Friday, September 4, 2020

The Daily Bible Readings for FRIDAY, September 4, 2020

The Daily Readings
FRIDAY, September 4, 2020
Psalm 149; Exodus 10:21-29; Romans 10:15b-21
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Today's Verse-of-the-Day: 2 Timothy 1:13-14
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

Today's Readings:
Sing praise in the congregation
1 Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;

7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;

8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.

Another plague: darkness
10:21 And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.

22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:

23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.

25 And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the Lord our God.

26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the Lord our God; and we know not with what we must serve the Lord, until we come thither.

27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.

28 And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.

29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.

God reaches out to erring Israel
10:15b How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

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, King James Version (KJV).

The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, 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 Readings for FRIDAY, September 4, 2020
Psalm 149; Exodus 10:21-29; Romans 10:15b-21 (KJV)

The Daily Prayer for FRIDAY, September 4, 2020
The Daily Prayer
FRIDAY, September 4, 2020

In his book Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer says this to us: “Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it had sprung from a wish dream. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live even for a brief period in a dream world. The sooner this shock of disillusionment comes to an individual and to a community, the better for both.”

Lord, give us the imagination to dream and catch glimpses of the life you intend for us to live. Show us how our individual lives are entwined with those around us, and help us to live so truly together that we embody your good news in this world. Amen.

Verse of the Day for FRIDAY, September 4, 2020

2 Timothy 1:13-14
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
Read all of 2 Timothy 1

Listen to 2 Timothy 1

The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — God's Weakness

God's Weakness

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

In Corinth, an ancient capital of Greek culture and world commerce, the apostle Paul, master missionary to the world, taught his hearers a supreme lesson. He told them that their ultimate pardon and peace with God—blessings too mighty for them to earn with a lifetime of hard labor—were theirs, surely and eternally, by grace through faith.

Exalting Christ on the cross, Paul proclaimed the heart and soul climax of Gospel truth: justification by faith. His told his audience that they were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, for their full and free atonement, the Redeemer's blood has made their cleansing from all sin and guilt possible.

To be sure, much has changed since Paul, this Scripture-filled servant, made his way across Greece at the breakneck speed of about six miles an hour. Today the world at large is instant and available through mass media and long-distance communication.

Yet our age, too, is encrusted with a Corinthian mindset bent against purity and righteousness. How necessary, then, that we and every other messenger of Christ's mercy repeat St. Paul's faith-filled words: "We preach Christ crucified."

This is the message proclaimed by Lutheran Hour Ministries. It tells the world that God offers His love to all people, in all classes and conditions, with no sinner too vile to be pardoned through faith in the sin-conquering Savior. It tells us—you and me—that no longer can our guilty consciences successfully accuse us, nor the fierce enemies in hell triumph over us. Because of Christ we have no more sin, no more guilt and, therefore, no more punishment.

This is God's foolishness—wiser than the mind of man. This is God's weakness—stronger than anything the world can offer. Through the cross of Jesus, God has put an end to every feeble excuse our old self can put up in our defense. When all our human props give way, the Savior's love can turn our terror into trust, our fears into fortitude, and help us bear up even under life's heaviest burdens.

Your Heavenly Father's greatest blessing is yours fully and freely by faith. The heaped up wealth of all of earth's treasures is as dust and ashes in comparison with the eternal, imperishable, spiritual riches that are yours when you fully trust your Redeemer's power "to save to the uttermost" (Hebrews 7:25a).

Heavenly Father, place the cross of Your Son in our hearts so that we believe rightly and then share the love of Jesus with others. In His Name. Amen.

Rev. Dr. E.R. Bertermann

Reflection Questions:
1. Does God's way of saving people from their sins make sense to you?

2. How is Paul's preaching considered to be "folly" to the Jews and the Greeks?

3. In your own outreach, do you encounter resistance from others to the message of the cross? How do you respond at such times?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Does God's way of saving people from their sins make sense to you?

Standing Strong Through the Storm — GLAMORIZING PERSECUTION

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Reg Reimer, a veteran missionary in Vietnam and with the World Evangelical Alliance counters the idea that some people express which glamorizes persecution and concludes it is therefore good. He says that deprivation, cruelty, and dehumanization suffered by victims of persecution are NOT good but from the enemy! He writes in the book Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom: Theological Reflections:

In Vietnam, for example, it is well documented that in the past 30 years Christians have been harassed, discriminated against, arrested without cause, starved, beaten, imprisoned, raped, dispossessed, and chased from home and fields, and even killed for Christ’s sake. Only the Evil One takes pleasure in inflicting these injustices on those made in the image of God!

