Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for WEDNESDAY, December 4, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
WEDNESDAY, December 4, 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.

(God will save the people)
The Eternal Covenant of Peace
1  Sing, O barren one who did not bear;
     burst into song and shout,
     you who have not been in labor!
   For the children of the desolate woman will be more
     than the children of her that is married, says the Lord.
2  Enlarge the site of your tent,
     and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
   do not hold back; lengthen your cords
     and strengthen your stakes.
3  For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
     and your descendants will possess the nations
     and will settle the desolate towns.

4  Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
     do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace;
   for you will forget the shame of your youth,
     and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember
         no more.
5  For your Maker is your husband,
     the Lord of hosts is his name;
   the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
     the God of the whole earth he is called.
6  For the Lord has called you
     like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
   like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
     says your God.
7  For a brief moment I abandoned you,
     but with great compassion I will gather you.
8  In overflowing wrath for a moment
     I hid my face from you,
   but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
     says the Lord, your Redeemer.

9  This is like the days of Noah to me:
     Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
     would never again go over the earth,
   so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
     and will not rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may depart
     and the hills be removed,
   but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
     and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
     says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

(The end is coming)
24:23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’—do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Take note, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The Coming of the Son of Man
29 “Immediately after the suffering of those days

   the sun will be darkened,
     and the moon will not give its light;
   the stars will fall from heaven,
     and the powers of heaven will be shaken.

30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree
32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

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 WEDNESDAY, December 4, 2019
Psalm 124; Isaiah 54:1-10; Matthew 24:23-35

The Daily Prayer for WEDNESDAY, December 4, 2019

The Daily Prayer
WEDNESDAY, December 4, 2019

Commenting on the activities of the early church, Roman Emperor Julian said, “The godless Galileans feed our poor in addition to their own.”

Lord, keep us from trying to distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving poor. Help us work to alleviate suffering and injustice wherever we find it, trusting that the rest is up to you. Amen.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, December 4, 2019

John 8:12 (NIV)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Read all of John 8

Listen to John 8

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 - Miércoles 4 de Diciembre de 2019

Nueva criatura

Como hijos obedientes, no se amolden a los malos deseos que tenían antes, cuando vivían en la ignorancia. Más bien, sean ustedes santos en todo.
1 Pedro 1:14-15 (NVI)

Para vivir hay que morir. Si la semilla no muere, no hay fruto. Así que vale la pena morir a la vieja naturaleza pecadora y enderezar nuestra vida por el buen camino.

En nuestro andar con Cristo, hemos aprendido que, aunque fallemos, Dios nos levanta y nos hace nuevas criaturas. Por lo tanto, dejemos atrás las personas que no son una buena influencia y los amigos que lo único que quieren es que vivamos las cosas del mundo. Entonces se burlan porque eres hombre de una sola mujer, o porque eres una mujer sujeta a su esposo, o porque no estás en fiestas y vicios. Quizá hasta debas dejar trabajos donde tu vida está expuesta a malas influencias.

No temas hacer estos cambios, porque si lo haces bajo el pacto con Dios, Él te respaldará en tus decisiones y abrirá nuevas oportunidades para ti. No olvidemos que la obediencia es igual a bendición.

Los cambios requieren sacrificios, dominio propio y mucha oración. En realidad, necesitamos mucha oración porque siempre estarán rondando las tentaciones.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
En nuestro andar con Cristo, hemos aprendido que, aunque fallemos, Dios nos levanta y nos hace nuevas criaturas.

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

“…Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
John 4:23-24 (NIV)

All true believers recognize the privilege and responsibility to worship God. This worship begins when the Holy Spirit enters our being and grows and continues throughout our lifetime. Every believer should worship the Lord privately as well as gather together with other believers to worship whenever possible. We can worship the Lord because of who He is, because of what He has done in creation and redemption, and because of all that He has done for us individually.

