Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for WEDNESDAY, July 31, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
WEDNESDAY, July 31, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

Psalm 44
National Lament and Prayer for Help
To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Maskil.
1  We have heard with our ears, O God,
     our ancestors have told us,
   what deeds you performed in their days,
     in the days of old:
2  you with your own hand drove out the nations,
     but them you planted;
   you afflicted the peoples,
     but them you set free;
3  for not by their own sword did they win the land,
     nor did their own arm give them victory;
   but your right hand, and your arm,
     and the light of your countenance,
     for you delighted in them.

4  You are my King and my God;
     you command victories for Jacob.
5  Through you we push down our foes;
     through your name we tread down our assailants.
6  For not in my bow do I trust,
     nor can my sword save me.
7  But you have saved us from our foes,
     and have put to confusion those who hate us.
8  In God we have boasted continually,
     and we will give thanks to your name forever.   Selah

9  Yet you have rejected us and abased us,
     and have not gone out with our armies.
10 You made us turn back from the foe,
     and our enemies have gotten spoil.
11 You have made us like sheep for slaughter,
     and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You have sold your people for a trifle,
     demanding no high price for them.

13 You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
     the derision and scorn of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations,
     a laughingstock among the peoples.
15 All day long my disgrace is before me,
     and shame has covered my face
16 at the words of the taunters and revilers,
     at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.

17 All this has come upon us,
     yet we have not forgotten you,
     or been false to your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
     nor have our steps departed from your way,
19 yet you have broken us in the haunt of jackals,
     and covered us with deep darkness.

20 If we had forgotten the name of our God,
     or spread out our hands to a strange god,
21 would not God discover this?
     For he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Because of you we are being killed all day long,
     and accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

23 Rouse yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord?
     Awake, do not cast us off forever!
24 Why do you hide your face?
     Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
25 For we sink down to the dust;
     our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up, come to our help.
     Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.

Hosea 6:11—7:16
6:11 For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed.

   When I would restore the fortunes of my people,
7:1 when I would heal Israel,
     the corruption of Ephraim is revealed,
     and the wicked deeds of Samaria;
   for they deal falsely,
     the thief breaks in,
     and the bandits raid outside.
2  But they do not consider
     that I remember all their wickedness.
   Now their deeds surround them,
     they are before my face.
3  By their wickedness they make the king glad,
     and the officials by their treachery.
4  They are all adulterers;
     they are like a heated oven,
   whose baker does not need to stir the fire,
     from the kneading of the dough until it is leavened.
5  On the day of our king the officials
     became sick with the heat of wine;
     he stretched out his hand with mockers.
6  For they are kindled like an oven, their heart burns within them;
     all night their anger smolders;
     in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
7  All of them are hot as an oven,
     and they devour their rulers.
   All their kings have fallen;
     none of them calls upon me.

8  Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples;
     Ephraim is a cake not turned.
9  Foreigners devour his strength,
     but he does not know it;
   gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
     but he does not know it.
10 Israel’s pride testifies against him;
     yet they do not return to the Lord their God,
     or seek him, for all this.

Futile Reliance on the Nations
11 Ephraim has become like a dove,
     silly and without sense;
     they call upon Egypt, they go to Assyria.
12 As they go, I will cast my net over them;
     I will bring them down like birds of the air;
     I will discipline them according to the report made to their assembly.
13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!
     Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me!
   I would redeem them,
     but they speak lies against me.

14 They do not cry to me from the heart,
     but they wail upon their beds;
   they gash themselves for grain and wine;
     they rebel against me.
15 It was I who trained and strengthened their arms,
     yet they plot evil against me.
16 They turn to that which does not profit;
     they have become like a defective bow;
   their officials shall fall by the sword
     because of the rage of their tongue.
   So much for their babbling in the land of Egypt.

Matthew 5:43-48
Love for Enemies
5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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.
God loves us with an unnatural love. Jesus calls his disciples to follow his example and to love others with the same unnatural love.

The Morning Prayer for WEDNESDAY, July 31, 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 31, 2019

John 1:12-13 (NIV) Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Read all of John 1

Listen to John 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 - Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Fortalécete en Dios

Convertiré su duelo en gozo, y los consolaré; transformaré su dolor en alegría.

Siempre que pasamos una crisis, la verdad es que casi nunca sabemos cómo vamos a salir de esa situación, ni cómo vamos a quedar. Me imagino que muchos de ustedes han pasado pruebas de toda clase y tan fuertes que creyeron que era el final.

Cuando sufrimos un divorcio, una enfermedad, una pérdida, una dificultad financiera o una desilusión amorosa, salimos extenuados, ya que la situación que vivíamos nos drenó de manera física, moral y espiritual. Quedamos cansados y con ganas de unas verdaderas vacaciones. Sin duda, la prueba te devuelve golpeado, pero no derrotado.

