Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Daily Bible Readings for WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2020


The Daily Readings
WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2020
Psalm 128; Joshua 10:12-14; Matthew 15:1-9
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
The Law revealed God’s righteous requirements to us—standards we could never hope to meet on our own (Rom. 7:7). On the other hand, the Spirit gives us life because He draws us to faith in Christ’s provision on the Cross.

Today’s Readings:
Psalm 128
It shall be well with you

1 Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.

2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.

5 The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.

6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.

Sometimes called the Marriage Song, Psalm 128 has been associated with weddings for centuries. Christian marriage builds on this rich legacy. Those desiring to flourish in their marriage can meditate on this psalm (in addition to studying other Scriptures about marriage). According to the psalmist, wisdom for marriage and family begins with the fear of the Lord (v. 4). A marriage blessed by the Lord is one in which a husband and wife choose to walk in the Lord’s ways (v. 1). Pray for the marriages in your sphere of influence. Ask that these marriages know the blessing and peace of the Lord (vv. 1, 4–6).

Joshua 10:12-14
Sun and moon stand still

10:12 Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.

The meanest and most feeble, who have just begun to trust the Lord, are as much entitled to be protected as those who have long and faithfully been his servants. It is our duty to defend the afflicted, who, like the Gibeonites, are brought into trouble on our account, or for the sake of the gospel. Joshua would not forsake his new vassals. How much less shall our true Joshua fail those who trust in Him! We may be wanting in our trust, but our trust never can want success. Yet God's promises are not to slacken and do away, but to quicken and encourage our endeavors. Notice Joshua's great faith and the power of God answering it by the miraculous staying of the sun that the day of Israel's victories might be made longer. Joshua acted on this occasion by impulse on his mind from the Spirit of God. According to the modern terms of astronomy, it was not necessary that Joshua speak or the miracle be recorded. The sun appeared to the Israelites over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, and there they appeared to be stopped on their course for one whole day. Is anything too hard for the Lord? forms a sufficient answer to ten thousand difficulties, which objectors have in every age started against the truth of God as revealed in his written word. A proclamation was hereby made to the neighboring nations, Behold the works of the Lord, and say, What nation is there so great as Israel, who has God so nigh unto them?

Matthew 15:1-9
Lips that misrepresent the heart

15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,

2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;

6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Additions to God’s laws reflect upon his wisdom as if he had left out something which was needed and which man could supply; in one way or another, they always lead men to disobey God. How thankful ought we to be for the written word of God! Never let us think that the religion of the Bible can be improved by any human addition, either in doctrine or practice. Our blessed Lord spoke of their traditions as inventions of their own and pointed out one instance in which this was very clear, that of their transgressing the fifth commandment. When a parent’s wants called for assistance, they pleaded that they had devoted to the temple all they could spare, even though they did not part with it, and therefore their parents must expect nothing from them. This was making the command of God of no effect. The doom of hypocrites is put in a little compass; “In vain do they worship me.” It will neither please God nor profit themselves; they trust in vanity, and vanity will be their recompense.

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 WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2020
Psalm 128; Joshua 10:12-14; Matthew 15:1-9 (KJV)

Prayer of the Day for WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2020


Prayer of the Day
WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2020

You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant.

Lord our God, we thank you that you have redeemed us and that we may feel united with your holy ones, those in heaven and those on earth who are gathered around Jesus Christ, a people growing in number and strength from year to year. We thank you that we too belong to them, and we ask you to keep our hearts aware of this unity so that we may be joyful, redeemed people who find ever greater deliverance, full of praise and thanks, full of certainty and joy. Grant this to us, for we are your people, born out of your power as Savior and gathered for the sake of your kingdom. Guard your gifts and your powers within us. Continue your redemption of the whole world until joy floods through our whole being and we can praise you for the life you have already given us here on earth. Amen.

Verse of the Day for WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2020


2 Corinthians 3:6
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
The Law revealed God’s righteous requirements to us—standards we could never hope to meet on our own (Rom. 7:7). On the other hand, the Spirit gives us life because He draws us to faith in Christ’s provision on the Cross.

