Monday, February 17, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, February 17, 2020
Psalm 119:9-16; Exodus 20:1-21; James 1:2-8

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, February 17, 2020
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

I delight in the law
9  How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
     By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
     do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
     that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
     teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
     all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
     as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
     and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
     I will not neglect your word.

The ten commandments
20:1 And God spoke all these words:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”

21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Facing trials
1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

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 MONDAY, February 17, 2020
Psalm 119:9-16; Exodus 20:1-21; James 1:2-8

The Daily Prayer for MONDAY, February 17, 2020

The Daily Prayer
MONDAY, February 17, 2020

In the second century, Tertullian wrote, “Nature is schoolmistress, the soul the pupil; and whatever one has taught or the other has learned has come from God—the Teacher of the teacher.”

Despite the fact we are all made in your image, God, we can see ourselves as brothers and sisters only by the light of your redeeming grace. Give us eyes to see that we are made from the same dirt, and help us work to reconcile ourselves to one another and to the ground beneath us. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, February 17, 2020

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Read all of Romans 8

Listen to Romans 8

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 17 de febrero de 2020

Oración de fe

Si confiesas con tu boca que Jesús es el Señor, y crees en tu corazón que Dios lo levantó de entre los muertos, serás salvo.

Mi Dios, hace varios días que estoy leyendo este libro que alguien me regaló (o que compré), porque ya es tradición leer algo todos los días. Tal vez lo escuche a través de la radio, pues se oye bonito. Me inspira a cambiar, a hacer cosas distintas y a vivir una vida diferente a la que estoy viviendo.

Muchos me han dicho: «Haz la oración de fe y acepta a Jesús como tu Salvador». Sin embargo, Señor, aún no sé cómo hacerlo. A decir verdad, no quisiera cambiar de religión.

En este día y en esta hora, me encuentro de nuevo en este libro la oportunidad de hacer esta oración y deseo hacerla con todo mi corazón. Aunque hay cosas que no entiendo, y aunque a veces lo que veo no me gusta, quiero recibirte en mi corazón.

Señor Jesús, me presento delante de ti para pedirte perdón por mis pecados, para decirte que te recibo en mi corazón como el único Salvador de mi vida.

Por favor, escribe mi nombre en el libro de la vida y gracias por darme vida eterna. Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Hace varios días que estoy leyendo este libro que alguien me regaló (o que compré), porque ya es tradición leer algo todos los días.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, February 17, 2020

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves…

The imagery of God’s intervention in the suffering of the Israeli’s in Egypt recorded in Exodus 3:7-8 has captured the imaginations of many oppressed people. For example, African-American believers see a strong parallel between American slavery and the bondage of the Jews in Egypt and God’s personal and powerful exodus rescue of His people.

New Testament writers saw a powerful parallel with our sinful, lost, human condition and God’s redemption through the sending of His only Son who “pitched his tent” among us and purchased our salvation with His shed blood. For example, in Colossians 1:13, the Apostle Paul states it clearly. We have been “rescued from” Satan’s dark domain and “brought into” the kingdom of God’s Son.

The Exodus passage also brings great hope to persecuted Christians today. God has feelings. He cares. He sees. He hears. He knows. He’s concerned. And in His time, He rescues! The mystery of this rescuing action is God’s timing. Galatians 4:4 tells us it was when “the time had fully come” that God sent His Son to redeem us. We saw two days ago that the Israelis waited hundreds of years for deliverance from oppression in Egypt and entrance to the promised land while “the sins of the Amorites reached full measure” (Genesis 15:16). God alone sees the end from the beginning. We wait for His timing in His promise of coming down to rescue us.

Iranian Christian leader, Mehdi Dibaj, spent over nine years in prison for his faith as a believer from Muslim background. He was emotionally prepared to die a martyr’s death. His day was indeed to come. In late 1993, he was tried on charges of apostasy (from Islam) after being a Christian for over forty years. He made his own defense and used his written statement to share his commitment to Jesus Christ. In early 1994, he was sentenced to execution. There was a great international outcry when the news of Mehdi Dibaj's scheduled execution was publicized. Suddenly on January 16, 1994, the Teheran government released Mehdi Dibaj from prison and denied it had sentenced him to death for converting from Islam to Christianity over forty years earlier.

