Friday, May 22, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, May 22, 2020

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, May 22, 2020
Psalm 93; 2 Kings 2:1-12; Ephesians 2:1-7
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Psalm 93
Praise to God who reigns
1  The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
     the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
     indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
2  Your throne was established long ago;
     you are from all eternity.

3  The seas have lifted up, Lord,
     the seas have lifted up their voice;
     the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
4  Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
     mightier than the breakers of the sea—
     the Lord on high is mighty.

5  Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
     holiness adorns your house
     for endless days.

2 Kings 2:1-12
Elijah ascends in a chariot of fire
2:1 When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.”

But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”

4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.

5 The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”

6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.

7 Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”

“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

Ephesians 2:1-7
Seated in the heavenly places with Christ
2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

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, May 22, 2020
Psalm 93; 2 Kings 2:1-12; Ephesians 2:1-7

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, May 22, 2020
The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, May 22, 2020

In 1838, four thousand Cherokee died in the forced removal that the Cherokee called Nunna dual Isunyi—“the Trail Where They Cried.” The removal of the Cherokee people resulted from the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which was violently implemented by Andrew Jackson. In 1831 the Choctaw were the first to be uprooted, followed by the Seminole in 1832, the Creek in 1834, the Chickasaw in 1837, and finally the Cherokee in 1838. By 1837, forty-six thousand Native Americans had been removed from their homes.

Native theologian Randy Woodley has asked, “When will the American church awake from her slumber? If they want Native Americans to heal, if they want them to finally meet Jesus, then let them begin by speaking truth as Jesus did and say the only words Indians want to hear: ‘We stole your land.’ Our First Nations people have heard the Gospel over and over again, but rarely have they seen anyone truly live it.”

Teach us, Lord, to deny ourselves for the sake of your kingdom. Help us distinguish self-righteous suffering from the suffering that comes from bearing our crosses as we follow you. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, May 22, 2020

Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Read all of Galatians 5

Listen to Galatians 5

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

Un dia a la Vez - Viernes 22 de mayo de 2020

Oportunidad contra beneficios

Sean bondadosos y compasivos unos con otros, y perdónense mutuamente, así como Dios los perdonó a ustedes en Cristo.
Cuando perdonas de corazón, vives un principio muy grande para tu vida. Sin duda, leíste bien el versículo de ayer. Por eso te invito a que pasemos la hoja y lo leamos juntos con detenimiento. Ese pasaje nos dice que si tenemos algo contra alguien lo perdonemos, para que Dios nos perdone también. O sea, para ponerlo bien claro: Si no perdonamos a los que nos ofenden, Dios tampoco nos perdonará nuestras ofensas.

Es muy fácil de comprender cuando lo leemos, pero muy duro muchas veces llevarlo a la práctica. En realidad, eso es vivir la Palabra de Dios. No se trata solo de leerla y comentar: «Ah, está bien», sino de aceptarla y decir: «Lo entiendo y lo voy a hacer».

La oportunidad tiene muchos beneficios. Entre otros, nos hace humildes. Es posible que estés pensando: «¡Se ve bien que no sabes lo que me hizo! ¿Cómo le voy a dar otro chance?». Pues ahí es justamente donde está la diferencia. Debes ser humilde, dejar el rencor y olvidar, pero de corazón, no de dientes para fuera de modo que cada vez que tengas otra situación vuelvas a traer a colación lo que pasó. ¡Y ojo, eso es muy dado en nosotras las mujeres!

Por lo tanto, siempre que intentas perdonar recibes bendición, pues al ser humilde y perdonar como Dios te perdona, das frutos de madurez y siembras en tu vida para bien. Entonces, cuando el día de mañana falles, seguro que te gustaría que te dieran otra oportunidad.

Recuerda: Todos los días cometemos errores, pero no todos los errores significan que no tienen remedio. Además, ten presente todo el tiempo que Dios es un Dios de oportunidades.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Es muy fácil de comprender cuando lo leemos, pero muy duro muchas veces llevarlo a la práctica.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, May 22, 2020

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Colleague Ron Boyd-MacMillan shares part two of his experience in China:

The Chinese house church pastor put it this way, “Confront the defining evil in your area or your society–that will bring persecution. For us, the evil is obvious; for you, it may be more subtle.” You won’t necessarily be persecuted if you speak out against evil. You won’t necessarily be persecuted if you write an article about the evil. You won’t necessarily be persecuted if you organize a prayer meeting to pray against it. But you will be persecuted if you become a threat to the evil.

One pastor went back to his church in an inner city area of London. He asked the question, what’s the defining evil of this area? He became convicted that the youth gangs were the defining evil in the area, especially as they were going on killing sprees and starting to become drug pushers.

