Monday, November 30, 2020

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, November 30, 2020

 

The Daily Readings
Monday, November 30, 2020
Psalm 79; Micah 4:1-5; Revelation 15:1-8
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.
Isaiah first wrote about this staggering event in Isaiah 34:4. Peter then admonished in 2 Peter 3:17-18, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.”

Today’s Readings:
Psalm 79
Prayer for deliverance
1 O god, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.

2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.

3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.

4 We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.

5 How long, Lord? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?

6 Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.

7 For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.

8 O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.

9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.

10 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.

11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;

12 And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.

13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.
Commentary

God is complained to: whither should children go but to a Father able and willing to help them? See what a change sin made in the holy city, when the heathen were suffered to pour in upon them. God's own people defiled it by their sins, therefore he suffered their enemies to defile it by their insolence. They desired that God would be reconciled. Those who desire God's favour as better than life, cannot but dread his wrath as worse than death. In every affliction we should first beseech the Lord to cleanse away the guilt of our sins; then he will visit us with his tender mercies.

Those who persist in ignorance of God, and neglect of prayer, are the ungodly. How unrighteous soever men were, the Lord was righteous in permitting them to do what they did. Deliverances from trouble are mercies indeed, when grounded upon the pardon of sin; we should therefore be more earnest in prayer for the removal of our sins than for the removal of afflictions. They had no hopes but from God's mercies, his tender mercies. They plead no merit, they pretend to none, but, Help us for the glory of thy name; pardon us for thy name's sake. The Christian forgets not that he is often bound in the chain of his sins. The world to him is a prison; sentence of death is passed upon him, and he knows not how soon it may be executed. How fervently should he at all times pray, O let the sighing of a prisoner come before thee, according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die! How glorious will the day be, when, triumphant over sin and sorrow, the church beholds the adversary disarmed for ever! while that church shall, from age to age, sing the praises of her great Shepherd and Bishop, her King and her God.


Micah 4:1-5
A promise of peace
4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.

5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.
Commentary

The nations have not yet so submitted to the Prince of Peace, as to beat their swords into ploughshares, nor has war ceased. But very precious promises these are, relating to the gospel church, which will be more and more fulfilled, for He is faithful that has promised. There shall be a glorious church for God set up in the world, in the last days, in the days of the Messiah. Christ himself will build it upon a rock. The Gentiles worshipped their idol gods; but in the period spoken of, the people will cleave to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and delight in doing his will. The word “halteth,” describes those who walk not according to the Divine word. The collecting the captives from Babylon was an earnest of healing, purifying, and prospering the church; and the reign of Christ shall continue till succeeded by the everlasting kingdom of heaven. Let us stir up each other to attend the ordinances of God, that we may learn his holy ways, and walk in them, receiving the law from his hands, which, being written in our hearts by his Spirit, may show our interest in the Redeemer's righteousness.


Revelation 15:1-8
A liturgy of glory
15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
Commentary

Seven angels appeared in heaven; prepared to finish the destruction of antichrist. As the measure of Babylon's sins was filled up, it finds the full measure of Divine wrath. While believers stand in this world, in times of trouble, as upon a sea of glass mingled with fire, they may look forward to their final deliverance, while new mercies call forth new hymns of praise. The more we know of God's wonderful works, the more we shall praise his greatness as the Lord God Almighty, the Creator and Ruler of all worlds; but his title of Emmanuel, the King of saints, will make him dear to us. Who that considers the power of God's wrath, the value of his favour, or the glory of his holiness, would refuse to fear and honour him alone? His praise is above heaven and earth.

In the judgments God executes upon antichrist and his followers, he fulfils the prophecies and promises of his word. These angels are prepared for their work, clothed with pure and white linen, their breasts girded with golden girdles, representing the holiness, and righteousness, and excellence of these dealings with men. They are ministers of Divine justice, and do every thing in a pure and holy manner. They were armed with the wrath of God against his enemies. Even the meanest creature, when armed with the anger of God, will be too hard for any man in the world. The angels received the vials from one of the four living creatures, one of the ministers of the true church, as in answer to the prayers of the ministers and people of God. Antichrist could not be destroyed without a great shock to all the world, and even the people of God would be in trouble and confusion while the great work was doing. The greatest deliverances of the church are brought about by awful and astonishing steps of Providence; and the happy state of the true church will not begin till obstinate enemies shall be destroyed, and lukewarm or formal Christians are purified. Then, whatever is against Scripture being purged away, the whole church shall be spiritual, and the whole being brought to purity, unity, and spirituality, shall be firmly established.



