Monday, July 15, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, July 15, 2019

Warning against Partiality
James 2:1-7

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, July 15, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

Psalm 7
Plea for Help against Persecutors
A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjaminite.
1  O Lord my God, in you I take refuge;
     save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me,
2  or like a lion they will tear me apart;
     they will drag me away, with no one to rescue.

3  O Lord my God, if I have done this,
     if there is wrong in my hands,
4  if I have repaid my ally with harm
     or plundered my foe without cause,
5  then let the enemy pursue and overtake me,
     trample my life to the ground,
     and lay my soul in the dust.   Selah

6  Rise up, O Lord, in your anger;
     lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
     awake, O my God; you have appointed a judgment.
7  Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered around you,
     and over it take your seat on high.
8  The Lord judges the peoples;
     judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
     and according to the integrity that is in me.

9  O let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
     but establish the righteous,
   you who test the minds and hearts,
     O righteous God.
10 God is my shield,
     who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
     and a God who has indignation every day.

12 If one does not repent, God will whet his sword;
     he has bent and strung his bow;
13 he has prepared his deadly weapons,
     making his arrows fiery shafts.
14 See how they conceive evil,
     and are pregnant with mischief,
     and bring forth lies.
15 They make a pit, digging it out,
     and fall into the hole that they have made.
16 Their mischief returns upon their own heads,
     and on their own heads their violence descends.

17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
     and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Amos 3:9—4:5
3:9 Proclaim to the strongholds in Ashdod,
     and to the strongholds in the land of Egypt,
   and say, “Assemble yourselves on Mount Samaria,
     and see what great tumults are within it,
    and what oppressions are in its midst.”
10 They do not know how to do right, says the Lord,
     those who store up violence and robbery in their strongholds.
11 Therefore thus says the Lord God:
   An adversary shall surround the land,
     and strip you of your defense;
     and your strongholds shall be plundered.

12 Thus says the Lord: As the shepherd rescues from the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the people of Israel who live in Samaria be rescued, with the corner of a couch and part of a bed.

13 Hear, and testify against the house of Jacob,
     says the Lord God, the God of hosts:
14 On the day I punish Israel for its transgressions,
     I will punish the altars of Bethel,
   and the horns of the altar shall be cut off
     and fall to the ground.
15 I will tear down the winter house as well as the summer house;
     and the houses of ivory shall perish,
   and the great houses shall come to an end,
   says the Lord.

4:1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan
     who are on Mount Samaria,
   who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
     who say to their husbands, “Bring something to drink!”
2  The Lord God has sworn by his holiness:
     The time is surely coming upon you,
   when they shall take you away with hooks,
    even the last of you with fishhooks.
3  Through breaches in the wall you shall leave,
     each one straight ahead;
     and you shall be flung out into Harmon,
   says the Lord.
4  Come to Bethel—and transgress;
     to Gilgal—and multiply transgression;
   bring your sacrifices every morning,
     your tithes every three days;
5  bring a thank offering of leavened bread,
     and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them;
     for so you love to do, O people of Israel!
   says the Lord God.

James 2:1-7
Warning against Partiality
2:1 My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? 2 For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7 Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

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.
A Biblical Warning against Favoritism in the Church ...

The Morning Prayer for MONDAY, July 15, 2019

Monday Morning Prayer


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

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

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

Verse of the Day MONDAY, July 15, 2019

James 1:21 (NIV) Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Read all of James 1

Listen to James 1

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 - Monday, July 15, 2019

¿Qué pasa con el amor?

El amor debe ser sincero. Aborrezcan el mal; aférrense al bien.
~ Romanos 12:9 (NVI)

A veces hay que preguntarse qué pasa con el amor y si es una farsa. Es posible que digas: «Bueno, ¿y qué le pasó a Claudia? ¿Por qué habla así del amor?».

