Friday, July 24, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, July 24, 2020

The Daily Lectionary
FRIDAY, July 24, 2020
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b; Genesis 29:9-14; Acts 7:44-53
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Give thanks to God
1  Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
     make known among the nations what he has done.
2  Sing to him, sing praise to him;
     tell of all his wonderful acts.
3  Glory in his holy name;
     let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4  Look to the Lord and his strength;
     seek his face always.

5  Remember the wonders he has done,
     his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
6  you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
     his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
7  He is the Lord our God;
     his judgments are in all the earth.

8  He remembers his covenant forever,
     the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
9  the covenant he made with Abraham,
     the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
     to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
     as the portion you will inherit.”

45b Praise the Lord.

Jacob meets Rachel’s family
29:9 While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherd. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. 12 He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”

After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month.

Solomon’s temple cannot contain God
7:44 “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. 45 After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, 46 who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.

48 “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:

49 “‘Heaven is my throne,
     and the earth is my footstool.
   What kind of house will you build for me?
        says the Lord.
     Or where will my resting place be?
50 Has not my hand made all these things?’

51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

The Daily Lectionary is a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2020, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2019 was Year C. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
The Daily Lectionary for FRIDAY, July 24, 2020
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b; Genesis 29:9-14; Acts 7:44-53

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, July 24, 2020
The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, July 24, 2020

Listen to these words from Quaker author and educator Parker Palmer: “The power of a fully lived life or a truly learned mind is not a power to be sought or contrived. It comes only as we let go of what we possess and find ourselves possessed by a truth greater than our own.”

Lord God, our hands are open to you. Our ears are listening to you. Our eyes are watching you. Our hearts are trying to beat with yours. Live in us and love others through us today. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, July 24, 2020

Psalm 112:5
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.
Read all of Psalm 112

Listen to Psalm 112

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

Un dia a la Vez - Viernes 24 de julio de 2020
La mentira

Aparta de mí el camino de la mentira, y en tu misericordia concédeme tu ley.
Salmo 119:29, RV-60

El tema de la mentira tiene mucha tela por donde cortar. Todos hemos mentido y seguiremos mintiendo. El que niegue esto ya está mintiendo.

La mentira puede tomar tanta fuerza en una persona que se considera una enfermedad. Se le llama «mitomanía», que es la forma incontrolada de mentir, donde el mitómano hace de la mentira su modus vivendi. Las personas mienten sin medir los alcances de la mentira. En realidad, es terrible.

El Manual de Instrucciones reprende con fuerza la mentira y dice que Dios la aborrece. Eso lo encontramos en Proverbios 12:22 «El Señor aborrece a los de labios mentirosos, pero se complace en los que actúan con lealtad». También la Biblia dice que el padre de mentiras es Satanás y tú debes saber que es precisamente el diablo el que nos induce a la mentira.

Tú y yo, como hijos de Dios, debemos evitar la mentira. Además, recuerda que para Dios todas las mentiras son iguales, incluso las que llamamos blancas, porque mentir es un pecado ante sus ojos. ¡Vaya! ¡Qué tremendo! Esto es algo a lo que estamos expuestos todos los días de la vida. Por ejemplo, nos llama alguien y mandamos a decir que no estamos en casa.

Establezcamos hoy la conciencia de que mentir nos aleja de la comunión con Dios.

Recordemos también que si somos mentirosos, eso es lo que estamos sembrando y, por supuesto, lo cosecharemos también.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
El tema de la mentira tiene mucha tela por donde cortar. Todos hemos mentido y seguiremos mintiendo. El que niegue esto ya está mintiendo.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Friday, July 24, 2020

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yesterday we looked at the martyrdom of Severino (Junie) Bagtasos in the southern Philippines and we are listening to his mother, after ten years’ time, explain what she has learned about the good that God’s Spirit has brought from the painful loss of her dear son. Purificacion Bagtasos exudes the warmth of a mother and the spirituality of a woman of God. One would not think she’d experienced every mother’s nightmare. She overflows with peace, courage, and hope.

She says, “Through this tragedy, God paved the way for the distribution of the Kitab Injil [New Testament] in Jolo. A year after Junie’s death, I heard over the radio an Imam [Muslim religious leader] preaching using the Kitab Injil! What’s more amazing is that it is the Muslims themselves asking and distributing copies of the Kitab Injil, not the Christians!”

In 1986, thousands of Gideon Bibles were burned to ashes in Jolo. Ten years later and after Severino’s death, a revived interest in the Bible grew among the Muslims on the whole island.

She adds, “I remember during the wake of our son, the church was filled with Muslims for the first time. We even had to put in additional benches to accommodate those who were still coming. We took that opportunity to preach and declare Christ to them. One way or another the seed of the Gospel was planted in the hearts of all the Muslims gathered there. It will not return to the Lord void.”

