Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Daily Lectionary Readings for TUESDAY, November 20, 2018

Some Sayings of Jesus
Luke 17:1-10

The Daily Lectionary Readings
TUESDAY, November 20, 2018
(Year Two)

Old Testament
Habakkuk 3:1-10(11-15)16-18
3:1 A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk according to Shigionoth.

The Prophet’s Prayer
2 O Lord, I have heard of your renown,
    and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work.
In our own time revive it;
    in our own time make it known;
    in wrath may you remember mercy.
3 God came from Teman,
    the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His glory covered the heavens,
    and the earth was full of his praise.
4 The brightness was like the sun;
    rays came forth from his hand,
    where his power lay hidden.
5 Before him went pestilence,
    and plague followed close behind.
6 He stopped and shook the earth;
    he looked and made the nations tremble.
The eternal mountains were shattered;
    along his ancient pathways
    the everlasting hills sank low.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan under affliction;
    the tent-curtains of the land of Midian trembled.
8 Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord?
    Or your anger against the rivers,
    or your rage against the sea,
when you drove your horses,
    your chariots to victory?
9 You brandished your naked bow,
    sated were the arrows at your command. Selah
    You split the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains saw you, and writhed;
    a torrent of water swept by;
the deep gave forth its voice.
    The sun raised high its hands;

[11 the moon stood still in its exalted place,
    at the light of your arrows speeding by,
    at the gleam of your flashing spear.
12 In fury you trod the earth,
    in anger you trampled nations.
13 You came forth to save your people,
    to save your anointed.
You crushed the head of the wicked house,
    laying it bare from foundation to roof.Selah
14 You pierced with their own arrows the head of his warriors,
    who came like a whirlwind to scatter us,
    gloating as if ready to devour the poor who were in hiding.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
    churning the mighty waters.]

16 I hear, and I tremble within;
    my lips quiver at the sound.
Rottenness enters into my bones,
    and my steps tremble beneath me.
I wait quietly for the day of calamity
    to come upon the people who attack us.
Trust and Joy in the Midst of Trouble

17 Though the fig tree does not blossom,
    and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails,
    and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold,
    and there is no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will exult in the God of my salvation.

The Epistle
James 3:1-12
Taming the Tongue
3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. 4 Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8 but no one can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

The Gospel
Luke 17:1-10
Some Sayings of Jesus
17:1 Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! 2 It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. 4 And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.”

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

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.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come!

The Morning Prayer for TUESDAY, November 20, 2018

Tuesday morning prayer

Lord, on this day I chose to put You first. Thank You that when You are at the center of our family, our lives are rich with love and goodness. Lord, be the running stream, springing up at the very heart of our household. Might we drink daily from the water of life, that our days would be filled with kindness, forgiveness, trust and love.

May this day be a gentle time of love and kindness shown, to all my friends and family a love that helps us grow.

Let Tuesday always prompt my heart to place my life in You. To see Your holy will be done I give my life anew.

Verse of the Day for TUESDAY, November 20, 2018

Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV) Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Read all of Psalm 95

Listen to Psalm 95

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 - Matrimonios con compromiso

Matrimonios con compromiso

Tengan todos en alta estima el matrimonio y la fidelidad conyugal, porque Dios juzgará a los adúlteros y a todos los que cometen inmoralidades sexuales.
~ Hebreos 13:4 (NVI)

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

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

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

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

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
En estos últimos meses, Dios ha puesto en mi corazón un deseo muy grande de orar e interceder por los matrimonios.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - POURED OUT LIKE A DRINK OFFERING


For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.
~ 2 Timothy 4:6 (NIV)

On the last day of an Open Doors seminar in South Africa, students shared how they thought the church should prepare for persecution. One man shared his son’s story and its impact:

It was at the time when the pupils rioted, burning schools, churches, shopping centers, town councillors’ houses and mercilessly attacking anyone whom they regarded as a ‘sell-out.’

Each morning his sturdy, neatly dressed, thirteen-year-old Christian son wound his way through the mounds of rubble towards school, amidst the mocking of other youths wandering the smoke-filled streets. Later he would walk home, while the teachers, frightened by the threatening mobs, locked themselves in their homes.

One particular morning, after the family devotions, his parents watched as he walked off to school. At the school grounds, a mob blocked the gate. He walked undeterred through the gate and greeted them with a nod and a friendly smile.