¿Por qué es importante saber que nos podemos sentir de esta manera después de pasar situaciones tan duras? Porque somos conscientes de nuestra humanidad y que aunque luchemos con nuestras fuerzas, la sanidad verdadera solo la obtendremos en Dios. Al igual que el cuerpo necesita fortalecerse para una total recuperación después de una enfermedad, también nosotros debemos fortalecernos en el Señor para tener la verdadera recuperación.

La fortaleza en Dios la encontramos en el gozo, en la fe, en la esperanza y en la búsqueda incansable de su Palabra y su presencia.

No dejes de orar, no dejes de leer el Manual de Instrucciones y no dejes de congregarte.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Siempre que pasamos una crisis, la verdad es que casi nunca sabemos cómo vamos a salir de esa situación, ni cómo vamos a quedar.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
~ Matthew 18:35 (NIV)

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a street-witnessing team became involved in an extraordinary situation. A young Mexican called Samuel would walk for two hours each day to join them and act as an interpreter. They discovered that Samuel's mother and sister had been murdered and that he witnessed the killings but, despite trying to intervene, was unable to stop them. He said he knew the man who did it.

He had a desire to go and avenge the killings, but then became a Christian and his whole attitude changed. He began a Bible study group now attended by twenty people. On the final night of the meetings, he saw the man he believed had murdered his mother and sister go forward to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. Samuel made his way through the throng of people and shook his hand and welcomed him “into the Kingdom.” Samuel was able to forgive him.

In Jesus’ teaching, there is little doubt that, as a Christian, I MUST forgive those who have wronged me. Then our human, time-bound minds cry out with the loud fleshly inquiry—“WHY?”

Again Philip Yancey points out that through the process of forgiveness we realize we are not as different from the wrongdoer as we would like to think. And we end up linked on the same side.

In essence, God linked Himself with us humans in the incarnation. Somehow God had to come to terms with these creatures He desperately wanted to love. On earth, living among us, he learned what it was like to be human—yet without sin. But He put Himself on our side. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us.

Forgiveness is a key component of the victorious, overcomer. This is the way of the cross to becoming “more than conquerors.”

As a young Christian in Cambodia, Cham witnessed a Khmer Rouge soldier—a youth he knew from school—bludgeon his mother to death by hitting her repeatedly over the head with a wooden board.

Cham suffered from severe depression over memories of that incident for many months. But eventually the Lord helped him gain victory over it.

Ten years later, Cham was walking down the main street of Phnom Penh and saw that young man who had killed his mother. The young man was very fearful of revenge when he recognized Cham approaching him. With moist eyes Cham looked at him and said, “In the name of Jesus, I forgive you!” Cham was free.

RESPONSE: I accept today that forgiveness is a must for me as a follower of Jesus.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for so many rich examples of the freeing beauty of forgiveness.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotions - July 31, 2019 "What's Done Is Done"

"What's Done Is Done"

Jul. 31, 2019

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Who are the persons in your life who have exerted a powerful and lasting influence? They may have awed you with their grace under pressure ... or their talent ... or their imagination ... or even ... their mercy. Their mercy? Have you ever seen mercy in action? It happens. There's the neighbor who offers it to the teenager living next door—the one who sideswiped his parked car. There's the woman who goes easy on the dry-cleaning worker who messed up her order, causing her to have to change outfits.

People like this—people who go beyond what we usually expect from human beings—are impressive, aren't they? They show us a way of reacting to circumstances that's out of the ordinary, in a good way. How this unexpected quality must have impacted the apostle Paul when he encountered the Person of Jesus—the One who showed him mercy in ways he neither deserved nor expected.

Surely, the apostle Paul struggled with the weight of the world bearing down on him after his conversion on the road to Damascus. His strident persecution of Christians must have heaped up huge loads of mental "dead wood" he had to deal with from his former life: his ridicule of believers, his bullyish stoking of others' ill will against them, his "thumbs up" to their execution. No slight baggage here. No easy way out of that past! Even though Paul knew his sins were forgiven at the cross, the world is a brutal taskmaster, choking us with our past failures, condemning us in our own minds and in the minds of others.

In the face of this, Paul tells the church at Colossae (and us) to go beyond the world, to seek the things of God—of Christ—who is at God's right hand. That's where Paul had to go, and he surely went there daily. That's where he found reassurance of his new life and that the old life was behind him, slain at the cross, "hidden with Christ in God." In Christ alone: that's where Paul resided. He knew that though his former life was riddled with sin and ignorance, God had claimed him through the blood of His Son to a new start, a fresh beginning.

And that new beginning can be yours, too. "Seek the things that are above, where Christ is," and trust in Him for your redemption.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You took our old, dead selves to the cross and there we died with You. Lift us up to be the people we can be for You, and others. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • How can we learn to elevate our thinking to "the things that are above"?
  • Do you take any special comfort from knowing that your life is "hidden with Christ in God"?
  • How would you share the truths of the text above 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).
How can we learn to elevate our thinking to "the things that are above"?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 31 de Julio de 2019 - ¿Dónde pones la mira?


