Friday, January 3, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, January 3, 2020 — 10th Day of Christmas

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, January 3, 2020 — 10th Day of Christmas
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

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

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

8  May he have dominion from sea to sea,
     and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9  May his foes bow down before him,
     and his enemies lick the dust.
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles
     render him tribute,
   may the kings of Sheba and Seba
     bring gifts.
11 May all kings fall down before him,
     all nations give him service.

12 For he delivers the needy when they call,
     the poor and those who have no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy,
     and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
     and precious is their blood in his sight.

15 Long may he live!
     May gold of Sheba be given to him.
   May prayer be made for him continually,
     and blessings invoked for him all day long.
16 May there be abundance of grain in the land;
     may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
     may its fruit be like Lebanon;
   and may people blossom in the cities
     like the grass of the field.
17 May his name endure forever,
     his fame continue as long as the sun.
   May all nations be blessed in him;
     may they pronounce him happy.

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

20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.

(Jacob’s ladder)
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
28:10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15 Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” 17 And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house; and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.”

(Abraham Isaac and Jacob act on faith)
11:13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

17 By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, 18 of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” 19 He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, “bowing in worship over the top of his staff.” 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.

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 what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, January 3, 2020 — 10th Day of Christmas
Psalm 72; Genesis 28:10-22; Hebrews 11:13-22

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, January 3, 2020

The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, January 3, 2020

Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, and biblical scholar, wrote against the church’s use of indulgences and insisted that salvation is a free gift from God, not achieved through good works. Luther refused to recant his criticism of the church, saying, “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.” He was excommunicated by Pope Leo X on January 3, 1521, unwittingly becoming the leader of a movement that would later be named the Great Reformation.

Martin Luther wrote, “When it comes to faith, what a living, creative, active, powerful thing it is. It cannot do other than good at all times. It never waits to ask whether there is some good work to do, rather, before the question is raised, it has done the deed, and keeps on doing it.”

Lord, from Martin Luther in sixteenth-century Germany to Martin Luther King Jr. in twentieth-century Alabama, your disciples have witnessed to a law that is higher than the laws of human institutions. Make us such witnesses, Lord. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, January 3, 2020

Titus 2:11-12
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age[.] 
Read all of Titus 2

Listen to Titus 2

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Viernes 03 de enero de 2020

Todo va a salir bien

No temas, porque no serás avergonzada. No te turbes, porque no serás humillada.
Isaías 54:4 (NVI)

No tuve la enorme dicha de conocer a Jesús desde pequeña y en mi juventud, gracias a Dios, tuve un hogar más o menos estable. Un hogar como muchos, con varios problemas entre mis padres y con el triste desenlace de un divorcio. Ver el dolor en mi madre, la desesperación de mi padre y uno como hijo amándolos a los dos es muy fuerte. Es posible que tú, como hijo, estés en medio de esa tormenta y enfrentes una sola verdad: ¿Con quién vivirás? ¿Con papá o mamá? El divorcio será algo que marcará para siempre la vida de todos los involucrados en la familia.

Lo que nunca pensé es que esa sería una herencia para mí. La experiencia de dos divorcios dejó en mi vida mucha soledad, frustraciones y arrepentimiento, sobre todo con mi Padre celestial. Hoy en día, con una vida restaurada por completo y con una clara visión de lo que es un pacto de fidelidad a Dios y a mis promesas, estoy felizmente casada y esta vez para toda la vida.

Si estás atravesando una separación o un divorcio, no temas. No eres la única persona. Solo permite que Dios sea tu guía, tu esperanza… y te levantarás otra vez.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
El divorcio será algo que marcará para siempre la vida de todos los involucrados en la familia.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, January 3, 2020

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?
Mark 4:37-38 (NIV)

Many times storms can make it seem like Jesus doesn’t care. In this story Jesus’ humanity is evident. He was so tired he was sleeping through a storm which caused the disciples—some even professional fishermen—to fear for their lives.

