Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for TUESDAY, April 30, 2019

Revelation 2:8-11

The Daily Lectionary
TUESDAY, April 30, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 122
Song of Praise and Prayer for Jerusalem
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1  I was glad when they said to me,
     “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
2  Our feet are standing
     within your gates, O Jerusalem.

3  Jerusalem—built as a city
     that is bound firmly together.
4  To it the tribes go up,
     the tribes of the Lord,
   as was decreed for Israel,
     to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5  For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
     the thrones of the house of David.

6  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
     “May they prosper who love you.
7  Peace be within your walls,
     and security within your towers.”
8  For the sake of my relatives and friends
     I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9  For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
     I will seek your good.

Esther 8:1-17
Esther Saves the Jews
8:1 On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. 2 Then the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. So Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

3 Then Esther spoke again to the king; she fell at his feet, weeping and pleading with him to avert the evil design of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. 4 The king held out the golden scepter to Esther, 5 and Esther rose and stood before the king. She said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have won his favor, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I have his approval, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote giving orders to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. 6 For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming on my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?” 7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to the Jew Mordecai, “See, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he plotted to lay hands on the Jews. 8 You may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king’s ring; for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s ring cannot be revoked.”

9 The king’s secretaries were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews and to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred twenty-seven provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. 10 He wrote letters in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed them with the king’s ring, and sent them by mounted couriers riding on fast steeds bred from the royal herd. 11 By these letters the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, with their children and women, and to plunder their goods 12 on a single day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. 13 A copy of the writ was to be issued as a decree in every province and published to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take revenge on their enemies. 14 So the couriers, mounted on their swift royal steeds, hurried out, urged by the king’s command. The decree was issued in the citadel of Susa.

15 Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king, wearing royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown and a mantle of fine linen and purple, while the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. 16 For the Jews there was light and gladness, joy and honor. 17 In every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict came, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a festival and a holiday. Furthermore, many of the peoples of the country professed to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.

Revelation 2:8-11
The Message to Smyrna
2:8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of the first and the last, who was dead and came to life:

9 “I know your affliction and your poverty, even though you are rich. I know the slander on the part of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Beware, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Whoever conquers will not be harmed by the second death.

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
These are the words of the first and the last, who was dead and came to life:

Verse of the Day for TUESDAY, April 30, 2019


Ephesians 4:15 (NIV) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

Read all of Ephesians 4

Listen to Ephesians 4

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 - Tuesday, April 30, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2019/04/30

Oración para hacer su voluntad

Enséñame a hacer tu voluntad, porque tú eres mi Dios. Que tu buen Espíritu me guíe por un terreno sin obstáculos.
~ Salmo 143:10 (NVI)

Señor, en estos días me has hablado acerca de mantener mi mirada en ti, sin importar las situaciones que pueda estar viviendo.

Hoy estoy reconociendo que te he juzgado, que me he enojado contigo y te he culpado por todo lo que estoy pasando y por todo lo que viví en el pasado.

Te pido perdón y te suplico que me ayudes a hacer tu voluntad y morir a mis caprichos.

También te pido que me ayudes a andar en tus caminos y a hacer tu voluntad para mi vida.

Límpiame y purifica mi mente, Jesús.

Enséñame a entender que tú has estado en cada adversidad, aunque no te haya visto.

Quiero confiar en ti y serte fiel.

Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Señor, en estos días me has hablado acerca de mantener mi mirada en ti, sin importar las situaciones que pueda estar viviendo.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Tuesday, April 30, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2019/04/30

GOD USES PROBLEMS AND PERSECUTION TO PROTECT YOU

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
~ Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

Here is another of five ways God uses problems and persecution in your life: God uses problems and persecution to PROTECT you.

A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem—but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered.

Eritrean Christian singer, Helen Berhane, testifies that God helped her at every turn during her almost three years of imprisonment in the infamous shipping containers. She saw God repeatedly turn evil plans into good:

One day they [the guards] brought two girls to my container. Their names were Rahel and Elsa. They were both in the army before they were arrested. They were supposed to spy on me and report back, because the authorities could not understand how, despite their treatment of me, I was still defiant. However, things backfired because the girls really liked me. Very soon we had become good friends and they even told me, “We were supposed to spy on you. But we like you, and so we won’t!”

