Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for TUESDAY, December 17, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/revised-common-lectionary-semicontinuous/2019/12/17?version=NRSV

The Daily Lectionary
TUESDAY, December 17, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

(Hope in God)
Longing for God and His Help in Distress
To the leader. A Maskil of the Korahites.
1  As a deer longs for flowing streams,
     so my soul longs for you, O God.
2  My soul thirsts for God,
     for the living God.
   When shall I come and behold
     the face of God?
3  My tears have been my food
     day and night,
   while people say to me continually,
     “Where is your God?”

4  These things I remember,
     as I pour out my soul:
   how I went with the throng,
     and led them in procession to the house of God,
   with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
     a multitude keeping festival.
5  Why are you cast down, O my soul,
     and why are you disquieted within me?
   Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
     my help 6 and my God.

   My soul is cast down within me;
     therefore I remember you
   from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
     from Mount Mizar.
7  Deep calls to deep
     at the thunder of your cataracts;
   all your waves and your billows
     have gone over me.
8  By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
     and at night his song is with me,
     a prayer to the God of my life.

9  I say to God, my rock,
     “Why have you forgotten me?
   Why must I walk about mournfully
     because the enemy oppresses me?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my body,
     my adversaries taunt me,
   while they say to me continually,
     “Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
     and why are you disquieted within me?
   Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
     my help and my God.

(The wilderness will flower)
Water Flowing from the Temple
47:1 Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. 2 Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.

3 Going on eastward with a cord in his hand, the man measured one thousand cubits, and then led me through the water; and it was ankle-deep. 4 Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was knee-deep. Again he measured one thousand, and led me through the water; and it was up to the waist. 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross, for the water had risen; it was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be crossed. 6 He said to me, “Mortal, have you seen this?”

Then he led me back along the bank of the river. 7 As I came back, I saw on the bank of the river a great many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the sea, the sea of stagnant waters, the water will become fresh. 9 Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, once these waters reach there. It will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes. 10 People will stand fishing beside the sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim; it will be a place for the spreading of nets; its fish will be of a great many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. 11 But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. 12 On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

(Prepare for the Lord’s coming)
Warnings and Exhortations
17 But you, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 for they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts.” 19 It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit, who are causing divisions. 20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some who are wavering; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies.

Benediction
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

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. www.commontexts.org
The Daily Lectionary for TUESDAY, December 17, 2019
Psalm 42; Ezekiel 47:1-12; Jude 17-25

The Daily Prayer for TUESDAY, December 17, 2019


The Daily Prayer
TUESDAY, December 17, 2019

Clement, one of Peter’s early successors as bishop of Rome, prayed, “O Lord, who brings to naught the designs of the nations, O Ruler, who raises the lowly and humbles the lofty, have mercy on those who are disheartened! Raise us who have fallen, show thyself to those who entreat thee, and heal those who are sick. Feed the hungry, free our captives, strengthen the weak, encourage those who lose heart! All nations shall know that thou alone art God.”

Lord, we cannot dwell in both light and darkness. Each day we have a choice. Help us choose light, and when we fail in faithful decision-making, have mercy on us. Amen.

Verse of the Day for TUESDAY, December 17, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/verse-of-the-day/2019/12/17?version=NIV

Matthew 1:20-21 (NIV)
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Read all of Matthew 1

Listen to Matthew 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 - Martes 17 de Diciembre de 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2019/12/17

Cuando me siento caer al abismo

Todos los días del afligido son difíciles; mas el de corazón contento tiene un banquete continuo.
Proverbios 15:15  (RVR1960)

En cada uno de nosotros hay diversos estados de ánimo, así que en momentos críticos de nuestra vida se van a manifestar de manera diferente. No todos somos propensos a tener las mismas actitudes ante las experiencias que nos toca vivir.

He escuchado que la depresión es muy dura de soportar y, aunque es un mal tan común hoy en día, lo ideal es aprender a combatirla. A pesar de eso, he comprobado que todo, absolutamente todo, en la vida es pasajero. No hay nada que dure para siempre.

Cuando sabemos y creemos que tenemos un Dios, no podemos pensar que las pruebas no tienen solución. Sería como limitarlo para cambiar las circunstancias. Sería como decirle: «Mi problema es mayor que tu poder y definitivamente me quedo así. No puedo hacer otra cosa».

¿Te imaginas como se sentirá Él?

Mi invitación para ti este día es para que salgas de ese estado con la ayuda de Dios. Si crees y confías en Él, debes dar ese paso de fe. ¡Créele a Dios!

