Monday, January 6, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, January 6, 2020 — Epiphany of Our Lord

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, January 6, 2020 — Epiphany of Our Lord
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

(Nations come to the light)
The Ingathering of the Dispersed
1  Arise, shine; for your light has come,
     and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
2  For darkness shall cover the earth,
     and thick darkness the peoples;
   but the Lord will arise upon you,
     and his glory will appear over you.
3  Nations shall come to your light,
     and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

4  Lift up your eyes and look around;
     they all gather together, they come to you;
   your sons shall come from far away,
     and your daughters shall be carried on their
         nurses’ arms.
5  Then you shall see and be radiant;
     your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
   because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
     the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
6  A multitude of camels shall cover you,
     the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
     all those from Sheba shall come.
   They shall bring gold and frankincense,
     and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

(All shall bow down)
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.

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.

(The gospel’s promise for all)
Paul’s Ministry to the Gentiles
3:1 This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3 and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4 a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5 In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

7 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. 8 Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

(Christ revealed to the nations)
The Visit of the Wise Men
2:1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6  ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
     are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
   for from you shall come a ruler
     who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

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 MONDAY, January 6, 2020 — Epiphany of Our Lord
Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12

The Daily Prayer for MONDAY, January 6, 2020

The Daily Prayer
MONDAY, January 6, 2020


Epiphany means “to make manifest.” By the fourth century, Epiphany was a major annual celebration for the church. It is a season when we see Jesus’ divine mission revealed when the magi visit him, and then we remember his baptism, miracles, ministry, and his call for us to follow.

Fifth-century monk and bishop Paulinus of Nola wrote, “We have no right to our possessions; they have been entrusted to us for the good of all. Let us then invest with the Lord what he has given us, for we have nothing that does not come from him: we are dependent upon him for our very existence. And we ourselves particularly, who have a special and a greater debt, since God not only created us but purchased us as well; what can we regard as our own when we do not possess even ourselves?”

Lord Jesus Christ, you have shown yourself to the nations and transformed many by your radiant light. Your ongoing revelations bring a continual rebirth, recreating each of us in your likeness. May today’s rising sun remind us that your light is for the healing of the nations. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, January 6, 2020

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
Read all of 1 Peter 1

Listen to 1 Peter 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 - Lunes 6 de enero de 2020

Tus pensamientos se volverán hechos

La mentalidad pecaminosa es muerte, mientras que la mentalidad que proviene del Espíritu es vida y paz.
Romanos 8:6 (NVI)

Muchas veces pensé y confesé cosas que se hicieron realidad en mi vida. Cosas buenas y cosas no tan buenas. Y esto lo podemos aplicar de dos maneras: pensamientos que agradan a Dios y que nos recuerdan sus promesas, o pensamientos que por lo contrario nos alejan de Él.

No todos los pensamientos vienen de Dios y no todas las cosas malas vienen del enemigo. No obstante, nosotros decidimos qué clase de pensamientos permitimos que vengan a nuestra mente.

A la mente la he comparado con una pista de un aeropuerto. Todo el día llegan pensamientos positivos y negativos. Entonces, ¿qué pensamientos dejamos que aterricen? ¡La decisión es nuestra!

Hacer el ejercicio de sustituir un pensamiento negativo por uno positivo te va a llevar a descartar con facilidad las cosas que te preocupan y que te roban la paz con mucha naturalidad.

Por eso dice el Manual de Instrucciones que debemos llevar cautivos todos nuestros pensamientos a la obediencia de Cristo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Muchas veces pensé y confesé cosas que se hicieron realidad en mi vida. Cosas buenas y cosas no tan buenas.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, January 6, 2020

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)

In the 1980’s, an Open Doors co-worker visited Pastor Tu in Vietnam—leader of the fastest growing house church network at that time. It was reported to the pastor by a member of his house church that the authorities were threatening to imprison him. Pastor Tu told our colleague, “I know it is coming. I have prepared my people for my imprisonment. I am ready for prison.”

Shortly after that, Pastor Tu did spend three years in prison. When he was released, he found his house church network had grown three hundred percent in his absence.

I received a Christmas card from him the following year that read: “…God greatly gives our church 20,203 more new believers this year. Hallelujah!”

The pastor’s comment to our colleague reveals three areas of preparation for coming storms:

  • Intellectually – “I know it is coming.”

