Monday, January 7, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, January 7, 2019


The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, January 7, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 72
Prayer for Guidance and Support for the King
Of Solomon.
1  Give the king your justice, O God,
     and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2  May he judge your people with righteousness,
     and your poor with justice.
3  May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
     and the hills, in righteousness.
4  May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
     give deliverance to the needy,
     and crush the oppressor.

5  May he live while the sun endures,
     and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6  May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
     like showers that water the earth.
7  In his days may righteousness flourish
     and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

8  May he have dominion from sea to sea,
     and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9  May his foes bow down before him,
     and his enemies lick the dust.
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
     render him tribute,
   may the kings of Sheba and Seba
     bring gifts.
11 May all kings fall down before him,
     all nations give him service.

12 For he delivers the needy when they call,
     the poor and those who have no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy,
     and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
     and precious is their blood in his sight.

15 Long may he live!
     May gold of Sheba be given to him.
   May prayer be made for him continually,
     and blessings invoked for him all day long.
16 May there be abundance of grain in the land;
     may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
     may its fruit be like Lebanon;
   and may people blossom in the cities
     like the grass of the field.
17 May his name endure forever,
     his fame continue as long as the sun.
   May all nations be blessed in him;
     may they pronounce him happy.

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
     who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
     may his glory fill the whole earth.
   Amen and Amen.

20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.

Daniel 2:1-19
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
2:1 In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed such dreams that his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. 2 So the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. When they came in and stood before the king, 3 he said to them, “I have had such a dream that my spirit is troubled by the desire to understand it.” 4 The Chaldeans said to the king (in Aramaic), “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will reveal the interpretation.” 5 The king answered the Chaldeans, “This is a public decree: if you do not tell me both the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins. 6 But if you do tell me the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts and rewards and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation.” 7 They answered a second time, “Let the king first tell his servants the dream, then we can give its interpretation.” 8 The king answered, “I know with certainty that you are trying to gain time, because you see I have firmly decreed: 9 if you do not tell me the dream, there is but one verdict for you. You have agreed to speak lying and misleading words to me until things take a turn. Therefore, tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered the king, “There is no one on earth who can reveal what the king demands! In fact no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 The thing that the king is asking is too difficult, and no one can reveal it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with mortals.”

12 Because of this the king flew into a violent rage and commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be destroyed. 13 The decree was issued, and the wise men were about to be executed; and they looked for Daniel and his companions, to execute them. 14 Then Daniel responded with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the king’s chief executioner, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon; 15 he asked Arioch, the royal official, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 So Daniel went in and requested that the king give him time and he would tell the king the interpretation.

God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
17 Then Daniel went to his home and informed his companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions with the rest of the wise men of Babylon might not perish. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Ephesians 4:17—5:1
The Old Life and the New
4:17 Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. 19 They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 That is not the way you learned Christ! 21 For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Rules for the New Life
25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil. 28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Living in the Light
5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,

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

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

The Daily Lectionary is a three year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2019, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2018 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest on what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org
Do not let the sun go down on your anger.

The Morning Prayer for MONDAY, January 7, 2019


Monday morning prayer

Lord,

Sometimes, Monday can be a hard day. Dreaded on Sunday and fled from on a Friday. Yet why Lord as Monday could be the beginning of a work adventure, the new challenge of a week filled with potential? So I pray you would help me to embrace this day.

Lord, it is hard to live by your patience. Your timing is not our timing, and your ways are not our ways. Keep us from trying to rush peace, and prepare us for the peace that comes only by sacrifice and discipline.

Let it be a new day and a wonder day. Help me to see not the clouds but the sunrise, not the rain but the ripples of falling drops. Show me the joy of the embrace with loved ones, not the tensions and troubles. Monday need not be the grudge day to be endured but the fun day to be embraced.

This day, help me to turn my eyes towards your Kingdom, of love, hope and new beginnings.
Amen

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, January 7, 2019


Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV) Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Read all of Ephesians 5

Listen to Ephesians 5

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 - Siempre aprendemos del pasado


Siempre aprendemos del pasado

Señor, hazme conocer tus caminos [...] olvida los pecados y transgresiones que cometí en mi juventud. Acuérdate de mí según tu gran amor, porque tú, Señor, eres bueno.

