Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for WEDNESDAY, Sept 4, 2019

The Parable of the Great Dinner
Luke 14:15-24

The Daily Lectionary
WEDNESDAY, September 4, 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 3:15-25
3:15 I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made. 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no longer stubbornly follow their own evil will. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your ancestors for a heritage.

19 I thought
     how I would set you among my children,
   and give you a pleasant land,
     the most beautiful heritage of all the nations.
   And I thought you would call me, My Father,
     and would not turn from following me.
20 Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband,
     so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel,
        says the Lord.

21 A voice on the bare heights is heard,
     the plaintive weeping of Israel’s children,
   because they have perverted their way,
     they have forgotten the Lord their God:
22 Return, O faithless children,
     I will heal your faithlessness.

   “Here we come to you;
     for you are the Lord our God.
23 Truly the hills are a delusion,
     the orgies on the mountains.
   Truly in the Lord our God
     is the salvation of Israel.

24 “But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our ancestors had labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our ancestors, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

Luke 14:15-24
The Parable of the Great Dinner
14:15 One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17 At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ 20 Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ 23 Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

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.
The basic message of the Parable of the Great Dinner could be stated this way: “The tragedy of the Jewish rejection of Christ has opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles. The blessings of the kingdom are available to all who will come to Christ by faith.”

The Daily Prayer for WEDNESDAY, Sept 4, 2019

The Daily Prayer
for WEDNESDAY, September 4, 2019

In his book Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says this to us: “Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world. The sooner this shock of disillusionment comes to an individual and to a community, the better for both.”

Lord, give us the imagination to dream and catch glimpses of the life you intend for us to live. Show us how our individual lives are entwined with those around us, and help us to live so truly together that we embody your good news in this world. Amen.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, Sept 4, 2019

2 Timothy 1:13-14 (NIV) What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

Read all of 2 Timothy 1

Listen to 2 Timothy 1

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

Un dia a la Vez - Wednesday, Sept 4, 2019

Sabiduría contra necedad (primera parte)

En los labios del prudente hay sabiduría; en la espalda del falto de juicio, solo garrotazos.

La sabiduría es un don hermoso y tenerla es una ganancia, mientras que la necedad es un defecto y es desobediencia.

Durante este año hemos recordado que cada uno de nosotros tiene una porción de sabiduría. No obstante, también el Manual de Instrucciones nos dice que si nos falta sabiduría, se la pidamos a Dios.

Es un privilegio y una virtud ser sabios en todo lo que hacemos, hablamos y pensamos. Cuando nos tomamos el tiempo para pensar antes de actuar, nos libramos de errores y de muchos dolores de cabeza.

Como todo en la vida, debemos tener un equilibrio. Hay personas que por tratar de ser sabios se van al extremo y se vuelven legalistas. Piensan que teniendo una conducta irreprochable van a ser capaces de evitar una crisis o una situación difícil. Les recuerdo que Dios creó el día bueno y también el malo. Lo importante es discernir los momentos y vivir en consecuencia.

Hay oportunidades que nunca regresan y está en ti tomar una sabia decisión. También hemos experimentado que el infortunio nos lleva a la reflexión y produce el fruto de la sabiduría.

Después de esas grandes dificultades que hemos enfrentado, es increíble cómo la manera de ver la vida cambia de forma radical y aprendemos mucho. Sin darnos cuenta, maduramos, y es de allí que viene el fruto de la sabiduría.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
La sabiduría es un don hermoso y tenerla es una ganancia, mientras que la necedad es un defecto y es desobediencia.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Wednesday, Sept 4, 2019

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.

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

Every pastor and Bible teacher works hard to understand the meaning of the scriptures. They learn biblical languages, look up concordances, and consult commentaries, all in the hope of shedding more light on the key questions of interpretation: 

1. Who wrote this text and what did they mean by it?

2. Who initially read this text and what did they make of it? 

All good interpretation begins with the tools that answer these two primary questions. We are taught that these tools lie in the realm of scholarship, and most pastors take to their studies and their libraries accordingly. But there is another vitally overlooked tool that gives a key to the meaning of the scriptures. The persecuted church of today represents the closest we can come to the original writers and readers of the scriptures. You see, most of the Bible was written by persecuted people for persecuted people. By interacting with them, we gain unique insights into the original meaning of the scriptures. We really need their help because what is obvious to a persecuted, biblical Christian is no longer obvious to us. We inhabit a completely different universe. We need the persecuted to remind us of what life was like for the original New Testament community. The persecuted enable us in some small way to recover the “original eyes” of the first writers and readers of scripture, and that can impact interpretation.