He was in the center of the mob when they closed in around him blocking any further progress. One older gang leader, tall and powerfully built, grabbed the strap of his school bag and pulled him to a standstill. He glared at him and growled, “As a Christian you have always been on time for school, never late, never missing a day. You have always been praised by those ‘sell-out’ teachers for knowing and doing your school work in spite of our revolutionary slogan, ‘liberation now, education later.’ Today, you will have to decide for our revolution or else.”

“I have decided to have nothing to do with your revolution,” the boy replied unwaveringly. He remembered what his father taught on compromise in times of persecution.

With a curse the bully pushed him backwards into the mob. Blows rained on him and he tried in vain to ward it off, then a knife flashed in the sun, a second, and a third. Hours later, a policeman knocked on the door of his parent’s home.

The father still lives in that house and preaches the love of Christ to the same community. Peace has returned to the township, but hardly a day passes without a passer-by, or a message scribbled on the garden wall, reminding him of that day.

The father says, “I greet them and smile at them in the hope that the testimony of my life and my willingness to forgive will eventually carry the light of Christ into their hearts, replacing the spirit of bitterness darkening their lives. I know by going back there to train the church leaders I am at risk of my life being ‘poured out like a drink offering’ just like the apostle Paul.”

RESPONSE: Today I will not live in fear nor compromise my faith no matter what Satan throws at me.

PRAYER: Pray for courage for those whose lives today may be poured out like a drink offering.

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 - Wavering Between Two Opinions

Wavering Between Two Opinions

Today’s Truth

Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.
~ 1 Kings 18:21 (NLT)

Friend to Friend

My daughter Rachel is limping right now. Her knee likely hurts from all the jumps and back handsprings she does as a cheerleader. The pain in her knee affects the way she walks, and limping is no fun. It calls attention to a weakness or flaw. I have stubbed my toe, banged up my shins, and had sciatic nerve pain that left me hobbling like a person twice my age. Elijah uttered the words in today’s truth just before he challenged the people of Israel to a contest on Mt. Carmel. He asked them, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions?” It seems the nation of Israel suffered from a limp of their own.

In his question, Elijah used a Hebrew idiom that “means, literally, ‘hobbling upon two branches. The imagery is probably that of a bird hopping from branch to branch or a person on two crutches made of branches.’” Elijah was basically telling the people of Israel to stop sitting on the fence! Earlier in Israelite history, Joshua similarly drew a line in the sand and compelled those entering the Promised Land to choose whom they would serve: “But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15).

These types of biblical statements can leave us feeling uncomfortable because we all know the wavering in our own hearts. None of us does the right thing every time. We all operate out of some level disparity between what we say we believe and how we think and act. Many times our duplicity grows not from a deliberate decision but a slow erosion of awareness. This is when we claim the name of Christ but acclimate ourselves to living contrary to His teachings. We all struggle with this hypocrisy to a certain extent, trying to reconcile our beliefs and behaviors. However, some behaviors do not co-exist well with our faith. Just as worshiping Yahweh and Baal did not work for the Israelites, in the same way trying to serve both God and greed, or God and adultery, or God and bigotry does not work for us. We cannot have it both ways. Either we serve God and obey His commands or we live according to our own set of standards.

Though we all struggle to live this out, we must guard against being lukewarm as the church of Laodecia is described in the Book of Revelation. God said, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:15-16). It’s an indictment of indecision—of sitting on the fence.

Walter Bruggeman wrote about the indecision of the German Christians in the days of Hitler, saying, “These were church people who thought they could live faithfully without choosing between the dominant ideology of National Socialism and the claims of Christ.” The truth is, we cannot waver on issues of morality. When it comes to our favorite ice cream flavor or our hairstyle, waffling is okay. But in the case of pursuing God and avoiding the sins He says destroy our souls, we cannot continue to waver between two opinions. We must choose. God didn’t create birds to hobble from branch to branch. He made them to fly. In the same way, the Lord knows that wavering keeps us from the victorious life He has planned for us. Elijah insisted that the land of Israel could not have it both ways, and the people fell silent when asked to decide.

Every day we make either/or choices: we will choose food that is healthy or unhealthy; we will be active or sedentary; we will scroll through social media and read about others’ lives or go out and live our own; we will count our blessings or our problems; we will pray and study God’s Word or we will find other things to fill our time. God calls us to make the choice to fall in love with Him. When we set our hearts and minds to love Him, the disciplines of following Him become less tiring. We find our spiritual stamina building as we choose to imitate His faith, hope, love, and forgiveness. Yet rather than try to do it on our own, we invite the Holy Spirit to do it in and through us. We choose rather than waver.

