Monday, November 9, 2020

The Daily Bible Readings for MONDAY, November 9, 2020


The Daily Readings
MONDAY, November 9, 2020
Psalm 78; Joshua 24:25-33; 1 Corinthians 14:20-25
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
This is an invitation to relationship that only God can offer because only He can remove the sin that separates us from Him. He does this—making us white as snow and completely cleansed of our guilt—through His Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:13; Rev. 7:9–14). Also, He invites us to come “reason together” with Him, which means we are to make our case before Him. This dialogue builds our relationship with Him and helps us to learn that God is right in all He says and does.

Today’s Readings:
Psalm 78
God settled the tribes of Israel

1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.

4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:

6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:

7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

9 The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.

10 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;

11 And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.

12 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.

14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.

15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.

16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.

17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.

18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.

19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?

21 Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;

22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:

23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,

24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.

25 Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.

26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.

27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:

28 And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.

29 So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;

30 They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths,

31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.

32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.

33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.

34 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God.

35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.

36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.

37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.

38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.

39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!

41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

42 They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.

43 How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan.

44 And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink.

45 He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them.

46 He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, and their labour unto the locust.

47 He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost.

48 He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.

49 He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.

50 He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;

51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:

52 But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.

53 And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.

55 He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.

56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:

57 But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.

59 When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:

60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;

61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand.

62 He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance.

63 The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.

64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.

65 Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.

66 And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.

67 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:

68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.

69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.

70 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:

71 From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.

72 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.

Verses 1-8 — These are called dark and deep sayings, because they are carefully to be looked into. The law of God was given with a particular charge to teach it diligently to their children, that the church may abide for ever. Also, that the providences of God, both in mercy and in judgment, might encourage them to conform to the will of God. The works of God much strengthen our resolution to keep his commandments. Hypocrisy is the high road to apostacy; those that do not set their hearts right, will not be stedfast with God. Many parents, by negligence and wickedness, become murderers of their children. But young persons, though they are bound to submit in all things lawful, must not obey sinful orders, or copy sinful examples.

Verses 9-39 — Sin dispirits men, and takes away the heart. Forgetfulness of God's works is the cause of disobedience to his laws. This narrative relates a struggle between God's goodness and man's badness. The Lord hears all our murmurings and distrusts, and is much displeased. Those that will not believe the power of God's mercy, shall feel the fire of his indignation. Those cannot be said to trust in God's salvation as their happiness at last, who can not trust his providence in the way to it. To all that by faith and prayer, ask, seek, and knock, these doors of heaven shall at any time be opened; and our distrust of God is a great aggravation of our sins. He expressed his resentment of their provocation; not in denying what they sinfully lusted after, but in granting it to them. Lust is contented with nothing. Those that indulge their lust, will never be estranged from it. Those hearts are hard indeed, that will neither be melted by the mercies of the Lord, nor broken by his judgments. Those that sin still, must expect to be in trouble still. And the reason why we live with so little comfort, and to so little purpose, is, because we do not live by faith. Under these rebukes they professed repentance, but they were not sincere, for they were not constant. In Israel's history we have a picture of our own hearts and lives. God's patience, and warnings, and mercies, imbolden them to harden their hearts against his word. And the history of kingdoms is much the same. Judgments and mercies have been little attended to, until the measure of their sins has been full. And higher advantages have not kept churches from declining from the commandments of God. Even true believers recollect, that for many a year they abused the kindness of Providence. When they come to heaven, how will they admire the Lord's patience and mercy in bringing them to his kingdom!

Verses 40-55 — Let not those that receive mercy from God, be thereby made bold to sin, for the mercies they receive will hasten its punishment; yet let not those who are under Divine rebukes for sin, be discouraged from repentance. The Holy One of Israel will do what is most for his own glory, and what is most for their good. Their forgetting former favours, led them to limit God for the future. God made his own people to go forth like sheep; and guided them in the wilderness, as a shepherd his flock, with all care and tenderness. Thus the true Joshua, even Jesus, brings his church out of the wilderness; but no earthly Canaan, no worldly advantages, should make us forget that the church is in the wilderness while in this world, and that there remaineth a far more glorious rest for the people of God.

