Monday, December 31, 2018

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, December 31, 2018

Jesus the Light of the World
John 8:12-19

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, December 31, 2018
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 147:12-20
12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
    Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
    he blesses your children within you.
14 He grants peace within your borders;
    he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
    his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
    he scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down hail like crumbs—
    who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
    he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
    his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
    they do not know his ordinances.
   Praise the Lord!

1 Kings 3:5-14
3:5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor all your life; no other king shall compare with you. 14 If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life.”

John 8:12-19
Jesus the Light of the World
8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.” 19 Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

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
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

The Morning Prayer for MONDAY, December 31, 2018


Watch Night

Established in African-American communities on December 31, 1862, Watch Night is a gathering to celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation becoming law. When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 1863, all slaves in the Confederate States were proclaimed free. Since that date 156 years ago, African-Americans have celebrated the good news of freedom in local churches on New Year’s Eve. Like the slaves who first gathered while the Civil War raged on, we proclaim freedom for all captives in Jesus’ name, knowing that for millions, freedom is not a reality. Our celebration is a commitment to join modern-day slaves and undocumented workers in their struggle for justice.

Writing about the first Watch Night, Booker T. Washington said, “As the great day grew nearer, there was more singing in the slave quarters than usual. It was bolder, had more ring, and lasted later into the night. True, they had sung those same verses before, but they had been careful to explain that the ‘freedom’ in these songs referred to the next world, and had no connection with life in this world. Now they gradually threw off the mask; and were not afraid to let it be known that the ‘freedom’ in their songs meant freedom of the body in this world.”

Lord, we know that freedom will prevail because you are already victorious. Help us never lose hope, never stop celebrating your victory, and never stop walking alongside those who struggle to see this freedom come on earth as it is in heaven.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, December 31, 2018


Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 (NIV) This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Read all of Isaiah 43

Listen to Isaiah 43

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

The Twelve Days of Christmas - The Seventh Day

The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Seventh Day

The 12 days of Christmas are the 12 days that separate Christmas Day on December 25 and ends on January 5, with the next day being Epiphany, which is celebrated January 6. Depending on the church, January 6 may mark Christ’s baptism (in the Catholic tradition), or it may mark the day that the wise men (or the Magi) visited Jesus with their gifts.

The Day of Epiphany is when the church celebrates the revelation of Christ as the light of the world and recalls the journey of the Magi. Magi means wise men.

From 1558 until 1829 Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During that era someone wrote ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas‘ as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without risk of persecution. The song has two levels of interpretation: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church. Each element in the carol is a code word for a religious reality.

Some beliefs believe that the day after Christmas started the 12 Days of Christmas. You also hear some people think its the 12 days that lead up to Christmas. But reality, it starts on December 25, that is the first day.




The Seventh Day of Christmas
The carol says On the On The Seventh Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...





Seven Swans A-Swimming





According to catechism hidden meaning it means …
The Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
  1. wisdom
  2. understanding
  3. counsel
  4. knowledge
  5. fortitude
  6. piety
  7. fear of the Lord
or even the seven sacraments of the Catholic Faith
  1. Baptism
  2. Confirmation
  3. Eucharist
  4. Penance or Reconciliation
  5. Anointing the Sick,
  6. Holy Orders
  7. Matrimony

Un dia a la Vez - Oración por un nuevo comienzo


Oración por un nuevo comienzo

Nuestra boca se llenó de risas; nuestra lengua, de canciones jubilosas [...] Sí, el Señor ha hecho grandes cosas por nosotros, y eso nos llena de alegría.
~ Salmo 126:2-3 (NVI)

Señor Jesús, solo pueden salir de mis labios palabras de agradecimiento por todo lo poderoso que has sido con nosotros en este año. En cada momento de mi vida estuviste a mi lado escuchando mi necesidad. Fuiste mi socorro en tiempos de angustia.

Gracias porque me ayudaste a que muchas de mis peticiones se hicieran realidad. Te agradezco también que me llenaras de valentía cuando pensaba que no sería capaz de salir adelante.

