Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for WEDNESDAY, February 26, 2020 — Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b—6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

The Daily Lectionary
WEDNESDAY, February 26, 2020 — Ash Wednesday
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Ash Wednesday
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b—6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Opening Prayer

As we gather here in the harbor of your safety we thank you for fellowship and family.

We ask that you will strengthen us, restore us and inspire us with your love. Lord, would fill us with your peace so that as we journey onwards we would pour out your love and grace to others. We ask that our souls would catch the wind of your spirit so that we would take your promises to all the earth. Amen.

A Prayer for Lent

Lord, I will turn,
Turn my face towards you.
I will lay before you the desert areas I hide
And turn to soak in your refreshing words of life.
I will cast aside the barren, selfish pursuits
And turn to rest in the tranquil warmth of your love.
I will draw back from the harsh pull of media
And turn to bathe in the gentle power of your Spirit.
Lord, today I turn my face towards you.
I will turn
To soak in your words of life,
To rest in the warmth of your love,
And to bathe in the power of your Spirit.

Prayer for Fasting

I shall lay aside the pressure I feel, and retreat into your space,
Away from distractions, I’ll seek you face to face.
I shall lean into you Lord, where the weight of the world
Falls away from my shoulders, let your freedom unfold.

I shall burrow so deeply, in you I’m covered and safe,
Lift my eyes up to linger on the love in you gaze.
I shall shelter, encircled by the depth of your care,
Where your majesty leads me, I await you in prayer.

I shall whisper my worries, here I’ll open my fears
And lay here unfolded, in a river of tears.
I shall rest my soul gently and nestle into your hope,
Seeking only to dwell here, in your peace I will soak.

The Collect
(from the Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness
God, this is a hard time. The focus of Lent is on the pain and suffering of Jesus and our own need for penitence. It is a time of gathering darkness. But we would rather skip this part and go straight to Easter. We would rather ignore the suffering—in you and in the world—and avoid the hard work of true self-examination. Forgive us for wanting this to be bright and painless and easy, when we know that Jesus did not take the easy way, but chose the path of the Cross. Teach us the true meaning of penitence, so that we use this Lenten season to humbly seek a clean heart and a renewed spirit. Amen.

Words of Reassurance
The truth is this: God’s love and mercy are never-ending. God knows us in our inward being; God cleanses us from our sins and shortcomings and restores to us the joy of salvation.

The Lessons

First Reading
Return to God
1  Blow the trumpet in Zion;
     sound the alarm on my holy hill.

   Let all who live in the land tremble,
     for the day of the Lord is coming.
   It is close at hand—
2    a day of darkness and gloom,
     a day of clouds and blackness.
   Like dawn spreading across the mountains
     a large and mighty army comes,
   such as never was in ancient times
     nor ever will be in ages to come.

12 “Even now,” declares the Lord,
     “return to me with all your heart,
     with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

13 Rend your heart
     and not your garments.
   Return to the Lord your God,
     for he is gracious and compassionate,
   slow to anger and abounding in love,
     and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent
     and leave behind a blessing—
   grain offerings and drink offerings
     for the Lord your God.

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
     declare a holy fast,
     call a sacred assembly.
16 Gather the people,
     consecrate the assembly;
   bring together the elders,
     gather the children,
     those nursing at the breast.
   Let the bridegroom leave his room
     and the bride her chamber.
17 Let the priests, who minister before the Lord,
     weep between the portico and the altar.
   Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.
     Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
     a byword among the nations.
   Why should they say among the peoples,
     ‘Where is their God?’”

The fast that God chooses
1  “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
     Raise your voice like a trumpet.
   Declare to my people their rebellion
     and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
     they seem eager to know my ways,
   as if they were a nation that does what is right
     and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
   They ask me for just decisions
     and seem eager for God to come near them.
3  ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
     ‘and you have not seen it?
   Why have we humbled ourselves,
     and you have not noticed?’

   “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
     and exploit all your workers.
4  Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
     and in striking each other with wicked fists.
   You cannot fast as you do today
     and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5  Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
     only a day for people to humble themselves?
   Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
     and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
   Is that what you call a fast,
     a day acceptable to the Lord?

