Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020

The Daily Lectionary
WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020
Psalm 6; Jeremiah 38:1-13; Matthew 10:5-23
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Prayer for deliverance
1  Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
     or discipline me in your wrath.
2  Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
     heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3  My soul is in deep anguish.
     How long, Lord, how long?

4  Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
     save me because of your unfailing love.
5  Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
     Who praises you from the grave?

6  I am worn out from my groaning.

   All night long I flood my bed with weeping
     and drench my couch with tears.
7  My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
     they fail because of all my foes.

8  Away from me, all you who do evil,
     for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9  The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
     the Lord accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
     they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

Jeremiah imprisoned and released
38:1 Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehukal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said, 2 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians will live. They will escape with their lives; they will live.’ 3 And this is what the Lord says: ‘This city will certainly be given into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.’”

4 Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”

5 “He is in your hands,” King Zedekiah answered. “The king can do nothing to oppose you.”

6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.

7 But Ebed-Melek, a Cushite, an official in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate, 8 Ebed-Melek went out of the palace and said to him, 9 “My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city.”

10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, “Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies.”

11 So Ebed-Melek took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 12 Ebed-Melek the Cushite said to Jeremiah, “Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes.” Jeremiah did so, 13 and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.

Jesus speaks about persecution
10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

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 WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020
Psalm 6; Jeremiah 38:1-13; Matthew 10:5-23

The Daily Prayer for WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020
The Daily Prayer
WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020

Mary Oliver’s poem “Praying” reads:

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Lord, you have appointed some to be prophets; give us ears to hear and mouths to speak. You have appointed some to sing of your goodness in the streets; make us bold to celebrate you. You have called some to be still, listen, and act; give us steadiness of mind and singularity of purpose. Amen.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2020

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
Read all of 2 Thessalonians 3

Listen to 2 Thessalonians 3

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

Weekly Reflections From the Chaplain — In God We Trust

In God We Trust

In God We Trust is printed on our money and found in many places in public life. But do we practice this? This week’s Reflection is from an old friend, Raymond Key, of Houston, Texas.

COVID-19 has taken over the attention of the world. Fear, chaos, and frustration are everywhere. Quarantine was something that happened to other people until we learned a new term called social distancing.

There are times in life when it can feel like we've reached a dead end. People who are sick and doctors say that they can't be healed. We live from one danger to the next with no end in sight. These are times when people are facing the harsh reality of this deadly virus, with its devastation, isolation, and loneliness.

The virus has its dangers, but so does being quarantined. Isolation feeds loneliness and depression. What can we do? We can, in faith, turn our focus away from the coronavirus and gain hope from our Lord's assurances as recorded in the Bible. This assurance will steady our hearts and give; us strength.

As people of faith, we are to offer prayers to God at all times, both good and bad. But it is at times of trial and challenge like this when we remember the power of prayer and instinctively turn to God. We're able to get through all kinds of challenges because of prayer— and by the knowledge that God hears our prayers. That same power that broke prison chains, raised Lazarus from the dead, and parted the Red Sea, the same power that healed the blind man, and delivered the delirious from demons, that same power is at work even today.

He is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever. May we stand together in unity as believers in Christ, and pray for God to heal our families and our nation. May He strengthen us all and give us fresh glimpses of His intervening, see our people drawn to Him, and experiencing the goodness of our Lord as never before.

If you've found yourself despondent, especially amid this global Coronavirus pandemic and recent racial unrest, here's hope from God's word. The Psalms offer countless verses of real-life prayers for God's peace and leading. No matter what we may be facing today, we can choose to set our hearts and minds on His truth, believing that He's with us and giving us strength every step of the way. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding. will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:6-7)

The apostle, John, was in isolation on the island of Patmos, but his faith did not suffer. His trust was in His Lord, and he was blessed beyond measure. Pray with me, "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God, my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Blessings and peace,
Chaplain Kenny

Un dia a la Vez - Miércoles 24 de junio de 2020

Mis amigos

Yo soy el que por amor a mí mismo borra tus transgresiones y no se acuerda más de tus pecados.

Dios me ha inquietado de una manera muy especial a tener un acercamiento con nuestros amigos que se encuentran en diferentes centros de corrección.

Con sus cartas, me dicen que se sienten muy agradecidos cuando nos acordamos de ellos, elevamos una oración a su favor o cuando dejamos cualquier cosa que sea importante y vamos a conocerles.

Quiero hacer un reconocimiento a mis nuevos amigos y sé que Dios nos hablará cuando les exprese las cosas que me han conmovido y me han enseñado a sentir misericordia, ternura y cariño por cada uno de ellos.

Víctor ha sido un regalo conocerlo después que me escribiera para informarme que fue cabecilla de las Maras Salvatruchas. En su carta de corazón abierto, me cuenta de todos los pactos que hizo con el enemigo y de qué manera engañan a los jóvenes para que caigan en el mundo cruel de las pandillas. También me explica lo que le llevó a estar en peligro de muerte hasta que cayó preso. Hoy en día, con solo veintiún años de edad y en prisión, se ha reconciliado con Dios y ha comenzado el cambio en su vida.