…Since the girls were not spying as they had been told to, Rahel was released, but they left Elsa in the container with me for a while. Rahel left all her spare clothes for me. This was a blessing, as for a long time I had not been allowed any more clothes, even when the old ones were worn out. I felt that this was God’s provision for me, like the ravens he sent to Elijah. It was my experience that no matter what hardship I was in, God always sent someone to help me. So, although these girls were sent to spy on me, God used them to bless me.[1] (emphasis mine)

RESPONSE: God is at work in my life—even when I do not recognize it or understand it. It is much easier and more profitable when I cooperate with Him. This is the way to victory!

PRAYER: God help me to trust You to bring good from the challenges, difficulties and persecutions I might be subjected to today.

1. Helen Berhane, The Song of the Nightingale (Colorado Springs: Authentic Media, 2009), pp. 57-58.

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 - Tuesday, April 30, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/2019/04/30

Who Me? I Did Nothing Wrong

Todays Truth

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet He did not sin.
~ Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

"I didn't mean it that way."

"You misunderstood me."

"You've got things wrong."

For a long time, I've endlessly defended myself to my husband.

Why? Because I hate being exposed. I hate the fact I'm trying really hard to be a great wife and yet, I get distracted when my husband shares important things. I hate that I want to be a good mom, but I feel pushed-over when my kids ask me for something more than five times. I hate that I accidentally tell my husband what to do when I know he has a plan he’s thought through.

I make mistakes. Then, I hate myself for it.

Like Eve, it is much easier to hide than to admit the truth. It is much easier to cover my actions with all the reasons I didn't mean to do what I just did. It is much easier to deny than to have to fess up to being -- imperfect.

I feel a lot of shame about how I act. I want to be better than I am. Seeing that I am not that good hurts sometimes.

One day when I was in a small group prayer setting, a friend turned to me and said, "Kelly, your prayers are just as powerful when you sound weak as when you sound strong."

Something in her words hit a nerve in me. Weakness, need, and longing are not things God detests. They don't make me any less Christian than the next girl.

Jesus is able to empathize with weakness.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet He did not sin." (Hebrews 4:15, NIV)

Jesus understands. He had feelings. He walked hard roads. He felt hurt. He never sinned.

Jesus can handle our truth. He will also bring about the truth we need as we run to Him. He has our way out of any difficult thing we may face. With this, we can run to His throne of mercy in our time of need, without embarrassment or fear. Jesus is always only a heart-cry away. He wants to help us, to lead us, to guide us and to equip us. He is "merciful and faithful" (Heb. 2:17).

Knowing this, will help me to:

1. Fess up to my truth.
2. More easily say, “I am sorry.”
3. Ask God for help to change.
4. Consider new ways of acting.
5. Accept grace in my time of need.

When God is my greatest defense, I no longer need to tirelessly defend myself.

Lets Pray

Father, I am so grateful for grace. Thank You for the price Jesus paid.
In Jesus’ Name.
Amen.

Now Its Your Turn

Where do you tend to defend yourself? Deny? Rationalize? Excuse? Evaluate, why do you do it?

More from the Girlfriends

Kelly Balarie, blogger at Purposeful Faith and author of the new book “Battle Ready: Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously” is passionate about joining hands with women who often find themselves stuck in the pits of life. Step-by-step, word-by-word, her dream is that together they can emerge better - fear, fret and panic-free. Get all of Kelly’s Purposeful Faith blog posts by email for a dose of inspiration and encouragement.

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

Girlfriends in God

https://girlfriendsingod.com/events/
For a long time, I've endlessly defended myself to my husband.

LHM Daily Devotions - Simple Obedience

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190430

"Simple Obedience"

Apr. 30, 2019

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to Your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your Name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My Name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My Name." So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.
~ Acts 9:10-19 (ESV)

I really like Ananias. He's such an ordinary Christian to get pulled into the spotlight for a short time. Imagine it—here is Ananias going about his ordinary life, perhaps a little worried because he's heard that Saul is coming to town to arrest Christians. And then God tells him to go visit Saul and heal him! It must have been like being told to go and lay hands on a hungry lion. Ananias is taken aback, and he says so. "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done ...." Are You sure You've got the right man in mind? Are You sure You want to send me?