I remember a dear pastor from the West preaching about Jesus stilling the storm (Mark 4:35-41). His whole talk was on how Jesus could still the storms raging in our lives. He named storms like loneliness, misunderstanding, humiliation, persecution even. And he said, “Jesus can deliver you from every one of these storms, just like he did the disciples of old.”

He was about to go on when an old man stood up. He was from a Middle Eastern country and had seen much suffering. He said gently and respectfully, “My dear brother, if you had been persecuted you would know the primary meaning of this passage. The point of this story is not that Jesus takes the storm away, but that there is no need to fear the storm if Jesus is in the boat.” Everyone stared at him in silence. He added, “This passage is given to us for our comfort in the face of terrible storms, to know that Jesus is in the boat with us so that the storm will do us no harm.” So that persecuted Christian—because he was persecuted—knew the meaning of the passage better than the preacher, because he was one for whom the passage was written.

RESPONSE: Today I will read my Bible through the eyes and perspective of the persecuted.

PRAYER: Lord, may Your Word come alive as I interpret it with the help of the persecuted church.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Most of the Bible was written by persecuted people for persecuted people.

LHM Daily Devotions - Sept 4, 2019 - Asking the Impossible—and Getting It

"Asking the Impossible—and Getting It"

Sep. 4, 2019

Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus—I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus ....

Philemon seems to have been a fairly well-off Christian man with a family and a house large enough for the local Christian church to meet in it. He also apparently had slaves—including a young man named Onesimus. By the sounds of it, Onesimus ran away from his master Philemon, possibly stealing some money at the same time. By some miracle—how? God knows how—Onesimus wound up in contact with Paul, who was in prison for Jesus' sake. Paul taught Onesimus about Jesus, and soon Onesimus was a believer. Then the two of them agreed that it was time for him to go home and face the music.

That had to be scary. What would Philemon do, faced with his runaway slave and thief? They couldn't be sure. But Paul put his trust in the Holy Spirit who was working in Philemon's heart, and he wrote this short letter for Onesimus to take back with him.

If you haven't done it yet, read the whole letter. It's very short. Paul explains that he has come to know and love Onesimus as his own child, and is now sending him home, asking Philemon to "receive him as you would receive me" (verse 17). What! Receive a runaway with the same welcome he would give to Paul himself? But Paul asks for more than that. He says, "If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account ... I will repay it"—which must have made Philemon's head spin. He even hints—no, more than hints—that Philemon should set Onesimus free: "This perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother" (verses 18, 15-16).

Now let's be realistic. This just plain isn't happening. In the world we live in, nobody forgives like that. Nobody takes in a thief and a runaway without punishment—no, even promoting them to the status of one of the family!

But it seems to have happened. There are traces in history of an early church leader named Onesimus—a bishop. If this is the same man, it seems likely that Philemon did exactly what Paul asked—he did the impossible and loved Onesimus with the love of Jesus Christ.

How could this happen? One reason only—because the Holy Spirit was working in Philemon's heart to bring him into conformity with the nature of Jesus. After all, Jesus is the One who lay down His life for us who were His enemies, and who rose from the dead to give us everlasting life. If He can love like that, He can create that kind of love in us as well. It's never easy. But it is possible—because it is Jesus working.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, work in my heart to make it more like Yours. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • When did someone show you undeserved mercy or kindness?
  • What is one impossible conflict you would like to ask God for help in?
  • Write or say a prayer about that conflict, asking God to work in the hearts of the people involved.

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).
When did someone show you undeserved mercy or kindness?

Devocional del CPTLN del 04 de Septiembre de 2019 - Pidiendo y obteniendo lo imposible


Pidiendo y obteniendo lo imposible

04 de Septiembre de 2019

Por eso, y aunque tengo mucha libertad en Cristo para mandarte lo que conviene, más bien te ruego por amor. Yo, Pablo, que ya soy anciano, y además prisionero de Jesucristo, te ruego por mi hijo Onésimo...

Filemón parece haber sido un hombre cristiano bastante acomodado con una familia y una casa lo suficientemente grande como para que la iglesia cristiana local se reuniera en ella. Aparentemente también tenía esclavos, incluido un joven llamado Onésimo. Según parece, Onésimo se escapó de su patrón Filemón, posiblemente robando algo de dinero al mismo tiempo. Por algún milagro, solo Dios sabe cómo, Onésimo terminó en contacto con Pablo, que estaba en prisión por su amor a Jesús. Pablo le enseñó a Onésimo acerca de Jesús, y pronto Onésimo fue un creyente. Luego, los dos acordaron que era hora de que él regresara a su casa a afrontar las consecuencias.