Te amo con todo con mi corazón y, a partir de hoy, entrego en tus manos mi vida, mi salud, mi economía, mi familia, mi trabajo y todos los anhelos profundos de mi corazón que ya tú conoces.

Guárdame, mi Dios, y acompáñame en mi entrar y en mi salir.

En el nombre de Jesús te lo pido, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Señor Jesús, solo pueden salir de mis labios palabras de agradecimiento por todo lo poderoso que has sido con nosotros en este año ...

Standing Strong Through the Storm - STAND STRONG THROUGH ALL STORMS


STAND STRONG THROUGH ALL STORMS

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither…
~ Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

Concluding Thoughts:

1. Ours is the Kingdom. No matter what setbacks we see or experience, in the end the Kingdom will revert to our Lord and we will reign with Him.

2. Ours is the victory through dying and living again – victory through being able to drink the cup of evil and injustice poured out and not being consumed by it.

3. Ours is the responsibility of caring for our suffering brethren, especially converts and those in countries more restrictive and repressive than ours.

4. Ours is the responsibility of reaching those who still sit in darkness.

5. Ours are the lives that should manifest purity and Christlikeness.

6. Ours are the hearts that should be willing to pay the price to bring peace and understanding among men and between men and God. Hearts willing to be proactive. Hearts willing to stand at the end of the day and having done all; stand.

7. Ours is the challenge to stand strong through all the storms we face and come through the fire refined and purified to walk the way of the cross before a dying world.

RESPONSE: Today I will accept the challenge to stand strong through all the storms I may face!

PRAYER: Pray for Christians living in severe persecution areas that refined and purified, they may experience all of the victory which is available through Christ.

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 - To The One Who Feels Unfinished


To The One Who Feels Unfinished

Today’s Truth

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

Friend to Friend

It took four years of fresco painting for the Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, to finish the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Commonly known as Michelangelo, his time painting was mostly spent alone, on his back, lying on scaffolding. (How painful!)

The painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is one of the most remarkable in the history of Western art. One thing is for sure: the process that altered a ceiling from plain to fabulous required a lot of time, great discipline, and the hand of a master artist. The same is true for us. The journey from broken into beautiful is a lifelong transformation that requires time, discipline, and a Master Artist.

As Michelangelo was working, I’m sure that lots of people came through the corridors of the chapel and stood in amazement. As they looked up at the beauty of his work, I imagine they said things like, “That is the most fantastic work of art I have ever seen!” or “Extraordinary!” To which he might have said, “It’s not done!”

But, I ask you: did the unfinished state of the project negate that parts of the ceiling were beautiful? No! The parts that were complete would still have been extravagant and breathtaking to the average person.

Maybe this is the way God and others see our lives.

At times people may notice the work God has done in us and comment on the beauty. I don't know about you, but even though compliments are nice to hear, I’ve been known to resist them. (Admit it. You probably have too.) It’s not so much a humility thing as it is an “I-don’t-see-myself-as-beautiful” thing. From my limited perspective, I can see only the unfinished work. But in truth, my vantage point doesn’t negate the beauty of the work God has done and is doing in my life. The same is true for you.

Real beauty isn’t about a finished or flawless product. It can’t be. It’s not possible on this side of eternity to have completed beauty. Our restoration will be complete in the presence of God when we see Him face to face.

Now, you might be saying, “But Gwen, I feel like I can’t be restored or beautiful. You don’t know what I’ve done…or what I’ve been through…or about the mess that I’m going through right now!”

Friend, God knows where you have been, what you have been through, and where you are now. He sees your flaws and loves you in spite of your imperfections. His tender love is far-reaching, grace-filled, and complete.

Your past sins do not define you.

Your painful scars do not define you.

Your present sufferings do not define you.

They are just shards of brokenness that God will use to lovingly refine your beauty.

The transformation from broken into beautiful is neither easy nor instantaneous. It demands a yielded heart and can be quite painful, but it comes with great reward. To get started, God will need your broken pieces—your scars, shame, insecurities, disappointments, betrayals, and failures.

Do you have some of those?

Are they tucked away in a safe, do-not-enter part of your heart?

