Friday, April 26, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 - Friday in Easter Week

The Apostles Are Persecuted
Acts 5:17-26

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, April 26, 2019 - Friday in Easter Week
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 150
Praise for God’s Surpassing Greatness
1  Praise the Lord!
   Praise God in his sanctuary;
     praise him in his mighty firmament!
2  Praise him for his mighty deeds;
     praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

3  Praise him with trumpet sound;
     praise him with lute and harp!
4  Praise him with tambourine and dance;
     praise him with strings and pipe!
5  Praise him with clanging cymbals;
     praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6  Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
   Praise the Lord!

1 Samuel 17:19-32
17:19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel, were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, took the provisions, and went as Jesse had commanded him. He came to the encampment as the army was going forth to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22 David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage, ran to the ranks, and went and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines, and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.

24 All the Israelites, when they saw the man, fled from him and were very much afraid. 25 The Israelites said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. The king will greatly enrich the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his family free in Israel.” 26 David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 27 The people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”

28 His eldest brother Eliab heard him talking to the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David. He said, “Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart; for you have come down just to see the battle.” 29 David said, “What have I done now? It was only a question.” 30 He turned away from him toward another and spoke in the same way; and the people answered him again as before.

31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”

Acts 5:17-26
The Apostles Are Persecuted
5:17 Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, 18 arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.” 21 When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.

When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the temple police went there, they did not find them in the prison; so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering what might be going on. 25 Then someone arrived and announced, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” 26 Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

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 during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said ...

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, April 26, 2019

Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Read all of Hebrews 7

Listen to Hebrews 7

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 - Friday, April 26, 2019

Hoy es día de dar gracias

Las muchas aguas no podrán apagar el amor, ni lo ahogarán los ríos.

En tu caso, no sé lo que tienes que agradecerle a Dios en un día como hoy. En el mío, tengo una gran razón para decirle «GRACIAS»: Me regaló el amor y la felicidad al lado de mi esposo, Edgar.

Además, ¡el día de nuestra boda es inolvidable! La ceremonia se realizó en la bellísima ciudad de Homestead el 26 de abril. Allí me acompañaron muchos de ustedes, mis oyentes, no solo en la iglesia, sino con sus oraciones, sus tarjetas, regalos, detalles y cientos de correos electrónicos.

También doy gracias a Dios por mis compañeros de trabajo que disfrutaron conmigo de un día absolutamente hermoso. Ese día no solo fue azul, sino que vimos a Dios en cada detalle. Lo vimos en el vestido, las flores, la tarta y todo lo que personas tan lindas y cercanas a mí aportaron para que fuera un día donde honraríamos a Dios.

Le doy gracias también porque ahora somos una familia completa. Mis princesas tienen el apoyo en todo de mi esposo y yo tengo una linda relación con sus tres hijos y su familia. Así que valió la pena esperar a que fuese Dios el que trajera a mi vida el hombre que Él sabía me haría muy feliz.

Por eso hoy testifico que la felicidad sí existe y que, cuando confiamos nuestra vida a papito Dios, Él nos sorprende y nos da lo mejor.

Claudia y Edgar

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
En tu caso, no sé lo que tienes que agradecerle a Dios en un día como hoy. En el mío, tengo una gran razón para decirle «GRACIAS»: Me regaló el amor y la felicidad al lado de mi esposo, Edgar.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, April 26, 2019


Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

The Bible clearly says to use the full armor. We usually feel we are doing okay if we have most of the pieces of armor in place. Yet, if even one piece is missing, we have a weak spot where Satan can injure us, causing us to lose ground rather than standing firm. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

The New Living Translation in Ephesians 6:11 puts it this way: “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.” It further says in verse 13, “Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

RESPONSE: Today I will put on the full armor of God to stand strong against Satan’s darts of doubt, denial and deceit.