He tenido el privilegio de conocer a Víctor, de conversar con él, de orar juntos y poder escuchar cómo a gritos quisiera que todos los jóvenes que andan en malos pasos se alejen y no terminen en la cárcel como él.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Dios me ha inquietado de una manera muy especial a tener un acercamiento con nuestros amigos que se encuentran en diferentes centros de corrección.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Wednesday, June 24, 2020

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Johnny Li of Nexus ministry shares today the story of his “calling” by God’s Holy Spirit:

“Your son asked me to come and visit you!” As I spoke these words to the elderly man in front of me, I could see the utter surprise and even confusion in his eyes. Suddenly the man grabbed me and quickly jerked me inside the small room.

My mind began to retrace my steps and all the events that had led to this: first meeting young Brother Wang in Hong Kong after his daring escape from China; then the challenging request from my pastor to take Bibles to the family of Brother Wang in China; then the daring and dangerous expedition that led me here.

Mrs. Wang quickly excused herself and I spent the next hour bringing greetings and love from Brother Wang as well as all the other believers from our small church in Hong Kong. Curious about the sudden disappearance of Mrs. Wang I enquired where she went. “She is in the room next door praying for our safety,” Brother Wang’s father replied.

After memorable fellowship, the final words of Brother Wang Sr. pierced my heart. “You must come again,” he pleaded.

I smiled politely but in my heart, I knew I would not likely return. The trip was much too risky and dangerous for my liking. Being Chinese I knew that my destiny would be prison if I were caught. “You must come again and bring more Bibles,” old Brother Wang pleaded as if he could read my troubled mind. I gave the only correct answer I could think of. “I will pray about it.”

In a daze, I walked to the train station and boarded the first train home to safety. My heart was torn because this was the country responsible for arresting my mother and causing me to grow up as an orphan. I decided I would not return! Then I heard the unmistakable voice of the Holy Spirit, “Do you need a calling, Johnny?”

“Lord, what do you mean,” I asked? “You have seen the need. You have heard my voice. Why do you need a ‘calling’ to respond?” I knew I had no choice. The Lord had spoken. I knew this was the way for me.

This was thirty years ago and Johnny Li has been an immense blessing in assisting the fast-growing church in China. He’s been responsible for producing the first Chinese Children’s Bible in modern Chinese and has delivered thousands of Bibles and other Christian literature into China. Today he trains Chinese missionaries committed to take the Gospel to the Muslim world.

RESPONSE: Today I will listen to the Spirit’s voice before making decisions and plans.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to listen to Your Spirit’s direction in my life since He will direct my steps.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotions - June 24, 2020 - "No Longer Captive"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"No Longer Captive"

June 24, 2020

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the Law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the Law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

I can't even begin to imagine what it's like when someone incarcerated for a heinous crime—possibly even facing the death penalty—has their case reversed based on evidence that clears them. For years they endured the deplorable conditions of prison life: the mind-numbing confinement, the constant head games of dealing with raucous inmates and prison guards. And then there was the feeling that your life accounts for nothing and will, in the end, amount to nothing.

What must it be like to exit prison and re-enter society after years of such brutal living!

In one way this is our story, and in another way it isn't. Like the prisoner who's been allowed "to walk," we too have been granted freedom. Once sentenced under God's Law (and justifiably so; we can't claim "innocence" in this matter), we now—because of Jesus—are no longer criminals before the Almighty. But here's the big difference with the prisoner above: our freedom is undeserved; our sentence is just; we are guilty.

Our only recourse is to make a plea for God's mercy on account of the blood of Jesus—"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Jesus has made our freedom possible, and it's a freedom our sins cannot nullify. As Paul writes elsewhere, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7).

In another place, the apostle spells it out beautifully: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the Law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:1-4).

Jesus has done this for us. Freedom is now possible because of Him. God has flung open wide the doors. Our sins can no longer hold us captive.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You have given us freedom and eternal life in Jesus. Thank You. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Have you ever visited someone in prison? What was that experience like?

2. What does it mean that the Law arouses "our sinful passions"?

3. Why is it that it seems a little commonplace for inmates to "find God" while they are in prison?
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Have you ever visited someone in prison? What was that experience like?

Devocional CPTLN del 24 de junio de 2020 - Ya no más cautivo


Ya no más cautivo

24 de Junio de 2020

Así también ustedes, hermanos míos, por medio del cuerpo de Cristo han muerto a la ley, para pertenecer a otro, al que resucitó de los muertos, a fin de que demos fruto para Dios. Porque mientras vivíamos en la carne, las pasiones pecaminosas estimuladas por la ley actuaban en nuestros miembros y producían frutos que llevan a la muerte. Pero ahora que hemos muerto a su dominio, estamos libres de la ley, y de ese modo podemos servir en la vida nueva del Espíritu y no bajo el viejo régimen de la letra.

