Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for WEDNESDAY, January 22, 2020

Psalm 40:6-17 (Not sacrifice but divine mercy); Isaiah 48:12-21 (God saves the people through water); Matthew 9:14-17 (Christ the bridegroom the new wine)
Psalm 40:6-17; Isaiah 48:12-21; Matthew 9:14-17

The Daily Lectionary
WEDNESDAY, January 22, 2020
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Not sacrifice but divine mercy
6  Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
     but my ears you have opened—
     burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7  Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
     it is written about me in the scroll.
8  I desire to do your will, my God;
     your law is within my heart.”

9  I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
     I do not seal my lips, Lord,
     as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
     I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
   I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
     may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
     my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
   They are more than the hairs of my head,
     and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
     come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
     be put to shame and confusion;
   may all who desire my ruin
     be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
     be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
     rejoice and be glad in you;
   may those who long for your saving help always say,
     “The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
     may the Lord think of me.
   You are my help and my deliverer;
     you are my God, do not delay.

God saves the people through water
12 “Listen to me, Jacob,
     Israel, whom I have called:
   I am he;
     I am the first and I am the last.
13 My own hand laid the foundations of the earth,
     and my right hand spread out the heavens;
   when I summon them,
     they all stand up together.

14 “Come together, all of you, and listen:
     Which of the idols has foretold these things?
   The Lord’s chosen ally
     will carry out his purpose against Babylon;
     his arm will be against the Babylonians.
15 I, even I, have spoken;
     yes, I have called him.
   I will bring him,
     and he will succeed in his mission.

16 “Come near me and listen to this:

   “From the first announcement I have not spoken
         in secret;
     at the time it happens, I am there.”

   And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me,
     endowed with his Spirit.

17 This is what the Lord says—
     your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
   “I am the Lord your God,
     who teaches you what is best for you,
     who directs you in the way you should go.
18 If only you had paid attention to my commands,
     your peace would have been like a river,
     your well-being like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants would have been like the sand,
     your children like its numberless grains;
   their name would never be blotted out
     nor destroyed from before me.”

20 Leave Babylon,
     flee from the Babylonians!
   Announce this with shouts of joy
     and proclaim it.
   Send it out to the ends of the earth;
     say, “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.”
21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
     he made water flow for them from the rock;
   he split the rock
     and water gushed out.

Christ the bridegroom the new wine
9:14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”

15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

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

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 WEDNESDAY, January 22, 2020
Psalm 40:6-17; Isaiah 48:12-21; Matthew 9:14-17

The Daily Prayer for WEDNESDAY, January 22, 2020

The Daily Prayer
WEDNESDAY, January 22, 2020

On January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade that a mother has the legal right to end her pregnancy up until the point at which the fetus can live outside of her womb. We lament the death of each child lost to abortion. We pray for each parent who has chosen to terminate a pregnancy. And we commit to become a people who welcome life in a culture of death.

Cyprian of Carthage, a third-century North African bishop, wrote, “The world is going mad in mutual extermination, and murder, considered as a crime when committed individually, becomes a virtue when it is committed by large numbers. It is the multiplication of the frenzy that assures impunity to the assassins.”

Lord, we all suffer varying degrees of blindness. We are blind to love, to justice, to grace, and to life. Help us not to condemn one another in our blindness, but rather to work together to help one another see more clearly by your light. Amen.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, January 22, 2020

Matthew 7:7-8
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Read all of Matthew 7

Listen to Matthew 7

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 - Miércoles 22 de enero de 2020

Que nada te aleje del amor de Dios

Porque yo sé muy bien los planes que tengo para ustedes [...] a fin de darles un futuro y una esperanza.
Jeremías 29:11 (NVI)

Muchas veces nos hacemos grandes ilusiones ante la vida. ¿Te ha pasado que has soñado tanto tener o lograr algo que cuando lo obtienes no cumple tus expectativas? No te sientas mal, pues no eres el único. A menudo nos confiamos porque hacemos las cosas con nuestras propias fuerzas. Hemos tomado decisiones sin consultar y mucho menos hemos llevado nuestros planes delante de Dios.