Without warning, Muslim background believers, Gulshan and Latifa, found themselves caught in a dangerous storm of opposition from local police—all because they had accepted an invitation to a Christian woman’s home to meet with several women who were not believers.

While they were drinking tea and chatting, the police arrived and searched the house. When they could find no incriminating materials, the officers left. But a short time later, other policemen started filming all the ladies. Accusing the two Christian ladies of holding a religious meeting, the police took them into custody. They escorted them to a police station where they were pressured to admit involvement in “illegal missionary activities.”

When they refused to sign, police detained and abused them for six hours. Gulshan was beaten so badly that she suffered a concussion. Only after their pastor intervened did the police let them receive treatment for their injuries.

Gulshan and Latifa left their hometown and sought refuge in one of Open Doors’ “Safe Houses” in another region of their country. For a month they were able to escape the brunt of the storm, staying in the “Safe House” until the pressures abated. Meanwhile, the judge hearing the women’s case fined them in absentia seven times the minimum monthly wage—more than a half year’s salary.

“We were very happy to spend time away from all the tumult,” the two believers said as they later left the “Safe House” to return home. “We were able to learn more about spending time with God and being quiet before Him. To meet with other believers was a blessing and really encouraged us. And thank you so much for assisting us in paying these huge fines. You are a blessing!” the two women concluded.

Though it seemed at first that Jesus did not care for or about them, those who were the hands and feet for Jesus came to the rescue and the storm was weathered with encouragement resulting in more boldness.

RESPONSE: Today I will live in the awareness and peace that Jesus is in the storm with me. His presence doesn’t guarantee comfort, but it builds faith that He will ultimately calm the storm.

PRAYER: Pray that all those feeling that Jesus doesn’t care about their storm will realize the power and comfort His presence can bring.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

Men of the Bible - Friday, January 3, 2020


His name means: "Of the Ground"

His work: Until his sin, Adam was naked and was the happy caretaker of the Garden of Eden. After succumbing to temptation, he tailored his own clothes and became a farmer.
His character: The first man, Adam, was initially God's perfect human creation. Adam was in harmony with nature and with his wife, who was formed from one of his ribs.
His sorrow: More tragic than any story in the Bible, Adam disobeyed God, was expelled from the Garden of Eden and spent the rest of his life in hard labor.
His triumph: Adam was the firstborn of all creation.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 2-3

A Look at the Man

Try to imagine what it must have been like to wake up for the first time as a grown man—to rub the sleep from your eyes and not know anything about anything. This is exactly what happened to Adam. Everything was unfamiliar and new. His mind must have spun with possible scenarios of who he was and who put him in the garden.

The first few days of Adam's life were an indescribable sequence of extrasensory experiences, like checking into one of those opulent European hotels, all expenses paid—only much better and much more extravagant. Everywhere he turned he saw lavish beauty. And because no other man was in sight, Adam rightly assumed that all of this belonged to him.

And if that wasn't enough, Adam's great longing—for the perfect human companionship—was completely satisfied with the creation of a woman, her face lovely and radiant, her companionship pleasing, her affection for him alone.

Every day the Life section of USA Today tells of the rich and famous, the accomplished and gifted, the successful and powerful—the beautiful people. But if ever there were such a person, Adam was surely the man who had everything. How could he possibly want for more?

But, incredibly, he did want more. He refused to be satisfied with what God had provided for his pleasure. His heart was piqued with a hint of discontent. He wanted to go his own way, to do what he wanted to do, to be his own man.

And so the only thing God had told him to avoid became the very thing he submitted to. Willing to sacrifice his abundance on the altar of this temptation, Adam, the man who had absolutely everything, lost absolutely everything. All of this ruin over a silly bite of fruit he was told to avoid. What a foolish wager. What a waste of paradise.

The man who has it all risks it all on something shameful and inconsequential. But doesn't this sound strangely familiar? Of course it does. Every once in a while the beautiful people in the Life section find their way to the News section—indicted for shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud, assault, and even murder. And so, by their own accord, they exchange their riches for the poverty of embarrassment and exile—a page right out of Genesis 3.