And so it was that Severino accomplished in death what he may not have accomplished in life—to preach Jesus Christ to as many Muslims in Jolo as possible.

Secondly, Purificacion talks about vengeance. “We never filed a case because we know God will avenge us and that is where we stand. It also spared us from the long process and uncertainty of obtaining justice. God has seen what had happened and He knows my son’s murderer. I believe He will give us proper justice in His time.

“I feel compassion for them,” Purificacion adds as she turns her thoughts to the Muslims they are reaching. Muslims believe that if you kill an enemy of Allah on the first day of Ramadan, the act will ensure your passage to paradise. Perhaps blinded by this belief, Junie’s killer chose to commit the crime on the very day Ramadan started that year.

Purificacion never thought she’d outlive any of her children. She experienced dark and painful days. But she says, “The prayers and the letters of comfort sent by Christians around the world helped me and my family as we battled loneliness and depression over the loss of my son…We felt all the more encouraged to continue in the ministry God has entrusted to us.”

Purificacion and her husband expanded their ministry after their son’s death. They took over the Bible studies Severino used to teach. They felt empowered. She concludes, “I don’t remember feeling fear. Instead of fear, we were filled with courage.”

RESPONSE: Today I want my life to be so filled with God’s joy and peace that it will overflow to others.

PRAYER: Remember to pray for ongoing strength and courage for Purificacion and her family.

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

Men of the Bible - Friday, July 24, 2020

His name probably means: "Helps"

His work: A priest living in exile in Babylon.
His character: Courageous to face any foe, diligent in his study of the law, skilled in leadership, and humble before the Lord.
His sorrow: His own sinfulness and need of forgiveness and the sinfulness and disobedience of his people.
His triumph: Being the catalyst for genuine repentance among those Hebrews who returned from exile to their homeland.
Key Scriptures: The book of Ezra

A Look at the Man

Ezra was a student and a teacher of Scripture. His dedication to learning made him well versed in the substance and nuances of the law. He had a commanding knowledge of its truth. Is it any wonder why God selected him to initiate revival among the Hebrews?

Not much is said of Ezra's conversation with Artaxerxes that day, but God empowered Ezra and softened the king in a remarkable way. Of course, Artaxerxes was impressed with Ezra's understanding of his own religion and thoughtful preparation for this return to the homeland.

And although he would have been hard-pressed to explain it, the king knew that there was something else going on with this humble man who stood in his presence. Scripture tells us that "the hand of the LORD his God was on Ezra." God revealed himself through Ezra and moved the heart of a pagan monarch.

The king also must have observed Ezra's leadership skills. He knew that the task of moving thousands of Jews back to their homeland would need to be shouldered by a group of men who shared Ezra's vision and were loyal to him. In his letter, the king directs Ezra and his "brother Jews" to "do whatever seems best" with the vast provisions he sends along. This was not going to be a solo operation, and Artaxerxes was impressed with Ezra's ability to find other leaders to assist him.

Ezra was a man of vision demonstrated by his calling of the Levites to join the caravan to Jerusalem. He made it clear that this voyage was not simply a sightseeing tour of the rebuilt temple, but a spiritual pilgrimage.

Ezra's close relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is undeniable. Ezra "was well versed in the law" and had devoted himself to studying and keeping the law, as well as teaching its commands.

But it was Ezra's humility before God that is the most telling part of the story. Nowhere was this more clearly demonstrated than when the report of Israel's sinfulness was brought to his attention.

You would think, after seeing how Ezra had prepared for this trip and how he had demonstrated his fidelity to God and his leadership skills, that Ezra would be outraged by the report. "Who do these Jews think they are?" Ezra could have thundered. "God will surely judge them for their sin."

Instead, Ezra fell on his knees lamenting the sins of God's people. Soon others gathered around the weeping priest, pouring out their own sins before the throne of God. What an amazing sight that must have been. Then Ezra, empowered by the Holy Spirit, made a declaration before the people that Israel's unfaithfulness had manifested itself in the Jewish men marrying foreign women. He told them to confess their sin and make a covenant to send away these wives and their children. "You are right!" the people responded. "We must do as you say."

Often the fires of revival are kindled in the souls of people like Ezra who come before the Lord on behalf of God's people.

Reflect On: Ezra 10:1
Praise God: For his faithfulness in Ezra’s life and his promise to be faithful in yours.
Offer Thanks: For the insurmountable challenges that force you into his presence.
Confess: Any propensity to be critical of others’ sins without confessing the gravity of your own.
Ask God: To fill you with his presence, to give you dreams and plans that honor him, and grant you wisdom.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
Ezra was a student and a teacher of Scripture. His dedication to learning made him well versed in the substance and nuances of the law. He had a commanding knowledge of its truth. Is it any wonder why God selected him to initiate revival among the Hebrews?

