Monday, April 15, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, April 15, 2019 - Holy Monday

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, April 15, 2019 - Holy Monday
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Isaiah 42:1-9
The Servant, a Light to the Nations
42:1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
     my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
   I have put my spirit upon him;
     he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2  He will not cry or lift up his voice,
     or make it heard in the street;
3  a bruised reed he will not break,
     and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
     he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4  He will not grow faint or be crushed
     until he has established justice in the earth;
     and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

5  Thus says God, the Lord,
     who created the heavens and stretched them out,
     who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
   who gives breath to the people upon it
     and spirit to those who walk in it:
6  I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
     I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
   I have given you as a covenant to the people,
7    to open the eyes that are blind,
   to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
     from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8  I am the Lord, that is my name;
     my glory I give to no other,
     nor my praise to idols.
9  See, the former things have come to pass,
     and new things I now declare;
   before they spring forth,
     I tell you of them.

Psalm 36:5-11
5  Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
     your faithfulness to the clouds.
6  Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
     your judgments are like the great deep;
     you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

7  How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
     All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8  They feast on the abundance of your house,
     and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9  For with you is the fountain of life;
     in your light we see light.

10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
     and your salvation to the upright of heart!
11 Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
     or the hand of the wicked drive me away.

Hebrews 9:11-15
9:11 But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

John 12:1-11
Mary Anoints Jesus
12:1 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus
9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

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.
But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, April 15, 2019 - Holy Monday

Romans 13:6-7 (NIV) This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Read all of Romans 13

Listen to Romans 13

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 - El recuerdo sin dolor

El recuerdo sin dolor

Pero fiel es el Señor, que os afirmará y guardará del mal.

En días pasados, acompañé a mi princesa Niki a realizarse unos exámenes generales, pues no se había sentido muy bien. Así que estuvimos en el hospital Memorial, de Pembroke Pines y allí le hicieron un examen conocido como tomografía axial compute-rizada (TAC). Como Niki estaba un poco nerviosa, le explique de qué se trataba la prueba. No sé si todos lo saben, pero te meten en un aparato que gira en torno al cuerpo del paciente emitiendo un haz de rayos X que, mediante unos cristales, se reciben y registran una serie de datos que se envían a una computadora que convierte la información en una imagen sobre una pantalla. Este examen es tan completo que se detecta cualquier tipo de problema.

Estando allí, la tuve que esperar afuera y empecé a recordar la época de mi enfermedad. En mi caso, pasé por esa misma prueba durante momentos críticos al estar recién operada y cuando el cuadro médico no daba muchas esperanzas de vida. Así que todo era gris y misterioso. Entonces me puse a rememorar varios de esos momentos en que me llevaban en medio de tanto dolor y sintiendo la muerte a mi alrededor.

De pronto, sentí unos deseos enormes de llorar y le agradecí a Dios el milagro de mi sanidad. Nunca me cansaré de reconocer cómo me sanó Dios y de que hoy sea un testimonio viviente.

No es vivir en el pasado, pero nunca debemos olvidar lo que Dios hace por nosotros. Además, eso nos dará la fuerza para seguir adelante.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
En días pasados, acompañé a mi princesa Niki a realizarse unos exámenes generales, pues no se había sentido muy bien. Así que estuvimos en el hospital Memorial, de Pembroke Pines y allí le hicieron un examen conocido como tomografía axial compute-rizada (TAC).



Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall…nakedness…?
~ Romans 8:35e (NIV)

The question asked is a personal one. Not “what” can separate us but “who”? The inference is our enemy, Satan, who tries every tactic he can garner to make us think we can be separated from Christ’s love. Today we look at his tactic of “nakedness.”

In the northeast part of China there was a severe flood. Most of the homes were ruined and peoples’ belongings were totally destroyed. There was a couple who were not Christians. The wife was paralyzed from the waist down. They lost everything in the flood so the husband bought some poison pills and was going to give them to his wife and then also take them himself so they could both commit suicide.

They had no place to live so they could only lie on the ground at the train station. They were ragged and filthy with nowhere to bathe and without food. A Christian walked by, saw and smelled them, and asked them what happened. He then invited them to his home. The Christian even carried the crippled wife on his back. This Christian had his wife bathe and clothe the crippled wife. He bathed and clothed the husband. Then they gave them food and shared the gospel with them and this couple committed their lives to Jesus.

The husband of the couple said that they could see from the lives of their hosts that God is real and is a God of love.