Cuando me pongo a pensar en mi vida antes de Cristo, reflexiono en lo mismo: ¡Qué lástima que no lo conocí antes! ¡De cuántas cosas me hubiera guardado! Sobre todo, analizo mi juventud. A pesar de que fui una chica sana y de que nunca tuve experiencias con las drogas, Dios me guardó de no cometer muchas locuras. Sin embargo, fui muy inquieta en lo emocional y terminé casándome sin estar enamorada siquiera.

A los veintiún años, ya tenía entre mis brazos a mi primera princesa, Naty. Aunque fue una bendición, cambió mi vida por completo. Dejé muchas cosas de mi juventud sin concluir y estudios sin terminar. De una manera drástica, empecé una vida llena de responsabilidades. Todos estos ajustes coincidieron con mi llegada a los Estados Unidos con una bebé de cuatro meses, un país extraño y sin saber el idioma. Con todo, aprendí mucho y, lo más importante, maduré.

Quizá tú estás leyendo esta pequeña historia y recuerdas lo que vives hoy. Quiero que sepas que Dios te permite vivir cada experiencia para enseñarte muchas cosas y para que aprendamos a verlo en cada circunstancia de nuestra vida. Recuerda que Dios te ayuda en todo momento… ¡si tú se lo permites!

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Cuando me pongo a pensar en mi vida antes de Cristo, reflexiono en lo mismo: ¡Qué lástima que no lo conocí antes!

Standing Strong Through the Storm - CAN YOU SLEEP WHILE THE WIND BLOWS?


CAN YOU SLEEP WHILE THE WIND BLOWS?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

During a recent hurricane storm, the following story circulated on the Internet:

A farmer on the Atlantic seacoast constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic because of the awful storms that wreaked havoc on the buildings and crops. One applicant for the job was a short, thin man, well past middle age.

“Are you a good farm hand?” the farmer asked him. “Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,” answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well and kept busy from dawn to dusk. The farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed to the hired hand’s sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!”

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, “No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. He hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

When you’re prepared for storms, spiritually, mentally, and practically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.

We secure ourselves against the storms of life by soaking ourselves with the Word of God, being obedient to it and then placing our faith and trust in God’s goodness. We don’t need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to have peace in the midst of our storms.

RESPONSE: Today I will prepare myself practically, mentally and spiritually so that I can sleep when the storms blow in my life.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the peace only You can give when the strong winds try and wreak havoc in my life and daily situations.

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 - Sarah


Sarah

Her name means: "Chieftainness" or "Princess"

Her character: Beautiful enough to attract rulers in the ancient world, she could be strong-willed and jealous. Yet Sarah was considered a loyal wife who did what was right and who didn't give in to fear.
Her sorrow: That she remained childless for most of her life.
Her joy: That at the age of ninety, she gave birth to Isaac, child of the promise.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 12:1-20; 16:1-8; 17:1-22; 18:1-15; 21:1-13; Galatians 4:22-31

Her Story

Sarah was sixty-five, the age many of us retire, when she began a journey that would lead her into uncharted spiritual territory. Leaving behind their homeland, she and her husband, Abraham, moved hundreds of miles south to Canaan, a land fertile with the promises of God but barren of everything cherished and familiar. God had promised the land to Abraham and his offspring. From him would come not just a family, clan, or tribe, but an entire nation, a people who would belong to God as no other people had.

The promise spread like ripples from a stone pitched in water. If Abraham was to father a new nation, surely Sarah would be its mother. Yet she longed to give birth, not to a nation, but to one small child she could kiss and cradle.

At first Abraham and Sarah found it difficult to support themselves in their new homeland. Soon a famine made life so severe that they moved on to Egypt, where Abraham, fearful of Pharaoh, suggested a deceptive maneuver to save his skin: "I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister [she was his half sister], so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you."

So Sarah did as her husband asked, and Pharaoh soon added her to his harem of beautiful women. For the privilege, he paid Abraham in the currency of the day—a bevy of sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and servants. But though the two men seemed satisfied with their bargain, God was not. He proceeded to strike Pharaoh and his entire household with diseases. The Egyptian ruler soon summoned Abraham, demanding an explanation. As soon as he heard the truth, he allowed both Sarah and Abraham to leave, taking with them all the riches they had gained in Egypt.