PRAYER: “The Warrior’s Prayer”

Heavenly Father, Your warrior prepares for battle.
Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole armor of God!
I put on the Belt of Truth.
May I stand firm in the truth of your Word so I will not be a victim of Satan’s lies.
I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness.
May it guard my heart from evil so I will remain pure and holy, protected under the blood of Jesus Christ.
I put on the Sandals of Peace.
May I go out and proclaim the good news of the Gospel so your peace will shine through me and be a light to all I encounter.
I take the Shield of Faith.
May I be ready to deflect Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial and deceit so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.
I put on the Helmet of Salvation.
May I keep my mind focused on you so Satan will not have a stronghold on my thoughts.
I take the Sword of the Spirit.
May the two-edged sword of your Word be ready in my hands so I can use it to take authority over the Enemy.
By faith, your warrior has put on the whole armor of God.
I am prepared to live this day in spiritual victory.

1. Author unknown.

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 - Friday, April 26, 2019


His name means: "The One Asked For, Requested"

His work: As Israel's first king, his role was to unite the tribes of Israel against their enemies and to begin the process of establishing Israel as a monarchy.
His character: Though his reign began well, Saul failed to live up to his calling, trusting himself more than he trusted God. Mentally unstable, he became so jealous of David that he tried to murder him. His last battle with the Philistines ended in his suicide and in the death of his eldest son, Jonathan.
His sorrow: To become so alienated from God that he could no longer hear the Lord's voice or receive his help; to have the kingdom torn from him and his heirs because of his unfaithfulness.
His triumph: His impressive military conquests, including victories over the surrounding Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, and Amalekites.
Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel 13:5-14; 16:14-23; 18:5-9

A Look at the Man

A well-known adage indicates how hard it can be to get things right the first time around, reminding us that "the first pickle is always the hardest to get out of the jar." That bit of folk wisdom could certainly apply to Israel's first attempt at transforming itself into a monarchy.

A head taller than other men, Saul must have seemed an excellent choice as a ruler. God, after all, had selected him, the prophet had anointed him, and the people had all shouted, "Long live the king!" But even divine affirmation and popular support were not enough to insure Saul's success. Only Saul could guarantee it by responding faithfully to what God was asking.

But time after time, Saul prevaricated. Told to wait, he took matters into his own hands. Commanded to kill the Amalekites and destroy everything they owned, he spared their king and preserved the best of their livestock. Though fortune-telling was forbidden, he consulted a medium. Whenever he was confronted with his disobedience, he made excuses:

"You didn't come."

"The Philistines were about to destroy us."

"I felt compelled to offer the sacrifice."

"We saved the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD, but we totally destroyed the rest."

"God won't talk to me, and I need to know what to do."

The excuses kept coming, like one bad penny after another. Centuries later they seem so plausible, so familiar, so understandable—at least to us. But not to the God who reads our hearts by how we act or fail to act.

So Saul's life and his rule as king gradually disintegrated. His mind became poisoned by jealousy and fear. A son and a daughter were estranged from him because of their love for David. Paranoia finally drove him to attempt an impossible task—to kill a man God himself was determined to protect. In the end, he lost more than a kingdom, forfeiting everything that matters in life—his family, his future, his own integrity.

Reflect On: 1 Samuel 28:5–20
Praise God: For his word in Scripture.
Offer Thanks: For all the ways God has spoken during your lifetime.
Confess: Any tendency to disregard God’s Word and its authority in your life.
Ask God: To increase your desire to read and pray the Scriptures.

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.
The first pickle is always the hardest to get out of the jar.

Girlfriends in God - Friday, April 26, 2019

Trusting God in All Things

Today’s Truth

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.
~ Psalm 37:5 (ESV)

Friend to Friend

A few seconds seemed like an eternity as I tapped my fingers on the bathroom counter. Would the line be a plus or minus? Waiting on a few seconds for the pregnancy test results seemed like an eternity. But there it was. Yes, my instinct was right, and I was pregnant for the third time in four years. I knew that I should be happy and oh, I was! I love babies. Babies are wonderful! But there was also a part of me that felt overwhelmed instead of overjoyed. Guilty instead of glad.

