Friday, March 20, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, March 20, 2020
Psalm 23; 1 Samuel 15:22-31; Ephesians 5:1-9

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, March 20, 2020
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

My head anointed with oil
1  The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
   he leads me beside quiet waters,
3    he refreshes my soul.
   He guides me along the right paths
     for his name’s sake.
4  Even though I walk
     through the darkest valley,
   I will fear no evil,
     for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff,
     they comfort me.

5  You prepare a table before me
     in the presence of my enemies.
   You anoint my head with oil;
     my cup overflows.
6  Surely your goodness and love will follow me
     all the days of my life,
   and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

The king confesses his sinful disobedience
15:22 But Samuel replied:

   “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
     as much as in obeying the Lord?
   To obey is better than sacrifice,
     and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
     and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
   Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
     he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”

26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”

27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

Now in the Lord you are light
5:1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)

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, March 20, 2020
Psalm 23; 1 Samuel 15:22-31; Ephesians 5:1-9

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, March 20, 2020
The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, March 20, 2020

Maria Skobtsova, a twentieth-century nun remembered in Russia as Mother Maria, said, “The meaning of the liturgy must be translated into life.”

Lord, we begin this day praising you. May your liturgy set our souls to dancing, and may your Spirit guide our feet today. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, March 20, 2020

1 Peter 2:2-3
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Read all of 1 Peter 2

Listen to 1 Peter 2

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 FRIDAY, March 20, 2020 - Friday of the Third Week of Lent

40 Days of Lenten Prayers
Day 21 - Friday of the Third Week of Lent

God of Mercy,
I feel my heart overflowing with your tenderness.
I sense your loving touch deep within my soul.
I ask for your help in my weakness
that I might be faithful to your word
and I am so grateful
that your mercy for my failings
is as strong as your unbounded love for me.

Un dia a la Vez - Viernes 20 de marzo de 2020

Oración por aceptación

¡Cuán precioso, oh Dios, es tu gran amor! Todo ser humano halla refugio a la sombra de tus alas.

Hoy busco tu rostro, Dios mío, porque he entendido que mi identidad está en ti. Que no importa la condición física que tenga, pues tú me aceptas y me amas.

Así que debo empezar por aceptarme a mí mismo, ya que solo con tu ayuda lograré ser capaz de salir de esta ansiedad, esta tristeza y esta inconformidad por haber quedado con limitación o por la de algún ser querido.

En este día me declaro aceptado, amado, respetado, valorado y querido.

Además, pongo mi vida completa en tus manos, sabiendo que cuidas de mí y me cubres con tus alas de amor.

Ayúdame a desarrollar el carácter de tu Hijo y a vivir aceptando los propósitos que tienes para mí.

Te pido, mi Dios, que sanes mi alma, me limpies de toda falta de perdón y me uses como un ejemplo a seguir. Permite que mi vida sea de testimonio para cada uno de mis familiares, mis amigos y de todas las personas para las que mi vida pueda servir de influencia.

Gracias por tu misericordia que es nueva cada día.

Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
En este día me declaro aceptado, amado, respetado, valorado y querido.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, March 20, 2020

I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles…

Prison! Even the word sends shivers down the back and the thought is immediately pushed to the back of our minds. Yet we in the western world often have no idea just how horrible conditions are in prisons in non-western countries.

For most people anywhere in the world, imprisonment is simply the biggest shock of their life. One of the most famous prisoners, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, was almost poetic in his description in his book The Gulag Archipelago. “Arrest [and imprisonment] is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, and somersault from one state to another.”

Prison is extremely challenging for those, like Aleksandr, who find themselves there unjustly. It is rigorous even for those who acknowledge their guilt and must pay the price. But a strong faith in God and trust in God’s ultimate goodness and purposes enables Christian prisoners to emerge with victorious testimonies. And like the Apostle Paul they can say they were “prisoners of Jesus Christ.”

For example, Pastor Steven in Vietnam is a courageous leader of the unofficial church. He had a ticket to the USA in 1975 but chose to stay and suffer with his people. He is passionate about the gospel and says, “I always have my suitcase packed by the front door, ready for prison again.”

He spent seven and a half years in a tiny cell after being arrested for “illegal Christian activity.” He was tortured for sharing Christ with other prisoners, but his faith impacted thousands. One Vietnamese pastor says, “Before 1975, we were only allowed to preach in prisons on Tuesdays, but now there are brothers witnessing there seven days a week!”

An Open Doors-Africa co-worker named Solomon was assigned to find out if there were many Christians in prison or labor camps in Mozambique during the communist regime there. While researching, he was arrested himself. “In prison, all my possessions, including my Bible were taken from me. Then I was subjected to a cross-examination for six hours, after which I was thrown into a cell, exhausted. I had to sleep on a concrete floor without even a blanket.

“Knowing that my heavenly father would never forsake me, I directed all my attention to my fellow-prisoners. Although I still had to sleep on the floor and was harassed by malaria, bugs and gnawing hunger, I tried to talk about my faith as much as possible…

“I had the opportunity to preach to my companions. I prayed for the sick and the Lord heard my prayers and healed them. That was of great support to them and during my stay in prison, I led fifteen people to the Lord.

