Friday, August 23, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, August 23, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, August 23, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

Psalm 71:1-6
Prayer for Lifelong Protection and Help
1  In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
     let me never be put to shame.
2  In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
     incline your ear to me and save me.
3  Be to me a rock of refuge,
     a strong fortress, to save me,
     for you are my rock and my fortress.

4  Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
     from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5  For you, O Lord, are my hope,
     my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6  Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
     it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
   My praise is continually of you.

Jeremiah 6:20-30
6:20 Of what use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba,
     or sweet cane from a distant land?
   Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
     nor are your sacrifices pleasing to me.
21 Therefore thus says the Lord:
   See, I am laying before this people
     stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;
   parents and children together,
     neighbor and friend shall perish.

22 Thus says the Lord:
   See, a people is coming from the land of the north,
     a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
23 They grasp the bow and the javelin,
     they are cruel and have no mercy,
     their sound is like the roaring sea;
   they ride on horses,
     equipped like a warrior for battle,
     against you, O daughter Zion!

24 “We have heard news of them,
     our hands fall helpless;
   anguish has taken hold of us,
     pain as of a woman in labor.
25 Do not go out into the field,
     or walk on the road;
   for the enemy has a sword,
     terror is on every side.”

26 O my poor people, put on sackcloth,
     and roll in ashes;
   make mourning as for an only child,
     most bitter lamentation:
   for suddenly the destroyer
     will come upon us.

27 I have made you a tester and a refiner among my people
     so that you may know and test their ways.
28 They are all stubbornly rebellious,
     going about with slanders;
   they are bronze and iron,
     all of them act corruptly.
29 The bellows blow fiercely,
     the lead is consumed by the fire;
   in vain the refining goes on,
     for the wicked are not removed.
30 They are called “rejected silver,”
     for the Lord has rejected them.

Acts 17:1-9
The Uproar in Thessalonica
17:1 After Paul and Silas had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This is the Messiah, Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you.” 4 Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the marketplaces they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jason’s house. 6 When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers before the city authorities, shouting, “These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus.” 8 The people and the city officials were disturbed when they heard this, 9 and after they had taken bail from Jason and the others, they let them go.

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.
“These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also.

The Morning Prayer for FRIDAY, August 23, 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 23, 2019

Psalm 94:18-19 (NIV) When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Read all of Psalm 94

Listen to Psalm 94

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 23, 2019

El servicio: Viaje misionero al Perú

Alégrense en la esperanza, muestren paciencia en el sufrimiento, perseveren en la oración. Ayuden a los hermanos necesitados. Practiquen la hospitalidad.

Nunca antes había apreciado tanto la palabra «servicio» como en el viaje misionero al Perú. Un viaje que me dejó muchas enseñanzas y experiencias. Que me hizo reflexionar, valorar y reconocer que tengo el mejor Padre del mundo, Dios, y que soy bendecida de verdad.

El Señor hubiera podido determinar que tú y yo naciéramos en un hogar con extrema pobreza. Sin embargo, no fue así. Es posible que ahora estés pasando necesidades, yo también las he vivido en etapas de mi vida. Con todo, nunca ha sido una vida de grandes miserias.

Jamás seremos capaces de entender y valorar tanto esto como cuando tenemos contacto con la necesidad de otros. Eso fue lo que vimos en la visita que hicimos a la plaza de Canadá, en el Callao, durante este viaje misionero. La vida sencillamente no vale nada. Hay calles a las que ni las autoridades pueden entrar porque allí reinan la droga, la prostitución y la inseguridad.

Cuando llegamos, la gente nos miraba con extrañeza. No obstante, a medida que pasábamos horas en el lugar, se acercaban a nosotros. En esa plaza se realizaron servicios evangelísticos donde cada noche más de ciento ochenta personas recibieron a Jesús. Además, se les llevó servicio médico bajo carpa y se les entregaron medicinas y ropas. Daba gusto ver las caras de felicidad y agradecimiento.

Cuando tengas la oportunidad de servir, no lo dudes ni un instante. Es el mejor regalo que puedes darle a la humanidad.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Nunca antes había apreciado tanto la palabra «servicio» como en el viaje misionero al Perú. Un viaje que me dejó muchas enseñanzas y experiencias. Que me hizo reflexionar, valorar y reconocer que tengo el mejor Padre del mundo, Dios, y que soy bendecida de verdad.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, August 23, 2019

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.
~ Psalm 13:5-6 (NIV)

The Psalmist expresses his praise in the context of asking God for deliverance from his enemies. His trust results in rejoicing which then results in singing God’s praises.

