Friday, March 22, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, March 22, 2019

The Message to Sardis
Revelation 3:1-6

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, March 22, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 63:1-8
Comfort and Assurance in God’s Presence
A Psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah.
1  O God, you are my God, I seek you,
     my soul thirsts for you;
   my flesh faints for you,
     as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2  So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
     beholding your power and glory.
3  Because your steadfast love is better than life,
     my lips will praise you.
4  So I will bless you as long as I live;
     I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

5  My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
     and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
6  when I think of you on my bed,
     and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7  for you have been my help,
     and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
8  My soul clings to you;
     your right hand upholds me.

Daniel 12:1-4
The Resurrection of the Dead
12:1 “At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be running back and forth, and evil shall increase.”

Revelation 3:1-6
The Message to Sardis
3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars:

“I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. 3 Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4 Yet you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not blot your name out of the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels. 6 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the 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.
These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars:

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, March 22, 2019

Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV) [The Armor of God] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Read all of Ephesians 6

Listen to Ephesians 6

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 - No menosprecies tu llamado

No menosprecies tu llamado

Porque hemos buscado a Jehová nuestro Dios; le hemos buscado, y él nos ha dado paz por todas partes. Edificaron, pues, y fueron prosperados.
~ 2 Crónicas 14:7 (RV-60)

Muchos somos los que dedicamos nuestra vida a tiempo completo en el servicio a Dios. Hay quienes lo hacen en un medio de comunicación, una escuela o una iglesia. Otros lo realizan como pastores, líderes, cantantes, etc. Incluso, hay quienes son farolitos alumbrando el amor de Dios. Por mencionarte algunos casos, veamos algunas personas muy reconocidas y queridas por todos nosotros:
  • Fernando Arau, un tremendo humorista en «Despierta América», de la cadena Univisión, y líder junto con su esposa de un grupo de apoyo a matrimonios.
  • Yuri, presentadora de «Noche de Estrellas» por Univisión. Además, dedica su vida en el apoyo a su esposo, Rodrigo Espinosa, pastor de una iglesia de más de trescientos miembros en el Distrito Federal.
  • Nuestro presidente del Grupo Génesis, el pastor Edwin Lemuel Ortiz, dueño de las estaciones La Nueva 88.3 y La Nueva 90.9, en Miami. Por más de quince años, la hermosa voz principal de la cadena Univisión.
  • Nuestro Ernesto Suazo no solo es pastor y presentador por varios años del programa de «La Nueva» El Top 20, sino que también es una de las voces destacadas de la cadena Telemundo.
Y así te podría nombrar a miles de personas que Dios coloca como faros en diferentes lugares. Allí, de una manera única, llevan la Palabra de Dios a personas que nosotros nunca podríamos alcanzar. No menosprecies tu llamado, ni menosprecies el llamado de los demás.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Muchos somos los que dedicamos nuestra vida a tiempo completo en el servicio a Dios. Hay quienes lo hacen en un medio de comunicación, una escuela o una iglesia. Otros lo realizan como pastores, líderes, cantantes, etc. Incluso, hay quienes son farolitos alumbrando el amor de Dios.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - WHY PERSECUTION AND MARTYRDOM?


…in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.
~ John 16:2b (NIV)

Today we begin a two-part look at the testimony of a terrorist persecutor named Maulana who ultimately gave his life to Christ and became a Christian missionary:

I was born in a Muslim family in a small town of Demak, central Java, Indonesia. My family was very strict in following Islamic Sharia laws. As a Muslim, I read a lot of the Koran, Hadits, the sayings of the prophet Mohammed, and all the other books that help me be a devoted Muslim.

I started to learn about a famous international Muslim named Ayatollah Komeini from Iran. I welcome Ayatollah Khomeini’s ideas and his call to revolution to all Muslims because it will be very nice to have Islamic Sharia law applied in our society. That would arrange all ways of life in this country according to the truth of the Koran. I don’t like the West because their lifestyle has affected the Eastern lifestyle, young people dress like those in the West, which is so far from Islamic propriety. I hate that.

And this has also caused me to hate tourists who come to Indonesia. They bring Western lifestyle and can’t be a role model for us in Islam. I see Christians as hindering Sharia teaching in Indonesia. Indonesia must be cleansed from the cross. It’s a must! Sharia must happen in civil society. The Christians worship Jesus, who is merely a man. For us this is sin, and we must stop this movement through churches.

The Indonesian government is committed to freedom of religion, as stated in our national constitution. But for Muslims this is not good. It will not bring any good to the country’s future. Because we do not get support from the government, we take law into our own hands. We attack churches; we shoot pastors while they are preaching to cause fear. We do it because the government does not back us up, so we do it by ourselves. We do not fear death because we were encouraged by Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini to spill our blood to the last drop to make this happen.

