Monday, August 12, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, August 12, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, August 12, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

Psalm 11
Song of Trust in God
To the leader. Of David.
1  In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
     “Flee like a bird to the mountains;
2  for look, the wicked bend the bow,
     they have fitted their arrow to the string,
     to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
3  If the foundations are destroyed,
     what can the righteous do?”

4  The Lord is in his holy temple;
     the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
     His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.
5  The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
     and his soul hates the lover of violence.
6  On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur;
     a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
7  For the Lord is righteous;
   he loves righteous deeds;
     the upright shall behold his face.

Isaiah 2:1-4
The Future House of God
2:1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2  In days to come
     the mountain of the Lord’s house
   shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
     and shall be raised above the hills;
   all the nations shall stream to it.
3    Many peoples shall come and say,
   “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
     to the house of the God of Jacob;
   that he may teach us his ways
     and that we may walk in his paths.”
   For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
     and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4  He shall judge between the nations,
     and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
   they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
     and their spears into pruning hooks;
   nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
     neither shall they learn war any more.

Hebrews 11:1-7
The Meaning of Faith
11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

The Examples of Abel, Enoch, and Noah
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.

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.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

The Morning Prayer for MONDAY, August 12, 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 for MONDAY, August 12, 2019

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV) Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Read all of 1 Corinthians 6

Listen to 1 Corinthians 6

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, August 12, 2019

La rebeldía

Preserva también a tu siervo de las soberbias; que no se enseñoreen de mí; entonces seré íntegro, y estaré limpio de gran rebelión.

Ayer aprendimos que debemos limpiar y poner en orden nuestro cuerpo que, desde el punto de vista espiritual, es la casa de Dios.

Sé que a veces cuando no entendemos mucho el porqué de las cosas que nos pide Dios, se levanta cierta rebeldía en uno. Se trata de algo que nos dice: «¿Y por qué tengo que hacerlo?». Entonces, si lo hacemos, quizá sea a medias y cambiemos ciertas cosas. No obstante, nos quedamos con lo que nos gusta, que a menudo es lo más pecaminoso. Es de lamentar que no entendamos que el mal es para nosotros mismos, ya que esa actitud no nos llevará a ningún final feliz.

Todos tenemos algo de rebeldes. A ninguno nos agrada que nos digan que debemos cambiar. Pensamos que nadie tiene derecho sobre nosotros. Es más, se nos olvida que si hemos rendido la vida a Dios, Él tiene autoridad sobre ti y sobre mí y la tiene como Padre.

¿Qué es lo que levanta en ti la rebeldía? ¿Salir de tu zona de comodidad y hacer cambios radicales? Recuerda que esto te traerá bendición.

Dios es un Dios de orden, por eso no actúa en el desorden. Por lo tanto, si Dios no trabaja en nosotros cuando hay desorden, ¿por qué no ordenamos nuestra vida?

¡Ah! Tengamos presentes que los que trabajan en el desorden son los demonios.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Todos tenemos algo de rebeldes. A ninguno nos agrada que nos digan que debemos cambiar. Pensamos que nadie tiene derecho sobre nosotros.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, August 12, 2019

“I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
~ Esther 4:16b (NIV)

Today we have the second in the series from a house church pastor’s sermon in China:

How is suffering overcome? Or if you like, what is the solution to persecution? A church father answered this way; “Pray as if everything depends on God. Work as if God were going to do his work through you.” So when resisting persecution, we do everything humanly possible to lessen it. But then we also beseech God to put a stop to it. In the two comes deliverance.

You can see both sides involved here. On the human level, we see two characteristics coming to the fore especially—courage and cunning. Esther is the one who displays courage, by taking her life in her hands to enter the king’s presence without an appointment. She says, “If I perish, I perish.” What a brave woman! She’s also the one who displays cunning, hatching a plan to entrap Haman. She throws a banquet, reveals her racial identity, and then exposes Haman as the man who wants to kill her.

Would it have worked? Who knows? Perhaps not. Haman did have great clout with the king as a trusted advisor, and Esther was merely a queen, and queens—as made clear here—are easily replaceable.

But it did work out, thanks to God. And this is the other side. We pray and pray that God will intervene. There is so much that is beyond our control. Our planning, our cunning, our bravery, is never enough. We need God’s help. So the Jews have a time of weeping and repentance (Esther 4:1-3), and then God intervenes in an astonishing way.