Ni siquiera puedo empezar a imaginar lo que debe sentir alguien sentenciado por haber cometido un crimen atroz, quizás incluso enfrentando la pena de muerte, cuando su sentencia es revertida en base a nueva evidencia que lo declara inocente. Años soportando las condiciones deplorables de la vida en la prisión: el confinamiento que adormece la mente y los juegos constantes de lidiar con presos y guardias, sentir que la vida no representa ni será nada. ¿Cómo debe ser salir de la prisión y volver a entrar en la sociedad después de años de una vida tan brutal?

En cierto sentido, esa es nuestra historia; y en otro sentido, no lo es. Al igual que el prisionero al que se le ha permitido "salir en libertad", a nosotros también se nos ha concedido la libertad. Estábamos sentenciados bajo la Ley de Dios (y justificadamente, pues no podemos reclamar "inocencia" en este asunto); pero ahora, gracias a Jesús, ya no somos culpables ante el Todopoderoso. Pero aquí está la gran diferencia con el prisionero de arriba: nuestra libertad es inmerecida; nuestra sentencia es justa; somos culpables.

Nuestro único recurso es suplicar por la misericordia de Dios a causa de la sangre de Jesús: "por cuanto todos pecaron y están destituidos de la gloria de Dios" (Romanos 3:23). Jesús ha hecho posible nuestra libertad, y es una libertad que nuestros pecados no pueden anular. Como Pablo escribe en otra parte, "En él tenemos la redención por medio de su sangre, el perdón de los pecados según las riquezas de su gracia" (Efesios 1:7).

En otro lugar, el apóstol lo explica bellamente: "Por tanto, no hay ninguna condenación para los que están unidos a Cristo Jesús, los que no andan conforme a la carne, sino conforme al Espíritu, porque la ley del Espíritu de vida en Cristo Jesús me ha librado de la ley del pecado y de la muerte. Porque Dios ha hecho lo que para la ley era imposible hacer, debido a que era débil por su naturaleza pecaminosa: por causa del pecado envió a su Hijo en una condición semejante a la del hombre pecador, y de esa manera condenó al pecado en la carne, para que la justicia de la ley se cumpliera en nosotros, que no seguimos los pasos de nuestra carne, sino los del Espíritu" (Romanos 8:1-4).

Jesús ha hecho esto por nosotros. Gracias a Él tenemos libertad. Dios ha abierto de par en par las puertas. Nuestros pecados ya no pueden mantenernos cautivos.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, gracias por darnos libertad y vida eterna en Jesús. Amén.

Paul Schreiber

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Qué significa que la Ley despierta "nuestras pasiones pecaminosas"?

* ¿Por qué crees que es bastante común que los reclusos "encuentren a Dios" cuando están en la cárcel?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Qué significa que la Ley despierta "nuestras pasiones pecaminosas"?

Ministérios Pão Diário - Consolo de um amigo

Consolo de um amigo

Escritura de hoje: Jó 2:7-13
Bíblia em um ano: Jó 1–2; Atos 7:22-43

Não disseram nada, pois viram que o sofrimento de Jó era grande demais.

Li sobre uma mãe que ficou surpresa ao ver a filha chegar da escola enlameada da cintura para baixo. A menina explicou que uma amiga tinha escorregado e caído em uma poça de lama. Enquanto outra colega correu para buscar ajuda, a garota ficou com pena da amiga sozinha segurando a perna machucada e resolveu sentar-se na poça de lama com a menina até que um professor chegasse.

Quando Jó experimentou a perda devastadora de seus filhos e foi afetado por dolorosas feridas em todo o corpo, o sofrimento foi monstruoso. A Bíblia relata que três de seus amigos queriam consolá-lo. “Quando viram Jó de longe, mal o reconheceram. Choraram alto, rasgaram seus mantos e jogaram terra ao ar, sobre a cabeça. Depois, sentaram-se no chão com ele durante sete dias e sete noites. Não disseram nada, pois viram que o sofrimento de Jó era grande demais” (vv.12,13).

No início, os amigos de Jó demonstraram compreensão. Perceberam que Jó precisava simplesmente de alguém para sentar-se ao lado dele e chorar. Os três homens começam a falar nos capítulos seguintes. A ironia é que, ao falarem, deram maus conselhos a Jó (16:1-4).

Com frequência, o melhor que podemos fazer para consolar um amigo é permanecer ao seu lado em seus sofrimentos.

Por:  Lisa M. Samra

Refletir & Orar
Pai celeste, ajuda-me a ser um bom amigo aos que sofrem. Obrigado por Tua promessa de estar perto de quem sofre e trazer encorajamento através de Teu Santo Espírito.
A presença de um amigo em meio ao sofrimento traz grande consolo.

© 2020 Ministérios Pão Diário
A presença de um amigo em meio ao sofrimento traz grande consolo.