Friday, November 15, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, November 15, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, November 15, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

(The Holy One in your midst)
Thanksgiving and Praise
1  You will say in that day:
   I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
     for though you were angry with me,
   your anger turned away,
     and you comforted me.

2  Surely God is my salvation;
     I will trust, and will not be afraid,
   for the Lord God is my strength and my might;
     he has become my salvation.
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day:

   Give thanks to the Lord,
     call on his name;
   make known his deeds among the nations;
     proclaim that his name is exalted.

5  Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
     let this be known in all the earth.
6  Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,
     for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

(Sin creates barriers)
Injustice and Oppression to Be Punished
1  See, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save,
     nor his ear too dull to hear.
2  Rather, your iniquities have been barriers
     between you and your God,
   and your sins have hidden his face from you
     so that he does not hear.
3  For your hands are defiled with blood,
     and your fingers with iniquity;
   your lips have spoken lies,
     your tongue mutters wickedness.
4  No one brings suit justly,
     no one goes to law honestly;
   they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
     conceiving mischief and begetting iniquity.
5  They hatch adders’ eggs,
     and weave the spider’s web;
   whoever eats their eggs dies,
     and the crushed egg hatches out a viper.
6  Their webs cannot serve as clothing;
     they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
   Their works are works of iniquity,
     and deeds of violence are in their hands.
7  Their feet run to evil,
     and they rush to shed innocent blood;
   their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity,
     desolation and destruction are in their highways.
8  The way of peace they do not know,
     and there is no justice in their paths.
   Their roads they have made crooked;
     no one who walks in them knows peace.

9  Therefore justice is far from us,
     and righteousness does not reach us;
   we wait for light, and lo! there is darkness;
     and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10 We grope like the blind along a wall,
     groping like those who have no eyes;
   we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
     among the vigorous as though we were dead.
11 We all growl like bears;
     like doves we moan mournfully.
   We wait for justice, but there is none;
     for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions before you are many,
     and our sins testify against us.
   Our transgressions indeed are with us,
     and we know our iniquities:
13 transgressing, and denying the Lord,
     and turning away from following our God,
   talking oppression and revolt,
     conceiving lying words and uttering them from the
14 Justice is turned back,
     and righteousness stands at a distance;
   for truth stumbles in the public square,
     and uprightness cannot enter.
15a Truth is lacking,
     and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.

(God’s judgment)
1:3 We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring.

The Judgment at Christ’s Coming
5 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, and is intended to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering. 6 For it is indeed just of God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes to be glorified by his saints and to be marveled at on that day among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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 Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, November 15, 2019
Isaiah 12; Isaiah 59:1-15a; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, November 15, 2019

The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, November 15, 2019

Death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal has asked, “Isn’t it odd that Christendom—that huge body of humankind that claims spiritual descent from the Jewish carpenter of Nazareth—claims to pray to and adore a being who was a prisoner of Roman power, an inmate of the empire’s death row? That the one it considers the personification of the Creator of the Universe was tortured, humiliated, beaten, and crucified on a barren scrap of land on the imperial periphery, at Golgotha, the place of the skull? That the majority of its adherents strenuously support the state’s execution of thousands of imprisoned citizens? That the overwhelming majority of its judges, prosecutors, and lawyers—those who condemn, prosecute, and sell out the condemned—claim to be followers of the fettered, spat-upon, naked God?”

Lord, to know you, we must dwell on the reality of your life, not just your death and resurrection. Remind us of our roots in Nazareth, in Galilee, in Capernaum, in Judea, and on Golgotha. Remind us that a servant is no greater than their Master. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, November 15, 2019

Psalm 119:143 (NIV)
   Trouble and distress have come upon me,
     but your commands give me delight.
Read all of Psalm 119

Listen to Psalm 119

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 - Viernes 15 de Noviembre de 2019

Los cambios

Encomienda al Señor tus afanes, y él te sostendrá; no permitirá que el justo caiga y quede abatido para siempre.
Salmo 55:22 (NVI)

Los cambios han sido trascendentales en mi vida. Desde la llegada de Colombia a Estados Unidos, he tenido unos diecisiete cambios de domicilio, incluyendo un cambio de estado y mi más reciente cambio de casa que sucedió justo mientras escribía este libro. Le di gracias a Dios porque de cada situación que vivo, Él me da una enseñanza.

Si te pones a pensar y echas atrás la película de tu vida, te acordarás de diversos cambios que han marcado tu vida para siempre.

Algo que me gusta mucho de mi Dios es que utiliza cada cambio para enseñarnos que Él tiene mejores cosas para nosotros. Si cometemos errores, Él está dispuesto a sanarnos y darnos una oportunidad.

