Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Daily Bible Readings for SATURDAY, November 14, 2020


The Daily Readings
SATURDAY, November 14, 2020
Psalm 123; Judges 5:1-12; Matthew 12:43-45
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
As Noah preached righteousness, suffered unjustly, and rescued those who were with him, so also does Christ. Christ descended to those in darkness and death that light might shine on them and He might deliver them from death. As Christ fearlessly faced His tormentors, death, and hell, so we through Him can confidently face mockers and tormentors—and, yes, bring His light to them.

Today’s Readings:
Psalm 123
Our eyes look to God

1 Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Our Lord Jesus has taught us to look unto God in prayer as our Father in heaven. In every prayer a good man lifts up his soul to God; especially when in trouble. We desire mercy from him; we hope he will show us mercy, and we will continue waiting on him till it come. The eyes of a servant are to his master's directing hand, expecting that he will appoint him his work. And also to his supplying hand. Servants look to their master or their mistress for their portion of meat in due season. And to God we must look for daily bread, for grace sufficient; from him we must receive it thankfully. Where can we look for help but to our Master? And, further, to his protecting hand. If the servant is wronged and injured in his work, who should right him, but his master? And to his correcting hand. Whither should sinners turn but to him that smote them? They humble themselves under God's mighty hand. And lastly, to his rewarding hand. Hypocrites look to the world's hand, thence they have their reward; but true Christians look to God as their Master and their Rewarder. God's people find little mercy with men; but this is their comfort, that with the Lord there is mercy. Scorning and contempt have been, are, and are likely to be, the lot of God's people in this world. It is hard to bear; but the servants of God should not complain if they are treated as his beloved Son was. Let us then, when ready to faint under trials, look unto Jesus, and by faith and prayer cast ourselves upon the mercy of God.

Judges 5:1-12
Song of Deborah

5:1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,

2 Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.

3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.

4 Lord, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.

5 The mountains melted from before the Lord, even that Sinai from before the Lord God of Israel.

6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.

7 The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.

8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?

9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the Lord.

10 Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.

11 They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the Lord go down to the gates.

12 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.

Verses 1-5 — No time should be lost in returning thanks to the Lord for his mercies; for our praises are most acceptable, pleasant, and profitable, when they flow from a full heart. By this, love and gratitude would be more excited and more deeply fixed in the hearts of believers; the events would be more known and longer remembered. Whatever Deborah, Barak, or the army had done, the Lord must have all the praise. The will, the power, and the success were all from Him.

Verses 6-11 — Deborah describes the distressed state of Israel under the tyranny of Jabin, that their salvation might appear more gracious. She shows what brought this misery upon them. It was their idolatry. They chose new gods, with new names. But under all these images, Satan was worshipped. Deborah was a mother to Israel, by diligently promoting the salvation of their souls. She calls on those who shared the advantages of this great salvation, to offer up thanks to God for it. Let such as are restored, not only to their liberty as other Israelites, but to their rank, speak God's praises. This is the Lord's doing. In these acts of his, justice was executed on his enemies. In times of persecution, God's ordinances, the walls of salvation, whence the waters of life are drawn, are resorted to at the hazard of the lives of those who attend them. At all times Satan will endeavour to hinder the believer from drawing near to the throne of grace. Notice God's kindness to his trembling people. It is the glory of God to protect those who are most exposed, and to help the weakest. Let us notice the benefit we have from the public peace, the inhabitants of villages especially, and give God the praise.

Matthew 12:43-45
From bad to worse

12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

This parable represents the case of the Jewish church and nation. It is also applicable to all those who hear the word of God, and are in part reformed, but not truly converted. The unclean spirit leaves for a time, but when he returns, he finds Christ is not there to shut him out; the heart is swept by outward reformation, but garnished by preparation to comply with evil suggestions, and the man becomes a more decided enemy of the truth. Every heart is the residence of unclean spirits, except those which are temples of the Holy Ghost, by faith in Christ.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible.

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 SATURDAY, November 14, 2020
Psalm 123; Judges 5:1-12; Matthew 12:43-45 (KJV)

Prayer of the Day for SATURDAY, November 14, 2020


Prayer of the Day
SATURDAY, November 14, 2020

"The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah."
Jeremiah 33:14 (NIV)

Lord our God, may your grace rule in our hearts and your love come to us in glorious fulfillment of your promise, so that in our time we may have community with one another to praise and worship you. Then we will be a people belonging to you and receiving help from you. Bless your Word within us, we pray. Teach us again and again how to keep your Word, how to be your children in deed and in truth. May we be given strength of heart whenever great sorrow comes to us. Let your will be revealed everywhere. Let all of humankind know that you rule, that you help us and will remain with us into all eternity. For our names are recorded with you, and we want to stay with you, Father in heaven. We want nothing else but to be your children in this world, to be children in your care for all eternity. Amen.

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, November 14, 2020


1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
As Noah preached righteousness, suffered unjustly, and rescued those who were with him, so also does Christ. Christ descended to those in darkness and death that light might shine on them and He might deliver them from death. As Christ fearlessly faced His tormentors, death, and hell, so we through Him can confidently face mockers and tormentors—and, yes, bring His light to them.

Read all of 1 Peter 3

Listen to 1 Peter 3

The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — Modern Households


Modern Households

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Life in the modern household is a challenge. Many homes are on the verge of collapse due to forces inside and out. But that's not in itself what is breaking up the modern household. A century ago, family members had a greater dependence on one another. They worked, played, struggled, laughed, and worshiped together. As family members face life together, their bond become sturdy; their love become tested and strong.