The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year B. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2021, we will be in Year C. The year which ended at Advent 2020 was Year A. 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 what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org
The Daily Readings for Monday, November 30, 2020
Psalm 79; Micah 4:1-5; Revelation 15:1-8 (KJV)

Prayer of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2020

 

Prayer of the Day
Monday, November 30, 2020


Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.… Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!

Lord our God, let your miracles be done among us, and bless us through your deeds. Bless us in Jesus Christ, the Savior of so many people. May your kingdom come to us and at last bring the great miracles that carry out your will and that do what is pleasing to you. Lord God, Father in heaven, we praise you! In you we live, in you we believe, in you we hope, in you we want to live day by day and hour by hour. May your name be honored among us, for you are our God and the God of all the world. Let your light shine among all people so that many millions and whole nations may glorify your name, for in the last days the nations shall come and worship you. So protect and bless us today and in the coming time, and again and again let something happen to bring us new life and strength. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2020

 

Verse of the Day
Monday, November 30, 2020


2 Peter 3:10-11
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.
Isaiah first wrote about this staggering event in 34:4. Peter then admonished in verses 17-18, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.”

Read all of 2 Peter 3

Listen to 2 Peter 3


The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Standing Strong Through the Storm — SHARE THE GOOD NEWS

 
SHARE THE GOOD NEWS

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Eight men sat in a small, dimly lit room in a rural Chinese village home. Seven were preachers, and their eyes were glued to the Bible held by the eighth man. It was a leather-bound zippered Bible with gold-edged trim on the pages.

The western visitor suddenly became aware that the seven men were staring intently at his Bible. One of them generated enough courage to say, “What a beautiful Bible. May I look at it for a moment?”

“Of course,” he replied. The Bible was gently handed from person to person as though it was made of eggshells. They asked how much it cost. And their faces fell when they learned it was the equivalent of twenty dollars.

Then the visitor received an inspiration. He decided to make this a personal ministry project. The qualification for receiving one of these Chinese Bibles should be so high that these leaders would be inspired to greater achievement. Yet, at the same time, ensure that he would not need to provide a great number.

He told them, “If a person is mightily used by God, then I will bring him one of these Bibles.”

“What do you mean mightily used of God?” the preachers queried eagerly.

Thinking fast, he replied, “Those who have led at least 10,000 people to the Lord and discipled another 10,000.”

To his astonishment, the preachers burst out laughing. They said, “Oh, this is too easy. There are five of us here who can now qualify for your zippered gold-edged Bible, and we know ten more.”

After his trip, the visitor chuckled, “I’m bankrupt.” But more seriously, he added, “I’ve been working in China with house church leaders for many years. But one thing never changes...I am literally taken by surprise during each visit at how fast the church is growing.”

RESPONSE: Today, I will take more seriously my responsibility in sharing the Good News of Jesus and fulfill the church’s function of evangelism.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, that Your church is continuing to grow quickly in China. May that be a reality in my country as well.


Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Eight men sat in a small, dimly lit room in a rural Chinese village home. Seven were preachers, and their eyes were glued to the Bible held by the eighth man.

Women of the Bible — Mary Magdalene

 
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 she 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.
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?

John Piper Devotional — The Triumphant Shame of the Cross

 
The Triumphant Shame of the Cross

Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

It isn’t to be taken for granted that there should be a welcome for sinners in heaven.

God is holy and pure and perfectly just and righteous. Yet the whole story of the Bible is how such a great and holy God can and does welcome dirty people like you and me into his presence. How can this be?

Verse 25 says that Christ’s sacrifice for sin was not like the sacrifices of the Jewish high priests. They came into the holy place yearly with animal sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. But these verses say Christ did not enter heaven “to offer himself repeatedly…for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world.”

If Christ followed the pattern of the priests, then he would have to die yearly. And since the sins to be covered include the sins of Adam and Eve, he would have had to begin his yearly dying at the foundation of the world. But the writer treats this as unthinkable.

Why is this unthinkable? Because it would make the death of the Son of God look weak and ineffective. If it has to be repeated year after year for centuries, where would be the triumph? Where would we see the infinite value of the sacrifice of the Son? It would vanish in the shamefulness of a yearly suffering and death.

