Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

The Daily Lectionary
WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Psalm 48
The Glory and Strength of Zion
A Song. A Psalm of the Korahites.
1  Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
     in the city of our God.
   His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,
     is the joy of all the earth,
   Mount Zion, in the far north,
     the city of the great King.
3  Within its citadels God
     has shown himself a sure defense.

4  Then the kings assembled,
     they came on together.
5  As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
     they were in panic, they took to flight;
6  trembling took hold of them there,
     pains as of a woman in labor,
7  as when an east wind shatters
     the ships of Tarshish.
8  As we have heard, so have we seen
     in the city of the Lord of hosts,
   in the city of our God,
     which God establishes forever.   Selah

9  We ponder your steadfast love, O God,
     in the midst of your temple.
10 Your name, O God, like your praise,
     reaches to the ends of the earth.
   Your right hand is filled with victory.
11   Let Mount Zion be glad,
   let the towns of Judah rejoice
     because of your judgments.

12 Walk about Zion, go all around it,
     count its towers,
13 consider well its ramparts;
     go through its citadels,
   that you may tell the next generation
14   that this is God,
   our God forever and ever.
     He will be our guide forever.

Numbers 24:1-14
Balaam’s Third Oracle
24:1 Now Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, so he did not go, as at other times, to look for omens, but set his face toward the wilderness. 2 Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him, 3 and he uttered his oracle, saying:

   “The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
     the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,
4  the oracle of one who hears the words of God,
     who sees the vision of the Almighty,
     who falls down, but with eyes uncovered:
5  how fair are your tents, O Jacob,
     your encampments, O Israel!
6  Like palm groves that stretch far away,
     like gardens beside a river,
   like aloes that the Lord has planted,
     like cedar trees beside the waters.
7  Water shall flow from his buckets,
     and his seed shall have abundant water,
   his king shall be higher than Agag,
     and his kingdom shall be exalted.
8  God who brings him out of Egypt,
     is like the horns of a wild ox for him;
   he shall devour the nations that are his foes
     and break their bones.
     He shall strike with his arrows.
9  He crouched, he lay down like a lion,
     and like a lioness; who will rouse him up?
   Blessed is everyone who blesses you,
     and cursed is everyone who curses you.”

10 Then Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. Balak said to Balaam, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but instead you have blessed them these three times. 11 Now be off with you! Go home! I said, ‘I will reward you richly,’ but the Lord has denied you any reward.” 12 And Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you sent to me, 13 ‘If Balak should give me his house full of silver and gold, I would not be able to go beyond the word of the Lord, to do either good or bad of my own will; what the Lord says, that is what I will say’? 14 So now, I am going to my people; let me advise you what this people will do to your people in days to come.”

Luke 1:26-38
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

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.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was ...

The Morning Prayer for WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019

Wednesday morning prayer

Lord on this day of the week I recall the strength of the Trinity in my life. Thank you for the strands that hold me safe in the Father, that bring redemption and grace in the Son, and freedom and hope through the Holy Spirit. Thank you for this cord of strength. May I celebrate with the Three that encircle my life! And this day may I give out the love of the Father, the grace of the Son and the freedom of the Holy Spirit in all I do. Amen.

May Wednesday be a dwelling day,
Curled up on Abba's knee.
Following in the path of Christ,
With His Spirit I'm set free.
Let Wednesday always prompt my heart
To travel home to nest.
To feel the blessings of my faith
To know Your peace and rest.

Prayer for safety and protection

May the three enfold you
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Hold you safe and hold you strong

May the three encompass you
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Encircle your life each day and night

May the three protect you
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Guard your door and keep each gate

May the three watch over you
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Still your heart and calm all fear

Verse of the Day WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019

Psalm 19:1-2 (NIV) The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

Read all of Psalm 19

Listen to Psalm 19

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Que nuestro «sí» sea «SÍ»

Sobre todo, hermanos míos [...] que su «sí» sea «sí», y su «no», «no», para que no sean condenados.
~ Santiago 5:12 (NVI)

Dios nos enseña que debemos ser hombres y mujeres de una sola palabra, que nuestro sí sea sí y nuestro no sea no. En lo personal, esto me costó mucho trabajo y muchas situaciones incómodas. En más de una ocasión me puse roja y tuve que aprender a decir «no».

