Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, November 10, 2019 - 22nd Sunday after Pentecost

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/revised-common-lectionary-semicontinuous/2019/11/10?version=NRSV

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, November 10, 2019 - 22nd Sunday after Pentecost
[Ordinary 32, Proper 27]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Hold on to Faith
Haggai 1:15b—2:9; Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17; Luke 20:27-38

Opening Prayer


Come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to Him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.
For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods.
He holds in His hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to Him, for He made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship & bow down.
Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,
for He is our God.
We are the people He watches over,
the flock under His care.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
O God, we long to rest in you, to trust in your goodness, in your care for us, in your abundant life. But we don’t know how to rest and we have forgotten how to trust: We seek material goods that we don’t really need. We befriend people not always out of love. We ask questions of you like the Sadducees did of Jesus—questions that try only to prove our point, not to grow in understanding of your desires for us.

Slow us down, Holy One. Attend to us, Holy One, and show us that you are our salvation and our resting place.

Assurance of Pardon
God is God of the living. The Holy One will make a place for you that is full of life and love, forgiveness and humility, kindness and justice. Your belonging to God is your salvation. You may rest in that truth.


First Reading
(The promise to restore Judah)
The Future Glory of the Temple
2:1 In the second year of King Darius, 1 in the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai, saying: 2 Speak now to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, and say, 3 Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Is it not in your sight as nothing? 4 Yet now take courage, O Zerubbabel, says the Lord; take courage, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord; work, for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts, 5 according to the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt. My spirit abides among you; do not fear. 6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; 7 and I will shake all the nations, so that the treasure of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the Lord of hosts. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts. 9 The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the Lord of hosts.


The Psalm
(Great is the Lord)
The Greatness and the Goodness of God
Praise. Of David.
1  I will extol you, my God and King,
     and bless your name forever and ever.
2  Every day I will bless you,
     and praise your name forever and ever.
3  Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
     his greatness is unsearchable.

4  One generation shall laud your works to another,
     and shall declare your mighty acts.
5  On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
     and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

17 The Lord is just in all his ways,
     and kind in all his doings.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
     to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
     he also hears their cry, and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
     but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
     and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

or


(Earth sees the victory of God)
Praise the Judge of the World
A Psalm.
1  O sing to the Lord a new song,
     for he has done marvelous things.
   His right hand and his holy arm
     have gotten him victory.
2  The Lord has made known his victory;
     he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3  He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
     to the house of Israel.
   All the ends of the earth have seen
     the victory of our God.

4  Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
     break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5  Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
     with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6  With trumpets and the sound of the horn
     make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

7  Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
     the world and those who live in it.
8  Let the floods clap their hands;
     let the hills sing together for joy
9  at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
     to judge the earth.
   He will judge the world with righteousness,
     and the peoples with equity.


Second Reading
(The coming of Christ Jesus)
The Man of Lawlessness
2:1 As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you?
[...]
Chosen for Salvation
13 But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, 17 comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.


The Gospel
(Jesus speaks of the resurrection)
The Question about the Resurrection
20:27 Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him 28 and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; 30 then the second 31 and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. 32 Finally the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”

34 Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; 35 but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 37 And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.”


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer


In the name of the Father and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God of love and mercy,
You call us to be your people,
You gift us with Your abundant grace.
Make us a holy people,
radiating the fullness of your love.
Form us into a community of people who care,
expressing Your compassion.
Remind us day after day of our baptismal call
to serve with joy and courage.
Teach us how to grow in wisdom and grace
and joy in Your presence.
Through Jesus and Your Spirit,
we make this prayer. Amen.

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 Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, November 10, 2019
Haggai 1:15b—2:9; Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17; Luke 20:27-38

“Is There Life after Death?” The Sermon for SUNDAY, November 10, 2019 - 22nd Sunday after Pentecost


Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 20th chapter of Luke, beginning with the 27th verse.

20:27 Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him 28 and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; 30 then the second 31 and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. 32 Finally the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”

34 Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; 35 but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 37 And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.”
Luke 20:27-38 (NRSV)

All mighty God, we thank you for your word and the way that you in it revealed to us who you are and what you've done for us in Christ. Now as we open that word we pray that your spirit may be present, that all thoughts of worry or distraction may be removed and that the Spirit will allow us to hear your voice. And so, oh God, fill us with your spirit through the reading and proclamation of your word this day. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.


“Is There Life after Death?”