A simple peasant girl from the countryside in China has used her musical creativity to encourage the house church movement all across China and touch the lives of millions of believers.

Xiao Min was born in a village in Henan Province in central China and has experienced much persecution. Though only receiving a junior high level education, she has been able to compose over 1,270 different hymns—both music and lyrics—that are sung by the Chinese churches in China and now throughout the world. They are known as the Canaan Hymns. Amazing creativity for a young lady with no musical training!

Xiao Min shares that twenty years ago many believers were arrested by the Chinese government. At that time, she prayed to the Lord asking if she could also be arrested and suffer together with these fellow believers. Soon after, she was indeed arrested and sent to prison. She says that she wasn’t scared at all.

One summer day in prison when it was extremely hot she requested the guard to let everyone wash their hair. But she received a rude response telling her to ask the Lord Jesus to wash their hair for them. She used this discouraging response as an inspiration to write hymn number 56, “Lord, We Know Deeply” in the Canaan Hymns series.

In this hymn, Xiao Min sings:
Lord we know deeply that in every moment Your love never, never diminishes.

Lord we know deeply that in every moment, our only friend is You.

Our hearts long for You, our hearts long for You,

Because You’re the first in millions, no one can be compared with You,

No one can be compared with you.”
Not only was Xiao Min arrested because of her faith, she was also persecuted by her family members. But she still testified to them that God healed her sinusitis and that He is her Savior. She concludes, “Even though we experience suffering, the Lord Jesus gives us strength.” Her strength enables her to sing to the Lord in the face of all difficulties.

RESPONSE: Today I will sing praises to the Lord no matter how difficult the journey.

PRAYER: I ask, Lord, for the grace to be able to vocalize my trust and joy and praise of You!

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

Men of the Bible - Friday, August 23, 2019


His name means: "God Is My Judge" 

His work: He was a Jew who became a governor in Babylon.
His character: Daniel was an exile who exhibited great discipline and faithfulness to his God in adverse circumstances.
His sorrow: Daniel experienced the tearing of his people from their homeland to be exiled in Babylon. He was never able to return to the land he loved.
His triumph: God used his faith and his godly diligence to win the loyalty of kings and kingdoms.
Key Scriptures: Daniel 1-6

A Look at the Man

Daniel's life was filled with unpleasant—and sometimes tragic—surprises.

When he was a young man, the Babylonians laid siege to his homeland, tearing down the walls and buildings of Jerusalem. Even the sacred temple was ransacked and destroyed. Along with the other Israelites who had survived the carnage, Daniel was taken as a prisoner of war back to Babylon.

Knowing that the future of his nation rested on the shoulders of the brightest young men in the land—including Hebrew men—Nebuchadnezzar the king called for the finest in the land: "young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace." Among these carefully chosen Jews was a young man named Daniel, along with three of his friends.

The young men lived in the palace. It was Daniel's first experience of sleeping with the enemy, but it would not be his last.

To more fully indoctrinate the men, Nebuchadnezzar gave them Babylonian names. Then Daniel and his friends were placed under the instruction of the teachers of Babylon, and the four young men gained "knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning." So remarkable were these men that when they were presented to King Nebuchadnezzar for his review, he found them "ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom."

But it was to Daniel alone that God gave the special gift of interpreting visions and dreams of all kinds. And it was this ability that granted Daniel a place of honor in the kingdom. After a while, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that haunted him. He sought an interpretation from all the wise men in the land—magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers. Infuriated by their inability to help him, Nebuchadnezzar ordered the execution of all the wise men in Babylon.

Upon hearing of this decree, Daniel begged for an audience with the king, pleading for his life and the lives of the wise men. Then Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar's troubling dream. In thanks the king promoted Daniel as the ruler of an entire Babylonian province and "lavished many gifts on him."

But in spite of the power and wealth bestowed on Daniel, his love and loyalty to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were unaltered. His daily regimen included three visits to an upstairs window facing his precious homeland, where he knelt and prayed. Daniel's faithfulness to God—and his divine gift of interpreting dreams—placed him in great prominence in the kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar his son, and Darius.

Under Darius, Daniel rose to power over one-third of the kingdom. It was, in fact, in the king's plan to place Daniel over all of Babylon. But the other rulers seethed with envy over the king's favor of this Hebrew. And so they plotted to destroy him under the sanction of the kingdom.

These men went to the king with a flattering plan. "Issue an edict and enforce a decree," they proposed to Darius. "Anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except the king, shall be thrown into the lions' den." Seeing an opportunity for glory and believing that there would be no harm in such a plan, the king put the decree in writing and secured it with his seal. Unfortunately for Daniel, the king himself could not reverse his decision.