Verses 56-72 — After the Israelites were settled in Canaan, the children were like their fathers. God gave them his testimonies, but they turned back. Presumptuous sins render even Israelites hateful to God's holiness, and exposed to his justice. Those whom the Lord forsakes become an easy prey to the destroyer. And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any.

Joshua 24:25-33
Joshua’s generation passes on

24:25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.

27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.

28 So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.

29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old.

30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.

31 And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel.

32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.

Verses 25-28 — The service of God being made their deliberate choice, Joshua binds them to it by a solemn covenant. He set up a monument of it. In this affecting manner Joshua took his last leave of them; if they perished, their blood would be upon their own heads. Though the house of God, the Lord's table, and even the walls and trees before which we have uttered our solemn purposes of serving him, would bear witness against us if we deny him, yet we may trust in him, that he will put his fear into our hearts, that we shall not depart from him. God alone can give grace, yet he blesses our endeavours to engage men to his service.

Verses 29-33 — Joseph died in Egypt, but gave commandment concerning his bones, that they should not rest in their grave till Israel had rest in the land of promise. Notice also the death and burial of Joshua, and of Eleazar the chief priest. The most useful men, having served their generation, according to the will of God, one after another, fall asleep and see corruption. But Jesus, having spent and ended his life on earth more effectually than either Joshua or Joseph, rose from the dead, and saw no corruption. And the redeemed of the Lord shall inherit the kingdom he prepared for them from the foundation of the world. They will say in admiration of the grace of Jesus, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 14:20-25
They will not listen to me

14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.

22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Children are apt to be struck with novelty; but do not act like them. Christians should be like children, void of guile and malice; yet they should not be unskilful as to the word of righteousness, but only as to the arts of mischief. It is a proof that a people are forsaken of God, when he gives them up to the rule of those who teach them to worship in another language. They can never be benefitted by such teaching. Yet thus the preachers did who delivered their instructions in an unknown tongue. Would it not make Christianity ridiculous to a heathen, to hear the ministers pray or preach in a language which neither he nor the assembly understood? But if those who minister, plainly interpret Scripture, or preach the great truths and rules of the gospel, a heathen or unlearned person might become a convert to Christianity. His conscience might be touched, the secrets of his heart might be revealed to him, and so he might be brought to confess his guilt, and to own that God was present in the assembly. Scripture truth, plainly and duly taught, has a wonderful power to awaken the conscience and touch the heart.

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 MONDAY, November 9, 2020
Psalm 78; Joshua 24:25-33; 1 Corinthians 14:20-25

Prayer of the Day for MONDAY, November 9, 2020


Prayer of the Day
MONDAY, November 9, 2020

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:13 (NIV)

Lord our God, dear Father, may we be gathered in your light. Through your Spirit strengthen our hearts to hold fast to you, for you remain our help, our counsel, our comfort throughout our life and in all eternity. Send us Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, and grant that again and again we may find newness of life through him. Grant that we become attentive to him, who is risen from the dead and who will come again to complete the work he began in his life on earth. We remember your promise, O Lord God, and we remain with you. We have little strength, and through us as we are you can accomplish nothing. You alone can fulfill your promise through Jesus Christ, whom you will send to complete your works at his final coming. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, November 9, 2020


Isaiah 1:18
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
This is an invitation to relationship that only God can offer because only He can remove the sin that separates us from Him. He does this—making us white as snow and completely cleansed of our guilt—through His Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:13; Rev. 7:9–14). Also, He invites us to come “reason together” with Him, which means we are to make our case before Him. This dialogue builds our relationship with Him and helps us to learn that God is right in all He says and does.

Read all of Isaiah 1

Listen to Isaiah 1

The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — Wisdom from Above


Wisdom from Above

The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of Your anger, and Your wrath according to the fear of You? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

These are not very encouraging words, yet we might find it difficult to disagree with the psalmist. Some individuals do live well past 100 years, but such longevity is rare. Even though today many people may celebrate 90 years and more, the psalmist rightly observes that "the years of our life" are 70 or 80. Whatever the number of years involved, we may readily agree that a life span is "but toil and trouble." Trouble is something we experience at every age and, while the nature of the burdens we bear changes with the passing years, our burdensome troubles will always weigh heavily on us.

Do we live out our span of years in fear of God's wrath and judgment? Is that the source of our trouble? The psalmist is concerned about that: "You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence" (Psalm 90:8). With the psalmist, we pray for a realistic understanding of our limited life spans that will impart to us "a heart of wisdom." During our earthly years, do we follow the divine wisdom revealed in the Word of God, or do we listen to the wisdom of the world?

