Monday, May 25, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, May 25, 2020

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, May 25, 2020
Psalm 99; Leviticus 9:1-11, 22-24; 1 Peter 4:1-6
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Priests and people praise God
1  The Lord reigns,
     let the nations tremble;
   he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
     let the earth shake.
2  Great is the Lord in Zion;
     he is exalted over all the nations.
3  Let them praise your great and awesome name—
     he is holy.

4  The King is mighty, he loves justice—
     you have established equity;
   in Jacob you have done
     what is just and right.
5  Exalt the Lord our God
     and worship at his footstool;
     he is holy.

6  Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
     Samuel was among those who called on his name;
   they called on the Lord
     and he answered them.
7  He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
     they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.

8  Lord our God,
     you answered them;
   you were to Israel a forgiving God,
     though you punished their misdeeds.
9  Exalt the Lord our God
     and worship at his holy mountain,
     for the Lord our God is holy.

The high priest Aaron offers sacrifice
9:1 On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2 He said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf for your sin offering and a ram for your burnt offering, both without defect, and present them before the Lord. 3 Then say to the Israelites: ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb—both a year old and without defect—for a burnt offering, 4 and an ox and a ram for a fellowship offering to sacrifice before the Lord, together with a grain offering mixed with olive oil. For today the Lord will appear to you.’”

5 They took the things Moses commanded to the front of the tent of meeting, and the entire assembly came near and stood before the Lord. 6 Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.”

7 Moses said to Aaron, “Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and the people; sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded.”

8 So Aaron came to the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself. 9 His sons brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger into the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 10 On the altar he burned the fat, the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering, as the Lord commanded Moses; 11 the flesh and the hide he burned up outside the camp.

22 Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.

23 Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.

Live by the will of God
4:1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

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, May 25, 2020
Psalm 99; Leviticus 9:1-11, 22-24; 1 Peter 4:1-6

“Memorial Day”

Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 21st chapter of Luke, beginning with the 5th verse.

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

“But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life. (Luke 21:5-19)

“Memorial Day”

It’s 3 am on a cold winter day. Patchy snow covers the landscape as loudspeakers overhead blare telling everyone to get to their places. Surrounded by sandbags, concrete barriers, and roughly 10,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, Bagram Air Base has flipped a switch and turned from a deployed city in sleep, to a sea of green and tan military awaiting further direction. Some just woken from a few moments of rest, others leaving their duties to attend to more pressing concerns, all focused on the events that are about to unfold—down the 3-mile main road of this Afghanistan base, standing shoulder to shoulder men and women in arms, waiting to pay their respects to a fallen comrade. Soon, the lights of emergency vehicles can be seen slowly making their way up the boulevard. Escorts, leading a flatbed trailer to an awaiting C-17 cargo plane on it’s way back to the United States. On the trailer are three caskets draped in U.S. Flags, and as the convoy approaches the lines of service members lining the streets, each pays their respects by saluting sharply the men and women who have paid the ultimate price. Once the trailer reaches the plane, the formation is dismissed. Thousands of service members in the middle of a war zone, paying homage and respect the best way they know how. Similar ceremonies are played out in other parts of the world. All to show the love and respect for the sacrifices and dedicated duty our military servicemen and women show daily. Memorial Day is about remembering these fallen heroes and honoring their sacrifices on our behalf.

Every conflict we’ve ever been involved in has had its share of casualties of both sons and daughters lost, often due to the unusual bravery they displayed during combat. Every once in a while, during those conflicts, something happens, a soldier does something, which is so out-of-the-ordinary that Congress acknowledges that person’s efforts by awarding them the Medal of Honor. This award is presented to someone who distinguishes himself gallantry at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. The deed performed must have been one of self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. More often than not, this individual sacrifice themselves for the greater good of others.