There was shame in the cross, but it was a triumphant shame. “He despised the shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

This is the gospel of the glory of Christ, the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4). I pray that no matter how dirty with sin you are, you will see the light of this glory and believe.

It isn’t to be taken for granted that there should be a welcome for sinners in heaven.

Un dia a la Vez — ¿Qué hacemos por Dios?

 
¿Qué hacemos por Dios?

Por lo tanto, si alguno está en Cristo, es una nueva creación. ¡Lo viejo ha pasado, ha llegado ya lo nuevo!

Nuestra oración de ayer fue pidiendo cambios importantes debido a que debemos distinguirnos con principios estable-cidos, pues somos hijos de Dios.

En lo personal, creo que todos los días debemos dar lo mejor a quien nos da todo lo que queremos, al que cuida de nosotros de manera incondicional.

Hoy mi llamado es a que nos examinemos y descubramos lo que hacemos por Dios. No se trata de que Él nos necesite, sino de que espera muchas cosas de nosotros. Por ejemplo, obediencia, entrega y que le busquemos con todo nuestro ser.

Así que antes tenemos que dejar dos cosas que de seguro no son del agrado de nuestro Padre: Ser quejicosos y pedigüeños.

¿Por qué no empezamos por dejar esa mala costumbre de abrir los ojos y quejarnos por algo o por todo? ¿Dejar de quejarnos por la noche que tuvimos, por el día, por el trabajo, por el cónyuge o por la situación del país? Seguido a eso, si es que se tiene un momento de oración, nos portamos como insistentes «pedigüeños». No, mis amigos, eso no es lo único que espera Dios de nosotros.

Empecemos a distinguirnos. Si buscamos más de su presencia, lo conoceremos mejor. Y conoceremos más de su amor.

Haz el gran sacrificio, si ese es tu caso, y no pidas nada hoy ni te quejes por nada. Así comprobarás la diferencia de vivir en paz y con el gozo del Señor.


Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Hoy mi llamado es a que nos examinemos y descubramos lo que hacemos por Dios. No se trata de que Él nos necesite, sino de que espera muchas cosas de nosotros.

Notre Pain Quotidien — Donner le meilleur de soi-même

 

Donner le meilleur de soi-même
[Il] les épurera comme on épure l’or et l’argent, et ils présenteront à l’Éternel des offrandes avec justice.

En entrant dans un refuge pour sans-abri, nous avons vu des piles de chaussures données. Le directeur avait invité notre groupe jeunesse à contribuer à les trier. Nous avons passé la matinée à reconstituer les paires et à les aligner sur le sol bétonné. En fin de journée, nous avons jeté plus de la moitié des chaussures parce qu’elles étaient trop usées pour servir encore. Même si le refuge ne pouvait pas empêcher les gens de donner des articles de mauvaise qualité, il refusait de distribuer des chaussures en mauvais état.

Les Israélites avaient eux aussi du mal à ne pas faire don de leurs biens endommagés. Par la bouche de Malachie, il les a réprimandés parce qu’ils sacrifiaient des animaux aveugles, infirmes ou malades alors qu’ils avaient des animaux forts à offrir (MA 1.6-8). Il leur a fait part de sa réprobation (V. 10), il leur a rappelé qu’il méritait ce qu’il y avait de mieux et il leur a reproché de garder le meilleur pour eux-mêmes (V. 14). Il reste que Dieu a aussi promis d’envoyer le Messie, dont l’amour et la grâce allaient transformer leur cœur et enflammer leur désir de lui faire des offrandes lui étant agréables (3.1-4).
Dieu puissant, je te prie de m’aider à t’accorder la priorité et ce que j’ai de meilleur.
Nous sommes parfois tentés de donner nos restants à Dieu. Nous le louons et nous nous attendons à ce qu’il nous donne son tout, et pourtant, nous lui donnons nos miettes. Lorsque nous considérons tout ce que Dieu a fait, réjouissons-nous en célébrant son mérite et en lui donnant ce que nous avons de meilleur.

par Xochitl Dixon

© 2020 Ministères NPQ
En entrant dans un refuge pour sans-abri, nous avons vu des piles de chaussures données. Le directeur avait invité notre groupe jeunesse à contribuer à les trier.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Daily Readings for Sunday, November 29, 2020 — First Sunday of Advent

 

The Daily Readings
Sunday, November 29, 2020 — First Sunday of Advent

Yearning for the Light
Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9;
Mark 13:24-37
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)


Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Opening Sentences
We have just come from the Thanksgiving Celebrations and are now called to enter Advent with little preparation. We are not ready. We have not considered our spiritual dilemma. Left to our own devices we move easily and quickly from light into darkness. Isaiah’s call reminds us of the yearning of the people for God’s intervention in their darkness. Their plea is for God to rip open the heavens and come to save them. They feel incapable of escaping the darkness by themselves. Psalm 80 reminds us that God is a god of power and might and fully capable of saving God’s people. Their prayer is for salvation. Mark’s cryptic words raise images of darkness and the coming light. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus reminds us to be vigilant, for the true light is coming.