An old pastor used to say to me, “I find that coincidences stop happening when I stop praying.” The resolution of the book of Esther hinges on a massive coincidence, namely, that at the precise moment Haman expects to kill Mordecai, the king decides to honor Mordecai. Both men reach each situation independently. Take the king, for instance.

· The king just happens to have a sleepless night before Haman will pitch his plan.

· He just happens to read the annals to get to sleep, and just happens to find the part that tells of a good deed of Mordecai.

· He just happens to decide to honor Mordecai the following morning at the very moment Haman comes into the room.

· He just happens to select the first person who walks into his room at that time to carry out his plan.

· That person is Haman, who just happens to be ready to ask for the head of Mordecai.

And through a misunderstanding, the king decides to put Haman to death, as he thinks Haman is molesting Esther when in fact he’s only pleading. The point is, all this is outside human control. It’s God’s doing. But He worked within Esther’s plan. And so the plan to persecute the Jews is foiled.

RESPONSE: Today I acknowledge that there are no coincidences, just God-incidences!

PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to be faithful and see evidences of Your control over my circumstances.

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

Women of the Bible - Monday, August 12, 2019

The Woman of Proverbs 31 

Her character: She represents the fulfillment of a life lived in wisdom.
Her joy: To be praised by her husband and children as a woman who surpasses all others.
Key Scriptures: Proverbs 31:10-31

Her Story

Proverbs brims with less-than-glowing descriptions of women. There are wayward wives, prostitutes, women with smoother-than-oil lips, strange women, loud women, defiant women, wives who are like a continual drip on a rainy day or decay in their husbands' bones, women whose feet never stay home, brazen-faced women, and even a woman so repulsive she is likened to a gold ring in a pig's snout!

Any woman reading Proverbs may be tempted to conclude that its authors tended to blame women for weaknesses actually rooted in the male psyche, especially when it comes to sexual sin. But to balance things out there are also some odious descriptions of men, including scoundrels, villains, chattering fools, and sluggards. And Proverbs actually opens and closes with positive portrayals of women: first as wisdom personified and then as a woman who can do no wrong.

Just who was this woman on a pedestal described in Proverbs 31? Was she, as many think, the ideal wife and mother? In traditional Jewish homes, husbands and children recited the poem in Proverbs 31 at the Sabbath table. Written as an acrostic, each line begins with a Hebrew letter in alphabetical sequence, making it easy to memorize. The poem describes a wealthy, aristocratic woman with a large household to direct. She was hardworking, enterprising, capable, strong, wise, skilled, generous, thoughtful of others, dignified, God-fearing, serene—a tremendous credit to her husband. She arose while it was still dark to feed her family. She looked at a field, considered its merits, and purchased it. She wove cloth and made linen garments, which she then sold. "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all' " (verses 28-29).

The description of the woman in Proverbs 31 offers a refreshing contrast to other ancient depictions of women, which tend to portray them in more frivolous and decorative terms, emphasizing only their charm or beauty. Still, the perfect woman of Proverbs 31 hasn't always been a friend to ordinary women. In fact, she has sometimes been rubbed into the faces of lesser women by critical husbands and preachers unable to resist the temptation. What woman could ever measure up to her? And is a woman's worth to be measured only by what she can accomplish in the domestic sphere? Or is the woman in Proverbs 31 a symbol of all the contributions a woman could make within the culture of her day? Regardless of how you answer these questions, there is more to her story than simply being the ideal wife and mother.

Before we can discover more about her true identity, it is worth posing a broader question: Are there really all that many women running around in the pages of Proverbs? Perhaps, in fact, there are only two main women in Proverbs: the wise woman and the woman of folly (as some have called her). The latter encompasses the adulteress and her many wicked counterparts; the former encompasses wisdom in the abstract and wisdom made concrete in the woman of Proverbs 31.

In Proverbs 3:13-16 a young man is instructed: "Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor." Here is wisdom in the abstract, personified as a woman.

Proverbs 31 echoes this praise: "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies…. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard" (verses 10, 12-16). Here is a concrete example of what wisdom looks like in a person's life.