Tal vez digas: «Bueno, ¿y por qué tengo que llevarlo todo ante Dios?». Porque es lo más inteligente que podemos hacer tú y yo. Te lo explico: Dios es nuestro Creador. Es el dueño de nuestra vida. Sabe todo acerca de nuestra vida presente y futura. Y dejó en su Palabra más de tres mil promesas para nosotros. El problema está en que muchos no creen que eso sea cierto. Sin embargo, los que hemos tenido una relación personal con Él, hemos comprobado que sí cumple sus promesas. Te daré algunas para que las analices:

  • Prometió que aunque nuestro padre y nuestra madre nos abandonen, Él nunca nos dejará (véase Salmo 27:10).

  • Prometió que nos fortalecerá y ayudará, y nos sostendrá con la diestra de su justicia (véanse Salmos 18; 27; 48:10).

Toma hoy de tu tiempo y lee la Biblia. Allí encontrarás muchas promesas que te pertenecen y sentirás una cercanía a tu Padre «Dios».

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Muchas veces nos hacemos grandes ilusiones ante la vida. ¿Te ha pasado que has soñado tanto tener o lograr algo que cuando lo obtienes no cumple tus expectativas?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Tuesday, January 14, 2020

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream…its leaves are always green…”

Trees were not plentiful in Israel and most grew by sources of water like an oasis or a stream. Jeremiah’s simile indicates a person with confidence in the Lord is like a deep-rooted tree by the stream whose leaves never die but are always green.

Aunty Esther was the first Christian I met inside China thirty years ago. She was a diminutive elderly Chinese medical doctor with a soft, kind voice that masks the many years of suffering through which she has passed.

“During the Cultural Revolution,” she says, “I was called in by my superior one day. At that time I was in charge of eight large pediatric wards in my hospital. “The communists were cracking down on people who did not toe the current party line. My superior warned me that I should deny my faith and join the communist party or I may have to face the serious consequences of job demotion and salary reduction.

“A few days later, I was rudely awakened by four nurses who roughly pulled me from my bed and marched me to the hospital. En route, they stopped at a barbershop and shaved off half of my hair. In front of the rest of the staff, I was confronted to renounce my faith in Christ and join the communist party.

“I responded, ‘I can’t deny Jesus. I love Jesus!’ At the mention of his name they threw me down on the ground and cursed. Later, the communist cadre at my hospital tore the stethoscope from my neck and said, ‘You are no longer Esther; you are now The Fool.’

Esther continues. For the next eleven years, she lived in the basement of the hospital and obediently submitted to her new task—cleaning the floors and toilets of the hospital wards that she previously headed. Her already meager salary of 50 dollars per month was reduced to 15 dollars. And she had to buy the cleaning materials from it. The rest was used up on food.

But Esther practiced the presence of Jesus in her job. She sang as she toiled. With a twinkle in her eyes, she adds, “My hospital had the cleanest floors and cleanest toilets in all of China!” Hospital staff would come to her and with great envy question her source of joy in spite of her troubles. Esther responded, “When you have Jesus in your heart, it doesn’t matter what job you do or what position you have. It only matters that you love Him and are faithful and loyal to Him!”

When the Cultural Revolution period ended, Aunty Esther was reinstated in her original job and given back pay for all that she had been deprived during those eleven years. This amount enabled her to send one of her children to the USA for higher education. She faithfully carried on her public witness for Jesus until the day she died in her late nineties.

RESPONSE: I will allow my roots to grow deep in the Lord so that my leaves will always be green.

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for the example of faithful Aunty Esther whose life reflected Your love.

