Monday, August 10, 2020

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, August 10, 2020

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, August 10, 2020
Psalm 28; Genesis 37:29-36; 2 Peter 2:4-10
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)
(Semicontinuous Reading Plan)

God hears my pleadings
1  To you, Lord, I call;
     you are my Rock,
     do not turn a deaf ear to me.
   For if you remain silent,
     I will be like those who go down to the pit.
2  Hear my cry for mercy
     as I call to you for help,
   as I lift up my hands
     toward your Most Holy Place.

3  Do not drag me away with the wicked,
     with those who do evil,
   who speak cordially with their neighbors
     but harbor malice in their hearts.
4  Repay them for their deeds
     and for their evil work;
   repay them for what their hands have done
     and bring back on them what they deserve.

5  Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord
     and what his hands have done,
   he will tear them down
     and never build them up again.

6  Praise be to the Lord,
     for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7  The Lord is my strength and my shield;
     my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
   My heart leaps for joy,
     and with my song I praise him.

8  The Lord is the strength of his people,
     a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9  Save your people and bless your inheritance;
     be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Jacob mourns Joseph’s loss
37:29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”

31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”

33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”

34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him.

36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

God judges and rescues
2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.

Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;

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, August 10, 2020
Psalm 28; Genesis 37:29-36; 2 Peter 2:4-10

The Daily Prayer for MONDAY, August 10, 2020
The Daily Prayer
MONDAY, August 10, 2020

Listen to these words of Starets Zosima in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov: “At some thoughts one stands perplexed, above all at the sight of human sin, and wonders whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide ‘I will combat it by humble love.’ If you resolve on that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force: it is the strongest of all things, and there is nothing else like it.”

God of love and Prince of Peace, give us courage in the face of trouble. Walk with us and give us a power that is not like that of chariots or armies. Arm us with grace. Make our tongues sharp with truth. Walk with us amid the principalities and powers of this dark world. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, August 10, 2020

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Read all of Psalm 46

Listen to Psalm 46

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

Daily Devotions - August 10, 2020 - "His Shining Face"

Daily Devotions
"His Shining Face"

August 10, 2020

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

What does it mean to have God's face shine on us? We might imagine the look on the faces of family members as they welcome loved ones who arrive back home, after a long absence. Their love and joy would be evident, shining on their faces, seen in the glance of everyone present. God's shining face is part of the blessing He commanded the priests to use for the people of Israel: "The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them" (Numbers 6:24-27). In the light of God's shining face, the people would be blessed and marked with God's Name as His holy people.

To have God's face shine upon you means that He is looking towards you and looking on you with favor. Scripture speaks of those who do not enjoy the blessing of God's shining face, enduring instead His terrible wrath: "The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth" (Psalm 34:16). The prayer in our psalm—that God would be gracious to us, bless us, and make His face shine on us—has already been answered for us, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Even though we did not deserve His love and blessing, God was gracious to us, sending us the gift of His Son to be our Savior. In Christ we know just what it means to have God's face shine upon us.

The favor of God is seen as Jesus fulfilled the purpose for which He had come. "When the days drew near for Him to be taken up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51). As the appointed time of His death was approaching, Jesus turned His face toward the cross. With resolute steps, He walked on to Jerusalem. There He would take onto Himself the burden of the world's sin. The face of God shines on us because on that dark day outside of Jerusalem, the face of God turned away from His suffering Son.

Our psalm asks God to bless us and make His face shine on us. Why? We ask His blessing so that His way "may be known on earth" and His saving power known "among all nations." When God's shining face is turned toward us, we reflect His glory. "They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed" (Psalm 34:5). We reflect God's blessing in acts of love and service. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we proclaim the Good News of God's shining face in Jesus to a world lost in darkness. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6).

THE PRAYER: Almighty God, we live in the shining light of Your love and mercy. Help us by Your Spirit to reflect that light to others. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. What do think the face of God looks like?

2. Can you give some examples of God graciousness to you in your life?

3. How can we reflect God's glory to others by the way we live?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved.
What do think the face of God looks like?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, August 10, 2020

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them.

Today we feature the first in a series from a house church pastor’s sermon in China:

The Bible is written to persecuted communities, and we must learn from each community the peculiar blessings and dangers of persecution. I would like to draw your attention to some lessons from the persecuted community in the time of Esther.

Esther was Queen of Persia sometime after 483 BC. She was a beautiful woman with a secret—no one except her adopted father knew it. It was her racial origin. She was a Jew.