It was a great day of rejoicing for the believers in Iran. When Mehdi Dibaj first met with them, their immediate response was to burst into song, “In the name of Jesus, we have the victory!” Even TIME magazine reported the release under the title “Answered Prayers.” Yet in God’s perfect timing, this man who had experienced God’s rescue multiple times was martyred by vigilantes after six months of freedom from prison.

RESPONSE: Today I will acknowledge God’s timing is best for me as I await His rescue.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for my deliverance from the kingdom of darkness to Your kingdom of light through Your Son, Jesus.

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, February 17, 2020

Tamar, Daughter-in-Law of Judah

Her name means: "Date Tree" or "Palm Tree"

Her character: Driven by one overwhelming need, she sacrificed her reputation and nearly her life to achieve her goals.
Her sorrow: That the men in her life failed to fulfill their responsibility, leaving her a childless widow.
Her joy: That her daring behavior resulted, not in ruin, but in the fulfillment of her hopes to bear children.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 38; Matthew 1:3

Her Story

Genealogies hardly make compelling reading at bedtime—or at any other time, for that matter. Perhaps you welcome them with a yawn or skip over them entirely as you read through the Bible. But even long lists of bewildering names can reveal interesting insights into God's mysterious plan. That's the way the Scriptures work, yielding hidden riches on every page.

Take the genealogy in the first chapter of Matthew, for instance. It lists a grand total of forty-one male ancestors of Jesus, beginning with Abraham, and a mere five female ancestors, three of whose stories (those of Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba) are colored by such distasteful details as incest, prostitution, fornication, adultery, and murder.

Jesus, the perfect Son of the perfect Father, had plenty of imperfect branches in his family tree and enough colorful characters to populate a modern romance novel. That women should be mentioned at all in his genealogy is surprising, let alone that four of the five got pregnant out of wedlock. In addition, at least three of the women were foreigners, not Israelites.

Tamar fell into both categories. Her father-in-law, Judah (son of Jacob and Leah), had arranged for her to marry his firstborn, Er. Half Canaanite and half Hebrew, Er was a wicked man, whom God killed for his sins. That's all we know of him.

After Er came Onan, Judah's second son. As was the custom of the time, Judah gave Onan to the widowed Tamar, instructing him to sleep with her so that she could have children to carry on Er's line. But Onan was far too crafty for his own good. He slept with Tamar, but then "spilled his semen on the ground," thus ensuring Tamar's barrenness. That way he would not be saddled with the responsibility for children who would carry on his brother's line rather than his own. But God took note, and Onan, too, died for his wickedness.

Already Judah had lost two sons to Tamar. Should he risk a third? Shelah was his only remaining son, not yet fully grown. To placate his daughter-in-law, Judah instructed Tamar to return to her father's house and live as a widow until Shelah was of marriageable age. But time passed like a sluggish river, and Tamar continued to wear her widow's garments as Selah grew up.

After Judah's wife died, he set out one day for Timnah to shear his sheep. Hearing the news of her father-in-law's journey, Tamar decided to take desperate and dramatic action. If Judah would not give her his youngest son in marriage, she would do her best to propagate the family name in her own way. Shedding her widow's black, she disguised herself in a veil, impersonating a prostitute, and sat down beside the road to Timnah. Judah slept with her and gave her his personal seal and cord along with his staff in pledge of future payment.

About three months later, Judah learned that Tamar was pregnant, little realizing he was responsible for her condition. Outraged that she had prostituted herself, he ordered her burned to death. But before the sentence could be carried out, Tamar sent him a stunning message: "I am pregnant by the man who owns these. See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are."

The man who had so quickly passed judgment, little heeding his own secret tryst with a prostitute, was suddenly taken up short. To his credit, he told the truth, saying, "She is more righteous than I since I wouldn't give her to my son Shelah."

Six months later, Tamar gave birth to twins. Once again, as with Jacob and Esau, the children struggled in her womb. A tiny hand came out and then disappeared, but not before being tied with a scarlet thread by the midwife. Then a small, slippery body emerged, but with no trace of the red thread. They named the first boy Perez (meaning "Breaking Out"). Then the little one with the scarlet ribbon was born and they named him Zerah (meaning "Scarlet"). Perez was recognized as the firstborn. From his line would come King David and finally, hundreds of years later, Jesus of Nazareth.

Judah had shown little concern regarding the continuance of his line. Instead, God used a woman, shamed by her own barrenness and determined to overcome it, to ensure that the tribe of Judah would not only survive but that it would one day bear the world's Messiah.

