Friday, February 14, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, February 14, 2020
Psalm 119:1-8; Leviticus 26:34-46; 1 John 2:7-17

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, February 14, 2020
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Happy are those who walk in the law
1  Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
     who walk according to the law of the Lord.
2  Blessed are those who keep his statutes
     and seek him with all their heart—
3  they do no wrong
     but follow his ways.
4  You have laid down precepts
     that are to be fully obeyed.
5  Oh, that my ways were steadfast
     in obeying your decrees!
6  Then I would not be put to shame
     when I consider all your commands.
7  I will praise you with an upright heart
     as I learn your righteous laws.
8  I will obey your decrees;
     do not utterly forsake me.

God’s covenant remembered
26:34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.

36 “‘As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them. 37 They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies. 38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. 39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their ancestors’ sins they will waste away.

40 “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. 44 Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God. 45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord.’”

46 These are the decrees, the laws and the regulations that the Lord established at Mount Sinai between himself and the Israelites through Moses.

Old and new commandments
2:7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

12 I am writing to you, dear children,
     because your sins have been forgiven on account of
         his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
     because you know him who is from the beginning.
   I am writing to you, young men,
     because you have overcome the evil one.

14 I write to you, dear children,
     because you know the Father.
   I write to you, fathers,
     because you know him who is from the beginning.
   I write to you, young men,
     because you are strong,
     and the word of God lives in you,
     and you have overcome the evil one.

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

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, February 14, 2020
Psalm 119:1-8; Leviticus 26:34-46; 1 John 2:7-17

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, February 14, 2020

The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, February 14, 2020

Valentine of Rome (d. 269)

A Christian priest in Rome, Valentine was known for assisting Christians persecuted under Claudius II. After being caught marrying Christian couples and helping Christians escape the persecution, Valentine was arrested and imprisoned. Although Emperor Claudius originally liked Valentine, he was condemned to death when he tried to convert the emperor. Valentine was beaten with stones, clubbed, and, finally, beheaded on February 14, 269. In the year 496, February 14 was named as a day of celebration in Valentine’s honor. He has since become the patron saint of engaged couples, beekeepers, happy marriages, lovers, travelers, young people, and greetings.

G.K. Chesterton said, “Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.”

Lord, help us distinguish between the love that keeps merely human affection in the center of things and the love you bore in your sacrificial life, death, and resurrection. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, February 14, 2020

John 13:34-35
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Read all of John 13

Listen to John 13

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 14 de febrero de 2020

Robar, matar y destruir

Jesús dijo: El ladrón no viene más que a robar, matar y destruir; yo he venido para que tengan vida, y la tengan en abundancia.

Este título es preocupante. Es posible que alguien se pregunte: «¿Quién quiere hacer esto?» o «¿Cómo la autora del libro sabe que tengo alguna de esas debilidades o pecados?». Me llamó también poderosamente la atención la primera vez que escuché estas tres palabras en una iglesia cristiana, la primera que conocí, «La Catedral del Pueblo».

Así que cuando la pastora Edén, algún líder o pastor predicaban acerca de esto, me costaba creer que a alguien le interesara robarme lo mío, ya fueran mis finanzas, felicidad, confianza, familia, mis hijas. Que alguien deseara matarme y destruir mi vida, mis sueños, mi esperanza, mi testimonio. Hasta que entendí que más que hablar del diablo, Satanás, o el enemigo, esto era real. Lo comprobé primero en la Biblia donde dice que esas son las funciones y anhelos del enemigo de nuestra vida.

En mi caminar con Cristo, también lo he experimentado en diferentes pruebas y circunstancias de la vida. El enemigo me robó uno de mis matrimonios y mis finanzas. Destruyó en ocasiones mis sueños y trató de arrebatarme de este mundo mediante una grave enfermedad. Por eso tú y yo debemos comprender que solo en Dios podemos vivir confiadamente. Además, debemos en todo momento utilizar el recurso más poderoso que nos dejó el Señor: «La oración». Con la oración, te guardas en los brazos de Dios y depositas tu vida y la de los tuyos en sus manos. Solo allí estamos seguros y podemos encontrar nuestra verdadera felicidad, pues a Dios le interesa amarte, bendecirte y prosperarte.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Este título es preocupante. Es posible que alguien se pregunte: «¿Quién quiere hacer esto?»