The world's wisdom tells us (as expressed in Jesus' parable), "You have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry" (Luke 12:19b). The wisdom from above tells us, "Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13). The world's wisdom claims that repentance and faith are unnecessary and the cross is just so much foolishness. What can it matter, worldly wisdom asks, that a Jewish rabbi was crucified by the Romans centuries ago? Why should that concern us today? The wisdom of the Word answers, "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" (1 Corinthians 1:21). In the face of the world's scorn, we boldly preach "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2b).

Worldly wisdom finds happiness for today and hope for the future in self-centered pursuits, but as Paul wisely said, "If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied" (1 Corinthians 15:19). Hope for "this life only" is a worldly—and sadly limited—hope. Godly wisdom, a gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, teaches us to look to the future with hope in Christ, to await with confidence the day of His return and the resurrection of our glorified (and ageless!) bodies. In every year the Lord our God grants to us, with godly wisdom and in humble repentance, we join the psalmist in grateful prayer: "Satisfy us in the morning with Your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days" (Psalm 90:14).

Lord, throughout the span of our years, help us by Your Spirit to grow in the wisdom found in Your holy Word. Amen.

Dr. Carol Geisler

Reflection Questions:
1. Do you recall the time you first thought about life's brevity and the end of your life?

2. Do you fear old age? How do you live differently now than when you were younger?

3. How does a person number his days to present a "heart of wisdom" to God? What does a heart of wisdom mean to you?

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
These are not very encouraging words, yet we might find it difficult to disagree with the psalmist.

Standing Strong Through the Storm — AM I WORTHY?


Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Helen Roseveare was an elderly missionary to Congo, Africa, when I was still very young. I remember her holding the audience of ten thousand university students spell-bound and then in tears at Urbana ’76. Her life story is a testimony to the grace of God portrayed in the 1989 movie, Mama Luka Comes Home.

She is often asked by young people what she suffered for Jesus. Her simple answer is, “During the Simba uprising in the Congo, I was raped twice. Government soldiers came to my bungalow, ransacked it, and then grabbed me. I was beaten and savagely kicked, losing my back teeth through the boot of a rebel soldier. They broke my glasses, so I could not see to protect myself from the next blow.

“Then one at a time, two army officers took me to my own bedroom and raped me. They dragged me out into a clearing, tied me to a tree, and stood around laughing. And while I was there, beaten and humiliated and violated, someone brought out the only existing hand-written manuscript of a book I had been writing about God’s work in the Congo over an eleven-year period. They put it on the ground in front of me and burned it.

“I asked myself, Was it worth it? Eleven years of my life poured out in selfless service for the African people, and now this? The minute I expressed that, God’s Holy Spirit settled over that terrible scene, and He began to speak to me.”

‘“My daughter, the question is not, “Is it worth it?” The question is, “Am I worthy?” Am I, the Lord Jesus, who gave His life for you, worthy for you to make this kind of sacrifice for Me.’ And God broke my heart,” Helen continues. “I looked up, and I said, ‘Oh Lord Jesus, yes, it is worth it, for You are worthy!’” She concludes, “When you ask the right question, you’ll always know that He is absolutely worthy of anything you can give Him or do for Him!”

Phil Callaway of SERVANT magazine once asked her, “Did you ever struggle to forgive those men?”

“No,” she replied. “There was no sense of bitterness or even anger. I was overwhelmed by the sense that God was graciously using me in His purpose. All He asked of me was the loan of my body. The consequences were His. A year later, when I returned to Congo and met the man who had humiliated me, I realized that I did carry some resentment, and I wasn’t sure I had forgiven him. But God led me to accept from Him the forgiveness that only God can give, and He gave me His peace again.”[1]

Helen returned to Congo after all the above and continued her life of service for Jesus among the African people.

RESPONSE: Today, I will ask the right question, “Is Jesus worthy of the sacrifices He asks me to make?” Then I will answer affirmatively and take up my cross and follow Him!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the wonderful trophies of grace, like Helen Rosevere, who encourages us in our walk with You, who are truly worthy.

