Friday, January 31, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, January 31, 2020
Psalm 15; Deuteronomy 24:17—25:4; 1 Timothy 5:17-24

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, January 31, 2020
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Abiding on God’s holy hill
1  Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
     Who may live on your holy mountain?

2  The one whose walk is blameless,
     who does what is righteous,
     who speaks the truth from their heart;
3  whose tongue utters no slander,
     who does no wrong to a neighbor,
     and casts no slur on others;
4  who despises a vile person
     but honors those who fear the Lord;
   who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
     and does not change their mind;
5  who lends money to the poor without interest;
     who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Do not deprive others of justice
24:17 Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.

19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.

25:1 When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty. 2 If the guilty person deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make them lie down and have them flogged in his presence with the number of lashes the crime deserves, 3 but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes.

4 Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.

Good works are conspicuous
5:17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.

22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

24 The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.

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 FRIDAY, January 31, 2020
Psalm 15; Deuteronomy 24:17—25:4; 1 Timothy 5:17-24

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, January 31, 2020

The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, January 31, 2020

Marcella of Rome (325—410)

Marcella had an enviable life as the daughter of a prominent Roman family who married a wealthy man. But less than a year after her wedding, her husband died. She was given a chance to continue living in wealth when she was proposed to by the wealthy consul Cerealis. She chose instead to convert her mansion into one of the earliest communities of women, where she and other noblewomen used their riches to help the poor. Marcella said she preferred to “store her money in the stomachs of the needy than hide it in a purse.” In 410, when the Goths invaded Rome, they broke into Marcella’s home. When they demanded money, she calmly responded that she had no riches because she had given all to the poor. Though she was an elderly woman, they beat and tortured her mercilessly. Her attackers were eventually shamed by her piety and she was released, but she died within a short time.

Marcella of Rome wrote, “By heaven’s grace, captivity has found me a poor woman, not made me one. Now I shall go in want of daily bread, but I shall not feel hunger since I am full of Christ.”

Lord, some of us have found wealth in this world, while others of us are left wanting. But as we stand before you, we are all paupers save for your grace and love. Remind us that our true wealth is your gift of a sustainable way of life for all. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, January 31, 2020

Psalm 86:5
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
    abounding in love to all who call to you.
Read all of Psalm 86

Listen to Psalm 86

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 31 de enero de 2020

La libertad está en Dios

No amen al mundo ni nada de lo que hay en él [...] El mundo se acaba con sus malos deseos, pero el que hace la voluntad de Dios permanece para siempre.

¿Por qué le doy al pensamiento de hoy el nombre de «La libertad está en Dios»? Porque no solo es bíblico, sino que es real. Hace unos meses pude conocer a un oyente muy jovencito, de veintidós años. Su nombre es Víctor Huete y fue cabecilla de un grupo de las «Maras Salvatruchas». Mediante una carta que envió a nuestra radio, nos contó cómo llegó a formar parte de esa pandilla desde los catorce años de edad, cómo cometió una serie de actos para integrarse al grupo y los pactos que estableció directamente con Satanás. También contó que desde que llegó a la cárcel, después de caer preso en la ciudad de Miami, se reconcilia con Dios y le reconoce como su Salvador. En medio de la soledad y la frustración por estar en una cárcel, este joven comienza su andar con Jesús. Hoy en día, su vida está transformada. Así que, en la cárcel, les habla a otros de la Palabra y de sus experiencias, al decirles de dónde lo rescató el Señor. Ahora, con autoridad, evita que otros jóvenes caigan en ese mundo oscuro y cruel de las pandillas. No obstante, lo más hermoso es que en su cara hay paz. Su carita refleja el amor de Dios y, lo que es más importante, en medio de esa cárcel, de esa celda donde todavía permanece, ha encontrado lo que muchos no tienen a pesar de que viven en su propia casa: «LIBERTAD».

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
¿Por qué le doy al pensamiento de hoy el nombre de «La libertad está en Dios»? Porque no solo es bíblico, sino que es real.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, January 31, 2020

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The five-year-old soccer goalie of Team One was an outstanding athlete, but he was no match for three or four on Team Two who were also very good and they began to score on him. The goalie gave it everything he had, recklessly throwing his body in front of incoming balls, trying valiantly to stop them.

After the third goal was scored against him, he could see it was no use; he couldn’t stop them. He didn’t quit, but he became quietly desperate. Futility was written all over him.