6  “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
   to loose the chains of injustice
     and untie the cords of the yoke,
   to set the oppressed free
     and break every yoke?
7  Is it not to share your food with the hungry
     and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
   when you see the naked, to clothe them,
     and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8  Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
     and your healing will quickly appear;
   then your righteousness will go before you,
     and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
     you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

   “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
     with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
     and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
   then your light will rise in the darkness,
     and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
     he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
     and will strengthen your frame.
   You will be like a well-watered garden,
     like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
     and will raise up the age-old foundations;
   you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
     Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

Plea for mercy
1  Have mercy on me, O God,
     according to your unfailing love;
   according to your great compassion
     blot out my transgressions.
2  Wash away all my iniquity
     and cleanse me from my sin.

3  For I know my transgressions,
     and my sin is always before me.
4  Against you, you only, have I sinned
     and done what is evil in your sight;
   so you are right in your verdict
     and justified when you judge.
5  Surely I was sinful at birth,
     sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6  Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
     you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

7  Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
     wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8  Let me hear joy and gladness;
     let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9  Hide your face from my sins
     and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
     and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
     or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
     and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
     so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
     you who are God my Savior,
     and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
     and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
     you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
     a broken and contrite heart
     you, God, will not despise.

Second Reading
Now is the day of salvation
5:20b We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

6:1 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says,

   “In the time of my favor I heard you,
     and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

The Gospel
A remnant chosen by grace
6:1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer

Lord, thank you that we are a family in Christ. Help us to share his love and legacy with everyone that we encounter this week. May we lavish Christ’s abounding goodness upon our families, friends and colleagues. Holy Spirit, come and equip us in our workplace, guide us in our school life, and inspire us in our neighborhood. May we be your hands and feet to the needy, your words of affirmation to the oppressed and your arms of comfort to the lonely.

Thank you for choosing to use us to bring your kingdom here on earth. Amen.

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.
Ash Wednesday
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b—6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Practicing Your Piety In Secret

“Practicing Your Piety In Secret”

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day in Lent, the season of the church year, during which we focus our attention on our devotion to God before Easter. Ash Wednesday gives us an unusual opportunity to focus on our mortality and our sin. These are not popular topics, nor issues that we like to address, but Ash Wednesday gives us a wake-up call with these realities. The gospel lesson for today reminds us to give alms, pray, and fast quietly, without drawing attention to ourselves. Jesus reminds us that where our treasure is, there our heart will also be.

Our quest during Lent is to draw closer to God. The traditional Lenten disciplines of fasting, praying, not saying alleluias in worship, giving up things, journaling, donating money are all intended to focus our devotion on God. They are meant to remove barriers from our relationship to God, to take away hindrances from our growth in God. They are supposed to help us strip away excess and get back to the basics of faith.

Yet again this Ash Wednesday, we are reminded that nothing is automatically religious in itself: not giving, not praying, not fasting, not giving up things for Lent. Religious things aren’t an automatic plus. Jesus’ words in the gospel lesson are evidence of that. Jesus says, "Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven." Piety is not bad, but parading around so that others will be impressed by your religion is futile, says Jesus.

The Pharisees of Jesus’ day would pray three times a day, offering a standard prayer of eighteen lengthy petitions. Some took great pride in praying these prayers in the street surrounded by the crowd so everyone could see how pious they were. Jesus said, ’Practicing your piety in public is no evidence of faith.’ Now, yes, giving money to Amnesty International is better than wasting it on cocaine. Praying for the poor is undoubtedly better than overcharging the poor, but doing any of these to get people to notice defeats the purpose.

Because God is in secret and sees in secret, no showy display is necessary. God knows what is in the depths of our hearts, where no one else can see. Jesus didn’t mean for people to stop these acts of devotion but invited us to ask why are we doing what we are doing? We should always ask why? Why should I loudly complain about being hungry when I was fasting? And why did I gripe about having to read my Bible when I was studying during Lent? Why did I insist on dropping that $20 bill in the offering plate when everyone was looking? Devotion to God that is done to be seen is no devotion at all. The life of faith is low-profile. We minimize ourselves so that God can be magnified and glorified.