Mientras escribía este libro, me entero que una persona que decidió dar un cambio en su vida aceptando a Jesús y dándose ella misma una oportunidad, se casó por tercera vez y a los cuatro meses su pareja le pegó. ¿Te parece conocida esta historia? Claro que debe parecerte conocida. Es el pan nuestro de cada día. Lo digo con mucha tristeza, pues las parejas se casan muy enamoradas y, en cuanto se acaba la luna de miel, hay abusos.

La pregunta que me viene a la mente es esta: ¿Estamos teniendo a Dios en cuenta en nuestras decisiones, sobre todo en preguntarle si es la persona idónea? Me refiero en este caso a Mirka Dellanos, la periodista de Univisión que ha sufrido tantas desilusiones en el amor. Hace un tiempo, decide hacer un giro en su vida y tiene un encuentro personal con Jesús. Empieza a asistir a una iglesia y comienza a testificar de hacer la voluntad de Dios.

Poco después se casa de manera sorpresiva y al mes y medio el hombre estuvo en la cárcel por abuso doméstico y con restricción para no acerársele.

¿Dime si no parece una historia de novela? Sin embargo, no es así. Eso es lo que está pasando en los hogares cristianos. El enemigo no quiere parejas felices. Quiere robar el matrimonio, matar el amor y destruir la felicidad y la esperanza.

¿Con quién te vas a casar? Por favor, CONSÚLTALO con el Señor.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
A veces hay que preguntarse qué pasa con el amor y si es una farsa.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, July 15, 2019

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
~ Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

Meekness is not to be confused with weakness. In scripture, meekness means “power under control.” In this context, the contrite, praying person is blessed with the indwelling control of the Holy Spirit and the inheritance promised to the believer even in conflict.

History shows that it is the people who have learned this, people with their passions, instincts and impulses under disciplined control, who have been great. (see Numbers 12:3 and Proverbs 16:32) Thus:

Blessed are those whose every instinct, every impulse, and every passion is under the control of God’s Spirit! They will be right with God, self and others and enter the life which God alone can give.

Pray for this meekness when entering into dialogue with those of opposing positions. There will be times when patience and self-control will be sorely tested. There may also be times when the Spirit will suggest a change of direction in the dialogue or a strategic retreat that looks suspiciously like defeat. To be meek is to be able to willingly accept temporary defeat in order that there may later be victory in the Spirit.

A co-worker in China was struggling with the attitudes of a house church group who forbade hand-clapping during the singing of hymns. One leader complained bitterly. Every evening in the brothers’ sleeping quarters, he would complain further. The group would then debate endlessly on whether or not clapping hands during singing was permissible. It was like the black smoke pouring out from the weeds.

This continued until the afternoon of the last day, when God used His Word, and the Holy Spirit did an amazing work. This brother stood up and admitted his wrongdoing. He asked God to forgive his ignorance, stubbornness and defensiveness. With his confession, Christ’s love tore down an invisible wall. It was as if the Lord “broke down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” The response of the workers as they prayed together was, “The glorious King has come.” Thank and praise the Lord. He was completely victorious.

RESPONSE: Today I will quit calling the shots and surrender complete control to God.

PRAYER: Lord, today I completely surrender to the control of Your Spirit in my life. Help me to be meek.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Blessed are those whose every instinct, every impulse, and every passion is under the control of God’s Spirit! They will be right with God, self and others and enter the life which God alone can give.

Women of the Bible - Monday, July 15, 2019

The Shunammite Woman

Her character: Generous and hospitable, she was a wealthy and capable woman who showed great kindness to one of God's prophets.
Her sorrow: To lose the son that had been promised her.
Her joy: To experience just how deep God's faithfulness goes.
Key Scriptures: 2 Kings 4:8-37; 8:1-6

Her Story

Just a few miles north of Jezreel, where Jezebel's story had drawn to its grim conclusion, lived a wealthy Israelite woman whose sharp eye kept track of travelers from Nazareth to Jerusalem. One of the more colorful characters who frequented the road outside her house was Elisha, the prophet who succeeded Elijah.