After the fourth goal, the little boy needed help so badly, and there was no help to be had. He retrieved the ball from the net and handed it to the referee. Then he fell to his knees and cried the tears of the helpless and broken-hearted.

His father ran onto the field and said, “Scotty, I’m so proud of you. You were great out there. I want everybody to know that you are my son.”

“Daddy,” the boy sobbed, “I couldn’t stop them. I tried, Daddy, I tried and tried, and they scored on me.”

“Scotty, it doesn't matter how many times they scored on you. You’re my son, and I’m proud of you. I want you to go back out there and finish the game. I know you want to quit, but you can’t. And, son, you’re going to get scored on again, but it doesn’t matter. Go on, now.” The little guy ran back on to the field and they scored two more times. But it was okay.

I get scored on every day. I try so hard. I recklessly throw my body in every direction. I fume with rage. I struggle with temptation and sin with every ounce of my being—and Satan laughs. And he scores again, and the tears come, and I go to my knees—sinful, convicted, helpless. And my Father rushes right out on the field—right in front of the whole jeering, laughing world—and he picks me up, and he hugs me and he says:

“Son, I’m so proud of you. You were great out there. I want everybody to know that you are my son. And because I control the outcome of this game, I declare you—The Winner!”

RESPONSE: Today I will rejoice in my Father’s love and support. I will not give up as the battle rages.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for Your love and for declaring me a winner!

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 31, 2020


His name means: "He Laughs"

His work: Isaac was an accomplished farmer and herdsman.
His character: The only son of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac at a young age witnessed, through the faithfulness of his father, the meaning of obedience. He was gentle and hardworking.
His sorrow: As an old and feeble man, Isaac was victimized by the deception of his son Jacob and to his later dismay gave him the blessing that he had intended for his older son, Esau.
His triumph: Isaac is considered one of the three great patriarchs. For millennia his progeny have revered him.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 25-27

A Look at the Man

When a man is hugely successful in his work, everyone notices. Some of those people celebrate his prosperity; others hate him for it. That is what Isaac experienced. He is one of the early farmers in the Scriptures with a remarkable green thumb. "Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold." But Isaac had a secret—something more powerful than a precise crop rotation strategy or specially formulated fertilizer: The Lord blessed him.

Godly excellence in the marketplace and the generous compensation that often follows it has been subjects of controversy among believers for centuries. Surely Christians are supposed to aspire to serving professions like physicians, missionaries, nurses, and teachers. But is there a place for successful, competitive businesspeople in God's plan as well?

The story of Isaac and Rebekah's years in the land of the Philistines illustrates the answer to these questions—and the reason why. As Isaac and Rebekah were leaving Canaan and looking for a new home, the Lord appeared to Isaac. "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you."

Isaac listened to God's voice and obeyed.

It didn't take too long for him to see that his neighbors were envious. The first time Isaac's servant brought word to him that one of his wells had been filled in with dirt would have been a strong indicator! Nothing specific is said about Isaac's reaction to this act of treachery, but there is no indication that Isaac was angry or vengeful. Instead, he simply sent his servants out to re-dig the wells or to find places for new ones.

Next, it was the king's turn to pay Isaac a visit. He asked Isaac to move, sounding much like Egyptian pharaoh hundreds of years later. Once again Isaac could have been upset at such treatment. "After all, I've done for you and your people," Isaac could have said to Abimelech, "this is the way you treat me?"

But he didn't. Instead, Isaac and Rebekah moved on, setting up yet another successful business in a new location.

Then Abimelech paid a visit to Isaac. As he greeted Isaac, the Philistine king summarized why he had come and why he wanted to establish a peace treaty with Isaac. "We saw clearly that the LORD was with you."

Why would a man pursue excellence in business?

The story of Isaac clearly gives us the answer: God had called (and gifted) Isaac for this work, and he was obedient; Isaac had shown respect for those in authority over him; he worked hard, and his efforts were productive, and Isaac did not allow the sabotage of his enemies to discourage or distract him.

What was the result of Isaac's faithfulness? God received the glory, and his name was honored among those who previously did not know or revere him.

Reflect On: Genesis 25:1-31
Praise God: For his generosity.
Offer Thanks: For the ways God has already blessed you and for all the ways he yet intends to bless you.
Confess: Any tendency to take credit for what God has given you.
Ask God: To richly bless your life as you seek to follow him.

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.
When a man is hugely successful in his work, everyone notices. Some of those people celebrate his prosperity; others hate him for it.

