Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

Psalm 119:17-32
17 Deal bountifully with your servant,
     so that I may live and observe your word.
18 Open my eyes, so that I may behold
     wondrous things out of your law.
19 I live as an alien in the land;
     do not hide your commandments from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
     for your ordinances at all times.
21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
     who wander from your commandments;
22 take away from me their scorn and contempt,
     for I have kept your decrees.
23 Even though princes sit plotting against me,
     your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Your decrees are my delight,
     they are my counselors.

25 My soul clings to the dust;
     revive me according to your word.
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
     teach me your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
     and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
     strengthen me according to your word.
29 Put false ways far from me;
     and graciously teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
     I set your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to your decrees, O Lord;
     let me not be put to shame.
32 I run the way of your commandments,
     for you enlarge my understanding.

Amos 9:5-15
9:5 The Lord, God of hosts,
   he who touches the earth and it melts,
     and all who live in it mourn,
   and all of it rises like the Nile,
     and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
6  who builds his upper chambers in the heavens,
     and founds his vault upon the earth;
   who calls for the waters of the sea,
     and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
   the Lord is his name.

7  Are you not like the Ethiopians to me,
     O people of Israel? says the Lord.
   Did I not bring Israel up from the land of Egypt,
     and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?
8  The eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom,
     and I will destroy it from the face of the earth
     —except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,
   says the Lord.

9  For lo, I will command,
     and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
   as one shakes with a sieve,
     but no pebble shall fall to the ground.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
     who say, “Evil shall not overtake or meet us.”

The Restoration of David’s Kingdom
11 On that day I will raise up
     the booth of David that is fallen,
   and repair its breaches,
     and raise up its ruins,
     and rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 in order that they may possess the remnant of Edom
     and all the nations who are called by my name,
     says the Lord who does this.

13 The time is surely coming, says the Lord,
     when the one who plows shall overtake the one who reaps,
     and the treader of grapes the one who sows the seed;
   the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
     and all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
     and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
   they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
     and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant them upon their land,
     and they shall never again be plucked up
     out of the land that I have given them,
   says the Lord your God.

John 6:41-51
6:41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

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.
Jesus said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”

The Morning Prayer for WEDNESDAY, July 24, 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.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019

Psalm 112:5 (NIV) Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.

Read all of Psalm 112

Listen to Psalm 112

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, July 24, 2019

La mentira

Aparta de mí el camino de la mentira, y en tu misericordia concédeme tu ley.

El tema de la mentira tiene mucha tela por donde cortar. Todos hemos mentido y seguiremos mintiendo. El que niegue esto ya está mintiendo.

La mentira puede tomar tanta fuerza en una persona que se considera una enfermedad. Se le llama «mitomanía», que es la forma incontrolada de mentir, donde el mitómano hace de la mentira su modus vivendi. Las personas mienten sin medir los alcances de la mentira. En realidad, es terrible.

El Manual de Instrucciones reprende con fuerza la mentira y dice que Dios la aborrece. Eso lo encontramos en Proverbios 12:22 «El Señor aborrece a los de labios mentirosos, pero se complace en los que actúan con lealtad». También la Biblia dice que el padre de mentiras es Satanás y tú debes saber que es precisamente el diablo el que nos induce a la mentira.

Tú y yo, como hijos de Dios, debemos evitar la mentira. Además, recuerda que para Dios todas las mentiras son iguales, incluso las que llamamos blancas, porque mentir es un pecado ante sus ojos. ¡Vaya! ¡Qué tremendo! Esto es algo a lo que estamos expuestos todos los días de la vida. Por ejemplo, nos llama alguien y mandamos a decir que no estamos en casa.

Establezcamos hoy la conciencia de que mentir nos aleja de la comunión con Dios.

Recordemos también que si somos mentirosos, eso es lo que estamos sembrando y, por supuesto, lo cosecharemos también.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
El tema de la mentira tiene mucha tela por donde cortar. Todos hemos mentido y seguiremos mintiendo. El que niegue esto ya está mintiendo.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Wednesday, July 24, 2019

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness…
~ Malachi 3:3 (NIV)

It sounds easy to say we will always forgive others but what happens in your heart when your own son is brutally murdered. How can God make good come from that terrible event?

For answers, we go (in two parts) to the southern Philippines where a decade ago Severino (Junie) Bagtasos, a young pastor, was sitting in the front row of his church in Alat listening to his sister conclude her Sunday message about heaven. Suddenly a man barged into the chapel. Two loud bangs were heard. Before anyone could make sense of what happened, Severino lay lifeless in a pool of blood. The killer made his escape as the distraught church members gathered around their pastor, killed instantly by gunshots to his chest and cheek.