If you’re ready for God to do a beautiful work of transformation in your life then it’s time to do some serious heart-business with Him, friend. You might find it hard to hand over hurts. I get that. It’s hard for me too. But difficult as it may be, when we hand them over, our Master creates a stunning work of beauty in our lives.

Let’s Pray

Holy Father, I am humbled by Your willingness to love and forgive me. Please take the broken pieces of my life and don’t allow me to grab them back. I surrender to Your healing. Mold me and shape me into a reflection of Your beautiful glory.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Isaiah 64:8, “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Meditate on this verse.  Read it again and personalize it in a prayerful response to God. Like this:  “Yet, O LORD, you are MY Father. I am the clay, You are the potter; I am the work of Your hand. Fashion me in Your image. Clothe me in Your grace…”

More From the Girlfriends

Are you struggling to trust that God’s love can bring beauty to your life? Learn how God wants to bring you beyond your past heart-wounds and your present challenges to His wholeness, strength and beauty. Broken into Beautiful is a book filled with stories – real stories – gritty and honest, not cleaned up and phony. It’s also filled with Scripture that will inspire you toward the life-changing grace of Jesus. To order the book, go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit the store on Gwen’s website.

Get a FREE 5-Day Devotional Broken Into Beautiful E-book filled with Biblical truth, honest struggles, and practical help.

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

Girlfriends in God


http://girlfriendsingod.com/events/
It took four years of fresco painting for the Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, to finish the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

LHM Daily Devotions - HOLDING JESUS IN YOUR ARMS

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20181231

"HOLDING JESUS IN YOUR ARMS"

Dec. 31, 2018

And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God ...
~ Luke 2:27-28a (ESV)

Have you ever thought how strange it would be to hold the baby Jesus in your arms, like Simeon did? As you cradled that tiny, swaddled-up baby, you would be holding the Creator of heaven and earth—your Savior—the One who will one day judge all people. You would be holding the very One who holds you safely in His nail-marked hands (John 10:28). How strange is that?

But that is the paradox of the incarnation. God came to earth as a helpless, tiny baby, so that He could grow up to help us all who are caught under the power of evil. Jesus needed His mother to feed Him, so that some day He would be the bread of life that feeds us. Jesus' parents clothed and sheltered Him, so that one day He would give all of us the clean, holy robes of His righteousness to wear, and shelter all of us in His presence (Revelation 7:13-15).

And now that you trust in Jesus, He invites you to carry Him once again—every day of your life, as you live and serve in the world that does not know Him. As a believer, you are a Christ-bearer; Jesus Himself dwells in you. He never leaves you alone. You carry Him into the world as you share the Gospel with others. You carry Him as others watch your life, seeing how a Christian acts and chooses and speaks. And He carries you—through hard times and good times, through temptation and danger and even death itself—to Himself, in heaven.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for carrying me as Your own. Help me to carry You to others who will also believe in You. Amen.

The Coming King REFLECTION QUESTIONS!
  • Are you comfortable holding tiny babies? Why or why not?
  • What is the most valuable thing you have ever held (besides a baby)? How did you feel about holding it, whatever it was?
  • What does it mean to you that Christ carries you? What images come to mind?

Advent 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).
Are you comfortable holding tiny babies? Why or why not?

Devocional del CPTLN de 31 de Diciembre de 2018 - Sosteniendo a Jesús en tus brazos


ALIMENTO DIARIO

Sosteniendo a Jesús en tus brazos

31 de Diciembre de 2018

Simón fue al templo, guiado por el Espíritu. Y cuando los padres del niño Jesús lo llevaron al templo para cumplir con lo establecido por la ley, él tomó al niño en sus brazos y bendijo a Dios...

¿Has pensado en lo extraño que sería sostener al niño Jesús en tus brazos como lo hizo Simeón? Al acunar a ese pequeño Niño, estarías sosteniendo al Creador del cielo y de la tierra, tu Salvador, quien un día habrá de juzgar a todas las personas. Estarías sosteniendo a Aquél que te mantiene a salvo en sus manos marcadas por los clavos (Juan 10:28). ¿Qué extraño, no?