There came a great persecution. In Esther 3:8, we read that the king of Persia’s advisor says he should not tolerate a certain group of people. The king agrees and issues a decree calling for the extermination of all Jews.

The Jews are devastated, including Esther. How they got into this situation, how they get out of it, and what happened afterward all reveal great truths about suffering churches—of which we are one.

Where does persecution come from? What is its source? The text shows us clearly. Persecution is the result of pride. Pride on the part of the persecutor.

Haman is the culprit. He is humiliated because a Jew called Mordecai refuses to bow low enough to him. We are not given the reason why Mordecai would deliver such a calculated snub, but it makes Haman see red. Instead of just trying to get rid of Mordecai, though, he has to project his personal humiliation into something grand. He won’t admit it’s all just a personal grudge but concocts an elaborate plan to get rid of all Jews because they are in breach of the king’s laws.

His plan is a good one. The Jews are different, he says. True. They are so different, they are not good citizens, he adds. False, but the king is right to be suspicious of any group that seems to have other loyalties than just to him. It’s the same in China. Our government persecutes us because we are different. We are honest, separate, and we have greater loyalties than just to the state. That makes us an object of suspicion.

But the root of it all is pride. The cause of the persecution was simply that Haman was angry. I have read that in Russia, the terrible persecutions that were visited upon the churches there came from the fact that Lenin’s brother was shot by the Tsar’s forces, and what galled him, in particular, was that a Russian Orthodox priest blessed the proceedings. He carried his personal hatred with him…It’s a pride matter. It always is. The source of suffering is always found in human pride.

RESPONSE: Today I will check my pride at the door and realize that God is still in control!

PRAYER: Pray that prideful leaders will humble themselves to acknowledge the God of the universe.

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, August 10, 2020
The Woman of Proverbs 31

Her character: She represents the fulfillment of a life lived in wisdom.
Her joy: To be praised by her husband and children as a woman who surpasses all others.
Key Scriptures: Proverbs 31:10-31

Her Story

Proverbs brims with less-than-glowing descriptions of women. There are wayward wives, prostitutes, women with smoother-than-oil lips, strange women, loud women, defiant women, wives who are like a continual drip on a rainy day or decay in their husbands' bones, women whose feet never stay home, brazen-faced women, and even a woman so repulsive she is likened to a gold ring in a pig's snout!

Any woman reading Proverbs may be tempted to conclude that its authors tended to blame women for weaknesses actually rooted in the male psyche, especially when it comes to sexual sin. But to balance things out there are also some odious descriptions of men, including scoundrels, villains, chattering fools, and sluggards. And Proverbs actually opens and closes with positive portrayals of women: first as wisdom personified and then as a woman who can do no wrong.

Just who was this woman on a pedestal described in Proverbs 31? Was she, as many think, the ideal wife and mother? In traditional Jewish homes, husbands and children recited the poem in Proverbs 31 at the Sabbath table. Written as an acrostic, each line begins with a Hebrew letter in alphabetical sequence, making it easy to memorize. The poem describes a wealthy, aristocratic woman with a large household to direct. She was hardworking, enterprising, capable, strong, wise, skilled, generous, thoughtful of others, dignified, God-fearing, serene—a tremendous credit to her husband. She arose while it was still dark to feed her family. She looked at a field, considered its merits, and purchased it. She wove cloth and made linen garments, which she then sold. "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all' " (verses 28-29).

The description of the woman in Proverbs 31 offers a refreshing contrast to other ancient depictions of women, which tend to portray them in more frivolous and decorative terms, emphasizing only their charm or beauty. Still, the perfect woman of Proverbs 31 hasn't always been a friend to ordinary women. In fact, she has sometimes been rubbed into the faces of lesser women by critical husbands and preachers unable to resist the temptation. What woman could ever measure up to her? And is a woman's worth to be measured only by what she can accomplish in the domestic sphere? Or is the woman in Proverbs 31 a symbol of all the contributions a woman could make within the culture of her day? Regardless of how you answer these questions, there is more to her story than simply being the ideal wife and mother.

Before we can discover more about her true identity, it is worth posing a broader question: Are there really all that many women running around in the pages of Proverbs? Perhaps, in fact, there are only two main women in Proverbs: the wise woman and the woman of folly (as some have called her). The latter encompasses the adulteress and her many wicked counterparts; the former encompasses wisdom in the abstract and wisdom made concrete in the woman of Proverbs 31.