LHM Daily Devotions - January 31, 2020 - Misplaced Trust

"Misplaced Trust"

Jan. 31, 2020

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths.

Known as the "land of smiles," visitors to Thailand are immediately impressed by how polite and gracious the Thai people are. Although Thai people don't forge deep friendships quickly, once a relationship has been developed, it will never be broken.

Because almost 94 percent of the people in Thailand are Buddhists, the influence of the Buddhist religion can be seen in virtually all aspects of Thai culture. The beliefs and values of Buddhism are tightly interwoven throughout Thai society.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the myriad temples and shrines that can be found in every community across the country. Buddha statues, idols, and images of other mythical beings are a common part of the décor. Whether made of wood or concrete or carved from stone, many Buddha figures are covered with gold.

It's not unusual to see Thai people kneeling before an image of Buddha or the idols that hold a prominent place in their homes. After placing gifts of food, a glass of water, or flowers on the altar, the Buddhist worshippers often light several incense sticks. With sincerity etched on their faces, they bow and repeat chants and prayers in the hope the smoke rising from the incense will somehow carry their requests to Buddha or their ancestors. At some shrines, small pieces of gold leaf can be purchased and then attached to the Buddha figure as a special offering.

As a Christian, I experience conflicting emotions when I observe Buddhist people praying to idols and images made by human hands. I feel sad to see such kind people speaking to figures that have ears, but can't hear, seeking assistance from images that have hands but can't move. I feel compassion for them because I know they are doing the only things they know to do.

At the same time, I feel joy and deep gratitude I have a God who is alive, who is powerful to help, and who loves me. When I pray, God hears and answers. When I'm in need, He acts on my behalf. With His strong right arm, He guides and protects me. There is no other god like Him.

There are people throughout the world, like Thailand's millions of Buddhists, who need to hear of God's love as given in His Son Jesus. Our God is a God who loves, who listens, and who saves. We thank Him for the gift of life everlasting through Jesus' death on the cross for our sins. And we thank Him for the victory that is ours through His resurrection from the dead.

THE PRAYER: Gracious God, send Your people filled with Your Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of people everywhere. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  1. How do people come to believe that images made of wood or stone have special powers?
  2. Why did the children of Israel have such a hard time resisting the worship of golden idols?
  3. What kinds of things do people place unwarranted faith or trust in today?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dennis Denow, a longtime LCMS missionary to the Asia Pacific region. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
How do people come to believe that images made of wood or stone have special powers?

CPTLN devocional del 31 de enero de 2020 - Confianza injustificada


Confianza injustificada

31 de Enero de 2020

Los dioses de los paganos son de oro y plata, y están hechos por la mano del hombre. Tienen boca, pero no hablan; tienen ojos, pero no ven; orejas tienen, pero no oyen, y en sus labios no hay aliento de vida.

Conocida como la "tierra de las sonrisas", los visitantes de Tailandia quedan inmediatamente impresionados por lo cortés y amable que es su pueblo.

Aunque los tailandeses no forjan amistades profundas rápidamente, una vez que desarrollan una relación nunca la rompen. Debido a que casi el 94 por ciento de los habitantes de Tailandia son budistas, la influencia de la religión budista se puede ver en prácticamente todos los aspectos de la cultura tailandesa. Las creencias y valores del budismo están estrechamente entrelazados en la sociedad tailandesa. Esto se hace muy evidente con la miríada de templos y santuarios que se pueden encontrar en cada comunidad a lo largo de todo el país. Las estatuas de Buda, los ídolos y las imágenes de otros seres míticos son parte común de la decoración. Aunque estén hechas de madera u hormigón o talladas en piedra, muchas de estas figuras de Buda están recubiertas de oro. Es muy común ver a los tailandeses arrodillados ante una imagen de Buda o ante los ídolos que ponen en lugares destacados en sus hogares.

Después de colocar ofrendas de comida, un vaso de agua o flores en el altar, los fieles budistas a menudo encienden varias varitas de incienso. Con la sinceridad grabada en sus rostros, se inclinan y repiten cánticos y oraciones con la esperanza de que el humo que se eleva del incienso lleve de alguna manera sus peticiones a Buda o a sus antepasados. En algunos santuarios se pueden comprar pequeñas piezas de pan de oro y luego ponerlas en la figura de Buda como una ofrenda especial.

