Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for TUESDAY, Sept 3, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
TUESDAY, September 3, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

Psalm 58
Prayer for Vengeance
To the leader: Do Not Destroy. Of David. A Miktam.
1  Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?
     Do you judge people fairly?
2  No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
     your hands deal out violence on earth.

3  The wicked go astray from the womb;
     they err from their birth, speaking lies.
4  They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
     like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
5  so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
     or of the cunning enchanter.

6  O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
     tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
7  Let them vanish like water that runs away;
     like grass let them be trodden down and wither.
8  Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime;
     like the untimely birth that never sees the sun.
9  Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
     whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!

10 The righteous will rejoice when they see vengeance done;
     they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 People will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
     surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Jeremiah 3:1-14
Unfaithful Israel
3:1 If a man divorces his wife
     and she goes from him
   and becomes another man’s wife,
     will he return to her?
   Would not such a land be greatly polluted?
   You have played the whore with many lovers;
     and would you return to me?
       says the Lord.
2  Look up to the bare heights, and see!
     Where have you not been lain with?
   By the waysides you have sat waiting for lovers,
     like a nomad in the wilderness.
   You have polluted the land
     with your whoring and wickedness.
3  Therefore the showers have been withheld,
     and the spring rain has not come;
   yet you have the forehead of a whore,
     you refuse to be ashamed.
4  Have you not just now called to me,
     “My Father, you are the friend of my youth—
5  will he be angry forever,
     will he be indignant to the end?”
   This is how you have spoken,
     but you have done all the evil that you could.

A Call to Repentance
6 The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? 7 And I thought, “After she has done all this she will return to me”; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. 8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. 9 Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense, says the Lord.

11 Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:

   Return, faithless Israel,
       says the Lord.
   I will not look on you in anger,
     for I am merciful,
       says the Lord;
   I will not be angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt,
     that you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
 and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree,
     and have not obeyed my voice,
       says the Lord.
14 Return, O faithless children,
       says the Lord,
     for I am your master;
   I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
     and I will bring you to Zion.

Titus 1:1-9
1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began— 3 in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior,

4 To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Titus in Crete
5 I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: 6 someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. 7 For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; 8 but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 9 He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.

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. www.commontexts.org
Titus 1:1-9: Titus has been given a rather different task to that of Timothy. He has been left in Crete to “put in order what was left unfinished.”

The Morning Prayer for TUESDAY, Sept 3, 2019

The Daily Prayer
for Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Alphonsus Liguori, eighteenth-century founder of the Redemptorists, wrote, “Persecutions are to the works of God what the frosts of the winter are to plants; far from destroying them, they help them to strike their roots deep in the soil and make them more full of life.”

Lord, where your church is weak through comfort, strengthen us through the necessary trials. Where your church is invisible through fear, make your word known through the boldness of prophets and through the courage of ordinary people like us. Amen.

Verse of the Day for TUESDAY, Sept 3, 2019


Isaiah 48:17 (NIV) This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.

Read all of Isaiah 48

Listen to Isaiah 48

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 - Tuesday, Sept 3, 2019


La vanidad de la vida

Es don de Dios que todo hombre coma y beba, y goce el bien de toda su labor.

Muchas cosas en la vida son vanidad y nos hacen perder la orientación. Por ejemplo, el anhelo desmedido por las riquezas. La Biblia nos enseña que el amor al dinero también es vanidad.

Por eso, el verdadero convertido es el que deja a un lado el interés por las cosas materiales y se concentra en Dios que es el Dador de todo en este mundo. Una cosa es ser próspero y otra cosa es que tu vida la pongas a valer por lo que tienes… Cuanto tienes, cuanto vales.

El Manual de Instrucciones nos recuerda que no podemos creer que siempre seremos jóvenes, pues la juventud pasa de igual manera. Como salimos desnudos del vientre de nuestra madre, así volveremos sin nada.

Pidámosle a Dios que seamos capaces de mantener un equilibrio en la vida, que disfrutemos de sus bendiciones y que, de lo mucho o lo poco que tengamos, podamos darles a los demás.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Muchas cosas en la vida son vanidad y nos hacen perder la orientación. Por ejemplo, el anhelo desmedido por las riquezas. La Biblia nos enseña que el amor al dinero también es vanidad.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Tuesday, Sept 3, 2019


Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.
~ Psalm 149:1b (NIV)

Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the persecuted church.”

It’s so easy to get fed up with church. For years I got very little out of church. The sermons were boring. The music was embarrassing. The fellowship was non-existent. The whole experience of worshiping with other people felt stale and pointless…Going to church in my country was an endurance test. Until I visited a persecuted church!

There were fifty of us squeezed into an upstairs room. The singing was hushed. The neighbors were hostile to the fellowship. Then a preacher stood up. An old man, with a wiry frame and wisps of hair springing from a mole on his chin. No sooner had he spoken a sentence than he broke down in tears. He kept saying, “I never thought I would have the privilege of preaching again.” Then he would laugh, and then cry again, great wails and sobs. Soon everyone was weeping with him. Except me. This went on for about half an hour, and I began to get very fed up with it all. He kept speaking a line, and my translator kept saying, “It’s the same verse, it’s the same verse.” All this man did was repeat the same scripture phrase, burst into tears, laugh, and then speak the very same phrase again. I thought, “What kind of hopeless service is this.”