I felt like a big, fat mom-fail, but I was too ashamed to share my deep feelings with anyone. You see, this sweet baby would be our fifth. I was already a stepmom, a special needs mom, and mom to two little ones. I just didn’t think I could be who this baby needed me to be. I didn’t see how I could physically or mentally do any more than I was already doing. I wondered why God was blessing our family so sweetly with another baby when it didn’t seem I could handle all God had already given me.

Thankfully our God knows so much more about us than we know about ourselves. When I read today’s key verse in solo form, it can feel like an ambiguous command. “Commit your way…” Like it’s all my job to trust God and I just need to gather up some more trust to give to him. But God loves me so much, He loves you so much, that He doesn’t just expect us to rummage up a pile of trust on our own and place everything in His hands.

You see, the verse before today’s key verse is critical to understanding what the psalmist longs to convey in this passage. Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

The “delighting” comes before the “committing.” We can give God everything we have over and over again; we can pray each day that He directs our path. But if our hearts are not enjoying a relationship with Him, if we don’t crave His presence and long for the fullness of His Spirit, then the desires of our hearts won’t be from Him. The enemy has a way of filling our hearts and minds with his negativity. He is the one who provokes thoughts of “I’m not good enough, “I can never do this,” and “How will this ever work?”

When we live in moment-by-moment interaction with Jesus, He empowers us with strong thoughts of confidence. He implants an eagerness for what would please Him. His Spirit infuses an assurance that our God is worthy of our trust. It’s in the time deposits of sitting still and knowing that He is God that we gain that ability to trust Him in all things. Whether it includes a child, a spouse, a new relationship, a different job, or difficult circumstances, God has promised He will act. We have the privilege of giving back to him what He has given to us, trusting that the Provider is ever the Preserver.

It’s been fourteen years ago since God gifted Samuel into my womb. The name “Samuel” means “God has heard.” I didn’t even know what his name meant when I named him. But I love that so much. Because God heard me and knew what I needed before I even knew what I needed.

Maybe in this moment you feel like His provision is too much and you are not enough. Maybe trusting God with all you have seems more like a task of captivity than a ticket to freedom. I hope that today you feel encouraged to take a step back from “committing” and pause for some “delighting.” For that is when we truly experience a deeper longing and filling of trust.

Let’s Pray

Dear Father, I’m struggling to trust You, and it seems the situation I’ve been given is more than I can handle. Help me recognize that You are both the Provider and the Preserver. Give me the desire to draw closer to You so that trusting You is my natural bent. Re-wire my heart to both delight in You and commit to You.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Do you find it difficult to trust God with unrequested circumstances? What might happen if you paused to delight in the Lord alone?

More from the Girlfriends

Does the longing to understand God’s plan interfere with your ability to trust Him fully? Take the One More Step 5- day devotional challenge or grab your copy of Rachel’s book, One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up.

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

Girlfriends in God
A few seconds seemed like an eternity as I tapped my fingers on the bathroom counter. Would the line be a plus or minus?

LHM Daily Devotions - Impressions of Lent

"Impressions of Lent"

Apr. 26, 2019

And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The penitential season of Lent has just concluded. Hopefully, for you and your family it's been a season of reflection on the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ—a period when you paused to consider your walk in this world as "little Christs."

It's a quiet time, a time to recognize the stillness, as the psalmist records: "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10a). Granted, this is hard to do in the hubbub of our hectic world. The constant din of TVs and stereos can drown out that stillness, and many of us have grown accustomed to the white noise of our world. Add to that our own hustle and bustle and cramped schedules, and it's easy to see why it's hard to be still, to know God through reflection and meditation. What a loss!

During the Lenten season, many churches identified areas for their members where their Christian walk might take on a strengthened dimension through focused individual or group Bible study, or a renewed commitment to worship.

In years past, many Christians practiced giving up bad habits or fasted during Lent. These practices come and go. While I'm sure there was probably some good gained in denying ourselves something for the sake of self-discipline. As a matter of practicality, I believe more good will result in devoting our time to our personal faith and life.

