this out.”

Moses Xie, a Chinese Church leader who spent more than twenty years in jail for his faith, says that when asking visitors to pray for him he is really after three distinct outcomes:

“First, I want them to experience the blessing of prayer for themselves. They will go to God on my behalf, but they will receive a great blessing from being in the presence of God.

Second, I know that as they pray, their burden for the persecuted will increase, and as their burden grows, so their commitment to assisting us in all sorts of other ways will increase also. Prayer alone makes them be the body.

Third, I want them to release more of God’s power into our situation through intercession, since I know that God has bound Himself not to act until we ask.”

Today is a great day to glorify God in our lives and those of the persecuted church.

RESPONSE: Today I will not only pray for the persecuted but I will also pray with the persecuted.

PRAYER: Lord, may my life glorify You today and may I be a lasting fruit bearer who only desires that Your will be done.

LHM Daily Devotion - November 12, 2017 "The 'Sorry' Note"

During the summer holidays of 2016, when I left my supermarket parking...
Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour



"The 'Sorry' Note"

November 12, 2017

(Jesus said) "Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison."
~ Matthew 5:25 (ESV)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.

In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour

During the summer holidays of 2016, when I left my supermarket parking place, I saw that someone had left a note on the windshield of my car. The note said "Hi, my name is Iris. In trying to back out of my parking spot, I accidentally hit the back of your car. I am very sorry for what happened. This is my phone number so you can contact me if you need to settle this account with me. Again, apologies."

That message made me wonder why the woman had such an honest attitude, which would direct her to make such a confession. I believe that most people, knowing they had not been seen, would normally try to ignore their responsibility or simply cover their crime by running away.

In this case, the woman had a totally different attitude. She admitted her wrongdoing.

Perhaps she had reviewed the words of Jesus found in His Sermon on the Mount. There our Lord encourages us to confess our transgressions and find a way to make amends with those who have difficulties with us.

Anyone who looks seriously at the text knows the Savior is addressing the Christian life. He is speaking to us and how we should conduct our relationships with our brothers and sisters. We ought to be touched and motivated by the Savior who encourages us to reconcile ourselves first with the person with whom we are in conflict.

We need to remember the Savior was talking about our secret sins -- sins which are unseen but still are very real. He was referring to sins which involve judging someone, which damage our heart and fester in our thoughts.

These inside sins often lead us to wrong words and actions. In Luther's Large Catechism, he reminds us that we must not kill with our hands, mouth, heart, signs, gestures, or deprivation of help and counsel. This thought was not original with Luther. In verse 21 our Lord Jesus Christ says we must not kill. He includes in that category any kind of situation or instance that leads to death. In short, it is not only the hand which kills; the tongue can also become a tool of death.

Now the Lord knows we are not perfect. He, better than anyone else, recognizes that every human is a sinner who regularly fails. He is aware that since we are unable to comply with divine law, we will need the assistance -- the sacrifice of His Son -- if we are to be forgiven and saved.

To that end we sinners are given the faith to trust in the love and forgiveness which comes from Jesus Christ, who offered Himself as the ransom which paid for the redemption and salvation of our souls.

Honoring and thanking Him for all He has done, we will gladly be reconciled with others and do our best to live in peace.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, You bring us to the Father through Your life, death, and resurrection. Give us encouragement and faith to gladly repent to You and live in harmony with others. Help us to remember the words of the prophet Nehemiah who tells us, "You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love" (see Nehemiah 9:17) This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by written by Gabriela Silveira, director of Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones-Uruguay. This reflection is based on the sermon by Pr. André Luiz Muller from the Lutheran Church of Uruguay. Since 2001, working out of the capital city of Montevideo, Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones ("Christ for All Nations") shares the message of the Gospel in this most secular of South American countries. Our staff, which consists of three gifted women, does outreach through the distribution of biblical reading materials and Bible studies.

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