Friday, August 9, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, August 9, 2019

Stephen’s Speech to the Council

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, August 9, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23
The Acceptable Sacrifice
A Psalm of Asaph.
1  The mighty one, God the Lord,
     speaks and summons the earth
     from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
     God shines forth.

3  Our God comes and does not keep silence,
     before him is a devouring fire,
     and a mighty tempest all around him.
4  He calls to the heavens above
     and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5  “Gather to me my faithful ones,
     who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6  The heavens declare his righteousness,
     for God himself is judge.                   Selah

7  “Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
     O Israel, I will testify against you.
     I am God, your God.
8  Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
     your burnt offerings are continually before me.

22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
     or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver.
23 Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me;
     to those who go the right way
     I will show the salvation of God.”

Isaiah 9:18—10:4
9:18 For wickedness burned like a fire,
     consuming briers and thorns;
   it kindled the thickets of the forest,
     and they swirled upward in a column of smoke.
19 Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts
     the land was burned,
   and the people became like fuel for the fire;
     no one spared another.
20 They gorged on the right, but still were hungry,
     and they devoured on the left, but were not satisfied;
   they devoured the flesh of their own kindred;
21 Manasseh devoured Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh,
     and together they were against Judah.
   For all this his anger has not turned away;
     his hand is stretched out still.

10:1 Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees,
     who write oppressive statutes,
2  to turn aside the needy from justice
     and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
   that widows may be your spoil,
     and that you may make the orphans your prey!
3  What will you do on the day of punishment,
     in the calamity that will come from far away?
   To whom will you flee for help,
     and where will you leave your wealth,
4  so as not to crouch among the prisoners
     or fall among the slain?
   For all this his anger has not turned away;
     his hand is stretched out still.

Acts 7:1-8
Stephen’s Speech to the Council
7:1 Then the high priest asked him, “Are these things so?” 2 And Stephen replied:

“Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you.’ 4 Then he left the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God had him move from there to this country in which you are now living. 5 He did not give him any of it as a heritage, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as his possession and to his descendants after him, even though he had no child. 6 And God spoke in these terms, that his descendants would be resident aliens in a country belonging to others, who would enslave them and mistreat them during four hundred years. 7 ‘But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’ 8 Then he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.

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.
Stephen makes a rather long defense of himself before the council, after all, he is facing a death sentence.

The Morning Prayer for FRIDAY, August 9, 2019

Friday Morning Prayer

Lord on this day I am aware of the troubles and darkness in our world. Please come and lead me in prayers for my community, my nation and the world. You are the light that shines in the bleakest times, let your Kingdom be built on earth. May those who suffer be comforted, may those who are at war search for peace, and may those who are in pain find healing. Amen.

May Friday be a thoughtful day
When Your Spirit leads my prayer.
I trust each trouble small and wide,
With faith into Your care.
Let Friday always prompt my heart
To stand upon the truth.
Darkness has been overcome
The Earth belongs to You.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, August 9, 2019

Luke 12:6-7 (NIV) Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Read all of Luke 12

Listen to Luke 12

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

Un dia a la Vez - Friday, August 9, 2019

La recuperación por una pérdida

El Señor [...] restaura a los abatidos y cubre con vendas sus heridas.

Hace unos meses llegó la triste noticia de la pérdida de la bebita de la cantante Shanna en un embarazo ya avanzado. ¡Cómo entristecen esas noticias! Nadie lo puede experimentar más que la madre que lo sintió en su vientre y tuvo la esperanza de recibirle.

Me sorprendió mucho y admiré el valor con el que nuestra Shanna recibió esta prueba. Desde el hospital en que se recuperaba, declaró: «Solo Dios sabe por qué evitó que naciera la bebita. Ya sabrá Él de qué la guardó. Yo seguiré adelante».

Les cuento esto porque se necesita estar muy lleno de nuestro Dios para recibir una noticia de tal envergadura con tanta madurez espiritual. Podemos ver una vez más que nuestro Padre cuida de nosotros y nos da su amor. Sé que muchas mujeres han pasado por esta misma situación y aún hay heridas abiertas que quiere sanar nuestro Señor.

Escuché a un predicador que enseñaba que para recuperarse debemos llorar lo perdido, fortalecernos en Dios y consultar con Él cuál es el paso a seguir.

Cuando entregamos esa carga tan pesada y ese dolor tan grande, Dios de seguro que va a actuar a nuestro favor.

Aunque en medio del dolor no vean una salida, recuerden que Él es su fortaleza y el único que les da la paz «que sobrepasa todo entendimiento» y que, además, «cuidará sus corazones y sus pensamientos en Cristo Jesús» (Filipenses 4:7).

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Hace unos meses llegó la triste noticia de la pérdida de la bebita de la cantante Shanna en un embarazo ya avanzado. ¡Cómo entristecen esas noticias!