Advent begins with shadows of tension between hunger and hope. We hunger to know God’s presence in our lives, but we fear that by our thoughts and deeds we’ve blocked the coming of the good news in Christ. We know that God has reason enough to turn away. And yet, when we look closely, there are signs of hope. Christ is coming, but we won’t know exactly when. We must be ready!
Opening Prayer
Almighty God, as we begin this season of Advent remind us again that in the midst of our darkness you are bringing us peace, to calm our anxious spirits and hectic lives. Turn our hearts again toward you. Make us ready to receive your Son our Savior. Slow our pace, and give us the blessing of feeling your peace in our spirits. For we ask this in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
It’s starting already, Lord. It is only the first Sunday in Advent, and we are caught up in the pressures and stresses of the holiday season. Pursued by the temptation to spend our funds, our energy, our spirits, we feel that there is no peace or rest in the world. Lord of light and peace, shine on us this day. Forgive us when we have so easily succumbed to the anxieties and fears and temptations of the season. Slow us down. Calm our spirits. Give us an awareness that this is the season of waiting and of preparation. Pour peace into our lives and help us to be bearers of peace to others. For we ask this in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Even in the midst of difficult times, God is with us, bringing peace to us. Receive God’s rich blessing of peace and hope. Amen.
First Reading
Isaiah 64:1-9

God will come with power and compassion
64:1 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,

2 As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!

3 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.

4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

5 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.

6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

9 Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
Commentary

They desire that God would manifest himself to them and for them, so that all may see it. This is applicable to the second coming of Christ, when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven. They plead what God had used to do, and had declared his gracious purpose to do, for his people. They need not fear being disappointed of it, for it is sure; or disappointed in it, for it is sufficient. The happiness of his people is bound up in what God has designed for them, and is preparing for them, and preparing them for; what he has done or will do. Can we believe this, and then think any thing too great to expect from his truth, power, and love? It is spiritual and cannot be comprehended by human understanding. It is ever ready. See what communion there is between a gracious God and a gracious soul. We must make conscience of doing our duty in every thing the Lord our God requires. Thou meetest him; this speaks his freeness and forwardness in doing them good. Though God has been angry with us for our sins, and justly, yet his anger has soon ended; but in his favour is life, which goes on and continues, and on that we depend for our salvation.

The people of God, in affliction, confess and bewail their sins, owning themselves unworthy of his mercy. Sin is that abominable thing which the Lord hates. Our deeds, whatever they may seem to be, if we think to merit by them at God's hand, are as rags, and will not cover us; filthy rags, and will but defile us. Even our few good works in which there is real excellence, as fruits of the Spirit, are so defective and defiled as done by us, that they need to be washed in the fountain open for sin and uncleanness. It bodes ill when prayer is kept back. To pray, is by faith to take hold of the promises the Lord has made of his good-will to us, and to plead them; to take hold of him, earnestly begging him not to leave us; or soliciting his return. They brought their troubles upon themselves by their own folly. Sinners are blasted, and then carried away, by the wind of their own iniquity; it withers and then ruins them. When they made themselves as an unclean thing, no wonder that God loathed them. Foolish and careless as we are, poor and despised, yet still Thou art our Father. It is the wrath of a Father we are under, who will be reconciled; and the relief our case requires is expected only from him. They refer themselves to God. They do not say, “Lord, rebuke us not,” for that may be necessary; but, “Not in thy displeasure.” They state their lamentable condition. See what ruin sin brings upon a people; and an outward profession of holiness will be no defence against it. God's people presume not to tell him what he shall say, but their prayer is, Speak for the comfort and relief of thy people. How few call upon the Lord with their whole hearts, or stir themselves to lay hold upon him! God may delay for a time to answer our prayers, but he will, in the end, answer those who call on his name and hope in his mercy.