The whole church helped this couple to build a house and it also later became a house church meeting place.

RESPONSE: I will live this day aware that nakedness can never separate me from Christ’s love.

PRAYER: Lord, give me eyes of love to help those who need You and also need a practical example of Your love for them.

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 - Naomi


Her name means: "My Joy" or "Pleasant"

Her character: Suffering a threefold tragedy, Naomi refused to hide Her Sorrow or bitterness. Believing in God's sovereignty, she attributed her suffering to his will. But her fixation on circumstances, both past and present, led to hopelessness. A kind and loving mother-in-law, she inspired unusual love and loyalty in her daughters-in-law.
Her sorrow: To have lost a husband and two sons in a foreign land, far from family and friends.
Her joy: To have returned safely to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth, who would eventually rekindle her happiness and hope.
Key Scriptures: Ruth 1; 4:13-17

Her Story

She stood like an old tree twisted against the sky. Though Naomi could see for miles from her vantage point high on the road that led from Moab to Judah, she could glimpse nothing at all of her future. She thought about robbers, rumored on the road ahead. What more, she wondered, could possibly be taken from her? Her thoughts strayed to the past.

Moses, she knew, had been buried somewhere in these mountains. But his people and hers had moved west into Canaan centuries earlier. Would she, too, be left behind, prevented from ever seeing her kinsfolk again? Was God so displeased with her?

Ten years ago, she and her husband, Elimelech, had lived happily in Bethlehem. But the city whose name meant "house of bread" suddenly had none, so they had migrated to the highlands of Moab to escape the famine. Then Elimelech had died and her sons had married Moabite women, whose race had descended from Abraham's nephew, Lot. Plenty of women lost their husbands. Like them, she would find a way to survive. But then she had suffered the worst grief a mother could—outliving her own children.

Now Ruth and Orpah, her daughters-in-law, were the only kin she had in Moab. Loving them tenderly, she felt their widowhood as a double grief. Together they had cried and comforted each other. The three women finally decided to leave Moab for Bethlehem. But once on the road, Naomi's misgivings outran her craving for companionship. It wasn't right for young women to forsake their families and friends for so uncertain a future. What chance would they, widows and strangers, have in Bethlehem, even now that the famine had run its course?

"Go back, each of you, to your mother's home," she told them. "May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband."

But Orpah and Ruth insisted, "We will go back with you to your people."

"Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons—would you wait until they grew up?"

The three women embraced, tears streaking their cheeks. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clutched Naomi and whispered fiercely, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

The old woman's stubbornness was no match for the younger woman's love. And so Naomi and Ruth continued on to Bethlehem. After so long an absence, Naomi's return created a great commotion in the town, and all the women welcomed her, saying, "Can this be Naomi?"

"Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara [meaning 'bitter'], because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."

Naomi could not see past her suffering. Like many of us, she may have felt as though her tragedies were punishment for her sins. Yet had she known the blessings in store, she might not have felt so hopeless. Instead, she may have compared herself to the tree that Job so graciously describes:
At least there is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
Its roots may grow old in the ground
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth shoots like a plant. - Job 14:7-9
Though she didn't know it, the scent of water was in the air. Naomi's life was beginning again, her story still unfolding.

Her Promise

God's faithfulness to restore to fullness an empty life is revealed more in this story of Naomi than in any other biblical account. The famine and hunger that drove Naomi and her husband and sons away from Bethlehem are finally replaced with full harvests and bread baked from grain gleaned in the fields. The anguish of losing her husband and sons is replaced with the loving care and concern of her daughter-in-law Ruth, who is "better to [Naomi] than seven sons" (Ruth 4:15). And Naomi's empty mother-arms are filled with the son of Boaz and Ruth. She is no absent grandmother; the Scriptures say Naomi took Obed and "laid him in her lap and cared for him" (Ruth 4:16). (We'll hear more about this grandson in the next chapter.)

Like Naomi, we may have trouble recognizing God's goodness and his faithfulness at times. But he is still with us no matter the circumstances.

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.
Suffering a threefold tragedy, Naomi refused to hide Her Sorrow or bitterness.

Girlfriends in God - Silencing Voices of Division

Silencing Voices of Division

Today’s Truth

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy. (Psalm 67:4, NRSVIV)

Friend to Friend

I’m obsessed with gymnastics and figure skating. Obsessed. For two weeks, every four years. You know... like everyone else in America... when the Winter Olympics games come around. Pour me a bowl of Wheaties, hand me a flag with stars and stripes, and let’s get it on! Stick that landing! Land that triple salchow! You got this! USA! USA! USA!