Si no fuera por la intervención divina, no sé qué hubiera sido de mis princesas y de mí después de sufrir tantos golpes en la vida.

Hoy en día puedo dar testimonio de que las cosas malas que nos suceden Dios las cambia para bien. Solo Él puede cambiar nuestro lamento en baile.

Si estás pasando por cambios en tu vida, por más difíciles que sean tus problemas, no te desesperes, ni te angusties porque no estás solo. Dios no te abandonará y te bendecirá.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Si te pones a pensar y echas atrás la película de tu vida, te acordarás de diversos cambios que han marcado tu vida para siempre.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, November 15, 2019

And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Matthew 5:40-42 (NIV)

An Open Doors co-worker shares this personal experience from the Middle East:

The serenity of the pastor walking beside us seemed to calm the hustle and the bustle of the small village. He suddenly came to a stop, carefully looked around and then said, “Some time ago, exactly on the spot where you are standing now, a Christian brother was slaughtered to death because of his faith. He was abducted and brought here to be executed. Life in a mid-eastern village like this is not easy if you confess Jesus to be the Son of God. It could cost you your life.”

I looked at this servant of Christ and asked him the obvious question “Why do you choose to live here? Why do you choose to follow Christ under such severe circumstances?”

Without hesitation he looked at me and his reply became a challenge and guideline for my walk with the Lord, even if it is in the safety of my home. He replied “I refuse to live an ordinary life in Christ.”

As Christians we are called to refuse an ordinary life in Christ. We are commanded to reject worldly standards, to reject mediocrity, to reject compromise and to value people more than possessions, even more than our own lives.

To truly follow Jesus means His will is more important than my life. As well, while alive, I must adopt a lifestyle that puts people ahead of possessions, even one of my most valuable possessions—time! We tend to cherish stuff and comfort more than souls.

In the Shepherd of Hermes, an early church writing, we are urged, “Instead of fields, buy souls that are in trouble according to your ability.”

RESPONSE: Today amid the comforts of my environment I will refuse to live an ordinary life but seek to be more like Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, I want to live the Jesus way, valuing people more than things even to the point of sacrifice. Help me to escape the bonds of the ordinary Christian life.

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, November 15, 2019


His name means: "God Helps"

His work: Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary, the family who hosted Jesus in their home when he traveled through Bethany.
His character: Little is known about Lazarus other than that he was one of Jesus' close friends.
His sorrow: Lazarus had a terminal illness and eventually succumbed to it.
His triumph: Very few have had the experience of hearing Jesus' voice from the tomb. Lazarus was such a person.
Key Scriptures: John 11

A Look at the Man

The story of Lazarus's resurrection is filled with ironies.

We know where Lazarus lived—Bethany—and the names of his two sisters—Mary and Martha—but we have no record of a single word he spoke or even a mention of what he was like. We don't know his occupation, who his parents were, or, if he was married, the names of his wife and children.

If it hadn't been for his special friendship with the Savior, Lazarus's death wouldn't even have merited a footnote in the gospel account. Yet his story is one of the most well-known in all of Scripture.

When word reached Jesus that Lazarus was deathly ill, Jesus seemed unaffected—almost cavalier—about it. Of course, people bringing bad news to Jesus would have been a nonstop event during his waking hours, but Lazarus was his friend—his good friend. Jesus suggested that he and his disciples should visit Bethany—in two days!

Like a wife kindly taking her husband aside to challenge his bad manners, we can imagine the disciples suggesting that Jesus might want to reconsider his decision. "How will this look to the family?" they may have counseled.

"I'm doing this for you," was Jesus' perplexing response.

At the same time, the disciples were not eager to travel west to Bethany. No doubt, they would have to go through Jerusalem where, just a few days before, a handful of Jewish leaders had threatened to stone Jesus. He had said, "My Father and I are one," and these people weren't willing to accommodate a man who claimed to be equal with God.

Two days later the disciples were willing to take their chances. Helping a desperate friend like Lazarus was more urgent than any danger they may have encountered. As they reached the outskirts of Bethany, first Martha and then Mary ran to meet Jesus, reporting the news he already knew. Once again Jesus did not seem eager to help—at least not within Martha and Mary's time frame.

Jesus asked where Lazarus's body was entombed and made his way to the site along with a cadre of curious—and a few cynical—onlookers. At no point in this story, however, did he seem to be in a hurry.

Soon he arrived at the cemetery. Can you envision Jesus standing in front of his friend's burial cave? It had been four days since Lazarus had died. His two sisters, now standing at Jesus' side, were in a quandary. They were hoping for a miracle, but they were just as concerned about how much their decaying brother's body would smell. The people who had come, standing behind Jesus and Lazarus's sisters, completed the picture.