One day the Shunammite woman invited Elisha to linger for a meal. Afterward, she said to her husband, "Let's make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us."

Moved by her kindness, Elisha inquired, through his servant, Gehazi, whether he could use his influence with Israel's king on her behalf. But the woman wasn't looking for favors at court, so Elisha pressed his servant, saying, "What, then, can be done for her?"

Gehazi merely pointed out the obvious: the woman and her aging husband were childless, without an heir to carry on the family name. So Elisha summoned the woman and made an incredible promise: "About this time next year you will hold a son in your arms."

"No, my lord," she objected. "Don't mislead your servant, O man of God!"

Yet, a year later, just as Elisha had foretold, the woman held a squalling infant in her arms, laughing as she told others the story of God's surprising gift. Unlike so many of her female forebears—Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Tamar, Hannah—the Shunammite woman seemed content without children. Elisha's promise, however, was an arrow homing straight to its target, fulfilling the unspoken desire of her heart.

One morning, a few years later, a servant entered the house with the little boy in his arms, explaining that the child had complained of a headache while visiting his father in the fields. Perhaps he had lingered too long in the sun.

The boy's face was flushed, his forehead hot as his mother caressed it, hushing him with soothing sounds and songs. But despite murmured words of reassurance, she felt her own fear spreading. The tighter she held him, the more his spirit seemed to retreat. His breathing was labored, his eyes listless. At about noon he died.

Without a word, she carried his small body to the prophet's room, laying it tenderly on Elisha's bed. Closing the door, she summoned a servant and left immediately for Mount Carmel, where she hoped to find Elisha.

Spotting her in the distance, the prophet wondered aloud what could prompt her to make the twenty-five-mile journey north. "Run to meet her," he urged Gehazi, "and ask, 'Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?'"

But the woman merely brushed Gehazi aside with polite words and rushed straight to Elisha, exclaiming: "Did I ask you for a son, my lord? Didn't I tell you, 'Don't raise my hopes'?"

Immediately the prophet instructed Gehazi: "Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand, and run. If you meet anyone, do not greet him, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy's face."

The woman, however, wasn't about to settle for a stand-in. So the prophet hurried to Shunem just behind Gehazi, who had gone on ahead to carry out his master's orders. When Elisha arrived, he found the boy lying quiet and cold on his couch. Elisha closed the door behind him. Praying, he stretched his body across the boy's so that hands, mouth, and eyes touched. As he lay there, he could feel the chilled body warming beneath him. He got up and paced the room for a while. At last he stretched himself across the lifeless body again and prayed. The boy's chest lifted. Then he sneezed! Then sneezed again.

The Shunammite woman may, in fact, have heard the story of how Elijah had raised the son of the widow of Zarephath in similar circumstances. If so, that miracle would certainly have fueled her hope, giving her the courage to seek her own miracle rather than collapse under so great a weight of grief. Now, as she saw for herself the irrefutable sign of God's loving-kindness, she fell at Elisha's feet and bowed to the ground. God had been true to his word, fulfilling his promise to her and then preserving it in the face of impossible circumstances.

Her Promise

The Shunammite woman knew there was hope even in the most devastating of circumstances. She had been promised a son when she was barren, and now she tenaciously held on to that promise even though her little son lay dead on Elisha's couch. "It's all right," she said to her husband, knowing full well that their boy was gone. The God who had given her the promise wasn't gone. She knew he wouldn't forsake her.

"It's all right." Can you express that sentiment even when your world is crashing in on you? Perhaps not. Remember, however, that even in the most agonizing of circumstances, even when you feel abandoned, even when tragedy strikes—God is there. Trust his word and gain assurance from the Shunammite woman who, in the midst of appalling circumstances, could say, "It's all right."

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.
Generous and hospitable, she was a wealthy and capable woman who showed great kindness to one of God's prophets.

