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.
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 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


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,

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
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.



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.

  • 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


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.

  • ¿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

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.