Without regard to the consequences, Daniel prayed at his window. Facing prosperity or the threat of execution, he would not let his heart be drawn away from the God whom he loved and served. And his reward for this act of obedience was yet another restful night—in a cave of death for anyone but a man of God.

Reflect On: Daniel 6:19–28
Praise God: For his power and ability to change hearts.
Offer Thanks: For the faithful prayers of “the great cloud of witnesses” that have gone before us.
Confess: Our lack of spiritual discipline—our pretense of spiritual devotion rather than our daily practice of it.
Ask God: To fill you with a burning desire to know him.

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.
Daniel's life was filled with unpleasant—and sometimes tragic—surprises.

LHM Daily Devotions - August 23, 2019 - Community Action Plan

"Community Action Plan"

Aug. 23, 2019

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

The question of "Who am I?" has been debated by philosophers and theologians through the ages. It's still being asked today as people struggle with understanding the meaning of life. Who are we in the face of the universe—so vast and seemingly without end? Who are we in a world where unbridgeable chasms separate those who have from those who don't?

Sometimes this identity question plays itself out in a job shift: we may change our occupations and look for something more fulfilling. Sometimes it turns us into lineage archaeologists, probing as far as we can the ancestral roots beneath us. From where did I come? From whom did I originate? These are core questions shared by all humans.

Wherever your search leads, the question of who we are is an important one for each of us. What do you think is the meaning of your life? Is there some overarching purpose to your days? Do you look to someone or something beyond what you can see, or are you (am I?) left to figure it all out on our own?

In the text above, Peter tells us that Christ's followers are a select group of people whose identity is given them by God. The apostle sums it up: they are chosen; they are royal; they are holy; they are God's own possession. They also have a directive: a responsibility to share. Knowing this then by faith, God's people proclaim His excellences so that others, too, may experience His marvelous light.

How urgently the community of Christ needs to engage with those who are searching! The questions raised above are asked by people everywhere: neighbors and friends, coworkers and relatives. They wonder how their lives matter. They ponder if there's anything absolute in this universe, if anything is waiting for them beyond the grave.

God's chosen people then have some very good news to share with those who wonder such things. Jesus, God's Son and our Savior, came to earth to address man's deepest questions. His triumph over sin, death, and the devil was complete with His third-day resurrection. Today, He invites everyone into His community of fellowship so that all people can be God's people, recipients of His mercy and the gift of eternal life.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, bless the words we use to share the Gospel as a community of believers. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • When did you first ask yourself, "What is this life all about?"
  • Why would God call His people a "royal priesthood"?
  • Do you have conversations with others about ultimate things (life, death, heaven, hell)? What prompts such a conversation?

This Daily Devotion was penned by a contributing writer for Lutheran Hour Ministries. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Do you have conversations with others about ultimate things (life, death, heaven, hell)? What prompts such a conversation?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 23 de Agosto de 2019 - Las cosas importantes


Las cosas importantes

23 de Agosto de 2019

Pero ustedes son linaje escogido, real sacerdocio, nación santa, pueblo adquirido por Dios, para que anuncien los hechos maravillosos de aquel que los llamó de las tinieblas a su luz admirable. Antes, ustedes no eran un pueblo; ¡pero ahora son el pueblo de Dios!; antes no habían sido compadecidos, pero ahora ya han sido compadecidos.

La pregunta: "¿Quién soy?", ha sido debatida por filósofos y teólogos a lo largo de los siglos y sigue preguntándose todavía hoy, ya que todos queremos comprender el significado de la vida. ¿Quiénes somos frente al universo, tan vasto y aparentemente sin fin? ¿Quiénes somos en un mundo donde abismos insalvables separan a los pobres de los ricos?

A veces, esta pregunta de identidad se desarrolla en un cambio de trabajo: podemos cambiar nuestras ocupaciones y buscar algo más satisfactorio. A veces nos convierte en arqueólogos de linaje, explorando hasta donde podemos nuestras raíces ancestrales. ¿De dónde vine? ¿Cuál es mi origen? Estas son preguntas centrales compartidas por todos los humanos.

La pregunta de quién somos es importante para cada uno de nosotros. ¿Cuál crees que es el significado de tu vida? ¿Hay algún propósito general para ti? ¿Miras a alguien o algo más allá de lo que puedes ver, o debes averiguarlo solo por tu cuenta?

