Monday, December 9, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, December 9, 2019

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, December 9, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

(God comes with judgment and strength)
Thanksgiving for Victory
To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1  In your strength the king rejoices, O Lord,
     and in your help how greatly he exults!
2  You have given him his heart’s desire,
     and have not withheld the request of his lips.   Selah
3  For you meet him with rich blessings;
     you set a crown of fine gold on his head.
4  He asked you for life; you gave it to him—
     length of days forever and ever.
5  His glory is great through your help;
     splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
6  You bestow on him blessings forever;
     you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
7  For the king trusts in the Lord,
     and through the steadfast love of the Most High
         he shall not be moved.

8  Your hand will find out all your enemies;
     your right hand will find out those who hate you.
9  You will make them like a fiery furnace
     when you appear.
   The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
     and fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their offspring from the earth,
     and their children from among humankind.
11 If they plan evil against you,
     if they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
12 For you will put them to flight;
     you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
     We will sing and praise your power.

(Judgment is coming but glorify God)
Impending Judgment on the Earth
1  Now the Lord is about to lay waste the earth and make it
     and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
2  And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest;
     as with the slave, so with his master;
     as with the maid, so with her mistress;
   as with the buyer, so with the seller;
     as with the lender, so with the borrower;
     as with the creditor, so with the debtor.
3  The earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly
     for the Lord has spoken this word.

4  The earth dries up and withers,
     the world languishes and withers;
     the heavens languish together with the earth.
5  The earth lies polluted
     under its inhabitants;
   for they have transgressed laws,
     violated the statutes,
     broken the everlasting covenant.
6  Therefore a curse devours the earth,
     and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
   therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled,
     and few people are left.
7  The wine dries up,
     the vine languishes,
     all the merry-hearted sigh.
8  The mirth of the timbrels is stilled,
     the noise of the jubilant has ceased,
     the mirth of the lyre is stilled.
9  No longer do they drink wine with singing;
     strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
10 The city of chaos is broken down,
     every house is shut up so that no one can enter.
11 There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
     all joy has reached its eventide;
     the gladness of the earth is banished.
12 Desolation is left in the city,
     the gates are battered into ruins.
13 For thus it shall be on the earth
     and among the nations,
   as when an olive tree is beaten,
     as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is ended.

14 They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
     they shout from the west over the majesty of the Lord.
15 Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;
     in the coastlands of the sea glorify the name of the Lord,
         the God of Israel.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise,
     of glory to the Righteous One.

(Live in holiness and love one another)
A Life Pleasing to God
4:1 Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of you know how to control your own body in holiness and honor, 5 not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

9 Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, 11 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be dependent on no one.

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 9, 2019
Psalm 21; Isaiah 24:1-16a; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

The Daily Prayer for MONDAY, December 9, 2019

The Daily Prayer
MONDAY, December 9, 2019

Martin de Porres (1579—1639)

Martin de Porres was a Dominican brother who is often celebrated by mixed-race people and those committed to ending racism and segregation. He was born in Lima, Peru, the son of a Spanish nobleman and a former slave from Panama. Having grown up familiar with poverty and prejudice, he became a passionate advocate for those on the margins, establishing an orphanage and hospital for children, and becoming well known for his compassion. Martin is often depicted with a broom because he considered all work to be sacred and was committed to service and sacrifice.

Cyprian of Carthage, a third-century North African bishop, said, “The Lord Christ did not want us to pray by ourselves in private or for ourselves alone. We do not say ‘My Father, who art in heaven,’ nor ‘Give me this day my daily bread.’ It is not for oneself alone that each person asks to be forgiven, not to be led into temptation or to be delivered from evil. Rather, we pray in public as a community, and not for one individual but for all.”

Lord, you have woven the threads of creation too finely together for any of us to exist as islands unto ourselves. Teach us to delight in your web of life and to know ourselves in community. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, December 9, 2019

John 15:5, 8 (NIV)
(Jesus said,) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. ... This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Read all of John 15

Listen to John 15

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 9 de Diciembre de 2019

Cambios repentinos

El Señor dice: «Yo te instruiré, yo te mostraré el camino que debes seguir; yo te daré consejos y velaré por ti.
Salmo 32:8 (NVI)

Nadie en este mundo puede estar preparado para un cambio. Por lo general, las pruebas nos sorprenden y nos estremecen.