El asunto no es que fuera una mujer que careciera de palabra, sino que me apenaba decir «no» cuando no debía comprometerme en realidad. En especial, siempre decía «sí» en todas las cosas de trabajo. Imagínate, ¿qué iban a pensar de mí? Entonces, después estaba cargada y estresada. Hasta que un día Dios me mostró que eso no era sano, que debía tener el carácter y aprender a decir «no» cuando fuera necesario.

Hoy te motivo a que aprendas que cuando digas «sí» a algo sea porque en verdad tienes la seguridad de que viste la luz verde de Papito Dios y que aceptas lo que es debido. Esto se ajusta al trabajo, la vida personal, las relaciones con los demás, la iglesia y hasta en la relación con Dios.

¿Cuántas veces le decimos al Señor: «Sí, Dios mío, esta vez sí voy a cambiar, o voy a empezar algo, y no lo hacemos? No tenemos palabra y eso desagrada a Dios, así que no es sano para nuestra vida. Cuando mantenemos la palabra, también damos testimonio de quiénes somos en Cristo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Dios nos enseña que debemos ser hombres y mujeres de una sola palabra, que nuestro sí sea sí y nuestro no sea no. En lo personal, esto me costó mucho trabajo y muchas situaciones incómodas. En más de una ocasión me puse roja y tuve que aprender a decir «no».

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Pastor Ha’s church in Vietnam grew from twenty-nine to over 5,000 in just a few years during the communist regime in the late 1970’s. When asked the secret of this phenomenal church growth, Pastor Ha replied, “I have a very simple theology. When you have problems, pray! When you have more problems, pray more!” Every morning this church had a well-attended prayer meeting at six a.m. And the church grew and grew. Although they were constantly living under pressure, there was one scripture text chosen for the wall of their sanctuary, “In everything give thanks.”

And yet after his years of imprisonment, Pastor Ha said, “When I had my freedom, I worked with prayer sometimes in the background. In prison, I discovered that prayer is everything. It’s like a pilot using a checklist before he takes off. If he skips the first item, many lives might be in danger. The first item on our checklist should always be prayer. If we skip it, the whole mission is in jeopardy.”

Vietnamese Pastor Cuong also spent over six years in prison. He says this about prayer:

In my work I was so busy I had no time to pray. But in prison, I was thankful to God that He gave me time for prayer. I had about six hours of prayer every day. I had time to recall every member of my congregation to pray for them. Before that, although I served the church, I didn't have enough time to pray for them. I learned about the real presence of God in prayer there. When you kneel down and pray wholeheartedly with the Lord, you feel His answer right there.

All of the world's major religions emphasize prayer. The Buddhists repeat their prayers fervently, although they do not believe anyone is listening. The Hindus pray regularly, believing one of their many Hindu gods may be listening, but they do not really expect any response to their prayers. The Muslims pray five times a day. They believe that Allah is listening, but he will not alter his plans to meet their needs.

Devout Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims consider Christianity a prayerless faith, because they rarely see Christians praying. Yet we believe—and know—we have a God who not only hears our prayers, but also will answer them in mighty power!

RESPONSE: Today I recommit to spending time in communication—prayer—with my Lord.

PRAYER: Pray that all Christians in prison will experience God’s presence in a special way today.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Devout Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims consider Christianity a prayerless faith, because they rarely see Christians praying.

Girlfriends in God - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Is Your Past Still Tripping You Up?

Today’s Truth

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

Friend to Friend

It spoke to me as I strolled down the check out aisle of Marshalls that day. The wall art that was featured on an impulse-buy rack.

Amen! I thought.