He began prayer meetings, and outreaches to the gangs. He even became a chaplain to a particularly violent gang. After a while, he saw fruit, but he also got a visit from a local gun runner,

“Leave the kids alone, or else” he said, “You’re bad for business.”

One night, six months later, a bullet came through the window as the church baptized five converted gang leaders. The reaction of the pastor could have come from the mouth of the Chinese house church leader. He said, “It was a beautiful bullet…because now we knew we were making a difference.”

That pastor had joined the persecuted church, and led his congregation into a greater awareness of the worldwide persecuted church. They wanted to know about their brothers and sisters in Eritrea, China, North Korea and Iran not just because the Christians there needed their prayers and their money, but because they were one in the same battle. Christians in the West need the insights and prayers of suffering Christians around the world to fight their own battles better.

The other pastor returned to his church in a very upscale, business district. After praying with his elders, they came up with the defining evil or idol of the area, which they called “The Lie—get rich; be free.” This was the besetting idol, they felt, and began to model a downsizing lifestyle in the community that reversed consumerist expectations.

The pastor confesses, “I’m facing almost weekly votes of confidence from my elders because they don’t think I am teaching people enough about how to be successful.” But he also says, “I feel so much better, because I’m not such a hypocrite in the pulpit anymore.”

RESPONSE: Today I will respond to the defining evil around me and overcome it with good.

PRAYER: Lord, I need Your power and strength to effectively overcome the evil I experience. Help me stand strong in my opposition to the evil one.

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, May 22, 2020


His name means: "From the Mouth of the Shameful Thing"

His work: Nothing is said about his occupation; because he lived his life without the use of his legs, Mephibosheth must have lived on the charity of others.
His character: Although he had good reason for self-pity, he was deeply grateful for David's kindness and was very loyal to him.
His sorrow: He was disabled, unable to walk.
His triumph: Because of David's generosity, Mephibosheth received land and servants and was welcomed at the king's table.
Key Scriptures: 2 Samuel 4:4; 9:6-13; 16:1-4; 19:24-30

A Look at the Man

Mephibosheth was a broken man. When he was only five years old, his father and grandfather were killed in battle. That day the heir-apparent prince was stripped of his royalty. And, if that were not tragic enough, a fall from his nurse's arms permanently disabled him.

Some men are victims of their own poor judgment. But others suffer at the hands of others. This was the lot of Mephibosheth.

We can only imagine what life was like for him. Growing up, he must have heard stories of his grandfather Saul, Israel's first king and mighty warrior. His family would have told him that his father, Jonathan, should have been the rightful heir to the throne. And he certainly heard stories of David, the man who now reigned as the king of Israel.

But instead of growing up in luxury, prestige, health, and favor, Mephibosheth was forced to deal with life's "if onlys."

If only my grandfather had been faithful. If only my father had lived. If only I could walk. If only someone would remember me.

So Mephibosheth lived in obscurity in the home of a man named Makir on the opposite side of the Jordan River from Jerusalem. And then one day a message was delivered to Mephibosheth: "King David has called for you. You are hereby summoned to the palace."

We can only imagine how fearful Mephibosheth must have been to have an audience with the king. Sitting on the ground was a familiar posture for Mephibosheth, but even from that position, he bowed down when he was brought into the presence of the king.

David could have thanked this humble man for his respectful gesture. He could have reminded him that he was simply carrying out an old commitment made to his father. Or David could have told him of his plan to grant him his grandfather's land and give him servants and a home in the palace. Actually, he eventually did all these things, but his first words to this man were the most exquisite and comforting he could have spoken.

"Mephibosheth," David said, "do not be afraid."

And then David lavished Mephibosheth with more than he ever could have dreamed: land, servants, and access to the king's table. Mephibosheth had not deserved the misfortune that had marked his life. But neither did he earn the good fortune that suddenly befell him. Mephibosheth must have been overwhelmed by it all.

In the years that followed, it would have been understandable if Mephibosheth would have gotten accustomed to the lavish treatment—his initial humility eventually turning to pride. But this did not happen.

When his caretaker committed treachery and set David against him, Mephibosheth did not retaliate. Instead, he mourned the loss of the king's trust. And when David came to his senses and restored Mephibosheth's estate, Mephibosheth humbly refused the king's generosity.

Mephibosheth's gratitude for what the king had done for him was unshakable. His loyalty to David stood firm.

Reflect On: 2 Samuel 9
Praise God: Because he is still looking for people to show kindness to.
Offer Thanks: For the way God has expressed his mercy to you.
Confess: Any tendency to take God’s mercy for granted, as though it is something you deserve.
Ask God: To help you reveal his kindness to others.