“Unexpectedly, I found out that there were more Christians in prison. Now it became clear to me why I had to be arrested. In the first place, to bring the message of salvation to the lost ones in prison. And secondly, to strengthen my fellow Christians.

RESPONSE: Today I accept the fact I can be a witness for Jesus anywhere and everywhere He leads.

PRAYER: Pray for Christians in prison (Hebrews 13:3) and pray they will be used of God while there.

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, March 20, 2020


His name means: "Yahweh Is Salvation"

His work: He was Moses' aide and successor, a military commander, and statesman.
His character: His remarkable military successes were achieved as a result of his attitude of trust and obedience toward the God who made them all possible.
His sorrow: That the Israelites failed to believe his good report of the Promised Land and that he and they were consequently prevented from entering it for forty years.
His triumph: To have led the Israelites to victory in Canaan, thus establishing them in the land God had promised their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Key Scriptures: Numbers 14:1-38; Joshua 1-6

A Look at the Man

When God calls someone to play a part in the history of his people, he often begins by testing his or her faith. Joshua's first test was to return a faithful report after he had spied out the land of Canaan with its giants and strong cities. Later God told him to cross the Jordan despite the fact that the river was at flood stage.

But the challenges didn't stop. To enter Canaan, the Israelites would have to take the city of Jericho, which lay five miles west of the Jordan River. But there was one little problem. High-walled, well-fortified cities had discouraged Israel's spies forty years earlier, and Joshua knew that their desert wanderings had not rendered the former slaves any more physically capable of laying siege to the city than they had been.

But Joshua believed that God had already delivered Jericho into their hands. They had merely to march around it for six days. On the seventh day, seven priests carrying trumpets of rams' horns would lead the army seven more times around the city. When the priests blew the last blast of the trumpet, all the people were to shout at the top of their lungs and the walls of the city would simply collapse. To practical-minded people—to most of us—this would have seemed a ridiculous plan. But it was the strategy Joshua employed, bringing about a victory that terrorized the other peoples of Canaan, thus paving the way for Israel's future military successes.

As each test grew larger, Joshua's faith kept pace, his obedience nourishing his faith and his faith nourishing his obedience. The man who had witnessed Israel's deliverance from Egypt, who had walked across the Red Sea, and who had stayed alive by eating manna in the desert was not about to doubt God's power to do what he said he would. Because of Joshua's faithfulness, the Israelites experienced victory after victory as they swept across the land and made it their own.

Reflect On: Deuteronomy 31:1–8
Praise God: For his power to do what he says he will.
Offer Thanks: For the victories, God has won in your own life.
Confess: Any tendency to focus on your difficulties rather than on the God who promises to help you.
Ask God: To strengthen your faith by helping you take the risks he is asking of you.

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.
His remarkable military successes were achieved as a result of his attitude of trust and obedience toward the God who made them all possible.

LHM Daily Devotions - March 20, 2020 - A TERRIBLE, WONDERFUL JUSTICE


March 20, 2020

And He (Jesus) entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And He would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And He was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers."

If you read the Gospels, you could easily make a case that this is the turning point—the moment when the chief priests and religious leaders made up their minds to kill Jesus. Up to this point, Jesus has done many things which annoyed the leaders—He has healed on the Sabbath, run rough-shod over human traditions such as hand-washing rules, criticized their hypocrisy, and become hugely popular with the people. But when Jesus threw the merchants out of the temple, He was tackling corruption in the house of God itself—in God's church, which they considered their personal property. It was the source of their money, prestige, and power—and He was cleaning out their wickedness.

Evil within the church is perhaps the worst kind of evil, because it masquerades as good. The businesses Jesus threw out were there to make money, yes—but their excuse was that they were supplying animals for sacrifice. People would buy these animals for use during worship. The moneychangers were useful to worshippers who came from foreign places, but they were also involved in banking activities—including acts that broke the Law of Moses and exploited the poor.

Never mind the excuses. God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, wasn't having any of it. He was going to sweep it clean. The temple was for God, period—not for money, not for power or prestige, not for any human activity that was not in accord with God's own heart.

God still feels this way—about the church, and about your heart. If you let Him, He will sweep these holy places clean. He will make them places of worship, places where God's people can be free to love God and one another. Will you let Him?

THE PRAYER: Lord, cleanse Your church—and cleanse my heart, too. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  1. What do you like most about cleaning? What do you hate?
  2. How can we prevent problems in the church that go directly counter to God's heart?
  3. Write or say a prayer asking the Lord to clean out a particular problem in your life.

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 like most about cleaning? What do you hate?

Devocional CPTLN del 20 de marzo de 2020 - Una justicia terrible y maravillosa


Una justicia terrible y maravillosa

20 de Marzo de 2020

Al entrar Jesús en el templo comenzó a echar de allí a los que vendían y compraban en su interior. Volcó las mesas de los cambistas y las sillas de los que vendían palomas, y no permitía que nadie atravesara el templo llevando algún utensilio; más bien, les enseñaba y les decía: "¿Acaso no está escrito: 'Mi casa será llamada casa de oración para todas las naciones'? ¡Pero ustedes han hecho de ella una cueva de ladrones!"