We all have areas of duplicity in our lives, but as we begin to recognize them, we then ask God to help us. Rather than sit in silence as the people of Israel did after Elijah called them to stop limping along between Baal and Yahweh, let us live what we say we believe. Though none of us is perfect, over time we will grow in faith and obedience as God’s Spirit draws us more and more to Jesus’ way of love.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I long to rediscover an undivided loyalty to You. I don’t want to limp along in my faith anymore. You know how the world presents so many ideas that are contrary to Your truths. Help me Lord to stop wavering between following You and chasing worldly ideas and opinions that don’t line up with Your Word. Show me what it means to be loving rather than legalistic when it comes to seeking You with wholehearted devotion.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Is there an area in your life where you sense you have been wavering, dabbling in both cultural accommodation and intentional Christian community? Take some time to really consider this question. Don’t allow this evaluation to lead to shame. Shame is not from God, but conviction that leads to repentance is right up His alley. Ask God to help you identify any clear areas of duplicity and ask for His help in overcoming them with faithful choices through the power of His Spirit.

More from the Girlfriends

Melissa Spoelstra is a women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages know Christ more intimately through serious Bible study. She is the author of several women’s Bible studies including Numbers, First Corinthians, Joseph, and Jeremiah which include video teaching and daily study. Her newest study, Elijah: Spiritual Stamina in Every Season   released in 2018 and is available for personal and group study. She lives in Pickerington, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids. Find her online at www.melissaspoelstra.com.

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Girlfriends in God

My daughter Rachel is limping right now. Her knee likely hurts from all the ...

LHM Daily Devotions - Judgment, Please!


"Judgment, Please!"

Nov. 20, 2018

My righteousness draws near, My salvation has gone out, and My arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands hope for Me, and for My arm they wait.
~ Isaiah 51:5 (ESV)

What do you think of when you think of God's judgment? If you are like most Christians, judgment is a frightening concept. We think of ourselves as defendants in a criminal case, and God as the prosecutor, witness, and judge, all rolled into one.

That scares us. We are deeply aware of our sins. Just like King David prayed in Psalm 143:2, we pray, "Enter not into judgment with Your servant, for no one living is righteous before You." We know very well as it says in Psalm 130:3 -- "If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?" Certainly, not us!

But that's not what Isaiah is getting at in this verse. He's drawing the picture of a civil case: a case where we are the plaintiffs, and we are suing for justice against those who have hurt us!

In Isaiah's day, justice was even harder to come by than it is today. If the plaintiffs were poor, or socially unimportant, or didn't have money to offer a bribe -- why, then, their case might never even be heard, let alone settled. The judge would simply refuse them a court hearing. That meant people like the poor widow in Jesus' parable in Luke 18 could go for years with an absolutely airtight case against an evil landlord or an oppressive neighbor, and still never get help, let alone justice. Small wonder she was begging for judgment!

We are actually in this same case, too, every day. We may be fortunate enough to live in a place where access to the courts is available, and even the poor get their cases heard. But what about the huge amount of evil in this world that cannot be set right by winning a lawsuit? What about cancer and heart disease, poverty and hunger, child and elder abuse, unfair laws and violence in the streets? Those most definitely are the work of the devil, and also the result of society-wide problems we've never been able to manage. How can we get justice for those? Who will put a stop to them?

Only God can do that, which is why He speaks through the prophet Isaiah: "The coastlands hope for Me, and for My arm they wait." Judgment is coming for all of us who have suffered far too long under the power of evil. Only wait a little longer, and Christ will return; He will judge the nations. His salvation has already gone out; He has already died and risen for us and washed us from our sins. Now we are His people, and we can look forward to judgment, not with fear, but with rejoicing. God will put right everything in the universe that has gone so badly wrong. And on that day, it will be true what was written in Revelation 21:4. "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

THE PRAYER: Lord, help me to look forward to Your judgment, knowing You have already forgiven and justified me through Your death and resurrection. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was 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 do you think of when you think of God's judgment?

Devocional del CPTLN de 20 de Noviembre de 2018 - Adoptados como hijos


Adoptados como hijos

20 de Noviembre de 2018

Pero cuando se cumplió el tiempo señalado, Dios envió a su Hijo, que nació de una mujer y sujeto a la ley, para que redimiera a los que estaban sujetos a la ley, a fin de que recibiéramos la adopción de hijos.