  • Practically – “I have prepared my people for my imprisonment.”

  • Spiritually – “I am ready for prison.”

1. Preparation intellectually involves:

- understanding what the Bible teaches about persecution
- understanding what is God’s purpose in persecution

2. Preparation practically involves:

- practicing the do’s and dont’s so not to invite persecution unnecessarily
- knowing what programs and forms to undertake so the church can continue to function under pressure and persecution
- knowing your rights as a citizen (Acts 22 & 25)

3. Preparation spiritually involves:

- engaging in activities that stress the importance of fighting the spiritual battle

RESPONSE: Today I will prepare intellectually, practically and spiritually for any coming storms.

PRAYER: Pray that Christians in all restricted countries will understand these three aspects of the spiritual battle and preparation.

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

Women of the Bible - Monday, January 6, 2020


Her name means: "Chieftainess" or "Princess"

Her character: Beautiful enough to attract rulers in the ancient world, she could be strong-willed and jealous. Yet Sarah was considered a loyal wife who did what was right and who didn't give in to fear.
Her sorrow: That she remained childless for most of her life.
Her joy: That at the age of ninety, she gave birth to Isaac, child of the promise.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 12:1-20; 16:1-8; 17:1-22; 18:1-15; 21:1-13; Galatians 4:22-31

Her Story

Sarah was sixty-five, the age many of us retire, when she began a journey that would lead her into uncharted spiritual territory. Leaving behind their homeland, she and her husband, Abraham, moved hundreds of miles south to Canaan, a land fertile with the promises of God but barren of everything cherished and familiar. God had promised the land to Abraham and his offspring. From him would come not just a family, clan, or tribe, but an entire nation, a people who would belong to God as no other people had.

The promise spread like ripples from a stone pitched in water. If Abraham was to father a new nation, surely Sarah would be its mother. Yet she longed to give birth, not to a nation, but to one small child, she could kiss and cradle.

At first Abraham and Sarah found it difficult to support themselves in their new homeland. Soon a famine made life so severe that they moved on to Egypt, where Abraham, fearful of Pharaoh, suggested a deceptive maneuver to save his skin: "I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister [she was his half sister] so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you."

So Sarah did as her husband asked, and Pharaoh soon added her to his harem of beautiful women. For the privilege, he paid Abraham in the currency of the day—a bevy of sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and servants. But though the two men seemed satisfied with their bargain, God was not. He proceeded to strike Pharaoh and his entire household with diseases. The Egyptian ruler soon summoned Abraham, demanding an explanation. As soon as he heard the truth, he allowed both Sarah and Abraham to leave, taking with them all the riches they had gained in Egypt.

So the couple moved home again. By now, several years had passed since Abraham and Sarah had heard the remarkable promise of God, but still, there was no child. So Sarah took matters into her own hands. Following a practice common in the ancient world, she gave Abraham permission to sleep with her Egyptian maid, Hagar. Sarah's slave would become a surrogate mother for the promised child.

Before long, Ishmael was born. But the child brought only discord between the two women.

One day several years later, the Lord appeared to Abraham while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent.

"Where is your wife, Sarah?"

"There, in the tent," Abraham replied.

Then the Lord said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."

Now Sarah, who had been eavesdropping from inside the tent, laughed and said, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?"

But the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."

Because Sarah was afraid, she lied and said, "I did not laugh."

But he pressed her, saying, "Yes, you did laugh."

A year later, Sarah gave birth to Isaac, whose name means "Laughter." Of course the joke was not lost on the ninety-year-old mother, who exclaimed: "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me."

But Sarah's humor was short-lived. Fireworks flared once again between the two mothers until Sarah forced Hagar and Ishmael from Abraham's household, leaving them to wander in the harsh desert. And though God provided for the two outcasts, it was through Isaac that he would keep his promise of a new nation and a deliverer for his people.

Sarah died at the age of 127 and was buried in Hebron. Between Isaac's birth and her own death lay thirty-seven years, ample time to reflect on her life's adventure with God. Was she ashamed of her treatment of the ill-fated Hagar? Did she remember laughing when God told Abraham she would bear a child at the age of ninety? Did she appreciate the echoing irony in young Isaac's laughter? Did she have any idea she would one day be revered as the Mother of Israel—indeed, a symbol of the promise just as Hagar was to become a symbol of slavery under the law? Scripture does not say. But it is heartening to realize that God accomplishes his purposes despite our frailties, our little faith, our entrenched self-reliance.