But God confirms it. "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine ... I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My Name." So Ananias stops arguing. He gets up, goes to the address God has been so practical as to give him and, sure enough, there's Saul. Ananias doesn't hold back. He lays his hands on Saul and even calls him "brother"! And God uses his obedience to heal Saul's blindness immediately.

Ananias had a small role, but look at what a difference his obedience made! He was there when it counted—afraid, no doubt, but still there. And God blessed that.

Very few of us will ever be famous—certainly not as famous as Saul, who later became the apostle Paul. We are like Ananias instead. And that's okay. Because known or unknown, all Christians live with the real, everlasting life that Jesus has earned for us through His suffering, death, and resurrection from the dead. Our eyes are on Jesus. He is the One we love and care about, and it's His opinion of us that matters. And when we have the honor of serving Him, whether in a big way or a small way—how wonderful is that?

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to keep focused on loving and serving You. 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).
I really like Ananias. He's such an ordinary Christian to get pulled into the spotlight for a short time.

Devocional de la CPTLN del 30 de Abril de 2019 - Obediencia simple


ALIMENTO DIARIO

Obediencia simple

30 de Abril de 2019

En Damasco había un discípulo llamado Ananías, que había tenido una visión en la que el Señor lo llamaba por su nombre. Ananías había respondido: "Aquí me tienes, Señor." El Señor le dijo: "Levántate y ve a la calle llamada 'Derecha'; allí, en la casa de Judas, busca a un hombre llamado Saulo, que es de Tarso y está orando. Saulo ha tenido una visión, en la que vio que un varón llamado Ananías entraba y le imponía las manos, con lo que le hacía recobrar la vista." Ananías respondió: "Pero, Señor, he sabido que este hombre ha tratado muy mal a tus santos en Jerusalén. También sé que los principales sacerdotes le han dado autoridad para aprehender a todos los que invocan tu nombre." Y el Señor le dijo: "Ve allá, porque él es para mí un instrumento escogido. Él va a llevar mi nombre a las naciones, a los reyes y a los hijos de Israel. Yo le voy a mostrar todo lo que tiene que sufrir por causa de mi nombre." Ananías fue y, una vez dentro de la casa, le impuso las manos y le dijo: "Hermano Saulo, el Señor Jesús, que se te apareció en el camino por donde venías, me ha enviado para que recobres la vista y seas lleno del Espíritu Santo." Al momento, de los ojos de Saulo cayó algo que parecían escamas, y éste recibió la vista. Luego que se levantó, fue bautizado; y después de comer recobró las fuerzas y durante algunos días se quedó con los discípulos que estaban en Damasco.

Realmente me gusta Ananías. Es un cristiano común y corriente llamado a escena por solo un momento. Imagínalo: allí está Ananías, en la rutina diaria, quizás un poco preocupado porque ha escuchado que Saulo está llegando a la ciudad para arrestar a los cristianos. ¡Y de pronto Dios le dice que vaya a visitar a Saulo y lo sane! Debe haber sido como que le dijeran que fuera y pusiera las manos sobre un león hambriento. Sorprendido, Ananías dice: "Pero, Señor, he sabido que este hombre ha tratado muy mal a tus santos en Jerusalén...", ¿estás seguro que tienes en mente al hombre correcto? ¿Estás seguro que quieres enviarme a mí?

Y Dios lo confirma: "Ve allá, porque él es para mí un instrumento escogido... Yo le voy a mostrar todo lo que tiene que sufrir por causa de mi nombre." Entonces Ananías deja de discutir. Se levanta, se dirige a la dirección que Dios tan claramente le indica y, efectivamente, allí está Saulo. Ananías no se detiene. ¡Pone sus manos sobre Saulo e incluso lo llama "hermano"! Y Dios usa su obediencia para sanar de inmediato la ceguera de Saulo.

Que yo sepa, nunca volvemos a escuchar algo más sobre Ananías. Pero, ¡mira qué diferencia hizo su obediencia! Estuvo disponible cuando hizo falta; temeroso, sin duda, pero estuvo. Y Dios bendijo eso.