By contrast, the man who welcomes the brazen-faced woman, the prostitute, the adulteress is nothing but a fool. He has fallen prey to the woman of folly, who offers deceitful pleasures that will lead to his death.

From beginning to end, Proverbs is a practical handbook for leading a life based on wisdom. In the end, there are only two choices for both men and women: to embrace wisdom or to love folly. The woman of Proverbs 31 may well be meant to inspire both men and women with a picture of what a virtuous life, male or female, is capable of producing: shelter for others, serenity, honor, prosperity, generosity, confidence about the future—true blessedness. Who wouldn't want to be like such a woman? Who wouldn't sing her praises?

Her Promise

Many women find Proverbs 31 discouraging. Don't let that happen to you. Remember, this very capable woman is ultimately praised not so much for all she accomplishes as for one thing: She fears the Lord. The woman who is worthy of praise is not necessarily the one who does all her own sewing or is a great cook or is a natural beauty—the woman who gets the praise is the woman who fears the Lord. That's the target to aim for. Not outward beauty. Not a perfectly decorated home. Not even more intellectual knowledge or business acumen. Instead, aim for a bold, all-consuming love for God. Then you too will be worthy of praise.

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.
Just who was this woman on a pedestal described in Proverbs 31?

LHM Daily Devotions - August 12, 2019 - Confidently Enduring

"Confidently Enduring"

Aug. 12, 2019

All Your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me! They have almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken Your precepts. In Your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of Your mouth.

"Help me!" Even though he had not forsaken God's precepts, perhaps, in fact, because he kept God's precepts, the psalmist's enemies had nearly made an end of him on earth. Still today many people who reject Christ actively persecute His church and seek to make an end of His followers on earth. Each year, in countries around the world, thousands of Christians are martyred for their faith and thousands more suffer violence, imprisonment, and the loss of homes and income. Even in countries where such violent persecution is against the law, Christians may be scandalously ridiculed for their faith.

Jesus warned His disciples, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you" (John 15:18). Jesus did not forsake His Father's precepts; He faithfully accomplished all that the Father gave Him to do. Yet Jesus' enemies persecuted Him with falsehood, trying to turn His own teachings against Him. He was hated and His opponents successfully—or so they believed—made an end of Him on earth. Jesus' body was taken down from the cross and laid in a tomb. But it was not the end. The psalmist prayed, "In Your steadfast love give me life." In steadfast love for His Son, the Father gave His Son life, raising Him from death on the first Easter morning.

In His steadfast love for us, and for the sake of our crucified and risen Lord, the Father gives us life. By the power of His Spirit, we faithfully cling to His Word as we join the psalmist in keeping God's sure Commandments and sharing with others all that our Lord has done for us. Our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted so violently must surely pray with the psalmist, "How long must Your servant endure?" (Psalm 119:84a). We join our prayers with theirs, asking that God would surround them with His loving care and in steadfast love give them life—both in this age and in the age to come.

Enemies of the Gospel may still try to make an end of us on earth, as they tried—and failed—to make an end of Jesus. We may suffer and even die for our faith, but through Jesus' death and resurrection the victory has already been won. Jesus continues to build His church and, according to His promise, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18b).

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, watch over all those who are persecuted for the sake of Your Name. Comfort and encourage them according to Your holy Word. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Are you—generally—a person of your word?
  • Have you ever felt scorned or maligned due to speaking about your faith?
  • Do you have any kind of prayer strategy when it comes to dealing with difficult people?

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).
Have you ever felt scorned or maligned due to speaking about your faith?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 12 de Agosto de 2019 - Misericordia inquebrantable


Misericordia inquebrantable

12 de Agosto de 2019

Todos tus mandamientos son verdaderos; ¡ayúdame, porque sin razón soy perseguido! Poco ha faltado para que me derriben, pero ni así me he apartado de tus mandamientos. ¡Dame vida, conforme a tu misericordia, para que cumpla los testimonios que has emitido!

"¡Ayúdame!" A pesar de que no había abandonado los preceptos de Dios, o quizás porque los guardaba, los enemigos del salmista casi lo habían derribado. Aún hoy, muchas personas que rechazan a Cristo persiguen activamente a su iglesia y buscan acabar con sus seguidores en la tierra. Cada año, miles de cristianos son martirizados por su fe y miles más sufren violencia, encarcelamiento y la pérdida de sus hogares, pertenencias e ingresos. Y en los países donde tal persecución es ilegal, son ridiculizados escandalosamente por su fe.

