Friday, December 6, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, December 6, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, December 6, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

(The righteous shall flourish)
Prayer for Guidance and Support for the King
Of Solomon.
1  Give the king your justice, O God,
     and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2  May he judge your people with righteousness,
     and your poor with justice.
3  May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
     and the hills, in righteousness.
4  May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
     give deliverance to the needy,
     and crush the oppressor.

5  May he live while the sun endures,
     and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6  May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
     like showers that water the earth.
7  In his days may righteousness flourish
     and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
     who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
     may his glory fill the whole earth.
   Amen and Amen.

(God’s promise to be gracious to Zion)
30:19 Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. 20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 22 Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, “Away with you!”

23 He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; 24 and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

(Paul’s testimony concerning John the Baptist)
13:16 So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak:

“You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18 For about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. 19 After he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance 20 for about four hundred fifty years. After that he gave them judges until the time of the prophet Samuel. 21 Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. 22 When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.’ 23 Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised; 24 before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his work, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of the sandals on his feet.’

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 FRIDAY, December 6, 2019
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 30:19-26; Acts 13:16-25

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, December 6, 2019

The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, December 6, 2019

Nicholas of Myra (Fourth Century)

The original “Old St. Nick” who inspired the tradition of Santa Claus, Nicholas was bishop of Myra in fourth-century Turkey. Little is known about his life except that he entrusted himself to Jesus at an early age and, when his parents died, gave all of their possessions to the poor. While serving as bishop, Nicholas learned of three girls who were going to be sold into slavery by their father. Moved to use the church’s wealth to ransom the lives of these little ones, he tossed three bags of gold through the family’s window. We recall this ancient Christmas gift, even as we remember that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year in the global sex trade today.

Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army and a passionate advocate for children, said, “There is no improving the future without disturbing the present.”

Lord Jesus Christ, you welcomed the little children to come unto you and invited us to come like them. Help us see how we can welcome children as you have welcomed us into your body. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, December 6, 2019

John 10:14-15 (NIV)
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Read all of John 10

Listen to John 10

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 06 de Diciembre de 2019

Cuida tu milagro

Testificando Dios juntamente con ellos, con señales y prodigios y diversos milagros y repartimientos del Espíritu Santo según su voluntad.
Hebreos 2:4 (RVR1960)

La primera vez que escuché la frase «Cuida tu milagro», me llamó mucho la atención. ¿Cuidar mi milagro? ¿Cómo? ¿Por qué? Bueno, estas son preguntas que quizá surjan y tienen muchísimo sentido.

Nosotros oramos por un milagro, ya sea por restauración del matrimonio o por salud o cualquier necesidad. Entonces Dios, que es un Dios de milagros, lo hace para demostrarnos su poder sobrenatural y para que le reconozcamos y honremos. No obstante, una vez que lo hace, nosotros somos los encargados de cuidar ese milagro.

Cuando Dios nos bendice con un milagro, que humanamente es imposible, es cuando más debemos cuidarlo. Nuestra naturaleza tiende al olvido y a la ingratitud y, a la larga, se descuida ese regalo.

En mi caso, fui una tonta en este aspecto, pues una vez que me sanó Dios, empecé a descuidarme en mis comidas. Las consecuencias no fueron otras que varias recaídas que terminaban en el hospital y muy enferma. La cosa siguió así hasta que en uno de esos tantos retrocesos, estando en el hospital, Dios me mostró que ya me había sanado, pero que yo no cuidaba mi milagro. Fue súper fuerte cuando lo comprendí y no me quedó más remedio que humillarme y pedirle perdón a mi Dios.

¡Cuida tu milagro, honra a Dios y da testimonio de su poder!

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
La primera vez que escuché la frase «Cuida tu milagro», me llamó mucho la atención.

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

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

In the summer of 2010, I led an excellent team of Open Doors staff and supporters on a visit to North Korea. We were allowed to pray publicly in the areas we visited and of course were presented with a formal church service on Sunday morning at one of the three churches functioning in Pyongyang. It was a well-executed performance–especially the choir. On its website, the Korean Christian Federation claims that there are ten thousand Protestant Christians in North Korea meeting at five hundred designated centers. In reality, Christians in the country experience tremendous challenges in worshiping publicly.