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
We shall be saved
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.

2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.

3 Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

4 O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?

5 Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.

6 Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.

7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

19 Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Commentary

He that dwelleth upon the mercy-seat, is the good Shepherd of his people. But we can neither expect the comfort of his love, nor the protection of his arm, unless we partake of his converting grace. If he is really angry at the prayers of his people, it is because, although they pray, their ends are not right, or there is some secret sin indulged in them, or he will try their patience and perseverance in prayer. When God is displeased with his people, we must expect to see them in tears, and their enemies in triumph. There is no salvation but from God's favour; there is no conversion to God but by his own grace.

The Messiah, the Protector and Saviour of the church, is the Man of God's right hand; he is the Arm of the Lord, for all power is given to him. In him is our strength, by which we are enabled to persevere to the end. The vine, therefore, cannot be ruined, nor can any fruitful branch perish; but the unfruitful will be cut off and cast into the fire. The end of our redemption is, that we should serve Him who hath redeemed us, and not go back to our old sins.


Second Reading
1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Gifts of grace sustain us
1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Commentary

All Christians are by baptism dedicated and devoted to Christ, and are under strict obligations to be holy. But in the true church of God are all who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, and who call upon him as God manifest in the flesh, for all the blessings of salvation; who acknowledge and obey him as their Lord, and as Lord of all; it includes no other persons. Christians are distinguished from the profane and atheists, that they dare not live without prayer; and they are distinguished from Jews and pagans, that they call on the name of Christ. Observe how often in these verses the apostle repeats the words, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He feared not to make too frequent or too honourable mention of him. To all who called upon Christ, the apostle gave his usual salutation, desiring, in their behalf, the pardoning mercy, sanctifying grace, and comforting peace of God, through Jesus Christ. Sinners can have no peace with God, nor any from him, but through Christ. He gives thanks for their conversion to the faith of Christ; that grace was given them by Jesus Christ. They had been enriched by him with all spiritual gifts. He speaks of utterance and knowledge. And where God has given these two gifts, he has given great power for usefulness. These were gifts of the Holy Ghost, by which God bore witness to the apostles. Those that wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be kept by him to the end; and those that are so, will be blameless in the day of Christ, made so by rich and free grace. How glorious are the hopes of such a privilege; to be kept by the power of Christ, from the power of our corruptions and Satan's temptations!


The Gospel
Mark 13:24-37

The coming of the Son of Man
13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Commentary

The disciples had confounded the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world. This mistake Christ set right, and showed that the day of Christ's coming, and the day of judgment, shall be after that tribulation. Here he foretells the final dissolution of the present frame and fabric of the world. Also, the visible appearance of the Lord Jesus coming in the clouds, and the gathering together of all the elect to him.

We have the application of this prophetic sermon. As to the destruction of Jerusalem, expect it to come very shortly. As to the end of the world, do not inquire when it will come, for of that day and that hour knoweth no man. Christ, as God, could not be ignorant of anything; but the Divine wisdom which dwelt in our Saviour, communicated itself to his human soul according to the Divine pleasure. As to both, our duty is to watch and pray. Our Lord Jesus, when he ascended on high, left something for all his servants to do. We ought to be always upon our watch, in expectation of his return. This applies to Christ's coming to us at our death, as well as to the general judgment. We know not whether our Master will come in the days of youth, or middle age, or old age; but, as soon as we are born, we begin to die, and therefore we must expect death. Our great care must be, that, whenever our Lord comes, he may not find us secure, indulging in ease and sloth, mindless of our work and duty. He says to all, Watch, that you may be found in peace, without spot, and blameless.


Here end the Readings

The Apostles’ Creed

  • I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
  • I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sending
Be alert! God is all around us! Be ready to joyfully serve God in ministries of peace and justice through Jesus Christ our Lord. Go in peace and may the peace of God always go with you. Amen.


The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year B. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2021, we will be in Year C. The year which ended at Advent 2020 was Year A. 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 what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org
First Sunday of Advent
We have just come from the Thanksgiving Celebrations and are now called to enter Advent with little preparation. We are not ready. We have not considered our spiritual dilemma. Left to our own devices we move easily and quickly from light into darkness. Isaiah’s call reminds us of the yearning of the people for God’s intervention in their darkness. Their plea is for God to rip open the heavens and come to save them. They feel incapable of escaping the darkness by themselves. Psalm 80 reminds us that God is a god of power and might and fully capable of saving God’s people. Their prayer is for salvation. Mark’s cryptic words raise images of darkness and the coming light. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus reminds us to be vigilant, for the true light is coming.