Eso tuvo que ser aterrador. ¿Qué haría Filemón frente a su esclavo y ladrón fugitivo? No podían estar seguros. Pero Pablo confiaba en el Espíritu Santo que obraba en el corazón de Filemón, por lo que escribió esta breve carta para que Onésimo se la llevara.

Si aún no lo has hecho, lee la carta completa. Es bien corta. Pablo explica que ha llegado a conocer y amar a Onésimo como a su propio hijo y que ahora lo está enviando a casa, pidiéndole a Filemón que "si me consideras tu compañero, recíbelo como si fuera yo mismo" (vs. 17). ¡Qué! ¿Recibir un fugitivo con la misma bienvenida que le daría al propio Pablo? Pero Pablo pide más que eso. Dice: "Y si algún daño te causó, o si te debe algo, ponlo a mi cuenta... yo te lo pagaré" (vs. 18), lo que debe haber hecho girar la cabeza de Filemón. Incluso le dice a Filemón que debería darle libertad a Onésimo: "Tal vez para esto se apartó de ti por algún tiempo; para que lo recibieras para siempre, no ya como a un esclavo, sino como a alguien más que un esclavo, como a un hermano amado" (vs. 15-16).

Ahora seamos realistas. En el mundo en que vivimos, esto simplemente no sucede, nadie perdona así. Nadie acepta a un ladrón y un fugitivo sin castigo, ¡y menos promoviéndolos a miembro de la familia!

Pero parece haber sucedido. Hay rastros en la historia de un líder de la iglesia primitiva llamado Onésimo, un obispo. Si este es el mismo hombre, es probable que Filemón hizo exactamente lo que Pablo le pidió: hizo lo imposible y amó a Onésimo con el amor de Jesucristo.

¿Cómo pudo ser? Solo una razón: porque el Espíritu Santo estaba obrando en el corazón de Filemón para sincronizarlo con la naturaleza de Jesús. Después de todo, Jesús es quien dio su vida por nosotros, quienes éramos sus enemigos, y quien resucitó de los muertos para darnos vida eterna. Si él puede amar así, también puede crear esa clase de amor en nosotros. No es fácil, pero es posible porque es obra de Jesús.

ORACIÓN: Querido Señor Jesús, obra en mi corazón para que se parezca cada vez más al tuyo. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Recuerdas alguna vez en que alguien te mostró misericordia o bondad inmerecida?
  • ¿Con qué conflicto imposible te gustaría que Dios te ayudara?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Recuerdas alguna vez en que alguien te mostró misericordia o bondad inmerecida?

Ministérios Pão Diário - Busque a Sua proteção

Busque a Sua proteção

Perseverai na oração, vigiando com ações de graças. Colossenses 4:2

Allan, um rapaz do bairro, perguntou quando começamos a caminhada pelo rio perto de casa: “Vamos ver algumas cobras? “Nunca vimos antes, mas podemos!”, respondi, “Vamos pedir a Deus para nos proteger?, sugeri. “Nós paramos, oramos, e continuamos a andar.”

Pouco mais tarde minha esposa, Cari, deu um rápido passo para trás, evitando pisar numa cobra venenosa parcialmente enrolada à sua frente. Esperamos até a cobra sair da trilha. Então paramos e agradecemos a Deus por nada ter acontecido. Acredito que pela pergunta de Allan, Deus nos preparou para esse encontro, e a nossa oração foi parte de Seu cuidado providencial.

Nossa experiência com o perigo traz à mente a importância das palavras de Davi: “Buscai o Senhor e o seu poder, buscai perpetuamente a sua presença” (1 Crônicas 16:11). Este conselho era parte de um salmo que celebrava o retorno da arca da aliança a Jerusalém, e relata a fidelidade de Deus ao Seu povo em suas lutas ao longo da história, lembrando-os de sempre louvá-lo e de “clamar” por Ele (v.35).

O que significa buscar a presença de Deus? Significa voltar o nosso coração a Ele mesmo nos momentos mais mundanos. Às vezes, nossas orações são respondidas de maneira diferente do que pedimos, mas Deus é fiel, venha o que vier. Nosso Bom Pastor dirigirá os nossos caminhos e nos guardará em Sua misericórdia, força e amor.

A oração transmite o poder de andar e não desmaiar. 
Oswald Chambers

© 2019 Ministérios Pão Diário
O que significa buscar a presença de Deus?