In September 2005, a Vietnamese pastor was released from a terrifying 15-month imprisonment. He had been rotated to five different prisons, was sometimes in rooms with 100 criminals and other times in a solitary cell. He had been attacked by prisoners with HIV/AIDS. He confessed to feeling alienated from his family and his church after his release. The feeling worsened. Six months after release he uttered the words, “I only discovered real loneliness when I got out of prison. My colleagues, my own brother, and even my wife don’t understand and won’t believe what I tell them.” Persecution is not good!

People much prefer the more positive reports of those who seem to flourish in persecution. It is truly amazing that for many, the persecution they suffer becomes a means of receiving grace! They testify of God’s strengthening presence in the harshest conditions. They report on God’s miraculous provisions in times of extreme need. And so persecution and suffering become an occasion for God’s comfort, often through others.[1]

RESPONSE: Today I will resist the temptation to glamorize persecution and the persecuted. Instead, I will pray unceasingly for those being traumatized.

PRAYER: Lord please bring Your comfort to our brothers and sisters who are hurting from persecution today. And bless those who provide much-needed trauma counseling for the persecuted church.

1. Christof Sauer and Richard Howell (ed), Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom: Theological Reflections (Johannesburg, SA: AcadSA Publishing, 2010), pp.331-332.

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 — Hosea

His name means: "Yahweh Has Delivered"

His work: Hosea was a prophet in Israel. Like other prophets, his charge was to call the people to repentance. However, he was also called to show them by his own life what it felt like to be a forgotten and yet merciful God.
His character: In obedience Hosea was willing to abandon his own dreams and marry a harlot. His love foreshadowed Christ's love for the church.
His sorrow: His unrepentant and unfaithful wife left him with their three children and a deep, aching hurt.
His triumph: Because of his selflessness and his willingness to forgive, his wife Gomer was restored.
Key Scriptures: Hosea 1-3

A Look at the Man

Telling stories is often the most powerful way to communicate truth, and speaking in parables was Jesus' method of choice. But sometimes in the Bible, God asked people not only to tell stories but to live them, to be the parable. This was the lot of Hosea.

The thought of falling in love with a prostitute is repugnant to any man. The thought of marrying her is even more revolting. But this is precisely what God ordered Hosea to do.

How can I love a woman who has "loved" so many? he must have wondered. How can I make a covenant with someone whose conduct deserves condemnation, not forgiveness?

But regardless of his questions, Hosea did exactly as the Lord told him. Hosea married a common harlot, a woman who knew nothing of virtue or faithfulness. As a learned man, Hosea knew that he could not reply to the Almighty's directive, "You don't know what you're asking me to do." He knew full well that God knew exactly what he was doing. As a prophet, Hosea had been called to preach repentance to God's people. He had tried to fill his message with the passion of the sovereign God, whose provision, love and mercy had been scoffed at or ignored. These Jews were even worshiping other gods. The chosen people were playing the harlot.

Now, with this assignment, Hosea would come to understand what this felt like. His love would be poured out to a woman who by the laws of the time deserved nothing less than a public execution for her blatant transgressions. But God took Hosea and made him the fool—the lover of the undeserving, the keeper of the vows, and the redeemer of the repeat offender. And though the people could not see God, they saw in the life of this man a compelling example of divine love—bold and just, yet relentlessly merciful.

Reflect On: Hosea 3:1–3
Praise God: For his love for you.
Offer Thanks: For God’s relentless pursuit of his unfaithful and wayward children.
Confess: Your own sinfulness and your spirit of judgment rather than compassion for others.
Ask God: To fill you with Hosea’s kind of willingness to serve and his mercy and love.

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.
Telling stories is often the most powerful way to communicate truth.

John Piper Devotional — Base Your Life on This
Base Your Life on This

The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Test yourself. What is your mindset? Do you begin with God and his rights and goals? Or do you begin with yourself and your rights and wishes?

And when you look at the death of Christ, what happens? Does your joy really come from translating this awesome divine work into a boost for self-esteem? Or are you drawn up out of yourself and filled with wonder and reverence and worship that here in the death of Jesus is the deepest, clearest declaration of the infinite esteem of God for his glory and for his Son?

Here is a great objective foundation for the full assurance of hope: the forgiveness of sins is grounded, finally, not in my finite worth or work, but in the infinite worth of the righteousness of God—God's unswerving allegiance to uphold and vindicate the glory of his name.

I appeal to you with all my heart, take your stand on this. Base your life on this. Ground your hope in this. You will be free from the futile mindset of the world. And you will never fall.

When God's exaltation of God in Christ is your joy, it can never fail.
Test yourself. What is your mindset? Do you begin with God and his rights and goals? Or do you begin with yourself and your rights and wishes?

Un dia a la Vez — Sabiduría contra necedad (primera parte)
Sabiduría contra necedad
(primera parte)

En los labios del prudente hay sabiduría; en la espalda del falto de juicio, solo garrotazos.