Artyom, un niño de siete años nacido en Rusia, fue adoptado por una familia de los Estados Unidos. Pero luego de tenerlo por seis meses, su familia adoptiva lo puso en un avión y lo envió de vuelta a Rusia. ¿La razón? Dijeron que Artyom era "mentalmente inestable."

Por su parte, los médicos rusos que examinaron al niño dijeron no haberle encontrado ningún problema.

El presidente de Rusia dijo que quien tenía algún problema era la familia que había adoptado a Artyom, y que rechazar al niño había sido un "acto monstruoso... no sólo inmoral, sino también ilegal."

Cuando escuché la noticia, recordé lo que Pablo escribió en Gálatas: 'Dios envió a su Hijo a redimirnos para que podamos ser adoptados como hijos'.

Sí, nuestra fe en el Salvador nos ha hecho miembros adoptados en la familia de la fe. Gracias a lo que Jesús ha hecho por nosotros en Belén, Galilea, Judea, Samaria y en la cruz del calvario, a nosotros se nos ha dado una nueva vida.

Jesús hizo todas esas cosas a la perfección, incluyendo entregar su vida, para que nosotros podamos ser salvos y adoptados.

Lo que me entristece es que somos espiritualmente inestables. Somos parte de la familia de Dios, pero seguimos pecando, o sea, seguimos haciendo las cosas que hacíamos cuando pertenecíamos a la familia humana que no reconoce a Jesús.

Es asombroso que Dios no nos envíe de regreso. Pero no lo hace... la misericordia del Padre hace que nos perdone, nos ame, nos anime y nos apoye. Gracias a la obra de Jesús, completada en la cruz y aceptada en el Domingo de Resurrección, nuestro Padre celestial envía su Espíritu Santo para hacernos parte de la familia de fe.

ORACIÓN: Señor Dios, perdóname cuando no vivo como uno de tus hijos adoptados. Borra mis pecados y crea en mí un corazón nuevo. Haz que mi corazón esté agradecido por la obra y sacrificio de Jesús, para que viva como corresponde a un hijo tuyo. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Artyom, un niño de siete años nacido en Rusia, fue adoptado por una familia de los Estados Unidos. Pero luego de tenerlo por seis meses, su familia adoptiva lo puso en un avión y lo envió de vuelta a Rusia. ¿La razón?

Nuestro Pan Diario - ¿Del lado equivocado?


¿Del lado equivocado?

Leer: Filipenses 1:12-18 | La Biblia en un año: Ezequiel 14–15 Santiago 2

… las cosas que me han sucedido, han redundado más bien para el progreso del evangelio (v. 12).

Cuando el agua del río Tano se llevó el puente que llevaba a Techiman, los residentes de Nueva Krobo quedaron varados. La asistencia a la iglesia del pastor Samuel Appiah también se resintió porque muchos de sus miembros vivían en Nueva Krobo… en el lado «equivocado» del río.

En medio de la crisis, el pastor estaba tratando de ampliar el hogar de niños para recibir a más huérfanos. Entonces, oró. Luego, la iglesia empezó a tener reuniones al aire libre al otro lado del río, en Nueva Krobo, y pronto, muchos recibieron a Cristo como Salvador y fueron bautizados. Así nació una iglesia nueva. Además, allí había lugar para recibir a huérfanos que esperaban un hogar. Dios entretejió su obra restauradora en medio de la crisis.

Cuando Pablo se encontró del lado «equivocado» de la libertad, no se lamentó, sino que les escribió a los filipenses: «Quiero que sepáis, hermanos, que las cosas que me han sucedido, han redundado más bien para el progreso del evangelio» (Filipenses 1:12). Destacó que sus cadenas habían hecho que «todo el pretorio» supiera de Cristo (v. 13). Además, otros habían cobrado valor para compartir el evangelio de Jesús (v. 14).

¿Qué podría estar haciendo Dios hoy a través de nuestras circunstancias difíciles?
Señor, ayúdame a verte en todas las circunstancias, aunque parezcan adversas.
«Dios obra en medio del caos. Este es el mensaje de la Biblia». Matt Chandler

© 2018 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario
Cuando el agua del río Tano se llevó el puente que llevaba a Techiman, los residentes de Nueva Krobo quedaron varados.