One such individual was Douglas Albert Munro. The Medal of Honor was awarded to Petty Officer Munro as a result of his actions on September 27, 1942. Munro, in charge of a group of 24 Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a battalion of marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered marines, Munro, under constant strafing by enemy machine guns on the island, and at great risk of his life, daringly led 5 of his small craft toward the shore. As he closed the beach, he signaled the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy’s fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the dangerous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was instantly killed by enemy fire, but his crew, 2 of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Another such example is the sacrifice made by Pat Tillman. Pat Tillman was a professional football player with the Arizona Cardinals who chose to leave that life of luxury behind him and join the U.S. Army. Pat eventually joined the special forces and found his way into battle in the Afghanistan countryside. Pat also paid the ultimate price.

There are many, many more such stories, but the picture is clear. Many men and women have put their lives in extreme danger for their comrades in arms, and, in some cases, gave their lives, so that the others might live. It seems in every war, in every battle, almost without exception, such heroic actions occur, sometimes from individuals you would least expect. I do not doubt that each time, in the days and weeks that followed, the recipients of such unselfishness were inspired to fight for their wounded or fallen comrades, perhaps with greater zeal than ever before.

In a small, Middle Eastern country nearly 2,000 years ago, that’s precisely what happened. A closer look at this hero reveals some strong similarities to the heroes I just described, but also some significant differences.

His name was Jesus, son of Joseph, the carpenter. Raised in Nazareth, the scriptures give us little or nothing to go on about his early life, other than the familiar Christmas story, the visit of the magi, and the time when he stayed behind at the temple and his parents came to find him. After that, there is a significant jump ahead in time to his adult life and his ministry among both His people the Jews, and many Gentiles as well.

But really—who would have expected such heroic action from this man. The prophet Isaiah tells us there was nothing about him physically, which would have hinted at the possibility of any heroics, not like we would like to picture our heroes. Like so many heroes of our present day, he, too, gave of Himself.

To begin with, Jesus put himself in harm’s way, and he endured pain and suffering for the benefit of others. In Isaiah 53, this was foretold far in advance. We read: “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

And He did it willingly, as Isaiah continues: “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” Matthew records in his gospel, not once, but twice, Jesus responded to the pain and suffering He was about to endure with the words, “Not my will, Father, but Yours be done.”

Just as in the case of Petty Officer Munro, Jesus willingly endured this pain and suffering on behalf of His people to the point of death. Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians: “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” and in Romans chapter 5: “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

It’s at this point, however, where our comparison falls short. The men and women of the military put their lives in danger for the sake of their fellow soldiers against other human beings. The battle Christ waged was against something far more powerful and devastating. The ultimate victory was not merely the taking of some important hilltop or body of water or even one country over another, but one which secured our very souls—the victory over the power of the devil and of sin in our lives, and ultimately, the victory over death.

In that victory, the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, like Douglas Munro, inspired those who witnessed it or heard about it. In his first letter, Peter, one of Jesus’ “lieutenants,” if you will, encouraged his readers with the lessons he learned from his commanding officer. From 1st Peter, we read: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Later in the letter, Peter’s words of caution and encouragement speak to us all when he says: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Despite the wide assortment of issues that have created problems, the fact remains that America still has the best well-equipped and trained military in the history of the world. The weaponry we have, combined with the technology to use it, makes us seem quite invincible—or so we feel—until another attack comes to our homeland once again. We need to be honest with ourselves and admit that in a world of terrorist attacks, where individuals do not hesitate to give their lives for their particular cause or belief, we will never be totally protected and invulnerable.

In today’s reading, Jesus explains that “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” These events are happening today, and will more than likely continue to occur in the future. But the Psalmist seems to answer back to this gloom and doom with verse 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Paul also answers in 2nd Timothy, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.”

But, Christians fight a different type of war beyond the physical act of combat. Paul reminds us in 2nd Corinthians, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” And in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul paints an even more specific and graphic picture when he describes the armor of God:

The Belt of Truth,

the Breastplate of Righteousness;

our feet are fitted with the Gospel of peace;

we carry the shield of faith;

we have the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit.