So the couple moved home again. By now, several years had passed since Abraham and Sarah had heard the remarkable promise of God, but still there was no child. So Sarah took matters into her own hands. Following a practice common in the ancient world, she gave Abraham permission to sleep with her Egyptian maid, Hagar. Sarah's slave would become a surrogate mother for the promised child.

Before long, Ishmael was born. But the child brought only discord between the two women.

One day several years later, the Lord appeared to Abraham while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent.

"Where is your wife, Sarah?"

"There, in the tent," Abraham replied.

Then the Lord said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."

Now Sarah, who had been eavesdropping from inside the tent, laughed and said, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?"

But the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."

Because Sarah was afraid, she lied and said, "I did not laugh."

But he pressed her, saying, "Yes, you did laugh."

A year later, Sarah gave birth to Isaac, whose name means "Laughter." Of course the joke was not lost on the ninety-year-old mother, who exclaimed: "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me."

But Sarah's humor was short-lived. Fireworks flared once again between the two mothers until Sarah forced Hagar and Ishmael from Abraham's household, leaving them to wander in the harsh desert. And though God provided for the two outcasts, it was through Isaac that he would keep his promise of a new nation and a deliverer for his people.

Sarah died at the age of 127 and was buried in Hebron. Between Isaac's birth and her own death lay thirty-seven years, ample time to reflect on her life's adventure with God. Was she ashamed of her treatment of the ill-fated Hagar? Did she remember laughing when God told Abraham she would bear a child at the age of ninety? Did she appreciate the echoing irony in young Isaac's laughter? Did she have any idea she would one day be revered as the Mother of Israel—indeed, a symbol of the promise just as Hagar was to become a symbol of slavery under the law? Scripture does not say. But it is heartening to realize that God accomplishes his purposes despite our frailties, our little faith, our entrenched self-reliance.

True, Sarah's pragmatic attempts to help God keep his promise caused plenty of anguish. (Even in our own day, the struggle between Israel and her Arab neighbors stems from the ancient strife between two women and the children they bore.) Still, despite her jealousy, anxiety, and skepticism about God's ability to keep his promises, there's no denying that Sarah was a risk-taker of the first order, a woman who said good-bye to everything familiar to travel to a land she knew nothing about. A real flesh-and-blood kind of woman who lived an adventure more strenuous than any fairy-tale heroine, an adventure that began with a promise and ended with laughter.

Her Promise

How hard it was for Sarah (and is for us as well) to remember God's promises and to wait for him to fulfill them. God's promises are revealed and fulfilled in his own timing, which is often on a calendar far different from our own.

Waiting patiently for God to work may be one of the most difficult experiences of our Christian walk. We live in an age of the immediate. We think waiting, and doing so quietly, is somehow less worthy, perhaps even a bit lazy. We're great "do-it-yourselfers," but we often get in God's way when we take things into our own hands.

Do you have something you're waiting for God to do? Have you asked him for the salvation of your husband? Of a family member? Are you praying for a rebellious child to come home? Whatever the circumstances, God's timing is the best timing. When you're tempted to step in and make things happen on your own, think of Sarah. Her attempts to fulfill God's promise of a son through her servant Hagar had disastrous results. Remember that God has his own timetable, and rest in the assurance that he loves you and will fulfill his promises to you.

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.
Sarah was sixty-five, the age many of us retire, when she began a journey that would lead her into uncharted spiritual territory.

Girlfriends in God - The Solution to Restlessness, Part Two


The Solution to Restlessness, Part Two

Today’s Truth

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
~ Exodus 33:14 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

The gap between knowing I need God’s rest and responsively living it out can be huge.

You too?

Yesterday we began to talk about the spiritual discipline of rest. {If you missed part one, CLICK HERE to read it from my blog.} We began to break down R.E.S.T. as an acronym and started a walk through Scripture to see just how God’s best for you is fueled by this discipline.

R.E.S.T. {Reflect. Engage. Surrender. Trust.}

Our big takeaway from the first of word of the acronym, reflect, was this: when you reflect on God, you better reflect God.