Jesús le dijo a sus discípulos: "Si el mundo los aborrece, sepan que a mí me ha aborrecido antes que a ustedes" (Juan 15:18). Jesús no abandonó los preceptos de su Padre, sino que cumplió fielmente todo lo que el Padre le dio para hacer. Sin embargo, los enemigos de Jesús lo persiguieron con odio y falsedad, tratando de volver sus propias enseñanzas contra él. Sus oponentes lograron derribarlo con éxito, o al menos eso creyeron cuando el cuerpo de Jesús fue bajado de la cruz y colocado en una tumba. Pero ese no fue el final. El salmista oró: "Dame vida, conforme a tu misericordia". Y conforme a su misericordia el Padre le dio vida a su Hijo, resucitándolo de la muerte en la mañana de Pascua.

En su inquebrantable misericordia por nosotros y por nuestro Señor crucificado y resucitado, el Padre nos da vida. Por el poder de su Espíritu nos aferramos fielmente a su Palabra cuando nos unimos al salmista, para guardar los mandamientos de Dios y compartir con los demás todo lo que nuestro Señor ha hecho por nosotros. Unimos nuestras oraciones a las de nuestros hermanos en la fe que sufren persecución, pidiendo a Dios que los proteja con su misericordia y cuidado amoroso tanto en este tiempo, como en el que vendrá.

Los enemigos del Evangelio aún pueden tratar de derribarnos, así como intentaron poner fin a Jesús. Podemos sufrir e incluso morir por nuestra fe; pero a través de la muerte y resurrección de Jesús, la victoria ya ha sido ganada. Jesús continúa edificando su iglesia y, según su promesa, "las puertas de Hades no podrán vencerla" (Mateo 16:18b).

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, vela por todos los que son perseguidos por tu Nombre. Consuélalos y aliéntalos según tu santa Palabra. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Alguna vez has sido despreciado o difamado por hablar de tu fe? ¿Cómo te sentiste?
  • ¿Cómo oras por las personas difíciles en tu vida?

© 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 sido despreciado o difamado por hablar de tu fe? ¿Cómo te sentiste?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Célébrer la créativité divine

Célébrer la créativité divine

La Bible en un an : Psaumes 84 – 86 ; Romains 12

[Nous] avons des dons différents, selon la grâce qui nous a été accordée. V. 6

Tandis que la musique remplissait l’auditorium de l’église, l’artiste daltonien Lance Brown est monté sur l’estrade, s’est arrêté devant une grande toile blanche en tournant le dos à l’assemblée et a trempé son pinceau dans la peinture noire. D’une main sûre, ce conteur visuel a illustré la crucifixion et la résurrection de Christ. Puis il a couvert de grands espaces de peinture noire, en y ajoutant du bleu et du blanc, jusqu’à réaliser une toile abstraite réalisée en moins de six minutes. Il a ensuite saisi la toile et l’a inversée, révélant ainsi une image cachée : le visage compatissant de Jésus.

Brown a indiqué avoir hésité à peindre une toile en quelques minutes durant un culte d’adoration comme l’un de ses amis le lui demandait. Reste qu’il voyage maintenant dans le monde entier pour conduire des gens dans la louange en peignant de manière à leur faire connaître Christ.

L’apôtre Paul souligne la valeur et la raison d’être des divers dons que Dieu a impartis à son peuple. Tous les membres de sa famille sont ainsi aptes à glorifier le Seigneur et à s’édifier les uns les autres avec amour (RO 12.3-5). Paul nous encourage à découvrir et à employer nos dons pour inciter les gens à la piété et à suivre Jésus, en le servant avec zèle et joie (V. 6-8).

Dieu a accordé à tous les dons spirituels, les talents, les compétences et le vécu nécessaires à le servir de tout leur être dans l’ombre ou la lumière. Si nous célébrons sa créativité, il utilisera notre unicité pour annoncer son Évangile et édifier d’autres croyants avec amour.

Seigneur Dieu, aide-nous à t’honorer en mettant nos dons à ton service.

© 2019 Ministères NPQ
Seigneur Dieu, aide-nous à t’honorer en mettant nos dons à ton service.