Monday, December 2, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, December 2, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, December 2, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

(We have escaped like a bird)
Thanksgiving for Israel’s Deliverance
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1  If it had not been the Lord who was on our side
     —let Israel now say—
2  if it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
     when our enemies attacked us,
3  then they would have swallowed us up alive,
     when their anger was kindled against us;
4  then the flood would have swept us away,
     the torrent would have gone over us;
5  then over us would have gone
     the raging waters.

6  Blessed be the Lord,
     who has not given us
     as prey to their teeth.
7  We have escaped like a bird
     from the snare of the fowlers;
   the snare is broken,
     and we have escaped.

8  Our help is in the name of the Lord,
     who made heaven and earth.

(The flood waters subside)
The Flood Subsides
8:1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided; 2 the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3 and the waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred fifty days the waters had abated; 4 and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 The waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.

6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7 and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; 9 but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; 11 and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12 Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.

13 In the six hundred first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. 15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 And every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out of the ark by families.

(Dying and rising with Christ through baptism)
Dying and Rising with Christ
6:1 What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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 A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2020, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2019 was Year C. 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 MONDAY, December 2, 2019
Psalm 124; Genesis 8:1-19; Romans 6:1-11

The Daily Prayer for MONDAY, December 2, 2019

The Daily Prayer
MONDAY, December 2, 2019

In 1980 Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel, and Jean Donovan were murdered by officers of the Salvadoran military. Missionaries serving among the poor during El Salvador’s civil war, these women knew, as Ita Ford said the night before she died, that “one who is committed to the poor must risk the same fate as the poor.” Their deaths affected the North American church deeply, galvanizing opposition to US support for the Salvadoran government’s repression of its people.

Ita Ford wrote, “The reasons why so many people are being killed are quite complicated, yet there are some clear, simple strands. One is that people have found a meaning to live, to sacrifice, struggle, and even die. And whether their life spans sixteen years, sixty, or ninety, for them their life has had a purpose. In many ways, they are fortunate people.”

Lord, it was not enough for you to care for the poor. You chose to become one of them by descending as you did. Keep us free from fear and selfish preoccupations that we may walk as you walked among the poor, sick, and dying in body and spirit. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, December 2, 2019

Hebrews 1:1-2 (NIV)
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
Read all of Hebrews 1

Listen to Hebrews 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 - Lunes 2 de Diciembre de 2019

Cambios necesarios

Guíame, pues eres mi roca y mi fortaleza, dirígeme por amor a tu nombre.
Salmo 31:3 (NVI)

En esta época de Navidad se presentan dos fenómenos muy comunes: La primera, una culpabilidad por no haber hecho lo que nos propusimos; y la segunda, se nos fue un año más y no logramos lo que prometimos. Ahora, deseamos que llegue otra vez el 31 de Diciembre y hacer nuevas promesas de cambio.

Dios quiere que seamos firmes y que no lleguemos a exponernos. La Biblia dice que no «hay nada escondido que no esté destinado a descubrirse» (Marcos 4:22). Además, entre cielo y tierra no hay nada oculto, pues tarde o temprano Dios sacará a la luz cualquier actitud o cualquier falta que cometamos.

Esto lo viví en carne propia. A decir verdad, no quiero enumerar tus faltas ni mucho menos, pero sí te quiero decir cuáles fueron esas esferas que Dios tuvo que moldear o transformar en mí.

Mi anhelo es que no llegues a tocar fondo como yo, sino que reconozcas tus debilidades y puedas rendirlas a Cristo.

Por lo tanto, debes ser radical a fin de que, si ves tu vida reflejada en la mía, comprendas que Dios nos cambia y nos da nuevas oportunidades.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
En esta época de Navidad se presentan dos fenómenos muy comunes: La primera, una culpabilidad por no haber hecho lo que nos propusimos; y la segunda ...

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, December 2, 2019

“…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:20 (NIV)

Another related function of the church is discipleship. Once we have seen a friend or loved-one come to Christ we have a responsibility to see that they grow in the Lord. In some cultures, if a person saves another’s life, that person becomes responsible for the one saved. This is a good concept for the Christian. If we lead someone else into new life in Christ, we are responsible to see that person learns what the Bible teaches about the Christian life.

The Bible is so important to Christian growth that many Christians want to immediately give a Bible to anyone they may lead to the Lord. In some countries, like China or North Korea, faithful Christians have carried on for years without Bibles, but it was very difficult. They had to depend on Scripture verses that one of their members memorized at some earlier time, or perhaps heard on a Christian radio broadcast. The almost desperate hunger for the Bible among Christians who have been cut off from it for an extended period, dramatically illustrates just how important the Bible is to the Christian life.

