Friday, September 6, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, Sept 6, 2019

God’s church is strengthened by everyday people.

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, September 6, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
The Inescapable God
To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.
1  O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2  You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
     you discern my thoughts from far away.
3  You search out my path and my lying down,
     and are acquainted with all my ways.
4  Even before a word is on my tongue,
     O Lord, you know it completely.
5  You hem me in, behind and before,
     and lay your hand upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
     it is so high that I cannot attain it.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
     you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
     Wonderful are your works;
   that I know very well.
15   My frame was not hidden from you,
   when I was being made in secret,
     intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
   In your book were written
     all the days that were formed for me,
     when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
     How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
     I come to the end—I am still with you.

Jeremiah 16:14—17:4
God Will Restore Israel
16:14 Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, “As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,” 15 but “As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he had driven them.” For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their ancestors.

16 I am now sending for many fishermen, says the Lord, and they shall catch them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from my presence, nor is their iniquity concealed from my sight. 18 And I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.

19 O Lord, my strength and my stronghold,
     my refuge in the day of trouble,
   to you shall the nations come
     from the ends of the earth and say:
   Our ancestors have inherited nothing but lies,
     worthless things in which there is no profit.
20 Can mortals make for themselves gods?
     Such are no gods!

21 “Therefore I am surely going to teach them, this time I am going to teach them my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the Lord.”

Judah’s Sin and Punishment
17:1 The sin of Judah is written with an iron pen; with a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts, and on the horns of their altars, 2 while their children remember their altars and their sacred poles, beside every green tree, and on the high hills, 3 on the mountains in the open country. Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your sin throughout all your territory. 4 By your own act you shall lose the heritage that I gave you, and I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.

Colossians 4:7-17
Final Greetings and Benediction
4:7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me; he is a beloved brother, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts; 9 he is coming with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.

10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas, concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him. 11 And Jesus who is called Justus greets you. These are the only ones of the circumcision among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always wrestling in his prayers on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured in everything that God wills. 13 For I testify for him that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you complete the task that you have received in the Lord.

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.
We see in Colossians 4:7-17 that God’s church is strengthened by everyday people who use their hands, their presence, and their faithfulness to serve others.

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, Sept 6, 2019

The Daily Prayer
for FRIDAY, September 6, 2019

English priest C. F. Andrews, who was called Deenabandhu (Friend of the Poor) by the Indians among whom he served, said this: “Christ seeks from us deeds not words. Devotion to him is in the first place not sentimental but practical. If the Christian faith has no power to restore or recreate the human will, leading one to deeds of unselfish service, then it stands self-condemned.”

Lord, keep us from following a faith that awaits peace in heaven. You are our peace, and you are always with us. May your peace come and your will be done on earth, as indeed it is in heaven. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, Sept 6, 2019

John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Read all of John 14

Listen to John 14

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, Sept 6, 2019

Oración por buenas decisiones

El que va por buen camino teme al Señor; el que va por mal camino lo desprecia.

Señor, te queremos dar muchas gracias por tu Palabra. Gracias por dejar entre nosotros ese Manual de Instrucciones que está lleno de recomendaciones y de consejos para que se apliquen a la vida de cada uno de tus hijos.

En estos días reflexionamos acerca de la sabiduría y la necedad y vimos que las dos pueden afectar nuestra vida para bien o para mal.

Por eso, hoy queremos decirte que necesitamos tu ayuda. Queremos que nos bendigas con una nueva porción de sabiduría, de modo que seamos capaces de hacer tu voluntad y andar como es debido en tus caminos todos los días de nuestra vida.

También te pedimos, mi Dios, que nos ayudes a ser equilibrados y no llegar a los extremos del legalismo ni del libertinaje. Sabemos que los extremos son malos.

Gracias por este nuevo día. Lo dejamos en tus manos y confiamos plenamente en ti.

En el nombre de Jesús oramos, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
En estos días reflexionamos acerca de la sabiduría y la necedad y vimos que las dos pueden afectar nuestra vida para bien o para mal.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, Sept 6, 2019

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
~ Luke 6:37 (NIV)

Alexander Puerta has seen more than his share of tragedy. Raised on a small farm in Urabá region of northern Colombia, he was 17 when his father was murdered by an angry neighbor.

At 19, Alex nearly died of malaria. He called on a Christian evangelist to pray for him and experienced a miraculous recovery. That convinced him to accept Christ. He soon became a fervent evangelist himself and took a job at the Rancho Amelia banana plantation in Urabá.

A guerrilla army operating in the area mistakenly believed Rancho Amelia harbored a paramilitary squad. One morning in September 1995, they ambushed a bus carrying plantation employees, tied them up and threw them face down into a gully. The guerrillas then opened fire with machine guns on the helpless workers.