True, Sarah's pragmatic attempts to help God keep his promise caused plenty of anguish. (Even in our own day, the struggle between Israel and her Arab neighbors stem from the ancient strife between two women and the children they bore.) Still, despite her jealousy, anxiety, and skepticism about God's ability to keep his promises, there's no denying that Sarah was a risk-taker of the first order, a woman who said good-bye to everything familiar to travel to a land she knew nothing about. A real flesh-and-blood kind of woman who lived an adventure more strenuous than any fairy-tale heroine, an adventure that began with a promise and ended with laughter.

Her Promise

How hard it was for Sarah (and is for us as well) to remember God's promises and to wait for him to fulfill them. God's promises are revealed and fulfilled in his own timing, which is often on a calendar far different from our own.

Waiting patiently for God to work may be one of the most difficult experiences of our Christian walk. We live in an age of the immediate. We think waiting, and doing so quietly, is somehow less worthy, perhaps even a bit lazy. We're great "do-it-yourselfers," but we often get in God's way when we take things into our own hands.

Do you have something you're waiting for God to do? Have you asked him for the salvation of your husband? Of a family member? Are you praying for a rebellious child to come home? Whatever the circumstances, God's timing is the best timing. When you're tempted to step in and make things happen on your own, think of Sarah. Her attempts to fulfill God's promise of a son through her servant Hagar had disastrous results. Remember that God has his own timetable, and rest in the assurance that he loves you and will fulfill his promises to you.

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.
Sarah was sixty-five, the age many of us retire, when she began a journey that would lead her into…

LHM Daily Devotions January 6, 2020 - THE LONG, QUIET TIME


Jan. 6, 2020

And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon Him.
Luke 2:39-40 (ESV)

Eventually, it was all over. Jesus' birth, circumcision, presentation—done. The visit of the wise men—done. The flight into Egypt (which Luke doesn't mention, but Matthew does), the time living as refugees, and the return to Jewish soil—done. Now it was finally time to go home to Nazareth—to get settled into ordinary life—to pick up the threads of family and work and community.

We don't know much about those years when Jesus was growing up in a small town in Galilee. We know about one family trip to Jerusalem, and that's it (see Luke 2:41-52). And there's plenty of ancient fan fiction—what the scholars call "pseudepigrapha," which makes for interesting extra-biblical reading.

Chances are good that the reason we have nothing written about Jesus' early years is that they were pretty ordinary—no miracles (see John 2:11), no strange family arrangements, no bus tours to "come and see the wunderkind of Nazareth!" As far as we can tell, Jesus worked in Joseph's carpentry shop, helped Mary around the house, went to Hebrew school, and did all the things a normal boy does. It was a long, quiet time.

And that's good, isn't it? Because by that point, the whole family needed some quiet time. They needed time to just be with each other—time to live, work, play, worship. They needed the ordinary life that would serve as Jesus' launching pad when He was 30 years old and ready to burst into the incredible years of His public ministry.

Quiet times can be gifts from God, as anyone knows who is not experiencing one—and wishes to be! If that's you, hold on and trust God. But if you are in a quiet time in your life right now, ask the Lord to use it to strengthen you—to help you to mature in your Christian faith and life. Crazy times will come again, no doubt—but now is a great time just to breathe—and to spend time with God and the people you love.

THE PRAYER: Dear Father, watch over my life and make me strong in Your Son Jesus, regardless of what comes to me. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Can you think of a quiet stretch in your own life? When was it?
  • Are you currently in a rough stretch or a quiet stretch, and why?
  • How does God use the quiet times of your life to bring you closer to Him?

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).
Can you think of a quiet stretch in your own life? When was it?

