Monday, June 29, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, June 29, 2020

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, June 29, 2020
Psalm 119:161-168; 1 Kings 21:1-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Loving God’s law
161 Rulers persecute me without cause,
       but my heart trembles at your word.
162 I rejoice in your promise
       like one who finds great spoil.
163 I hate and detest falsehood
       but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
       for your righteous laws.
165 Great peace have those who love your law,
       and nothing can make them stumble.
166 I wait for your salvation, Lord,
       and I follow your commands.
167 I obey your statutes,
       for I love them greatly.
168 I obey your precepts and your statutes,
       for all my ways are known to you.

Ahab and Jezebel rob Naboth
21:1 Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.”

3 But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.”

4 So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.

5 His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?”

6 He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”

7 Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. 9 In those letters she wrote:

“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.

How to love one another
4:9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

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, June 29, 2020
Psalm 119:161-168; 1 Kings 21:1-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

The Daily Prayer for MONDAY, June 29, 2020
The Daily Prayer
MONDAY, June 29, 2020

Peter and Paul

One of the ways we see the wisdom of the early church is in their placing Peter and Paul’s saint days together so that they have a shared celebration, thereby making sure that there was no room for divisions over their leadership, even with their disagreements. (It may be that the church forgot this wisdom in the Reformation, with Rome claiming Peter’s authority and Paul becoming the hero of Protestants.) The early church was quite clear that the first pastor and the first theologian of the faith had to be held in equal respect and in equal balance of authority. One without the other leaves us incomplete and unbalanced.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a leader in South Africa’s struggle against apartheid, wrote, “The first law of our being is that we are set in a delicate network of interdependence with our fellow human beings and with the rest of God’s creation.”

Lord, you promise never to leave us or forsake us. Since we are always in your presence, help us always to keep our eyes fixed upon you that we might follow your lead in the never-ending dance of your life as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, June 29, 2020

Psalm 138:8
The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.
Read all of Psalm 138

Listen to Psalm 138

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 29 de junio de 2020
Oración por paz en el corazón

La paz les dejo; mi paz les doy. Yo no se la doy a ustedes como la da el mundo. No se angustien ni se acobarden.

Acuérdate, Señor, de tu ternura y gran amor que siempre me has demostrado.

Ayúdame, Señor, a relacionarme cada día más contigo y así poder confiar plenamente en ti.

Perdóname por los momentos en que he hecho todo en mis propias fuerzas, poniendo la confianza en mi propia sabiduría.

Deseo, Señor, ser una persona madura en ti y me comprometo a conocerte mejor, a pasar más tiempo a tu lado y así poder experimentar la bendición de tenerte como el Padre que cuida de mi familia y de mí.

Gracias, mi Señor, y te entrego el resto de este día en tus manos. En el nombre de Jesús, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Oración por paz en el corazón

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, June 29, 2020

But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Jesus assumes in this passage that His followers practice fasting. He says “when” you fast—not “if” you fast and then goes on to give these instructions. Fasting is a significant spiritual activity that goes along with intensive prayer times. To fast means to put God first. Fasting is an attitude of the heart in which we interrupt our normal life to pray for a specific matter or cause. It means to abstain from food—and for some, even drink—so that we can focus on God and be more sensitive to spiritual matters. Fasting is also perseverance in prayer until you have received an answer—be it yes, no, wait, or something different. In essence, fasting means that we rend our hearts before God, confess our sins, and turn to the Lord anew (Joel 2:12-13).

Fasting is biblical. Consider the following: Moses fasted twice for forty days (Exodus 34:28); Daniel fasted (partially) for twenty-one days (Daniel 10:3); Joel called for a day of fasting (Joel 1:14; 2:12); Ezra withdrew for a period of fasting and mourning (Ezra 10:6); Elijah fasted for forty days (1 Kings 19:8); Leaders of the church in Antioch fasted (Acts 13:2-3); Jesus fasted for forty days (Luke 4:2); Paul and Barnabas fasted (Acts 14:23; 27:33).

Captain Bill Tinsley was arrested on false charges under President Marcos in the Philippines following the completion of Project Pearl in 1981. As the days of his confinement passed, Bill fasted from eating. After a few days of fasting, his blood pressure rose very high. A doctor visited him daily. Everything possible was done to get him to eat. He was accused of staging a hunger strike. Bill carefully explained to his captors many times, “My fasting is a spiritual exercise. If I want my God to take my part, I must become weak that He may become strong. President Marcos is a very powerful man. I cannot fight him. I must let God take my part.” His explanation brought only a certain resignation by his jailers. They did not understand.

Each day during his captivity Bill went for a walk. A soldier always went along to guard against possible escape. On that tenth morning, after reading of Elijah’s running a great distance while fasting, Bill jogged. The soldier that went along couldn’t keep up and was forced to take shortcuts across the fields to stay with him.