But afterwards I met the old man, and when I heard his story I repented of my attitude. He was a preacher, ordained in the late 1950’s in China. He pastored a church for only six months before it was closed down. He was jailed, spending twenty years in prison. After he got out, he was very ill for a long time, but finally, at age 77, had the strength to speak again. I had witnessed his first sermon in 31 years! No wonder he broke down. I tried to imagine what it must have been like, holding the Word of God inside for 31 years, not knowing whether you would ever again preach. Then suddenly being allowed to do so. How do you preach a sermon after a silence of 31 years? No wonder he was overcome.

He said, “I never thought I would get the privilege of speaking the Word to a gathered group of Christians with their Bibles open ever again. Through the long years of prison I thought that experience would never return. And when it came, as you saw, all I could do was choke out the verse that kept me going: Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful (Ps149:1b).

I returned home with a transformed attitude. I began to walk to church with my Bible, praising Him for the opportunity. I went to the church early, walking the aisles and praying, thanking God for the building and the freedom to hold our service. When the preacher spoke, I thanked God that he had no fear. When the Bible was read, I thanked God for the men who took grave risks in the past to print and distribute this word in my language. When we sang a hymn, I sang out loudly, thanking God that I did not have to whisper in hushed tones.

Truly, what a privilege is corporate worship. The persecuted church rescued me from bitterness, and taught me to count my blessings I had taken for granted.

RESPONSE: Today I will thank God for the privilege and freedom of corporate worship in my church.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the freedom and blessing of praising You in my faith community.

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 - Sept 3, 2019 - Try Harder?


"Try Harder?"

Sep. 3, 2019

(Moses said) "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in His ways, and by keeping His commandments and His statutes and His rules, then you shall live and multiply ... I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days."

It can be very discouraging sometimes when I talk to non-Christians. "Christianity is too extreme," they say. "We don't need a Savior—why should anybody have to die in order to make things better? No, we just need to try harder. Everyone should live a good life, follow the Ten Commandments, and we'll have heaven on earth, in no time. It's that simple."

Sometimes they go on to complain about God. "After all, he could be a little more helpful. He could do miracles in public, so we'd all see he was real, with our own eyes. Then everyone would believe! And he should punish the evildoers in a dramatic way so people would learn from their mistakes. It's God's fault, really. Why doesn't he try this way?"

The frustrating thing is that God already has tried that way—the entire Old Testament is a record of it. In the Bible passage we have for today, God spells it out in words a child could understand: "I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days."

In the first five books of the Bible, God spelled out His commands, wrote them down, told the people to memorize them, and gave them teachers and judges to answer questions. He did miracles right in front of them so that no one could doubt God existed and was speaking to them. God satisfied every human demand. And it still went wrong.

For all their great advantages, Israel managed to mess up in every possible way. They did evil so often and so persistently that God finally had to send them into exile for 70 years, away from their own country. This brilliant, obvious plan had failed.

This was no surprise to God, of course. He knows what kind of people we are. But it was a surprise to most of us! The story of Israel is our story—and it's a story we need to hear, so that we put away once and forever the crazy idea that we can somehow save ourselves—that we can just try harder—that we can be our own saviors. Israel couldn't do it. Neither can we.

That is why God's true plan for us is and always has been to send Jesus to become our Savior. We cannot keep the Commandments—but Jesus can, and did. We cannot cleanse our hearts—but Jesus can cleanse them for us. We cannot turn from death to life—but Jesus can raise us to new, everlasting life by the power of His own death and resurrection.

This is why we need a Savior. Because no amount of trying harder will work. But Jesus-yes, He gets the job done.

THE PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for saving us. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Did you ever try to live absolutely perfectly for one whole day? How did that turn out?
  • How does it make you feel, knowing that Jesus has already fulfilled all the requirements of the Law for you?
  • How do you plan to use the freedom and new life Jesus has won for you?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Did you ever try to live absolutely perfectly for one whole day? How did that turn out?

Devocional del CPTLN del 03 de Septiembre de 2019 - ¿Esforzarse más?


¿Esforzarse más?

03 de Septiembre de 2019

(Moisés dijo) Fíjate bien: hoy he puesto delante de ti la vida y el bien, la muerte y el mal. Lo que yo te mando hoy es que ames al Señor tu Dios, que vayas por sus caminos, y que cumplas sus mandamientos, sus estatutos y sus decretos, para que vivas y seas multiplicado... Hoy pongo a los cielos y a la tierra por testigos contra ustedes, de que he puesto ante ustedes la vida y la muerte, la bendición y la maldición. Escoge, pues, la vida, para que tú y tu descendencia vivan; y para que ames al Señor tu Dios, y atiendas a su voz, y lo sigas, pues él es para ti vida y prolongación de tus días.