That armor, combined with a life of steady and regular prayer, will indeed protect us from the temptations that come our way, and ultimately preserve us for a life of eternal joy in heaven one day.

The story is told of one soldier who lived with that confidence even as he found himself in the heat of battle. During the Korean War, one man was hurt badly on the battlefield of Heartbreak Ridge. His buddies were in a foxhole about 50 yards away when the man was hit by sniper fire in an ambush. As the fire continued, the other men discussed amongst themselves what to do. But since the sniper fire was too intense, to crawl out and bring back their wounded buddy would mean almost certain death.

For a while, no one would move. The men in the foxhole could hear their wounded friend yelling for help.

Then one of the men in the foxhole began to look intensely at his watch. He could not keep his eyes off it. All the others in the foxhole noticed this and started to ask questions. But the soldier with the watch remained silent.

All of a sudden, the man with the watch jumped out of the foxhole and crawled over to his wounded buddy. He then grabbed him by the nape of the collar, and very slowly made his way back to the foxhole, all the while sniper fire whizzing around. Both amazingly made it back to the foxhole without additional injury.

After the sniper fire had died down, the man who saved his buddy was asked why he waited so long to crawl after his wounded friend. To which he responded: “My mom said every day at the exact same time she would be praying for me. And according to my watch, I left the foxhole exactly when she started praying.”

We may not always receive answers to prayer in such dramatic fashion, and sometimes, even though our prayers may also involve physical protection or even the sparing of life, they may seem to go unanswered. But we have God’s promise that the ultimate victory in this world—the one which guarantees us eternity with Him—is ours, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we go forth, let me encourage you to remember those who have served and made the sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today. At the same time, give thanks to God, also, for Jesus Christ and HIS willingness to serve, His commitment to our spiritual freedom, and our eternal salvation. And then, be confident in your daily “faith battles,” knowing that you are equipped by God to be that faithful warrior that makes a difference in the world around you.

The need for a military force will more than likely never disappear. We will need a protectorate from the forces around the globe to guarantee the rights and privileges we can express today. It is through our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that we have the luxury of unprecedented freedoms on Earth. But, only Christ can grant the freedom from sin that His sacrifice has granted us.

Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, On this day of remembrance for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we consider how they have followed in the footsteps of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Please hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.

We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray for your peace, provision, hope, and strength to fill their lives.

May the members of our armed forces be supplied with the courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord's mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.

Sovereign God and Lord of all nations, may we take time to reflect on the great blessings we share as a nation and as a people. Our blessings have come at a high cost to others. May we remember these sacrifices always with deep gratitude.

We ask that you would grant wisdom to the leaders of our armed forces. Guide and direct them in their decisions. May they be led by your will and your heart as they pursue our nation's freedom. We continue to pray for peace in our world. Lord, let your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Sermon contributed by Scott Jensen.
Memorial Day is celebrated to recognize the sacrifices made by our military servicemen. Jesus made a similar sacrifice.

The Daily Prayer for MONDAY, May 25, 2020
The Daily Prayer
MONDAY, May 25, 2020

Ammon Hennacy, a Catholic Worker, said, “Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual.”

Lord, you give life to our understanding of love, courage, and wisdom. Today there are so many paths we might follow. Help us discern the direction to set our own faces so that we might meet you at the cross in our willingness to deny ourselves for your kingdom, and at the empty tomb in our living the resurrection life. Amen

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, May 25, 2020

James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Read all of James 1

Listen to James 1

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 25 de mayo de 2020

Semana de celebración: La bendición

Alabado sea Dios, Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, que nos ha bendecido en las regiones celestiales con toda bendición espiritual en Cristo.
Esta semana quiero que sea de mucha bendición para cada uno de nosotros.