In addition to prioritizing times of reflection, we also personally engage with the Lord. To go to Him in prayer and interlock our hearts, motivations, ambitions, and wills to His revealed will and Word. This is where our faith fits together with our actions – where our lives go from being our own to being His.

ENGAGE

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29, NIV)

The apostle Paul instructed us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV)

Most importantly, we engage with the grace of God through Jesus Christ, which comes from the confession of our sin.

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2, NLT)

SURRENDER

When I think of surrender, I think of war and of waving white flags. And frankly, faith is a battle – so that mental picture works nicely. In every battle there is an enemy and there are weapons of warfare.

You DO know that you have an enemy, right?

Satan wants to keep you from God’s rest because he knows that the spiritual discipline of rest can be one of our most powerful weapons in the battles that we face.

The best example of surrendering to God’s will is in Jesus. The night he was betrayed Jesus surrendered himself to God's plan. He prayed, "Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." (Mark 14:36, NLT)

Here’s the beauty of surrender: when you lay down your mess, your hands are then free to pick up God’s rest. Because the One who captures us in surrender is the One who sets us free. And in the surrender, you are empowered to trust Him more.

TRUST

I know what it’s like to have circumstances collide with my plans and knock me off balance. This is a constant struggle for each of us. It can be a battle to believe that God can work things out for good. Especially if we fail to rest and live in the “what if’s” and the “why’s.”

Let’s look at what Jesus had to say about this.

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matthew 6:31-32)

Friend, your heavenly Father knows that your job is stressing you out, that your marriage is hanging by thread, that you are bogged down with health challenges, that you are grieving that loss, that your finances are upside down… He knows the longings of your heart.

God. Knows. What. You. Need.

What would happen if every morning you woke up and decided to R.E.S.T.? What if you determined each day to choose to trust God for what you need because you know that He knows what you need?

Can you imagine living with that kind of faith?

That is exactly what the Lord is inviting you into.

His rest.

When you reflect, engage, trust, and surrender – when you prioritize R.E.S.T. – your life will still not be perfect, but you will be equipped for every trial, stress, and strain in the all-sufficient grace that the Lord provides.

And in everything, remember what Jesus said. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

Let’s Pray

Lord, I really want to get this one! Please help me to turn to You in all circumstances – in the good, the bad, and the ugly. Give me the strength to surrender my will to Yours, and guard my heart and mind with the peace as I choose to trust You with my struggles today.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read Psalm 46:1-3 and Psalm 16:8, then wrap up your reflection time with prayer. Move from confession, to adoration, to thanksgiving, and end by praying about your personal needs/burdens.

More from the Girlfriends

A portion of today’s devotion is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It ALL.

If you struggle with a restless heart, this is for you! Girlfriends in God co-founder Gwen Smith is hosting a FREE online Bible Study, a PSALM ADVENTURE, Part 2, beginning January 14th. We’ve gotten countless messages asking how you can know what God says about forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, finances, relationships and hope. You want to know and trust God more, and learn how to connect your personal struggles to His promises.

That’s exactly what we’re going to explore in Part 2 our PSALM ADVENTURE because we’re going right to the source of all grace and truth: the Bible. Join Gwen for this four-week study. LEARN MORE and REGISTER TODAY by visiting GwenSmith.net/PsalmAdventure.


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

Girlfriends in God

http://girlfriendsingod.com/events/
The gap between knowing I need God’s rest and responsively living it out can be huge.

LHM Daily Devotions - Are You Listening Rightly?

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20190107

"Are You Listening Rightly?"

Jan. 7, 2019

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
~ Psalm 29:3-4 (ESV)

There's an old romantic ballad written in the 50s whose languid melancholy refrain touches the sentimental heart, "In the wee small hours of the morning, while the whole wide world is fast asleep ... that's the time you miss her most of all." Your longing heart finds no patience, secures no peace, and enjoys no rest until the voice of the one you love enters your presence. In the solitude of darkness, you lie still and imagine that beautiful voice. Calm fills your soul. Your world is at peace once again. When you listen rightly, you can still hear her voice.

