Monday, April 20, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, April 20, 2020

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, April 20, 2020
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

God saves through water
1  When Israel came out of Egypt,
     Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
2  Judah became God’s sanctuary,
     Israel his dominion.

3  The sea looked and fled,
     the Jordan turned back;
4  the mountains leaped like rams,
     the hills like lambs.

5  Why was it, sea, that you fled?
     Why, Jordan, did you turn back?
6  Why, mountains, did you leap like rams,
     you hills, like lambs?

7  Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
     at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8  who turned the rock into a pool,
     the hard rock into springs of water.

Gideon and the fleece
6:36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Paul teaches the resurrection
15:12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

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, April 20, 2020
Psalm 114; Judges 6:36-40; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

The Daily Prayer for MONDAY, April 20, 2020
The Daily Prayer
MONDAY, April 20, 2020

A theologian and poet of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, François Fenelon wrote, “We must have faith during the period of our grief. We think that our afflictions will be greater than we can bear, but we do not know the strength of our own hearts, nor the power of God. He knows all. He knows every folding of the heart and also the extent of the sorrow that he inflicts. What we think will overwhelm us entirely only subdues and conquers our pride. Our renewed spirit rises from its subjugation with a celestial strength and consolation.”

Lord, some of us are never far from tears, and some of us have forced ourselves not to cry. Direct our tears that they might flow with yours and cease when you smile upon us. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, April 20, 2020

1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Read all of 1 Corinthians 15

Listen to 1 Corinthians 15

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 20 de abril de 2020

Dulce refugio

Entonces ustedes me invocarán, y vendrán a suplicarme, y yo los escucharé. Me buscarán y me encontrarán, cuando me busquen de todo corazón.

Cuando tenemos días felices en los que todo nos sale bien, es cuando menos pensamos que estamos refugiados en los brazos del Padre. Eso sucede porque casi siempre que las cosas están en orden, lo que menos buscamos es su compañía.

Muchas veces estamos tan organizados que pueden pasar días sin que oremos, sin que vayamos a la iglesia, solo porque todo está en orden.

Sin embargo, ¿qué tal si a este cuadro le agregamos la preocupación y los problemitas económicos que no faltan? Ahí es cuando empezamos a clamar por su ayuda.

Dios no solo debe ser nuestro refugio en la soledad, ni en los momentos de preocupación. Él quiere ser nuestro refugio en todo momento.

Debemos estar más cerca que nunca de Él cuando nos encontremos en medio de la celebración por el triunfo del éxito y las muchas bendiciones.

No seamos interesados en nuestra búsqueda de Dios.

Él es y será nuestro dulce refugio.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Cuando tenemos días felices en los que todo nos sale bien, es cuando menos pensamos que estamos refugiados en los brazos del Padre.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, April 20, 2020

…and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

The cry for peace is as old as the dawn of history and as fresh as the morning newspaper. Several centuries before Christ, the prophet Isaiah said, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace….” (Isaiah 52:7)

When the Hebrew prophets foretold the coming of a divine deliverer, they said one of his names would be “Prince of Peace.” When the Savior was born, the note struck by the angelic chorus in the nativity story of the shepherds was “…and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)

Therefore, it is not surprising that when describing the armor of God, Paul included the element of peace. As God’s peacemakers, our sandals enable us to march into circumstances to bring peace, not destruction. Christ calls people who have made their peace with God to fight for fellowship, not against it (Hebrews 12:2-3). So we must be ready to go where God sends us with the message of peace, forgiveness and hope. We may be called to march right to the gates of hell—which He promised would not hold us back (Matthew 16:18). It is in this sense that we can be considered “waging” peace.

Your life thus centers on the good news of the kingdom. Everything else comes second. Know how to share the good news. Understand what it has done in your life. See how it can help others. Ask God to give you opportunities to share with others. Be alert for the opportunities. Be prepared to take advantage of them…standing strong in your sandals of peace.

Brother Alagaw in Ethiopia started an aggressive gospel ministry in his region. People accepted the Lord through his preaching. The people of the traditional church colluded with the Muslim fundamentalists to fight Alagaw and his followers. They said, “These people will destroy our country, nation and religions if we do not stop them immediately.”

Alagaw and his followers organized their first evangelistic meeting at the local stadium. They hired sound systems for this big occasion. Early in the morning, they started with their outreach. At about 10:00 a.m. a big crowd approached the stadium. Without saying a word, they destroyed the sound system and a lot of other property. Some believers went to the local police station, but the police refused to help. During the attack, a pregnant woman lost her baby.