Siempre he sido consciente de que a Dios no solo le agrada que tú y yo le pidamos cosas, sino que también le agrada mucho que seamos agradecidos. Por alguna razón, cada vez que hablamos con Dios, lo primero que tiende a salir de nuestra boca es: «Señor, dame. Señor, has esto. Señor, quita», y así sucesivamente. Sin embargo, esta semana quiero que celebremos.

La celebración es testificar y reconocer el poder de Dios en nuestras vidas. La celebración es sinónima de alegría y de que tenemos alguien en el cual confiar y al cual creer.

Piensa por un momento en lo mayor que Dios ha hecho por ti en tu vida y dale gracias ahora mismo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Esta semana quiero que sea de mucha bendición para cada uno de nosotros.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, May 25, 2020

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Kefa Sempangi was pastor of the large Redeemed Church of Uganda. Easter Sunday 1973 was his first serious brush with death at the hands of Idi Amin's goons. After an all-day worship service he went exhausted to the vestry to change clothes—too exhausted to notice the five strangers (government secret police goons) following him into the room:

They stood between me and the door, pointing their rifles at my face. For a long moment, no one said anything. Then the tallest man, obviously the leader, spoke. “We are going to kill you,” he said. “If you have something to say, say it before you die.” He spoke quietly but his face was twisted with hatred.

I could only stare at him. For a sickening moment, I felt the full weight of his rage. We had never met before but his deepest desire was to tear me to pieces. My mouth felt heavy and my limbs began to shake. Everything left my control. They will not need to kill me, I thought to myself. I am just going to fall over dead and I will never see my family again.

From far away I heard a voice, and I was astonished to realize that it was my own. “I do not need to plead my own cause,” I heard myself saying. “I am a dead man already. My life is dead and hidden in Christ. It is your lives that are in danger; you are dead in your sins. I will pray to God that after you have killed me, He will spare you from eternal destruction.”

The tall one took a step towards me and then stopped. In an instant, his face was changed. His hatred had turned to curiosity. He lowered his gun and motioned to the others to do the same. They stared at him in amazement but they took their guns from my face.

Then the tall one spoke again. "Will you pray for us now?" he asked. I thought my ears were playing a trick. I looked at him and then at the others. My mind was completely paralyzed. “Father in heaven,” I prayed, “You who have forgiven men in the past, forgive these men also. Do not let them perish in their sins but bring them into yourself.”[1]

RESPONSE: Realizing I am dead in Christ brings boldness to proclaim the truth even in fearful situations.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to trust You in times of fear and challenge and allow Your Spirit to take control of every situation.

1. F. Kefa Sempangi, A Distant Grief, Glendale, CA: G/L Publications, 1979, pp.119-120.

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, May 25, 2020


Her name means: "The Seventh Daughter" or "The Daughter of an Oath"

Her character: Her beauty made her victim to a king's desire. Though it is difficult to discern her true character, she seems to have found the courage to endure tragedy, winning the king's confidence and eventually securing the kingdom for her son Solomon.
Her sorrow: To have been molested by a supposedly godly man, who then murdered her husband. To have suffered the loss of one of her sons.
Her joy: To have given birth to five sons, one of whom became king of Israel after David's death.
Key Scriptures: 2 Samuel 11:1-12:25

Her Story

Bathsheba squeezed the sponge, moving it rhythmically across her body as though to calm the restless cadence of her thoughts. Normally, she looked forward to the ritual bath marking the end of her monthly period, but tonight the water soothed her skin without refreshing her spirit.

She should be glad for the cool breeze. For flowers. For a lush harvest. But spring could also yield its crop of sorrows, as she well knew. Spring was the season for armies and battles. Once the rains had ceased and the harvest had been gathered, men marched off to war, leaving their women behind.

Bathsheba shivered as she stood up. Though her husband, Uriah, was a seasoned soldier, she still worried about him, wishing she could fall asleep in his arms. But he was camped with the rest of the king's army beneath the open skies of Rabbah, an Ammonite fortress some forty miles northeast of Jerusalem.