Sé que algunos atraviesan cambios que nunca esperaron, y en vez de acordarse de Dios y saber que Él tiene el control, maldicen su propia vida y ponen a Dios como el malo.

Quiero que sepas que no todos los cambios vienen de Dios, ni del enemigo, aunque hay quienes piensan que es por mala suerte.

Muchas veces somos nosotros mismos lo que propiciamos esos cambios. Si se trata del trabajo, quizá se debiera a que no hacíamos al cien por cien lo que se nos mandaba. En ocasiones, tenemos actitudes que perjudican nuestra situación laboral, así que caemos en chismes, malas reacciones, incumplimiento y todo eso afecta.

Al nivel de la iglesia, se reflejan esas mismas actitudes. No hay sencillez, sino rebeldía de querer hacer lo que se nos da la gana. Olvidamos que si estamos en un ministerio, nos debemos a ellos en honrar, sujetarnos y simplemente servir.

Reflexionemos, pues, y hagamos una evaluación de cómo somos y en qué esferas necesitamos cambiar.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Sé que algunos atraviesan cambios que nunca esperaron, y en vez de acordarse de Dios y saber que Él tiene el control, maldicen su propia vida y ponen a Dios como el malo.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, December 9, 2019

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Psalm 68:6 (NIV)

Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the Persecuted Church.”

Chinese evangelist, Mrs Yang, was visited by another full time preacher who was very downcast. The preacher wanted to buy a tape player, but had no money. Mrs Yang sat down and just began to sing to him. Her voice was deep and scratchy, the tune barely discernible, the words simple: I am a wanderer, my home is in heaven/ Life is fleeting/ Our home is in heaven/ In this world we have many trials/ And sadness and sickness/ True happiness is not in this world/ But in heaven.

Mrs Yang sang as if before the Lord himself. Every word poured out from her core with total conviction. Tears rolled down her cheeks, her hands clenched the air, and she beat time on her hip. Soon the visiting preacher had joined in, and I watched them, roaring out the hymn together, smiles over both their faces. The preacher left, still with no money for his longed for tape player, but refreshed and encouraged.

Then again, I watched one morning as Mrs. Yang went out into the hills to pray. I followed her at a discreet distance. First she prayed for twenty minutes, and then she sang, walking around, for another twenty minutes. For the next hour she read her Bible, making notes, planning the day’s sermons. After that she sang again, for another half hour.

I confessed I had been spying on her, and asked “Why do you sing so much when there is no one to hear?” She said, “My father once told me, ‘One of the sweet things about the Christian life is that you will do things because they are commanded, and then you will spend the rest of your life gaining deeper insight into why God’s commands are so good.’ So singing is a command. In the Psalms we are constantly exhorted to sing praises to our God. But as for why, I confess it is one of those wonderful mysteries my father told me about. You see, while in prison, I could pray and read scripture, but nothing raised my spirits like singing. Maybe it’s because singing somehow concentrates all of the body on the praise of God, but I have found it essential to the maintenance of a positive spirit.”

Then she looked embarrassed. I said, “What is it? You were about to say something, but you have gone all reticent.” She replied, “Well, it’s just that an old lady told me something that really sums up the main reason I sing. She said, ‘Our spirits are like flowers, and song is the sun. Just as flowers only truly open when the sun shines, so our spirits only blossom when we sing.’ I believe that. I don’t know how, but it’s true. Since my prison cell, I cannot do without song, and I am very frightened that as China gets more open, and the churches get more organized, we are going to leave the singing to the professionals. This would be terrible. The only way you can have a full blossoming spirit is to sing to it.”

RESPONSE: Today I will make my spirit blossom positively by singing to the Lord in the Spirit.

PRAYER: Ask God to impact all Christians with this valuable insight of singing praises to Him.

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 9, 2019


Her name means: "Gazelle"; "Tabitha" Is Its Hebrew Equivalent

Her character: An inhabitant of Joppa, a town on the Mediterranean coast, thirty-five miles northwest of Jerusalem, she belonged to one of the earliest Christian congregations. She was a disciple known for her practical works of mercy.
Her sorrow: To have suffered a grave illness.
Her joy: To serve Jesus by serving the poor.
Key Scriptures: Acts 9:36-43

Her Story

The winds roared over the coast, piling water in noisy heaps along the rocky shoreline. But though she lay quietly in the upper room of her house near the sea, Dorcas did not hear them. Nor did she notice the waves of grief that spilled into the room from the heart of every woman present. For once she had nothing to offer, no word of comfort, no act of kindness to soften their suffering. Instead, she lay still as other women ministered to her, tenderly sponging her body clean to prepare it for burial.