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, February 14, 2020

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

In his book, The Upside Down Church, Pastor Greg Laurie says, “The first Christians didn’t out-argue pagans—they outlived them…Christianity made no attempts to conquer paganism and dead Judaism by reacting blow by blow. Instead, the Christians of the first century outthought, outprayed and outlived the unbelievers.

“Their weapons were positive, not negative. As far as we know, they did not hold protests or conduct boycotts. They did not put on campaigns to try to unseat the emperor. Instead, they prayed and preached and proclaimed the message of Christ, put to death on the cross, risen from the dead, and ready to change lives. And they backed up their message with actions: giving, loving.”[1]

A co-worker shares a significant event he witnessed among Christian children in Egypt:

A crowd of smiling faces awaited us as we entered the small stuffy room. The ages of the children ranged from eight to eleven years and they were seemingly oblivious and unaware of the circumstances surrounding their village—poverty, problems, and persecution. To be a Christian, let alone a Christian child, was not an easy life.

It was Saturday evening and the excitement that filled the air overwhelmed any feeling of self-pity and despair that might have existed. Between thirty and forty young boys, each equipped with a large maize bag, excitedly awaited orders.

As we entered the room the youth leader saw the frowns on our faces and answered our questions even before we could ask. “Yes, it’s Saturday evening,” he started explaining, “and tonight the children will once again ‘invade’ our little village. They will go to every house in every street. They will ask the inhabitants whether they have enough bread to eat or not. If there is more than enough bread in the house they will ask the families to place any extra bread in the bag for those who do not have enough bread.

“The children will continue until all the bags are filled to the top. Then the fun part of the evening starts. They will then go back to all the homes where there was not enough bread to eat and distribute so that every family in our village will have enough bread to eat for the next week.

“They do not have the means to provide it themselves, but regardless of their own needs, they have become instruments of love to eradicate all hunger in our village.”

RESPONSE: I will live this day showing love to those in need in the most practical ways.

PRAYER: Lord, bless those Egyptian Christian children who love others and demonstrate it in a practical way.

1. Greg Laurie, The Upside Down Church (Wheaton: Tyndale Publishers, 1999), p. 46.

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, February 14, 2020


His name means: "He Grasps the Heel" (Figuratively, "He Deceives")

His work: As an indentured servant of his Uncle Laban for fourteen years, Jacob was a herdsman.
His character: With a mother who encouraged it, Jacob learned the art of cunning and deception. In stealing the paternal blessing from his older brother, Jacob was forced to run, experiencing the consequences of his behavior.
His sorrow: After seven years of hard labor as payment for Rachel, Jacob was deceived by her father, Laban, and was forced to work seven more. During these years he learned firsthand what his own deception had brought on his brother. Later in his life, he thought he had lost his son Joseph to an attack by a wild animal.
His triumph: One of the greatest moments in Jacob's life happened when he was reconciled to his brother, Esau. At the end of his life, he recovered another relationship that appeared to have been lost forever—he discovered that his son Joseph was not only alive but very successful in Egypt.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 27-31

A Look at the Man

Some people's lives seem to glide along with hardly a bump. Like a jockey in parallel cooperation with his horse, they are able to negotiate life's inevitable ups and downs in perfect sequence. No jaw-cracking collisions. No bone-jarring clashes.

And then there are folks like Jacob.

Like a puppy hanging on to someone's pant leg with his teeth, Jacob (meaning "deceiver" or "heel grabber") got dragged and jarred and slammed from one experience to another throughout his life. Of course, he could have let go and lived in relative peace. But that wasn't Jacob.