“How can you be so strong without eating?” a colonel asked referring to the jogging incident that morning.

“It’s the power of God,” Bill told him sincerely. “And if you keep me here, you’re going to see me grow stronger and stronger!” The eyes of all the men present grew large. They believed him and that prospect was not to their liking. It was with some reluctance Bill later walked out of his cell for the last time. He had experienced God’s presence there. His captors, the same ones that had falsely arrested him, gave him a send-off as they would a dear friend.

RESPONSE: Today I resolve to practice all the spiritual disciplines…including fasting.

PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to practice fasting as a spiritual discipline without making it obvious.

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, June 29, 2020

Her name means: "Where Is the Prince?"

Her character: A religious woman, she spread idolatry throughout Israel. Powerful, cunning, and arrogant, she actively opposed God, even in the face of indisputable proofs of his sovereignty.
Her triumph: To have enhanced her own power at the expense of others.
Her tragedy: Her arrogance led to a shameless death.
Key Scriptures: 1 Kings 16:29-33; 18:1-19:2; 21:1-25; 2 Kings 9

Her Story

Jezebel was a Phoenician princess, daughter of the priest-king of Sidon. Married to King Ahab, she reigned as queen in northern Israel one hundred years after David's death and sixty years after Israel split into northern and southern kingdoms just after Solomon's death.

A woman of great conviction and unwavering devotion, Jezebel's ardent worship was directed not to the God of Israel but to the pagan fertility god Baal, thought to control the rain and hence the harvest. So determined was she to convert Israel to her own religion that she hunted down and killed all the prophets she could lay hands on, replacing them with 850 of her own.

Despite Jezebel's efforts, one prophet had escaped her, and he was the most annoying of all. His name was Elijah, which meant "My God Is Yahweh." By contrast, Jezebel meant "Where Is the Prince (Baal)?" or "The Prince (Baal) Exists." Inevitably, the two squared off.

By pushing Baal worship, Jezebel was spreading idolatry across Israel, but her brand of worship wasn't producing the desired results for the fields remained barren. The fertility gods, it seemed, had gone AWOL, or else they were impotent.

Elijah, meanwhile, warned King Ahab: "As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."

After three-and-a-half years of drought and famine, Elijah challenged the king to assemble the prophets of Baal and Asherah to compete in a lopsided contest—850 to 1. Two bulls were prepared for sacrifice, but the fire for sacrifice was not lit. Instead, the true God would prove himself by sending fire from heaven.

From morning until noon Baal's prophets danced and shouted, "O Baal, answer us!" But the god of the storm was silent.

Relishing the spectacle, Elijah couldn't resist a few well-aimed taunts: "Shout louder! Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened." Elijah's sarcasm spurred the prophets of Baal to more frenzied efforts, but that day Baal, the god of fire, couldn't even light a match.

Then Elijah's turn came. To dramatize the difficulty of his task, he drenched the sacrifice with water not once but three times, praying: "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command."

Immediately, fire burned up the sacrifice. Rallying the people, Elijah then slaughtered Jezebel's 850 prophets.

Enraged at the news, the queen sent a messenger to Elijah, vowing to kill him. But he fled south, beyond her grasp.

Still, Jezebel kept busy, managing to find other targets for her schemes. One day she discovered her husband, Ahab, in a childish rage. Pouting, Ahab confided his troubles to her. Naboth, his near neighbor, had a lovely vineyard that the king desired. It would make such a nice vegetable garden. Yet his stingy subject refused to sell it.

"Is this how you act as king over Israel?" Jezebel challenged. "Get up and eat! Cheer up. I'll get you the vineyard."

Jezebel wrote a letter in Ahab's name and sent it to the elders of the town instructing them to produce witnesses to testify falsely that Naboth had cursed both God and the king, offenses punishable by death.

Ahab felt better when he heard the news that Naboth had been stoned to death as a traitor. Now his table would be laden with delicious vegetables straight from the garden. But then who should show up but Elijah, interrupting the king's leisurely stroll through his new garden.

"So you have found me, my enemy," the king greeted him.

"I have found you," Elijah replied, "because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. And also, concerning Jezebel, the Lord says: 'Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.' "

Elijah's words came true. Ahab eventually died in battle, the dogs licking the blood from his chariot. Jezebel, however, survived him by at least ten years. Then one day, a man called Jehu came riding into Jezreel to carry out the last half of Elijah's prophecy.

Tough as nails, Jezebel stood proudly at the window of her palace. Never one to back away from a challenge, Jezebel seized the initiative, shouting at Jehu: "Have you come in peace, Zimri (the name of a traitor), you murderer of your master?"