The message? Simple: “Don't Stumble On Things That Are Behind You.”

My mind reeled, and I thought hard about this seemingly simple directive that points to a habit that trips so many of us up: looking back. Allowing the past to deter and diminish our present and our future.

The Apostle Paul had a difficult past to contend with. His early years were spent learning laws and tormenting Chris followers. Then he met Jesus and everything changed for him. He chose to move forward as the new man he’d become.

Instead of wallowing in the muck of condemnation, he stepped into the grace of Christ with determination. With a fresh mission. He wrote a heart-felt message similar to the wall art in his New Testament letter to the believers in the church of Philippi. That familiar, challenging passage…

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:10-14, NIV)

Many of us know this section of scripture, but it’s important for us to realize that the conversation doesn’t end there. What Paul says next is a game-changing statement:

Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (Philippians 3:15-16, ESV)

I want to be mature. I want to think this way. Don’t you?

I want to hold true to what I’ve attained in Christ.

It’s the way of life!

I read this and I begin to realize that what Paul is really saying is something to this effect: Let it go, people! Move on. Greater things await you. Don’t look back. It's no good for you. You won’t gain any traction on the plans that God has for you. If you choose to look back then you need to grow up because that is not where your promise lies. If you are mature in your faith you will believe the gospel. When you are forgiven … You. Are. Forgiven. Believe it. What Jesus did for you and me covers anything that we lay at His feet. Fully.

I’m reminded that it's time to move forward. That it’s time to fix my eyes on what is ahead, not on what is behind. That God’s mercies are new every day.

Clearly this press-on message is not about sweeping un-confessed sins under a rug and pretending they don’t exist. When we stumble - when we sin - we can’t just forget it and move on. We are to confess it to the Lord, and ask Him for forgiveness.

Grace meets us in the asking and settles it with God. Because of this we can move forward in His grace. Even when life is complicated and messy.

And it’s not about locking deep heart wounds in a secret compartment of your heart. The Bible invites us to take our aching, angry, abused, or offended hearts to Jesus so that He can give us the rest we long for. Healing for our heart wounds.

The reward of faith is freedom in Christ.

The past has no hold on you.

Grace fixes the gaze of the believer forward.

So the next time I’m tempted to look back at a failure or an old heart wound, I will remember the wall art wisdom from Marshalls and choose not to beat myself up, not to re-hash that painful conversation, not to blame that person … not to stumble on things that are behind me.

Instead I will reach for grace. I will reach for Jesus and call to Him for help.

And in the reaching I begin to take my place among the mature-in-faith.

Let’s Pray

Holy Lord, Thank You for grace. Please help me move beyond the hurdles that trip me up and give me the strength and wisdom to look up and see the hope I run toward in Christ.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Struggling with this? Let me ask you a few direct questions {in love}. Do you really think that living in the past and letting it loom large in your now is helping you? Is it empowering you to grow in strength, dignity and joy? Is it fueling you toward the prize that awaits you in Christ? No? Then be done with it in Jesus’ name. Spend a few moments in prayer and write about this in your journal.

CLICK to TWEET: The reward of your faith is freedom in Christ. The past has no hold on you. @GwenSmithMusic @TweetWithGiG

More from the Girlfriends

SPECIAL OFFER: If you’re ready to move forward in faith today, Gwen is offering a 20% OFF discount on her latest book, I Want It ALL (that has a Bible Study guide right in the back!). Get the book discounted from her site when you use the coupon code: 20OFF. Click here to get yours now.

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PS. Have you listened to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast yet? Hang out with Gwen and friends as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, fold laundry, run errands or travel.

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Girlfriends in God
It spoke to me as I strolled down the check out aisle of Marshalls that day. The wall art that was featured on an impulse-buy rack.

LHM Daily Devotions - Heads Up!

"Heads Up!"

Jun. 12, 2019

(Peter said) "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised Him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it."
~ Acts 2:22-24 (ESV)

When Peter spoke these words, the Christian "church" was still in its infancy. His words came right after the onrush of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost when, like a mighty wind, the Spirit filled the room of the house where the disciples were, and each "began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4b).