And you can’t miss the opening ceremonies!

There’s just a beyond-ness to them! Bright colors. Epic music. Intricate costumes.

Athletes from every nation, coming together in harmony. The pride of each country celebrating their unique heritages, while at the same time vibrantly displaying the beauty of humanity that binds us all together.

Songs are sung, dances are danced, and joy rises to a climax as a well-traveled, flaming stick enters the arena. Eyes from all across the globe watch in wonder as the Olympic Torch ignites. The world melts together. One people. One celebration. A big ole’ global party.

And it feels right to love each other. To look beyond politics, religion, race and culture. To honor each life as valuable. To see and celebrate a different kind of beautiful.

But voices of division yell loud as I watch the news.

Differences spark flames of contention in conversations on social media, and fear tells us to look straight ahead, stick to what we know, and stay with our own.

And it feels wrong to spew venom and wound each other. To allow chains of politics, religion, race and culture to choke us into ungodly bondage that keeps us from His grace and perfect will. To keep us from living love - from reaching out - from coming together at the foot of the cross.

Psalm 67 calls for worship among all the nations. A prelude of sorts to the New Testament’s Great Commission, these verses invite all of humanity to gather around the Eternal Flame in praise. Red, brown, yellow, black and white. Vibrant beauty.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!

All the peoples.

One people.

One celebration.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.

A big ole’ God party, celebrating the One who rides on the very clouds He spoke into existence. Our personal, loving Savior who heals the brokenhearted, cares for the widows and wounded, and rescues the orphaned and abandoned.

God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!

This is your invitation to a grand, global celebration. Sing a new song. A song of praise. Let it rise to the Maker of all the peoples - to the One who's got the whole world in His hands.

Extend your hands and expand your heart beyond division… beyond that which seeks to limit God’s love, grace and power to save.

And worship wholeheartedly right where you are. I’m singing right beside you.

Let’s Pray

Holy Father, Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Bind me to Your grace and help me to love well. Give me eyes to see beyond differences, and courage to speak life.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

What’s one thing that divides your heart from those around you? What’s on small step you could take today to move you forward? Tell me on the wall of my blog or on Instagram.

More from the Girlfriends

Life hits hard sometimes. The GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast can help soften the blow.

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 listen right from the website at

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

Girlfriends in God
I’m obsessed with gymnastics and figure skating. Obsessed. For two weeks, every four years. You know...

LHM Daily Devotions - TWO OF A KIND?


Apr. 15, 2019

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on His right and one on His left.
~ Luke 23:33 (ESV)

Dismas and Gestas

There were two of them. Two robbers, both condemned to death, one on either side of Jesus. There wasn't much to choose between them. Both were criminal. Both were helpless. Both were dying.

And to begin with, both of them seemed to be railing at Jesus. Matthew 27:44 says, "the robbers who were crucified with Him also reviled Him," and Mark's Gospel agrees. They joined in the hate that was being dumped on Jesus—by the chief priests, by the scribes, and even by people passing on the road.

But as the hours went by, something changed—for one of them, at least. He wasn't yelling at Jesus anymore. Instead, he yelled at the other man. "Don't you fear God? ... This man has done nothing wrong." And he asked Jesus to remember him in His kingdom.

Look at the difference between these two men. Though they started out as two of a kind, nobody could be more different by the end. One had come to faith in Jesus. It might not have been a terribly educated faith—we have no idea whether the man who repented had ever seen Jesus before, heard any of his teaching, ever came to Baptism. For all we know, his only encounter with Jesus was on the cross. But that was enough. He trusted Him. And Jesus blessed him with a wonderful promise: "Today you will be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).

We, too, are not that much different from the people around us in the world. We are sinners. We do wrong. We get caught and pay the penalty, at least sometimes. We even blame and yell at God.

But by God's mercy, we have come to trust in Jesus, our Savior. We know that He forgives us and makes us new and clean—people who belong to God. We have the Holy Spirit living in us even now. And we have paradise to look forward to—all because of Jesus' promise.

None of this is because of us. It's all because of Jesus.

THE PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for bringing us into Your kingdom. Amen.