And this goes for the rest of the year as well. For instance, just because Lent is over, it doesn't mean we shouldn't be drawing closer to Jesus. To do that, find a quiet space and reflect on God's profound love. If it's 15 minutes in God's Word, then give yourself over to it. Stick to it. Reflect on what His Word has to say. Dig deep. Ask questions of the text (write down your thoughts if that helps). Meditate on His truths. Ask God in prayer how you can better serve Him, your spouse, your church, your neighbor. Seek the Holy Spirit's help to take the Lord into every minute of your daily life.

Then explore the many possibilities that can enrich and strengthen your life. At home: can we be more loving and forgiving to those who mean so much to us? Can we take the time to show our unconditional love? At work: are we really a Christian example to our coworkers? Can we be more mindful of the struggles others are going through? At church: where sometimes, ironically, it's the hardest, can we put on the mind of Christ, giving ourselves to our brothers and sisters in the faith?

Now that Lent is over, let's not lose sight of what this season is all about. We've spent weeks considering the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Now let the message of God's love in Jesus resonate boldly in your own life.

May the Lenten season just past be a time of strengthening your personal faith and life to God's glory.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, impress on our hearts the love You have shown to us in Jesus. And may that love reflect in all that we do. Amen.

From The Lutheran Layman, March 1979 issue, "Lent—Time to Reflect on Death and Life" by Dr. J.A.O. Preus. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
"Be still, and know that I am God"

Devocional de la CPTLN del 26 de Abril de 2019 - Impresiones de Cuaresma


Impresiones de Cuaresma

26 de Abril de 2019

Y estando en la condición de hombre, se humilló a sí mismo y se hizo obediente hasta la muerte, y muerte de cruz.

La época penitencial de la Cuaresma acaba de concluir. Ojalá que haya sido un tiempo de reflexión sobre el sufrimiento y la muerte de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, un período en el que pudiste detenerte para considerar tu caminar en este mundo como un "pequeño Cristo".

Es un tiempo de tranquilidad, un tiempo para reconocer la calma que viene de confiar en Dios, como lo registra el salmista: "¡Alto! ¡Reconozcan que yo soy Dios!" (Salmo 46:10a). Es cierto que esto no es fácil de hacer en el bullicio de nuestro agitado mundo. El ruido constante de los electrónicos puede ahogar esa calma. Si a eso agregamos nuestro propio ajetreo y horarios apretados, es fácil ver por qué es difícil detenerse para conocer a Dios a través de la reflexión y la meditación. ¡Que pérdida tan grande!

Es costumbre que, durante el tiempo de Cuaresma, muchas iglesias propongan disciplinas para que sus miembros fortalezcan su camino de fe. En el pasado, era común el tratar de dejar los malos hábitos o el ayunar. Sin embargo, en los últimos tiempos, esta práctica ha declinado en uso. Aunque estoy seguro de que probablemente causó algún bien el crecer en la autodisciplina, creo que mejor aún es dedicar nuestro tiempo a cultivar nuestra fe y vida personal.

Y no solo durante la Cuaresma, sino durante todo el año. Por ejemplo, solo porque la Cuaresma ha terminado, no significa que no debamos acercarnos más a Jesús. Para ello, busca un lugar tranquilo y reflexiona sobre el profundo amor de Dios. Si tienes 15 minutos, dedícate a leer la Palabra de Dios. Reflexiona sobre lo que ella te dice. Busca profundamente. Hazle preguntas. Medita en sus verdades. Pídele a Dios en oración cómo puedes servirle mejor a Él, a tu cónyuge, a tu iglesia, a tu prójimo. Busca la ayuda del Espíritu Santo para llevar al Señor en cada minuto de tu vida diaria.

Luego explora las muchas posibilidades que pueden enriquecer y fortalecer tu vida. En casa: ¿podemos ser más amorosos y perdonadores con nuestros seres queridos? ¿Cómo podemos mostrar mejor nuestro amor incondicional? En el trabajo: ¿somos un ejemplo cristiano para nuestros compañeros de trabajo? ¿Prestamos atención a las luchas por las que otros están pasando? En la iglesia (donde a veces, irónicamente, es más difícil): ¿cómo podemos servir mejor a nuestros hermanos y hermanas en la fe?