1. Phil Callaway, “Is it worth it?” Servant (Issue 85, 2010), p.11.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
Her life story is a testimony to the grace of God portrayed in the 1989 movie, Mama Luka Comes Home.

Women of the Bible — Mary of Bethany

Mary of Bethany

Her name means: "Bitterness"

Her character: Mary appears to have been a single woman, totally devoted to Jesus. By contrast with her sister, Martha, the gospel portrays her as a woman of few words. As Jesus neared the time of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem before Passover, she performed a gesture of great prophetic significance, one that offended Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus.
Her sorrow: She wept at the tomb of her brother, Lazarus, and must have experienced great sorrow at the death of Jesus.
Her joy: To have done something beautiful for Christ.
Key Scriptures: Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1-12:11

Her Story

Jerusalem was swollen with a hundred thousand worshipers, pilgrims who had come to celebrate the annual Passover feast. Every one of them, it seemed, had heard tales of the rabbi Jesus.

"I wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't been there," one man exclaimed. "I tell you, Lazarus drew his last breath a full four days before the Nazarene ever arrived."

"My cousin saw the whole thing," said another. "According to her, Jesus simply shouted his name, and Lazarus came out of the tomb, still bound in his grave clothes."

"I hear the rabbi is coming to Jerusalem to be crowned king during Passover," said the first man.

"Better if he stayed home," said another. "The chief priests say the whole story is nonsense, that Jesus is a rabble-rouser who'll soon have the Romans up in arms against us all."

The rumors spread quickly, like floodwater spilling over a riverbank. The curious kept chasing after Mary, inquiring about her brother. Had he really been dead four days? Didn't he smell when he came stumbling out of the tomb? What was it like to live in the same house with a ghost? Did he eat and sleep? Could you see straight through him? Did he simply float through the air wherever he went?

She could hardly blame them for their crazy questions. Why shouldn't they be curious about the amazing event that had taken place in Bethany just weeks earlier? How could they know that Lazarus was as normal as any other living man? After all, raising people from the dead wasn't your everyday kind of miracle. These days she felt a rush of joy run through her, like wine overflowing a cup, whenever she looked at Lazarus. Her own flesh and blood had been called out of darkness by a man who was filled with light. How she longed to see Jesus again!

But shadows framed the edges of her happiness. No amount of celebrating could erase the memory of Jesus as he wept that day outside her brother's tomb. Even as others were celebrating the most spectacular miracle imaginable, he seemed strangely quiet. What was he thinking as he gazed at them? she wondered. She wished he would tell her that she could plumb the secrets of his heart.

When Jesus finally returned to Bethany before the Passover, Martha served a feast in his honor. As Jesus was reclining at the table with the other guests, Mary entered the room and anointed his head with a pint of expensive perfume. Its fragrance filled the whole house.

The disciple Judas Iscariot, failing to appreciate her gesture, objected strenuously: "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." Though he cared nothing for the destitute, Judas was the keeper of the common purse, a man always looking for a chance to fatten his own pockets.

But rather than scolding Mary for her extravagance, Jesus praised her, saying: "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, whenever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her."

From her first encounter with Christ, Mary seems to have pursued one thing above all—the deepest possible relationship with him. She soaked up his teaching, took his promises to heart, listened for every change of inflection that would yield more clues about him. Love gave her insights that others missed. Somehow, she must have understood that Jesus would not enter Jerusalem to lasting acclaim but to death and dishonor. For a time, the light itself would appear to be smothered by the darkness. While everyone else was busy celebrating Jesus' triumph in raising Lazarus, Mary stood quietly beside him, sharing his grief.

Christ found Mary's extravagant act of adoration a beautiful thing, assuring everyone that she would be remembered forever for the way she lavished herself upon him. Mary of Bethany was a woman unafraid of expressing her love, determined to seek the heart of God—a prophetess whose gesture speaks eloquently even from a distance of two thousand years.

Her Promise

The Old Testament Passover lamb was only a shadow of what was to come. As our Passover Lamb, Jesus has completely and thoroughly accomplished our redemption from sin. Just as the little lamb died so that the firstborn in the Hebrew families would not die and would go free from Egypt, so Jesus, our Passover Lamb, has died so that we can be freed from our slavery to sin.

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.
Mary appears to have been a single woman, totally devoted to Jesus.

John Piper Devotional — The End of History

The End of History

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

Paul describes the second coming of Christ as hope and terror.