Worship in Scripture seems to revolve around praising God. This is an act of the will not necessarily related to how a person "feels" or the immediate circumstances of life. In other words, we should praise the Lord even when things seem to be going wrong. This is an act of submission to His divine will and pleases the Lord (Psalm 67:3; Hebrews 13:15; Isaiah 12:1).

Worship is evidently a matter of attitude that may be expressed outwardly in prayer, various bodily positions (such as kneeling), singing, dancing, clapping etc. Music plays a very important part in the heartfelt worship of most believers. The form of worship should reflect the believer’s cultural methods of showing adoration as long as it does not conflict with biblical guidelines.

Worship in the early church was simply an outpouring of thanksgiving from a heart that rejoiced in the Lord in complete disregard of circumstances. This type of worship cannot be stopped by anyone. A group of Christians in hostile surroundings can worship in this simple way without being limited to a certain building, a special time, or a prescribed program.

Worship is basically recognizing and declaring God's glory, holiness and worth. An act of worship is an expression of this recognition. The New Testament writers seemed to assume that all people knew how to worship. They give us few examples of how the early Christians worshiped. Participation in the Lord's Supper appears to have been their highest expression of worship. As they prayerfully remembered Jesus and His sacrificial death upon the cross for their sins, they were worshiping.

There are scriptural references to other times of worship such as Peter's prayer (Acts 4:23-28), and Paul and Silas’ experience in prison (Acts 16:23-25). Pastor Jack Hayford enjoys sharing the story about this as told by his favorite African-American preacher. Paul and Silas’ prison cell singing was heard all the way to the heavenly throne room of God. He began to tap his toe to the music. And since heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool, that toe tapping created an earthquake!!!

RESPONSE: Today I desire every aspect of my life to declare God’s glory, holiness and worth.

PRAYER: Pray today for Christians in countries like North Korea who rarely have opportunity to express openly and publicly their worship of Almighty God.

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 December 4, 2019 - KEEPING PROMISES


Dec. 4, 2019

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:22-23 (ESV)

Back in the late 1970s, my future husband was in a prison camp in Vietnam with a friend of his, Ben. Ben was a jeweler, and he promised that one day, if they both survived, he would make the rings for my husband's marriage.

Nearly 20 years later they met again in Southern California, where both had come as refugees. My husband and I were newly engaged, and Ben did keep his promise—and I remember the story whenever I look at my beautiful rings.

Why do we find these stories satisfying? I think because they remind us that someone is in control of the history of the world—that it isn't all accident and the march of time. And that is exactly what God's promise through the prophet Isaiah does for us as well, but in a much greater way—it reminds us that God has the world under control, and it will come to a happy ending, in time.

"A virgin shall conceive"—that's what Isaiah told grouchy king Ahaz in chapter 7. Hundreds of years after both men were dead, God kept His promise, sending His Son Jesus into the womb of a virgin named Mary. A promise made—and kept. A reminder that the course of history is still under the control of a good and loving God. And He will keep all His promises, even the most unbelievable—even the most personal. "I will forgive your sins ... I will make you My own ... I will give you life forever in Jesus' Name," says the Lord. Thanks be to God!

THE PRAYER: Holy Father, thank You that we can always trust Your promises, and not even one will go unfulfilled. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • When did someone make a promise to you and keep it? How did you feel?
  • Why do people consider it so important to keep their promises?
  • Which promise of God means the most to you right now?

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).
When did someone make a promise to you and keep it?

CPTLN devocional del 04 de Diciembre de 2019 - Cumpliendo las promesas


Cumpliendo las promesas

04 de Diciembre de 2019

Todo esto sucedió para que se cumpliera lo que el Señor dijo por medio del profeta: "Una virgen concebirá y dará a luz un hijo, y le pondrás por nombre Emanuel, que significa: 'Dios está con nosotros'".
Mateo 1:22-23 (RVC)

A fines de la década de 1970, mi futuro esposo estaba en un campo de prisioneros en Vietnam con Ben, un amigo suyo. Ben era joyero y prometió que un día, si ambos sobrevivían, haría los anillos para el matrimonio de mi esposo.