Brother Simon, the leader of the Open Doors work in North Korea, says that the true church must operate underground in the country. “They can’t simply go to church to sing and to listen to the sermon. It is clear that being a Christian in North Korea is a lonely business.”

Simon’s thoughts turn to Sundays in North Korea. “It happens only sporadically that Christians consider themselves safe enough to meet together in small groups. Usually gatherings consist of only two people. For example, a Christian goes and sits on a bench in the park. Another Christian comes and sits next to him. Sometimes it’s dangerous even to speak to one another, but they know they are both Christians, and at such a time, this is enough. If there is no one around, they may be able to share a Bible verse which they have learned off by heart and briefly say something about it. They also share prayer topics with each other. Then they leave one another and go and look for a Christian in some other part of their town or village. This continues throughout the Sunday. A cell group usually consists of fewer than twenty Christians, who encourage and strengthen one another, plus one-to-one meetings in people’s homes.

“Only if the whole family has turned to Christ is it possible to have something like a real fellowship gathering, as long as you keep your faith hidden from the neighbors. Besides this, it is sometimes possible to hold a meeting in remote areas with a group of ten to twenty people. Very occasionally, it is possible for Christians to go unobtrusively into the mountains and to hold a ‘service’ at a secret location like a cave. Then it may be the case that there are as many as sixty or seventy North Korean Christians gathered together.”

In spite of severe limitations, believers can fulfill all five biblical functions of the church.

RESPONSE: I will thankfully take my place in the assembly of believers to fulfill the church’s functions.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the faithfulness of Your church in North Korea against all obstacles.

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, December 6, 2019

Pontius Pilate

His name means: "One Armed with a Javelin"

His work: He was the Roman governor over the region of Judea.
His character: Pilate had all the trappings of power and leadership but was unwilling to exercise that influence for good.
His sorrow: He failed to stand for what was right and allowed an innocent man to go to his death.
His triumph: When Tiberius Caesar appointed Pilate governor of Judea, Pilate must have been delighted. Perhaps he thought that this was a step toward even greater authority. But his inability to lead denied him that future.
Key Scriptures: John 18

A Look at the Man

It was the ultimate paradox. Pilate was faced with two sobering options—neither would lead to a happy ending.

If he would listen to his conscience—and his wife's warning—and free Jesus, he would lose support among the religious elite. And releasing Jesus could have changed these men's verbal outcries into a physical revolt. Such an uprising would reflect poorly on his leadership. Tiberius Caesar might replace him because of such insurrection among his subjects.

But giving in to the people's demands meant that Pilate would be forced to deny his own heart. He knew Jesus was innocent. He knew that these men had arrested Jesus because of their seething jealousy over his popularity among the people. And he didn't need his wife to have a bad dream to confirm his apprehensions, but it did make things worse; now he would have to contend with her. This was Pilate's plight, but these are the predicaments of every leader—popularity or integrity, compromise or character.

As the governor of the land, Pilate certainly knew about Jesus' ministry. He may have received warnings from his own associates that Jesus was extremely popular among the people. He suspected that Jesus' message could be threatening to his regime, but he knew that Jesus' words and work were foreboding to the religious establishment. The priests and Pharisees were just jealous. They hated Jesus. But was he dangerous—worthy of capital punishment? Should Pilate sanction his execution just to appease these proud men?

Pilate's approach to this terrible dilemma was something we can understand. Once he had listened to the facts, his response was direct: "Jesus is innocent." Oh, how he hoped that approach would work and the religious leaders would shuffle out of his chambers in resignation.

When that didn't work, Pilate got philosophical. "What is truth?" he pondered aloud. Doesn't truth depend on the situation? Isn't truth sometimes true and sometimes not? Shouldn't group pressure or expediency or convenience have an effect on truth?

When Pilate saw that plain speaking and philosophy were not going to satisfy the people, he tried to dismiss himself from the responsibility of his decision by washing his hands. Then, in his final feeble attempt to assuage his guilt, he placed the blame on others. "This is your fault," he told the priests and Pharisees.