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
No todos somos propensos a tener las mismas actitudes ante las experiencias que nos toca vivir.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Tuesday, December 17, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2019/12/17
WHAT’S YOUR STRUGGLE?

They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
Psalm 73:4 (NIV)

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

I’m often questioned about the main difference between a persecuted Christian and a western Christian. My answer has not changed in twenty years. In the persecuted church, Christians realize they are in trouble, and go to God about it. In the western Church, Christians forget they are in a fight, and even if they do remember, never manage to find the time to go to God about it.

Persecuted Christians know they are in a fight. Every day they struggle. Not being conscious of a daily struggle may be sure sign that one is losing the battle of life. The ancient Psalmist looked at the rich elite of Israel and said, “they have no struggles.” They should have struggles if they wish to please God. But so many Christians in the world today seem surprised at the language of struggle today.

What struggles do the persecuted awaken us to? There is, first of all, the struggle we are always in. Everyone that visits persecuted communities comes away with a renewed appreciation of the spiritual battle we are always engaged in.

Secondly, there is the struggle we must awaken to. A persecuted Christian in Palestine said, “When you become a real Christian, you get reawakened to the fact that ‘the whole world lies in the hands of the evil one,’ and this reflects in your own culture.” She added, “What your culture worships, you have to struggle against.” In her case, it was a worship of extremist terrorists, who risked everything to kill Israelis. In standing out against that, she struggled to communicate to her neighbors who thought she was being “unpatriotic.”

We have to face up the same question. What is our culture worshiping? Is it, as Francis Schaeffer once said, “the god of personal peace and affluence,” where we don’t mind what goes on in the world so long as our space and prosperity is not affected?

Finally, there is the struggle we must create. Brother Andrew tells the story of meeting Pastor Haik of Iran, who said to him in 1993, “Andrew, when they kill me, it will be for speaking, not for being silent.” Haik was killed in 1994. If he had stayed silent about the treatment of his Christian friend, Mehdi Dibaj, Haik would be alive. But he chose to enter, even create, the conflict. The fact is we can avoid struggle if we want. Each of us has to make a choice to speak up, defy the powers-that-be, and bring a struggle into being. Otherwise Satan wins.

Persecuted Christians are always in a fight. They struggle all the time, against their own sins, against idolatries in their own societies, and against the orchestration of the evil one who is out to take our worship away from God. Yet these struggles should mark our own lives and churches as surely as the devil does not live exclusively in China or Columbia. This world is the place of struggle. What’s your struggle? The persecuted force us to ask. Everyone ought to have one!

RESPONSE: Today I will affirm and engage in the struggles I face in standing strong against the enemy.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the struggles the persecuted awaken in me. Help me not avoid them.

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 17, 2019 - LOOKING AT THE FUTURE

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20191217

"LOOKING AT THE FUTURE"

Dec. 17, 2019

He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
Luke 1:52-53 (ESV)

As Mary continues to praise God, she does something that happens in a few other places in the Bible. She starts using the past tense for events that haven't even happened yet.

Look around you. Do you see the humble exalted, and the mighty brought down from their thrones? Me neither. How about the hungry being filled with good things, and the rich sent away empty? Well ... I can think of a few occasions, but by and large, this hasn't happened yet either. A quick glance at the news tells us just the opposite.

So why does she say it this way? It looks like this is a thing that the Bible does whenever God wants to emphasize that something is true. It is as if He were saying, "Listen up! What I am telling you is so sure and certain, I'm going to talk about it as a done deal. I'm going to put it in the past tense. Have no doubts—this will really happen."

That is what the coming of Jesus means to us—that we can be sure and certain that God is turning the present order of the world upside down. The abuse and corruption and hatred you see today? Look closely, because you will never see it again. God Himself has come to destroy the power of the devil on the cross, and to rise to new life. And He is bringing the human race into that new life along with Him.

That is what Paul means when he uses the same grammatical trick in Ephesians 2:4-6: "God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." We who trust in Jesus have that new life already. And our resurrection and eternal joy with Jesus are so certain, we can talk about them in the past tense.

THE PRAYER: Lord, thank You so much for what You have done and what You will certainly do for us, because You love us. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • What are some of the things you are most certain of in your life?
  • When you really want someone to believe you, what do you do?
  • Tell a story about a time you trusted in God even when you were afraid.

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).
What are some of the things you are most certain of in your life?