Casi 20 años después se encontraron nuevamente en el sur de California, donde ambos habían llegado como refugiados. Mi esposo y yo estábamos recién comprometidos y Ben cumplió su promesa. Cada vez que miro mi hermoso anillo recuerdo la historia.

¿Por qué nos satisfacen estas historias? Pienso que es porque nos recuerdan que alguien tiene el control de la historia del mundo, que no todo es accidente y el paso del tiempo. Y eso es exactamente lo que la promesa de Dios a través del profeta Isaías hace por nosotros, pero de una manera mucho mayor: nos recuerda que Dios tiene el mundo bajo control y que a su debido tiempo llegará a un final feliz.

"La joven concebirá", eso es lo que Isaías le dijo al malhumorado rey Ajaz en el capítulo 7. Cientos de años después de que ambos murieran, Dios cumplió su promesa enviando a su Hijo Jesús al vientre de una virgen llamada María. Una promesa hecha y cumplida. Esto nos recuerda que el curso de la historia todavía está bajo el control de un Dios bueno y amoroso. Él cumplirá todas sus promesas, incluso las más increíbles y las más personales. "Perdonaré tus pecados... te haré mío... te daré vida para siempre en el nombre de Jesús", dice el Señor. ¡Gracias a Dios!

ORACIÓN: Santo Padre, gracias porque podemos confiar en que siempre cumplirás tus promesas. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Por qué es tan importante cumplir lo que prometemos?
  • ¿Qué promesa de Dios significa más para ti en este momento?

© 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.
¿Por qué es tan importante cumplir lo que prometemos?

Ministérios Pão Diário - Natal nos jardins

Natal nos jardins

Leia: Lucas 1:68-75
 | A Bíblia em um ano: Ezequiel 47–48; 1 João 3

Bendito seja o Senhor, Deus de Israel, porque visitou e redimiu o seu povo. v.68

Cerca de 230 pessoas vivem no bloco 72 do Condomínio MacPherson em meu bairro em Singapura. Cada um tem sua história de vida. Num dos andares reside uma senhora idosa cujos filhos cresceram, casaram e se mudaram. A pouca distância dela está um jovem casal com um casal de filhos. E andares abaixo vive um jovem militar. Ele já esteve na igreja antes; talvez a visite novamente no dia de Natal. Eu conheci essas pessoas no Natal passado, quando a nossa igreja fez serenatas pelo bairro para espalhar a alegria de Natal.

Cada Natal — como no primeiro — há muitos que não sabem que Deus veio ao mundo como um bebê chamado Jesus (Lucas 1:68; 2:21). Ou eles não conhecem a importância desse evento: É “…boa-nova de grande alegria, que o será para todo o povo” (2:10). Sim, todos os povos! Independentemente da nacionalidade, cultura, gênero ou situação financeira, Jesus veio para morrer por nós e nos oferecer o perdão completo para que possamos ser reconciliados com Ele e desfrutar do Seu amor, alegria, paz e esperança. Todas as pessoas: da vizinha ao nosso lado aos colegas com quem almoçamos, todos precisam ouvir esta maravilhosa notícia!

No primeiro Natal, os anjos foram os portadores destas boas-novas. Hoje, Deus quer agir por meio de nós para levarmos a história aos outros.

A boa-nova do nascimento de Jesus 
é uma fonte de alegria para todas as pessoas.

© 2019 Ministérios Pão Diário
Cerca de 230 pessoas vivem no bloco 72 do Condomínio MacPherson em meu bairro em Singapura. Cada um tem sua história de vida. Eu conheci essas pessoas no Natal passado, quando a nossa igreja fez serenatas pelo bairro para espalhar a alegria de Natal.