Remember that you are dust and to dust, you shall return. No pious praying, fastidious fasting, or religious wrangling will make your life worthwhile. There is more value in one quiet, selfless, faithful act than in a thousand boisterous voices praying for the sake of being heard. Don’t stop using traditional Lenten spiritual disciplines, but use them for their intended purpose: to draw closer to God. "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also."
Lord, Holy One, have mercy on us. We confess our sins to you. We have fallen short of your glory, and without your mercy and grace, we would be dust. We repent now. Lord, as we enter into this Lenten season, be near to us. Help us, by your Holy Spirit, to feel the right conviction and repentance for our sin. Help us, by your Spirit, to have the strength to overcome the enemy.

Thank you, Lord, that Easter is coming! Death has no sting, no victory, because of Jesus! Glory and honor and praise to His name! Thank you for rescuing us. Help us keep both the weight and the joy of this season in our hearts, and we move through the next several weeks. Help us bear the good fruit of your Spirit.

Thank you that the ashes on our forehead do not symbolize our ultimate reality. From dust, we might have been formed. Still, our bodies, our spirits, ourselves, await beautiful redemption and the restoration of all things. Help us long and look forward to that day, and let it come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.
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The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day in Lent, the season of the church year, during which we focus our attention on our devotion to God before Easter.

The Daily Prayer for WEDNESDAY, February 26, 2020

The Daily Prayer
WEDNESDAY, February 26, 2020

Francis de Sales, a sixteenth-century bishop in France, wrote, “Each of us has his own endowment from God, one to live in this way, another in that. It is an impertinence, then, to try to find out why St. Paul was not given St. Peter’s grace, or St. Peter given St. Paul’s. There is only one answer to such questions: the Church is a garden patterned with countless flowers, so there must be a variety of sizes, colors, scents—of perfections, after all. Each has its value, its charm, its joy; while the whole vast cluster of these variations makes for beauty in its most graceful form.”

Lord, as we continually answer the call to follow you, help us discern how to use our talents and gifts in ways that nurture your kingdom. Amen.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, February 26, 2020

1 John 4:9
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
Read all of 1 John 4

Listen to 1 John 4

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

The Lenten Prayer for WEDNESDAY, February 26, 2020 - Ash Wednesday

40 Days of Lenten Prayers
Day 1 - Ash Wednesday

Lord, it feels like we are embarking on a Lenten journey together, you and I. The beautiful words in today's prayer talk about the "quiet remembrance of our need for redemption." That feels like what I am looking for - or what you are looking for in me. I want to remember how much I need you in my life and how much my life needs redemption. I want to remember it clearly and in the background of my day today and all through Lent.

On this special day, Ash Wednesday, may my small sacrifices in fasting be a way to clear away the clutter in my life to see you more clearly. May my longing for meat and other food, help me to focus my life today more outside myself. Let me be aware of those who are in so much more suffering than I am and may I be aware of them as the brothers and sisters you have placed in my life.

Lord, I know there is darkness within me and around me. Bless these days with your Word. Let your Light shine in the darkness. Help me long for that Light until we celebrate it at the Vigil six weeks from now.

And most of all Lord, help me to honor this day with the ashes on my forehead. They help me remember where I have come from and where I am going. May I acknowledge to you my sins and my deep need for your loving forgiveness and grace. I pray that this Lenten season will make me so much more aware of how much I need your healing in my life. Amen.

Un dia a la Vez - Miércoles 26 de febrero de 2020

Oración por misericordia

Confíen en el Señor para siempre, porque el Señor es una Roca eterna.
Isaías 26:4 (NVI)

Señor: He leído y escuchado que tus misericordias son nuevas cada día para nosotros y eso me da la esperanza de que no estoy sola, de que te preocupas por lo que estoy viviendo y que con la prueba me darás también la salida.

Dios mío, te pido perdón si te he culpado de lo que me pasa, pero te confieso que no puedo más. Estoy muy cansado de tomar mis decisiones y de no tenerte en cuenta.

Hoy te pido una nueva oportunidad. He comprendido que deseas ayudarme, regalarme días felices y enseñarme cosas que ahora no puedo entender.

Así que no quiero cuestionarte. Solo quiero aprender a descansar en ti y a confiar en todo tiempo en ti.

Te entrego en este día mis cargas y recibo tu misericordia nueva de hoy.