In the midst of the shooting, a bullet struck Alex Puerta at the base of his left eye, fractured his skull from the inside and exited, destroying his right eye and cheekbone. Amazingly, Alex did not lose consciousness, despite the excruciating pain and nearly suffocating in his own blood.

“The guerrillas came down the rows to find those who were still moving, finishing them off with a machete blow to the neck,” he recalls. “They reached me and I told them that Christ loved them. ‘This one’s alive!’ they said, and hit me twice very hard. They broke two teeth and cut off an ear lobe, but the machete did not penetrate my neck. Then they left.

“At that moment I heard a voice say, ‘Fight for your life.’ I felt such a strength and vitality that I succeeded in breaking my bonds. It hurt, but God gave me strength. When help arrived, they found me sitting up.” Alex was the only victim to survive the massacre. Twenty-five of his Rancho Amelia co-workers, including several women, lay dead in the gully.

Survival has been difficult. Alex underwent five surgeries to rebuild his shattered face. Doctors told him that he would never see again. He remembers the long months of convalescence with nothing to do but sit at home with only the family dog.

Today Alex serves as a voluntary chaplain of Prison Fellowship, preaching in chapel services at the Bellavista National Penitentiary and counseling inmates. Some of the prisoners with whom he has shared the gospel are former guerrillas. At least one, he has learned, was involved in the massacre at Rancho Amelia.

Alex let it be known that he has forgiven each of the assailants who blinded him and killed his friends. “If one decides to follow Jesus, the foundation is forgiveness,” he says. “Without it, there is no real Christian life.”

Recently, Alex accepted an invitation from Open Doors to become a regular trainer for Standing Strong Through the Storm seminars offered throughout Colombia. Feedback from seminar participants indicates that Alex is particularly effective in teaching about forgiveness.

RESPONSE: Today I will obey the Lord and forgive everyone who has hurt me.

PRAYER: Pray for Alex as he teaches SSTS seminars in Colombia. Pray his students will also forgive.

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, Sept 6, 2019


His name means: "A Dove"

His work: He was a northern kingdom prophet.
His character: Jonah must have been a gifted communicator. Why else would God choose him to preach repentance and grace to the pagan city of Nineveh? But Jonah was a proud man, a rebellious prophet, and a sulker.
His sorrow: Jonah was sad that the Ninevites had repented and that God had granted them mercy. Jonah would have preferred seeing these pagans punished for their sinfulness.
His triumph: That God had spared his life from the belly of the fish.
Key Scriptures: The book of Jonah; Matthew 12:38-41

A Look at the Man

Prophets often scandalized God's people, ill-prepared as they were to hear the unvarnished truth about their spiritual condition. But in Jonah's case it was the prophet who was scandalized, not by another prophet, but by God himself. For one day he heard God issue an incredible command: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me."

Could God possibly mean it? It was one thing to endure mockery and ridicule from your own people whenever you preached repentance, but going to the capital city of Assyria was dangerous, perhaps deadly. The Ninevites, after all, were a violent and ruthless people who had already brutalized many Israelites. What's more, Jonah despised them. So, like a rebellious teenager, he ran away, except that he wasn't fleeing his parents, he was running from the Creator of the universe.

But, as Jonah soon discovered, you can't outrun God. Instead, he found himself surrounded by the entrails of a great fish. There in the darkness, Jonah was ready to pray.

"In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help and you listened to my cry…. You brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God…. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good."

From inside the fish, Jonah was calling his fear, his defiance, his pride, and his willful disobedience by a new name: "idols." And he was identifying the ship, the storm, and the fish as something they had never been called before: "grace." And once Jonah acknowledged these truths, God gave him another chance to obey, and the great fish vomited Jonah onto dry land. Even though Nineveh was probably more than five hundred miles away, Jonah headed for the city.

In the same way he had prepared the fish to swallow the prophet, God prepared the people for Jonah's message. "The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth to show their sorrow for their sin."

But now, instead of rejoicing at the way God had used him, Jonah acted like a spoiled child. Although he had taken God's message to the Assyrian capital city, he had no mercy for the people himself. He would have much rather watched Nineveh burn than have seen its people repent and avert God's judgment. He believed God's gift of grace belonged exclusively to his own countrymen.

How little did Jonah perceive the nature and intentions of the living God for whom he spoke. His running and his sulking demonstrate how little he understood about God's great compassion and his desire to forgive anyone who repents of his or her sins.

Reflect On: Jonah 2
Praise God: For his grace—in its many forms.
Offer Thanks: For God’s call on your life and his willingness to make certain that you hear his voice.
Confess: Your own foolishness and rebellion, remembering that nothing escapes his watchful eye.
Ask God: To fill you with a renewed gratitude for his presence and love for the lost.