After this incident other forms of harassment followed. During church services, stones were thrown on the roof of the church building. Faceless people burned down their church building. However, the Lord has blessed their ministry and their peaceful responses with one hundred and twenty new believers.

RESPONSE: Today I put on the sandals of peace and stand firm in the good news of the Gospel.

PRAYER: Lord, may Your peace shine through me today and be a light to all I encounter.

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, April 20, 2020


Her name means: "Friendship"

Her character: Generous, loyal, and loving, she is strong and serene, able to take unusual risks, dealing actively with life circumstances.
Her sorrow: To have lost her husband, homeland, and family.
Her joy: To discover firsthand the generous, loyal, and loving nature of God, as he provided her with a husband, a son, and a home to call her own.
Key Scriptures: Ruth 2-4; Matthew 1:5

Her Story

It was harvest time in Israel when Boaz first laid eyes on the young woman. The sun had painted the fields a tawny gold as workers swung their sickles in even rhythms through the standing grain. According to Israel's law and custom, the poor had the right to gather whatever the harvesters missed.

Ruth toiled quickly and efficiently, he noticed, stuffing grain into a coarse sack slung across her shoulder. Strands of black hair escaped her head covering, softly framing olive-colored skin, still smooth despite the sun. She rested, but only for a moment, her eyes wary for any sign of trouble from the men working the fields. Gleaning was rough work and dangerous, especially for an attractive young foreigner, alone and unprotected.

Everyone in Bethlehem had been talking about Boaz's relative, Naomi, and her unexpected return. Ruth, he knew, had come with her. He had heard of their shared tragedy and the extraordinary loyalty the young woman had displayed toward her mother-in-law, even promising to renounce Moab's idols for Israel's God. A man could wish for such a friend as Ruth had been to Naomi.

Determined to repay her kindness in some way, Boaz called to her, "My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you." The young woman smiled her agreement.

Later he spoke to Ruth again, this time offering bread and roasted grain for her dinner. When she finished eating, Boaz instructed his men to pull out some stalks of grain and strew them in her path. It was good to see her leaving that night with a bulging harvest sack.

Day after day, he watched her, aware that the wheat and barley harvest would soon be drawing to a close. One evening, Boaz and the other men were winnowing barley on the threshing floor. After he had finished eating and drinking, he lay down under the stars at the far end of the grain pile. With so many men to guard the harvest, robbers wouldn't dare approach. But in the middle of the night, he woke with a start, realizing that someone had dared. To his surprise, he discovered the intruder was neither a robber nor a man, but a woman who lay at his feet.

She, too, was awake. "I am your servant, Ruth," she whispered. "Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer."

He could hardly believe her words. The young woman had taken a remarkable risk, appearing at night and lying down so close to him. Quickly, he covered her, saying, "The Lord bless you. This kindness is greater than that which you showed Naomi: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask." So Ruth lay at his feet until morning, rising before the early light could reveal her presence to others.

But Boaz knew there was one obstacle that could yet spoil things. Naomi had a closer relative than Boaz, a man who could play the role of kinsman-redeemer, marrying Ruth and restoring her dead husband's name. This man was entitled to purchase a field belonging to Naomi. If he purchased the field, by law he had to marry Ruth as well. That would destroy Boaz's hope of making Ruth his wife.

Boaz wasted no time putting the case before the man, who seemed interested enough in the land. But as soon as the man discovered that marriage was part of the bargain, he relinquished his rights to the land to Boaz.

So the two were married and the older man welcomed the young woman into his home. And God blessed them with a son, whom they named Obed.

Pulling Ruth close to him, Boaz watched one day as Naomi held her grandson to her breast. Surrounded by the other women of Bethlehem, she looked young again, more like the woman he remembered when her husband, Elimelech, had been alive. He watched as the women talked with Naomi regarding the child: "Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth."

Yes, Boaz thought, his Ruth was better to Naomi than seven sons. And he was grateful for the friendship between the two women. Had Ruth and Naomi gone their separate ways, his life would have been so much the poorer.

The good-hearted Boaz felt strong and young again. But even he couldn't have realized how greatly God had blessed him in the person of Ruth. For their son, Obed, became the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David. In addition to being King David's great-grandparents, both Boaz and Ruth are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus of Nazareth, who is, after all, our own great Kinsman-Redeemer, uniting us to himself, healing our sorrows, and giving us, as well, a future full of hope.

Her Promise

All that Ruth did was done for the love of her mother-in-law, and for love of Naomi's God. She made a promise on the road to Bethlehem that she was determined to keep. Though it was a promise made by one woman to another, it is often quoted in wedding ceremonies as an eloquent expression of love and loyalty between spouses.