Pero esa es la paradoja de la encarnación. Dios vino a la tierra como un niño pequeño e indefenso, para poder crecer y ayudarnos a todos los que estamos atrapados bajo el poder del mal. Jesús necesitaba a su madre para alimentarlo, para un día ser el pan de vida que nos alimenta. Los padres de Jesús lo vistieron y protegieron, para que un día él nos vista a nosotros con la ropa limpia y santa de su justicia y nos proteja a todos con su presencia (Apocalipsis 7:13-15).

Y ahora que confías en Jesús, él te invita a que lo lleves contigo todos los días de tu vida, mientras vives y sirves en el mundo que no lo conoce. Como creyente, eres un portador de Cristo: el mismo Jesús mora en ti. Él nunca te abandona. Lo llevas al mundo cuando compartes el Evangelio con los demás y cuando tu forma de actuar y hablar demuestra que eres su seguidor. Y él te lleva a través de los momentos buenos y de los tiempos difíciles, a través de la tentación y el peligro, e incluso de la misma muerte, para que estés con él en el cielo.

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, gracias por hacerme tuyo. Ayúdame a llevarte a otros que también creerán en ti. Amén.

PREGUNTAS DE REFLEXIÓN:
  • ¿Qué significa para ti que Cristo te lleve? ¿Qué imágenes te vienen a la mente?
  • ¿Qué puedes hacer hoy para acercar a otra persona a Cristo?

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Qué significa para ti que Cristo te lleve? ¿Qué imágenes te vienen a la mente?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Le messager

https://www.ministeresnpq.org/2018/12/31/le-messager/

Le messager


Voici, j’enverrai mon messager ; il préparera le chemin devant moi. V. 1

« J’ai un message à vous livrer ! » Une femme qui travaillait dans le cadre de la conférence à laquelle j’assistais m’a remis une feuille. Je me suis alors demandé si je devais craindre ou m’enthousiasmer. Par contre, en y lisant : « Vous avez un neveu ! », j’ai su que je pouvais me réjouir.

Les messages peuvent être porteurs de bonnes nouvelles, de mauvaises nouvelles ou de défis. Dans l’Ancien Testament, Dieu s’est servi de ses prophètes pour transmettre des messages d’espoir et de jugement. En y regardant de plus près, nous voyons que même ces derniers étaient destinés à conduire son peuple à la repentance, à la guérison et à sa restauration.

Ces deux types de messages apparaissent dans Malachie 3, où Dieu promet d’envoyer un messager pour préparer le chemin devant lui. Jean-Baptiste a prédit la venue du véritable Messager, Jésus (voir MT 3.11), à savoir « le messager de l’alliance » (MA 3.1) qui allait accomplir les promesses de Dieu. Cependant, ce Messager allait agir tel « le feu du fondeur, comme la potasse des foulons » (V. 2), en purifiant ceux qui croiraient en sa Parole. Le Seigneur a donc envoyé la Parole faite chair pour purifier ses enfants selon ses desseins bienveillants à leur égard.

Le message de Dieu est empreint d’amour, d’espoir et de liberté. Dieu a chargé son Fils de nous parler en son nom de sorte que nous le comprenions. Parfois, il s’agit de messages de correction, mais toujours riches d’espoir. Quels qu’ils soient, ses messages sont fiables.

Demandez à Dieu de vous aider à être son messager cette année.


© 2018 Ministères NPQ
Les messages peuvent être porteurs de bonnes nouvelles, de mauvaises nouvelles ou de défis.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, December 30, 2018 - First Sunday after Christmas Day

The Boy Jesus in the Temple
Luke 2:41-52

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, December 30, 2018 - First Sunday after Christmas Day
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

OPENING WORDS
A lot has happened in the last week. Some of us have spent time traveling, maybe to the places that we grew up in to visit family and old friends. Gifts and greetings have been exchanged, carols have been sung to remind us of the birth of the Christ child. Now many are back at work and a sense of 'normality' is beginning to be felt again in our lives.

In our gospel reading we find a different Jesus to the one we left on Christmas morning. He has survived Herod's hunt for the firstborn in Bethlehem and has been quietly getting on with the business of growing up in and around the Carpenter's shop in Nazareth.