Pontius Pilate had a historic opportunity to do the right thing, but he buckled under the pressure. The heaviness of the situation forced him to acquiesce. As a result, he will forever be remembered as a defective leader, a man with no courage.

Someday Pilate would be replaced as the Roman governor of Judea. No longer would he have to deal with these tricky situations. No longer would he have to make the difficult decisions. And Pilate could continue to ignore his wife. He could even leave her and no longer deal with her opinions. But Pilate would never be able to quiet his conscience. He would never be able to escape the blood of an innocent man and the power of his own conflicted soul. A troubled heart and sleepless nights would be his lifelong companions.

Reflect On: Psalm 25
Praise God: For his mercy.
Offer Thanks: For the blood of Jesus Christ and his offer of pardon in spite of our sin and willful disobedience.
Confess: Any willingness to be swayed by the crowd to do—or think—the wrong thing, instead of doing what is right.
Ask God: To give you the courage to be faithful, to fill you with integrity and character that would be pleasing to him. Ask him to make you a worthy ambassador of his truth and his grace.

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.
It was the ultimate paradox. Pilate was faced with two sobering options—neither would lead to a happy ending.

LHM Daily Devotions - December 6, 2019 - CHANGE


Dec. 6, 2019

And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard ...."
Luke 1:11-13a (ESV)

It must have been rough for Zechariah. For years and years he and his wife had been praying for a child. But the years went by, in a house that was quieter than it should have been, two people growing old together. Nothing ever changed.

Until it did. Bang! And there's an angel standing in front of Zechariah. "Don't be afraid," he says. "God has heard your prayer. And here's what's going to happen next!"

Zechariah's life was turned upside down. No more quiet. No more sadness and resignation. Instead, a baby—a son—the forerunner to the Messiah!

"Don't be afraid," the angel said. I think Zechariah must have needed those words. I know I do, when my life changes suddenly—even for good things. Don't be afraid! God has not forgotten you. He has heard your prayers, and He is in control, and He is doing something wonderful.

Is there something in your own life that is changing, either for good or for ill? God is still with you in the middle of it. He will not leave you alone. His very Name is Immanuel, "God-with-us."

No wonder Paul could write, "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:31-32, 37-39).

THE PRAYER: Lord, help me to face change knowing that You hold me safely in Your hands. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Do you tend to be someone who likes change, or who resists it?
  • What is changing in your life right now? How do you feel about it?
  • Tell about a time when Jesus helped you deal with a difficult change.

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).
Do you tend to be someone who likes change, or who resists it?

CPTLN devocional del 06 de Diciembre de 2019 - Cambio



06 de Diciembre de 2019

En eso, un ángel del Señor se le apareció a Zacarías. Estaba parado a la derecha del altar del incienso. Cuando Zacarías lo vio, se desconcertó y le sobrevino un gran temor; pero el ángel le dijo: "Zacarías, no tengas miedo, porque tu oración ha sido escuchada."
Lucas 1:11-13a (RVC)

Toda la vida Zacarías y su esposa habían orado por un hijo, pero nunca nada cambiaba: pasaban los años en una casa más tranquila de lo que hubieran querido. Hasta que un día se presenta un ángel y le dice a Zacarías: "Zacarías, no tengas miedo, porque tu oración ha sido escuchada".

La vida de Zacarías dio un vuelco. No más silencio. No más tristeza y resignación. En cambio, ¡un bebé, un hijo, el precursor del Mesías! "No tengas miedo", dijo el ángel. Creo que Zacarías debe haber necesitado esas palabras. Sé que yo las necesito cuando mi vida cambia repentinamente, incluso por cosas buenas. ¡No tengas miedo! Dios no te ha olvidado. Él ha escuchado tus oraciones, tiene el control de las cosas y está haciendo algo maravilloso.

¿Hay algo en tu vida que esté cambiando, ya sea para bien o para mal? Dios está contigo en medio de eso. No te dejará solo. Su nombre es Emanuel, "Dios con nosotros".