LHM Daily Devotions July 24, 2020 - "Building Trust"

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Building Trust"

July 24, 2020

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

We each have a desire for things to make sense. This certainty of mind, however, isn't always possible. Life often gives us more gray areas than it does black and white. When it comes to matters of faith, we are to trust in God's Word. However, this is a constant struggle because of the continued presence of sin in our lives. We want to trust in God. We know we should rely on Him exclusively in all situations. But then, we also want to know that if we have to—if it really comes down to it—we can handle the situation ourselves.

In other words, we like to hedge our bets. If it looks like God isn't going to give us the answer we seek, we are prepared to step in and take care of the matter for Him. Faith, however, isn't supposed to be provisional, is it? It's not something we apply on one occasion, only to suspend on another.

Our relationship with God is based on faith. By faith, we acknowledge Him as Creator of the heavens and the earth. By faith, we believe He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. By faith, we trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding. We have this faith knowing that though we may fall short, God's power, mercy, and love will never fall short.

The condition of our faith and the way we exercise it very much concerns God, according to the book of Hebrews. It says, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the Word of God so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible" and "without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him" (Hebrews 11:1-3, 6).

It is important that we nourish our faith by reading the Bible, gathering with other believers, and taking time to pray regularly. We live in a world that does not regard the Christian faith highly. Therefore, as Christians, it's important to guard our faith so as not to be swayed by society and circumstances that downplay our faith and the Savior we love and worship (see 2 Timothy 1:13-14).

In spite of these challenges, may our faith in Him increase so that we, too, may lead lives pleasing to Him.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Your Son died for each one of us and through the Holy Spirit You give us faith to believe in You and live for You. Grant us a faith that increases daily. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. How are you with trusting people, in general? Do they have to "prove" themselves to you, or do you give them the benefit of the doubt?

2. How hard is it to trust in God? How is your trust in Him renewed or strengthened?

3. What do you do to show others you are a trustworthy person?
Taken from a Daily Devotion prepared by Dr. Melissa Salomón. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
How are you with trusting people, in general? Do they have to "prove" themselves to you, or do you give them the benefit of the doubt?

Devocional CPTLN del 24 de julio de 2020 - Creando confianza


Creando confianza

24 de Julio de 2020

Confía en el Señor de todo corazón, y no te apoyes en tu propia prudencia. Reconócelo en todos tus caminos, y él enderezará tus sendas.

Todos queremos que las cosas tengan sentido. Sin embargo, esa certeza no siempre es posible. En la vida a menudo hay más áreas grises que en blanco y negro. Cuando se trata de asuntos de fe, debemos confiar en la Palabra de Dios. Sin embargo, esta es una lucha constante debido a la presencia continua del pecado en nuestra vida. Queremos confiar en Dios y sabemos que debemos confiar en Él exclusivamente en todas las situaciones. Pero también queremos saber que si debemos hacerlo podemos manejar la situación nosotros mismos.

En otras palabras, nos gusta cubrir nuestras apuestas. Si parece que Dios no nos dará la respuesta que buscamos, estamos preparados para intervenir y ocuparnos nosotros del asunto. Sin embargo, la fe no es algo provisional, ¿verdad? No es algo que aplicamos en una ocasión y no en otra.

Nuestra relación con Dios se basa en la fe. Por fe lo reconocemos como Creador de los cielos y la tierra. Por fe creemos que envió a su Hijo Jesucristo a morir por nuestros pecados. Por fe confiamos en él y no en nuestro propio entendimiento. Tenemos esta fe sabiendo que, aunque podemos fallar, el poder, la misericordia y el amor de Dios nunca fallarán.

La condición de nuestra fe y la forma en que la ejercitamos concierne mucho a Dios, según el libro de Hebreos. Dice: " Ahora bien, tener fe es estar seguro de lo que se espera; es estar convencido de lo que no se ve. Gracias a ella, nuestros antepasados fueron reconocidos y aprobados. Por la fe entendemos que Dios creó el universo por medio de su palabra, de modo que lo que ahora vemos fue hecho de lo que no se veía... Sin fe es imposible agradar a Dios, porque es necesario que el que se acerca a Dios crea que él existe, y que sabe recompensar a quienes lo buscan" (Hebreos 11:1-3, 6).

Es importante que alimentemos nuestra fe leyendo la Biblia, reuniéndonos con otros creyentes y tomando tiempo para orar regularmente. Vivimos en un mundo que no considera altamente la fe cristiana. Por lo tanto, como cristianos, es importante proteger nuestra fe para no dejarnos influir por la sociedad y las circunstancias que minimizan nuestra fe y al Salvador que amamos y adoramos (ver 2 Timoteo 1:13-14).

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, tu Hijo murió por cada uno de nosotros y por el Espíritu Santo nos das fe para creer en ti y vivir para ti. Concédenos una fe que aumente a diario. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Dra. Melissa Salomon

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Qué tan difícil te resulta confiar en Dios? ¿Cómo se renueva o fortalece tu confianza en Él?