Father God, sometimes we forget that the Christmas story did not end in the stable but continued as Jesus grew into a man, almost unnoticed by the world apart from his appearance at the temple, his spiritual home on earth. As we close the pages of one year and begin the next chapter of our lives may we grow in faith, in wisdom and closer to you each and every day, to your praise and glory.  Amen.

The Collect (from Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
Trusting God's promise of forgiveness, let us confess our sins against God and one another.

Most merciful God, We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have failed to do. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Words of Reassurance
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world.


The Lessons

First Reading
1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26
The Child Samuel at Shiloh
2:18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord”; and then they would return to their home. [...] 26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with the people.

Psalm 148
Praise for God’s Universal Glory
1  Praise the Lord!
   Praise the Lord from the heavens;
     praise him in the heights!
2  Praise him, all his angels;
     praise him, all his host!

3  Praise him, sun and moon;
     praise him, all you shining stars!
4  Praise him, you highest heavens,
     and you waters above the heavens!

5  Let them praise the name of the Lord,
     for he commanded and they were created.
6  He established them forever and ever;
     he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

7  Praise the Lord from the earth,
     you sea monsters and all deeps,
8  fire and hail, snow and frost,
     stormy wind fulfilling his command!

9  Mountains and all hills,
     fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
     creeping things and flying birds!

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
     princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
     old and young together!

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
     for his name alone is exalted;
     his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
     praise for all his faithful,
     for the people of Israel who are close to him.
   Praise the Lord!

Second Reading
Colossians 3:12-17
3:12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The Gospel
Luke 2:41-52
The Boy Jesus in the Temple
2:41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

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

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

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

Closing Prayer
As we take our worship, praise and prayer from this place and into our daily lives, may our lives be sustained through the love of our Heavenly Father. May we feel the presence of our Savior walking beside us, and know the power of the Spirit in both our actions and our words. Amen.

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

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
After three days they found him (Jesus) in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, December 30, 2018 - First Sunday after Christmas Day


Sunday morning prayer

My loving God, I thank You for bringing me safely to another day of worship. How I desire to praise You with a pure heart and right spirit! To that end, I again ask Your forgiveness for all my sins and renewing of my faith. As I speak to You today, fill my heart with true praise and thankfulness for all You have done for me. Lead me to appreciate more fully the blessings of worshiping with my fellow Christians. Thank You for the opportunity to pray and study Your Word with other believers. Make me a faithful witness in my congregation and my family so that others will see me leaning only on You, who saved me in Jesus Christ.

Lord, make us a refuge to the poor. Help us prepare a feast for the hungry. Teach us to wipe away the tears of those who mourn, even as you shelter us, feed us, and wipe away our tears.

Lord on this special day, I run into Your loving arms. May Sunday be a celebration, filled with thankfulness, where I connect with the presence of Heaven, seek Your beauty and goodness, and cherish special family time together. Come fill my heart afresh with Your love. May it overflow with Heaven's bounty, moving through this rest day and into the week ahead.
Amen

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, December 30, 2018 - First Sunday after Christmas Day


John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Read all of John 16

Listen to John 16

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 - Hagamos todo lo bueno


Hagamos todo lo bueno

Dios es el que me ciñe de fuerza, y quien despeja mi camino; Quien hace mis pies como de ciervas, y me hace estar firme sobre mis alturas.

Todo lo negativo que pudo ocurrir este año no debe marcar tu nuevo año.

Hace algún tiempo, como lo dije al comienzo de este devocional, hacía por estos días una agenda de peticiones y se las presentaba a Dios con una oración el 31 de Diciembre a la medianoche. Era como colocar un montón de sueños y anhelos en la presencia de Dios y confiar que Él me los cumpliría uno a uno.

Sin embargo, hay cosas que ya Dios tiene programadas para cada uno de nosotros y, tarde o temprano, se cumplirán. Así que no te encierres solo en tus deseos, sino deja varios puntos en blanco para que Él mismo sea el que los llene. Déjate sorprender por Dios. ¡No te vas a arrepentir!