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, August 9, 2019

In his humiliation he [Jesus] was deprived of justice.
~ Acts 8:33a (NIV)

Christians experiencing persecution are following in the footsteps of their master, Jesus. In Acts chapter eight, Philip revealed to the Ethiopian eunuch that the passage from Isaiah 53 he was reading referred to Jesus who indeed was deprived of justice. Today in the Western world, we would describe His trial before crucifixion as occurring in a “kangaroo court!”

If disinformation about any group, including Christians, is disseminated long enough, no one will help when that group or person is discriminated against. Discrimination relegates Christians to second-class citizenship with inferior legal, social, political and economic status. Once discrimination takes place, no one will intervene when the mistreatment comes.

Examples of such injustice against Christians abound around the world: ID cards in a country where Christianity is an unacceptable entry in the religion column; daughters abducted because they are Christians; expulsion from the community just because they are evangelicals.

Christians in Pakistan are a small minority among a large Muslim majority and often face such discrimination. The problem is compounded by the fact that many Christians are illiterate and poor. One Christian teacher at a center training Christian women recently said, “We do face discrimination because we live in the midst of people who don’t want us to move forward; people who keep trying to push us down so that we will always be in slavery.”

But there is one repeated scene of injustice against Christians that occurs in Pakistan which brings me to tears which involves young Christian girls. As a father of two daughters and having six granddaughters, I shudder every time I read news reports that describe Christian family injustice in this land. The stories usually work out this way:

Muslim women must marry Muslim men but Muslim men are allowed to marry any woman they wish with the proviso that any children must be raised as Muslim. Consequently in Pakistan there are Muslim men who often desire some of the very beautiful young Christian girls in the community but realize there is no way their Christian families will agree to marriage. So these men resort to abduction.

The Christian father’s only option is to go to court where the judge—usually a Muslim—hears the case and pronounces to the Christian father, “Your daughter voluntarily converted to Islam and voluntarily married this Muslim man so you are to have no more contact with her. One of the most recent cases involved two young Christian sisters aged thirteen and ten. In this case, the judge allowed the ten-year-old to return home to her family but not the thirteen-year-old.

Safwan, a secret believer in Algeria, found a Christian pamphlet between the paperwork given him at work and started reading it. Upon discovering him reading the pamphlet, his boss reported him to the police. Later that night the police visited him and searched his entire home. They found Christian CD’s, several Christian movies and a New Testament. “It was clear to them that I had become a Christian. My boss fired me.”

RESPONSE: Today I will work toward justice for everyone in my own country and around the world.

PRAYER: Lord, be with those experiencing discrimination today because they love and serve You.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Once discrimination takes place, no one will intervene when the mistreatment comes.

Men of the Bible - Friday, August 9, 2019


His name means: "The Lord Has Saved"

His work: An eighth-century BC prophet, Isaiah's message was primarily directed toward Judah and Jerusalem, warning God's people of coming judgment on their sins.
His character: He was a learned man of principle and integrity and of deep humility.
His sorrow: Isaiah was grieved that God's people were unwilling to repent.
His triumph: Isaiah had a vision of God that profoundly shaped his long prophetic ministry.
Key Scriptures: Isaiah 6

A Look at the Man

The people noticed the difference in Isaiah. Rumor had spread that he had seen a vision in the temple that day. No one knew exactly what—or whom—he had seen, but whatever had happened, Isaiah was a changed man.

What Isaiah had experienced in the temple was one of history's most profound commissioning ceremonies, and because of its power, Isaiah's course was changed like a flood tearing down a riverbank.

Isaiah had grown up on the right side of the tracks. His family was from the royal tribe of Judah. His pedigree and command of the language marked his stature and his message. After the vision in the temple, for almost sixty years his assignment included ministry in the courts of the kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. So naturally Isaiah might have been tempted to place himself above the people to whom he preached. But because of the temple visitation, the preacher never forgot that he too was counted among the sinners. Just because he had been gifted and called to deliver God's message didn't excuse him from the need for repentance.

Isaiah had witnessed something very few mortals have seen before his time or since. He was allowed the privilege of seeing a glimpse of God's glory. The experience tore away any shroud of pride that may have covered him, replacing it with a sense of wonder and humility. It was as though the living God was saying to the prophet, "Don't forget who you're talking about, Isaiah. Never forget whom you serve."

And there was the searing heat of the burning ember. Why couldn't God have just told me of my forgiveness? Why the coal? Why this pain? Isaiah must have wondered over the succeeding weeks as the scabs on his lips slowly healed. But God had a purpose in this, too. He wanted Isaiah to remember the pain of repentance, the agony of confession. And he touched the part of Isaiah's body that he was using to represent the Holy One of Israel: his mouth. No doubt it was several weeks, perhaps months, before Isaiah could speak without physical pain. God's mission had been perfectly accomplished.