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

LHM Daily Devotions January 22, 2020 - Speaking Plain Truth

"Speaking Plain Truth"

Jan. 22, 2020

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The doctor was quick to let his patient know the test results and what to expect. "Our tests confirm that you have inflamed sinus tracks with concentrations of pharyngeal sediment and mucosa delimiting your respiration. You can expect this to last for some time, but with the appropriate regimen of antibacterial pharmaceuticals, class C vitamins, and zinc-based minerals to combat your exacerbated symptomatic exigencies, we might be able to get a handle on it."

The patient was aghast after hearing his expert and astute prognostications and not a little befuddled as to what it all meant. "Just give it to me straight, doc. Am I gonna make it?"

The doctor put on his bifocals and scribbled something cryptic on a note pad. He tore off a sheet and handed it to the now-shrinking patient. "You've got a nasty head cold. Take two of these every six hours, drink lots of water, and get some rest. You'll feel better in no time."

Isn't that the way it is sometimes? The telling of the straight and forward becomes an exercise in the long-winded and bewildering. What could be a matter-of-fact explanation is muddied up, leaving the hearer scratching his head.

Thankfully, Paul and the other disciples of Jesus told it like it was—not with overblown words that no one could grasp or understand, but with hearts wanting to share the simple and straightforward Good News: Jesus died and rose again to defeat the devil. His victory over the grave is ours through faith in Him as Lord and Savior.

Rather than overcomplicate the Gospel message—"lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power"—Paul knew that he must speak in a way that people understood what he was saying. His message had the core truths that he himself had heard and understood as God's Gospel: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Paul was the mouthpiece, but God created the opportunities, and when He did, Paul wanted to be ready to speak in plain and no uncertain terms. "At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak" (Colossians 4:3-4).

May we likewise speak as we ought.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, may our words be plain-spoken and sincere when we tell others about Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. In His Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • When have you been baffled by an explanation that could have been said more clearly?
  • Has God been clear and unmistakable to mankind in how He has redeemed us? What does our salvation require?
  • When/if Jesus comes up in your conversations, do you consider who you're talking to, their background, and how you can most effectively (and conscientiously) share the Savior with them?

This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
When have you been baffled by an explanation that could have been said more clearly?

CPTLN devocional del 22 de enero de 2020 - Hablando claramente


Hablando claramente

22 de Enero de 2020

Pues Cristo no me envió a bautizar, sino a predicar el evangelio, y esto, no con palabras elocuentes, para que la cruz de Cristo no perdiera su valor. El mensaje de la cruz es ciertamente una locura para los que se pierden, pero para los que se salvan, es decir, para nosotros, es poder de Dios.

El médico se apresuró a informar a su paciente los resultados de sus exámenes y qué debía esperar. "Nuestras pruebas confirman que tiene vías sinusales inflamadas con concentraciones de sedimento faríngeo y mucosa que delimitan su respiración. Puede esperar que esto dure por un tiempo, pero con el régimen apropiado de productos farmacéuticos antibacterianos, vitamina C y minerales a base de zinc para combatir sus exigencias sintomáticas exacerbadas, podríamos controlarlo".

El paciente estaba horrorizado después de escuchar sus pronósticos expertos y elocuentes, y muy confundido sobre lo que significaba todo. "Solo dígamelo directamente, doctor. ¿Me voy a morir o no?"

El médico se puso los bifocales y garabateó algo críptico en un bloque de notas. Arrancó una hoja y se la entregó al paciente atemorizado. "Tienes un resfriado desagradable. Toma dos de estos cada seis horas, bebe mucha agua y descansa un poco. Te sentirás mejor en poco tiempo".

¿Te ha pasado eso alguna vez? Nos dicen algo con términos demasiado avanzados y quedamos desconcertados. Lo que podría ser una explicación práctica y sencilla se convierte en una masa de lodo que nos deja rascándonos la cabeza.