As Peter approached the house, he could hear the noise of mourning, a sound more desolate than the tearing wind. Two men had summoned him from Lydda, where he had just healed a paralytic. They urged him to come quickly because one of the Lord's disciples in Joppa had died. He had come in haste, hoping to reach Dorcas before she had to be buried.

As soon as he entered the room where her body lay, the widows surrounded him with tangible evidence of the woman they had loved, weeping as they held up robes and other items Dorcas had sewn to clothe the poor. Quickly, Peter shooed them from the room, as though to clear the atmosphere of despair. Then he knelt beside her body.

As Peter prayed, he remembered a promise Jesus had made: "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." His faith rising like the wind outside, Peter addressed the dead woman, saying, "Tabitha, get up." Taking her by the hand, he actually helped her to her feet.

The next day, Dorcas stood alone on the roof of her house. The shore was littered with driftwood, trinkets from yesterday's storm. She breathed deeply, inhaling the sea's salty tang, soothed by the sound of waves lapping the rocks below. Strangely, the view looked somehow transparent, as though another world waited just behind the curtain of this one. Dorcas shaded her eyes with her hand, peering out at the sea. But she saw nothing other than the usual collection of fishing boats bobbing in the waves.

Sighing, she turned and went inside. She had things to do—clothes to sew, bread to bake, the poor to feed and clothe. But even in the midst of her busy preparations, her longing for that other world increased, like hunger pangs before a feast. She fed that longing with her many practical acts of love.

Though we don't know what went through Peter's mind as he knelt and prayed at Dorcas's bedside, we do know that God worked through him in an extraordinary way. And though Scripture doesn't tell us how Dorcas responded to her incredible experience, it doesn't take much to imagine her joy. The story of her miracle spread throughout Joppa, leading many to believe.

Her Promise

God is glorified in the story of Dorcas, not only in her being raised from the dead, but through her acts of kindness, her generosity, and her willingness to go out of her way to offer help to others. Don't think you must do great and noble and noticeable acts for your life to glorify God. He will be glorified through your simple acts of love and obedience, whatever they are, wherever you are.

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.
The winds roared over the coast, piling water in noisy heaps along the rocky shoreline. But though she lay quietly in the upper room of her house near the sea, Dorcas did not hear them.

LHM Daily Devotions - December 9, 2019 - ON A SCHEDULE


Dec. 9, 2019

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.
Luke 1:26-27 (ESV)

I love the way this passage starts: "In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God ..." I have an absurd picture in my mind, of Gabriel counting the months of Elizabeth's pregnancy on his fingers, and then hearing God say, "Time to go." I know it's childish, but it reminds me how closely God watches over our lives—even when it looks like He's not paying any attention at all.

Because we often feel that way, don't we? We look around at our ordinary lives and find it hard to believe that the Creator of the universe could be bothered to keep track of us, much less be interested. Or if we are suffering through grief or pain, we may feel abandoned—even deliberately abandoned by God. Where is He?

Against our feelings, the Bible tells us that God is in fact watching over us—far more closely than we may give Him credit for. "Even the hairs of your head are all numbered," says Jesus (Matthew 10:30). "Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands," says God (Isaiah 49:15-16a).

Indeed, He has done this literally. As God come into the world in human flesh, Jesus bears our marks on His very hands—the nail marks of His crucifixion, the guarantee of the great love He has for us. Even now that He has risen from the dead, He still carries those marks. Truly, He will never forget us, and never overlook us.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to truly grasp and believe that You came into this world for me—me personally. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Do you ever feel overlooked or forgotten? When?
  • What kinds of things tell you that someone is truly paying attention to you—truly loving you?
  • When you feel lonely and insignificant, what do you do to remind yourself of God's loving attention?

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 ever feel overlooked or forgotten? When?