The voice of the Lord thunders from heaven, the psalmist writes. It shakes the cedars; it rocks the wilderness; it strips the forests bare. The voice of the Lord is full of majesty, power, and glory. Who can stand in the presence of the almighty voice of God? Who wants to stand before such an awesome God? It would be like trying to compose yourself after lightning strikes with ear-splitting thunder so close that your bones rattle and your knees wobble. Such a "voice," such a rattling, you do not desire to hear again. Such an earth-shaking voice creates only fear, not love, in the heart of all who hear-fear that your wee little life could so easily be stamped out in one short moment. Fear that shakes you with the thought that there is no way to discern whether this powerful voice of the Lord is for you or against you. You fear the One who holds your eternal destiny in His hands. How then do you hear and listen to His voice rightly?

Yes, indeed, God speaks loudly in the uncontrollable power and majesty of nature. God created and sustains the world by the irresistible voice of His command. But can your heart fall in love with such a majestic, over-powering God? Fear, yes, but love? I think not. Once God spoke directly to all of ancient Israel encamped at Mt. Sinai. He thundered out His Ten Commandments to be obeyed. The instant response of the chosen people was fear, not love. They say in Exodus 20:19b, "Moses, 'You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.'" Then, where can my heart hear His beautiful voice rightly? Where?

Already the Christmas carols fade from our memories. Already the displays are boxed up, and our homes slowly return to normal, but the Bethlehem carol we must not forget. "How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is given! So, God imparts to human hearts, the blessings of His heaven." In the wee small hours of the morning, in the quiet dusty streets of Bethlehem, God speaks more powerfully than the thunderous bombardment of a hundred lightning bolts. Here, Mary cradles baby Jesus in her arms and gently kisses His forehead. Everything about Him is a miracle! His birth, His life, His cross and death, His resurrection tells every listening heart that this is God, and that He is here to stay. Here, in Bethlehem, is Immanuel. God in Christ is for us!

Now we have listened rightly and heard the beautiful voice of God.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, only in Your dear Son do I rightly hear Your voice. It is the voice of love and peace, joy and salvation for my soul. O Lord, give me ears that listen and a heart that believes rightly. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Mark Schreiber. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
There's an old romantic ballad written in the 50s whose languid melancholy refrain touches the sentimental heart, "In the wee small hours of the morning, while the whole wide world is fast asleep ...

Devocional del CPTLN de 07 de Enero de 2019 - ¿Escuchas correctamente?


ALIMENTO DIARIO

¿Escuchas correctamente?

07 de Enero de 2019

La voz del Señor resuena sobre las aguas. El Dios de la gloria hace oír su voz. El Señor está sobre las muchas aguas. La voz del Señor es potente. La voz del Señor es majestuosa.
~ Salmo 29:3-4 (RVC)

Hay una vieja balada romántica escrita en los años cincuenta, cuya lánguida y melancólica frase nos toca el corazón: "En las primeras horas de la madrugada, mientras el mundo entero está profundamente dormido... es en ese momento en el que más la extrañas." Tu agitado corazón no encuentra tranquilidad, no tiene paz y no disfruta del descanso hasta que la voz de la persona que amas entra en tu presencia. En la soledad de la oscuridad, te quedas quieto e imaginas esa hermosa voz. La calma llena tu alma. Tu mundo está en paz una vez más. Cuando "escuchas" correctamente, todavía puedes oír su voz.

La voz del Señor truena desde el cielo, escribe el salmista. Hace temblar los cedros, sacude el desierto, desnuda los bosques. La voz del Señor está llena de majestad, poder y gloria. ¿Quién puede estar ante la presencia de la todopoderosa voz de Dios? ¿Quién quiere estar ante un Dios tan asombroso? Sería como tratar de recuperarse después del rayo que cae con un trueno tan cercano, que rompe los oídos y hace vibrar los huesos y tambalear las rodillas. No quieres escuchar de nuevo esa "voz", ese ruido. Una voz tan poderosa no crea amor, sino solo miedo en el corazón de todos los que la oyen. Miedo de que tu vida pueda ser fácilmente destruida en un momento. Un miedo que te sacude al pensar que no es posible discernir si esa poderosa voz del Señor es para ti o contra ti. Temes a aquel que tiene tu destino eterno en sus manos. Entonces ¿cómo escuchas su voz correctamente?