The king rose from his bed, unable to sleep. Pacing across the palace roof, he gazed at the city below. Jerusalem seemed calm, a city at peace with itself though at war with its neighbors. Soon his soldiers would gather a great harvest of Ammonite captives, laborers for his expanding kingdom. The casual observer might have thought David a man at peace with his growing power. Instead, the king could not quiet an increasing sense of discontent.

Then, in the half-light, David noticed the figure of a young woman bathing in the walled garden of a house below him. He leaned against the outer edge of the roof for a closer view. Wet hair curling languidly against skin soft as lamb's wool. Breasts like rounded apples. He reached as though to steal a touch. Unaware of watching eyes, the woman toweled herself dry and stepped into the house. He waited and watched, but even the king could not see through walls.

Over the next few days, David made inquiries and discovered that the vision had a name: She was Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, Uriah the Hittite. He sent for her. She came to him and became pregnant with his child.

Fearing discovery, the king ordered Uriah home from battle. But the soldier surprised him by refusing to spend the night with his wife: "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my lord's men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"

So David convinced Uriah to spend another day in Jerusalem, managing to get him drunk. Surely the wine would overcome his scruples. But it didn't. So David played his last card, entrusting Bathsheba's husband with a letter to Joab, commander of the army. It read: "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."

So Uriah died by treachery, and David claimed Bathsheba as his wife, her child as his own.

One day, the prophet Nathan approached David, saying: "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup, and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

"Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."

David was incensed: "As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."

Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house.' "

David's lust for Bathsheba marked the beginning of his long decline. Though God forgave him, he still suffered the consequences of his wrongdoing. His sin was a whirlpool that dragged others into its swirling path. And despite David's prayer and pleading, God allowed the son David had conceived with Bathsheba to die from an illness.

But why did Bathsheba have to suffer along with the man who molested her and murdered her husband? Though the story gives us little insight into her true character, it is hardly likely that Bathsheba was in a position to refuse the king. In Nathan's parable, in fact, she is depicted as an innocent lamb. Why, then, have so many people painted her as a seductress? Perhaps Bathsheba's innocence is too painful to face. That a good person can suffer such tragedies, especially at the hands of a godly person, appalls us. Worse yet, God punishes both David and Bathsheba by taking their son. If we can believe that Bathsheba had an affair with David, we could accept her suffering more easily; her guilt would make David's sin seem less grave, and God's punishment less cruel.

Though Bathsheba may not have understood the reasons for her suffering, God gave her favor with King David, making her both a powerful queen and the mother of David's successor, Solomon, who became famous for his great wisdom.

Her Promise

The story of David and Bathsheba outlines in graphic detail the horror of sin and where it leads. David's first step toward sin leads to adultery, lying, deceit, murder, and, finally, the death of a son. The link between sin and restoration comes when David admits his sin and Nathan says the Lord has taken it away (2 Samuel 12:13). How much guilt is Bathsheba's isn't clear; however when God tells them through the prophet Nathan that he loves their son Solomon and wants him to be called Jedidiah, the restoration is Bathsheba's as well as David's. If God could forgive this terrible sin of David, don't you think he could forgive your sin, whatever it may be?

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.
Bathsheba squeezed the sponge, moving it rhythmically across her body as though to calm the restless cadence of her thoughts.

LHM Daily Devotions - May 25, 2020 - "No Waiting"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"No Waiting"

May 25, 2020

Make me to know Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long. Remember Your mercy, O LORD, and Your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.

Would you agree with the psalmist? Would you want to know the ways of the Lord and walk in His paths? Would you pray that He would teach us and lead us in His truth? Jesus' first disciples wanted all of these things, but like the psalmist they had to say, "For You I wait all the day long." They waited because, at His ascension, Jesus "ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father" (Acts 1:4b). The promise of the Father would be the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father would send in Jesus' Name.