CPTLN devocional del 17 de Diciembre de 2019 - Mirando hacia el futuro


ADVIENTO—NAVIDAD 2019

Mirando hacia el futuro

17 de Diciembre de 2019

Derrocó del trono a los poderosos, y puso en alto a los humildes. A los hambrientos los colmó de bienes y a los ricos los dejó con las manos vacías.
Lucas 1:52-53 (RVC)

Mientras María continúa alabando a Dios, hace algo que también sucede en otras pocas partes de la Biblia: usa verbos en tiempo pasado para eventos que aún no han sucedido.

Mira a tu alrededor. ¿Ves a los humildes exaltados y a los poderosos derrocados de sus tronos? Yo tampoco. ¿Y qué del hambriento llenándose de cosas buenas y los ricos siendo enviados vacíos? En general, esto tampoco ha sucedido todavía. Un rápido vistazo a las noticias nos dice todo lo contrario.

Entonces, ¿por qué María lo dice así? Parece que esto es algo que la Biblia hace cuando Dios quiere enfatizar que algo es verdad. Es como si estuviera diciendo: "¡Escucha! Lo que te estoy diciendo es tan seguro y cierto, que voy a hablar de ello como si ya hubiera sucedido."

Eso es lo que la venida de Jesús significa para nosotros: que Dios mismo ha venido a destruir el poder del demonio en la cruz y a resucitar a una nueva vida. Y él está llevando a la raza humana a esa nueva vida junto con él.

Eso es lo que Pablo quiere decir cuando usa el mismo estilo grammatical en Efesios 2:4-6: "Dios, cuya misericordia es abundante, por el gran amor con que nos amó, nos dio vida junto con Cristo, aun cuando estábamos muertos en nuestros pecados (la gracia de Dios los ha salvado), y también junto con él nos resucitó, y asimismo nos sentó al lado de Cristo Jesús en los lugares celestiales." Quienes confiamos en Jesús ya tenemos esa nueva vida. Y nuestra resurrección y gozo eterno con Jesús son tan ciertos, que podemos hablar de ellos en tiempo pasado.

ORACIÓN: Señor, te damos gracias por lo que has hecho y por lo que ciertamente harás por nosotros porque nos amas. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • Cuando quieres que alguien te crea, ¿qué haces?
  • ¿Te resulta fácil confiar en Dios? ¿Y cuando tienes miedo?

© 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.
Cuando quieres que alguien te crea, ¿qué haces?

Nuestro Pan Diario - Señor de los… ¿clavos?

https://nuestropandiario.org/2019/12/17/se%C3%B1or-de-los-clavos

Señor de los… ¿clavos?

La escritura de hoy: Salmo 18:30-36
La Biblia en un año: Amós 7–9; Apocalipsis 8

Dios es el que me ciñe de poder, y quien hace perfecto mi camino.

Estaba entrando en mi auto, cuando el destello me llamó la atención: un clavo hundido en el costado de la rueda trasera. Traté de escuchar si el aire salía. Felizmente, el agujero estaba tapado; al menos, por el momento.

Mientras conducía hacia el taller de neumáticos, me pregunté: ¿Cuánto habrá estado allí ese clavo? ¿Días? ¿Semanas? ¿Cuánto tiempo estuve protegido del peligro, sin siquiera saber que existía?

A veces, podemos vivir suponiendo que tenemos todo bajo control. Pero ese clavo me recordó que no.

No obstante, cuando la vida parece fuera de control e inestable, tenemos un Dios en quien podemos confiar. En el Salmo 18, David lo alaba por su presencia sustentadora y por cuidarnos (vv. 34-35), y confiesa: «Dios es el que me ciñe de poder […]. Ensanchaste mis pasos debajo de mí, y mis pies no han resbalado» (vv. 32, 36).

Personalmente, no soy de ir al combate como David; más bien, trato de evitar los riesgos innecesarios. Aun así, mi vida suele ser caótica. Pero puedo descansar en saber que aunque Dios no promete evitarnos todas las dificultades, siempre sabe dónde estoy, adónde estoy yendo y con qué me encontraré. Él es el Señor de todo… aun de los «clavos» en nuestras vidas.

De:  Adam Holz

Reflexiona y ora
Padre, que recuerde siempre que conoces cada paso que tomo, y que confíe en tu ayuda para los posibles problemas que enfrente hoy.
¿Cuándo te protegió Dios de algo que ni siquiera sabías? ¿Cómo guardó tu camino y te ayudó a evitar el peligro?

© 2019 Ministerios Nuestro Pan Diario
Estaba entrando en mi auto, cuando el destello me llamó la atención: un clavo hundido en el costado de la rueda trasera.