Ciertamente, Dios habla en voz alta en el poder incontrolable y la majestuosidad de la naturaleza. Dios creó el mundo y lo sostiene por medio de la irresistible voz de su mandato. Pero ¿puede tu corazón enamorarse de un Dios tan majestuoso y poderoso? Miedo, sí, pero ¿enamorarse? Creo que no. Una vez Dios le habló directamente a todo el pueblo de Israel acampado al pie del Sinaí. Con truenos entregó sus Diez Mandamientos para que fueran obedecidos. La respuesta instantánea del pueblo elegido fue miedo, no amor. "Moisés: 'Si tú hablas con nosotros, te escucharemos; pero que no hable Dios con nosotros, porque tal vez moriremos'" (Éxodo 20:19b). Entonces, ¿dónde puede mi corazón escuchar correctamente su hermosa voz? ¿Dónde?

Ya no escuchamos los villancicos navideños, los adornos de navidad están guardados y nuestros hogares regresan lentamente a la normalidad, pero no debemos olvidar el villancico de Belén: "¡Cuán silenciosamente, cuán silenciosamente el maravilloso don nos es dado! Así Dios entrega a los corazones humanos las bendiciones del cielo." En las horas de la madrugada, en las tranquilas y polvorientas calles de Belén, Dios habla más poderosamente que el atronador bombardeo de cien rayos. María acuna al niño Jesús en sus brazos y le besa suavemente la frente. ¡Todo acerca de él es un milagro! Su nacimiento, su vida, su cruz, su muerte, su resurrección le dice a cada corazón que escucha que eso es Dios que está aquí para quedarse. Aquí, en Belén, está Emanuel. ¡Dios en Cristo para nosotros! Ahora hemos escuchado correctamente la hermosa voz de Dios.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, solo en tu querido Hijo escucho tu voz correctamente. Es la voz de amor y paz, alegría y salvación para mi alma. Oh Señor, dame oídos que escuchen y un corazón que crea correctamente. Amén.

Dr. Mark Schreiber

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Hay una vieja balada romántica escrita en los años cincuenta, cuya lánguida y melancólica frase nos toca el corazón: "En las primeras horas de la madrugada, mientras el mundo entero está profundamente dormido...

Notre Pain Quotidien - Un homme ordinaire

https://www.ministeresnpq.org/2019/01/07/un-homme-ordinaire/

Un homme ordinaire


[L’homme] regarde à ce qui frappe les yeux, mais l’Éternel regarde au cœur. V. 7

William Carey était un garçon maladif né au sein d’une famille modeste vivant près de Northampton, en Angleterre. Son avenir ne semblait pas prometteur. Dieu avait toutefois des projets pour lui. Contre toute attente, il est parti vivre en Inde, où il a apporté d’incroyables réformes sociales et traduit la Bible en plusieurs dialectes indiens. Il aimait Dieu et les gens, et il a accompli beaucoup de choses pour Dieu.

David, fils d’Isaï, était un jeune homme ordinaire, le cadet de sa famille. Il semblait n’être qu’un simple berger sur les collines de Bethléhem (1 S 16.11,12). Regardant droit au cœur de David, Dieu a néanmoins formé des projets pour lui et a rejeté le roi Saül à cause de la désobéissance de ce dernier. Alors même que le prophète Samuel déplorait les méfaits de Saül, Dieu a appelé Samuel à oindre un autre roi, l’un des fils d’Isaï.

En voyant le beau grand Éliab, Samuel s’est dit tout naturellement : « Certainement, l’oint de l’Éternel est ici devant lui » (V. 6). Or, la stratégie par laquelle Dieu s’est choisi un roi était bien différente de celle de Samuel. En fait, Dieu a refusé chacun des fils d’Isaï, sauf le cadet. Par ailleurs, le choix de David n’était assurément pas stratégique de la part de Dieu, du moins c’est ce qui apparaissait à première vue. Qu’est-ce qu’un jeune berger pouvait bien avoir à offrir à sa communauté, qui plus est à son pays ?

Comme il est réconfortant de savoir que le Seigneur connaît notre cœur et a des projets en réserve pour nous !

Dieu accorde la priorité à votre cœur.


© 2019 Ministères NPQ
William Carey était un garçon maladif né au sein d’une famille modeste vivant près de Northampton, en Angleterre. Son avenir ne semblait pas prometteur. Dieu avait toutefois des projets pour lui.