Afortunadamente, Pablo y los otros discípulos de Jesús hablaron sencilla y claramente, no con palabras exageradas que nadie podía entender ni procesar, sino con corazones que querían compartir las sencillas Buenas Nuevas: Jesús murió y resucitó para derrotar al diablo. Su victoria sobre la tumba es nuestra a través de la fe en Él como Señor y Salvador.

En lugar de complicar demasiado el mensaje del Evangelio: "para que la cruz de Cristo no perdiera su valor", Pablo sabía que debía hablar de una manera que la gente entendiera lo que estaba diciendo. Su mensaje tenía las verdades centrales que él mismo había escuchado y entendido como el Evangelio de Dios: "En primer lugar, les he enseñado lo mismo que yo recibí: Que, conforme a las Escrituras, Cristo murió por nuestros pecados; que también, conforme a las Escrituras, fue sepultado y resucitó al tercer día"(1 Corintios 15:3-4).

Pablo era el portavoz, pero Dios era quien creaba las oportunidades, y cuando lo hacía, Pablo quería estar listo para hablar en términos claros y sin dudas. "Oren también por nosotros, para que el Señor nos abra las puertas y prediquemos la palabra, para que demos a conocer el misterio de Cristo, por el cual también estoy preso. Oren para que pueda proclamarlo como debo hacerlo." (Colosenses 4:3-4).

Que nosotros también podamos hablar como debemos hacerlo.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, que nuestras palabras sean sinceras y sencillas cuando les hablemos a otros acerca de Tu Hijo, nuestro Salvador, Jesucristo. En su nombre Amén.

Paul Schreiber

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Alguna vez te ha desconcertado una explicación que podría haberse dicho más claramente?
  • Cuando hablas de Jesús, ¿consideras con quién estás hablando y cómo puedes compartir a Jesús con mayor eficacia?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Alguna vez te ha desconcertado una explicación que podría haberse dicho más claramente?

Ministérios Pão Diário - Está na atitude

Está na atitude

Leia: Tiago 1:1-12 | A Bíblia em um ano: ÊXODO 4–6; MATEUS 14:22-36
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Meus irmãos, considerem motivo de grande alegria sempre que passarem por qualquer tipo de provação.
—Tiago 1:2

Regina voltou para casa, desencorajada e cansada. O dia começara com notícias trágicas numa mensagem de texto, em seguida, piorou ainda mais em reuniões com colegas de trabalho que se recusaram a partilhar das suas ideias. Quando Regina estava orando ao Senhor, resolveu colocar o estresse de lado e visitar uma amiga idosa numa Casa de Repouso. Seu espírito se acalmou quando Maria compartilhou quão bom o Senhor era para ela, dizendo: “Aqui tenho minha própria cama, uma cadeira, três refeições por dia e a ajuda das enfermeiras. E, ocasionalmente, Deus envia um cardeal para a minha janela só porque Ele sabe que eu os amo e Ele me ama”.

Atitude. Perspectiva. Como diz o ditado: “a vida é 10% o que nos acontece e 90% como reagimos a isso”. Tiago escreveu a um povo que fora espalhado por causa da perseguição, e pediu-lhes para considerarem a sua perspectiva sobre as dificuldades. Ele os desafiou com as palavras: “…considerem motivo de grande alegria sempre que passarem por qualquer tipo de provação” (v.2).

Cada um de nós está trilhando a sua própria jornada para aprender a confiar em Deus em meio às circunstâncias difíceis. A perspectiva plena de alegria de que Tiago nos falou virá quando aprendermos a ver que Deus pode usar as lutas para amadurecer a nossa fé.

Senhor, por favor, muda a minha atitude sobre os tempos difíceis.
Traz alegria, perseverança e maturidade em mim.

Deus pode transformar a nossa mágoa em motivo para amadurecimento e aprendizagem.

© 2020 Ministérios Pão Diário
Regina voltou para casa, desencorajada e cansada. O dia começara com notícias trágicas numa mensagem de texto, em seguida, piorou ainda mais em reuniões com colegas de trabalho que se recusaram a partilhar das suas ideias.