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.
He lived his life without the use of his legs.

LHM Daily Devotions - May 22, 2020 - "The Present Interim"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Present Interim"

May 22, 2020

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. He presented Himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, "You heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Some of the toughest times in life are the "interim" times. People in business who have been appointed to temporary management positions have discovered it is very difficult to function in that capacity. Most of us find that these kinds of times in our lives—times when we're waiting for things to transition back to "normal"—can be difficult to get through.

Jesus' disciples were faced with one of these periods between the time when Jesus rose from the dead and when the Holy Spirit came to them 50 days later on Pentecost. This was probably a trying and puzzling time for Jesus' followers. They experienced Jesus' ascension into heaven which certainly would have been a faith-strengthening event, but still they had to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit's arrival.

Waiting in Jerusalem may have been something they wanted to avoid altogether. After all, the intense spectacle of the crucifixion was still fresh on everyone's mind, and—not wanting to suffer a similar fate—blending into the countryside would have been nice.

Like the first disciples, we live in an in-between period, too—the time between our Lord's initial coming to earth and the time when He will come again. In a sense, this is a difficult period for us well. But just as our Lord told His disciples what they were to do in the meantime, so He has instructed us on how we are to live in our interim existence.

We are to devote ourselves to prayer and the study of His Word (see Acts 6:4), and we are to be His witnesses in the world (see Acts 1:8). If we live now according to His will, then our lives will be meaningful to us and will be lived to His glory.

For us in the present age who live between our Lord's first arrival and His future return, waiting for His second coming is not to be a time of passive inactivity. Rather, it is to be a time of doing His will and spreading the Good News of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, as we wait for the coming of Your kingdom, make us good stewards of time and the message of life You have entrusted to us. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Have you gone through significant periods of waiting in your life? What were you waiting for? How did that turn out?

2. What kind of thoughts do you think would be running through your mind to see Jesus alive after the horrible way He died? Relief? Skepticism? Thankfulness? Anything else?

3. As believers, how can we weather the demanding interim periods we face in life?
From The Lutheran Layman, May 1980 issue, "Life in the 'Interim' Times" by Ron Schlegel. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Have you gone through significant periods of waiting in your life? What were you waiting for? How did that turn out?

Devocional CPTLN del 22 de mayo de 2020 - Un presente interino


Un presente interino

22 de Mayo de 2020

Estimado Teófilo, en mi primer tratado hablé acerca de todo lo que Jesús comenzó a hacer y a enseñar, hasta el día en que fue recibido en el cielo, después de que por medio del Espíritu Santo, les dio mandamientos a los apóstoles que había escogido. Después de su muerte se les presentó vivo y, con muchas pruebas que no admiten duda, se les apareció durante cuarenta días y les habló acerca del reino de Dios. Mientras estaban juntos, les mandó que no se fueran de Jerusalén, sino que les dijo: 'Esperen la promesa del Padre, la cual ustedes oyeron de mí.'

Algunos de los momentos más difíciles de la vida son los momentos "interinos". Las personas que son nombradas para puestos de gestión temporal descubren que es muy difícil funcionar en esa capacidad. Para la mayoría de nosotros, los tiempos interinos o provisorios que vivimos mientras esperamos que las cosas vuelvan a la normalidad, pueden ser difíciles de superar.

Los discípulos de Jesús se enfrentaron a uno de estos períodos entre el momento en que Jesús resucitó de los muertos y cuando el Espíritu Santo vino a ellos 50 días después, en Pentecostés. Este fue probablemente un momento difícil y desconcertante para ellos. Habían experimentado la ascensión de Jesús al cielo, lo que ciertamente habría sido un evento para fortalecer la fe, pero aun así tuvieron que esperar en Jerusalén la llegada del Espíritu Santo.

Y esperar en Jerusalén debe haber sido algo que hubieran querido evitar por completo. Después de todo, el intenso espectáculo de la crucifixión todavía estaba fresco en la mente de todos y, para evitar sufrir un destino similar, hubieran preferido alejarse de allí.

Al igual que los discípulos, nosotros también vivimos en un período interino o provisorio: el tiempo entre la venida de nuestro Señor a la tierra y el tiempo en que vendrá nuevamente. En cierto sentido, este es un período difícil para nosotros también. Pero así como nuestro Señor les dijo a sus discípulos lo que debían hacer mientras tanto, también nos ha enseñado cómo debemos vivir en nuestra existencia interina: debemos dedicarnos a la oración y al estudio de su Palabra (ver Hechos 6:4), y ser sus testigos en el mundo (ver Hechos 1:8). Si vivimos según su voluntad, nuestras vidas serán significativas para nosotros y para su gloria.