Advent begins with shadows of tension between hunger and hope. We hunger to know God’s presence in our lives, but we fear that by our thoughts and deeds we’ve blocked the coming of the good news in Christ. We know that God has reason enough to turn away. And yet, when we look closely, there are signs of hope. Christ is coming, but we won’t know exactly when. We must be ready!
Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Prayer of the Day for Sunday, November 29, 2020

 

Prayer of the Day
Sunday, November 29, 2020


Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
John 14:12 (NIV)

Lord our God, we call to you, "Abba, dear Father!" because your Spirit draws us to Jesus Christ the Savior and to his gospel. We call to you for we belong to your kingdom. Give us strength to remain steadfast through all the troubles of our lives. Let your hand remain over us and over the warring nations. Your hand directs, your hand carries out the thoughts of your heart. May the time soon come when you will bring everything to fulfillment and give peace on earth. In expectation we praise your name, for you will bring this time and you will bring it soon. For your kingdom must come, your will must be done on earth as in heaven, and everything must go according to your plan. Amen.

Verse of the Day Sunday, November 29, 2020

 

Verse of the Day
Sunday, November 29, 2020


Psalm 136:1
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Forgetful as we are, things must be often repeated to us. By “mercy” we understand the Lord's disposition to save those whom sin has rendered miserable and vile, and all the provision he has made for the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ. The counsels of this mercy have been from everlasting, and the effects of it will endure for ever, to all who are interested in it. The Lord continues equally ready to show mercy to all who seek for it, and this is the source of all our hope and comfort.

Read all of Psalm 136

Listen to Psalm 136


Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — ACCOMPLISHED AMONG US

 

ACCOMPLISHED AMONG US

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

I'm writing this during the pandemic, and I am as prickly as a porcupine. We are under orders to stay home—and so there are three people and a dog sharing the same small space. The air is filled with whining (not all of it from the dog). We are cranky and snarly with one another—in a pastor's household! Where is God in this mess?

Maybe Luke was thinking something like that when he wrote his introduction for Theophilus. Luke says that he is writing a narrative "of the things that have been accomplished among us." He doesn't say "what we did" or even "how God used us." He puts the whole thing in the passive.

Who is doing the accomplishing? Clearly it's God. What are we doing, then? Mostly getting in the way, I suspect. And what is getting accomplished anyway, in spite of us? The coming of God into our world. The birth of God as a human baby, Jesus Christ. The beginning of God's saving acts, as He rescues us from our broken, sin-stained, deathly situation. This Advent, let's watch what God is doing in the midst of us.

Lord, thank You for loving and saving me, in spite of me. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
* How does your mood affect the way you relate to God?

* Why do you think God chose to save us completely on His own, without our help?

* Does that comfort you? Why or why not?
Lenten 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).
I'm writing this during the pandemic, and I am as prickly as a porcupine. We are under orders to stay home—and so there are three people and a dog sharing the same small space. The air is filled with whining (not all of it from the dog). We are cranky and snarly with one another—in a pastor's household! Where is God in this mess?

Standing Strong Through the Storm — EVANGELISM FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH

 
EVANGELISM FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

Johan Companjen, President Emeritus of Open Doors International, was traveling in the Philippines. Finding it extremely hot in his hotel room, he called for a staff person. “Is the air-conditioning not working?” he asked. “Oh yes sir,” the man replied, “It’s working. It’s just not functioning!”

Jesus Christ ordained five functions for His church to be involved in for Him. We are to evangelize (Matthew 28:19); to disciple or train those who are evangelized (Matthew 28:20); to minister or serve people demonstrating God’s love (Matthew 22:39; Ephesians 4:12); to fellowship together (Ephesians 2:19; Galatians 6:10); and to worship together (Matthew 4:10; John 4:23). In the Bible, there is not necessarily a priority order for these five purposes. They are all equally important.

Evangelism is one primary function. If we really have come to know Christ as Lord and Savior, we will want to share this wonderful experience with those we love. It sometimes seems hard or embarrassing to share the Gospel with our friends and relatives. But if we really love them, and if we really believe that without Christ they will suffer for eternity separated from God, we will tell them no matter how oppressive the culture or the political situation may be.