But before we jump to judgment against Adam and these fallen contemporary heroes, we have our own hearts to deal with, don't we? Our longing for more when we have enough. Our sin of discontent in the midst of plenty.

Reflect On: Genesis 2:8-25
Praise God: For creating you in his own image.
Offer Thanks: For the work God has given you, whether it’s easy or hard—or, more likely, a mixture of both.
Confess: Any discontent, disobedience, or mistrust that prevents you from enjoying the good things God intends for your life.
Ask God: To help you understand the link between obedience and blessing.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
Try to imagine what it must have been like to wake up for the first time as a grown man—to rub the sleep from your eyes and not know anything about anything.

LHM Daily Devotions January 3, 2020 - HIDDEN SAINTS


Jan. 3, 2020

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Luke 2:25 (ESV)

What do we really know about Simeon? Not much, I'm afraid. We know that he "was righteous and devout," and that the Holy Spirit was upon him. We know that he was waiting for the Messiah. But was he a priest or an ordinary man? Was he married? Did he have children? We don't know. We don't even know for sure if he was old or young. We assume he was old because of the promise about him not dying until he saw Christ—but we can't be sure, because the Bible doesn't tell us.

Simeon is another in the list of people God describes almost entirely by character. Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph himself—Anna, the old woman who welcomed Jesus at the temple at the same time Simeon did—who were these people? All we really know is that they were believers. They were faithful—people who loved God—people who were waiting for Jesus to come. The rest of their biographies doesn't really matter. God mentions the important stuff.

And this gives us a good idea of what God is looking for in our own lives, too. He isn't much interested in whether we're rich or powerful, whether we have no children or many children, whether we are well-known or pretty much unknown. God looks at the heart. What is our relationship with Jesus? That makes all the difference in the world.

The good news for us is that the Holy Spirit—the same Holy Spirit who was upon Simeon—is willing and happy to work in our hearts as well. We don't have to turn ourselves into saints in order to please God. Jesus has already taken care of that through His death and resurrection. Now the Holy Spirit works in us every day. He will give us trust in Jesus. He will make us people who love and rejoice in our Savior.

THE PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, work in my heart and make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Describe a person you know well. What words leap to mind?
  • Do you know any quiet, hidden saints like Simeon? Describe one.
  • How do you think God would describe you, and why? (Keep in mind that He has forgiven and adopted you!)

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).
Describe a person you know well. What words leap to mind?

CPTLN devocional del 03 de enero de 2020 - Santos ocultos


Santos ocultos

03 de Enero de 2020

En Jerusalén vivía un hombre justo y piadoso, llamado Simeón, que esperaba la salvación de Israel. El Espíritu Santo reposaba en él.
Lucas 2:25 (RVC)

¿Qué sabemos realmente sobre Simeón? No mucho. Sabemos que él "era justo y piadoso", y que el Espíritu Santo reposaba en él. Sabemos que estaba esperando al Mesías. ¿Pero era él un sacerdote o un hombre común? ¿Estaba casado? ¿Tenía hijos? No lo sabemos. Ni siquiera sabemos con certeza si era anciano o joven. Asumimos que era anciano debido a la promesa de que no moriría hasta que viera a Cristo, pero no podemos estar seguros, porque la Biblia no lo dice.

Simeón es otro en la lista de personas que Dios describe casi completamente por su carácter. Zacarías, Elisabet, el propio José, Ana, la anciana que recibió a Jesús en el templo al mismo tiempo que Simeón, ¿quiénes eran estas personas? Todo lo que realmente sabemos es que eran creyentes. Eran fieles, personas que amaban a Dios, personas que esperaban la venida de Jesús. El resto de sus biografías realmente no importa. Dios menciona las cosas importantes.

Y esto nos da una buena idea de lo que Dios está buscando en nuestras propias vidas también. No está muy interesado en saber si somos ricos o poderosos, si no tenemos hijos o si tenemos muchos, si somos conocidos o poco conocidos. Dios mira el corazón. ¿Cuál es nuestra relación con Jesús? Eso hace toda la diferencia en el mundo.