Remember the bombing in Bali? That was a combined expression of our frustration and our goal. Calling us terrorists is a big mistake, because we’re just Muslim God lovers.

The government supports Eastern Indonesia and the islands to be Christian, and is actually hindering us from teaching or implementing Sharia law there. So we devised secret plans to bring about Sharia law in Eastern Indonesia. I was one of the first 5,000 soldiers sent from east Java on a ship to the island of Ambon. En route from Surabaya to Ambon, we hijacked the ship in Solo. We searched the ship and checked each passenger’s identity. Anyone with a Christian ID was either killed or thrown into the ocean. And together our group took over the ship and headed for Ambon Island to eliminate the church of Jesus Christ.

Tomorrow the change that comes to Maulana’s life when he meets Jesus.

RESPONSE: Today I understand that it is Jesus in me which prompts persecution and martyrdom.

PRAYER: Pray for Christians in conflict zones like Indonesia who risk their lives living for Jesus.

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

Men of the Bible - Achan


His name means: "Troublemaker"

His character: Achan's greed for the spoils of war and his attempt to hide his sin led to a situation that endangered Israel's relationship with God. By disregarding God's command, he brought trouble and judgment on his own people.
His sorrow: His disobedience resulted in the loss of many lives, including his own.
His triumph: To have participated in the victory over Jericho.
Key Scriptures: Joshua 7:1-8:2

A Look at the Man

Achan may not have been a bad man, at least to begin with. While living for many years in the desert, he may even have fed himself on dreams of what life would be like in the Promised Land, where he could build a life for his family. He may have rushed into Jericho fully intending to follow the Lord's commands. But then came an opportunity to do otherwise. And that's when his resolve faded.

Achan's disobedience then produced a kind of foolishness in him; he attempted to hide what he had done, burying stolen goods beneath his tent. But he was hiding from the God who made him, from the same God who parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River, and from the God who had just caused the walls of a fortified city to crumble without a weapon being raised against it. Why was Achan foolish enough to think that God would find it hard to see through his little deception?

The truth is that it's sin's nature to hide. Consider your own experience. Isn't it hard to admit your sins to others? Isn't it difficult to admit them to yourself? Most of us have found ingenious ways to hide the ugliness of sin from ourselves and others, by rationalizing, excusing, and even forgetting things we've done wrong. But Achan's story tells us that God is never fooled by such foolishness.

Simple obedience and the cleansing power of God's grace are the best defense against sin. But when we fail to do the right thing, we should remind ourselves not to compound the problem by hiding what we've done. Instead, we can go directly to God, expressing our sorrow and asking his forgiveness, confident that he will give it.

Reflect On: Deuteronomy 6:1–3
Praise God: Because his commandments are meant to bless us, not to enslave us.
Offer Thanks: That God has not hidden his commands from us.
Confess: Any tendency to value your opinion about a course of action more than you value God's.
Ask God: To make you humble enough to realize that you do not always know what is best.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
His disobedience resulted in the loss of many lives, including his own.

Girlfriends in God - Turning “Why Me?” into “What Now?”

Turning “Why Me?” into “What Now?”

Today’s Truth

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
~ 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)

Friend to Friend

My son and I sat on the floor in his room playing Rummy. We had just a few minutes before rushing off to register for his summer swim class and wanted to get in one more round of play. This summer was proving to be the best ever. Our Golden Retriever, Ginger, had just delivered seven adorable puppies, Steven was enjoying his sixth summer of life, and after four years of the heartache of negative pregnancy tests, God had surprised us with a new life growing inside my womb.

But as Steven and I sat on the floor, I felt a warm sticky sensation run down my leg. A trip to the bathroom confirmed my greatest fear.

Later that afternoon, our baby died, and is now waiting for us in heaven.

What began as a summer full of life and joy, quickly turned into a season of great loss and sadness. I mourned for that child for which I had prayed. I felt the ache of empty arms.

I once heard someone say, “I never knew I could miss someone that I had never met.” Now I understood. We never knew for sure, but in my heart, I felt that the baby had been a little girl.

During those summer months, I went through the grieving process step-by-step.  I’ll admit that I was angry at God for “taunting” me with this gift of a child and then taking her away. But through the months and years that followed, God taught me many lessons about myself, about Him, and about trusting in His unfailing love.

I believe that when we go through a trial that wounds us deeply, God can use it to teach us valuable lessons. Some of those lessons are a deeper understanding of who God is, of who we are, and of what we truly believe. Our faith grows in the petri dish of struggles in the laboratory of life.