If formal training centers have been closed, it is especially imperative that local churches take very seriously their responsibilities to teach (2 Timothy 2:2). This teaching may have to be done on a one-to-one basis whenever a mature Christian and a young Christian can get together.

There are many examples in the Bible of leaders being trained in this way. Besides the clear example of Christ teaching His disciples, we see Barnabas teaching Mark (Acts 12:25; 15:39), Priscilla and Aquila helping Apollos (Acts 18:24-26), and Paul training Timothy (Acts 16:1-3). Paul gives us the most detailed approach to “disciple” a young believer. He taught first by example (I Corinthians 4:16), then he openly gave himself to his disciples, living with them and sharing all he had (Acts 20:34). His relationship with them was not just "student/ teacher." Rather, he became very personally involved with them (I Timothy 1:1-2). He gave them responsibilities while they were still in training, and kept in close touch with them even after they had become leaders themselves (I & II Timothy and Titus).

In a prison in Sudan, a pastor quietly discipled a young believer from Muslim background as they were forced to work together. After his release, the young Christian became a dynamic witness for Christ.

RESPONSE: Discipleship is another function of the church and is crucial in the life of a follower of Jesus.

PRAYER: Pray for those in difficult circumstances—such as prison—trying to disciple new believers.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

Women of the Bible - Monday, December 2, 2019

Mary Magdalene

Her name means: "Bitterness"

Her character: Though mistakenly characterized as a prostitute in many popular writings, the Bible says only that Mary was possessed by seven demons. She probably suffered a serious mental or physical illness from which Jesus delivered her. She is a beautiful example of a woman whose life was poured out in response to God's extravagant grace.
Her sorrow: To watch Jesus' agony at Calvary.
Her joy: To have been the first witness to Jesus' resurrection.
Key Scriptures: Matthew 27:56, 61; 28:1; Mark 15:40, 47; 16:1-19; Luke 8:2; 24:10; John 19:25; 20:1-18

Her Story

She made her way through the shadows to the garden tomb, grateful for the darkness that shrouded her tears. How, she wondered, could the world go on as though nothing at all had happened? How could the mountains keep from crashing down, the sky resist falling? Had everyone but her lost their minds? Had no one noticed that the world had collapsed two days ago?

For the past three years she had followed the rabbi across Galilee and Judea, providing for him out of her own small purse. She had loved his hearty laughter and the smile that flashed across his face whenever he saw her. Wherever they went, she felt privileged to tell her story, grateful to be among his growing band of followers.

She had grown up in Magdala, a prosperous town on the west bank of the Sea of Galilee. But she had not prospered. How could a woman thrive when she was filled with demons who controlled her mind? Though she had begged for mercy, no mercy had been given. Instead, her delusions locked her in a nightmare world, isolating her even from small pleasures and simple kindnesses.

But then Jesus had come. Like no rabbi she had ever encountered, he seemed neither afraid nor repulsed by her illness. "Mary," he had called to her, as though he had known her all her life. Despite the heat, she shivered as he drew near, her stomach suddenly queasy. Though she backed away, she could feel a great light advancing toward her, forcing the darkness away. Suddenly her familiar companions were themselves begging mercy, but no mercy was given.

Mary Magdalene, a woman possessed by seven demons, was restored to her right mind, her bondage a thing of the past. Eyes that had once been holes swallowing the light now shone like pools reflecting the sun.

Since then, everyone in Magdala had marveled at the change in her. How could Mary not love such a man? How could she not want to do everything for him? She thought she was living in heaven—to be close to Jesus; to witness healing after healing; to be stirred, surprised, and refreshed by his teaching. This, indeed, was joy to a woman unaccustomed to joy.

But Jesus had his share of enemies, she knew. Religious leaders in Jerusalem had been stung by his truth-telling, offended by his galling lack of diplomacy. Still, every trap they laid for him had failed … until now.

How suddenly they had struck, even though Jerusalem was crowded with pilgrims for Passover. The temple guard had arrested him at night and then turned him over to Roman authorities, who mocked and whipped him nearly to death. The rabbi from Galilee, who had promised the poor in spirit they would surely inherit the kingdom of heaven, was now in chains. His hunger and thirst for righteousness had left him not full, but empty and broken. Unblessed, he had become a curse, his body hanging naked on a Roman cross.

Mary had done her best to fight off the shadows that crowded near again as she waited through the awful hours of his agony, unable to look at the spectacle before her, yet unable to turn away. Whatever his suffering, she needed to be near him.

