Monday, July 20, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, July 20, 2020

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, July 20, 2020
Psalm 139:13-18; Genesis 32:3-21; Revelation 14:12-20
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Wonderful are God’s works
13 For you created my inmost being;
     you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
     your works are wonderful,
     I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
     when I was made in the secret place,
     when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
     all the days ordained for me were written in your book
     before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
     How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
     they would outnumber the grains of sand—
     when I awake, I am still with you.

Jacob sends gifts to appease Esau
32:3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. 5 I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’”

6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”

7 In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. 8 He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.”

9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”

13 He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds.”

17 He instructed the one in the lead: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who do you belong to, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?’ 18 then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.’”

19 He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: “You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20 And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.” 21 So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.

The harvest at the end of time
14:12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

17 Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” 19 The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. 20 They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.

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, July 20, 2020
Psalm 139:13-18; Genesis 32:3-21; Revelation 14:12-20

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

Contemporary Anglican bishop, poet, and theologian Rowan Williams has said, “Our present ecological crisis, the biggest single practical threat to our human existence in the middle to long term, has, religious people would say, a great deal to do with our failure to think of the world as existing in relation to the mystery of God, not just as a huge warehouse of stuff to be used for our convenience.”

We praise you, O Lord, for the waters, the mountains and hills, the deserts and valleys, the wilderness spaces, and for all living creatures. Forgive us when we have not been good caretakers of the earth. Make us into people who practice resurrection by bringing dead things back to life and by making ugly things beautiful again. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, July 20, 2020

1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
Read all of 1 John 1

Listen to 1 John 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 20 de julio de 2020
Una relación con Él

Acerquémonos confiadamente al trono de la gracia para recibir misericordia y hallar la gracia que nos ayude en el momento en que más la necesitemos.

Muchas veces hemos escuchado hablar acerca de relacionarnos con Dios. Por eso, en varias ocasiones me surgió esta pregunta: «¿Cómo me puedo relacionar con Dios?». Entonces aprendí varias cositas que te quiero confiar. No soy pastora ni poseo ningún título religioso, pero tengo años de experiencias maravillosas con Dios.

La relación con Dios es algo entre Él y la persona. Nadie más cabe ahí: Tú y Dios. Es personal, es privado, es íntimo. En una relación nos conocemos porque pasamos tiempos juntos. De ahí que, para que una relación crezca y se afiance, le haga falta tiempo de calidad.

Como necesitamos tiempo para hablar con Dios, saca de tu mente que es absurdo hablar con alguien que no ves, pues aunque no lo veas, está ahí escuchándote. Cuando te relacionas con Dios, comprendes sus maravillas y comprendes cuántos sacrificios hizo por ti. Eso te dará un amor tan profundo que sentirás respeto y temor para hacer su voluntad. Además, terminarás rindiendo tu vida en sus caminos.

La relación con Dios te da seguridad. Te da también la garantía de ser feliz y esperar de manera confiada sus bendiciones.

Aférrate a Él, no es una religión, sino una relación personal. ¡No te arrepentirás!

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Muchas veces hemos escuchado hablar acerca de relacionarnos con Dios. Por eso, en varias ocasiones me surgió esta pregunta: «¿Cómo me puedo relacionar con Dios?».

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

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

Jesus is making a statement of fact here when he says, “You are the salt of the earth!” It is not a command or wish list. It is to be reality here and now. The implication is that we are to be what God has already made us to be.

The context is Christians facing persecution. Their numbers are small and they are insignificant. Salt is cheap in some places and expensive in others. We have the saying that a man is worth his weight in salt! Its value may vary yet it has unusual properties that far exceed its value.

This is what should happen when Christians take their stand for God in society. That stand for good renders society infertile for the growth of evil and ungodly influences. When England went through revival under the ministry of the Wesley’s and George Whitefield in the 18th century, a possible bloody revolution such as afflicted France was averted.

Usually, it happens on a more moderate scale. Conversations moderated, consciences pricked, respect for others heightened.

The disciples’ of Christ do not remain silent about their faith. They do not hide themselves, but live and work in places where their influence may be felt. The light that is in them can then be most fully manifested to others so that they may see that the light of real Christian goodness. It is a light not of this world but coming from God, and may in consequence be led to give honor and praise to its Giver.