Read all of 2 Corinthians 3

Listen to 2 Corinthians 3

The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — Comfort in Uncertain Times


Comfort in Uncertain Times

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

This year will certainly go down in the record books—as one to forget! With COVID-19's disruption of life on all sides, with many who've had a family member or friend impacted by the virus—questions and fears abound. Addressing these concerns has been a non-stop torrent of mixed messages from all corners. We look for certainty, but certainty is in short supply.

This situation was something like what the apostle Paul was addressing in his letter to the Thessalonian church. They wondered about those who had died. They wanted some certainty, some clarity. While these early Christians were "an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia," by their lives of devotion to God and service to others (see 1 Thessalonians 1), they—like so many of us—were still puzzled by what happens to those who die.

Addressing this concern, Paul gives them a message to center their faith. He knew well the struggle they faced with the surrounding pagan culture and the opposition they encountered from many Jews. Both groups were hostile to the salvation freely offered to all through Jesus' redemptive work on the cross, and confirmed in His Easter morning resurrection.

The apostle's heart must have gone out to the Thessalonians. So many mixed messages. So many opposing forces to God's grace given in Jesus. Paul wanted the Thessalonians to know that God cares for them not only in this world, but will be there for them in the one to come. The truth "that Jesus died and rose again," which Paul shared with them from the beginning, is the same truth that will one day find fulfillment in the Thessalonian believers' own resurrection from the dead.

Good news to be sure—but hard to accept sometimes in a world where contrary messages are coming from all sides. Just like the Thessalonians, God wants us to hold tight in faith to His promises throughout our lives. As Paul wrote to the church in Rome, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13).

Heavenly Father, give certainty to our faith as we trust Your eternal promises. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Paul Schreiber

Reflection Questions:
1. In your experience, has anything good come out of the COVID-19 pandemic?

2. Have you lost a loved one to death? What were the emotions you felt?

3. How do you combat the world when its messages and way of doing things are opposed to your faith?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
This year will certainly go down in the record books—as one to forget!

Standing Strong Through the Storm — COMMUNITY EXPULSIONS


That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

My wife and I live in Nova Scotia in the summertime. Not far from our cottage is the museum, church, and Evangeline statue in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, commemorating the Acadian expulsion of 1755—a black mark in Canadian history.

When the British conquered Port Royal in 1710 after being ceded Acadia (Nova Scotia) under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht, they found themselves up against a French-speaking people who had developed a strong sense of independence against British and French rule. The Acadians initially refused to recognize British rule, wanting to keep their religious freedom and not wanting to be obliged to bears arms in the event of war. These conditions were accepted only in 1730, and, at that point, the Acadians were recognized as neutral subjects within the colony.

But in September of 1755, Charles Lawrence, the appointed governor of Nova Scotia, gathered the Acadians in the St. Charles Church in Grand Pre in order to read the declaration that they must relinquish their possessions to the British Crown and that they would be deported for their unwillingness to swear allegiance to the King of England. Unaware of what awaited them in the church, many Acadians were taken prisoner and deported to American colonies, France, and England. Several thousand died from drowning, misery, illness, and starvation during the long ocean voyages. Families were separated and shipped out in different directions. Their farms and homes were burned, so they would have nothing to return to.

Longfellow immortalized the tragic story with his epic poem about a mythical young girl, Evangeline, cruelly separated from her fiancé, Gabriel. They were reunited at his death bed.

Many other countries and cultures have sad memories of expulsions. One is ongoing today in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico. More than 35,000 indigenous evangelical Christians have been expelled from their communities just because they are evangelicals and no longer taking part in their community’s religious practices and rituals. They live in refugee-like camps.

One of those is Pascuala, who was asleep when the community leaders came to burn her home. She woke up in time to warn her family. Fortunately, one brother and sister were not there, but the four children in the house were macheted, shot, or burned to death as they tried to flee. Pascuala herself was shot and raped. She survived by feigning death. Weak and bleeding, she walked many hours to a hospital where her life was saved. But she says, “Since that time I desire to help the people who are persecuted for Jesus because I feel their pain. I got in touch with Open Doors; they encouraged me to keep going with love. With their help, I was able to get some supplies of embroidery thread for crafts to help other women…If God allowed me to live through my persecution. It is for one reason—to proclaim His name.”