La sabiduría es un don hermoso y tenerla es una ganancia, mientras que la necedad es un defecto y es desobediencia.

Durante este año hemos recordado que cada uno de nosotros tiene una porción de sabiduría. No obstante, también el Manual de Instrucciones nos dice que si nos falta sabiduría, se la pidamos a Dios.

Es un privilegio y una virtud ser sabios en todo lo que hacemos, hablamos y pensamos. Cuando nos tomamos el tiempo para pensar antes de actuar, nos libramos de errores y de muchos dolores de cabeza.

Como todo en la vida, debemos tener un equilibrio. Hay personas que por tratar de ser sabios se van al extremo y se vuelven legalistas. Piensan que teniendo una conducta irreprochable van a ser capaces de evitar una crisis o una situación difícil. Les recuerdo que Dios creó el día bueno y también el malo. Lo importante es discernir los momentos y vivir en consecuencia.

Hay oportunidades que nunca regresan y está en ti tomar una sabia decisión. También hemos experimentado que el infortunio nos lleva a la reflexión y produce el fruto de la sabiduría.

Después de esas grandes dificultades que hemos enfrentado, es increíble cómo la manera de ver la vida cambia de forma radical y aprendemos mucho. Sin darnos cuenta, maduramos, y es de allí que viene el fruto de la sabiduría.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
La sabiduría es un don hermoso y tenerla es una ganancia, mientras que la necedad es un defecto y es desobediencia.

Devocional CPTLN — La debilidad de Dios

La debilidad de Dios

¿Dónde está el sabio? ¿Dónde está el escriba? ¿Dónde está el que escudriña estos tiempos? ¿Acaso no ha hecho Dios enloquecer a la sabiduría de este mundo? Porque Dios no permitió que el mundo lo conociera mediante la sabiduría, sino que dispuso salvar a los creyentes por la locura de la predicación. Los judíos piden señales, y los griegos van tras la sabiduría, pero nosotros predicamos a Cristo crucificado, que para los judíos es ciertamente un tropezadero, y para los no judíos una locura, pero para los llamados, tanto judíos como griegos, Cristo es poder de Dios, y sabiduría de Dios. Porque lo insensato de Dios es más sabio que los hombres, y lo débil de Dios es más fuerte que los hombres.

En Corinto, una antigua capital de la cultura griega y del comercio mundial, el apóstol Pablo, maestro misionero al mundo, enseñó a sus oyentes una lección suprema. Les dijo que el perdón y la paz con Dios— bendiciones demasiado poderosas para que las obtengan con una vida de duro trabajo— eran de ellos, segura y eternamente, por gracia a través de la fe. Al exaltar a Cristo en la cruz, Pablo proclamó el corazón del Evangelio: la justificación por la fe. Él le dijo a su audiencia que estaban justificados en el Nombre del Señor Jesucristo. La sangre del Redentor había hecho posible su limpieza de todo pecado y culpa.

Sin duda, mucho ha cambiado desde que este siervo cruzó Grecia a la velocidad vertiginosa de unas seis millas por hora. Hoy en día, el mundo en general es instantáneo y está disponible a través de los medios de comunicación y la comunicación a larga distancia. Pero también está incrustado con una mentalidad corintia inclinada contra la pureza y la justicia. Cuán necesario, entonces, que nosotros y todos los demás mensajeros de la misericordia de Cristo repitamos las palabras llenas de fe de San Pablo: "Predicamos a Cristo crucificado".

Dios ofrece su amor a todas las personas, en todas las clases y condiciones, sin que ningún pecador sea demasiado vil para ser perdonado mediante la fe en el Salvador que conquista el pecado. Él nos dice —a ti y a mí— que nuestras conciencias culpables ya no pueden acusarnos con éxito, ni los enemigos feroces del infierno triunfar sobre nosotros. Por Cristo no tenemos más culpa y, por lo tanto, no más castigo.

Esta es la necedad de Dios más sabia que la mente del hombre. Ésta es la debilidad de Dios más fuerte que cualquier cosa que el mundo pueda ofrecer. A través de la cruz de Jesús, Dios ha puesto fin a toda débil excusa que nuestro viejo yo puso en nuestra defensa. El amor del Salvador puede convertir nuestro terror en confianza, nuestros miedos en fortaleza y ayudarnos a sobrellevar incluso las cargas más pesadas de la vida.

ORACIÓN: Padre celestial, coloca la cruz de tu Hijo en nuestros corazones para que creamos y compartamos el amor de Jesús con los demás. En su Nombre. Amén.

Rev. Dr. E.R. Bertermann

Para reflexionar:
* ¿De qué manera la predicación de Pablo es una "locura" para los judíos y los griegos?