Ahora que se acabó la Cuaresma, no perdamos de vista de qué se trata esa época. Hemos pasado semanas considerando la vida, el ministerio, la muerte y la resurrección de Jesús. Ahora, deja que el mensaje del amor de Dios en Jesús resuene audazmente en tu propia vida.

Que el mensaje de la Cuaresma sea un tiempo para fortalecer tu fe personal y tu vida para la gloria de Dios.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, imprime en nuestros corazones el amor que nos has mostrado en Jesús. Amén.

Devoción tomada de The Lutheran Layman, edición de marzo de 1979, "Cuaresma: Es hora de reflexionar sobre la muerte y la vida", por el Dr. J.A.O. Preus.

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
La época penitencial de la Cuaresma acaba de concluir. Ojalá que haya sido un tiempo de reflexión sobre el sufrimiento y la muerte de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, un período en el que pudiste detenerte para considerar tu caminar en este mundo como un "pequeño Cristo".

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Điều Chúa Nhìn Thấy

Điều Chúa Nhìn Thấy

Đọc: II Sử Ký 16:7-9 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: II Sa-mu-ên 23-24; Lu-ca 19:1-27

Vì mắt của Đức Giê-hô-va soi xét khắp thế gian để giúp sức cho người nào trọn lòng đối với Ngài. II Sử ký 16:9

Những buổi sáng sớm, tôi thường lặng lẽ đi ngang qua cửa sổ phòng gia đình để nhìn ra mảnh đất hoang phía sau căn nhà chúng tôi ở. Tôi thường thấy con diều hâu hay quạ đậu trên một nhành cây, cứ canh chừng xung quanh. Một buổi sáng nọ, tôi ngạc nhiên khi thấy một con đại bàng đầu trọc đứng thăng bằng trên một cành cây cao, xem xét lãnh địa này như thể cả dải đất thuộc về nó. Có lẽ nó đang ngó nghiêng tìm “bữa sáng”. Ánh mắt nhìn thấy hết mọi thứ của nó trông rất uy nghi.

Trong II Sử Ký 16, tiên tri Ha-na-ni cho vua biết rằng Chúa nhìn thấy hết mọi hành động của vua. Ha-na-ni nói với A-sa, vua Giu-đa rằng: “Vua nương cậy vua A-ram mà không nương cậy Giê-hô-va Đức Chúa Trời của vua” (c.7). Sau đó, Ha-na-ni giải thích: “Vì mắt của Đức Giê-hô-va soi xét khắp thế gian để giúp sức cho người nào trọn lòng đối với Ngài” (c.9). Vì vua A-sa đã đặt lòng tin cậy sai chỗ nên vua sẽ luôn phải đối diện với chiến tranh.

Khi đọc những lời này, có thể chúng ta cảm nhận sai lầm rằng Chúa canh chừng mọi cử động của chúng ta, rình rập chúng ta giống như chim vồ mồi. Nhưng lời của tiên tri Ha-na-ni nhấn mạnh đến ý tích cực. Ông muốn nói rằng Chúa luôn dõi theo và chờ đợi chúng ta kêu cầu Ngài trong lúc khốn khó.

Giống như con chim đại bàng ở sân sau nhà tôi, mắt Chúa soi xét khắp thế gian – ngay cả lúc này – mong chờ nhìn thấy sự trung tín trong bạn và tôi? Ngài đem đến niềm hy vọng và sự cứu giúp chúng ta cần thế nào?
Lạy Chúa, nguyện Ngài làm vững mạnh lòng chúng con để chúng con cứ trọn lòng tận hiến cho Ngài.
Tại sao việc thường xuyên cầu xin sự chỉ dẫn của Chúa là quan trọng đối với chúng ta? Điều này khích lệ bạn biết rằng Chúa chờ đợi bạn kêu xin Ngài giúp đỡ thế nào?

© 2019 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Ánh mắt nhìn thấy hết mọi thứ của nó trông rất uy nghi.