RESPONSE: I will thank God for my challenges because they enable me to overcome and be strong.

PRAYER: Pray for those still dealing with pain, separation, and loss from community expulsions.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
My wife and I live in Nova Scotia in the summertime. Not far from our cottage is the museum, church, and Evangeline statue in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, commemorating the Acadian expulsion of 1755—a black mark in Canadian history.

John Piper Devotional — The Real Problem with Anxiety

The Real Problem with Anxiety

“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

Jesus says that the root of anxiety is inadequate faith in our Father’s future grace.

One reaction to this might be: “This is not good news! In fact, it is very discouraging to learn that what I thought was a mere struggle with an anxious disposition is rather a far deeper struggle with whether I trust God.”

My response to this is to agree, but then to disagree.

Suppose you had been having pain in your stomach and had been struggling with medicines and diets of all kinds, to no avail. And then suppose that your doctor tells you, after a routine visit, that you have cancer in your small intestine. Would that be good news? You say, emphatically not! And I agree.

But let me ask the question another way: Are you glad the doctor discovered the cancer while it is still treatable and that indeed it can be very successfully treated? You say, yes, I am very glad that the doctor found the real problem. Again I agree.

So the news that you have cancer is not good news. But, in another sense, it is good news because knowing what is really wrong is good, especially when your problem can be treated successfully.

That’s what it’s like to learn that the real problem behind anxiety is unbelief in the promises of God’s future grace. And he is able to work in wonderfully healing ways when we cry out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

The root of anxiety is inadequate faith in God’s future grace.

Un dia a la Vez — Dios y las riquezas

Dios y las riquezas

Nadie puede servir a dos señores [...] No se puede servir a la vez a Dios y a las riquezas.

Hay una gran tendencia en el ser humano por el dinero y es algo que a veces se le escapa a la gente de las manos. Incluso, esto sucede a menudo de manera incontrolable sin saber el daño espiritual que ocasiona.

Ahora volvamos al punto que vimos en días pasados. Dios desea que tú y yo tengamos bendiciones, una casa linda, un bello auto y, por qué no, algunos lujos. Sin embargo, lo que entristece su corazón es que empecemos a adorar el dinero, porque al único que debemos adorar es a nuestro Dios.

Tu felicidad no debe depender del dinero, porque el día que no lo tengas o que lo pierdas, te sentirás desdichado. Por eso Dios desea que agradezcamos y disfrutemos el dinero sin dejar de reconocer que el dueño del oro y la plata es Él.

La entrega de esta esfera es muy difícil, pero no imposible. Es mejor reconocer esta debilidad, pedir perdón y darle la gloria a Dios.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Hay una gran tendencia en el ser humano por el dinero y es algo que a veces se le escapa a la gente de las manos.

Devocional CPTLN — Consuelo ante la incertidumbre


Consuelo ante la incertidumbre

Hermanos, no queremos que ustedes se queden sin saber lo que pasará con los que ya han muerto, ni que se pongan tristes, como los que no tienen esperanza. Así como creemos que Jesús murió y resucitó, así también Dios levantará con Jesús a los que murieron en él. Les decimos esto como una enseñanza del Señor: Nosotros, los que vivimos, los que habremos quedado hasta que el Señor venga, no nos adelantaremos a los que murieron, sino que el Señor mismo descenderá del cielo con voz de mando, con voz de arcángel y con trompeta de Dios, y los muertos en Cristo resucitarán primero. Luego nosotros, los que aún vivamos y hayamos quedado, seremos arrebatados juntamente con ellos en las nubes, para recibir en el aire al Señor, y así estaremos con el Señor siempre. Por lo tanto, anímense unos a otros con estas palabras.

Este año ciertamente quedará grabado en los libros de historia. Con la alteración a la vida que ha traído el Coronavirus y con tantas personas que han sido afectadas por él, abundan las preguntas y los miedos. En medio de tanta incertidumbre buscamos certeza, pero la certeza es escasa.