Muy pocos de nosotros seremos famosos; ciertamente no tan famosos como Saulo, quien más tarde llegó a ser el apóstol Pablo. Más bien somos como Ananías. Y eso está bien. Porque, conocidos o desconocidos, todos los cristianos vivimos la vida real y eterna que Jesús ganó para nosotros a través de su sufrimiento, muerte y resurrección de entre los muertos. Nuestros ojos están en Jesús. A él es el a quien amamos y a quien nos dedicamos, y lo que importa es su opinión sobre nosotros. ¿No es maravilloso cuando tenemos el honor de servirle, ya sea de manera grande o pequeña?

ORACIÓN: Querido Señor, ayúdame a concentrarme en amarte y servirte solo a ti. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Realmente me gusta Ananías. Es un cristiano común y corriente llamado a escena por solo un momento.

Nuestro Pan Diario - De santos y pecadores

https://nuestropandiario.org/2019/04/de-santos-y-pecadores/

De santos y pecadores

Leer: Lucas 22:54-62 | La Biblia en un año: 1 Reyes 8–9 Lucas 21:1-19

Le dijo [Jesús] la tercera vez: Simón, hijo de Jonás, ¿me amas? Pedro […] respondió: Señor, tú lo sabes todo; tú sabes que te amo… (Juan 21:17).

Antes de seguir los pasos de Juan el Bautista de vivir en el desierto, María de Egipto (c 344-421 d.C.) pasó su juventud en placeres ilícitos. En el clímax de su sórdida carrera, viajó a Jerusalén para tratar de corromper a los peregrinos, pero allí sintió la profunda convicción de su pecado, y después, vivió en arrepentimiento y soledad en el desierto. Su transformación radical ilustra la magnitud de la gracia de Dios y el poder restaurador de la cruz de Cristo.

Pedro, el discípulo, negó a Jesús tres veces. Horas antes, había declarado su disposición a morir por Él (Lucas 22:33), por lo que tomar conciencia de su fracaso fue un golpe aplastante (vv. 61-62). Después de la resurrección de Jesús, Pedro estaba pescando cuando el Señor apareció y le dio a su discípulo una oportunidad de declararle su amor tres veces; una por cada negación (Juan 21:1-3). Luego, le encargó que se ocupara de su pueblo (vv. 15-17). El resultado de esta asombrosa demostración de gracia fue que Pedro desempeñara un papel clave en la edificación de la iglesia. Y al final, entregó su vida por Cristo.

Nuestras biografías podrían empezar con una lista de fracasos y derrotas, pero la gracia de Dios siempre ofrece un final distinto, ya que Él nos redime y nos transforma.
¿Cómo puedes mostrar la gracia de Dios a los demás?
La gracia de Dios nos transforma de pecadores en santos.

Por Roo

© 2019 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario
Antes de seguir los pasos de Juan el Bautista de vivir en el desierto, María de Egipto pasó su juventud en placeres ilícitos.

Monday, April 29, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, April 29, 2019

A Vision of Christ

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, April 29, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 122
Song of Praise and Prayer for Jerusalem
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1  I was glad when they said to me,
     “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
2  Our feet are standing
     within your gates, O Jerusalem.

3  Jerusalem—built as a city
     that is bound firmly together.
4  To it the tribes go up,
     the tribes of the Lord,
   as was decreed for Israel,
     to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5  For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
     the thrones of the house of David.

6  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
     “May they prosper who love you.
7  Peace be within your walls,
     and security within your towers.”
8  For the sake of my relatives and friends
     I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9  For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
     I will seek your good.

Esther 7:1-10
7:1 So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. 2 On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” 3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have won your favor, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me—that is my petition—and the lives of my people—that is my request. 4 For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.” 5 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has presumed to do this?” 6 Esther said, “A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen. 7 The king rose from the feast in wrath and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that the king had determined to destroy him. 8 When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman had thrown himself on the couch where Esther was reclining; and the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” As the words left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman’s face. 9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated.

Revelation 1:9-20
A Vision of Christ
1:9 I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades. 19 Now write what you have seen, what is, and what is to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

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
I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, April 29, 2019


Job 19:25 (NIV) I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

Read all of Job 19

Listen to Job 19

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 - Monday, April 29, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2019/04/29

Promesas sin cumplir

¡Sé fuerte y valiente! ¡No tengas miedo ni te desanimes! [...] ¡pon manos a la obra, y que el Señor te acompañe!

Ya falta un día para que se acabe este cuarto mes del año y te está preocupando que muchas de las cosas que prometiste cambiar en el inicio del año aún no las puedes cumplir.