And now Isaiah's message of the people's sinfulness included the promise of redemption in the coming of the Savior: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

The sparkle in Isaiah's eyes didn't come from a strident preacher who delighted in shouting condemnation, but in the words of deliverance through the Son of God who would come to save the people from their sins—including the sins of the woeful prophet.

Reflect On: Isaiah 25:1–5
Praise God: For his sovereignty and power, for his mercy and his grace.
Offer Thanks: For calling us to repentance and for providing a Savior.
Confess: Our casual attitude about being in his holy presence in worship and our cavalier attitude about our own sin.
Ask God: To give you a glimpse of his glory—an understanding of what Isaiah must have experienced that day in the temple. Tell him that you’re willing to be sent, to be his ambassador, his mouthpiece.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
The people noticed the difference in Isaiah. Rumor had spread that he had seen a vision in the temple that day. No one knew exactly what—or whom—he had seen, but whatever had happened, Isaiah was a changed man.

LHM Daily Devotions - August 9, 2019 - Learning to Cling

"Learning to Cling"

Aug. 9, 2019

(Jesus said) "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. ... If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."
~ John 15:5,7 (ESV)

Every year, floods, tornadoes, and storms rage across our land, destroying or damaging hundreds of homes and leaving thousands of people homeless. And when asked, "Are you going to rebuild?" The answer heard over and over again is "Yes, we are going to rebuild. We are planning to stay. We're not giving up our home!"

That's America, we say. That's the real spirit of the American people. We don't give up easily; we hang in there. We put up a fight. When we get knocked down, we get up again. When flood, wind, fire, or whatever destroys our homes, farms, or places of business, we rebuild. We make whatever repairs are necessary. We press on.

If only we had more of that kind spirit inside our homes, inside our families. When the storms of nature damage our house, were ready to rebuild and restore it. Yet, when the storms of life hit us—money issues, kid problems, deep-seated disagreements, marital problems—when storms such as these invade our lives, well, we're not always ready to rebuild. In fact, sometimes we're ready to give in.

This is where the Word of God and prayer are so important. And this isn't only my idea; it's the Lord's. "I am the vine, you are the branches," Jesus tells us. "If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." The Savior's message is clear. Only a committed belief in Him—trusting Him as Lord and Savior—can give us the strength we need to overcome the difficulties life throws at our family and our faith.

The words of Christ abiding in us and prayer—that's when things really begin to happen by the power of the Holy Spirit. It's His promise; it shall be done for you. Christ will abide in us, and we in Him. But this doesn't occur in a vacuum, does it? Surely, we can strive to become more Christ-minded in our daily affairs with our family and those we welcome into our homes.

The family, the household, that perseveres in the face of difficulties is the family that is reading and sharing God's Word regularly. It's the family that's studying His promises, listening intently to what He has to say, meditating on the Bible's application for their lives and, whenever they can, they are speaking to Him in prayer.

Does that family sound like yours?

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You have given us all things in the life of Your Son Jesus. Teach us to turn everything over to You—and rest in the peace only You can give. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Is there anyone in your life (aside from spouse and children) who is indispensable? Who and why?
  • How can we see to it that Christ's word remains in us?
  • What do you do to make your home more inviting and spiritually vibrant?

From The Lutheran Layman, April 1979 issue, "The Word of God and Prayer" by Rev. Edward Meyer. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Is there anyone in your life (aside from spouse and children) who is indispensable?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 09 de Agosto de 2019 - Unidos a Él


Unidos a  Él

09 de Agosto de 2019

(Jesús dijo:) Yo soy la vid, y ustedes son las ramas. El que permanece unido a mí, y yo unido a él, da mucho fruto; pues sin mí no pueden ustedes hacer nada... Si ustedes permanecen unidos a mí, y si permanecen fieles a mis enseñanzas, pidan lo que quieran y se les dará.
~ Juan 15:5,7 (DHH)

Todos los años las inundaciones, tornados y tormentas azotan nuestra tierra, destruyendo o dañando cientos de hogares y dejando a miles de personas sin hogar. Y cuando se les pregunta: "¿Van a reconstruir?" La respuesta que se escucha una y otra vez es: "Sí, vamos a reconstruir. Nos vamos a quedar. ¡No vamos a renunciar a nuestro hogar!"

"Eso es América", decimos. Ese es el verdadero espíritu del pueblo estadounidense. No nos rendimos fácilmente; la peleamos. Cuando nos derriban, nos levantamos de nuevo. Cuando la inundación, el tornado, el incendio o lo que sea destruye nuestra casa, granja o negocio, reconstruimos, hacemos todas las reparaciones que sean necesarias, y seguimos adelante.