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.
Prophets often scandalized God's people, ill-prepared as they were to hear the unvarnished truth about their spiritual condition. But in Jonah's case it was the prophet who was scandalized, not by another prophet, but by God himself.

LHM Daily Devotions - Sept 6, 2019 - Against Our Nature

"Against Our Nature"

Sep. 6, 2019

(Jesus said) "When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you."
~ John 16:13-14 (ESV)

There can be surprises to remodeling your kitchen.

I wasn't prepared for plaster dust on—and in—everything. I didn't count on several weeks of make-shift eating arrangements. I forgot how handy a counter could be.

My dear wife also had problems such as washing dishes in the bathtub, along with getting water for coffee or anything else, from the bathroom.

What I thought would be a simple task under the direction of competent workers with the proper tools, turned out to be a major renovation process with all sorts of left and right turns. I hadn't counted on it taking longer and costing more (as in quite a bit) than I first figured. After all, everything takes longer and costs more than first figured, right?

Old plaster walls were demolished for new ones; unsuspected electrical issues had to be brought up to speed. Piping needed an overhaul: reduction and extension pieces were required, with some couplings and elbows thrown in for good measure. A door was moved; a window was replaced. Everyday seem to bring new challenges.

At first, I was shocked. For a few days I kept asking myself, "Will this thing ever get done?" After three weeks came the resignation (nay, fortuitous resolution): I could live with the situation, support my wife, and maintain a sense of humor. Having the help of not a few friends, I must add, made the project endurable.

I'm happy to say the kitchen is nearing completion now. It'll be—dare I say it?—positively glamorous, and it will be so much more efficient and fun to operate in the new one. (As usual, my wife was right.) I'm already wondering why I resisted the project but, then again, that's my nature.

Of course, this situation is not unique to me. Many others have gone through similar circumstances. It seems to go hand-in-hand with how we frequently resist change, pushing back against new or unfamiliar ideas. We find it difficult to accept new people, new theories, new ways of doing things. We fight against that which is so often for our good.

I'm sure if it were left to us, we would resist the Good News of Jesus, our Savior, too. "No one can say they convinced me to welcome Jesus into my life," we might proudly declare. To be sure, we'd never do it ourselves; it's against our nature.

Thank God, the best thing for us is not our own doing. We can claim nothing good in ourselves. It's all been done by God; it had to be that way. We'd never seek Him on our own. The apostle Paul knew this all too well: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

All glory to God for the Holy Spirit's work in our lives—convicting us of our sins, stirring us to repentance, bringing us to the truth, and sealing us in faith in Jesus.

Praise God for His change in our lives!

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for changing us, and please keep on changing us to be more like Jesus. In His Name we pray. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • When was the last time you got into a job that was over your head?
  • Just how does the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth?
  • Is God making changes in your life? How so?

From The Lutheran Layman, April 1980 issue, "Resisting Change, When It's for Our Good," by Jon Suel. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
When was the last time you got into a job that was over your head?

Devocional del CPTLN del 06 de Septiembre de 2019 - Contra nuestra naturaleza


Contra nuestra naturaleza

06 de Septiembre de 2019

(Jesús dijo:) Pero cuando venga el Espíritu de verdad, él los guiará a toda la verdad; porque no hablará por su propia cuenta, sino que hablará todo lo que oiga, y les hará saber las cosas que habrán de venir. Él me glorificará, porque tomará de lo mío y se lo hará saber.
~ Juan 16:13-14 (RVC)

Remodelar la cocina puede venir con sorpresas.

No estaba preparado para el polvo que habría de cubrir todo, ni con varias semanas de tener que ser creativos con las comidas, ni de lo útil que era tener un mostrador. Mi querida esposa tampoco estaba preparada para lavar los platos en la bañera, tener que sacar agua del baño para preparar café, y no contar con el horno durante tanto tiempo.

Lo que pensé que sería una tarea simple bajo la dirección de trabajadores competentes con las herramientas adecuadas, resultó ser un proceso de renovación mayor que tomaría más tiempo y dinero de lo planeado. Al fin y al cabo, todo lleva más tiempo y cuesta más de lo que uno se imagina. Cada día parecía traer nuevos desafíos.

Al principio estaba en shock y me preguntaba: "¿Será que algún día terminaremos?". Después de tres semanas me resigné: viviría con la realidad de la situación, apoyaría a mi esposa y mantendría el sentido del humor. Debo agregar que la ayuda de no pocos amigos hizo que el proyecto fuera soportable.