CPTLN devocional del 09 de Diciembre de 2019 - En el tiempo justo


En el tiempo justo

09 de Diciembre de 2019

Seis meses después, Dios envió al ángel Gabriel a la ciudad galilea de Nazaret para ver a María, una virgen que estaba comprometida con José, un hombre que era descendiente de David.
Lucas 1:26-27 (RVC)

Me encanta la forma en que comienza este pasaje: "Seis meses después, Dios envió al ángel Gabriel..." Tengo una imagen absurda en mi mente, la imagen de Gabriel contando con sus dedos los meses del embarazo de Elisabet, y luego escuchando que Dios dice: "Es hora de ir." Sé que mi pensamiento es infantil, pero me recuerda que Dios cuida nuestras vidas de cerca, incluso cuando parece que no está prestando ninguna atención.

Porque a menudo nos sentimos así, ¿no? Observamos nuestras vidas comunes y nos resulta difícil creer que el Creador del universe pueda molestarse en seguirnos, y mucho menos interesarse. O si sufrimos de pena o dolor, podemos sentirnos abandonados, incluso deliberadamente abandonados por Dios. ¿Dónde está?

Contrario a nuestros sentimientos, la Biblia nos dice que, de hecho, Dios nos cuida mucho más de lo que podemos darle crédito. "Aun los cabellos de ustedes están todos contados", dice Jesús (Mateo 10:30). "¿Pero acaso se olvida la mujer del hijo que dio a luz? ¿Acaso deja de compadecerse del hijo de su vientre? Tal vez ella lo olvide, pero yo nunca me olvidaré de ti. Yo te llevo grabada en las palmas de mis manos", dice Dios (Isaías 49:15-16a).

De hecho, lo hizo literalmente. Cuando Dios vino al mundo en carne humana, Jesús llevó nuestras marcas en sus propias manos: las marcas de su crucifixión. Esa es la garantía del gran amor que él tiene por nosotros. Incluso ahora que ha resucitado de la muerte, todavía lleva esas marcas. En verdad, nunca nos olvidará y nunca nos ignorará.

ORACIÓN: Querido Señor, ayúdame a comprender y creer que viniste a este mundo por mí. En tu nombre. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Cómo sabes que alguien realmente te está prestando atención, que realmente te ama?
  • Cuando te sientes solo e insignificante, ¿qué haces para recordar la amorosa atención de 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.
¿Cómo sabes que alguien realmente te está prestando atención, que realmente te ama?

Notre Pain Quotidien - La lumière qui nous guide

La lumière qui nous guide

La Bible en un an : Daniel 11 – 12 ; Jude

Oui, tu es ma lumière, ô Éternel ! L’Éternel éclaire mes ténèbres.

Dans un musée, je me suis attardée à un présentoir vitré de lampes antiques. Une enseigne indiquait qu’elles venaient d’Israël. Ornées de motifs sculptés, ces lampes d’argile ovales comportaient deux ouvertures : l’une pour l’huile et l’autre pour la mèche. Or, même si les Israélites les mettaient couramment dans les alcôves murales, chacune était assez petite pour tenir dans la paume d’une main.

C’est peut-être d’une telle lumière comme celles-là dont s’est inspiré le roi David pour écrire le cantique dans lequel il dit : « Oui, tu es ma lumière, ô Éternel ! L’Éternel éclaire mes ténèbres » (2 S 22.29). David a chanté ces vers quand Dieu lui a fait remporter une bataille. Des rivaux tant de l’intérieur que de l’extérieur guettaient le moment où ils pourraient le tuer. Fort de sa relation avec Dieu, David ne s’est pas tapi dans l’ombre pour autant. Il est sorti affronter ses ennemis avec l’assurance que procure la présence de Dieu. Avec l’aide du Seigneur, il a su discerner les bonnes décisions à prendre pour lui-même, ses troupes et sa nation.

Les ténèbres que David évoque ici impliquent sans doute la peur de la faiblesse, de la défaite et de la mort. Nombre d’entre nous vivent aussi pareils inquiétudes, anxiété et stress. Quand les ténèbres nous accablent, nous pouvons trouver la paix dans le fait de savoir que Dieu est avec nous. La flamme du Saint-Esprit qui vit en nous éclairera nos pas jusqu’à ce que nous rencontrions Jésus face à face.

Malgré l’inquiétude et le stress, nous pouvons puiser la paix dans le fait de savoir que Dieu est avec nous.

© 2019 Ministères NPQ
Dans un musée, je me suis attardée à un présentoir vitré de lampes antiques. Une enseigne indiquait qu’elles venaient d’Israël.