CPTLN devocional del 06 de enero de 2020 - Un tiempo largo y tranquilo


Un tiempo largo y tranquilo

06 de Enero de 2020

Después de cumplir con todo lo prescrito en la ley del Señor volvieron a Nazaret, que era su ciudad en Galilea. El niño crecía y se fortalecía y se llenaba de sabiduría, y la gracia de Dios reposaba en él.
Lucas 2:39-40 (RVC)

Finalmente, todo terminó. Nacimiento, circuncisión, presentación de Jesús, todo estaba hecho. La visita de los sabios, hecha. La huida a Egipto (que Lucas no menciona, pero Mateo sí), el tiempo que vivieron como refugiados y el regreso al suelo judío, hecho. Ahora era el momento de ir a casa a Nazaret para establecerse en la vida cotidiana, para retomar los lazos con la familia, el trabajo y la comunidad.

No sabemos mucho sobre esos años en que Jesús creció en un pequeño pueblo de Galilea. Sabemos acerca de un viaje con la familia a Jerusalén, y eso es todo (ver Lucas 2:41-52). Jesús trabajó con José, ayudó a María en la casa, fue a la escuela e hizo todas las cosas que hace un niño normal. Fue un tiempo largo y tranquilo.

Y eso está bien. Porque a esa altura, toda la familia necesitaba un momento de tranquilidad. Necesitaban tiempo para estar juntos; tiempo para vivir, trabajar, jugar, adorar. Necesitaban la vida normal que serviría como plataforma de lanzamiento para Jesús cuando tuviera 30 años y comenzara los increíbles años de su ministerio público.

Quien no está pasando por un tiempo tranquilo sabe perfectamente bien que los tiempos tranquilos son un regalo de Dios. Si ese eres tú, espera y confía en Dios. Pero si estás en un momento tranquilo de tu vida en este momento, pídele al Señor que lo use para fortalecerte, para ayudarte a madurar en tu fe y tu vida cristiana. Los tiempos convulsionados vendrán de nuevo, sin duda, pero ahora es un buen momento para respirar y pasar tiempo con Dios y las personas que amas.

ORACIÓN: Querido Padre, cuida mi vida y hazme fuerte en tu Hijo Jesús, sin importar lo que me ocurra. En su nombre. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Estás pasando por un tramo áspero o tranquilo de tu vida?
  • ¿Qué puedes hacer para aprovechar los momentos tranquilos de tu vida para acercarte más a Dios?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. ¡Utilice estas devociones en sus boletines! Usado con permiso. Todos los derechos reservados por la Int'l LLL.
¿Estás pasando por un tramo áspero o tranquilo de tu vida?

Notre Pain Quotidien - De mystérieux aides

De mystérieux aides

N’oubliez pas l’hospitalité ; car en l’exerçant, quelques-uns ont logé des anges, sans le savoir. —Hébreux 13.2

Louise souffre de dystrophie musculaire. En cherchant à sortir un jour d’une gare sans ascenseur ni escalier roulant, elle s’est retrouvée au pied d’une longue série de marches. Au bord des larmes, Louise a soudain vu un homme venir à elle, ramasser son sac et l’aider gentiment à gravir l’escalier. Lorsqu’elle s’est retournée pour l’en remercier, il avait disparu.

Michael était en retard à une réunion. Déjà stressé de vivre une relation brisée, il a fait une crevaison en se battant contre la circulation londonienne. Comme il se tenait dépourvu sous la pluie, un homme est sorti de la foule, a ouvert son coffre, en a sorti un cric, a soulevé la voiture et a changé le pneu. Lorsque Michael s’est retourné pour l’en remercier, l’homme avait disparu.

Qui étaient ces mystérieux aides ? De gentils inconnus ou plus que cela ?

L’image que nous nous faisons souvent des anges – des créatures radieuses et ailées – n’est qu’en partie vraie. Même si certains ressemblent à cela (ÉS 6.2 ; MT 28.2,3), d’autres se présentent à nous avec les pieds poussiéreux et prêts à manger (GE 18.1-5), et passent à nos yeux pour le commun des mortels (JUG 13.16). L’auteur de l’épître aux Hébreux dit qu’en hébergeant des inconnus, on peut loger des anges sans le savoir (13.2).

Nous ignorons si les aides de Louise et de Michael étaient des anges, mais selon la Bible, ils auraient pu l’être. Les anges œuvrent actuellement à aider le peuple de Dieu (HÉ 1.14). Or, ils peuvent sembler aussi ordinaires que n’importe qui dans la rue.

Les anges oeuvrent à aider le peuple de Dieu.

© 2020 Ministères NPQ
Qui étaient ces mystérieux aides ?