El esperar su segunda venida no es un tiempo de inactividad pasiva. Más bien, es un tiempo de hacer su voluntad y difundir las Buenas Nuevas de Jesús como Señor y Salvador.

ORACIÓN: Padre Celestial, mientras esperamos la venida de tu reino, haznos buenos administradores del tiempo y del mensaje de vida que nos has confiado. En el nombre de Jesús oramos. Amén.

The Lutheran Hour, Ron Schlegel

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Qué tipo de pensamientos crees que pasarían por tu mente al ver a Jesús vivo después de la horrible forma en que murió? ¿Alivio? ¿Escepticismo? ¿Gratitud? ¿Algo más?

* ¿Cómo te ayuda tu fe a resistir los períodos interinos que enfrentas en la vida?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Qué tipo de pensamientos crees que pasarían por tu mente al ver a Jesús vivo después de la horrible forma en que murió? ¿Alivio? ¿Escepticismo? ¿Gratitud? ¿Algo más?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Trao Nước Mắt Cho Chúa

Trao Nước Mắt Cho Chúa

Đọc: Ca Thương 3:49–66 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: I Sử Ký 16–18; Giăng 7:28–53

Nước mắt tôi tuôn chảy triền miên không ngưng nghỉ. Cho đến khi Đức Giê-hô-va từ trời cao đoái xem và nhìn thấy.
—Ca Thương 3:49–50

Mùa hè năm ngoái, một con cá voi sát thủ tên Talequah đã sinh con. Đàn cá voi sát thủ của Talequah đang bị đe dọa, và cá voi con mới sinh là hy vọng cho tương lai của chúng. Nhưng cá voi con ấy chỉ sống chưa đầy một giờ. Trong biểu hiện đau buồn được mọi người trên khắp thế giới theo dõi, Talequah đã đẩy xác của con mình trong dòng nước lạnh của Thái Bình Dương suốt mười bảy ngày mới chịu để con ra đi.

Đôi khi những người tin Chúa không biết phải làm gì trong lúc đau buồn. Có lẽ chúng ta sợ rằng buồn rầu có thể là biểu hiện của thiếu hy vọng. Nhưng Kinh Thánh cho chúng ta nhiều ví dụ về những người khóc than với Chúa trong đau buồn. Cả than khóc và hy vọng đều có thể là cách đáp ứng xuất phát từ đức tin.

Ca Thương là sách gồm năm bài thơ nói lên nỗi buồn của những người mất quê hương. Họ bị kẻ thù săn đuổi suýt chết (3:52-54), và họ khóc lóc, kêu cầu Chúa thực thi công lý (c.64). Họ kêu khóc với Chúa không phải vì họ mất hy vọng, mà vì họ tin rằng Chúa đang lắng nghe. Và khi họ kêu cầu thì Chúa đến bên họ (c.57).

Không có gì sai khi bạn than khóc về những điều tan vỡ trong thế giới hoặc trong cuộc sống mình. Chúa luôn lắng nghe, và bạn có thể tin chắc rằng Chúa từ trời nhìn xuống và thấy bạn.

Bạn sẽ tập trình dâng mọi cảm xúc lên cho Chúa thế nào? Bạn từng kinh nghiệm Chúa đến bên bạn trong lúc đau buồn ra sao?

Lạy Chúa kính yêu, xin giúp chúng con nhớ rằng chúng con có thể than khóc về sự sai trái trước khi chúng con bắt đầu thay đổi nó.

Chú Giải

Sách Ca Thương cho chúng ta thấy bức tranh của một nhà thơ về hậu quả của chiến tranh. Giê-ru-sa-lem bị các tướng lĩnh người Ba-by-lôn xâm lược năm 586 TCN (Giê-rê-mi 52). Chúa của các chúa đã phó tuyển dân của Ngài vào tay quân thù, vì Ngài đã cảnh báo họ ngay từ đầu rằng nếu họ tiếp tục quay lưng lại với Ngài và quên đi sứ mạng làm ánh sáng cho các dân tộc khác (Phục Truyền 28).

Những cảm xúc không ổn định của bài thơ phản ánh một dân tộc giờ đây không còn nơi nào để quay về ngoại trừ những ký ức về quá khứ và niềm hy vọng vào Đức Chúa Trời đời đời, là Đấng mà trong khoảnh khắc dường như bất tận này, có vẻ như rất xa xôi (Ca. 5:19-22).

© 2020 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Đôi khi những người tin Chúa không biết phải làm gì trong lúc đau buồn.