A algo así se refería el apóstol Pablo en su carta a la iglesia de Tesalónica, quienes se preguntaban qué pasaba con quienes habían muerto. Querían algo de certeza, algo de claridad. Si bien estos primeros cristianos fueron "un ejemplo para todos los creyentes de Macedonia y Acaya", por sus vidas de devoción a Dios y servicio a los demás (ver 1 Tesalonicenses 1), al igual que muchos de nosotros estaban desconcertados por lo que les pasa a quienes mueren.

Entonces Pablo les da un mensaje para centrarlos en la fe. Él conocía bien la lucha que enfrentaban con la cultura pagana circundante y la oposición que encontraron de muchos judíos. Ambos grupos eran hostiles a la salvación ofrecida gratuitamente a todos a través de la obra de Jesús en la cruz y confirmada en su resurrección. Tantos mensajes contradictorios. Tantas fuerzas opuestas a la gracia de Dios en Jesús. El corazón del apóstol debe haber sufrido por los tesalonicenses. Pablo quería que ellos supieran que Dios se preocupaba por ellos no solo en este mundo, sino también en el venidero. La verdad "que Jesús murió y resucitó", que Pablo compartió con ellos desde el principio, es la misma verdad que un día encontrará cumplimiento en la propia resurrección de los muertos de los creyentes tesalonicenses.

Buenas noticias, sin duda, pero a veces difíciles de aceptar en un mundo donde recibimos tantos mensajes contradictorios. Al igual que los tesalonicenses, Dios quiere que nos aferremos con fe a sus promesas. Como Pablo escribió a la iglesia en Roma: "¡Que el Dios de la esperanza los llene de todo gozo y paz en la fe, para que rebosen de esperanza por el poder del Espíritu Santo!" (Romanos 15:13).

ORACIÓN: Padre Celestial, da certeza a nuestra fe mientras confiamos en tus promesas eternas. En el nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Paul Schreiber

Para reflexionar:
* ¿De qué maneras ha cambiado tu vida debido al Coronavirus?

* ¿De qué maneras te aferras a Dios cuando los mensajes del mundo que te rodea se oponen a 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.
Este año ciertamente quedará grabado en los libros de historia.

Ministérios Pão Diário — Ainda meu Rei


Ainda meu Rei

Escritura de hoje: Salmo 74:4-8,12-23
Bíblia em um ano: Jeremias 32–33; Hebreus 1

Levanta-te, ó Deus, e defende tua causa…

Um repórter o chamou de “o dia mais mortal para os cristãos em décadas”. Os dois ataques de abril de 2017 contra cristãos que se reuniam nesse domingo, no Egito, desafiam nosso entendimento. Não temos uma categoria para descrever tal “banho” de sangue. Porém, podemos contar com a ajuda daqueles que conhecem essa dor.

A maioria do povo de Jerusalém estava no exílio ou havia sido assassinada quando Asafe redigiu o Salmo 74. Derramando a angústia do seu coração, ele descreveu a destruição do Templo pelos cruéis invasores: “Ali teus inimigos deram gritos de vitória…” (v.4). “Incendiaram todo o teu santuário; profanaram o lugar […] do teu nome” (v.7).

Mas o salmista encontrou um jeito de resistir apesar da horrível realidade — e encoraja-nos para que também resistamos. “Tu, ó Deus, és meu Rei desde a antiguidade e trazes salvação à terra” (v.12). Esta verdade permitiu que Asafe aclamasse o grandioso poder de Deus mesmo que, naquele momento, a salvação divina parecesse distante, Ele orou: “Lembra-te das promessas da aliança […] Não permitas que os oprimidos voltem a ser humilhados […] que os pobres e os necessitados louvem teu nome” (vv.20,21).

Mesmo que a justiça e misericórdia pareçam distantes, o amor e o poder de Deus não diminuíram. Podemos dizer com Asafe: “Tu, ó Deus, és meu Rei”.

Por:  Tim Gustafson

© 2020 Ministérios Pão Diário
Um repórter o chamou de “o dia mais mortal para os cristãos em décadas” […] Não temos uma categoria para descrever tal “banho” de sangue.