Restrictions on the church cause new creative means of evangelism to arise. In a restricted country of Asia, one such creative method is to hire a bus and invite relatives and friends to a free outing to the beach. Once in the bus, the pastor with a hand-held loudspeaker starts preaching to his “captive audience” about the love of Christ. At the beach, the sharing and fellowship continues…as well as a water baptism for new believers.

In Soviet Russia, a group of Christians took advantage of the funeral of a small daughter of one of the members to present a public evangelistic witness. On the way to the cemetery, they stopped every few hundred meters to sing triumphant songs of praise. The father of the dead child also gave a clear message of salvation in Christ. Many listeners along the way were deeply touched.

In Vietnam, Pastor Ho Hieu Ha spent over six years in prison for pastoring a growing church right under the noses of the unhappy authorities. But he felt that his imprisonment was not a waste because he used the time to witness to others who were also in prison. When he was released, he had led ninety-six people to Jesus and discipled them.

RESPONSE: I am committed to sharing Christ’s love with others. It is a primary function of the church.

PRAYER: Pray for those in restricted environments as they creatively find ways to witness about their faith.


Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
“It’s working. It’s just not functioning!”

John Piper Devotional — The Only Conscience-Cleanser

 
The Only Conscience-Cleanser

How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

So here we are in the modern age—the age of the Internet, smartphones, space travel, and heart transplants—and our problem is fundamentally the same as always: our consciences condemn us and make us feel unacceptable to God. We are alienated from God.

We can cut ourselves, or throw our children in the sacred river, or give a million dollars to charity, or serve in a soup kitchen, or a hundred forms of penance and self-injury, and the result will be the same: the stain remains and death terrifies.

We know that our conscience is defiled—not with external things like touching a corpse, a dirty diaper, or a piece of pork. Jesus said it is what comes out of a man that defiles, not what goes in (Mark 7:15-23). We are defiled by attitudes like pride and self-pity and bitterness and lust and envy and jealousy and covetousness and apathy and fear.

The only answer in this modern age, as in every other age, is the blood of Christ. When your conscience rises up and condemns you, where will you turn? Hebrews 9:14 gives you the answer: turn to Christ.

Turn to the blood of Christ. Turn to the only cleansing agent in the universe that can give you relief in life and peace in death.

So here we are in the modern age—the age of the Internet, smartphones, space travel, and heart transplants—and our problem is fundamentally the same as always: our consciences condemn us and make us feel unacceptable to God. We are alienated from God.

Un dia a la Vez — Oración por compromisos

 
Oración por compromisos

Ten compasión de mí, oh Dios; ten compasión de mí, que en ti confío. A la sombra de tus alas me refugiaré.

Señor, mi Dios, buscamos tu rostro en este día dándote gracias por tus maravillas.

Gracias, Jesús, porque tú eres mayor que cualquier necesidad y que cualquier problema que pueda tener.

Ayúdame, Señor, a ser una persona de palabra, que mi «sí» sea sí y mi «no» sea no. No permitas, mi Dios, que vaya por el mundo creando falsas expectativas. Por eso, quita de mí toda soberbia y hazme una persona recta.

Te honro hoy y me comprometo a hacer cambios y a buscar tu rostro cada día.

Quiero ser un mejor compañero de trabajo, un buen líder, un excelente padre, el mejor de los cónyuges y el mejor de los hijos.

Además, Señor, anhelo amarte, servirte y entregarme a ti con todo mi corazón.

Pongo delante de ti este nuevo día y confío en tus promesas.

Bendice a mi familia y guárdanos de todo mal y peligro.

En el nombre de Jesús, amén y amén.


Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Oración por compromisos: Señor, mi Dios, buscamos tu rostro en este día dándote gracias por tus maravillas…

Devocional CPTLN — Se han cumplido entre nosotros

 

Se han cumplido entre nosotros

Excelentísimo Teófilo: Muchos han tratado ya de relatar en forma ordenada la historia de los sucesos que ciertamente se han cumplido entre nosotros, tal y como nos los enseñaron quienes desde el principio fueron testigos presenciales y ministros de la palabra. Después de haber investigado todo con sumo cuidado desde su origen, me ha parecido una buena idea escribírtelas por orden, para que llegues a conocer bien la verdad de lo que se te ha enseñado.