En este día, te motivo a que no te des por vencido. Un hábito no se cambia de la noche a la mañana, ni tampoco dejar de hacer algo que sabemos que no es la voluntad de Dios. A decir verdad, nos cuesta muchísimo cumplirlo.

Por lo tanto, nuestra oración diaria debe ser pedirle a Dios que nos permita desarrollar el dominio propio y estoy segura que, con el favor de Jesús, lo lograremos.

No te desanimes, Dios te ama y te ayudará a cumplir tus promesas.

Repítete: «Yo puedo, yo lo haré, yo lo lograré. Lo que me propongo, eso haré».

De ese modo, estoy segura que lograremos cumplir nuestras promesas.

¡Ánimo, aún nos faltan ocho meses para hacerlo!

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Ya falta un día para que se acabe este cuarto mes del año y te está preocupando que muchas de las cosas que prometiste cambiar en el inicio del año aún no las puedes cumplir.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, April 29, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2019/04/29

GOD USES PROBLEMS AND PERSECUTION TO CORRECT YOU

"...It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.”

Here is another of five ways God uses problems and persecution in your life: God uses problems and persecution to CORRECT you.

Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It is likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something—health, money, a relationship—by losing it. 

John 17 clearly teaches that He does not desire to have His church in the comforts of a problem-free society. He desires for His church to be faithful in the midst of trials and testing.

During a recent visit to Indonesia, some co-workers had the joy of participating in an Open Doors Standing Strong Through the Storm (SSTS) seminar held in an area of intense conflict. The constant presence of armed soldiers outside the building confirmed that this seminar was far more than just a theology course—this was reality! More than seven hundred churches were already burned to the ground and the church was facing a severe onslaught.

On the second day of teaching, one pastor suddenly jumped up and with all his heart cried out: “My brother, please don’t teach us just to survive, teach us to be faithful.”

In understanding God’s purposes for the church it is vital to understand His requirements for us to remain faithful within these purposes. Faithfulness is not a request it is the duty of every believer. “Teach us to be faithful in the midst of our circumstances” should be a far greater priority in our prayers than that of making our society a safer place. Perseverance is far more important than transformation or preservation.

William Barclay said the following about praying for our circumstances. “When we pray for ourselves and others, we should not ask for the release from any task or situation, but strength to complete it and endure it. Prayer should be for power and seldom for release: not release but conquest must be the keynote of the church.”

RESPONSE: God is at work in my life—even when I do not recognize it or understand it. It is much easier and more profitable when I cooperate with Him. This is the way to victory!

PRAYER: Lord, teach us to be faithful in the midst of our circumstances.

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

Women of the Bible - Monday, April 29, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/women-of-the-bible/2019/04/29

Hannah

Her name means: "Graciousness" or "Favor" 

Her character: Provoked by another woman's malice, she refused to respond in kind. Instead, she poured out her hurt and sorrow to God, allowing him to vindicate her.
Her sorrow: To be taunted and misunderstood.
Her joy: To proclaim God's power and goodness, his habit of raising the lowly and humbling the proud.
Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11; 2:19-21

Her Story

It was only fifteen miles, but every year the journey from Ramah, to worship at the tabernacle in Shiloh, seemed longer. At home, Hannah found ways to avoid her husband's second wife, but once in Shiloh there was no escaping her taunts. Hannah felt like a leaky tent in a driving rain, unable to defend herself against the harsh weather of the other woman's heart.

Even Elkanah's arm around her provided no shelter. "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons? Yes, she has given me children, but it's you I love. Ignore her taunts."

How could Hannah make him understand that even the best of men could not erase a woman's longing for children? His attempt to comfort her only sharpened the pain, heightening her sense of isolation.

Once inside the tabernacle Hannah stood for a long time, weeping and praying. Her lips moved without making a sound as her heart poured out its grief to God: "O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."

The priest Eli was used to people coming to Shiloh to celebrate the feasts, eating and drinking more than they should. Watching Hannah from his chair by the doorpost of the temple, he wondered why her shoulders were shaking, her lips moving without making a sound. She must be drunk, he concluded. So he interrupted her silent prayer with a rebuke: "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."

"Not so, my lord," Hannah defended herself. "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."