¿Dónde pones la mira?

31 de Julio de 2019

Puesto que ustedes ya han resucitado con Cristo, busquen las cosas de arriba, donde está Cristo sentado a la derecha de Dios. Pongan la mira en las cosas del cielo, y no en las de la tierra. Porque ustedes ya han muerto, y su vida está escondida con Cristo en Dios. Cuando Cristo, que es la vida de ustedes, se manifieste, entonces también ustedes serán manifestados con él en gloria.

¿Quiénes han ejercido una influencia poderosa y duradera en tu vida? Quizás te hayan sorprendido con su gracia... su talento... su imaginación... o incluso con su misericordia. ¿Su misericordia? ¿Alguna vez has visto la misericordia en acción? Sucede. Sucede cuando el dueño del auto perdona al vecino adolescente que golpeó de refilón su auto estacionado. O cuando la mujer perdona al trabajador de la lavandería que arruinó el vestido que tanto le gustaba.

Esas personas que van más allá de lo que generalmente esperamos de los seres humanos nos impresionan, ¿no es cierto? Nos muestran una manera de reaccionar que sale de lo común. Cuánto debe haber impactado esta cualidad inesperada al apóstol Pablo cuando Jesús se encontró con él y le mostró misericordia de una manera que ni merecía ni esperaba.

Después de su conversión en el camino a Damasco, seguramente el apóstol Pablo tuvo que luchar con la culpa que sentiría por su previa persecución y menosprecio de los cristianos, y su forma intimidante de avivar la mala voluntad de otros en su contra y aprobar su ejecución. ¡No es fácil salir de ese pasado! Por más que Pablo supiera que sus pecados habían sido perdonados en la cruz, el mundo es un capataz brutal que trata de ahogarnos y condenarnos con nuestros fracasos anteriores.

Es por ello que Pablo le dice a la iglesia en Colosas (y a nosotros) que busquemos las cosas de Cristo, que está a la diestra de Dios. Allí es donde Pablo debía ir, y seguramente allí iba todos los días. Allí es donde encontraba confirmación de su nueva vida y donde dejaba atrás su vida anterior, muerta en la cruz, "escondida con Cristo en Dios". Pablo sabía que, aunque su vida anterior estaba plagada de pecado e ignorancia, Dios lo había reclamado a través de la sangre de su Hijo para un nuevo comienzo.

Y ese nuevo comienzo puede ser tuyo también. Busca "las cosas de arriba, donde está Cristo" y confía en él para tu redención.

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, gracias por darnos nueva vida a través de tu muerte en la cruz. Ayúdanos a ser cada vez más como tú. En tu nombre. Amén.

Paul Schreiber

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Qué puedes hacer para recordar de buscar primero y siempre "las cosas de arriba"?
  • ¿Qué verdades del texto bíblico de hoy vas a compartir con otra persona?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Qué puedes hacer para recordar de buscar primero y siempre "las cosas de arriba"?

Ministérios Pão Diário - Um “Novo homem”

Um “Novo homem”

…permaneceis na fé, alicerçados e firmes, não vos deixando afastar da esperança do evangelho… v.23

Quando um grupo de adolescentes visitou uma casa para os idosos, uma jovem notou um homem solitário que parecia ter muito pouco neste mundo, nada além de uma cama para dormir e da qual não podia sair devido a sua deficiência.

A garota começou a compartilhar a história do amor de Deus por nós e a ler passagens da Bíblia para ele. “À medida que comecei”, ela diria mais tarde, “senti o desejo dele por ouvir mais”. Reagindo a esse interesse, ela lhe explicou sobre a morte sacrificial de Jesus por nós. “Era difícil para ele, pois não tinha esperança nem família para compreender que Alguém que não conhecia o amaria o suficiente para morrer na cruz por seus pecados”, recordou ela.

Ela lhe falou mais sobre Jesus e a promessa do Céu (e um novo corpo) para todos os que creem. Ele então lhe perguntou: “Você vai dançar comigo lá em cima?” Ela o viu começar a imaginar-se livre de seu corpo desgastado e das limitações.

Ele lhe disse que queria confiar em Jesus como Salvador, e ela o ajudou a orar por perdão e fé. Ela lhe pediu para tirar uma selfie com ele, e o ouvir dizer: “Se você me ajudar a sentar. Agora sou um novo homem.”

O evangelho de Cristo transforma vidas, traz esperança e está disponível para todos! Jesus oferece uma vida nova aos que confiam nele (vv.5,23).

Jesus oferece a nova vida.

© 2019 Ministérios Pão Diário
Quando um grupo de adolescentes visitou uma casa para os idosos, uma jovem notou um homem solitário que parecia ter muito pouco neste mundo, nada além de uma cama para dormir e da qual não podia sair devido a sua deficiência.