* ¿Qué haces para mostrarles a los demás que eres una persona confiable?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Qué tan difícil te resulta confiar en Dios? ¿Cómo se renueva o fortalece tu confianza en Él?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày - Vết Sẹo Của Ngài

Vết Sẹo Của Ngài

Đọc: Giăng 20:24–29 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Thi Thiên 35–36; Công Vụ 25

Người đã vì tội lỗi của chúng ta mà bị vết... bởi lằn roi Người mang, chúng ta được lành bệnh.
— Ê-sai 53:5

Sau cuộc trò chuyện với Grady, tôi nhận ra lý do anh ấy thích chào hỏi bằng “cái cụng tay” thay vì bắt tay. Bắt tay sẽ làm lộ ra những vết sẹo trên cổ tay của anh ấy, là kết quả của việc cố gắng tự làm hại bản thân. Việc chúng ta che giấu vết thương của mình – bên ngoài hoặc bên trong – do người khác hoặc tự bản thân gây ra không phải là điều hiếm thấy.

Sau cuộc gặp với Grady, tôi nghĩ về những vết sẹo trên thân thể của Chúa Jêsus, những vết thương do bị đinh đóng vào tay chân và giáo đâm vào hông. Thay vì che giấu, Đấng Christ đã hướng sự chú ý đến những vết sẹo.

Sau khi Thô-ma nghi ngờ việc Chúa Jêsus sống lại từ cõi chết, Ngài bảo ông: “Hãy đặt ngón tay con vào đây và xem bàn tay Ta. Hãy đưa bàn tay con ra và đặt vào sườn Ta. Đừng vô tín, nhưng hãy tin” (Gi. 20:27). Khi chính Thô-ma nhìn thấy những vết sẹo đó và nghe những lời đầy kinh ngạc từ Đấng Christ, ông được thuyết phục rằng đó chính là Chúa Jêsus. Ông thốt lên bày tỏ niềm tin: “Lạy Chúa của con và Đức Chúa Trời con!” (c.28). Sau đó, Chúa Jêsus tuyên bố phước lành đặc biệt cho những người chưa từng thấy Ngài hoặc vết thương trên thân thể Ngài nhưng vẫn tin: “Phước cho những người không thấy mà tin” (c.29).

Tin tốt nhất từ trước đến nay đó là những vết sẹo của Ngài là vì tội lỗi của chúng ta – tội lỗi đối với người khác hoặc chính mình. Sự chết của Chúa Jêsus là để tha thứ tội lỗi cho tất cả những ai tin Ngài và cùng xưng nhận với Thô-ma: “Lạy Chúa của con và Đức Chúa Trời con!”
Hoàn cảnh nào dẫn bạn đến chỗ tin rằng vết sẹo của Chúa Jêsus là vì bạn? Nếu bạn không tin Ngài tha thứ tội lỗi của mình, điều gì ngăn trở bạn không tin Ngài hôm nay?
Lạy Cha, con tin rằng vết sẹo của Đấng Christ là vì tội lỗi của con. Con biết ơn Ngài!

Chú Giải

Chúng ta có thể biết được nhiều về sự phục sinh của Chúa Jêsus bằng cách kết nối các phân đoạn ký thuật về sự kiện này trong các sách Phúc Âm. Trước khi Chúa Jêsus xuất hiện với Thô-ma trong Giăng 20:24-29, Ngài hiện ra với Ma-ri Ma-đơ-len và “Ma-ri khác” (xem Mat. 28:1), với hai môn đồ trên đường đến Em-ma-út (Lu. 24:13-32) và với tất cả các môn đồ trừ Thô-ma (Gi. 20:19-24). Lu-ca ký thuật lại lời của Chúa Jêsus: “Hãy chạm đến Ta xem! Thần linh thì không có thịt xương, mà các con thấy Ta có đây!” (Lu. 24:39). Các môn đồ nhìn thấy Ngài ăn một miếng cá nướng. Giăng 20:19 cho biết: “ngày thứ nhất trong tuần, cửa nơi các môn đồ ở đều đóng vì sợ người Do Thái” và “Đức Chúa Jêsus đến đứng giữa họ”. Một tuần sau, Thô-ma được nhìn thấy thân thể phục sinh của Đấng Christ (c.26-27), và ông đã tuyên xưng đức tin của mình. Các phân đoạn Kinh Thánh này bày tỏ nhân tính và thần tính của Chúa Jêsus và khẳng định sự phục sinh trong thân xác của Ngài.

Tim Gustafson

© 2020 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Sau cuộc trò chuyện với Grady, tôi nhận ra lý do anh ấy thích chào hỏi bằng “cái cụng tay” thay vì bắt tay.