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Savor, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

Apple or Android? Toyota or Honda? Hardwood or laminate? What kind of hard choices have you had to make recently? If you’re in the market for a car, you’ll do your research because you don’t want to pay good money for a vehicle that will break down in a couple of years. But with so many choices out there how can you be certain that you’ll pick the right one? You can never be sure that the car, computer, or condo you buy will live up to the vendor’s claims, but there’s not much you can do about it. Like everyone else you’ll have to plunk down your money and hope for the best.

Thankfully that’s not how we have to handle mankind’s biggest question: “Is there life after death?” In our sermon text today Jesus assures us that there is life after death because we can trust God’s power, and we can trust God’s pronouncements.

Did it surprise you to learn from our Gospel lesson (Luke 20:27-38) that there were people in Jesus’ day who did not believe in life after death? You would expect such skepticism from the rationale Greeks but not from the Jews–especially not from those who were members of a group called the Sadducees. The Sadducees were a religious/political group made up mostly of priests! You would think that they, more than anyone else, would believe in life after death, but such was not the case. By Jesus’ day many priests thought of themselves as intellectuals. They were too smart to believe all the stuff one might read in the Bible. It was this group that came to Jesus on the Tuesday of Holy Week with a question. Well it wasn’t really a question but more of a challenge. They wanted to make Jesus look foolish and so they brought up this implausible situation where one woman married seven brothers–not all at the same time of course. After one husband died, she would marry his next oldest brother and so on. Why would any girl think of doing something like this? Because in Old Testament times God had commanded that if a man died without a son, his unmarried brother was to marry the widow and in this way ensure that Jewish family lines would not die out.

The Sadducees brought up this scenario because they wanted to know who the woman would be married to in the afterlife. They didn’t believe in an afterlife and thought this situation would show how foolish it would be for anyone to confess life after death. Matthew, who also records this incident, reports Jesus’ response like this: “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

The reason the Sadducees didn’t believe in life after death is because they did not trust God’s power. They didn’t see how God could bring back to life a heart that no longer beat. They scoffed when they heard that God could put back together again a body drowned at sea. “How would he ever collect the decayed bones lost to the ocean tides and put skin back on them again? No. When you’re dead, you’re dead,” they reasoned.

The timing of the Sadducees’ challenge puzzles me. Had none of them been there when just days earlier Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead? If not, they certainly had heard about the miracle because this is what the Palm Sunday crowds were cheering when Jesus entered Jerusalem just two days before. But like most skeptics the Sadducees had made up their mind about what they wanted to believe and no amount of proof was going to change their stubborn stance.

Have we taken up such a posture? We may have no problem believing that God can and will raise the dead, but do we struggle to believe how the water of baptism can really offer the forgiveness of sins–and to infants even? Or how Jesus’ body and blood can really be present in the bread and wine of Holy Communion? But why should we struggle with God’s ability to do these things? The same Jesus who turned water into wine can use the water of baptism to convey the forgiveness of sins and give us the Holy Spirit. The same Jesus who once multiple five loaves of bread to feed over 5,000 people can certainly “multiply” his body and blood so that everyone who comes to Holy Communion even now 2,000 years later still receives this proof of forgiveness. Trust God’s power not what your brain says is or is not possible. God can do more than we can ever imagine says the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 3:20).

Because we can trust God’s power we can also trust his pronouncements. This was something else the Sadducees refused to do as Jesus pointed out. “And regarding your speculation on whether the dead are raised or not, don’t you read your Bibles? The grammar is clear: God says [to you], ‘I am—not was—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.’ The living God defines himself not as the God of dead men, but of the living” (Matthew 22:31, 32 – Message translation).

The Gospel of Luke explains that Jesus was referring to the burning bush incident when God spoke to Moses. Isn’t it interesting how Jesus takes this divine pronouncement, which at the time had nothing to do with the topic of life after death, and from it shows how God teaches that there is life after death? When God said, “I am the God of Abraham,” he wanted Moses as well as everyone else who would ever read the text to know that although Abraham’s body had been dead and buried for 600 years, his soul continued to live.

What Jesus teaches us with this meticulous inspection of God’s pronouncement is that every bit of God’s Word is important. If we are careless in our study of the Word, we will miss key doctrines. And like the Sadducees we may find ourselves refusing to believe the truth and will eternally suffer for it.