Escribo esto durante la pandemia, y estoy tan erizada como un puercoespín. Tenemos órdenes de quedarnos en casa, por lo que somos tres personas y un perro que compartimos el mismo pequeño espacio. El aire está lleno de quejas (no solo del perro). Estamos de mal humor y nos gruñimos unos a otros, ¡en la casa de un pastor! ¿Dónde está Dios en este lío?

Quizás Lucas estaba pensando en algo así cuando escribió su introducción para Teófilo. Lucas dice que está escribiendo una narración "de los sucesos... que se han cumplido entre nosotros". Él no dice "lo que nosotros hicimos", ni tampoco "cómo Dios nos usó". Lo pone todo usando los verbos en forma pasiva.

¿Quién había cumplido todas estas cosas? Claramente es Dios. ¿Qué hacemos nosotros, entonces? Sospecho que, más que nada, nos interponemos en el camino. ¿Y qué se logra de todos modos, a pesar de nosotros? La venida de Dios a nuestro mundo. El nacimiento de Dios como ser humano en la persona de Jesucristo. El comienzo de los actos salvíficos de Dios, ya que él nos rescata de nuestra situación de quebranto, muerte y contaminación pecaminosa. Este Adviento, veamos lo que Dios está haciendo en medio de nosotros.

ORACIÓN: Señor, gracias por amarme y salvarme, a pesar de mí. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Cómo afecta a tu estado de ánimo tu relación con el Señor?

* ¿Por qué crees que Dios eligió salvarnos solo por su cuenta, sin nuestra ayuda?

* ¿Te consuela eso? ¿Por qué sí o por qué no?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Escribo esto durante la pandemia, y estoy tan erizada como un puercoespín. Tenemos órdenes de quedarnos en casa, por lo que somos tres personas y un perro que compartimos el mismo pequeño espacio. El aire está lleno de quejas (no solo del perro). Estamos de mal humor y nos gruñimos unos a otros, ¡en la casa de un pastor! ¿Dónde está Dios en este lío?

Unser Täglich Brot — Süße Sache

 

Süße Sache

Lesung: Jesaja 25,1-9 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Hesekiel 35-36; 2. Petrus 1

In Jerusalem wird der Herr, der Allmächtige, ein großes Fest für alle Völker ausrichten.

Russische Hochzeitsbräuche sind reich an Bedeutung und Symbolik. Einer dieser Bräuche findet während des Hochzeitsempfangs statt. Der Moderator spricht einen Toast auf das Brautpaar aus und alle trinken einen Schluck, erheben die Gläser und rufen: „Gorko! Gorko!“ („Bitter“). Bei jedem „Gorko“-Ruf müssen die Brautleute aufstehen und sich küssen, um das Getränk wieder süß zu machen.

Jesaja prophezeit, dass der bittere Trank von Vernichtung, Zerstörung und Fluch über der Erde (Kap. 24) vergehen und der süßen Hoffnung auf einen neuen Himmel und eine neue Erde Platz machen wird (Kap. 25). Gott wird ein großes Fest mit köstlichem Essen und leckerem Wein ausrichten. Ein riesiges Bankett voll Segen, Genuss und Überfluss für alle Völker (V. 6). Ja, mehr noch. Unter der Herrschaft des gerechten Königs wird der Tod beseitigt, bittere Tränen werden abgewischt und die Wolke der Schmach weggenommen (V. 7-8). Sein Volk wird sich freuen, weil der Eine, auf den sie trauen und gewartet haben, Rettung bringt und den bitteren Kelch wieder süß macht (V. 9).

Eines Tages werden wir zusammen mit Jesus bei der Hochzeit des Lammes sitzen. Wenn er seine Braut (die Gemeinde) willkommen heißt, werden die Verheißungen aus Jesaja 25 erfüllt. Das einst so bittere Leben wird wieder süß.
Wo sehnst du dich danach, dass Gott das Bittere wieder süß macht? Was kannst du tun, um anderen Menschen das Leben zu versüßen?
Herr, ich erlebe um mich herum oft so viel Schmerz und Not, Leid und Tod. Manchmal ist es schwer zu glauben, dass du das Bittere wieder süß machen willst. Hilf mir, meine Hoffnung auf dich zu setzen, den Einen, der versprochen hat, uns die Trauerkleider auszuziehen und Schönheit und Freude zu schenken.

Von Marvin Williams

© 2020 Unser Täglich Brot
Russische Hochzeitsbräuche sind reich an Bedeutung und Symbolik. Einer dieser Bräuche findet während des Hochzeitsempfangs statt.