Her Promise

The story in Genesis 38 reveals nothing about Tamar's knowledge of God's hand in the events of her life. More than likely, she was totally unaware of the power of God at work. But he was at work nevertheless, bringing good out of tragedy and blessing out of less than honorable events.

That's the beauty of this story. God's power to bring positive things from the negative, even sinful, events of our lives are just as much at work now as in Tamar's day. We may not see it today or tomorrow—or perhaps ever—but we can trust the God we love to do what he loves: bring blessing to us in spite of ourselves.

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.
Driven by one overwhelming need, she sacrificed her reputation and nearly her life to achieve her goals.

LHM Daily Devotions - February 17, 2020 - With Eyes Stayed on Him

"With Eyes Stayed on Him"

Feb. 17, 2020

You have commanded Your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping Your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all Your Commandments.

Runners sprinting down the track need to keep their eyes fixed on the finish line; a glance to see what other runners are doing may cost precious seconds. As the psalmist runs through life, he keeps his eyes firmly fixed on God's Commandments. The divine precepts form the path at his feet, and he does not want to stray.

As we run the race of faith, we too pray that we will be steadfast on the path of God's commands. But we also keep our eyes on the finish and on the One who ran that path before us, Jesus our Lord. We often stray from the path of God's commands, but Jesus did not. In Him, the psalmist's prayer finds its fulfillment. Jesus obeyed His Heavenly Father, even to the point of death. Through His blood shed on the cross, we are washed clean from our willful and stumbling sins along the path.

By God's grace through faith in Jesus, "the righteous requirement of the Law" is fulfilled in us (Romans 8:4b). In the sight of God, we are not put to shame. God does not see our stumbling falls and our failure to keep His precepts. Rather, God looks at us and sees that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ Jesus, dressed in the perfect obedience of His beloved Son.

By faith, we have been "created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10b). How do we know the good works we are to do? Look to God's Commandments! We are to love and worship God alone. We are to honor our parents. Those who are married are to live in faithfulness and honor with one another. We are to respect our neighbor's personal well-being, property, and reputation, to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. These God-pleasing works stretch out like a path before us, to be followed by faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is not an easy path. We will be tempted to stray and to take our eyes from Jesus, but He is with us from start to finish. We find strength in the forgiveness He won for us through His death and resurrection. We are nourished by His Word and through His body and blood in the bread and wine of His holy Supper. With the help of God, we join the psalmist in praying for steadfast faith until, at the time God has appointed for us, we reach the finish line. Then, by God's grace, we will say with the apostle Paul, "I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us walk steadfastly in the path You have set before us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who walked the road to the cross for us. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  1. Do you remember when you were first convicted by one of God's Commandments?
  2. Do you feel like you work hard to keep God's Commandments?
  3. When was the last time you took Communion? Do you think taking the Lord's Supper should be a regular part of the Christian's life? Why?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Do you remember when you were first convicted by one of God's Commandments?

CPTLN devocional del 17 de febrero de 2020 - Con los ojos fijos en Él


Con los ojos fijos en Él

17 de Febrero de 2020

Tú, Señor, has ordenado que se cumplan bien tus mandamientos. ¡Cómo quisiera ordenar mis caminos para cumplir con tus estatutos! Así no sentiría yo vergüenza de atender a todos tus mandamientos.

Mientras corren por la pista, los corredores deben mantener sus ojos fijos en la meta: un simple vistazo para ver dónde están los otros corredores puede costarles preciosos segundos. A medida que el salmista va corriendo por la vida, mantiene sus ojos firmemente fijos en los mandamientos de Dios. Los preceptos divinos forman el camino a sus pies, del cual no quiere desviarse.

Mientras corremos la carrera de la fe, oramos para mantenernos firmes en el camino de los mandamientos de Dios. Pero también mantenemos nuestros ojos en la meta final y en Aquél que corrió ese camino antes que nosotros: Jesús, nuestro Señor. A menudo nos apartamos del camino de los mandamientos de Dios, pero Jesús no lo hizo. En él, la oración del salmista encuentra su cumplimiento. Jesús obedeció a su Padre celestial hasta el punto de la muerte. A través de su sangre derramada en la cruz, somos limpiados de nuestros pecados y tropiezos a lo largo del camino.