One of my most valuable lessons, through all my wounds and scars, was a decision to stop saying “why me?” and to begin saying “what now?” But the lesson that continues to reverberate like a gentle thunder is the truth of God’s unfailing love.

During the months that followed the loss of our child, I struggled with God. Just as Jacob wrestled with God through his dark night of the soul, I wrestled as well.

How could He love me and allow this to happen? Why would God withhold my dream? Is He able? Is He kind? Is He really there?

It was a dry summer…in my heart and soul. No one could help me, comfort me, or lift me out of my deep pit of sadness. And while I didn’t want to talk to God, He never left my side. Patiently, He waited for me to cry out to Him…to say, I will trust you even though I do not understand.

It is easy to trust God when life is skipping happily along. It is a deeper faith that forms when the skipping halts to the slow crawl of despair. Honestly, I never enjoy the struggles, but I do revel in the deeper understanding of God that is forged in the fire.

As Peter wrote, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV).

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, sometimes things happen in my life that I just don’t understand. But I know You hold the box top to the puzzle pieces, and You know how the pieces all fit together. I trust You, Lord. Though Your ways may twist and turn as through a maze, I know that You make no mistakes. You are good…all the time.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

What has been a time in your life when you did not understand God’s ways?

What was the final outcome of Job’s incredible trial? (Job 42:10,12)

Can you trust God as Job did when his life fell apart?

Leave a comment and share what you are trusting God with today?

More from the Girlfriends:

Sometimes life doesn’t turn out like we thought it would. But God doesn’t want us to get stuck in our sorrow. He longs to turn our pain into purpose, our hurt into hope, and our miseries into ministry. But the only way He can do that is if we are willing to give Him the broken pieces of our shattered dreams and allow Him to make a beautiful mosaic from the shards. Are you ready? Now’s the time. You can learn how to do just that in my book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past.

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

Girlfriends in God
What began as a summer full of life and joy, quickly turned into a season of great loss and sadness.



Mar. 22, 2019

(The priests said to Judas): "What is that to us? See to it yourself."
~ Matthew 27:4 (ESV)

What kind of men are these? Though they are priests—chief priests!—they seem to feel no shame at all about offering silver to Judas to betray his Master. I hope they at least had the decency not to use money that came out of the temple offerings!

And when Judas shows up later, full of remorse, and tries to undo the betrayal, they answer him with one of the most cold-blooded replies on record: "What is that to us? See to it yourself." They offered no hope, no money, nothing to hang on to—and Judas went and hanged himself. Did they know? Did they care?

The priests are scary. Not because they are villains, but because they manage to be what they are while spending all their lives around holy things, serving in the very temple of the Lord. My mind can't process that. How is it possible for a man to walk from "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!" just a few dozen steps to a meeting that ends up with "What is that to us? See to it yourself!"?

It scares me the more because as a Christian, I too spend my life among holy things. I read the Bible. I go to church. I take communion. And I don't want to end up like these men, arguing over blood money in the midst of holiness.

But only one thing can prevent that—and that's if Jesus is actually living in me, holy in the midst of my unholiness. Nothing short of that can protect me. Nothing short of that can protect you.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). This is our protection. Because we are His temple, God guards us jealously from the attacks of the devil. Jesus laid down His life to make us God's holy and everlasting possession. The One who died and rose for us will keep us safe—and holy—in His hands.

THE PRAYER: Dear Father, keep me holy; keep me safe from evil; keep me in Your hands. Amen.

  • What "holy things" do you live among on a daily or weekly basis?
  • When have you been surprised by evil in a holy place or situation?
  • How do you guard against having a hardened heart like those of the chief priests?

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
What "holy things" do you live among on a daily or weekly basis?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 22 de Marzo de 2019 - Viviendo entre las cosas santas


Viviendo entre las cosas santas

22 de Marzo de 2019

[Judas] Les dijo: «He pecado al entregar sangre inocente.» Pero ellos le dijeron: «¿A nosotros qué nos importa? ¡Allá tú!»
~ Mateo 27:4 (RVC)

¿Qué clase de personas son? Si bien son sumos sacerdotes, parece que no tienen vergüenza de ofrecer plata a Judas para traicionar a su maestro. ¡Con tal que hayan tenido la decencia de no usar el dinero de las ofrendas del templo!

Y cuando Judas aparece más tarde lleno de remordimiento y trata de deshacer la traición, le responden con una de las respuestas más frías de la historia: "¿A nosotros qué nos importa? ¡Allá tú!". No le ofrecieron ninguna esperanza, ninguna misericordia, nada a qué aferrarse. Y Judas fue y se ahorcó. ¿Será que les importó?