I was blessed to visit a seminary in Indonesia that reflects this teaching of Jesus. They are surrounded by a Muslim community where many live in poverty. Rather than live in an isolated enclave, the school and students serve this community with the love of Jesus. They teach literacy lessons; they provide first-aid medical care; they distribute food and clothing to the hungry and naked.

During an outbreak of violence by extremists against churches in the area, an angry Muslim mob approached the seminary one night chanting their slogans and waving their machetes. When they arrived at the buildings, they found a circle of Muslim people surrounding the campus holding hands in a large circle. They said to the extremists, “We will not allow you to destroy this school. These people help us and our children with all our needs. You may not harm them!” The mob disappeared.

Being salt and light in the community also has its rewards.

RESPONSE: Today I resolve to live my life for Jesus in a way that will positively “salt” my community.

PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to stand for the good and be a salty influence for You in the world around me.

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, July 20, 2020
Athaliah and Jehosheba


Her name means: "The Lord Is Great"

Her character: Granddaughter of Omri, one of Israel's most idolatrous and evil kings, she was the daughter of Ahab and most likely of Jezebel as well. She was the only woman to rule over Judah. While Ahab and Jezebel spread Baal worship in the northern kingdom of Israel, Athaliah was busy promoting it a few years later in the southern kingdom of Judah. Controlled by her need for power, she murdered her own family members to secure it.
Her sorrow: That her attempt to destroy the royal line of Judah failed.
Her joy: That her ruthlessness paid off, at least for a time, making her the ruler of Judah.
Key Scriptures: 2 Kings 11; 2 Chronicles 22; 23:11-21


Her name means: "The Lord Is Great"

Her character: A princess and the wife of the high priest, she was a courageous woman whose actions preserved the line of Judah, from which the Messiah would come.
Her sorrow: To have endured Athaliah's reign in Judah and to have suffered the loss of many of her nephews at the queen's hand.
Her joy: To have preserved the life of her brother's youngest son, Joash, so that he could become the rightful king of Judah.
Key Scriptures: 2 Kings 11:2; 2 Chronicles 22:11

Their Story

Wicked queens are the stuff of fairy tales. Remember the snow queen in the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, or the evil queen in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Athaliah was at least as bad as her fairy-tale counterparts, a queen who chilled the hearts of God's people by murdering her own grandsons and promoting Baal worship in the southern kingdom of Judah, just as her parents, Ahab and Jezebel, had promoted it in the north.

Athaliah married the king of Judah, thereby cementing an alliance between the northern and southern kingdoms. But after a few years, he died and was succeeded by Athaliah's son, Ahaziah. In just a few months, Jehu, Jezebel's nemesis, slaughtered the new king.

After Queen Athaliah's husband and son were killed, she must have felt vulnerable and isolated, doubly so since her father Ahab's line had also been destroyed in Israel. Her paranoia and lust for power formed a toxic mixture, moving her to murder her own son's children to secure Judah's throne for herself. Indeed she may even have gloated that she, Baal's emissary, had snuffed out Judah's royal heirs, making it impossible for God to fulfill his promise of a future Messiah from David's line in the tribe of Judah.

For a few years, from about 841-835 bc, Athaliah reigned in Judah, promoting Baal worship and leading the people further and further from God. But right under her nose, a conspiracy was brewing. Unknown to her, one of her grandsons still lived. Her own stepdaughter, Jehosheba, had hidden the infant, Joash, before the queen could murder him along with Ahaziah's other sons. Married to the high priest, Jehosheba risked her life by tucking the royal heir away in the temple for six years. Then, when the boy turned seven, her husband arranged a coup, crowning young Joash king.

As soon as Athaliah caught wind of the plot, she rushed to the temple, tearing her robes and screaming, "Treason! Treason!" But like her mother, Jezebel, before her, no one paid the slightest attention. Instead, Queen Athaliah was promptly seized and executed just outside the temple. As soon as the queen was dispatched, the people of Judah celebrated by destroying the temple of Baal along with its chief priest.

While the comparisons between Athaliah and Jezebel are all too obvious, their story reminds us of another that took place seven hundred years before. Egypt's Pharaoh, determined to destroy God's people, had ordered every male baby drowned in the Nile River. Like Pharaoh, hoodwinked by one of his own children (his daughter saved Moses and raised him as her own), Athaliah was fooled by her stepdaughter, Jehosheba. Once again a woman's courage and compassion helped to subvert evil and keep the promise alive.