A veces puede ser muy desalentador hablar con personas que no son cristianas. "El cristianismo es demasiado extremo", dicen. "No necesitamos un Salvador. ¿Por qué alguien tiene que morir para mejorar las cosas? No, solo tenemos que esforzarnos más. Todos deberían vivir una buena vida, seguir los Diez Mandamientos, y tendríamos el cielo en la tierra en poco tiempo. Es así de simple."

A veces se quejan de Dios. "Después de todo, él podría ser un poco más útil", dicen. "Podría hacer milagros en público, así todos veríamos que es real con nuestros propios ojos. ¡Entonces todos creerían! Y debería castigar a los malhechores de una manera drástica para que la gente aprenda de sus errores. Es culpa de Dios, de verdad. ¿Por qué no lo intenta de esta manera?"

Lo frustrante es que Dios ya lo ha intentado de esa manera: todo el Antiguo Testamento es un registro de ello. En el pasaje de la Biblia que tenemos para hoy, Dios lo explica con palabras que un niño podría entender: "He puesto ante ustedes la vida y la muerte, la bendición y la maldición. Escoge, pues, la vida, para que tú y tu descendencia vivan; y para que ames al Señor tu Dios, y atiendas a su voz, y lo sigas, pues él es para ti vida y prolongación de tus días".

En los primeros cinco libros de la Biblia, Dios explica sus mandamientos con lujo de detalles: los escribe, le dice a la gente que los memorice y les da maestros y jueces para responder preguntas; hace milagros en frente de ellos para que nadie pueda dudar de su existencia. Dios satisfizo cada demanda humana, pero ni siquiera eso funcionó.

A pesar de tener todas esas ventajas, Israel logró equivocarse de todas las maneras posibles. Hizo el mal con tanta frecuencia y persistencia, que Dios finalmente tuvo que enviarlos al exilio durante 70 años, lejos de su propio país. El plan brillante y obvio había fallado.

Esto no fue una sorpresa para Dios, por supuesto. Él sabe cómo somos. ¡Pero fue una sorpresa para la mayoría de nosotros! La historia de Israel es nuestra historia y es una historia que necesitamos escuchar, de modo que descartemos de una vez por todas la loca idea de que de alguna manera podemos esforzarnos más y así ser nuestros propios salvadores. Israel no pudo hacerlo. Nosotros tampoco podemos.

Es por eso que el plan de Dios para nosotros es, y siempre ha sido, enviar a Jesús para que sea nuestro Salvador. No podemos guardar los Mandamientos, pero Jesús sí. No podemos limpiar nuestros corazones, pero Jesús sí. No podemos pasar de la muerte a la vida, pero Jesús sí. Por eso necesitamos un Salvador. Porque ningún esfuerzo que hagamos va a funcionar. ¡Pero Jesús sí!

ORACIÓN: Gracias, Señor, por salvarnos. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Cómo te hace sentir saber que Jesús ya ha cumplido todos los requisitos de la Ley por ti?
  • ¿Cómo planeas usar la libertad y la nueva vida que Jesús ha ganado para ti?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Cómo te hace sentir saber que Jesús ya ha cumplido todos los requisitos de la Ley por ti?

Nuestro Pan Diario - ¡Está resbaladizo!


¡Está resbaladizo!

Leer: Salmo 141 | La Biblia en un año: Salmos 140−142 1 Corintios 14:1-20

No dejes que se incline mi corazón a cosa mala… (v. 4).

Hace años, cuando estaba aprendiendo a esquiar, seguí a mi hijo Josh en lo que parecía una pendiente leve. Con los ojos fijos en él, no me di cuenta de que había girado hacia la bajada más rápida de la montaña, así que me encontré intentando doblar de golpe, totalmente fuera de control. Por supuesto, caí violentamente.

El Salmo 141 muestra cómo podemos caer fácilmente por la ladera del pecado. La oración es una de las formas de permanecer alertas ante tales pendientes. «No dejes que se incline mi corazón a cosa mala» (v. 4) es un ruego que evoca de manera casi exacta la oración del Señor: «Y no nos metas en tentación, mas líbranos del mal» (Mateo 6:13). En su bondad, Dios oye y responde esta oración.

Además, en este salmo, encuentro otro agente de la gracia: un amigo fiel. «Que el justo me castigue, será un favor, y que me reprenda será un excelente bálsamo que no me herirá la cabeza» (Salmo 141:5). Las tentaciones son sutiles. No siempre somos conscientes de que vamos mal. Un amigo fiel puede ser objetivo: «Fieles son las heridas del que ama» (Proverbios 27:6). Es difícil aceptar reprimendas, pero si vemos las heridas como un «favor», pueden convertirse en un bálsamo que nos repone en el sendero de la obediencia.
Señor, ayúdame a estar dispuesto a escuchar tu verdad de parte de un amigo fiel.
¿Hacia qué pendientes resbaladizas te inclinas? ¿Cómo puedes proteger tu corazón?

© 2019 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario
Hace años, cuando estaba aprendiendo a esquiar, seguí a mi hijo Josh en lo que parecía una pendiente leve.