Si solo tuviéramos más de ese espíritu en nuestros hogares y en nuestras familias... Cuando las tormentas de la naturaleza dañan nuestra casa, estamos listos para reconstruirla y restaurarla. Sin embargo, cuando las tormentas de la vida nos golpean (problemas de dinero, problemas con los hijos, desacuerdos conyugales) cuando tormentas como estas invaden nuestras vidas, no siempre estamos listos para reconstruir. De hecho, a veces estamos listos para rendirnos.

Aquí es donde la Palabra de Dios y la oración son tan importantes. Y esta no es mi idea; es idea del Señor. "Yo soy la vid, y ustedes son las ramas", nos dice Jesús. "Si ustedes permanecen unidos a mí, y si permanecen fieles a mis enseñanzas, pidan lo que quieran y se les dará." El mensaje del Salvador es claro. Solo confiando en él como Señor y Salvador, puede tener la fuerza que necesitamos para superar las dificultades que la vida nos presenta.

Con las palabras de Cristo en nosotros y con oración, las cosas realmente comienzan a suceder a través del poder del Espíritu Santo. La familia que persevera ante las dificultades es la familia que lee y comparte la Palabra de Dios con regularidad. Es la familia que estudia sus promesas, que escucha atentamente lo que él tiene que decir, que medita en la aplicación de la Palabra en sus vidas y, que se acerca a Dios en oración. ¿Cómo es con tu familia?

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, en la vida de tu Hijo Jesús nos has dado todas las cosas. Enséñanos a entregarte todo a ti, y a descansar en la paz que solo Tú puedes dar. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

The Lutheran Layman, abril de 1979, "La Palabra de Dios y la oración" por el Reverendo Edward Meyer

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Cómo podemos ver que la palabra de Cristo permanece en nosotros?
  • ¿Qué haces para que tu hogar sea más acogedor y vibrante espiritualmente?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Cómo podemos ver que la palabra de Cristo permanece en nosotros?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Tình Yêu Bền Vững

Tình Yêu Bền Vững

Đọc: Nhã ca 8:6-7 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Thi Thiên 77-78; Rô-ma 10

Nước lũ không dập tắt được tình yêu, các sông không nhận chìm nó được. Nhã ca 8:7

Khi chúng tôi nhìn thấy dòng suối ở phía sau nhà lần đầu tiên, nó chỉ là dòng nước nhỏ chảy qua lớp đá dưới cái nóng của mùa hè. Những tấm ván gỗ nặng được dùng làm cầu nối giúp chúng tôi đi qua dễ dàng. Nhiều tháng sau đó, những cơn mưa ào ạt đổ xuống khu vực của chúng tôi trong nhiều ngày liên tiếp. Con lạch nhỏ đó trở thành dòng sông chảy xiết sâu hơn 1 mét và rộng 3 mét! Lực nước chảy đẩy tung chiếc cầu và cuốn đi xa hàng mét.

Dòng nước xiết có khả năng cuốn đi hầu hết mọi thứ trên đường nó chảy qua. Tuy nhiên, cũng có một thứ vẫn bền vững khi đối diện với nước lũ hay những sức mạnh khác đe dọa hủy hoại nó – đó chính là tình yêu. “Nước lũ không dập tắt được tình yêu, các sông không nhận chìm nó được” (Nhã. 8:7). Sức mạnh và sự bền bỉ của tình yêu là điều thường thấy trong các mối quan hệ lãng mạn, nhưng điều đó chỉ được thể hiện trọn vẹn trong tình yêu của Đức Chúa Trời dành cho loài người qua Con Ngài là Chúa Jêsus Christ.

Khi những điều mà chúng ta xem là chắc chắn và đáng tin cậy bị cuốn đi, thì nỗi thất vọng có thể mở ra cánh cửa dẫn chúng ta đến chỗ nhận biết tình yêu của Chúa dành cho mình. Tình yêu của Chúa cao hơn, sâu hơn, mạnh mẽ hơn và lâu bền hơn bất kì điều gì trên trái đất. Dù chúng ta phải đối diện với hoàn cảnh nào, Ngài vẫn ở bên cạnh chúng ta – nâng đỡ, vùa giúp và nhắc nhở rằng chúng ta được yêu thương.
Làm thế nào bạn có thể chắc chắn rằng Chúa luôn yêu thương bạn? Kết quả của tình yêu Chúa trong cuộc đời bạn là gì?
Lạy Cha Thiên Thượng, cảm tạ Cha đã an ủi con bằng tình yêu của Ngài trong những lúc con bị khước từ và đối diện với mất mát. Xin giúp con tin rằng con có thể nương dựa nơi Ngài để được đáp ứng mọi nhu cầu của tâm linh con.

© 2019 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Lực nước chảy đẩy tung chiếc cầu và cuốn đi xa hàng mét.