So what did God do with someone like him? Did he put him in the corner like a naughty child or forever consign him to life's detention hall? No. Instead of putting him away or hiding his adventure-packed story from us, God loved Jacob (Romans 9:13), paid attention to his growth by sending adversaries to challenge him, cared enough to make several personal visits to the man himself, and finally changed his life's course by changing his name.

Another great argument that has plagued intellectuals and laypeople alike is this one: Why does God elect some and not others? Why did God, for example, put his sovereign hand on the Jews in the Old Testament to the obvious exclusion of other peoples? Libraries are filled with volumes dealing with this worrisome question.

However, the real question should not be why God seems to overlook some but, considering our sinfulness and mutinous desires, why he chooses to favor anyone at all?

As we look back at Jacob's life, we see a man whom God loved with a special kind of affection. God saw Jacob as a paradigm of his people, capable of equal amounts of rebellion and repentance, disobedience and confession.

One of the confirmations of God's peculiar love for Jacob was his adversity-filled life. The conflicts within his family were obvious. Forever the younger brother, Jacob must have been slighted by his father's favoritism of his older brother. He may have felt manipulated by his mother's schemes as she used him to fulfill her own plans. He understood frustration in the house of Laban. And he knew the relentless dread of living as a fugitive. In all of these, Jacob was culpable, but God was preparing him for greatness.

For believers, God's presence through the person of the Holy Spirit is constant. But there are only a handful of times when Scripture records a face-to-face encounter between God and people. In his first dream, Jacob sees God standing at the pinnacle of the stairway to heaven. "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go," the Lord said to Jacob. Twenty years later God meets Jacob in the form of a man. As a perfect template of Jacob's spiritual journey, Jacob grapples with a man sent from the Lord. And then, just before the man leaves the crippled Jacob, he gives him a new name and blesses him when he asks for it. At last, Jacob learns that the blessing that counts comes from the Father of all.

You may know someone just like Jacob. You may be someone like Jacob. God loves you. Adversity is his gift to you. His presence through his Spirit is real. And he has given you a new name. You're a Christian.

Reflect On: Genesis 28:10-22
Praise God: For being with you even when you didn’t know it.
Offer Thanks: For God’s determination to keep his promises.
Confess: Any tendency to “help” God by using the wrong means.
Ask God: To give you greater confidence in his ability to provide for you as well as for those in your care.

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.
Some people's lives seem to glide along with hardly a bump. Like a jockey in parallel cooperation with his horse, they are able to negotiate life's inevitable ups and downs in perfect sequence. No jaw-cracking collisions. No bone-jarring clashes.

And then there are folks like Jacob.

LHM Daily Devotions February 14, 2020 - Withstanding the Elements

"Withstanding the Elements"

Feb. 14, 2020

On that day, when evening had come, He (Jesus) said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." And leaving the crowd, they took Him with them in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

Going the distance and sailing with Jesus and His disciples is not always an easy trip.

Indeed, it is a rare believer who can honestly say his or her life has been lived without thunder and lightning or without wind and wave. Often, and without warning, those storms of life come sweeping over the bow and gunnels of our ship, and we can be afraid.

Still, as our text shows, when Jesus is with us, we don't have to be afraid of the wind and waves. He who gave His life to save our souls is not going to forget our bodies. That is why I am convinced: with Holy Spirit-given faith I know that not even the most dangerous swells are able to swamp, sink, or swallow me.

Still, you may be among those who wonder why it is God allows these storms to come at all. No doubt that is what the disciples felt in their little boat.

All I can tell you is what Scripture says: these trials and challenges make us, in some way, more mature, more resilient to the storms of life. Although it may not seem so at the time, these things are part of God's providence, instruction, and blessing.

A trial and challenge can, in some way, make us more mature. That is what Old Testament Joseph said to the brothers who, years before, had sold him into slavery. Although Joseph could have been embittered by the storms he had faced, he explained, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today" (Genesis 50:20).