When Jesus lived among them in the flesh, the disciples listened to Him and learned from His teachings, literally following in the path of their Lord. But their Lord would not always live in the flesh among them. When His earthly ministry was complete, Jesus would leave them to return to the Father, yet they would not be alone. Jesus said, "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you" (John 14:26). The Spirit, Jesus promised, would guide His disciples "into all the truth" (John 16:13b). Although Jesus would not be there in the flesh, the Spirit would lead them in the ways of the Lord. The Spirit would bring to mind all that Jesus had taught them so that they, in turn, could teach others.

Everything came about as Jesus promised. His path led to the cross, where He offered up His life as the perfect sacrifice to atone for the sins of the world. Raised to life again, He appeared for forty days to His followers, proving to them that He was alive and teaching them about the kingdom of God. He ascended to rule at the right hand of the Father and—as instructed—the disciples waited. Ten days after Jesus' ascension, on the festival of Pentecost, the promised Spirit was poured out on the little band of disciples. The Spirit taught them, led them into the truth, and enlightened them to see God's love and mercy "that have been from of old," to see all the promises of God fulfilled in Jesus. The Spirit worked through the disciples' proclamation of the Gospel, drawing people to faith in Jesus and teaching them to walk in the way of the Lord.

"I wait all day long," the psalmist prayed, but we need not wait. In the water and Word of Holy Baptism, the Spirit comes to dwell within us, creating faith in our hearts and bringing to us the life and forgiveness won by our crucified and risen Savior. "Lead me ... teach me," we pray, and the Spirit answers, leading us in the truth and teaching us to follow the path of the Lord.

THE PRAYER: Lord, by the power of Your Spirit, help us to grow strong in faith through the study of Your Word. Lead us each day to walk in Your ways. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Are you generally a follower or a leader? Does your role change from time to time? Why?

2. How does God teach us His ways?

3. Have you ever been a part of another person coming to faith? How were you involved?
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).
Are you generally a follower or a leader? Does your role change from time to time? Why?

Devocional CPTLN del 25 de mayo de 2020 - Sin espera


Sin espera

25 de Mayo de 2020

Señor, dame a conocer tus caminos; ¡enséñame a seguir tus sendas! Todo el día espero en ti; ¡enséñame a caminar en tu verdad, pues tú eres mi Dios y salvador!

La mayoría de nosotros estaría de acuerdo con el salmista. Queremos conocer los caminos del Señor y andar por ellos y oramos para que nos enseñe y guíe en su verdad. Los primeros discípulos de Jesús también querían todas estas cosas y, al igual que el salmista, decían: "Todo el día espero en ti". Esperaron porque, en su ascensión, Jesús "les mandó que no se fueran de Jerusalén, sino que les dijo: 'Esperen la promesa del Padre'" (Hechos 1:4b). La promesa del Padre sería el Espíritu Santo, el 'ayudante' a quien el Padre enviaría en el Nombre de Jesús.

Cuando Jesús vivió entre ellos, los discípulos aprendieron de sus enseñanzas, literalmente siguiendo el camino de su Señor. Pero su Señor no siempre viviría entre ellos. Cuando su ministerio terrenal se completara, Jesús los dejaría para regresar al Padre; pero no los iba a dejar solos. Jesús dijo: "Pero el Espíritu Santo, a quien el Padre enviará en mi nombre, los consolará y les enseñará todas las cosas, y les recordará todo lo que yo les he dicho" (Juan 14:26). Jesús prometió que el Espíritu guiaría a sus discípulos "a toda la verdad" (Juan 16:13b). Aunque Jesús no estaría con ellos, el Espíritu los guiaría en los caminos del Señor. El Espíritu recordaría todo lo que Jesús les había enseñado para que ellos, a su vez, pudieran enseñar a otros.