In Proverbs 3:13-16, a young man is instructed: "Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor." Here is wisdom in the abstract, personified as a woman.

Proverbs 31 echoes this praise: "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies…. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard" (verses 10, 12-16). Here is a concrete example of what wisdom looks like in a person's life.

By contrast, the man who welcomes the brazen-faced woman, the prostitute, the adulteress is nothing but a fool. He has fallen prey to the woman of folly, who offers deceitful pleasures that will lead to his death.

From beginning to end, Proverbs is a practical handbook for leading a life based on wisdom. In the end, there are only two choices for both men and women: to embrace wisdom or to love folly. The woman of Proverbs 31 may well be meant to inspire both men and women with a picture of what a virtuous life, male or female, is capable of producing: shelter for others, serenity, honor, prosperity, generosity, confidence about the future—true blessedness. Who wouldn't want to be like such a woman? Who wouldn't sing her praises?

Her Promise

Many women find Proverbs 31 discouraging. Don't let that happen to you. Remember, this very capable woman is ultimately praised not so much for all she accomplishes as for one thing: She fears the Lord. The woman who is worthy of praise is not necessarily the one who does all her own sewing or is a great cook or is a natural beauty—the woman who gets the praise is the woman who fears the Lord. That's the target to aim for. Not outward beauty. Not a perfectly decorated home. Not even more intellectual knowledge or business acumen. Instead, aim for a bold, all-consuming love for God. Then you too will be worthy of praise.

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.
She represents the fulfillment of a life lived in wisdom.

Un dia a la Vez - Lunes 10 de agosto de 2020
Oración por la pérdida de un hijo

El Señor está cerca de los quebrantados de corazón, y salva a los de espíritu abatido.

Señor Jesús, hoy vengo ante ti intercediendo por todas las madres que han perdido un hijo, ya sea durante el embarazo o en alguna otra circunstancia.

Sé que tú, como Padre, puedes comprender la inmensidad del dolor porque también entregaste a tu Hijo Jesucristo a una muerte terrible en la cruz.

Señor, consuela, fortalece y levanta a cada hija tuya que esté atravesando este dolor.

Sabemos que eres perfecto, y aunque no entendamos por qué permites estas pruebas en nuestras vidas, descansamos en ti.

Ayúdalas, mi Dios, y permite que los padres que sufren también puedan recibir consolación. Levanta y sana estos matrimonios y permite que tú seas su esperanza.

Gracias, Señor, por las pruebas. A pesar de que no las entendemos, sabemos que tienen propósitos eternos en ti.

Te amo, Señor, y te entregamos nuestras vidas.

En el nombre de Jesús, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Señor Jesús, hoy vengo ante ti intercediendo por todas las madres que han perdido un hijo, ya sea durante el embarazo o en alguna otra circunstancia.…

Devocional CPTLN del 10 de agosto de 2020 - Su rostro resplandeciente


Su rostro resplandeciente

10 de Agosto de 2020

Dios mío, ¡ten misericordia de nosotros, y bendícenos! ¡Haz resplandecer su rostro sobre nosotros! ¡Que sea reconocido en la tierra tu camino, y en todas las naciones tu salvación!

¿Qué significa que el rostro de Dios resplandece sobre nosotros? Podemos imaginar la mirada en los rostros de las personas cuando dan la bienvenida a sus seres queridos que llegan a casa después de una larga ausencia. Su amor y alegría son evidentes. El rostro resplandeciente de Dios es parte de la bendición que ordenó a los sacerdotes que usaran para el pueblo de Israel: " Que el Señor te bendiga, y te cuide! ¡Que el Señor haga resplandecer su rostro sobre ti, y tenga de ti misericordia! ¡Que el Señor alce su rostro sobre ti, y ponga en ti paz! »De esta manera invocarán ellos mi nombre sobre los hijos de Israel, y yo los bendeciré" (Números 6:24-27). A la luz del rostro resplandeciente de Dios, las personas serían bendecidas y marcadas con el Nombre de Dios como Su pueblo santo.

Que el rostro de Dios resplandezca sobre ti significa que Él te está mirando con favor. Las Escrituras hablan de aquellos que no disfrutan de la bendición del rostro resplandeciente de Dios, soportando en cambio su terrible ira: "el rostro del Señor está contra los que hacen el mal, para borrar de la tierra su memoria" (Salmo 34:16). La oración en nuestro salmo pidiendo que Dios sea misericordioso con nosotros, nos bendiga y haga que su rostro resplandezca sobre nosotros, ya ha sido respondida en Cristo Jesús, nuestro Señor. Aunque no merecíamos su amor y bendición, Dios fue amable con nosotros y nos envió el regalo de su Hijo para ser nuestro Salvador. En Cristo sabemos exactamente lo que significa que el rostro de Dios brille sobre nosotros.