This is why today I encourage you in whatever trouble you are facing, to hold fast to your faith. Believe that Jesus will send His Holy Spirit to bring you through every bad situation. If you do, you will find that storms not only test, but they also bless, as God works through them shaping us according to His divine mercy and grace.

THE PRAYER: Lord, grant us a faith that has learned to be content in whatever situation or storm we find ourselves. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  1. How does your faith come into play when life is challenging?
  2. "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" Jesus asked His disciples. Do you ask yourself the same questions sometimes? Oftentimes?
  3. What works best for you as a faith-strengthening practice?

This Daily Devotion was written by Nam Sang Joon, a worker in LHM's South Korean ministry center. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
How does your faith come into play when life is challenging?

CPTLN devocional del 14 de febrero de 2020 - A prueba de todo


A prueba de todo

14 de Febrero de 2020

Ese mismo día, al caer la noche, Jesús les dijo a sus discípulos: «Pasemos al otro lado.» Despidió a la multitud, y partieron con él en la barca donde estaba. También otras barcas lo acompañaron. Pero se levantó una gran tempestad con vientos, y de tal manera las olas azotaban la barca, que ésta estaba por inundarse. Jesús estaba en la popa, y dormía sobre una almohada. Lo despertaron y le dijeron: «¡Maestro! ¿Acaso no te importa que estamos por naufragar?» Jesús se levantó y reprendió al viento, y dijo a las aguas: «¡Silencio! ¡A callar!» Y el viento se calmó, y todo quedó en completa calma. A sus discípulos les dijo: «¿Por qué tienen tanto miedo? ¿Cómo es que no tienen fe?» Ellos estaban muy asustados, y se decían unos a otros: «¿Quién es éste, que hasta el viento y las aguas lo obedecen?»

Navegar con Jesús y sus discípulos no siempre es fácil.

De hecho, rara vez te encuentras con un creyente que pueda decir honestamente que su vida no ha tenido truenos, relámpagos, viento u olas. A menudo, y sin previo aviso, esas tormentas de vida llegan a la proa de nuestra barca, y podemos llegar a tener miedo.

Aun así, como muestra nuestro texto de hoy, cuando Jesús está con nosotros no debemos tenerle miedo ni al viento ni a las olas. El que dio su vida para salvar nuestras almas no se olvidará de nuestros cuerpos. Por eso estoy convencido de que, con la fe dada por el Espíritu Santo, sé que ni siquiera las olas más peligrosas pueden hundirme, ahogarme o tragarme.

Quizás te preguntes por qué Dios permite que lleguen tormentas. Sin duda eso es lo que sintieron los discípulos en su pequeño bote. Todo lo que puedo decirte es lo que dice la Escritura: estas pruebas y desafíos nos hacen, de alguna manera, más maduros, más resistentes a las tormentas de la vida. Aunque no lo parezca en ese momento, las pruebas son parte de la providencia, instrucción y bendición de Dios. Una prueba y un desafío pueden, de alguna manera, hacernos más maduros.

Eso es lo que José del Antiguo Testamento le dijo a sus hermanos que, años antes, lo habían vendido como esclavo. Aunque José podría haber sido un hombre amargado por las tormentas que había enfrentado, les explicó: "Ustedes pensaron hacerme mal, pero Dios cambió todo para bien, para hacer lo que hoy vemos, que es darle vida a mucha gente" (Génesis 50:20).

Es por eso que hoy te animo, en cualquier problema que estés enfrentando, a mantenerte firme en tu fe. Cree que Jesús enviará a su Espíritu Santo para llevarte a través de cada mala situación. Si lo crees, encontrarás que las tormentas no solo te ponen a prueba, sino que también te bendicen, ya que Dios trabaja a través de ellas y te forma según su divina misericordia y gracia.