When it was over, she had watched Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea unfasten his body from the cross. Gently they had wrapped him in myrrh and aloe, enough for a king's burial. Finally, as the stone rolled across the tomb, sealing it shut, she had turned away.

After the Sabbath was over, on the next day, Mary purchased yet more spices. Before the sun came up on Sunday, she approached the tomb. How on earth, she wondered, could she roll away the massive stone? But, to her surprise, the mouth of tomb lay wide open. Strips of linen were lying on the floor and the burial cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head was folded up by itself. What had they done with his body? she wondered. To be cheated of this last chance of touching him and caring for him was more than she could bear.

She stood outside the tomb weeping. Then, bending over, she looked inside. Two creatures in white sat on the stony shelf where the body had been laid. "Woman, why are you crying?" they asked.

"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." Then she turned and saw a man studying her.

"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"

Mistaking him for the gardener, she pleaded, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

"Mary," he said.

Startled, she cried out, "Rabboni" (meaning Teacher).

By now the sun had risen. With it fled the darkness that had pursued her ever since she had heard the news of his arrest. Jesus, the one who had raised her from a living death, had himself risen from the dead.

Mary fell to the ground in awe, remembering the words of the prophet Isaiah: "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." The garden that had so recently been a place of shadows and gloom now seemed green and bright, as though paradise itself had broken through.

The risen Jesus had appeared, not to rulers and kings, nor even first of all to his male disciples, but to a woman whose love had held her at the cross and led her to the grave. Mary Magdalene, a person who had been afflicted by demons, whose testimony would not have held up in court because she was a woman, was the first witness of the resurrection. Once again, God had revealed himself to the lowly, and it would only be the humble whose hearing was sharp enough to perceive the message of his love.

Her Promise

Jesus not only knew Mary's name, he knew everything about her. He remembered the day he had cast the demons out of her. He remembered her many practical kindnesses. He saw how she suffered with him as she watched him die on the cross.

Just as Jesus knew the intimate details of Mary's life, he knows about you. When you are tempted to lose hope, when life seems too empty to go on, when grief overwhelms you—Jesus cares. When those you love have let you down, when you think you can't go on for another minute, when your problems crush you—Jesus cares. He calls your name, just as he called Mary's. And you, too, can go on like the women who went from the tomb, perhaps still a bit afraid yet "filled with joy" (Matthew 28:8).

This devotional is drawn from Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda. Used with permission.
Though mistakenly characterized as a prostitute in many popular writings, the Bible says only that Mary was possessed by seven demons.

LHM Daily Devotions -December 2, 2019 - A DEEP DIVE INTO THE ORDINARY


Dec. 2, 2019

Jesus, when He began His ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat ... the son of Esli ... the son of Josech ... the son of Elmadam ... the son of Nathan, the son of David ...
Luke 3:23-31 and following (ESV)

Have you ever heard of an underground river? It sometimes happens that a river flows along in the sunshine—and then it suddenly vanishes into a cave, a hole in the ground. We stop and blink. Where has it gone? It is still there, but it is hidden from us. The next time it comes to the surface, it may be miles from here.

Jesus' ancestry in Luke 3 is like this. It doesn't have all the kings and leaders we find in His other genealogy in Matthew 1. No, this side of the family flows from King David through his son Nathan (of whom we know almost nothing). Then it disappears into the ordinary.

Who are these people: Esli, Josech, Rhesa, Elmadam? They are nothing but names to us. They may have been shepherds, farmers, storekeepers, craftsmen. But history tells us nothing about them. They were just ordinary.

And we are just ordinary too, aren't we? We are born, live, love, maybe have children, do our work, and eventually die. Someday our descendants may pore over the family tree, wondering—who was that person? Only a name remains.

And yet God does not forget us. We are connected to Jesus, just as Esli, Josech, and Rhesa are. We are people whom Jesus came to rescue—to bring us out of the power of darkness and into His marvelous light. Because Jesus died and rose for us, we are not nobodies. We are God's own children. He loves us dearly, and He calls us by name.

THE PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You that we matter to You. Keep us in Your Son Jesus. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Have you ever been interested in family history?
  • How do you feel about being ordinary—does it bother you? Please you? Why do you feel that way?
  • How do you know that you matter to God?

Advent Devotions were 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).
Have you ever been interested in family history?