Por la gracia de Dios, a través de la fe en Jesús, "la justicia de la ley" se cumple en nosotros (Romanos 8:4a). A los ojos de Dios no somos avergonzados. Dios no ve nuestras caídas y nuestro fracaso en mantener sus preceptos, sino que, cuando nos mira, ve que estamos vestidos con la justicia de Cristo Jesús, con la perfecta obediencia de su amado Hijo.

Por fe hemos sido "creados en Cristo Jesús para realizar buenas obras, las cuales Dios preparó de antemano para que vivamos de acuerdo con ellas" (Efesios 2:10b). ¿Cómo sabemos las buenas obras que debemos hacer? ¡Mirando los mandamientos de Dios! Debemos amar y adorar solo a Dios. Debemos honrar a nuestros padres. Quienes están casados deben vivir en fidelidad y honor el uno con el otro. Debemos respetar el bienestar personal, la propiedad y la reputación de nuestro prójimo, amar a nuestro prójimo como nos amamos a nosotros mismos. Estas obras que agradan a Dios se extienden como un camino ante nosotros, para ser seguidas en fe y con el poder del Espíritu Santo.

No es un camino fácil. Estaremos tentados a desviarnos y apartar nuestros ojos de Jesús, pero él está con nosotros de principio a fin. Encontramos fortaleza en el perdón que ganó por nosotros a través de su muerte y resurrección. Nos alimentamos de su Palabra y de su cuerpo y sangre en el pan y el vino de su Santa Cena. Con la ayuda de Dios, nos unimos al salmista para orar por una fe firme hasta que, en el momento en que Dios nos ha designado, lleguemos a la meta. Entonces, por la gracia de Dios, diremos con el apóstol Pablo: "He peleado la buena batalla, he acabado la carrera, he guardado la fe. Por lo demás, me está reservada la corona de justicia, que en aquel día me dará el Señor, el juez justo; y no sólo a mí, sino también a todos los que aman su venida" (2 Timoteo 4:7-8).

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, ayúdanos a caminar firmes en el camino que has puesto delante de nosotros, manteniendo nuestros ojos fijos en Jesús, quien caminó hacia la cruz por nosotros. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
  1. ¿Te resulta difícil mantener los mandamientos de Dios?
  2. ¿Cuándo tomaste comunión por última vez? ¿Crees que el participar de la Cena del Señor debe ser parte regular de la vida cristiana? ¿Por qué?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Te resulta difícil mantener los mandamientos de Dios?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Une présence indéfectible

Une présence indéfectible

Lisez : Matthieu 28.16-20
La Bible en un an : Lévitique 21 – 22 ; Matthieu 28

Et voici, je suis avec vous tous les jours, jusqu’à la fin du monde.

À la Coupe du monde de 2018, l’avant-centre colombien Radamel Falcao a marqué le but de la victoire contre la Pologne à la soixante-dixième minute du match. Ce but magistral, le trentième que Falcao marquait dans un match international, lui a valu d’être reconnu comme le joueur colombien ayant le plus marqué de buts dans des compétitions internationales.

Falcao a d’ailleurs souvent profité de ses succès sur le terrain de foot pour partager sa foi. Il lui arrive de soulever son maillot pour laisser voir un t-shirt sur lequel on peut lire : Con Jesús nunca estarás sólo, ce qui signifie : « Avec Jésus, tu ne seras jamais seul. »

L’affirmation de Falcao évoque la promesse rassurante que Jésus nous a faite : « Et voici, je suis avec vous tous les jours, jusqu’à la fin du monde » (MT 28.20). Se sachant sur le point de remonter au ciel, il a consolé ses disciples en leur disant qu’il serait toujours là par la présence de son Esprit (V. 20, JN 14.16-18), qui les guiderait, les protégerait et les fortifierait tandis qu’ils porteraient le message de Jésus aux villes proches et éloignées. Et quand ils se sentiraient très seuls en milieu inconnu, ils y repenseraient.

Où que nous allions, à proximité ou au loin, en suivant Jésus dans l’inconnu, nous pouvons nous aussi nous attacher à cette même promesse. Même quand nous nous sentons très seuls, en faisant appel à l’aide de Jésus dans la prière, nous pouvons puiser du réconfort dans le fait de le savoir avec nous.

La présence de Dieu est constante.

© 2020 Ministères NPQ
À la Coupe du monde de 2018, l’avant-centre colombien Radamel Falcao a marqué le but de la victoire contre la Pologne à la soixante-dixième minute du match.