El favor de Dios se ve cuando Jesús cumplió el propósito para el que había venido. "Se acercaba el tiempo en que Jesús había de ser recibido arriba, así que resolvió con firmeza dirigirse a Jerusalén" (Lucas 9:51). Cuando se acercaba el tiempo señalado de su muerte, Jesús volvió su rostro hacia la cruz. Con pasos decididos caminó hacia Jerusalén, donde tomaría sobre sí la carga del pecado del mundo. El rostro de Dios brilla sobre nosotros porque en ese día oscuro, fuera de Jerusalén, el rostro de Dios se apartó de Su Hijo sufriente.

Nuestro salmo le pide a Dios que nos bendiga y haga que Su rostro resplandezca sobre nosotros. ¿Por qué? Le pedimos su bendición para que su camino "sea conocido en la tierra" y su poder salvador sea conocido "entre todas las naciones". Cuando el rostro resplandeciente de Dios se vuelve hacia nosotros, reflejamos su gloria. "Los que a él acuden irradian alegría; no tienen por qué esconder su rostro" (Salmo 34:5). Reflejamos la bendición de Dios en actos de amor y servicio. Con el poder del Espíritu Santo, proclamamos la Buena Noticia del rostro resplandeciente de Dios en Jesús a un mundo perdido en la oscuridad. "Porque Dios, que mandó que de las tinieblas surgiera la luz, es quien brilló en nuestros corazones para que se revelara el conocimiento de la gloria de Dios en el rostro de Jesucristo" (2 Corintios 4:6).

ORACIÓN: Dios Todopoderoso, vivimos en la luz resplandeciente de tu amor y misericordia. Ayúdanos por Tu Espíritu a reflejar esa luz a los demás. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Puedes dar algún ejemplo de la gracia de Dios en tu vida?

* ¿Cómo puedes reflejar la gloria de Dios a los demás a través de tu vida?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Puedes dar algún ejemplo de la gracia de Dios en tu vida?

Notre Pain Quotidien - L’incertitude de l’attente

L’incertitude de l’attente

Lisez : 1 Pierre 2.4-10
La Bible en un an : Psaumes 81 – 83 ; Romains 11.19-36

[Vous] êtes une race élue, un sacerdoce royal, une nation sainte, un peuple acquis, afin que vous annonciez les vertus de celui qui vous a appelés des ténèbres à son admirable lumière.

Un article paru en mai 1970 renfermait l’une des premières utilisations de l’idiome « sur la bulle ». Faisant allusion à un état d’incertitude, on l’a utilisé pour décrire la recrue de la course automobile Steve Krisiloff. On a confirmé que, même s’il avait inscrit le temps le moins bon de tous ceux qui s’étaient qualifiés à l’Indianapolis 500, ce temps lui permettait tout de même de participer à la course.

Il peut nous arriver parfois de douter d’avoir ce qu’il faut pour compétitionner ou achever la course de la vie. Le cas échéant, il importe de nous rappeler qu’en Jésus nous ne sommes jamais dans l’incertitude. Notre place dans son royaume est assurée (JN 14.3). Il a choisi de faire de Jésus la « pierre angulaire » sur laquelle notre vie s’édifie, et il nous a choisis comme « pierres vivantes » remplies de l’Esprit de Dieu et capables de composer le peuple que Dieu s’est choisi (1 PI 2.5,6).

Lorsque nous espérons en Christ et le suivons, notre avenir est assuré (V. 6). Il est écrit : « [Vous] êtes une race élue, un sacerdoce royal, une nation sainte, un peuple acquis, afin que vous annonciez les vertus de celui qui vous a appelés des ténèbres à son admirable lumière » (V. 9).
Dieu le Père, rappelle-moi de mettre mon espoir et ma confiance en toi seul lorsque je doute.
En venant à Christ, nous pouvons avoir l’assurance qu’il ne nous abandonnera jamais et que rien ne pourra nous séparer de son amour.

© 2020 Ministères NPQ
Un article paru en mai 1970 renfermait l’une des premières utilisations de l’idiome « sur la bulle ». Faisant allusion à un état d’incertitude, on l’a utilisé pour décrire la recrue de la course automobile Steve Krisiloff.