Their Promise

God always wins. That's a pretty simplistic way of saying it, but it's true nonetheless. Even when people like Athaliah try to stomp out an entire family and put an end to God's plan for redemption, when people like the priests of Baal lead others to worship idols instead of the true God, God will always triumph in the end. The negative forces of our culture make us wonder where we're headed as a people. Many of our leaders show little integrity or morality, and dishonesty is overlooked in the workplace. Kindness is often the exception rather than the rule. But don't despair. This is not a battle God plans to lose. In the end, he will prevail!

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.
Wicked queens are the stuff of fairy tales. Remember the snow queen in the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, or the evil queen in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Athaliah was at least as bad as her fairy-tale counterparts.

LHM Daily Devotions - July 20, 2020 - "Surrounded"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries


July 20, 2020

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people, from this time forth and forevermore.

It is not necessarily a bad thing to be surrounded. We enjoy being surrounded by friends and family, or standing in the middle of a forest or meadow, surrounded by the beauty of God's creation. But it is not necessarily safe or comfortable to be surrounded by traffic on a busy street or highway, or pressed on all sides by a crowd. If members of the armed forces are surrounded on a battlefield, the situation may quickly turn deadly. But according to our psalm, there is a way to be surrounded that is the most wonderful—and safest—place to be!

In ancient times, Zion was a hilltop fortress in Jerusalem that was conquered by David. He lived in the captured stronghold and called it "the city of David" (see 2 Samuel 5:7-9). The name Zion came to be used as another name for Jerusalem and eventually as a name for the whole land of Israel. Zion was thought to be a fortress, immovable, strong and eternal, a description that also fits the people God calls His own. Zion is a mountain that does not stand alone. The city of Jerusalem lies in mountainous terrain; the Scriptures speak of "going up" to Jerusalem. "As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people." We, the people of God, are a strong fortress, surrounded on all sides by our Lord, safe from our enemies.

Our surrounding God shelters us with His loving care: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31b) His holy will surrounds our lives like the mountains surround Jerusalem because long ago, on a hill outside of Jerusalem, God did not spare His Son, but gave Him up for us all. In another psalm, in the face of opposition to His Messiah, God announces "As for Me, I have set My King on Zion, My holy hill" (Psalm 2:6).

On a holy hill among the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, the King of kings was crowned with thorns and lifted up on a cross, where He suffered and died for the sins of the world. His body was taken down from the cross and buried in a borrowed tomb not far from that holy hill. But the will of God surrounded His Son like the mountains surround Jerusalem, and on the first Easter morning Jesus rose bodily from the grave. Our crucified and risen Lord has conquered our enemies—sin, death, and Satan—foes that still try in vain to surround us. Through faith in Christ we are like Mount Zion, immovable and strong, confident that the Lord Himself will surround us "from this time forth and forevermore."

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, when we are worried or afraid, help us to remember that we are surrounded on all sides by Your compassion and care. Secure in You, we cannot be moved. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Do you think of God as being around you at all times, caring for you?

2. What do you think an immovable faith is like? Have you known people with this kind of faith?

3. Are there things we can do to help strengthen our faith?
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 think of God as being around you at all times, caring for you?

Devocional CPTLN del 20 de julio de 2020 - Rodeado



20 de Julio de 2020

Los que confían en el Señor son semejantes al monte Sión, que jamás se mueve, que siempre está en su lugar. Son también semejantes a Jerusalén que está rodeada de montes: ¡la protección del Señor rodea a su pueblo desde ahora y para siempre!

No es necesariamente algo malo estar rodeado. Disfrutamos estar rodeados de amigos y familiares, o estar en medio de un bosque rodeados de la belleza de la creación de Dios. Pero no es necesariamente seguro o cómodo estar rodeado de tráfico en una calle concurrida, o estar presionado por todos lados por una multitud. Cuando un batallón está rodeado en el campo de batalla, la situación puede volverse mortal rápidamente. Pero de acuerdo con nuestro salmo, ¡hay una manera de estar rodeado que es maravillosa y segura!