What an experience this must have been! The onlookers were both mystified and skeptical. This multi-national assembly gathered in Jerusalem "from every nation under heaven" (Acts 2:5b) was hearing the disciples speak each in their "native language" about "the mighty works of God" (see Acts 2:7-8, 11). "And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?' But others mocking said, 'They are filled with new wine'" (Acts 2:12-13).

And then Peter takes the stage, front and center. It's a little funny that the first thing he has to do is dispel the idle notion that the disciples are already half-crocked at nine o'clock in the morning. He does this, and then he gets down to business, showing immediately how the prophet Joel's words were being fulfilled right there in their hearing: "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy'" (Acts 2:17a).

And prophesy they did—nation after nation hearing of God's work through the ages. These messages must have been astounding to foreigners unfamiliar with the God of Israel. How mighty were His deeds! How stern His arm of judgment against evildoers, yet how loving His patient forbearance toward His own children! And what is this of a King yet to come, a promised Messiah who will save His people from their sins!?

At this Peter takes his cue. This long-awaited Messiah is Jesus, attested by God through "mighty works and wonders and signs," Jesus—delivered up and crucified according to God's plan, Jesus—resurrected by God's power as He destroyed "the pangs of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it."

This was the message Peter knew to be true. He had been a witness with Jesus from the beginning. He had been there when multitudes were fed and people were miraculously healed. He had witnessed the signs and wonders of the Savior, and he had agonized over Jesus' death and his own terrified denial of knowing his beloved Friend and Confidant. But Peter was no longer the reluctant witness. He had taken to heart his Master's personal directive to feed His sheep (see John 21:15-17).

And now Peter was ready; it is time to speak.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, like Peter, empower us to speak of You to others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • What might your first-hand reaction be to the events of Pentecost?
  • What "mighty works and wonders and signs" does God do today?
  • When are you most compelled to share the Good News of Jesus with someone else?

This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
What might your first-hand reaction be to the events of Pentecost?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 12 de Junio de 2019 - ¡Advertencia!



12 de Junio de 2019

Varones israelitas, escuchen mis palabras: Jesús nazareno, que fue el varón que Dios aprobó entre ustedes por las maravillas, prodigios y señales que hizo por medio de él, como ustedes mismos lo saben, fue entregado conforme al plan determinado y el conocimiento anticipado de Dios, y ustedes lo aprehendieron y lo mataron por medio de hombres inicuos, crucificándolo. Pero Dios lo levantó, liberándolo de los lazos de la muerte, porque era imposible que la muerte lo venciera.

Cuando Pedro dijo estas palabras, la "iglesia" cristiana estaba en su primera infancia. Sus palabras llegaron justo después de la avalancha del Espíritu Santo en Pentecostés cuando, como un fuerte viento, llenó la habitación de la casa donde estaban los discípulos y "comenzaron a hablar en otras lenguas, según el Espíritu los llevaba a expresarse" (Hechos 2:4b).

¡Qué experiencia debe haber sido! Los espectadores estaban atónitos y maravillados. Esa asamblea multinacional reunida en Jerusalén "que venían de todas las naciones conocidas" (Hechos 2:5b) escuchaba a los discípulos hablar a cada uno en su "lengua materna" sobre "las maravillas de Dios" (ver Hechos 2:7-8, 11). "Todos ellos estaban atónitos y perplejos, y se decían unos a otros: '¿Y esto qué significa?' Pero otros se burlaban, y decían: '¡Están borrachos!'" (Hechos 2:12-13).

Entonces Pedro se pone de pie y da su primer discurso. Es gracioso que lo primero que tiene que hacer es disipar la noción de que los discípulos están borrachos pues apenas eran las nueve de la mañana. Pero luego de hacerlo pone manos a la obra, mostrando de inmediato cómo se estaban cumpliendo allí las palabras del profeta Joel: "En los últimos días derramaré de mi Espíritu sobre toda la humanidad. Los hijos y las hijas de ustedes profetizarán; sus jóvenes tendrán visiones" (Hechos 2:17a).