Entra a un nuevo año con tu mente y corazón en sintonía con el Señor. Ah, y otra cosa, recuerda que Él siempre desea lo mejor para ti.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Todo lo negativo que pudo ocurrir este año no debe marcar tu nuevo año.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - GIVEN WHAT TO SAY


GIVEN WHAT TO SAY

But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

It was early in the morning the day after Christmas. It was cold. Mehdi Forootan sat in the back seat of an undercover police car in front of his house in Tehran, Iran. An officer pointed a camcorder at him. “Do you know why you were arrested?” the officer asked him. “No,” Forootan replied.

The officer turned off the camera and looked Forootan in the eyes. “I can beat you until blood is coming out of your mouth and every part of you. The next time I turn on the camera, you tell me why we are taking you,” the officer said and turned the camera back on.

Forootan spoke of his faith in Christ, and he spent the next 105 days in Iran’s harshest prison. On Dec. 26, 2010, authorities had arrested Forootan in a wave of persecution against Iran’s underground church. More than three months later, he was one of a few who had not been released.

During one interrogation, an officer turned on a camcorder and pointed it toward him, demanding that Forootan tell him about his “crime.” Forootan began to tell him how he had struggled with substance abuse as a teenager, “and how when I was in university I found Jesus and He saved me, and I have been free ever since. But he became angry and turned off the camera. He said, ‘I asked you to tell about your crime, not evangelize us.’”

After months of trying to get him to write statements confessing a crime, authorities inexplicably released him. Forootan said his first month out of prison was one of the worst of his life. He couldn’t speak to anyone of his prison experience for fear that authorities were watching and would re-arrest him. His parents had given the deed of their house to authorities as bail.

He and his fiancée decided it was best for him to leave Iran and go to Turkey as a refugee. For Forootan, this meant an illegal escape through the mountains, because authorities had confiscated his passport.

“I came out of Iran with 70 Afghanis,” Forootan said. “I went to the mountains and walked in the mountains for eight hours, and after eight hours I came to Turkey…That was really hard, because I really love Iran, and I’m really sad about this land. Maybe I can’t see my country again.”

Many who follow Jesus in other lands make great sacrifices for the sake of the gospel. Despite harsh treatment—even prison with interrogations—they still love their home country. But during those interrogations, the Holy Spirit gives the right words to be spoken.

RESPONSE: Today I will rest in the Lord realizing that when pressures come, He is with me and His Spirit will give me the right words to speak.

PRAYER: Pray for those who like Forootan above are forced to leave the home land they love because of their witness to the gospel of Christ.

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

The Twelve Days of Christmas - The Sixth Day

The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Sixth Day

The 12 days of Christmas are the 12 days that separate Christmas Day on December 25 and ends on January 5, with the next day being Epiphany, which is celebrated January 6. Depending on the church, January 6 may mark Christ’s baptism (in the Catholic tradition), or it may mark the day that the wise men (or the Magi) visited Jesus with their gifts.

The Day of Epiphany is when the church celebrates the revelation of Christ as the light of the world and recalls the journey of the Magi. Magi means wise men.

From 1558 until 1829 Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their faith openly. During that era someone wrote ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas‘ as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without risk of persecution. The song has two levels of interpretation: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of the church. Each element in the carol is a code word for a religious reality.

Some beliefs believe that the day after Christmas started the 12 Days of Christmas. You also hear some people think its the 12 days that lead up to Christmas. But reality, it starts on December 25, that is the first day.



The Sixth Day of Christmas

The carol says On the On The Sixth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave To Me...



Six Geese A-Laying



According to catechism hidden meaning it means …

The six days of Creation. God created the World in 6 days. He rested on the 7th.

LHM Daily Devotions - ONE WISH

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20181230

"ONE WISH"

Dec. 30, 2018

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
~ Luke 2:25-26 (ESV)

Simeon loved the Lord, and he had one wish, which God knew about: he wanted to see God's Messiah come before he died. The Holy Spirit promised him he would.