So what can we learn about life after death when we look closely at Jesus’ response to the Sadducees? We first learn that not everyone will enjoy an eternal life of happiness. Jesus said that there are those who “…are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead …” (Luke 20:35a). What makes one worthy of eternal life? Jesus doesn’t tell us here in this text and so we’ll have to go to other parts of the Bible to find the answer. In the book of Revelation Jesus said to the church in Sardis, “… you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy … I will not blot your name out of the book of life …” (Revelation 3:4, 5b). There were people in Sardis whom Jesus considered worthy to be dressed in white and live with him in eternal glory. Why? Because they had managed to keep from sinning? No. From other parts of the Bible we know that no one, except for Jesus himself, is without sin. So how was it that some in Sardis were worthy of being dressed in white and enjoying eternal life? Listen to another passage from Revelation. Describing the saints in heaven, an angel said to the Apostle John: “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14b). What makes one worthy of life after death? Only the faith that because we have been washed in the blood of Jesus we are forgiven and cleansed and ready to live with him.

But is it really worth clinging to Jesus so that we may experience this life after death? What will that life be like? Jesus gives us some clues in our text. He said “… those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection” (Luke 20:35-36).

OK. I like the part that we will no longer be able to die, and in that way be like the angels. And I like the fact that God will consider us his children. In other words, we won’t be tourists in the paradise that God will create after Judgment Day. That place will be our forever home. But what’s this about no marriage? Is Jesus saying that the woman that I am married to now and consider my best friend won’t be my soul mate in the afterlife? And what about our children with whom we have already shared so many experiences? If there is no marriage, there will be no family units–no moms or dads, no cousins or aunts and uncles.

Instead of causing concern, this truth should get us even more excited for life after death as God has designed it. Your spouse may now be your best and closest friend, but in heaven you will have such a relationship with everyone and without the heartache that now infects even the best marriage. Imagine that. No more walking into a room and finding someone that you really don’t enjoy being around because you don’t see eye to eye on matters. I’m not saying that we’ll all be the same–that we’ll all like anchovy pizza or the color blue. We’ll no doubt continue to have different personalities, but personalities purged of sin so that we will be able to show perfect love to one another and will genuinely enjoy being around each other. Think of the billions of believers you’ll get to meet! Not just people from the Bible, but people who grew up in different cultures and at different times. In heaven you won’t meet a single person that you don’t enjoy being around–and that includes the believers that are now not your bosom buddies!

There is of course much more we would like to know about life after death. Like what will we do? What will we eat? Will we even need food? How old will we look? Scoffers point to questions like these and say that it’s foolish to believe in life after death. But it’s not because we can trust God’s power and his pronouncements. Jesus gives us every reason to do this because he himself came back from the dead guaranteeing life after death for all who believe in him. May God keep us close to this Jesus.

Almighty God, with whom abide the spirits of those who depart hence in the love of Christ, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity; I give you hearty thanks for the good examples of all your servants, who, having finished their course in faith, now rest from their labors. And I pray to you that I, with all those who are departed in the true faith of your holy Name, may have my own perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in your eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


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Scripture taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)® Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Sermon contributed by Rev. Daniel Habben.
How Can I Be Certain of Life after Death?

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, November 10, 2019


The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, November 10, 2019

On November 10, 1938, Jewish men and women in Germany were beaten and murdered by Nazi troops. Jewish shops were destroyed and hundreds of synagogues were burned, their broken windows giving the evening its name—Kristallnacht, “the night of glass.” Some twenty-five thousand Jewish men were sent to concentration camps. Following the brutality, Jewish people were forced to clean up the debris and were banned from all hospitals.

Desert father John Cassian wrote, “If we go into the desert with our faults still hidden within us, they no longer hurt others, but our love of them remains. Of every sin not eradicated, the root is still growing secretly within. If we compare our own strict discipline with the lax practices of another and feel the slightest temptation to puff ourselves up, it proves that the terrible plague of pride is still infecting us. If we still see these signs within, we know that it is not the desire to sin but the opportunity to sin which has vanished.”

How merciful you are, Lord, that you forgive us our sins, all our sins. Teach us the merciful art of public and private confession, not for our shame but for the cleansing of our sins and the fallowing of our rough hearts. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, November 10, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/verse-of-the-day/2019/11/10?version=NIV

Job 37:5-6 (NIV)
   God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
     he does great things beyond our understanding.
   He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
     and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
Read all of Job 37

Listen to Job 37

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 - Domingo 10 de Noviembre de 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2019/11/10

Jamás los conocí

«No todo el que me dice: “Señor, Señor”, entrará en el reino de los cielos, sino solo el que hace la voluntad de mi Padre».
Mateo 7:21 (NVI)

Vamos llegando al final de nuestros veintiún días de aprendizaje, o solo de repaso, a fin de poder tener muy presente las cosas que nos alejan de Dios. De seguro que ahora todos estamos con el mismo deseo: Hacer su voluntad.