En el texto para hoy, Pedro nos dice que los seguidores de Cristo son un grupo selecto de personas cuya identidad les es dada por Dios. El apóstol lo resume así: linaje escogido, real sacerdocio, nación santa, pueblo adquirido por Dios. También tienen una directiva: una responsabilidad de compartir. Sabiendo esto por fe, el pueblo de Dios proclama Sus excelencias para que otros también puedan experimentar Su luz maravillosa.

¡Con cuánta urgencia la comunidad de Cristo necesita involucrarse con quienes están buscando! Las preguntas planteadas anteriormente las hacen personas de todas partes: vecinos y amigos, compañeros de trabajo y familiares. Muchos de ellos se preguntan si hay algo absoluto en este universo, si algo los espera más allá de la tumba.

Y las personas elegidas de Dios tienen buenas noticias para compartir con ellos. Jesús, el Hijo de Dios y nuestro Salvador, vino a la tierra para responder las preguntas más profundas del hombre. Su triunfo sobre el pecado, la muerte y el diablo se completó con su resurrección. Hoy, Jesús invita a todos a su comunidad de fe, para que todas las personas puedan ser parte del pueblo de Dios, receptores de su misericordia y la vida eterna.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, bendice las palabras que usamos para compartir el Evangelio como una comunidad de creyentes. En nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Esta devoción diaria fue escrita por un escritor contribuyente para Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Por qué crees que Dios llama a su pueblo un "real sacerdocio"?
  • Esta semana, trata de entablar una conversación con un compañero, amigo o familiar sobre las cosas importantes de la vida.

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Por qué crees que Dios llama a su pueblo un "real sacerdocio"?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Tấm Lòng Người Đầy Tớ

Tấm Lòng Người Đầy Tớ

Đọc: Mác 9:33-37 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Thi Thiên 113-115; I Cô-rinh-tô 6

Nếu ai muốn làm đầu, thì phải làm cuối và làm đầy tớ cho mọi người. Mác 9:35

Đầu bếp. Nhà tổ chức sự kiện. Chuyên gia dinh dưỡng. Y tá. Đó chỉ mới là vài trách nhiệm thường ngày của các bà mẹ hiện đại. Trong năm 2016, nghiên cứu ước tính rằng các bà mẹ làm việc khoảng 59-60 giờ mỗi tuần với những công việc liên quan đến con cái.

Chẳng có gì ngạc nhiên khi các bà mẹ lúc nào cũng thấy kiệt sức! Làm mẹ nghĩa là dành rất nhiều thời gian và sức lực để chăm sóc con cái, vì chúng rất cần sự giúp đỡ khi làm quen với thế giới.

Khi trải qua những ngày dài và cần được nhắc nhớ rằng chăm sóc người khác là việc đáng để theo đuổi, tôi tìm thấy niềm hy vọng lớn lao khi thấy Chúa trân trọng những người phục vụ.

Trong sách Phúc Âm Mác, các môn đồ tranh cãi với nhau ai trong số họ là người lớn nhất. Chúa Jêsus yên lặng ngồi xuống và nhắc nhở họ rằng “nếu ai muốn làm đầu, thì phải làm cuối và làm đầy tớ cho mọi người” (9: 35). Sau đó, Ngài bồng một đứa trẻ để minh họa tầm quan trọng của việc phục vụ người khác, đặc biệt là những người yếu đuối nhất trong chúng ta (c.36-37).

Lời của Chúa Jêsus nói lên tiêu chuẩn về sự cao trọng trong vương quốc Ngài. Tiêu chuẩn của Chúa là tấm lòng sẵn sàng chăm lo cho người khác. Và Chúa Jêsus hứa rằng Đức Chúa Trời hiện diện và ban năng lực cho những ai sẵn sàng phục vụ (c.37).

Khi bạn có cơ hội để phục vụ gia đình và cộng đồng, hãy vui mừng vì biết rằng Chúa Jêsus trân trọng thời gian và nỗ lực của bạn để phục vụ người khác.
Bạn sẽ phục vụ người khác như thế nào trong ngày hôm nay? Bạn sẽ dành thời gian để cảm ơn những người đã yêu thương và hết lòng phục vụ bạn ra sao?
Lạy Chúa Jêsus, cảm tạ Ngài đã nhắc nhở chúng con về tình yêu và sự chăm sóc của Ngài đối với con cái Ngài và những ai yếu đuối. Xin giúp chúng con sẵn lòng noi theo tấm gương phục vụ của Ngài.

© 2019 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Làm mẹ nghĩa là dành rất nhiều thời gian và sức lực để chăm sóc con cái, vì chúng rất cần sự giúp đỡ khi làm quen với thế giới.