Satisfied by her explanation, Eli blessed her, saying, "May the God of Israel grant your request."

Early the next morning, Hannah and Elkanah returned to their home in Ramah, where Hannah at last conceived. Soon she held against her shoulder the tiny child she had yearned for, the son she had dedicated to God. After Samuel was weaned, she took him to Eli at Shiloh. Like Jochebed placing the child Moses into the waters of the Nile as though into God's own hands, she surrendered her child to the priest's care. Eventually Hannah's boy became a prophet and Israel's last judge. His hands anointed both Saul and David as Israel's first kings.

Like Sarah and Rachel, Hannah grieved over the children she couldn't have. But unlike them, she took her anguish directly to God. Misunderstood by both her husband and her priest, she could easily have turned her sorrow on herself or others, becoming bitter, hopeless, or vindictive. But instead of merely pitying herself or responding in kind, she poured out her soul to God. And God graciously answered her prayer.

Each year Hannah went up to Shiloh and presented Samuel with a little robe she had sewn. And each year, the priest Eli blessed her husband, Elkanah, saying, "May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord." And so Hannah became the mother of three more sons and two daughters. Hannah's great prayer, echoed more than a thousand years later by Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:46-55), expresses her praise: "My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance…. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap" (1 Samuel 2:1, 7-8).

Her Promise

When God met Hannah at the temple in Shiloh, he not only answered her prayer for a child, he answered her prayer for comfort in her misery. He gave her consolation in her disappointment and strength to face her situation. Scripture does not say that she went away sure she would bear a child, but it does make it clear that she went away comforted: "Her face was no longer downcast" (1 Samuel 1:18). What even the love and care of her husband Elkanah could not provide, God could provide.

God is willing to meet us just as he met Hannah. Whatever our distress, whatever hard situations we face, he is willing—more than that, he is eager—to meet our needs and give us his grace and comfort. No other person—not our husband, not our closest friends, not our parents, not our children—can render the relief, support, and encouragement that our God has waiting for us.

This devotional is drawn from Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda. Used with permission.
Provoked by another woman's malice, she refused to respond in kind. Instead, she poured out her hurt and sorrow to God, allowing him to vindicate her.

Girlfriends in God - Monday, April 29, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/2019/04/29

Where’s a Frustrated Sister to Go?

Today’s Truth

I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
~ Psalm 52:8b (ESV)

Friend to Friend

I remember lining the hallways at West Hempfield Elementary School when we had severe weather drills. The teachers would have us sit side by side against the inner concrete walls, quiet sticks up, until the training exercise was complete.

Fire drills took us outside.

Severe weather drills, inside.

We knew which way to go based upon the type of drill.

Sadly, nowadays students don’t just have drills for fires and natural disasters, but also to prepare for evil attacks on humanity by humanity. We teach children how they should respond in the event of a shooter being on school grounds so they know the places to go to find protection and safety. My heart doesn’t even know how to process the angst of having to have such drills.

It’s hard to know what to do with feelings of frustration when it comes to the evil in this world.

In Psalm 52, David’s mad about evil.

But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah 
The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
“See the man who would not make
God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!”

Stirred by a righteous anger over the arrogant and harmful actions of a non-believer. As he sifts through his frustrations, David points out that the evil guy (Doeg) did not make God his stronghold (v7 NIV)... his refuge (v7 ESV).

This stood out to me. One key fault David saw in the arrogant, evil man was that he didn’t turn to God, but relied on his own money and power.

I want to make God my stronghold and refuge, but have a tendency to do things on my own sometimes. I don’t ever want to be found in the camp of the arrogant. Instead, I want to be a woman who trusts in the steadfast love of God, gives Him thanks in all circumstances, and hopes in His name like the psalmist.

But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.
(Psalm 52:5-9, ESV)

The Hebrew word used for refuge here (v7) is ma òwz, which means a place or means of safety, protection or refuge.

A place.

Hmmm.

Is God’s presence the place I go when I’m angry about evil or frustrated with the actions of other people?

If I’ve been hurt or offended, do I bend a knee in prayer or bend the ear of whoever’s closest in proximity?

Do I trust God with the outcome and give Him thanks for the opportunities to lean on Him through hard times?

I’m challenged to live differently than those who don’t know and trust in God.