Ruth had no way of knowing that her way of blessing Naomi would eventually become a blessing in her own life. That's just the divine irony of our God, who delights so much in seeing us love and bless others that he turns that love and blessing back on us in double measure.

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.
Generous, loyal, and loving, she is strong and serene, able to take unusual risks, dealing actively with life circumstances.

LHM Daily Devotions - April 20, 2020 - "Delivered from Death"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Delivered from Death"

April 20, 2020

The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the Name of the LORD: "O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!"

"And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives" (Matthew 26:30). On the night He was betrayed, Jesus and His disciples finished their Passover meal and sang a hymn before they continued on to Gethsemane. The hymn may have been part of the Hallel, Psalms 113 to 118, sung during the Passover celebration. So perhaps, on the night before He was crucified, Jesus sang these prophetic words, "The snares of death encompassed Me, the pangs of Sheol laid hold on Me; I suffered distress and anguish."

Tangled in the snares of approaching death, with Sheol, the place of the dead, awaiting Him, Jesus suffered distress and anguish. He said to His disciples, "My soul is very sorrowful even to death" (Matthew 26:38b). With His sweat falling to the ground like great drops of blood, Jesus cried out in prayer to His Father. He called on God to deliver Him, asking that the cup of suffering might pass from Him, the terrible cup of God's wrath against human sin. Yet, obedient to His Father, Jesus also prayed, "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39b).

Jesus' prayer was answered according to the Father's will. The hour had come. Jesus' betrayer arrived, and the Savior was handed over into the hands of His enemies. The next morning, on the day we call Good Friday, Jesus was nailed to the cross. Bearing our sins in His own body, He drained to the end the cup of suffering, the cup of God's anger and judgment. The Son of God suffered the penalty of death to save us.

The psalm Jesus had sung just a few hours earlier held words of anguish; it also foretold what would follow the terrible suffering of the cross. Before His crucifixion, Jesus sang out these words of trust and hope: "You have delivered My soul from death, My eyes from tears, My feet from stumbling; I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living" (Psalm 116:8-9). On the first Easter morning, the Son of God was delivered from death and the grave—and through faith in His Name, we are delivered from the snares of sin and death, too.

When we suffer distress and anguish, struggling against fear, pandemic, death, and loss, the prayer of the psalm is our prayer and its words of hope are ours: "O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!" God hears our prayers and, according to His will and perfect timing, He will deliver us. When our crucified and risen Savior returns in glory, we will be raised from death and the grave, as He was raised. On that great day, we will walk forever in the land of the living and our living Lord will walk with us!

THE PRAYER: Mighty risen Lord, You suffered in distress and anguish to deliver us from sin and death. Walk with us now when we are in distress and deliver us according to Your gracious will. We look forward to the day when we will walk with You in glory. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Have you ever faced something truly distasteful (maybe even painful) with plenty of time to think about it before hand?

2. How do you find the strength to "get the job done" when necessary?

3. Does Jesus' victory over life's greatest woes give you hope and courage when you're down?
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).
Have you ever faced something truly distasteful (maybe even painful) with plenty of time to think about it before hand?

Devocional CPTLN del 20 de abril de 2020 - "Liberado de la muerte"


Liberado de la muerte

20 de Abril de 2020

Los lazos de la muerte me envolvieron, y me angustié al verme tan cerca del sepulcro; mi vida era de angustia y de aflicción constante. Pero en el nombre del Señor clamé: «Señor, ¡te ruego que me salves la vida!»

"Luego de cantar el himno, fueron al monte de los Olivos" (Mateo 26:30). En la noche en que fue traicionado, Jesús y sus discípulos terminaron su cena de Pascua y cantaron un himno antes de continuar hacia Getsemaní. El himno pudo haber sido parte del Hallel (Salmos 113 a 118), cantado durante la celebración de la Pascua. Entonces, tal vez, la noche antes de ser crucificado, Jesús cantó estas palabras proféticas: "Los lazos de la muerte me envolvieron, y me angustié al verme tan cerca del sepulcro; mi vida era de angustia y de aflicción constante" (Salmo 116:3).

Enredado en las trampas de la muerte inminente, la muerte esperándolo, Jesús sufrió angustia y aflicción. Le dijo a sus discípulos: "Siento en el alma una tristeza de muerte" (Mateo 26:38b). Con su sudor cayendo al suelo como grandes gotas de sangre, Jesús gritó en oración a su Padre pidiéndole que la copa del sufrimiento pasara de él, la terrible copa de la ira de Dios contra el pecado humano. Sin embargo, obediente a su Padre, Jesús también oró: "Pero que no sea como yo lo quiero, sino como lo quieres tú" (Mateo 26:39b).