Everyone stopped talking as Jesus lifted his head to the heavens to pray. "Father," he began, "I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you would. But for the benefit of these people standing here, I especially thank you for listening this time."

People shifted nervously in their places, but no one spoke. Those in the back of the crowd craned their necks to see what might happen next.

"Lazarus, come out!" Jesus said in a voice much louder than anyone had ever heard him use. The living God had just spoken. If he hadn't identified his friend by name, every crypt in the entire cemetery would have emptied.

And then Lazarus appeared. In his own time and with only the sound of his voice, the Messiah had brought a corpse to its feet.

The final irony was that the Savior raised Lazarus from the dead with his voice but didn't speak the removal of Lazarus's grave clothes. He certainly could have finished the job, but he didn't. Instead, a man wrapped tightly from head to foot stood there in front of his own burial cave—and in front of everyone. "Take off the grave clothes and let him go," Jesus ordered the gawking crowd.

The last act of this incredible miracle—the unbinding and releasing of the man—was left to his family and friends.

Reflect On: John 11:38–42
Praise God: For his resurrection power.
Offer Thanks: For God’s love for you, for calling you by name and redeeming you from darkness into the light of his glory.
Confess: Your complacency, your willingness to make the best of your “tombs” rather than daily abandoning them and walking into the light.
Ask God: To fill you with the same sense of wonder and gratitude that Lazarus felt as he stood in the mouth of his burial crypt. And ask him to show you others who need your hands to unwrap their “grave clothes.”

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.
The story of Lazarus's resurrection is filled with ironies.

LHM Daily Devotions - November 15, 2019 - Forever the Same

"Forever the Same"

Nov. 15, 2019

For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 3:6-7a (ESV)

There is the story of an archaeologist who dug up a coin in Syria dated 32 BC. It had the image of a Roman caesar imprinted upon it. The scholar knew at once that the coin was a fraud, but how?

You need not know any ancient history to answer this question. No one alive in 32 BC. knew that it was 32 years before the birth of Christ. Certainly, no artifact from B.C. would be stamped BC.

When we flipped the record of history from BC to AD, what changed? Some people feel that not only are the terms different, but that somehow God Himself was different. The Old Testament's God of thunderous mountaintop judgment became the New Testament's God of endless, rainbow-arched grace. Once a God of anger. Now God of love.

If we hold such sentiments, they probably exist as a vague, undefined feeling within us. When we stop to examine them in the light of God's Word, we see them to be false. To cite only one Scripture, in Malachi, God says, "I the Lord do not change."

Just knowing correct theological facts, however, doesn't always mean we are able to grasp and use the power of those facts. But if the Word of God really is the "sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17b), we need to figure out how the Lord meant us to use His Word as a weapon against darkness and against the evil one.

Does it matter that God never changes? "I the Lord do not change," says the prophet. Then he adds. "Therefore, you ... are not consumed." In our faithlessness, we deserve judgment. But God is faithful, even when we are not. God does not change.

If God has ever spoken, He means what He has said forever.

If God has ever made a promise, that promise stands forever firm.

If God has ever loved us, His love endures forever.

If God has ever forgiven our sins, our forgiveness is forever sure.

If God was ever with us, He will abide with us forever.

The God who was before time, the God who created time, the God who broke into human time and changed our way of counting time—from that time on, the God who will at sometime soon end time—this God is our God—the timeless One, the faithful One, the One who invites us to share time—time everlasting—with Him.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your timeless love and mercy. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • In what ways has God been consistently faithful in your life?
  • How has God's unchanging faithfulness and mercy toward man been best expressed?
  • Do you have any life strategies you use to be more consistent—unchanging—in your approach toward others or a goal or some habit you want to establish?

Written by a contributing writer for Lutheran Hour Ministries. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
In what ways has God been consistently faithful in your life?

CPTLN devocional del 15 de Noviembre de 2019 - El mismo para siempre


El mismo para siempre

15 de Noviembre de 2019

»Hijos de Jacob, yo soy el Señor, y no cambio. Por eso ustedes no han sido consumidos. Desde los días de sus antepasados no se han sometido a mis leyes, sino que se han apartado de ellas. Pero si se vuelven a mí, yo me volveré a ustedes. Yo, el Señor de los ejércitos, lo he dicho.» Pero ustedes dicen: «¿Cómo está eso de que debemos de volvernos a ti?»

Se cuenta la historia de un arqueólogo que desenterró una moneda en Siria que tenía impresa la imagen de un César romano y la fecha 32 a.C. Un erudito supo de inmediato que la moneda era un fraude, pero ¿cómo?

No se necesita conocer ninguna historia antigua para responder esta pregunta. Nadie que viviera en ese año podía saber que faltaban 32 años para el nacimiento de Cristo. Ciertamente, ningún artefacto hecho antes de Cristo se estamparía a.C.