His mother, Purificacion, says, “I miss my son. Junie was the most caring of all my children. He would always offer help when I was cooking. He would often ask me and his father advice whenever he was beset with difficulties in the ministry because his church members were older than him. I was blessed by Junie’s sincerity and faithfulness in the ministry. Nothing could hinder him from going to his Bible studies. Heavy downpours and floods could not keep him from bringing the Word of God to those who needed to hear it. Death threats did not stop him.”

There is not even a hint of bitterness as Purificacion speaks of that painful time. “During one of the services held at the wake of my son, my husband told the congregation, ‘We forgive the person who killed our son. If that person is here, I want you to know that we forgive you. If he is not here, and if anyone of you knows him, please tell him that we forgive him. The God we serve is the God of love and we want to show that love to you.’”

But there were those who didn’t share these convictions. She adds, “Some of my husband’s relatives who were also Muslims got angry at him for saying this. They were eager to avenge Junie’s death. It’s part of their culture. But my husband restrained them and told them that our God is a God who also forgives. We chose to forgive our son’s murderer.”

Purificacion shares what she thinks now was one of God’s reasons for her losing Junie. “After my son’s death, many Christians whose faith had grown cold were ushered back to the Lord.” Now after a decade has passed, she continues to see God’s hand in it all. She adds, “I believe Junie’s death was part of God’s plan. It was His way of opening the doors that have long been shut. You see, before the death of my son, Chinese-Tausug believers were scattered all over Jolo [their island in southern Philippines]. Many of them stopped attending the worship services.

When my son began the work in Alat [a predominantly Muslim town], little by little these believers started to gather again. Junie, their pastor, loved them dearly and was truly passionate for the ministry. One by one they started coming to church again. Before long, these believers were on fire once more and got involved in the work of God.” God’s refining at work!

RESPONSE: Today I will live in the awareness of God’s refining plan for His Kingdom’s expansion.

PRAYER: Lord, purify Your Church and help me to accept whatever consequences this will have.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
It sounds easy to say we will always forgive others but what happens in your heart when your own son is brutally murdered.

LHM Daily Devotions - July 24, 2019 "Thanks, Epaphras!"

"Thanks, Epaphras!"

Jul. 24, 2019

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

I wonder if the church at Colossae had heard Paul's teaching about how "a little leaven leavens the whole lump"?

How often the apostle must have spoken these words to those gathered as believers in the various places he visited on his missionary journeys. In a world then like ours, awash in all sorts of theories and speculations, self-taught "experts" and smooth talkers, his admonition that "a little leaven leavens the whole lump" (see Galatians 5) was sage advice. In fact, this saying might well have become one of the apostle's go-to proverbs when addressing churches.

Not surprisingly then, the Colossian church needed to hear it, too.

Paul opens his Colossian letter, applauding the faith and love of this church in Asia Minor. "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven" (Colossians 1:3-4). Paul's rave review isn't simply for the church; it's also meant for Epaphras, its founder, whom Paul singles out as a "beloved fellow servant" who taught them the faith (see Colossians 1:7).

And 20 centuries later, from our vantage point, we can chime in, too: kudos to Epaphras' solid teaching, as the church at Colossae had no shortage of religious and worldly speculation heaped against it! Paul knew all too well the "leaven" faced by the Colossian church: bankrupt human philosophies and empty deceits; nagging Jewish-based questions about food and drink, law-based ceremonies, and Sabbath issues. There was also an insistence on asceticism or rigorous self-denial being leveled at the Colossian church, along with fantastic details about visions and angel worship.

It was enough to question if whether faith in Jesus alone was all that was needed for salvation. Not surprisingly, it's the same question many ask today.

That's why Paul is big on the essentials. As he told the church at Corinth, "And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Or as Paul longed for those at Colossae to remember: "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:6-7).

Thanks, Epaphras, for giving the Colossians the essential Gospel truth!

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, in all our study and learning, keep our eyes set on Your Son, the One who leads us in the way everlasting. In His Name we pray. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Have you ever abstained from something out of respect for someone else's sensibilities?
  • Looks like the Colossians had their hands full with disturbing outside influences. Are there man-made requirements or obligations that unsettle the church today? Can you elaborate?
  • When has a "little leaven" in your life led to a change in direction or focus?

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).
Have you ever abstained from something out of respect for someone else's sensibilities?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 24 de Julio de 2019 - ¡Gracias Epafras!


¡Gracias Epafras!

24 de Julio de 2019

No permitan, pues, que nadie los juzgue por lo que comen o beben, o en relación con los días de fiesta, la luna nueva o los días de reposo. Todo esto no es más que una sombra de lo que está por venir; pero lo real y verdadero es Cristo. No permitan que los condenen esos que se ufanan de humildad pero rinden culto a los ángeles. Los tales se meten en cosas que no han visto y están envanecidos por su razonamiento humano; no están unidos a la Cabeza, que es quien nutre y une a todo el cuerpo mediante las coyunturas y ligamentos, y lo hace crecer con el crecimiento que da Dios.