CPTLN devocional del 02 de Diciembre de 2019 - Una profunda zambullida a la común


Una profunda zambullida a la común

02 de Diciembre de 2019

Cuando Jesús comenzó su ministerio tenía unos treinta años. Según se creía, era hijo de José, que fue hijo de Elí, que fue hijo de Matat ... hijo de Esli ... hijo de José ... hijo de Elmodam ... hijo de Natán, que fue hijo de David ...

¿Has oído hablar alguna vez de un río subterráneo? A veces un río fluye a la luz del sol y repentinamente se desvanece en una cueva o en un agujero en la tierra. Nos detenemos y parpadeamos. ¿Dónde se metió? Todavía está allí, pero oculto para nosotros. Cuando vuelva a salir a la superficie, quizás esté a muchos kilómetros.

La ascendencia de Jesús en Lucas 3 es como un río subterráneo. No tiene todos los reyes y líderes que encontramos en su otra genealogía en Mateo 1. Este lado de la familia va desde el rey David hasta su hijo Natán, de quien no sabemos casi nada. Luego desaparece en lo común.

¿Quiénes son Matat, Esli, José, Elmodam? Para nosotros no son más que nombres. Pueden haber sido pastores, campesinos, negociantes, artesanos. Pero la historia no nos dice nada de ellos. No fueron más que personas comunes.

Comunes igual que nosotros, ¿verdad? Nacemos, vivimos, amamos, tal vez tenemos hijos, hacemos nuestro trabajo y, eventualmente, morimos. Algún día, nuestros descendientes podrán estudiar el árbol genealógico y se preguntarán: ¿quién era esa persona? Todo lo que queda es el nombre.

Dios, sin embargo, no nos olvida. Estamos conectados con Jesús así como Matat, Esli y José. Somos personas a quienes Jesús vino a rescatar para sacarnos de las tinieblas y llevarnos a su luz maravillosa.

Por la muerte y resurrección de Jesús por nosotros, somos alguien: somos hijos de Dios. Él nos ama mucho y nos llama por nuestro nombre.

ORACIÓN: Padre querido, gracias porque para ti somos importantes. Mantennos firmes en tu Hijo Jesús. En su nombre. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Te molesta ser común?
  • ¿Cómo sabes que eres importante para Dios?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. ¡Utilice estas devociones en sus boletines! Usado con permiso. Todos los derechos reservados por la Int'l LLL.
¿Te molesta ser común?

Notre Pain Quotidien - L’envers de l’amour

L’envers de l’amour

Lisez : 2 Jean 1.1-11
La Bible en un an : Ézéchiel 42 – 44 ; 1 Jean 1

Que la grâce, la miséricorde et la paix soient avec vous de la part de Dieu le Père et de la part de Jésus-Christ, le Fils du Père, dans la vérité et l’amour ! V. 3

À l’époque de Christ, les auberges romaines avaient si mauvaise réputation que les rabbis ne permettaient même pas qu’on y laisse du bétail. Devant une telle réputation, les chrétiens en déplacement leur préféraient le toit d’autres croyants.

Parmi ces voyageurs se trouvaient de faux enseignants qui niaient que Jésus était le Messie. Voilà d’ailleurs pourquoi on lit dans 2 Jean qu’il a des moments où il convient de refuser d’accorder son hospitalité. Jean avait dit dans une précédente lettre que ces faux enseignants étaient « l’Antéchrist, qui nie le Père et le Fils » (1 JN 2.22). Dans 2 Jean, il a précisé que quiconque croit que Jésus est le Messie « a le Père et le Fils » (2 JN 1.9).

Puis il fait la mise en garde suivante : « Si quelqu’un vient à vous et n’apporte pas cette doctrine, ne le recevez pas dans votre maison, et ne lui dites pas : Salut ! » (V. 10.) En donnant son hospitalité à quelqu’un qui prêche un faux évangile, on contribue à garder les gens séparés de Dieu.

La deuxième lettre de Jean nous démontre « l’envers » de l’amour du Seigneur. Nous servons un Dieu qui accueille tout le monde à bras ouverts. Par contre, l’amour sincère exige que l’on se tienne loin de ceux qui se leurrent eux-mêmes et qui cherchent à leurrer les autres. Dieu entoure de ses bras ceux qui viennent à lui d’un cœur repentant, mais sans jamais accepter le mensonge.

Dieu serre dans ses bras ceux qui viennent à lui dans la repentance.

© 2019 Ministères NPQ
À l’époque de Christ, les auberges romaines avaient si mauvaise réputation que les rabbis ne permettaient même pas qu’on y laisse du bétail. Devant une telle réputation, les chrétiens en déplacement leur préféraient le toit d’autres croyants.