The best choice is to take my anger directly to the Lord when evil stirs me up. God’s presence connects frazzled hearts to peace.

Everyday you and I face fire drills of frustration and we interact with people who don’t know or want to please Jesus. How will I respond to the sassy response from my teenager? Will the tone I use with my spouse or co-worker be honoring or sarcastic? Will I try to “fix things” or accomplish greatness on my own or in the strength of God. What will I do with the fears and discontent screaming in my heart after watching that cable news channel?

I want to have a godly plan of action that honors the Lord and loves others well when I’m stirred up. Don’t you?

While this will play out differently in every situation, I think a good starting point for all of us is to step into sacred chambers of holiness and turn to God as the stronghold and refuge we need.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Injustice and evil are constant companions here on earth. Can’t wait for you to take care of all that! Until then, Lord, please teach me what it looks like to make You my stronghold and refuge. Draw me to Your presence and help me hash out my frustrations with You instead of with others. Stir my eyes to seek You constantly.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

What source of frustrations is God nudging you to surrender to Him today? Who or what has you stirred up? What would trusting God with that/them look like? Tell me on the wall of my blog or on Instagram.

More from the Girlfriends

Friend! The GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast will meet you right in the middle of your frustrations and tensions. Hang out with Gwen and friends when you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, run errands or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?) Each GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more.

These discussions are going to encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceologie for more information.

SPECIAL OFFER: If today’s message is where you are and you need more practical help, we have a resource called Trusting God. Gwen is offering a 20% OFF discount on the Trusting God book from her site when you use the coupon code: 20OFF. Click here to get yours now.

Seeking God?
Click HERE to find out more about how to have a personal
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Girlfriends in God

https://girlfriendsingod.com/events/
I remember lining the hallways at West Hempfield Elementary School when we had severe weather drills. The teachers would have us sit side by side against the inner concrete walls, quiet sticks up, until the training exercise was complete.

LHM Daily Devotions - With the Morning

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190429

"With the Morning"

Apr. 29, 2019

For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
~ Psalm 30:5 (ESV)

Throughout His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus followed the custom of meeting for worship in the temple and in the synagogue. In worship and personal prayer, He surely offered up praise and petitions to His Heavenly Father in the words of the psalms. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn before they went out to Gethsemane (see Mark 14:26), very likely part of the Hallel—Psalms 113-118—used in the Passover celebration. His work on the cross complete, Jesus committed His spirit into His Father's hands, in a prayer like that of Psalm 31:5, "Into Your hand I commit My spirit." Scripture records His anguished cry from Psalm 22:1a, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" Although we consider only a single verse here, all of Psalm 30 could have served as an Easter morning prayer for our Lord, summing up both His suffering and "the joy that was set before Him" (Hebrews 12:2b).

Desolation and grief tarried for the night in Gethsemane, but there was no joy in the morning that followed, only suffering and death. On the cross, Jesus endured God's wrath against human sin and rebellion. His Father turned away, abandoning His Son to the suffering and shame of the cross, and the Savior cried out, "My God ... why?" Jesus endured the Father's anger and judgment so that we might enjoy His favor for a lifetime, for all eternity.

Committing Himself into His Father's hands, Jesus yielded up His spirit. Surely His followers wept that night, and the next as well, knowing that their Lord's body was sealed in a dark tomb. Weeping may have tarried for more than one night, but there is no doubt that joy came with the next morning! At the empty tomb, on that first Easter morning, the angel announced the glad news to the women: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said" (Matthew 28:5b-6a).

In repentant fear, we acknowledge that we have earned God's anger against our sin. But God in His grace—His undeserved favor for sinners—sent His Son to be our Savior. Jesus took the divine wrath against sin, and the penalty of death that we deserved, onto Himself. Even so, there are times in our lives when the weeping, loss, and grief seem to tarry much longer than a single night. Yet because Christ Jesus endured the anguish and abandonment of the cross, our weeping is temporary; it lingers only a little while. Joy will always come in the morning, the joy that dawned on that first Easter, a joy that cannot be shaken, a joy that will last for all eternity.

THE PRAYER: Crucified and risen Lord, in those times when our weeping tarries, draw us through Your Word to the Easter joy that will never fade or fail. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Throughout His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus followed the custom of meeting for worship in the temple and in the synagogue.