But Jehu simply ignored her, challenging those who stood near her. "Who is on my side? Throw her down!" Quickly, Jezebel's servants shoved her through the window. The palace walls were splattered a bloody red as horses trampled her body and the palace dogs finished the job. A powerful figure while she lived, hardly anything of her remained just shortly after her death.

Paired with Israel's worst king, Jezebel was the nation's worst queen and one of the Bible's most infamous women. How different her story would have been had she harnessed her power, her drive, and her devotion. A strong character, Jezebel could have been a female apostle Paul, whose misguided zeal was redirected toward the kingdom of God. Instead, unlike many biblical figures who are depicted with a mixture of good and bad traits, she stands out as someone purely evil, whose moral character is one-dimensional. Totally devoted to her gods, she reflected their image completely. Despite obvious miracles and repeated warnings, she was a woman who chose to harden her heart and suffer the consequences.

Her Promise

Jezebel's end (2 Kings 9:33-37) is exactly what Elijah had earlier prophesied for her (1 Kings 21:23). No doubt judgment for her wicked life was swift and sure. It's hard to reconcile this aspect of our God with our image of him as loving and compassionate, yet he is a God who hates evil and will surely punish it. If, however, we come to him for forgiveness and reconciliation, he is also a God who loves to show mercy.

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.
Jezebel reigned as queen in northern Israel one hundred years after David's death and sixty years after Israel split into northern and southern kingdoms.

LHM Daily Devotions June 29, 2020 - "Again and Again"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Again and Again"

June 29, 2020

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.

Many people in our culture today would often prefer to forget the past, imagining that what matters exists only in the present; they believe they have all that is needed to satisfy themselves here and now. Yet most people will remember and rejoice in past events—just ask a child about a recent birthday party or a husband and wife who celebrated a wedding anniversary! We remember events in our nation's past too, from happy celebrations like Independence Day to more somber recollections: Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor, 9-11, and the tributes and war memorials set up in towns and cities across the country.

There are stories we never tire of telling. Just as many families hand down traditions and stories from one generation to the next, the family of God repeats and lives its sacred history year after year. The church tells the story of Jesus, following His life and saving work from Advent through Christmas and on into Epiphany and Lent. With the celebration of Christ's Ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the church recalls the story of the apostles and the earliest Christians. We grow in faith as we read and study our Lord's teachings in Holy Scripture. We strive to follow in His footsteps through works of love and service to those around us. With reverent joy we hear again and again Jesus' words: "This is My body ...This is My blood," and receive His gifts for the forgiveness of our sins.

These are the stories we want to repeat as long as we live, the lessons we want to pass on to others. With the psalmist we pray, "So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come" (Psalm 71:18). We gather week after week for worship. In repentant humility we confess our sins and our need for the Savior whose life we follow through the church year. In hymns and sermons, in the study of Scripture, and in daily living for the glory of God, we share with one another the unsearchable greatness of our God. Like children (and adults, too, if we care to admit it) who never grow tired of celebrating their birthdays, we move through the seasons of the church year, rejoicing in the gifts of forgiveness and eternal life that Jesus won for us at the cross and empty tomb. By the help of the Holy Spirit, we seek to "walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us" (Ephesians 5:2a).

Year after year, season after season, we commend God's works to one another and declare His mighty acts, for this is what God in Christ has called us to do: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).

THE PRAYER: God and Savior, You have called us out of darkness into light. Help us by Your Spirit to proclaim Your mighty works to the coming generation so that they too will live in the light of Your grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Do you have a great storyteller or two in your family?

2. How can we declare God's mighty acts in our lives without even speaking a word to others?

3. How are you at telling stories? Are you able to get through a decent-length narrative and hold people's attention? Is there value in this skill for a Christian?
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).
Do you have a great storyteller or two in your family?

Devocional CPTLN del 29 de junio de 2020 - Una y otra vez


Una y otra vez

29 de Junio de 2020

Grande es el Señor, y digno de suprema alabanza; su grandeza es inescrutable. Todas las generaciones celebrarán tus obras, y darán a conocer tus grandes proezas.

Muchas personas prefieren olvidar el pasado creyendo que, como lo importante solo existe en el presente, tienen todo lo necesario para satisfacerse aquí y ahora. Sin embargo, la mayoría de las personas recuerda y se alegra de los acontecimientos felices del pasado. Solo basta con preguntarle a un niño sobre su fiesta de cumpleaños, o a una pareja que celebró sus 25 o 50 años de matrimonio. También recordamos los acontecimientos del pasado de nuestra nación, desde las celebraciones felices como el Día de la Independencia hasta las más sombrías, como el Día de los Veteranos, Pearl Harbor, 9-11, etc.