Sión era una fortaleza en la cima de una colina en Jerusalén que había sido conquistada por David. Allí vivió, llamándola "la ciudad de David" (ver 2 Samuel 5:7-9). El nombre de Sión llegó a ser usado como otro nombre para Jerusalén y eventualmente como un nombre para todo Israel. Se pensaba que Sión era una fortaleza inamovible, fuerte y eterna, una descripción que también se ajusta a las personas a quienes Dios llama suyas. Pero Sión no está sola. La ciudad de Jerusalén se encuentra en terreno montañoso, por eso las Escrituras hablan de "subir" a Jerusalén y dicen que, así que Jerusalén "está rodeada de montes: ¡la protección del Señor rodea a su pueblo desde ahora y para siempre!" Nosotros, el pueblo de Dios, somos una fortaleza rodeada por todos lados por nuestro Señor, a salvo de nuestros enemigos.

Nuestro Dios que nos rodea nos protege con su amoroso cuidado: "Dios está a nuestro favor, nadie podrá estar en contra de nosotros" (Romanos 8:31b). Su santa voluntad rodea nuestras vidas como las montañas rodean a Jerusalén porque hace mucho tiempo, en una colina en las afueras de Jerusalén, Dios no perdonó a su Hijo, sino que lo entregó a la muerte por todos nosotros. En una colina sagrada de las montañas que rodean Jerusalén, el Rey de reyes fue coronado con espinas y levantado en una cruz, donde sufrió y murió por los pecados del mundo. Su cuerpo fue bajado de la cruz y enterrado en una tumba prestada. Pero la voluntad de Dios rodeó a su Hijo como las montañas rodean a Jerusalén y, en la primera mañana de Pascua, Jesús se levantó de la tumba. Nuestro Señor crucificado y resucitado ha conquistado a nuestros enemigos: el pecado, la muerte y Satanás, enemigos que aún tratan en vano de rodearnos. A través de la fe en Cristo somos inamovibles y fuertes como el Monte Sión, por el Señor mismo nos rodea "de ahora en adelante y para siempre".

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, cuando estamos preocupados o temerosos, ayúdanos a recordar que estamos rodeados por tu compasión y cuidado. Seguros en ti, no podemos ser movidos. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Qué es para ti una fe inamovible? ¿Conoces a alguien con este tipo de fe?

* ¿Qué puedes hacer para fortalecer tu fe?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Qué es para ti una fe inamovible? ¿Conoces a alguien con este tipo de fe?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Comment attendre

Comment attendre

Lisez : Psaume 27.1-3,7-14
La Bible en un an : Psaumes 29 – 30 ; Actes 23.1-15

Éternel ! écoute ma voix, je t’invoque : Aie pitié de moi et exauce-moi !

Contrarié et déçu par l’Église, le jeune Trevor de dix-sept ans a amorcé une quête de réponses sur une année, mais rien ne semblait le satisfaire. Même si sa quête l’a rapproché de ses parents, le christianisme lui posait encore problème. Durant une discussion, il s’est exclamé avec amertume : « La Bible est remplie de fausses promesses ! »

Un autre homme a aussi vécu de la déception et des épreuves qui ont nourri ses doutes. Cependant, alors que David fuyait ses ennemis meurtriers, il a choisi de louer Dieu plutôt que de s’éloigner de lui : « Si une guerre s’élevait contre moi, je serais malgré cela plein de confiance » (PS 27.3).

Son appel « Aie pitié de moi et exauce-moi ! » (V. 7) et sa supplique « Ne me cache point ta face […] ne me laisse pas, ne m’abandonne pas » (V. 9) semblaient quand même démontrer ses craintes et ses questions.

David n’a pas laissé ses doutes le paralyser. Malgré eux, il a déclaré : « Oh ! si je n’étais pas sûr de voir la bonté de l’Éternel sur la terre des vivants ! » (V. 13.) Puis il s’est adressé à ses lecteurs : vous, moi et les Trevor de ce monde. « Espère en l’Éternel ! Fortifie-toi et que ton cœur s’affermisse ! Espère en l’Éternel ! » (V. 14.) 

Nous ne trouverons pas rapidement de réponses simples à nos grandes questions, mais si nous espérons en lui, nous trouverons un Dieu fiable.
Père, attendris notre cœur tout en faisant disparaître nos craintes et notre colère.
Si nous nous attendons patiemment à Dieu, il répondra à nos questions.

© 2020 Ministères NPQ
Contrarié et déçu par l’Église, le jeune Trevor de dix-sept ans a amorcé une quête de réponses sur une année, mais rien ne semblait le satisfaire.