Cuando analizo las siguientes palabras del Señor: «Jamás los conocí» (Mateo 7:23), solo digo: ¡Qué terrible!! A veces nos creemos muy sabios, muy espirituales, y que tenemos el cielo ganado. Incluso, hay quienes dicen tener a Jesús, pero nunca le han entregado su vida, a pesar de que hacen y dicen cosas en su nombre, pero es en vano.

Por eso la lectura de estas palabras del Señor nos pone a pensar y a reflexionar en lo que hacemos o dejamos de hacer en nuestra vida cristiana. Aunque muchos digan «Señor, Señor», o por más cosas que hagan en la tierra en su nombre, no todos estarán en su presencia. Y aquí quiero que prestes mayor atención. La salvación, o sea, la vida eterna, es un regalo inmerecido que recibimos por la gracia de Dios. Así que mi llamado es a que seamos honestos, transparentes y sinceros delante de Dios, ya que a Él no lo podemos engañar. Él conoce nuestro corazón.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Vamos llegando al final de nuestros veintiún días de aprendizaje, o solo de repaso, a fin de poder tener muy presente las cosas que nos alejan de Dios

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, November 10, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2019/11/10
AM I WORTHY?

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:38 (NIV)

Helen Roseveare was an elderly missionary to Congo, Africa when I was still very young. I remember her holding the audience of ten thousand university students spell-bound and then in tears at Urbana ’76. Her life story is a testimony to the grace of God portrayed in the 1989 movie, Mama Luka Comes Home.

She is often asked by young people what she suffered for Jesus. Her simple answer is, “During the Simba uprising in the Congo, I was raped twice. Government soldiers came to my bungalow, ransacked it, and then grabbed me. I was beaten and savagely kicked, losing my back teeth through the boot of a rebel soldier. They broke my glasses, so I could not see to protect myself from the next blow.

“Then one at a time, two army officers took me to my own bedroom and raped me. They dragged me out into a clearing, tied me to a tree, and stood around laughing. And while I was there, beaten and humiliated and violated, someone brought out the only existing hand-written manuscript of a book I had been writing about God’s work in the Congo over an eleven-year period. They put it on the ground in front of me and burned it.

“I asked myself, Was it worth it? Eleven years of my life poured out in selfless service for the African people and now this? The minute I expressed that, God’s Holy Spirit settled over that terrible scene and He began to speak to me.”

‘“My daughter, the question is not “Is it worth it?” The question is, “Am I worthy?” Am I, the Lord Jesus who gave His life for you, worthy for you to make this kind of sacrifice for Me.’ And God broke my heart,” Helen continues. “I looked up and I said, ‘Oh Lord Jesus, yes, it is worth it, for You are worthy!’” She concludes, “When you ask the right question, you’ll always know that He is absolutely worthy of anything you can give Him or do for Him!”

Phil Callaway of SERVANT magazine once asked her, “Did you ever struggle to forgive those men?”

“No,” she replied. “There was no sense of bitterness or even anger. I was overwhelmed by the sense that God was graciously using me in His purpose. All He asked of me was the loan of my body. The consequences were His. A year later when I returned to Congo and met the man who had humiliated me, I realized that I did carry some resentment and I wasn’t sure I had forgiven him. But God led me to accept from Him the forgiveness that only God can give, and He gave me His peace again.”[1]

Helen returned to Congo after all the above and continued her life of service for Jesus among the African people.

RESPONSE: Today I will ask the right question, “Is Jesus worthy of the sacrifices He asks me to make?” Then I will answer affirmatively and take up my cross and follow Him!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the wonderful trophies of grace, like Helen Rosevere, who encourage us in our walk with You who are truly worthy.

1. Phil Callaway, “Is it worth it?” Servant (Issue 85, 2010), p.11.

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 November 10, 2019 - O Word of God Incarnate

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20191110

"O Word of God Incarnate"

Nov. 10, 2019

"O Word of God incarnate, O wisdom from on high, O Truth unchanged, unchanging, O Light of our dark sky; We praise You for the radiance, That from the hallowed page, A lantern to our footsteps, Shines on from age to age.

"O make Your church, dear Savior, A lamp of burnished gold, To bear before the nations, Your true light as of old! O teach Your wand'ring pilgrims, By this their path to trace, Till, clouds and darkness ended, They see You face-to-face!"