Como cristiano, siento emociones encontradas cuando observo a personas budistas rezándole a ídolos o imágenes hechas por manos humanas. Siento tristeza de ver a personas tan amables hablándoles a figuras que tienen oídos pero no pueden escuchar, buscando ayuda en imágenes que tienen manos pero no pueden moverse. Siento compasión por ellos, porque sé que están haciendo lo único que saben hacer. Al mismo tiempo, siento alegría y profunda gratitud porque tengo un Dios que está vivo, que tiene poder para ayudar y que me ama. Cuando oro, Dios me escucha y me responde. Cuando lo necesito, Él actúa en mi favor. Él me guía y me protege. No hay otro dios como Él.

Hay personas en todo el mundo, como los millones de budistas de Tailandia, que necesitan escuchar el amor de Dios dado en su Hijo Jesús. Nuestro Dios es un Dios que ama, escucha y salva. Le agradecemos por el don de la vida eterna a través de la muerte de Jesús en la cruz por nuestros pecados, y le agradecemos por la victoria que es nuestra a través de su resurrección de la muerte.

ORACIÓN: Dios misericordioso, envía a tu Espíritu Santo a trabajar en los corazones de las personas en todas partes del mundo. En el nombre de Jesús oramos. Amén.

Dennis Denow, un misionero en Asia

Para reflexionar:
  1. ¿Por qué les resultó tan difícil a los hijos de Israel resistirse a la adoración de ídolos de oro?
  2. ¿En qué cosas injustificadas depositan las personas su fe o confianza en la actualidad?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Por qué les resultó tan difícil a los hijos de Israel resistirse a la adoración de ídolos de oro?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Dần Biến Mất

Dần Biến Mất

Đọc: Châm ngôn 23:1–5 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Xuất Ê-díp-tô ký 25-26; Ma-thi-ơ 20:17–34

Khi con liếc mắt vào sự giàu sang, có phải nó đã bay mất rồi không?
—Châm Ngôn 23:5

Nghệ sĩ tinh quái Banksy đã thực hiện thành công một trò chơi khăm. Bức tranh Bé Gái Và Quả Bóng Bay của anh được bán với giá một triệu bảng Anh tại nhà đấu giá Sotheby, Luân Đôn. Khoảnh khắc sau khi người bán đấu giá tuyên bố “Đã bán”, tiếng chuông báo động vang lên và bức tranh trượt xuống một nửa qua thiết bị cắt vụn được gắn bên dưới khung tranh. Banksy đăng lên twitter bức ảnh các nhà thầu há hốc miệng trước kiệt tác bị hủy của mình, với chú thích: “Dần biến mất”.

Banksy thích thú chơi khăm những người giàu, nhưng anh không cần phải lo. Chính sự giàu có cũng sở hữu nhiều trò chơi khăm của nó. Chúa nói: “Con đừng nhọc công để làm giàu… Khi con liếc mắt vào sự giàu sang, có phải nó đã bay mất rồi không? Chắc chắn nó mọc cánh như chim đại bàng, và tung cánh bay lên trời cao” (c.4-5).

Không có gì ít chắc chắn hơn tiền bạc. Chúng ta làm việc chăm chỉ để kiếm tiền, nhưng lại mất nó trong nhiều cách. Đầu tư thất bại, lạm phát bào mòn, hóa đơn phải chi trả, bị trộm cắp, hỏa hoạn và lũ lụt tàn phá. Ngay cả khi chúng ta có thể giữ tiền của mình thì thời gian chúng ta có để tiêu tiền cũng không ngừng qua nhanh. Chớp mắt, cuộc sống của bạn dần qua đi.

Vậy phải làm thế nào? Chúa cho biết ở những câu sau: “Hằng ngày hãy kính sợ Đức Giê-hô-va. Vì chắc chắn sẽ có một kết thúc tốt đẹp, và hi vọng của con sẽ chẳng thành ra luống công” (c.17-18). Hãy đầu tư cuộc đời của bạn vào Chúa Jêsus; chỉ duy Ngài mới có thể bảo tồn bạn mãi mãi.
Bạn cảm thấy cuộc sống bất an ở đâu? Điều đó dẫn bạn đến với Chúa Jêsus như thế nào?
Lạy Chúa, xin giúp con trao phó những bất an cho Ngài và tin cậy vào lòng nhân từ và thành tín của Ngài.

© 2020 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Không có gì ít chắc chắn hơn tiền bạc. Chúng ta làm việc chăm chỉ để kiếm tiền, nhưng lại mất nó trong nhiều cách.