La oración de Jesús fue respondida de acuerdo con la voluntad del Padre. Había llegado la hora. El traidor de Jesús llegó, y el Salvador fue entregado en manos de sus enemigos. A la mañana siguiente, el día que llamamos Viernes Santo, Jesús fue clavado a la cruz. Llevando nuestros pecados en su propio cuerpo, drenó hasta el final la copa del sufrimiento, la copa de la ira y el juicio de Dios. El Hijo de Dios sufrió la pena de muerte para salvarnos a nosotros.

El salmo que Jesús había cantado unas pocas horas antes contenía palabras de angustia; también predijo lo que seguiría al terrible sufrimiento de la cruz. Antes de su crucifixión, Jesús cantó estas palabras de confianza y esperanza: "Tú, Señor, me libraste de la muerte, enjugaste mis lágrimas y no me dejaste caer. Por eso, Señor, mientras tenga vida, viviré según tu voluntad" (Salmo 116:8-9). En la primera mañana de Pascua, el Hijo de Dios fue liberado de la muerte y la tumba, y por fe en su Nombre, también nosotros somos liberados de las trampas del pecado y la muerte.

Cuando sufrimos angustia y aflicción luchando contra el miedo, la enfermedad, la muerte y la pérdida, la oración del salmo es nuestra oración y sus palabras de esperanza son también nuestras palabras: "¡Oh Señor, libra mi alma!" Dios escucha nuestras oraciones y, según su voluntad y tiempo perfecto, nos librará. Cuando nuestro Salvador crucificado y resucitado regrese en gloria, seremos resucitados de la muerte y de la tumba, así como Él resucitó. ¡En ese gran día caminaremos para siempre en la tierra de los vivos y nuestro Señor viviente caminará con nosotros!

ORACIÓN: Poderoso Señor resucitado, que sufriste angustias y aflicciones para librarnos del pecado y la muerte, camina con nosotros ahora cuando estemos en apuros y libéranos de acuerdo a tu sabia voluntad, mientras esperamos el día en que caminaremos contigo en gloria. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Cómo/dónde encuentras la fuerza para hacer "lo que es necesario"?

* ¿De qué manera la victoria de Jesús sobre los más grandes problemas de la vida te da esperanza y valor cuando estás deprimido?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Cómo/dónde encuentras la fuerza para hacer "lo que es necesario"?

Notre Pain Quotidien - La révolution en chansons

La révolution en chansons

Lisez : Psaume 42.1-6
La Bible en un an : 2 Samuel 12 – 13 ; Luc 16

Pourquoi t’abats-tu, mon âme, et gémis-tu au-dedans de moi ? Espère en Dieu, car je le louerai encore ; il est mon salut et mon Dieu.

Que faut-il pour amorcer une révolution ? Des armes ? Des bombes ? Une guérilla ? En Estonie, vers la fin des années 1980, il a fallu des chansons. Après avoir vécu sous l’occupation écrasante des Soviétiques depuis des décennies, le peuple a lancé un mouvement par une série de chants patriotiques. Ceux-ci ont donné naissance à la « révolution chantante », qui a joué un rôle clé dans la restauration de l’indépendance de l’Estonie en 1991.

Sur un site Web décrivant ce mouvement, on dit : « C’était une révolution non violente qui a triomphé d’une occupation très violente. Il reste que les chants avaient toujours constitué une force d’unification majeure pour les Estoniens, tandis qu’ils avaient subi cinquante années de règne soviétique. »

La musique peut aussi beaucoup nous aider à traverser les périodes difficiles. Je me demande si c’est pour cela que nous nous identifions si vite aux Psaumes. C’est l’âme en peine que le psalmiste a chanté : « Pourquoi t’abats-tu, mon âme, et gémis-tu au-dedans de moi ? Espère en Dieu, car je le louerai encore ; il est mon salut et mon Dieu » (PS 42.6). C’est un Asaph, le chef de la louange, profondément désillusionné qui s’est rappelé : « Oui, Dieu est bon pour Israël, pour ceux qui ont le cœur pur » (PS 73.1).

Dans l’épreuve, joignons-nous aux psalmistes dans une révolution chantante de victoire pour notre cœur, surmontant par elle la tyrannie du désespoir et de la confusion avec une foi ferme dans l’amour et la fidélité immenses de Dieu.
Père, je te remercie de renouveler tes bontés chaque matin et de ce que ta fidélité est grande.
La musique contribue à nous inspirer des louanges.

© 2020 Ministères NPQ
Que faut-il pour amorcer une révolution ? Des armes ? Des bombes ? Une guérilla ?