¡Esos sacerdotes dan miedo! No porque sean villanos, sino porque son lo que son mientras sirven en el mismísimo templo del Señor. ¿Cómo es posible pasar de un: "¡Aleluya! ¡Alabado sea el Señor!", a un "¿A nosotros qué nos importa? ¡Allá tú!"?

Como cristiano yo también le sirvo al Señor: leo la Biblia, voy a la iglesia, participo de la comunión. Y no quiero terminar como esos hombres quienes, en medio de tanta santidad, discutían como si nada sobre dinero manchado de sangre. ¿Cómo evitarlo? Con Jesús viviendo en medio de mi impiedad. Sólo él puede protegerme. Sólo él puede protegerte.

Pablo dice: "¿No saben que ustedes son templo de Dios, y que el Espíritu de Dios habita en ustedes? Si alguno destruye el templo de Dios, Dios lo destruirá a él, porque el templo de Dios es santo, y ustedes son ese templo" (1 Corintios 3: 16-17). Porque somos su templo, Dios nos guarda celosamente de los ataques del diablo. Jesús dio su vida para hacernos hijos eternos y santos de Dios. El que murió y resucitó por nosotros nos mantendrá seguros en sus manos.

ORACIÓN: Querido Padre, mantenme santo y a salvo del mal en tus manos. Amén.

  • ¿Recuerdas algún lugar o situación santa en el cual has sido sorprendido por el mal?
  • ¿Cómo te proteges para no tener el corazón endurecido como el de los sumos sacerdotes?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Recuerdas algún lugar o situación santa en el cual has sido sorprendido por el mal?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Gánh Nặng Tội Lỗi

Gánh Nặng Tội Lỗi

Đọc: I Phi-e-rơ 3:8-14 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Giô-suê 10-12; Lu-ca 1:39-56

Đừng lấy ác trả ác. I Phi-e-rơ 3:9

Malcolm Alexander bước ra khỏi nhà tù làm một người tự do. Bằng chứng DNA chứng minh Alexander trong sạch, ông đã kiên quyết khẳng định mình vô tội giữa vô số những kiện tụng của tòa án bất công. Luật sư bào chữa kém cỏi (về sau bị tước quyền), bằng chứng giả mạo và những cuộc điều tra không minh bạch, tất cả đã đẩy người đàn ông vô tội vào tù giam gần bốn thập kỷ. Tuy nhiên, cuối cùng khi Alexander được thả ra, ông bày tỏ ân điển vô biên. Ông nói: “Bạn không thể giận dữ. Không có đủ thời gian để giận dữ.”

Những lời của Alexander chứng minh cho một ân điển sâu rộng. Nếu sự bất công cướp lấy 38 năm cuộc đời và hủy phá thanh danh của chúng ta, thì chúng ta chắc chắn sẽ rất giận dữ. Dù Alexander trải qua nhiều năm dài đau đớn khi mang gánh nặng tội lỗi mà ông phải chịu, nhưng ông không để tội lỗi hủy hoại mình. Thay vì cố trả thù, ông bày tỏ điều mà sứ đồ Phi-e-rơ dạy: “Đừng lấy ác trả ác hoặc lấy rủa sả trả rủa sả” (I Phi. 3:9).

Kinh Thánh còn dạy thêm rằng thay vì tìm cách trả thù, sứ đồ Phi-e-rơ bảo chúng ta chúc phước (c.9). Chúng ta tha thứ, mong ước điều tốt đẹp cho người đối xử bất công với mình. Khi tha thứ cho những hành động gian ác của họ, chúng ta sẽ bày tỏ cho họ thấy lòng thương xót lạ lùng của Chúa. Trên thập tự giá, Chúa Jêsus đã mang gánh nặng tội lỗi của chúng ta, để chúng ta nhận được ân điển và bày tỏ ân điển đó cho người khác—ngay cả những người làm hại chúng ta.
Lạy Chúa, thật dễ để con mong những người làm con tổn thương cũng bị tổn thương như con. Xin giúp con sống bày tỏ lòng nhân từ và ân điển của Ngài.
Ngoài việc tha thứ cho những hành động gây tổn thương, bạn có thể bày tỏ lòng thương xót với người làm hại mình bằng cách nào? Bạn sẽ làm gì để bày tỏ rằng bạn “chúc phước” cho họ?

Malcolm Alexander bước ra khỏi nhà tù làm một người tự do. Bằng chứng DNA chứng minh Alexander trong sạch, ông đã kiên quyết khẳng định mình vô tội giữa vô số những kiện tụng của tòa án bất công.