LHM Daily Devotions - Face-to-Face


Jul. 15, 2019

You have said, "Seek My face." My heart says to You, "Your face, LORD, do I seek." Hide not Your face from me. Turn not Your servant away in anger, O You who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
~ Psalm 27:8-9 (ESV)

God gives us a command and an invitation, "Seek My face." The psalmist replies that he does seek the LORD's face and pleads, "Hide not Your face from me." Not everyone felt the same. Long before, when the Lord called to Moses from the burning bush, "Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God" (Exodus 3:6b). That initial reaction would change, and we are told that God "used to speak to Moses face-to-face as a man speaks to his friend" (Exodus 33:11b). So up close and personal were these meetings that afterward Moses' face glowed with reflected glory. Even with such close communication, there came a day when Moses asked for more. He wanted to see God's glory. God mercifully refused the request, for no one could look on Him and live. Instead, God shielded Moses and allowed him just a passing glimpse of His glory.

Centuries later, when the time was right, the world was given much more than a brief glimpse of God's glory, safely veiled in human flesh. In the Person of Jesus Christ, the God who once spoke to Moses face- to-face walked on earth among the people He created and loved. Jesus came face-to-face with young and old, friends and followers, and those who rejected Him. The Son of God looked on the world with a face of compassion and, when His hour came, offered up His innocent life as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. As He hung helpless on the cross, His followers fled, and His enemies mocked Him to His face. His Heavenly Father turned His face from His Son as Jesus cried out, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46b)

The psalmist prays, "Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!" Our God is not a God of indifference to our plight but, rather, participation. He has shown us that plainly in Jesus. Our Savior, born as a Man, was abandoned to the suffering and death of the cross, and because God raised Him from the dead, we know that we will never be forsaken by God. Through Christ's atoning sacrifice, the Father's face is turned toward us in love and compassion.

As the Lord spoke to Moses to bless the people Israel, so still He speaks to us today: "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace" (Numbers 6:24-26).

THE PRAYER: Lord, lead us by the power of Your Spirit to seek You in Your holy Word until the day comes when, by Your grace, we will meet You face-to-face. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • If someone has sinned against you, would they feel comfortable seeking your forgiveness and understanding?
  • Have you ever felt yourself cast off in anger by the Lord? When and why?
  • When life hits a rough spot, do you earnestly seek God, or do you lean on your own resources to get you through?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
If someone has sinned against you, would they feel comfortable seeking your forgiveness and understanding?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 15 de Julio de 2019 - Cara a cara


Cara a cara

15 de Julio de 2019

Cuando dijiste: "Busquen Mi rostro," mi corazón te respondió: "Tu rostro, Señor, buscaré." No escondas Tu rostro de mí; no rechaces con ira a Tu siervo; Tú has sido mi ayuda. No me abandones ni me desampares, oh Dios de mi salvación.
~ Salmo 27:8-9 NBLH (RVC)

Dios nos da una orden y una invitación: "Busca mi rostro". El salmista responde que él busca el rostro del Señor y suplica: "No escondas de mí tu rostro". No todos sentimos lo mismo. Cuando el Señor llamó a Moisés desde la zarza ardiente, "Moisés escondió su rostro, porque temía mirar a Dios" (Éxodo 3:6b). Esa reacción inicial cambiaría, y se nos dice que Dios "acostumbraba hablar con Moisés cara a cara, como habla un hombre con su amigo" (Éxodo 33:11b NBLH). Tan cercanos y personales fueron esos encuentros, que luego el rostro de Moisés brillaba al reflejar la gloria de Dios. Pero, a pesar de tener una comunicación tan íntima, llegó un día en que Moisés pidió más: quería ver la gloria de Dios. Afortunadamente, Dios rechazó su solicitud, porque nadie podía verlo y vivir. A cambio, Dios le permitió tener apenas un vistazo de Su gloria.