Amén y amén

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Oración por misericordia

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

A pastor imprisoned for his faith in Eritrea recently wrote to his wife:

God, by His holy will, has prolonged my prison sentence to five years and four months. I very much long for the day that I will be reunited with you my dear wife, our children and Gods people in the church.

My dear, listen to me—not only as a wife but also as a Christian woman who has come to understand who God is and how deep and mysterious His ways are. Yes! I love you, I love the children, and I would love to be free in order to serve God. But, in here, God has made me not only a sufferer for His Name’s sake in a prison of this world over which Christ has won victory, but also a prisoner of His indescribable love and grace. I am testing and experiencing the love and care of our Lord every day.

When they first brought me to this prison, I had thoughts that were contrary to what the Bible says. I thought the devil had prevailed over the church and over me. I thought the work of the gospel in Eritrea was over. But it did not take one day for the Lord to show me that He is a sovereign God and that He is in control of all things—even here in prison.

The moment I entered my cell, one of the prisoners called me and said, “Pastor, come over here. Everyone in this cell is [unsaved]. You are very much needed here.” So, on the same day, I was put in prison, I carried on my spiritual work.

My dear, the longer I stay here, the more I love my Savior and tell the people here about His goodness. His grace is enabling me to overcome the coldness and the longing that I feel for you and for our children. Sometimes I ask myself, Am I out of my mind? Am I a fool? Well, isn’t that what the Apostle Paul said, “Whether I am of sound mind or out of my mind, I am Christ’s!”

My most respected wife, I love you more than I can say. Please help the children understand that I am here as a prisoner of Christ for the greater cause of the gospel.

RESPONSE: Today I will live in the awareness that God is in control of all that happens in my life. My suffering can contribute to the spiritual strength of others.

PRAYER: Please pray for the wives and families of pastors imprisoned for their faith. Pray that they will be strengthened and an encouragement to others, despite their own pain.

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 - February 26, 2020 - JESUS SETS US FREE


Feb. 26, 2020

Now about eight days after these sayings He (Jesus) took with Him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as He was praying, the appearance of His face was altered, and His clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with Him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His departure, which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. ... And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!" And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.

It's common for us to talk about what Jesus did to save us in terms of substitution. We say He "took our place," He "carried our cross." Sometimes we use the language of atonement—we talk about sin and forgiveness, merit and "making up" for the evil we have done.

But these are not the only ways the Bible helps us think about how Jesus saves us. There are many other word-pictures we can learn from—and one of the most powerful is the language of slavery and freedom, of deliverance and becoming God's own people. This is the language of Exodus.

Exodus means "going out," and of course it is the name we use in English for the second book of the Old Testament. That is the one that tells the story of how God saw His people suffering as slaves in Egypt, and used Moses to bring them to freedom. You know all that.

But did you know that the whole Exodus story is a foretelling of the much greater rescue God did for all of us in Jesus' death and resurrection? It's true. There's a reason Jesus suffered, died, and rose at Passover time. There's a reason He is called the "Lamb of God." And there's a reason why Moses and Elijah met with Him at His Transfiguration, "and spoke of His departure—His "exodus," is what the Greek says!— "which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

During the next few weeks on The Lutheran Hour, we'll be listening to that story of the Exodus with Moses. And in these devotions, we'll walk together toward that second exodus, the greater exodus, the story of how God Himself came down to rescue the human race from slavery to sin, death, and the devil. Let's wonder at His great love, and celebrate His mercy. Because the God of Exodus is the God of the Gospels—the God who rescues us from death and makes us His free people forever.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, give us Your Holy Spirit so that we can see how You have set us free, both now and forever. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  1. What do you think of when you hear the word "freedom"?
  2. When have you felt the most free in your life? What about the least free?
  3. Does it surprise you to think of Jesus as your freedom-bringer? Why or why not?

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
What do you think of when you hear the word "freedom"?

CPTLN devocional del 26 de febrero de 2020 - Jesús nos hace libres


Jesús nos hace libres

26 de Febrero de 2020

Miércoles de Ceniza

Jesús... subió al monte a orar, y se llevó con él a Pedro, Juan y Jacobo. Y mientras oraba, cambió la apariencia de su rostro, y su vestido se hizo blanco y resplandeciente. Aparecieron entonces dos hombres, y conversaban con él. Eran Moisés y Elías, que rodeados de gloria hablaban de la partida de Jesús, la cual se iba a cumplir en Jerusalén... Entonces, desde la nube se oyó una voz que decía: "Éste es mi Hijo amado. ¡Escúchenlo!"