Y todo ocurrió así como Jesús prometió. Su camino condujo a la cruz, donde ofreció su vida como el sacrificio perfecto para expiar los pecados del mundo. Resucitado a la vida se apareció durante cuarenta días a sus seguidores, probándoles que estaba vivo y enseñándoles sobre el reino de Dios. Luego ascendió para gobernar a la diestra del Padre y, según las instrucciones, los discípulos esperaron. Diez días después de la ascensión de Jesús, en el festival de Pentecostés, el Espíritu prometido se derramó sobre la pequeña banda de discípulos. El Espíritu les enseñó, los condujo a la verdad y los iluminó para ver el amor, la misericordia y todas las promesas de Dios cumplidas en Jesús. El Espíritu obró a través de la proclamación del Evangelio por los discípulos, atrayendo a las personas a la fe en Jesús y enseñándoles a andar en el camino del Señor.

"Espero todo el día", oró el salmista, pero no necesitamos esperar. A través del agua y la Palabra del Santo Bautismo el Espíritu viene a morar dentro de nosotros, creando fe en nuestros corazones y trayendo a nosotros la vida y el perdón ganados por nuestro Salvador crucificado y resucitado. "Guíame ... enséñame", rezamos, y el Espíritu responde guiándonos en la verdad y enseñándonos a seguir el camino del Señor.

ORACIÓN: Señor, por el poder de tu Espíritu fortalécenos en la fe a través del estudio de tu Palabra. Llévanos cada día a caminar en tus caminos. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
* ¿De qué manera te enseña Dios sus caminos?

* ¿Alguna vez has ayudado a alguien a llegar a la fe? ¿De qué manera?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿De qué manera te enseña Dios sus caminos?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Se souvenir

Se souvenir

Lisez : Jean 15.9-17
La Bible en un an : 1 Chroniques 28 – 29 ; Jean 9.24-41

Il n’y a pas de plus grand amour que de donner sa vie pour ses amis.
—  Jean 15.13

Le jour du Souvenir, je pense à beaucoup de militaires, mais surtout à mon père et à mes oncles, qui ont servi sous les drapeaux durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Ils sont revenus chez eux, mais des centaines de milliers de familles ont tragiquement perdu des êtres chers pour la patrie. Il reste que mon père et la plupart des soldats de cette époque se sont dit prêts à mourir pour protéger les leurs et défendre ce qu’ils croyaient être bien.

Lorsqu’une personne meurt pour la défense de son pays, on récite souvent Jean 15.13 – « Il n’y a pas de plus grand amour que de donner sa vie pour ses amis » – lors des funérailles en l’honneur de leur sacrifice. Par contre, à quel contexte appartient ce verset ?

Lorsque Jésus a prononcé ces paroles à ses disciples durant son dernier repas, il était sur le point de mourir. Et, en fait, l’un des disciples de son petit groupe, Judas, était déjà parti le trahir (13.18-30). Or, bien qu’il ait su tout cela, Christ a quand même choisi de sacrifier sa vie pour ses amis et pour ses ennemis.

Jésus était prêt à mourir pour ceux qui allaient un jour croire en lui, et même pour ceux qui étaient encore ses ennemis (RO 5.10). En retour, il demande ceci à ses disciples (d’alors et d’aujourd’hui) : « Aimez-vous les uns les autres » comme il vous a aimés » (JN 15.12). Son immense amour nous pousse à nous aimer les uns les autres – tant amis qu’ennemis – de manière sacrificielle.
Jésus, nous te sommes tellement reconnaissants de ce que tu as donné volontiers ta vie pour nous !
Jésus aime l’humanité d’un amour sacrificiel, qui l’a poussé à donner sa vie sur la croix.

© 2020 Ministères NPQ
Le jour du Souvenir, je pense à beaucoup de militaires, mais surtout à mon père et à mes oncles, qui ont servi sous les drapeaux durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.