No es de extrañar que Pablo pudiera escribir: "Si Dios está a nuestro favor, nadie podrá estar en contra de nosotros. El que no escatimó ni a su propio Hijo, sino que lo entregó por todos nosotros, ¿cómo no nos dará también con él todas las cosas?... Sin embargo, en todo esto somos más que vencedores por medio de aquel que nos amó. Por lo cual estoy seguro de que ni la muerte, ni la vida, ni los ángeles, ni los principados, ni las potestades, ni lo presente, ni lo por venir, ni lo alto, ni lo profundo, ni ninguna otra cosa creada nos podrá separar del amor que Dios nos ha mostrado en Cristo Jesús nuestro Señor. (Romanos 8:31-32, 37-39).

ORACIÓN: Señor, ayúdame a enfrentar los cambios sabiendo que me sostienes en tus manos. Por Jesús. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Qué está cambiando en tu vida en este momento? ¿Cómo te sientes al respecto?
  • ¿Cómo te ha ayudado Jesús a lidiar con un cambio difícil?

© 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.
¿Qué está cambiando en tu vida en este momento?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Món Quà Từ Trời

Món Quà Từ Trời

Đọc: Ma-thi-ơ 1:18-25 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Đa-ni-ên 3-4; I Giăng 5

“Nầy, một trinh nữ sẽ mang thai, và sinh một con trai, rồi người ta sẽ đặt tên con trai ấy là Em-ma-nu-ên,” nghĩa là Đức Chúa Trời ở cùng chúng ta.Ma-thi-ơ 1:23

Theo một câu chuyện cổ, có một người tên Nicholas (sinh năm 270 SCN) nghe kể về một người cha nghèo đến nỗi không thể nuôi ba đứa con gái của mình, càng không thể lo cho hôn nhân của chúng trong tương lai. Nicholas muốn giúp đỡ người cha này nhưng muốn làm cách bí mật, ông đã ném một túi vàng qua ô cửa sổ, rơi vào chiếc vớ hay giày phơi ở lò sưởi. Người đàn ông đó được biết đến là Thánh Nicholas, về sau trở thành nguồn cảm hứng cho nhân vật Ông già Noel.

Khi nghe câu chuyện món quà đến từ trời, tôi nghĩ đến Đức Chúa Cha, là Đấng đầy lòng yêu thương và nhân từ đã ban món quà tuyệt vời nhất là Con Ngài cho thế giới, qua sự giáng sinh kỳ diệu. Theo Phúc Âm Ma-thi-ơ, Chúa Jêsus làm ứng nghiệm lời tiên tri trong Cựu Ước về một trinh nữ sẽ mang thai, sinh một con trai và đặt tên con trai đó là Em-ma-nu-ên, nghĩa là “Đức Chúa Trời ở cùng chúng ta” (1:23).

Món quà của Nicholas thật tuyệt vời, nhưng Chúa Jêsus là món quà tuyệt vời hơn rất nhiều. Ngài đã lìa bỏ thiên đàng để trở thành con người, chịu chết và sống lại, và là Đức Chúa Trời sống giữa chúng ta. Ngài an ủi khi chúng ta đau khổ và buồn bã; Ngài khích lệ khi chúng ta ngã lòng; Ngài bày tỏ chân lý khi chúng ta bị lừa dối.
Hôm nay bạn sẽ chia sẻ món quà Chúa Jêsus cho người khác bằng cách nào? Sự hiện diện của Ngài dẫn dắt bạn chia sẻ thời gian, sự khôn ngoan và tình yêu với người khác ra sao?
Lạy Chúa Jêsus, cảm tạ Ngài đã rời bỏ thiên đàng để giáng sinh trong cảnh đê hèn. Xin giúp con không xem thường sự hiện diện của Ngài trong cuộc đời con.

© 2019 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Theo một câu chuyện cổ, có một người tên Nicholas (sinh năm 270 SCN) nghe kể về một người cha nghèo đến nỗi không thể nuôi ba đứa con gái của mình, càng không thể lo cho hôn nhân của chúng trong tương lai. Nicholas muốn giúp đỡ người cha này nhưng muốn làm cách bí mật, ông đã ném một túi vàng qua ô cửa sổ, rơi vào chiếc vớ hay giày phơi ở lò sưởi. Người đàn ông đó được biết đến là Thánh Nicholas, về sau trở thành nguồn cảm hứng cho nhân vật Ông già Noel.