ORACIÓN: Señor, concédenos una fe que nos enseñe a estar contentos en cualquier situación o tormenta en la que nos encontremos. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Nam Sang Joon, LHM Corea del Sur

Para reflexionar:
  1. «¿Por qué tienen tanto miedo? ¿Cómo es que no tienen fe?» Jesús le preguntó a sus discípulos. ¿Cuán a menudo te haces esas preguntas?
  2. ¿Qué prácticas te ayudan a fortalecer tu fe?

© 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 tienen tanto miedo? ¿Cómo es que no tienen fe?» Jesús le preguntó a sus discípulos. ¿Cuán a menudo te haces esas preguntas?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Khi Cuộc Sống Khó Khăn

Khi Cuộc Sống Khó Khăn

Đọc: Thi Thiên 16 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Lê-vi ký 15–16; Ma-thi-ơ 27:1–26

Con thưa với Đức Giê-hô-va rằng: “Ngài là Chúa của con, ngoài Ngài ra, con không có phước nào khác.”
—Thi Thiên 16:2

Kiệt quệ về thể chất, tinh thần và cảm xúc, tôi cuộn người trong chiếc ghế bành. Gia đình tôi đã đi theo sự dẫn dắt của Chúa và chuyển từ California đến Wisconsin. Khi đến nơi, xe của chúng tôi bị hỏng và trong hai tháng tiếp theo, chúng tôi không có phương tiện đi lại. Trong lúc đó, chồng tôi bị hạn chế cử động sau cuộc phẫu thuật lưng bất ngờ, còn tôi thì bị đau nhức kinh niên khiến quá trình tháo dỡ đồ đạc rất khó khăn. Ngoài ra, chúng tôi phát hiện những vấn đề tốn kém với ngôi nhà mới cũ kỹ. Chú chó già của chúng tôi gặp vấn đề về sức khỏe. Và mặc dù chú chó con mới đã mang lại niềm vui lớn, việc chăm sóc chú chó đầy năng lượng cũng tốn nhiều công sức. Tinh thần tôi trở nên cay đắng. Làm thế nào tôi có được niềm tin vững vàng khi đi trên con đường đầy khó khăn?

Khi tôi cầu nguyện, Chúa nhắc nhở tôi về tác giả thi thiên, những lời ca ngợi của ông không hề phụ thuộc hoàn cảnh. Tác giả Đa-vít dốc đổ cảm xúc của mình, thường với sự tổn thương sâu sắc, và ông tìm thấy sự nương náu trong sự hiện diện của Chúa (Thi. 16:1). Nhận biết Chúa là Đấng chu cấp và bảo vệ (c.5-6), ông ngợi khen Ngài và đi theo sự hướng dẫn của Ngài (c.7). Đa-vít khẳng định rằng ông “chẳng hề bị rúng động” bởi vì ông luôn “để Đức Giê-hô-va đứng trước mặt” ông (c.8). Vì thế, ông luôn vui thỏa và yên nghỉ trong sự hiện diện của Chúa (c.9-11).

Chúng ta cũng được vui thỏa khi nhận biết sự bình an của chúng ta không phụ thuộc vào hoàn cảnh hiện tại. Khi cảm tạ Chúa bất biến vì Ngài là Đấng đang và sẽ luôn ở cùng, sự hiện diện của Ngài sẽ củng cố cho đức tin bền vững của chúng ta.
Việc ngợi khen Chúa vì bản tính bất biến và công việc diệu kỳ của Ngài khiến đức tin bạn vững vàng trong hoàn cảnh thử thách ra sao? Bạn cần trao phó hoàn cảnh nào vào cánh tay đáng tin cậy của Chúa?
Lạy Cha Thiên Thượng, con cảm tạ Ngài về chính Ngài!

© 2020 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Kiệt quệ về thể chất, tinh thần và cảm xúc, tôi cuộn người trong chiếc ghế bành. Gia đình tôi đã đi theo sự dẫn dắt của Chúa và chuyển từ California đến Wisconsin.