Me pregunto si la iglesia en Colosas había escuchado las enseñanzas de Pablo acerca de cómo "un poco de levadura fermenta toda la masa" (Gálatas 5:9).

Con qué frecuencia el apóstol debe haber hablado estas palabras a aquellos que se reunieron como creyentes en los diversos lugares que visitó en sus viajes misioneros. En un mundo como el nuestro, inundado de todo tipo de teorías y especulaciones, "expertos" autodidactas y personas persuasivas, su advertencia de que "un poco de levadura fermenta toda la masa" es un sabio consejo. De hecho, este dicho podría haberse convertido en uno de los proverbios de los apóstoles al dirigirse a las iglesias. No es de extrañar, entonces, que la iglesia de Colosas también necesitara escucharlo.

Pablo abre su carta a los colosenses, aplaudiendo la fe y el amor de esta iglesia en Asia Menor. "Siempre que oramos por ustedes, damos gracias a Dios, el Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, pues hemos recibido noticias de la fe de ustedes en Cristo Jesús, y del amor que tienen por todos los santos" (Colosenses 1:3-4). Los aplausos de Pablo no son solo para la iglesia; también están destinados a Epafras, su fundador, a quien Pablo señala como un "consiervo amado" que les enseñó la fe (ver Colosenses 1:7).

Y 20 siglos después nosotros también podemos decir: ¡felicitaciones a la sólida enseñanza de Epafras, ya que la iglesia en Colosas no careció de especulaciones religiosas y mundanas en su contra! Pablo conocía muy bien la "levadura" que enfrentaba la iglesia de Colosas: filosofías humanas quebrantadas, engaños vacíos y preguntas molestas de los judíos por lo que comían o bebían o en relación a los días de fiesta, la luna nueva o los días de reposo. También había una insistencia en el ascetismo y la autonegación, junto con detalles fantásticos sobre las visiones y la adoración de los ángeles.

Había más que suficiente para cuestionar si solo la fe en Jesús era todo lo que se necesitaba para la salvación. No en vano, es la misma pregunta que muchos hacen hoy.

Es por ello que Pablo se concentra en lo esencial. Como le dijo a la iglesia en Corinto: "Más bien, al estar entre ustedes me propuse no saber de ninguna otra cosa, sino de Jesucristo, y de éste crucificado" (1 Corintios 2:2).

O como Pablo anhelaba que los de Colosas recordaran: "Por tanto, vivan en el Señor Jesucristo de la manera que lo recibieron: arraigados y sobreedificados en él, confirmados en la fe y rebosantes de acciones de gracias, que es como fueron enseñados" (Colosenses 2:6-7). ¡Gracias, Epafras, por darles a los colosenses la verdad esencial del Evangelio!

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, en todo nuestro estudio y aprendizaje mantén nuestros ojos fijos en tu Hijo, quien nos guía en el camino eterno. En su Nombre oramos. Amén.

Paul Schreiber

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Alguna vez has sufrido las consecuencias de la fermentación de "un poco de levadura" en tu vida personal o laboral?
  • ¿Qué influencias externas perturban hoy a los cristianos y a la iglesia?

© 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 sufrido las consecuencias de la fermentación de "un poco de levadura" en tu vida personal o laboral?

Ministérios Pão Diário - Construindo a comunidade

Construindo a comunidade

…os gentios são coerdeiros, membros do mesmo corpo e coparticipantes da promessa em Cristo Jesus… 3:6

Henri Nouwen, teólogo, diz que “comunidade” é o lugar onde a pessoa com quem você menos quer estar, vive. Muitas vezes nos cercamos com as pessoas com quem mais queremos conviver, e formamos um clube ou turma, não uma comunidade. Qualquer um pode formar um clube; mas é preciso ação, visão comum e trabalho árduo para formar uma comunidade.

A Igreja Cristã foi a primeira instituição na história a reunir em pé de igualdade judeus e gentios, homens e mulheres, escravos e livres. O apóstolo Paulo foi eloquente sobre este “mistério, desde os séculos, oculto em Deus”. Ao formar uma comunidade de diversos membros, Paulo disse que temos a oportunidade de captar a atenção do mundo e até do mundo sobrenatural (vv.9,10).

Em alguns aspectos, a igreja infelizmente falhou nesta tarefa. Ainda assim, ela é o único lugar que vou que reúne gerações: crianças ainda nos braços de suas mães, outras que se contorcem e riem nas horas que não devem, adultos responsáveis que sabem agir adequadamente em todos os momentos e os que dormem se a explanação do pastor for muito longa.

Se quisermos a experiência comunitária que Deus nos oferece, temos razão em procurar uma congregação de pessoas que não sejam “como nós”.

O homem que vive numa pequena comunidade 
vive num mundo muito maior.
G. K. Chesterton

© 2019 Ministérios Pão Diário
Henri Nouwen, teólogo, diz que “comunidade” é o lugar onde a pessoa com quem você menos quer estar, vive.