Cuando pasamos del registro de la historia de antes a después de Cristo, algunas personas sienten que no solo los términos son diferentes, sino que de alguna manera Dios mismo es diferente. El Dios del trueno y del juicio atronador en la cima de la montaña ha pasado a ser el Dios de la gracia infinita; el Dios de la ira, es ahora el Dios del amor. Sin embargo, cuando nos detenemos a examinarlo a la luz de la Palabra de Dios, vemos que esto es falso. Dios nos dice a través del profeta Malaquías: "Yo, el Señor, no cambio".

Sin embargo, el solo hecho de conocer los hechos teológicos correctos no siempre significa que podamos captar y utilizar el poder de esos hechos. Pero si la Palabra de Dios realmente es la "espada del Espíritu" (Efesios 6:17b), debemos descubrir cómo el Señor quiso que usáramos su Palabra como un arma contra el maligno.

"Yo, el Señor, no cambio", dice el profeta. Luego agrega. "Por lo tanto, tú ... no estás consumido". ¿De qué nos sirve saber que Dios nunca cambia? Por nuestra infidelidad, merecemos el juicio. Pero Dios es fiel, incluso cuando nosotros no lo somos. Dios no cambia:

Lo que ha dicho lo ha dicho para siempre.

Sus promesas se mantienen firmes para siempre.

Su amor perdura para siempre.

Su perdón es nuestro para siempre.

Su presencia está con nosotros para siempre.

El Dios que fue antes del tiempo y que creó el tiempo, es el Dios que irrumpió en el tiempo humano y cambió nuestra forma de contar el tiempo. A partir de ese momento, el Dios que pronto terminará el tiempo es nuestro fiel Dios, el Eterno, el que nos invita a compartir el tiempo eterno con Él.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, te alabamos por tu amor y misericordia atemporales. En el nombre de Jesús, amén.

Escrito por un escritor contribuyente de Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿De qué maneras Dios ha sido fiel en tu vida?
  • ¿Cómo ha expresado Dios su inmutable fidelidad y misericordia hacia el ser humano?

© 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 maneras Dios ha sido fiel en tu vida?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Chạy Để Đoạt Giải

Chạy Để Đoạt Giải

Hãy chạy thế nào để anh em có thể đoạt giải. I Cô-rinh-tô 9:24

Trong bộ phim Forrest Gump năm 1994, Forrest đã trở nên nổi tiếng với khả năng chạy. Anh bắt đầu bằng việc chạy bộ “đến cuối đường” trong suốt ba năm, hai tháng, mười bốn ngày và mười sáu giờ. Mỗi lần đến đích, anh lại đặt một mục tiêu khác và tiếp tục chạy, vòng quanh khắp nước Mỹ, cho đến một ngày anh không còn cảm thấy thích chạy nữa. “Cảm thấy thích” là cách mà anh đã bắt đầu. Forrest nói: “Ngày hôm đó, không có lý do cụ thể nhưng tôi quyết định chạy một chút.”

Trái ngược với việc chạy có vẻ kỳ cục của Forrest, sứ đồ Phao-lô khuyên độc giả noi gương ông và “chạy thế nào để… có thể đoạt giải” (I Cô. 9:24). Giống như các vận động viên có kỷ luật, việc chạy của chúng ta tức là cách chúng ta sống, đó có thể là nói không với một số thú vui. Sẵn sàng từ bỏ quyền lợi bản thân sẽ giúp chúng ta đem tin lành đến với người khác để họ được cứu khỏi tội lỗi và sự chết.

Với tấm lòng và tâm trí được huấn luyện cho mục đích mời gọi người khác cùng chạy đua với mình, chúng ta cũng vững tâm về phần thưởng lớn nhất – là mối tương giao đời đời với Chúa. Mão triều thiên Chúa ban cho người chiến thắng sẽ tồn tại mãi mãi; chúng ta nhận được phần thưởng khi sống với mục đích giúp mọi người biết đến Ngài và nhờ vào sức Ngài để làm điều đó. Thật là cớ lớn để chạy trong cuộc đua đó!
Mục đích sống của bạn là gì? Điều đó giống hay khác gì với mục đích của sứ đồ Phao-lô?
Lạy Chúa Jêsus, xin giúp con cứ tập trung vào lý do con chạy: để chia sẻ về Ngài với những người xung quanh.

© 2019 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Trong bộ phim Forrest Gump năm 1994, Forrest đã trở nên nổi tiếng với khả năng chạy. Anh bắt đầu bằng việc chạy bộ “đến cuối đường” trong suốt ba năm, hai tháng, mười bốn ngày và mười sáu giờ.