Jesus Christ is coming back not only to effect the final salvation of his people, but through his salvation “to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed.”

A final comment concerns history’s climax in the book of Revelation: John pictures the new Jerusalem, the glorified church, in 21:23: “The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

God the Father and God the Son are the light in which Christians will live their eternity.

This is the consummation of God’s goal in all of history—to display his glory for all to see and praise. The prayer of the Son confirms the final purpose of the Father: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).

We may conclude that the chief end of God is to glorify God and enjoy himself forever. He stands supreme at the center of his own affections. For that very reason, he is a self-sufficient and inexhaustible fountain of grace.

Paul describes the second coming of Christ as hope and terror.

Un dia a la Vez — Por sus frutos los conocerán

Por sus frutos los conocerán

Todo árbol bueno da fruto bueno, pero el árbol malo da fruto malo.

Cuando llegas a una iglesia cristiana en especial, comienzas a escuchar frases como estas: «Por sus frutos los conocerás». A menudo, las escuché sin comprenderlas en su totalidad hasta después de un tiempo. Sé que muchos de ustedes no van a ninguna iglesia o quizá nunca han escuchado este principio bíblico.

Cuando se habla de frutos, se refiere a los resultados. Si saboreamos una fruta deliciosa, nos permite darnos cuenta enseguida que viene de un buen árbol, de un árbol sano que da buenos frutos.

El Manuel de Instrucciones nos habla a nuestras vidas de la misma manera. Si una persona tiene una vida sana y eficiente en lo espiritual, dará buenos frutos a su tiempo. Aunque muchos llegamos a los caminos de Dios lastimados con vicios o con otras cosas terribles, cambiamos al andar con Jesús. Por eso, tal vez las personas nos digan después: «Ya no eres el mismo», y es porque damos frutos.

Esto no solo muestra lo que somos tú y yo, ya que la gente nos conoce también por lo que somos. Es decir, las personas nos conocerán por nuestros frutos y, al mismo tiempo, seremos capaces de saber cómo es alguien que quizá no nos termina de convencer, debido a que las conoceremos por sus frutos.

Hoy te invito a que examinemos nuestros frutos. Tal vez sean frutos buenos y sanos, o estén tan podridos que no valga la pena recogerlos.

¿Cómo está nuestra vida? ¿Has considerado lo que piensa Dios de nosotros?

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Cuando llegas a una iglesia cristiana en especial, comienzas a escuchar frases como estas: «Por sus frutos los conocerás». A menudo, las escuché sin comprenderlas en su totalidad hasta después de un tiempo.

Devocional CPTLN — Sabiduría de lo alto


Sabiduría de lo alto

Setenta años son los días de nuestra vida; ochenta años llegan a vivir los más robustos. Pero esa fuerza no es más que trabajos y molestias, pues los años pronto pasan, lo mismo que nosotros. ¿Quién conoce la fuerza de tu ira, y hasta qué punto tu enojo debe ser temido? ¡Enséñanos a contar bien nuestros días, para que en el corazón acumulemos sabiduría!

Si bien estas no son palabras muy alentadoras, debemos reconocer que es difícil estar en desacuerdo con el salmista. Algunas personas viven más de 100 años, aunque es raro, y si bien muchos celebran 90 años o más, el salmista observa acertadamente que los años de nuestra vida son 70 u 80. Cualquiera que sea el número de años involucrados, podemos estar de acuerdo en que la duración de una vida no es más que "trabajos y molestias".

¿Vivimos con temor de la ira y el juicio de Dios? ¿Es esa la fuente de nuestro problema? El salmista está preocupado por eso: "Tienes ante ti nuestras maldades; ¡pones al descubierto nuestros pecados!" (Salmo 90:8). Con él oramos por una comprensión realista de nuestra limitada esperanza de vida, "para que en el corazón acumulemos sabiduría". Pero, ¿buscamos y seguimos la sabiduría divina revelada en la Palabra de Dios o la del mundo?