Hay historias que nunca nos cansamos de contar. Así como muchas familias transmiten tradiciones e historias de generación en generación, la familia de Dios repite y vive su historia sagrada año tras año. La iglesia cuenta la historia de Jesús, siguiendo su vida y obra de salvación desde el Adviento y la Navidad, hasta la Epifanía y la Cuaresma. Con la celebración de la Ascensión de Cristo y el derramamiento del Espíritu Santo en Pentecostés, la iglesia recuerda la historia de los apóstoles y los primeros cristianos. Crecemos en la fe a medida que leemos y estudiamos las enseñanzas de nuestro Señor en la Sagrada Escritura. Nos esforzamos por seguir sus pasos a través de obras de amor y servicio a quienes nos rodean. Con gozo reverente escuchamos una y otra vez las palabras de Jesús: "Este es mi cuerpo ... esta es mi sangre", y recibimos sus dones para el perdón de nuestros pecados.

Estas son las historias que queremos repetir mientras vivamos, las lecciones que queremos transmitir a los demás. Con el salmista oramos: " No me desampares, Dios mío, aunque llegue a estar viejo y canoso, hasta que haya anunciado tu gran poder a las generaciones que habrán de venir" (Salmo 71:18). Nos reunimos semana tras semana para adorar. Con arrepentida humildad confesamos nuestros pecados y nuestra necesidad del Salvador. Al igual que los niños (y también los adultos, si queremos admitirlo) que nunca se cansan de celebrar sus cumpleaños, nos regocijamos en los dones del perdón y la vida eterna que Jesús ganó para nosotros en la cruz y la tumba vacía. Con la ayuda del Espíritu Santo buscamos vivir "en amor, como también Cristo nos amó y se entregó a sí mismo por nosotros" (Efesios 5:2a).

Año tras año, temporada tras temporada, encomendamos las obras de Dios el uno al otro y declaramos sus actos poderosos, porque esto es lo que Dios en Cristo nos ha llamado a ser: "Pero ustedes son linaje escogido, real sacerdocio, nación santa, pueblo adquirido por Dios, para que anuncien los hechos maravillosos de aquel que los llamó de las tinieblas a su luz admirable"(1 Pedro 2:9).

ORACIÓN: Dios y Salvador, que nos has llamado de la oscuridad a la luz, te pedimos que nos ayudes a través de tu Espíritu a proclamar tus poderosas obras a la generación venidera, para que ellos también vivan a la luz de tu gracia. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Cómo puedes mostrar a los demás las obras de Dios en tu vida sin necesidad de palabras?

* ¿Qué historias de Dios estás contando a quienes te rodean? 
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Cómo puedes mostrar a los demás las obras de Dios en tu vida sin necesidad de palabras?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Il suffit de demander

Il suffit de demander

Lisez : 2 Rois 5.9-14
La Bible en un an : Job 17 – 19 ; Actes 10.1-23

Avant qu’ils m’invoquent, je répondrai.

Après avoir vécu aveugle pendant quinze ans à cause de rétines décollées présumément irréparables – ayant appris le braille et utilisé une canne et un chien d’assistance –, une femme du Montana a vu sa vie être transformée lorsque son mari a posé une simple question à un autre ophtalmologiste : « Y a-t-il moyen de l’aider ? » Celui-ci a découvert que cette femme souffrait d’un problème oculaire courant, des cataractes, qu’il a éliminées de son œil droit. Lorsque l’on a retiré le pansement le lendemain, sa vision était de 20/20. Puis l’opération de son œil gauche a donné les mêmes résultats.

Une simple question a également transformé la vie de Naaman, un puissant chef militaire atteint de la lèpre. Il a protesté avec arrogance contre les instructions du prophète Élisée : « Va, et lave-toi sept fois dans le Jourdain ; ta chair deviendra saine, et tu seras pur » (2 R 5.10). Les serviteurs de Naaman lui ont cependant posé une simple question : « Mon père, si le prophète t’avait demandé quelque chose de difficile, ne l’aurais-tu pas fait ? » (V. 13.) Convaincu, Naaman est allé se laver et a ainsi été guéri (V. 14).

Il nous arrive parfois de nous buter à un problème parce que nous refusons de solliciter Dieu. M’aideras-tu ? Devrais-je partir ? Me dirigeras-tu ? Or, il n’a pas besoin que nous lui posions des questions compliquées pour nous aider. Dieu n’a-t-il pas dit : « Avant qu’ils m’invoquent, je répondrai » (ÉS 65.24) ?
Père, lorsque la vie semble compliquée et difficile, merci de nous promettre d’entendre toutes nos prières.
Dieu désire que nous lui présentions toutes nos requêtes dans la prière.

© 2020 Ministères NPQ
Après avoir vécu aveugle pendant quinze ans à cause de rétines décollées présumément irréparables, une femme du Montana a vu sa vie être transformée lorsque son mari a posé une simple question …