How exciting that must have been! Simeon would see Jesus, God in the flesh, guaranteed. He must have wondered every day, "Is today the day I'll see Him?" And every night he knew he'd wake up in the morning, because God hadn't kept His promise yet; and God always keeps His promises. Jesus would come before his death.

And then came the glorious day when he went to the temple at the impulse of the Holy Spirit and saw a poor young couple with a newborn in their arms. That was the One! He took up Jesus in his arms and praised God. Simeon's life wish was fulfilled. Now he could die, go home to the Lord, in peace.

This is true for us, too, isn't it? We too have seen God's Christ—not with the eyes of the body, but with the eyes of faith. God's Holy Spirit has revealed Him to us. We have seen Him in the Bible. We have eaten and drunk His body and blood at Communion. For us too, it is "Jesus before death." We don't have to wait. We have Him now.

Jesus promised His disciples, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). We will not go through death alone. The One who has already been through death and back again, this One, Jesus, will be our guide. We will not stay in death, either; Jesus, our risen Savior, promises to raise us from the dead as well.

Christ before death; that's the right order. And that is the way God has given Jesus to us as well.

THE PRAYER: Father, thank You that You have given us Your Son now, in this life, so we don't need to be afraid of death. Amen.

 The Coming King REFLECTION QUESTIONS!
  • What is on your "bucket list" of things to do before your death?
  • Are you afraid of dying? Why or why not?
  • How do you find strength and comfort when you think about death? Be as specific as you can.

Advent 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).
What is on your "bucket list" of things to do before your death?

Devocional del CPTLN de 30 de Diciembre de 2018 - Un deseo


ALIMENTO DIARIO

Un deseo

30 de Diciembre de 2018

En Jerusalén vivía un hombre justo y piadoso, llamado Simeón, que esperaba la salvación de Israel. El Espíritu Santo reposaba en él y le había revelado que no moriría antes de que viera al Ungido del Señor.
~ Lucas 2:25-26 (RVC)

Simeón amaba al Señor. Él sabía que el Mesías iba a venir y tenía un deseo: quería ver al Mesías de Dios antes de morir. Dios lo sabía, y el Espíritu Santo le prometió que así sería.

¡Qué emocionante! Simeón tenía garantizado que vería a Jesús. Debió haberlo esperado todos los días, preguntándose: "¿Será hoy el día en que lo veré?". Y al acostarse cada noche sabía que se despertaría por la mañana, porque Dios aún no había cumplido su promesa... y Dios siempre cumple sus promesas. Sí, Jesús vendría antes de su muerte.

Y así llegó el día glorioso cuando, movido por el Espíritu Santo, fue al templo y vio a una pareja pobre joven con un recién nacido en sus brazos. ¡Ése era! Tomó a Jesús en sus brazos y alabó a Dios. Su deseo se había cumplido. Ahora podía morir e ir en paz a la casa del Señor.

Esto también es cierto para nosotros. Nosotros también hemos visto al Cristo de Dios, no con los ojos del cuerpo sino con los de la fe. El Espíritu Santo de Dios nos lo ha revelado. Lo hemos encontrado en la Biblia y hemos comido y bebido su cuerpo y sangre en la Comunión. No tenemos que esperar nada. Ya lo tenemos ahora.

Jesús prometió a sus discípulos: "... yo estaré con ustedes todos los días, hasta el fin del mundo" (Mateo 28:20). No pasaremos solos por la muerte. Jesús, aquel que ya ha pasado y vuelto de la muerte, será nuestro guía. Ni tampoco nos quedaremos en la muerte pues Jesús, nuestro Salvador resucitado, también promete resucitarnos de los muertos.

ORACIÓN: Padre, gracias porque al habernos dado a tu Hijo en esta vida, ya no debemos temer a la muerte. Amén.

PREGUNTAS DE REFLEXIÓN:
  • ¿Tienes miedo de morir? ¿Por qué sí o por qué no?
  • ¿Dónde encuentras fuerza y consuelo cuando piensas en la muerte?

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Tienes miedo de morir? ¿Por qué sí o por qué no?