En este texto vemos el momento en que los principales sacerdotes y los líderes religiosos decidieron matar a Jesús. Hasta este momento, Jesús había hecho muchas cosas que molestaron a los líderes: había curado en el día de reposo, desafiado las tradiciones humanas como las reglas para lavarse las manos, criticado su hipocresía y se había hecho muy popular entre el pueblo. Pero cuando Jesús echó a los mercaderes del templo, estaba denunciando la corrupción en la casa de Dios, que ellos consideraban su propiedad personal, y que era la fuente de su dinero, prestigio y poder.

El mal dentro de la iglesia es quizás el peor tipo de maldad, porque se disfraza de bien. Los negocios que Jesús echó estaban allí para ganar dinero, con la excusa de que suministraban animales para el sacrificio; la gente compraba esos animales para la adoración. Los cambistas eran útiles para los fieles que venían con moneda extranjera, pero al hacer el cambio explotaban a los pobres, violando así la ley de Moisés.

No importan las excusas. Dios, en la persona de Jesucristo, no quería saber nada de eso. Iba a barrer con todo. El templo era para Dios, no para hacer dinero, ni conseguir poder o prestigio, ni para ninguna actividad humana que no estuviera de acuerdo con el corazón de Dios.

Dios todavía siente así respecto de la iglesia y respecto de tu corazón. Si lo dejas, barrerá esos lugares sagrados y los convertirá en lugares de culto, lugares donde el pueblo de Dios puede ser libre de amar a Dios y a los demás. ¿Lo dejarás?

ORACIÓN: Señor, limpia tu iglesia y mi corazón. Por Jesús. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  1. ¿Cómo podemos prevenir problemas en la iglesia que van directamente contra Dios?
  2. Pídele al Señor que limpie un problema particular en tu vida.

© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Cómo podemos prevenir problemas en la iglesia que van directamente contra Dios?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Chậm Vì Một Lý Do

Chậm Vì Một Lý Do

Đọc: Nê-hê-mi 9:9,13–21 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Giô-suê 4–6; Lu-ca 1:1–20

Chúa là Đức Chúa Trời sẵn lòng tha thứ, hay làm ơn, và thương xót, chậm nóng giận và đầy lòng nhân từ.
— Nê-hê-mi 9:17

Trong loạt video “Cuộc sống của Động vật có vú” của BBC, người dẫn chương trình David Attenborough trèo lên cây để có cái nhìn hài hước về một con lười ba ngón. Đối mặt với loài động vật có vú di chuyển chậm nhất thế giới, anh chào nó với tiếng “Hù!” Không thấy nó phản ứng gì, anh giải thích rằng chậm chạp là điều bạn làm nếu bạn là một con lười ba ngón sống chủ yếu bằng những chiếc lá không dễ tiêu hóa và chẳng mấy bổ dưỡng.

Khi kể lại lịch sử của dân Y-sơ-ra-ên, Nê-hê-mi nhắc đến một ví dụ khác và giải thích về việc chậm (9:9-21), nhưng đây không phải là câu chuyện hài hước. Theo Nê-hê-mi, Chúa là tấm gương tốt nhất khi nói đến việc chậm nóng giận. Nê-hê-mi kể lại cách Chúa chăm sóc dân Ngài, dạy họ luật pháp đem lại sự sống, gìn giữ họ trên hành trình ra khỏi Ai Cập và ban cho họ Đất Hứa (c.9, 15). Mặc dù dân Y-sơ-ra-ên liên tục nổi loạn (c.16), nhưng Chúa không bao giờ ngừng yêu thương họ. Nê-hê-mi giải thích rằng bản tính của Đấng Tạo Hóa là “hay làm ơn, và thương xót, chậm nóng giận và đầy lòng nhân từ” (c.17). Tại sao Ngài vẫn kiên nhẫn khi dân Ngài phàn nàn, hoài nghi và không tin cậy Ngài trong bốn mươi năm như vậy? (c.21). Đó là vì Chúa giàu lòng thương xót (c.19).

Còn chúng ta thì sao? Nóng giận là dấu hiệu của tấm lòng nguội lạnh. Nhưng tấm lòng cao cả của Chúa cho chúng ta cơ hội để sống kiên nhẫn và yêu thương.
Bạn cần thực hành chậm nóng giận trong những lĩnh vực nào của cuộc sống? Điều đó làm bạn cảm thấy Chúa chậm giận với bạn ra sao?
Lạy Cha thiên thượng, xin đổ đầy chúng con bằng Thánh Linh của lòng nhân từ, thương xót và yêu thương, để người khác nhìn thấy không chỉ là sự kiềm chế, mà là tình yêu của chúng con đến từ Ngài.

© 2020 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Nóng giận là dấu hiệu của tấm lòng nguội lạnh.