Siglos más tarde, cuando era el momento adecuado, el mundo recibió mucho más que una breve visión de la gloria de Dios, esta vez seguramente resguardada en carne humana. En la persona de Jesucristo, el Dios que una vez habló cara a cara con Moisés caminó en la tierra entre las personas que Él creó y amó. Jesús se encontró cara a cara con jóvenes y viejos, amigos y seguidores y con quienes lo rechazaron. El Hijo de Dios miró al mundo con compasión y, cuando llegó su hora, ofreció su vida inocente como el sacrificio perfecto por los pecados del mundo. Mientras colgaba indefenso en la cruz, sus seguidores huyeron y sus enemigos se burlaron de él. Hasta su Padre celestial apartó su rostro de él. Jesús clamó: "Dios mío, Dios mío, ¿por qué me has abandonado?" (Mateo 27:46b).

El salmista reza: "No me deseches; ¡No me desampares, oh Dios de mi salvación!" Nuestro Dios no es indiferente a lo que nos sucede en la vida. Así nos lo ha mostrado en Jesús quien, luego de haber sido abandonado al sufrimiento y la muerte en la cruz, Dios lo levantó de la muerte para darnos perdón y vida eterna. A través del sacrificio expiatorio de Cristo, el rostro del Padre se vuelve hacia nosotros en amor y compasión.

Así como el Señor habló a Moisés para bendecir al pueblo de Israel, nos habla también a nosotros hoy: "El Señor te bendiga y te guarde; El Señor haga resplandecer Su rostro sobre ti, y tenga de ti misericordia; el Señor alce sobre ti Su rostro, y te dé paz" (Números 6: 24-26).

ORACIÓN: Señor, guíanos por el poder de tu Espíritu para que te busquemos en tu santa Palabra hasta que llegue el día en que, por tu gracia, nos encontremos contigo cara a cara. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
  • Si alguien te lastima u ofende, ¿se sentiría cómodo buscando tu perdón y comprensión?
  • Cuando la vida te golpea, ¿buscas a Dios, o te apoyas en tus propias fuerzas para salir adelante?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Si alguien te lastima u ofende, ¿se sentiría cómodo buscando tu perdón y comprensión?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Hors du piège

Hors du piège

[J’ai] appris à être content dans l’état où je me trouve. Philippiens 4.11

La dionée attrape-mouche a été découverte à l’origine dans un petit marécage sablonneux situé non loin de chez nous en Caroline du Nord. Cette plante carnivore est fascinante. Elle exhale un doux nectar attirant ses proies dans un piège multicolore simulant une fleur éclose. Quand un insecte s’y glisse, déclenchant ainsi les senseurs de son pourtour, le piège se referme sur lui en une fraction de seconde. Puis la dionée se contracte et sécrète des enzymes qui lui permettront de consommer sa proie au fil du temps, lui procurant ainsi les nutriments que ne lui fournit pas le sol sablonneux.

L’apôtre Paul prévient son protégé Timothée d’un piège tout aussi sournois : « Mais ceux qui veulent s’enrichir tombent dans la tentation, dans le piège, et dans beaucoup de désirs insensés et pernicieux qui plongent les hommes dans la ruine et la perdition. Car l’amour de l’argent est une racine de tous les maux ; et quelques-uns, en étant possédés, se sont égarés loin de la foi, et se sont jetés eux-mêmes dans bien des tourments » (1 TI 6.9,10).

Il se peut que l’argent et le matériel nous promettent le bonheur, mais si nous leur accordons la priorité, ils risquent de nous entraîner dans un piège. Pour l’éviter, nous devons vivre selon un cœur reconnaissant et humble qui nous incline vers la bonté que Dieu nous témoigne en Jésus : « C’est, en effet, une grande source de gain que la piété avec le contentement » (V. 6).

Les choses éphémères d’ici-bas ne satisfont jamais pleinement, car seule une relation avec Dieu le peut.

Dieu d’amour, aide-moi à puiser le contentement dans tout ce que tu es.

© 2019 Ministères NPQ
La dionée attrape-mouche a été découverte à l’origine dans un petit marécage sablonneux situé non loin de chez nous en Caroline du Nord. Cette plante carnivore est fascinante.