Unser Täglich Brot - Alles neu

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2018/12/30/alles-neu/

Alles neu

Lesung: Offenbarung 21,1-7 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Sacharja 13-14; Offenbarung 21

Darum: Ist jemand in Christus, so ist er eine neue Kreatur; das Alte ist vergangen, siehe, Neues ist geworden. 2 Korinther 5,17

Schrottplätze faszinieren mich. Ich arbeite gerne an Autos, daher fahre ich häufig zu einem Schrottplatz in unserer Nähe. Er ist ein einsamer Ort, wo der Wind durch entsorgte Autowracks fegt, die einst für jemanden den wertvollsten Besitz darstellten. Einige waren wirklich nur noch Wracks, einige waren abgenutzt und andere haben lediglich ihre Nutzungsdauer überschritten. Wenn ich durch die Reihen gehe, weckt manchmal ein Wagen meine Aufmerksamkeit und ich frage mich, was dieser Wagen wohl für Abenteuer in seinem „Leben“ durchlebte. Wie eine Tür zur Vergangenheit, haben alle eine Geschichte zu erzählen — über Menschen, die das neueste Modell haben wollten und dem unausweichlichen Lauf der Zeit.

Aber besonders freue ich mich daran, neues Leben für ein altes Teil zu finden. Wann immer ich ein entsorgtes Teil nehmen und ihm Leben in einem restaurierten Wagen schenken kann, fühlt es sich wie ein kleiner Sieg gegen Zeit und Verfall an.

Manchmal muss ich dann an Jesu Worte am Ende der Bibel denken: „Ich mache alles neu!“ (Offenbarung 21,5). Diese Worte beziehen sich auf Gottes Erneuerung der Schöpfung und bezieht die Gläubigen ein. Diejenigen, die Jesus bereits angenommen haben sind eine „neue Kreatur“ in ihm (2. Korinther 5,17).

Eines Tages werden wir in das Versprechen des ewigen Lebens mit ihm eingehen (Johannes 14,3). Alter und Krankheit werden nicht mehr ihren Tribut fordern, und wir werden das Abenteuer des ewigen Lebens weiterleben. Was für Geschichten haben wir wohl zu erzählenGeschichten über die erlösende Liebe und unendliche Treue unseres Retters.

Das Ende eines Jahres und der Beginn eines neuen Jahres bietet die Möglichkeit für einen Neuanfang. Was wird Gott wohl in deinem Leben neu machen?


© 2018 Unser Täglich Brot
Ich arbeite gerne an Autos, daher fahre ich häufig zu einem Schrottplatz in unserer Nähe.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Daily Lectionary for SATURDAY, December 29, 2018


The Daily Lectionary
SATURDAY, December 29, 2018
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 147:12-20
12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
    Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
    he blesses your children within you.
14 He grants peace within your borders;
    he fills you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
    his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
    he scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down hail like crumbs—
    who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
    he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
    his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
    they do not know his ordinances.
   Praise the Lord!

1 Chronicles 28:1-10
Solomon Instructed to Build the Temple
28:1 David assembled at Jerusalem all the officials of Israel, the officials of the tribes, the officers of the divisions that served the king, the commanders of the thousands, the commanders of the hundreds, the stewards of all the property and cattle of the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the mighty warriors, and all the warriors. 2 Then King David rose to his feet and said: “Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had planned to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God; and I made preparations for building. 3 But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for my name, for you are a warrior and have shed blood.’ 4 Yet the Lord God of Israel chose me from all my ancestral house to be king over Israel forever; for he chose Judah as leader, and in the house of Judah my father’s house, and among my father’s sons he took delight in making me king over all Israel. 5 And of all my sons, for the Lord has given me many, he has chosen my son Solomon to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6 He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to me, and I will be a father to him. 7 I will establish his kingdom forever if he continues resolute in keeping my commandments and my ordinances, as he is today.’ 8 Now therefore in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and search out all the commandments of the Lord your God; that you may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever.

9 “And you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve him with single mind and willing heart; for the Lord searches every mind, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will abandon you forever. 10 Take heed now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary; be strong, and act.”

1 Corinthians 3:10-17
3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. 14 If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

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
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?