  • Have you ever had a change of heart about someone? How did it happen?
  • What is your experience of how different people face dying?
  • Have you known anyone who came to faith very late in life? Tell the story.

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).
Have you ever had a change of heart about someone? How did it happen?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 15 de Abril de 2019 - ¿Dos del mismo tipo?


¿Dos del mismo tipo?

15 de Abril de 2019

Cuando llegaron al lugar llamado de la Calavera, lo crucificaron allí, lo mismo que a los malhechores, uno a la derecha de Jesús y otro a su izquierda.
~ Lucas 23:33 (RVC)

Eran dos: dos ladrones, ambos condenados a muerte, uno a cada lado de Jesús. Entre ellos no había mucha diferencia: ambos eran criminales, ambos estaban indefensos y ambos se estaban muriendo.

Además, ambos parecían estar criticando a Jesús. Mateo 27:44 dice: "Y también lo insultaban los ladrones que estaban crucificados con él", y el Evangelio de Marcos concuerda. Se habían unido al odio de los principales sacerdotes, los escribas e incluso las personas que pasaban por el camino.

Pero a medida que fueron pasando las horas, algo cambió: en vez de gritarle a Jesús, de pronto uno de ellos reprendió al otro: "¿Ni siquiera ahora, que estás sufriendo la misma condena, le temes a Dios?". Y luego le pidió a Jesús que lo recordara en su reino.

¿Notas la diferencia entre estos dos hombres? Al comienzo fueron iguales, pero terminaron en forma muy diferente: uno había creído en Jesús. Por lo que sabemos, su único encuentro con él fue en la cruz. Pero eso fue suficiente. Y Jesús lo bendijo con una maravillosa promesa: "De cierto te digo que hoy estarás conmigo en el paraíso" (Lucas 23:43).

Nosotros no somos muy diferentes de las personas que nos rodean en el mundo: hacemos cosas que están mal, nos atrapan y pagamos la multa (al menos a veces) e incluso culpamos y nos enojamos con Dios.

Pero por la misericordia de Dios hemos llegado a confiar en Jesús como nuestro Salvador. Sabemos que él nos perdona, nos limpia y nos reconcilia con el Padre. Tenemos al Espíritu Santo viviendo en nosotros y la esperanza de vida eterna en el cielo... todo gracias a Jesús.

ORACIÓN: Gracias, Señor, por traernos a tu reino. Amén.

  • ¿Alguna vez has cambiado de opinión acerca de alguien? ¿Cómo paso?
  • ¿Has conocido a alguien que llegó a la fe muy tarde en la vida? Cuenta su historia.

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Alguna vez has cambiado de opinión acerca de alguien?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Les marques d’amitié

Lisez : Jean 15.9-17

Vous êtes mes amis, si vous faites ce que je vous commande. V. 14

Enfant, au Ghana, j’aimais marcher main dans la main avec mon père dans les endroits bondés. Il était à la fois mon père et mon ami, car dans notre culture, le fait de se tenir par la main révèle une amitié véritable. En marchant, nous discutions de toutes sortes de choses. Chaque fois que je me sentais seul, je trouvais du réconfort auprès de mon père. Combien notre camaraderie m’était précieuse !

Le Seigneur Jésus considérait ses disciples comme des amis, ce qu’il leur a démontré : « Comme le Père m’a aimé, je vous ai aussi aimés » (JN 15.9), au point même de donner sa vie pour eux (V. 13). Il leur a enseigné tout ce qui avait trait à son royaume (V. 15) et tout ce qu’il avait appris de son Père (V. 15). Il leur a aussi donné la possibilité de participer à sa mission (V. 16).

Jésus, ce Compagnon de toute une vie, marche avec nous. Il tend l’oreille à nos souffrances et à nos désirs. Lorsque nous nous sentons seuls et découragés, notre Ami Jésus nous tient compagnie.

Et cette amitié avec Jésus est meilleure si nous nous aimons les uns les autres et nous obéissons à ses commandements (V. 10,17), ce qui permet d’ailleurs « que [notre] fruit demeure » (V. 16).

En marchant dans les allées bondées et sur les routes dangereuses de notre monde agité, nous pouvons compter sur l’amitié que notre Seigneur nous porte.

Au fil de la vie, nous pouvons compter sur la compagnie et l’amitié du Seigneur.

© 2019 Ministères NPQ
Enfant, au Ghana, j’aimais marcher main dans la main avec mon père dans les endroits bondés.