Me alegra decir que la cocina está casi terminada ahora. Será, ¿me atrevo a decirlo? Definitivamente glamorosa y mucho más eficiente (como de costumbre, mi esposa tenía razón). Ahora me pregunto por qué me resistí al proyecto, aunque en realidad, esa es mi naturaleza.

Por supuesto que esto no me pasa solo a mí. Muchos otros han pasado por circunstancias similares. Parece ir de la mano con la forma en que frecuentemente resistimos el cambio, rechazando ideas nuevas o desconocidas. Nos resulta difícil aceptar algo nuevo, sean personas, teorías o formas de hacer las cosas. Luchamos contra lo que a menudo es para nuestro bien.

Si es por nosotros, también resistiríamos las Buenas Nuevas de Jesús. "Nadie puede decir que me convencieron de darle la bienvenida a Jesús en mi vida", diríamos con orgullo. Pero, gracias a Dios, esto no es algo que logramos con nuestro propio esfuerzo. Todo ha sido hecho por Dios: tenía que ser así, porque nosotros nunca lo buscaríamos por nuestra propia cuenta. El apóstol Pablo lo sabía muy bien: "Ciertamente la gracia de Dios los ha salvado por medio de la fe. Ésta no nació de ustedes, sino que es un don de Dios; ni es resultado de las obras, para que nadie se vanaglorie" (Efesios 2:8-9).

Toda la gloria a Dios por la obra del Espíritu Santo en nuestras vidas, convenciéndonos de nuestro pecado, incitándonos al arrepentimiento, llevándonos a la verdad y sellándonos en la fe en Jesús.

¡Alabado sea Dios por su cambio en nuestras vidas!

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, cámbianos para ser más como Jesús. En su nombre Amén.

Jon Suel, The Lutheran Layman, abril de 1980.

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿De qué manera nos guía el Espíritu Santo a toda verdad?
  • ¿Qué cambios está haciendo Dios en tu vida? ¿De qué manera?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿De qué manera nos guía el Espíritu Santo a toda verdad?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Tôi Sẽ…

Tôi Sẽ…

Hãy yêu thương người lân cận như chính mình. Lê-vi Ký 19:18

Shirley ngồi xuống chiếc ghế bành sau một ngày dài. Cô nhìn ra ngoài cửa sổ và thấy một cặp vợ chồng lớn tuổi đang di chuyển phần hàng rào cũ có ghi bảng “miễn phí” đang để ở sân chung. Shirley kéo chồng cùng ra để giúp họ. Bốn người ra sức khiêng cái hàng rào lên xe đẩy và đẩy đến nhà cặp vợ chồng đó. Họ vừa đi vừa vui cười suốt quãng đường. Khi họ quay lại để lấy phần hàng rào thứ hai, người phụ nữ nói với Shirley: “Chúng ta làm bạn nhé?” “Vâng”, cô trả lời. Sau đó, Shirley biết rằng người bạn Việt Nam mới này không biết tiếng Anh nhiều và đang cô đơn vì đứa con lớn đã chuyển đi xa.

Trong Lê-vi Ký, Chúa nhắc nhở dân Y-sơ-ra-ên rằng họ đã hiểu cảm giác khi làm khách lạ (19:34) và biết nên đối xử với người khác ra sao (c.9-18). Chúa đã biệt riêng họ làm dân Ngài, và họ phải chúc phước cho “người lân cận” bằng cách yêu họ như chính mình. Chúa Jêsus là phước hạnh lớn nhất từ Đức Chúa Trời dành cho các nước – về sau, Ngài đã nhắc lại lời của Cha và mở rộng lời dạy ấy cho tất cả chúng ta: “[Ngươi phải] kính mến Chúa là Đức Chúa Trời ngươi… phải yêu người lân cận như chính mình” (Mat. 22:37-39).

Nhờ Thánh Linh của Đấng Christ sống trong chúng ta, chúng ta có thể yêu Chúa và người khác vì Ngài đã yêu chúng ta trước (Ga. 5:22-23; I Gi. 4:19). Chúng ta có sẵn sàng vâng theo như Shirley không?
Bạn đã được người khác quan tâm thế nào khi bạn cảm thấy cô đơn? Trong tuần này, bạn sẽ bày tỏ tình yêu của Chúa Jêsus cho ai?
Lạy Chúa, cảm ơn Ngài vì tình yêu Ngài đã bày tỏ cho con. Xin Đức Thánh Linh giúp con yêu người khác để Ngài được tôn vinh qua đời sống con.

bởi Anne Cetas

© 2019 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Shirley biết rằng người bạn Việt Nam mới này không biết tiếng Anh nhiều và đang cô đơn vì đứa con lớn đã chuyển đi xa.