In our hymn we praise the Word (see John 1:1-5, 14) for the gift of His Word. We give thanks to the Truth for the truth He has revealed to us. We glorify the Light of the world for light of sacred Scripture that guides our way. Jesus is the "Word of God incarnate" who, for the sake of our salvation, took on human flesh. Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would bring to their remembrance all that Jesus taught them. Those remembered words were written down so that you may believe "that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name" (John 20:31b). The testimony of the written Word bears witness to the incarnate, crucified, and risen Word.

Jesus said, "If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31b-32). Jesus Himself is the Truth revealed in the Word, and through faith in His Name, we are set free from sin and death. Jesus called Himself the Light of the world, promising, "Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12b). Even as we follow Jesus, our steps may carry us through dark and troubling circumstances, but His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (see Psalm 119:105).

We are the church, the body of Christ. We have His Word and know its truth; we walk in its light. We shine as lights in the world, proclaiming the truth in a world that often refuses to acknowledge any absolute truth. Yet, still we scatter the seed of the Word, the good news of Christ crucified and risen, trusting that the Spirit, who is at work in the Word, will cause the seed to take root.

For now, we walk by faith and not by sight. We have the witness of the Word until the day comes when we will see Jesus, the Word made flesh, face-to-face. For now we cling to the truth revealed in Holy Scripture—"the hallowed page"—until all is finally fulfilled in paradise. We walk in the light of Jesus, His Word guiding our steps, until we live in His shining presence. There we will need no light or lamp because night will be no more, and the Lord God will be our light forever.

THE PRAYER: Jesus, Incarnate Word, bless the hearing and study of Your Word among us. Lead us to grow confident in faith and bold in witness as we walk in Your light. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Reflection Questions:
  • What are some ways the church could improve its service to the world and those in need?
  • Do you know churches that are particularly strong in certain areas of ministry—to the homeless? To prisoners? To the elderly? To singles or widows/widowers?
  • How do you "abide" in Jesus' Word?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "O Word of God Incarnate." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
What are some ways the church could improve its service to the world and those in need?

Unser Täglich Brot - Lava im Paradies

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2019/11/10/lava-im-paradies/

Lava im Paradies

Lesung: 2.Samuel 6,1-9 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Jeremia 48—49; Hebräer 7

Darum lasst uns freimütig hinzutreten zu dem Thron der Gnade, auf dass wir Barmherzigkeit empfangen und Gnade finden und Hilfe erfahren zur rechten Zeit. Hebräer 4,16

Alles ist still, bis auf das leise Zischen der Lava, die sich am Rand des tropischen Urwalds ihren Weg sucht. Die Einwohner beobachten das Spektakel ernst und dennoch staunend. An den meisten Tagen nennen sie ihre Heimat „Paradies“. Doch heute haben ihnen die feurigen Risse in Hawaiis Puna-Distrikt wieder einmal vor Augen geführt, dass Gott ihre Inseln aus der unbezähmbaren Macht von Vulkanen entstehen ließ.

Auch die alten Israeliten kannten unbezwingbare Mächte. Als König David die Bundeslade zurückholte (2. Samuel 6,1-4), brach Jubel aus (V. 5)—bis ein Mann starb, weil er die Lade angefasst hatte (V. 6-7).

Vielleicht denken wir beim Lesen, Gott sei unberechenbar wie ein Vulkan, genauso bereit zum Erschaffen wie zum Zerstören. Aber wir dürfen nicht vergessen, dass er Israel genaue Anweisungen gegeben hatte, wie sie mit den für den Gottesdienst bestimmten Gegenständen umgehen sollten (4. Mose 4). Israel hatte das Vorrecht, ganz nah bei Gott zu sein. Aber seine Gegenwart war zu gewaltig, um sorglos damit umzugehen.

Hebräer 12 spricht von einem Berg, der „mit Feuer brannte“, an dem Gott Mose die Zehn Gebote gab. Dieser Berg machte allen Angst (V. 18-21). Aber „ihr seid gekommen . . . zu dem Mittler des neuen Bundes, Jesus“ (V. 22-24). Er, der Sohn Gottes, macht es möglich, dass wir uns dem unzähmbaren und doch liebenden Vater nahen können.
Wie oft denke ich bei Gott nur an seine Liebe und nicht an seine Macht? Warum ist seine Macht ein wesentlicher Aspekt seines Wesens?
Wie gewaltig, dass unser allmächtiger Gott uns mit unendlicher Liebe liebt!


© 2019 Unser Täglich Brot
Alles ist still, bis auf das leise Zischen der Lava, die sich am Rand des tropischen Urwalds ihren Weg sucht.