La buena noticia para nosotros es que el Espíritu Santo, el mismo Espíritu Santo que reposó en Simeón, también está dispuesto a obrar en nuestros corazones. No tenemos que convertirnos en santos para agradar a Dios. Jesús ya se ha ocupado de eso a través de su muerte y resurrección. Ahora el Espíritu Santo obra en nosotros todos los días. Nos dará confianza en Jesús. Él hará de nosotros personas que aman y se regocijan en el Salvador.

ORACIÓN: Querido Espíritu Santo, obra en mi corazón y hazme la persona que tú quieres que yo sea. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Conoces a santos silenciosos y ocultos como Simeón? Describe uno.
  • ¿Cómo crees que Dios te describiría a ti y por qué? (¡Ten en cuenta que te ha perdonado y adoptado!)

© 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.
¿Conoces a santos silenciosos y ocultos como Simeón? Describe uno.

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Chúa Chờ Đợi

Chúa Chờ Đợi

Đọc: Ê-sai 30:8–18 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Sáng thế ký 7-9; Ma-thi-ơ 3

Đức Giê-hô-va còn chờ đợi để ban ơn cho các ngươi.
—Ê-sai 30:18

Khi Denise Levertov mười hai tuổi, rất lâu trước khi trở thành nhà thơ nổi tiếng, cô đã can đảm gửi một tập thơ cho nhà thơ vĩ đại T.S. Eliot. Sau đó, cô chờ đợi thư hồi âm. Thật ngạc nhiên vì nhà thơ Eliot đã gửi lại hai trang thư viết tay khích lệ cô. Trong lời tựa cho bộ sưu tập Dòng Sông Và Viên Ngọc Bích, cô đã giải thích các bài thơ “mô tả sự thay đổi của cô từ chỗ theo thuyết bất khả tri đến đức tin Cơ Đốc”. Thật tuyệt vời khi biết một trong những bài thơ về sau (“Sự loan báo”) thuật lại sự đầu phục Chúa của Ma-ri. Hãy lưu ý rằng Đức Thánh Linh không ép buộc Ma-ri và Ngài mong muốn Ma-ri tự nguyện nhận lấy hài nhi Jêsus, ba từ này nổi bật ở giữa bài thơ: “Chúa chờ đợi”.

Trong câu chuyện của Ma-ri, Levertov đã nhận ra chính mình. Chúa chờ đợi, Ngài vô cùng yêu thương cô. Ngài không ép buộc bất cứ điều gì với cô. Ngài chờ đợi. Ê-sai cũng mô tả điều này, Chúa đứng đó, tha thiết chờ đợi để tuôn đổ tình yêu của Ngài trên dân Y-sơ-ra-ên. “Đức Giê-hô-va còn chờ đợi để ban ơn cho các ngươi… để tỏ lòng thương xót các ngươi” (30:18). Chúa sẵn sàng tuôn tràn sự nhân từ trên dân Ngài, nhưng Ngài chờ đợi họ sẵn lòng tiếp nhận những điều Ngài ban (c.19).

Thật tuyệt diệu vì Đấng Tạo Hóa, Cứu Chúa của nhân loại lại chờ đợi chúng ta tiếp nhận Ngài. Ngài có quyền trên chúng ta, nhưng lại kiên nhẫn với chúng ta. Đấng Thánh chờ đợi chúng ta.
Chúa đang chờ đợi bạn trong những lĩnh vực nào của đời sống? Bạn sẽ đầu phục Ngài ra sao?
Chúa ôi, con thật kinh ngạc khi biết rằng Ngài chờ đợi con. Điều này khiến con tin cậy Ngài và khao khát Ngài. Xin hãy đến. Xin chiếm hữu cuộc đời con.

© 2019 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Khi Denise Levertov mười hai tuổi, rất lâu trước khi trở thành nhà thơ nổi tiếng, cô đã can đảm gửi một tập thơ cho nhà thơ vĩ đại T.S. Eliot.