Y sí que profetizaron: nación tras nación escuchó la obra de Dios a través de los siglos. Estos mensajes deben haber sido sorprendentes para los extranjeros que no están familiarizados con el Dios de Israel. ¡Cuán poderosas fueron sus obras! ¡Qué severo su juicio contra los malvados, pero también cuán amorosa su paciencia para con sus hijos! ¿Y cómo es eso de un Rey aún por venir, un Mesías prometido que salvará a su pueblo de sus pecados?

Ese tan esperado Mesías es Jesús, atestiguado por Dios a través de,"obras poderosas, maravillas y señales" Jesús, entregado y crucificado de acuerdo al plan de Dios y resucitado por el poder de Dios, destruyó "los lazos de la muerte, porque era imposible que la muerte lo venciera".

Ese era el mensaje que Pedro sabía que era verdad. Él había estado con Jesús desde el principio: había estado allí cuando las multitudes fueron alimentadas y muchas personas fueron sanadas milagrosamente. Había presenciado las señales y maravillas del Salvador y había agonizado por la muerte de Jesús y su propia negación aterrorizada de conocer a su amado amigo y confidente. Pero Pedro ya no era el testigo renuente. Había tomado en serio las directivas personales de su Maestro para alimentar a sus ovejas (ver Juan 21:15-17).

Pedro estaba listo; ya era hora de hablar.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, permite que podamos hablar de ti a los demás como lo hizo Pedro. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Cuál sería tu reacción ante los eventos de Pentecostés?
  • ¿Qué "obras poderosas, maravillas y señales" hace Dios hoy?

Paul Schreiber. © Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Cuál sería tu reacción ante los eventos de Pentecostés?

Ministérios Pão Diário - Nada é inútil

Nada é inútil

…sempre abundantes na obra do Senhor, sabendo que, no Senhor, o vosso trabalho não é vão. v.58

Em meu terceiro ano lutando contra o desânimo e a depressão causada pela limitação dos movimentos e dor crônica, confiei a uma amiga: “Meu corpo está caindo aos pedaços, e sinto que não tenho nada de valor para oferecer a Deus ou a qualquer outra pessoa.”

As mãos dela descansaram sobre as minhas. “Você quer dizer que não faz diferença quando eu a cumprimento com um sorriso ou a ouço? Quer dizer que é inútil quando oro por você ou ofereço uma palavra amável?” Sentei-me em minha poltrona, e disse: “Claro que não.”

Ela franziu o cenho. “Então por que você está dizendo a si mesmo aquelas mentiras? Você faz todas essas coisas para mim e para os outros.” Agradeci a Deus porque nada do que fazemos por Ele é inútil.

Em 1 Coríntios 15, Paulo nos assegura de que o nosso corpo pode estar fraco agora, mas seremos “ressuscitados em poder” (v.43). Porque Deus promete que seremos ressuscitados por meio de Cristo, podemos confiar que Ele usará todas as oferendas, todos os pequenos esforços feitos por Ele, para fazer a diferença em Seu reino (v.58).

Se estivermos fisicamente debilitados, um sorriso, uma palavra de encorajamento, uma oração ou demonstração de fé durante a nossa provação pode ser usado para ministrar ao Corpo de Cristo, diverso e interdependente. Quando servimos ao Senhor, nenhum ato de amor é demasiado servil.

Faça o que puder com o que tiver 
e deixe os resultados com Deus.

© 2019 Ministérios Pão Diário
Em meu terceiro ano lutando contra o desânimo e a depressão causada pela limitação dos movimentos e dor crônica, confiei a uma amiga: “Meu corpo está caindo aos pedaços, e sinto que não tenho nada de valor para oferecer a Deus ou a qualquer outra pessoa.”