Es común que hablemos sobre lo que Jesús hizo para salvarnos en términos de sustitución. Decimos que "ocupó nuestro lugar", "cargó nuestra cruz". Pero esta no es la única forma en que la Biblia nos ayuda a pensar en cómo Jesús nos salva. Hay muchas otras imágenes que podemos aprender, y una de las más poderosas es el lenguaje de la esclavitud y la libertad, de la liberación y de convertirse en el pueblo de Dios. Este es el lenguaje del éxodo.

Éxodo significa "salir" y es el nombre que usamos para el segundo libro del Antiguo Testamento, que cuenta la historia de cómo Dios vio sufrir a su pueblo esclavizado en Egipto y cómo usó a Moisés para llevarlo a la libertad.

Pero ese éxodo es una predicción del rescate mayor que Dios hizo por todos nosotros con la muerte y resurrección de Jesús. Hay una razón por la que Jesús sufrió, murió y resucitó en la Pascua. Hay una razón por la que se le llama el Cordero de Dios. Y hay una razón por la cual Moisés y Elías se reunieron con él en su transfiguración "y hablaron de su partida", de su "éxodo" que estaba a punto de lograr en Jerusalén.

Durante los próximos días caminaremos juntos a través del éxodo mayor, para ver cómo Dios mismo vino a rescatar a la raza humana de la esclavitud al pecado, la muerte y el diablo. El Dios del Éxodo es el Dios de los Evangelios, el Dios que nos rescata de la muerte y nos hace su pueblo libre para siempre.

ORACIÓN: Querido Señor, danos tu Espíritu Santo para que podamos ver cómo nos has liberado. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  1. ¿Cuándo te has sentido más libre en tu vida?
  2. ¿Te sorprende pensar en Jesús quien te trae libertad?

© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Cuándo te has sentido más libre en tu vida?

Ministérios Pão Diário - Doar sem temor

Doar sem temor

Leia: Malaquias 3:8-12 | A Bíblia em um ano: NÚMEROS 15–16; MARCOS 6:1-29

Tragam todos os seus dízimos aos depósitos do templo…
—Malaquias 3:10

Uma amiga trouxe seu bebê para nos visitar, e meu filho Xavier, então com 6 anos, quis dar a ele alguns brinquedos. Estava encantada com sua generosidade, até ele oferecer um bicho de pelúcia que o meu marido tinha procurado muito para poder lhe presentear. Reconhecendo o brinquedo tão desejado, minha amiga tentou declinar educadamente. Mas Xavier o colocou nas mãos da criança e disse: “Meu pai me dá muitos brinquedos para compartilhar”.

Apesar de eu querer afirmar que Xavier aprendeu tal generosidade comigo, tenho negado frequentemente os meus recursos a Deus e aos outros. Mas, quando lembro de que o Pai celeste me concede tudo o que tenho e preciso, fica mais fácil compartilhar.

No Antigo Testamento, Deus ordenou aos israelitas que confiassem nele, entregando-lhe uma porção de Sua provisão aos sacerdotes levitas, que, por sua vez, ajudariam os necessitados. O povo recusou, e o profeta Malaquias disse-lhes que estavam roubando do Senhor (vv.8,9). Mas, se dessem de bom grado, demonstrando que confiavam na promessa de provisão e proteção (vv.10,11), seriam reconhecidos como povo abençoado por Deus (v.12).

Seja administrando as nossas finanças, agendas ou dons que Deus nos confiou, a doação pode ser um ato de adoração. Doar voluntariamente e sem medo pode demonstrar a nossa confiança no cuidado de nosso amoroso Pai.
Senhor, por favor, ajuda-nos a viver com total confiança em Tua fiel provisão, de modo que possamos doar a ti e aos outros sem medo.
Doar sem temer revela a nossa confiança nas promessas e provisão do Senhor.

© 2020 Ministérios Pão Diário
Uma amiga trouxe seu bebê para nos visitar, e meu filho Xavier, então com 6 anos, quis dar a ele alguns brinquedos.