* ¿Has encontrado resistencia al compartir el mensaje de la cruz? ¿Cómo has respondido?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿De qué manera la predicación de Pablo es una "locura" para los judíos y los griegos?

Lời Sống Hằng Ngày — Hãy Nói!

Hãy Nói!

Đọc: Cô-lô-se 4:2–6 | Đọc Kinh Thánh suốt năm: Thi Thiên 143–145; I Cô-rinh-tô 14:21–40

Cũng hãy cầu nguyện... xin Đức Chúa Trời mở cửa cho chúng tôi rao giảng lời Ngài, công bố sự mầu nhiệm của Đấng Christ.

Brittany lớn tiếng nói với đồng nghiệp tại nhà hàng: “Người đàn ông đó! Chính là anh ấy!” Cô đang nói đến Melvin, người gặp cô lần đầu tiên trong một hoàn cảnh khác. Khi đang làm cỏ tại nhà thờ, Đức Thánh Linh đã thúc giục anh bắt chuyện với người phụ nữ có vẻ là gái mại dâm. Câu trả lời của cô khi được anh mời vào nhà thờ là: “Anh có biết tôi làm nghề gì không? Họ không muốn tôi vào đó đâu”. Khi Melvin nói với cô về tình yêu của Chúa Jêsus và đảm bảo quyền năng Ngài sẽ thay đổi cuộc đời cô, nước mắt cô tuôn rơi. Đến hôm nay, sau một vài tuần, Brittany đang làm việc trong một môi trường mới, là bằng chứng sống về quyền năng thay đổi cuộc đời của Chúa Jêsus.

Khi khích lệ các tín hữu sốt sắng cầu nguyện, sứ đồ Phao-lô đã đưa ra lời thỉnh cầu có hai phần: “Cũng hãy cầu nguyện cho chúng tôi, xin Đức Chúa Trời mở cửa cho chúng tôi rao giảng lời Ngài, công bố sự mầu nhiệm của Đấng Christ. Chính vì sự mầu nhiệm đó mà tôi bị xiềng xích. Cũng xin cầu nguyện để tôi có thể bày tỏ rõ ràng điều tôi phải nói” (Côl. 4:3–4).

Bạn có cầu nguyện cho cơ hội được nói về Chúa Jêsus cách dạn dĩ và rõ ràng không? Đó là lời cầu nguyện đúng đắn! Lời cầu nguyện như vậy có thể làm cho những người theo Ngài, như Melvin, nói về Ngài tại những nơi không ngờ đến với những người chưa từng nghĩ đến. Nói về Chúa Jêsus có thể sẽ không thoải mái, nhưng phần thưởng – những cuộc đời được biến đổi – thật xứng đáng để chúng ta chấp nhận những bất tiện đó.
Bạn từng chia sẻ về tình yêu của Chúa Jêsus với người khác dù bất ngờ và không thoải mái thế nào? Việc cầu nguyện đóng vai trò gì khi bạn chuẩn bị để nói về Ngài cách dạn dĩ?
Lạy Chúa Jêsus, xin giúp con nhìn thấy cơ hội và bước qua những cánh cửa Ngài mở để nói cách dạn dĩ và rõ ràng về Ngài!

Chú Giải

Từ “thành tâm” ở Cô-lô-se 4:2 trong nguyên ngữ Hy Lạp là proskartereō, có nghĩa gốc là “mạnh mẽ”. “Hãy thành tâm cầu nguyện” có nghĩa là ‘mạnh mẽ bước tới, kiên trì, bền bỉ, chịu đựng’. Chủ thể của động từ này là sự cầu nguyện. Cô-lô-se 4:2 không phải là câu duy nhất trong Kinh Thánh Tân Ước mà hai từ này xuất hiện cùng nhau. Trong sách Công Vụ Các Sứ Đồ, trước và sau lễ Ngũ Tuần, những người theo Chúa Jêsus được mô tả là bền lòng cầu nguyện (1:14) và chuyên tâm cầu nguyện (2:42). Trong 6:4, các tín hữu được kêu gọi chú tâm vào việc cầu nguyện, và trong Rô-ma 12:12, những người tin nơi Chúa Jêsus được khích lệ trung tín trong sự cầu nguyện. Các tín hữu tại Cô-lô-se có tấm gương cầu nguyện của Ê-pháp-ra: “Ê-pháp-ra, người đồng hương với anh em, một đầy tớ của Đấng Christ Jêsus…; anh ấy còn vì anh em chiến đấu trong sự cầu nguyện” (Cô-lô-se 4:12; xem 1:7).

Arthur Jackson

© 2020 Lời Sống Hằng Ngày
Người đàn ông đó! Chính là anh ấy!