La sabiduría del mundo nos dice (como se expresa en la parábola de Jesús): "Ya puede descansar mi alma, pues ahora tengo guardados muchos bienes para muchos años. Ahora, pues, ¡a comer, a beber y a disfrutar!" (Lucas 12:19b). La sabiduría de lo alto nos dice: " Más bien, anímense unos a otros día tras día, mientras se diga «Hoy», para que el engaño del pecado no endurezca a nadie" (Hebreos 3:13). La sabiduría del mundo afirma que el arrepentimiento y la fe son innecesarios y que la cruz es una tontería. ¿Qué puede importar, dice, que un rabino judío fuera crucificado por los romanos hace siglos? La sabiduría de la Palabra responde: "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" (1 Corintios 1:21). Ante el desprecio del mundo, predicamos con valentía a Jesucristo crucificado (ver 1 Corintios 2:2).

La sabiduría del mundo encuentra la felicidad para hoy y la esperanza para el futuro en actividades egocéntricas, pero como dijo sabiamente Pablo: " Si nuestra esperanza en Cristo fuera únicamente para esta vida, seríamos los más desdichados de todos los hombres" (1 Corintios 15:9). Esta esperanza es una esperanza mundana y tristemente limitada. La sabiduría piadosa, un don del Espíritu Santo que habita en nosotros, nos enseña a mirar al futuro con esperanza en Cristo, a esperar con confianza el día de su regreso y la resurrección de nuestro cuerpo glorificado (¡y sin edad!). Cada año que el Señor nuestro Dios nos concede, con sabiduría piadosa y con humilde arrepentimiento nos unimos al salmista en agradecimiento: "¡Sácianos de tu misericordia al empezar el día, y todos nuestros días cantaremos y estaremos felices!" (Salmo 90:14).

ORACIÓN: Señor, a lo largo de nuestros años, ayúdanos por tu Espíritu a crecer en la sabiduría de tu santa Palabra. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
* ¿Le temes a la vejez? ¿Cómo vives de manera diferente ahora que cuando eras más joven?

* ¿Qué haces para acumular sabiduría en tu corazón? ¿Qué significa para ti tener sabiduría en tu corazón?
© Copyright 2020 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
Si bien estas no son palabras muy alentadoras, debemos reconocer que es difícil estar en desacuerdo con el salmista.

Notre Pain Quotidien — Assumer notre rôle


Assumer notre rôle

Lisez : Hébreux 6.9-12
La Bible en un an : Jérémie 48 – 49 ; Hébreux 7

Comme de bons dispensateurs des diverses grâces de Dieu, que chacun de vous mette au service des autres le don qu’il a reçu.

Lorsque deux de mes petites-filles ont voulu jouer dans la pièce Alice junior au pays des merveilles, elles tenaient à décrocher les rôles principaux. Maggie désirait interpréter la jeune Alice, et Katie jugeait que le rôle de Mathilda lui conviendrait. On les a toutefois choisies pour être des fleurs. Pas de quoi les conduire à Broadway.

Ma fille m’a toutefois dit que les filles « se réjouissaient pour leurs amies qui avaient reçu [les rôles principaux]. Elles semblaient plus heureuses de les encourager et de partager leur enthousiasme. »

À quoi devraient ressembler nos interactions entre membres du corps de Christ ? Chaque Église locale comporte des rôles principaux. Elle a toutefois aussi besoin de fleurs – les membres qui font des choses vitales, mais dans les coulisses. Si d’autres décrochent des rôles auxquels nous aspirons, puissions-nous choisir de les encourager tout en assumant avec passion les rôles que Dieu nous impartit.

En fait, aider et encourager les autres est un moyen d’exprimer notre amour. Hébreux 6.10 dit : « Car Dieu n’est pas injuste pour oublier votre travail et l’amour que vous avez montré pour son nom, ayant rendu et rendant encore des services aux saints. » Et Dieu juge qu’aucun de ses dons est sans importance : « Comme de bons dispensateurs des diverses grâces de Dieu, que chacun de vous mette au service des autres le don qu’il a reçu » (1 PI 4.10).

Imaginez une Église remplie de gens qui utilisent avec zèle leurs dons pour honorer Dieu (HÉ 6.10). Quelle joie ce serait !
Père, aide-moi à ne pas me concentrer sur d’autres rôles, mais à te servir selon l’appel que tu m'as confié.
Découvrons nos dons afin de les mettre au service d’autrui.

par Dave Branon

© 2020 Ministères NPQ
Lorsque deux de mes petites-filles ont voulu jouer dans la pièce Alice junior au pays des merveilles, elles tenaient à décrocher les rôles principaux.