Certainly—and thank God for this—many, many families face life the same way today. In Christian homes, Christ dwells as an invisible Guest. His influence through prayer, Bible reading, individual and group devotions, and other virtuous practices all help create an unselfish concern for other family members which is patterned after Christ's undying love for the church.

Key to modeling our lives and homes on Christ's love also includes an eager willingness to forgive. How hard this is sometimes when those we love the most hurt us the worst! Still, as tough as this can be, our family's health and growth are closely tied to our readiness to forgive as well as our ability to receive forgiveness. In this, we show the Savior's words (see Matthew 18:21-35) are in operation in our lives.

As a Christian minister, I have the God-given responsibility to urge all of you to love one another as Christ has loved us, and to make your family truly Christ-like, bound together by resilient ties of unselfish love, to make it a little bit like heaven.

In this we have Christ as our ultimate example. We know that our Heavenly Father was so moved with compassion that for Jesus' sake He blotted out all of our iniquities. And we, by the grace of God, have learned to know how much God loves us and to love the Lord Jesus. We have promised to be true to Him so that we demonstrate our love and devotion for one another in our households.

For your sake and mine, for the sake of your children and mine, for God's sake—let us make our homes, strong, loving, and devoted to God. This is the gift of Christ-centered fellowship and spiritual communion that the Father would have for each of our families. I would be happy to know that this message, based on John's encouragement to love one another as Christ loves us, touched some family where it was sick and helped to heal it.

And for those who are contemplating marriage—and the start of a family—my prayer is for these couples to know lasting love, patterned after Christ's love for the sinner. This is the first step for every man and woman who want their home to be a place where God is revered and everyone else is loved and cherished.

Heavenly Father, come fill our hearts and our homes with Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rev. Dr. Armin Oldsen

Reflection Questions:
1. How is your household different from the one you had growing up?

2. How can God's love for us inspire us to love one another?

3. What activities bring your family together—game night, watching movies, meals, hiking and camping, sports? Have you ever done a devotion together?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Life in the modern household is a challenge. Many homes are on the verge of collapse due to forces inside and out.

Standing Strong Through the Storm — NO ORDINARY LIFE


And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

An Open Doors co-worker shares this personal experience from the Middle East:

The serenity of the pastor walking beside us seemed to calm the hustle and bustle of the small village. He suddenly came to a stop, carefully looked around, and then said, “Some time ago, exactly on the spot where you are standing now, a Christian brother was slaughtered to death because of his faith. He was abducted and brought here to be executed. Life in a mid-eastern village like this is not easy if you confess Jesus to be the Son of God. It could cost you your life.”

I looked at this servant of Christ and asked him the obvious question, “Why do you choose to live here? Why do you choose to follow Christ under such severe circumstances?”

Without hesitation, he looked at me, and his reply became a challenge and guideline for my walk with the Lord, even if it is in the safety of my home. He replied, “I refuse to live an ordinary life in Christ.”

As Christians, we are called to refuse an ordinary life in Christ. We are commanded to reject worldly standards, to reject mediocrity, to reject compromise, and to value people more than possessions, even more than our own lives.

To truly follow Jesus means His will is more important than my life. As well, while alive, I must adopt a lifestyle that puts people ahead of possessions, even one of my most valuable possessions—time! We tend to cherish stuff and comfort more than souls.

In the Shepherd of Hermes, an early church writing, we are urged, “Instead of fields, buy souls that are in trouble according to your ability.”

RESPONSE: Today, amid the comforts of my environment, I will refuse to live an ordinary life but seek to be more like Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, I want to live the Jesus way, valuing people more than things even to the point of sacrifice. Help me to escape the bonds of the ordinary Christian life.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
An Open Doors co-worker shares this personal experience from the Middle East:

The NIV Couples Devotional — The Big Effect of Little Choices

The Big Effect of Little Choices

Judges 16:1–21

Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.

Samson seemed to have all the right stuff. An angel announced his birth and instructed his parents to raise him to live as a lifelong Nazirite, a person set apart by God. As a result of his standing, he was to abstain from grape products, have no contact with dead bodies, and forego haircuts (see Numbers 6:1–8). Samson grew up with godly parents who loved him. He was given a life purpose—to begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines—and an incredible strength to help him achieve the task.

But Samson’s privileged beginnings didn’t automatically endow him with moral integrity. Over the course of his life, he deliberately participated in the things he and his parents had promised not to do. He ate honey from a lion’s carcass, violating his Nazirite vow in order to delight himself with something sweet (see Judges 14:8–9). Instead of being a great warrior against the Philistines, Samson’s crusades were often spurred by personal vendettas. And he had an insatiable appetite for Philistine women. Ultimately, one of those women, Delilah, learned the secret of Samson’s strength and traded that knowledge for a large sum of money.

Maybe you remember learning in church school that Samson was strong because he had long hair. Actually, Samson’s strength wasn’t in his hair but in his relationship with God. When his head was shaved, it was merely an outward indication of what he had already lost inside.

Ultimately Samson was unable to fully realize his potential or use the gifts God had given him. This is true of many of us. Though God has uniquely gifted us for his purpose, we are unable to live up to our potential because we continually fall victim to our sinful nature.

Samson didn’t turn toward sin in one grand decision. A lifetime of little choices resulted in Samson’s demise. Similarly, it isn’t the politician’s final bribe, but rather his early career decisions to bend the rules that lead to his downfall. It isn’t the public moral failing of the religious leader, but the many unconfessed sins that preceded it that brings him down. It’s not the addiction, but the little indulgences that fed the addiction that kills a family.

This principle also applies to our marriages. Most Christians don’t wake up one day and decide to throw their marriage and family away with one grand affair. The separation begins with participating in a bit of seemingly innocent flirting at work or sending an innocuous email to an old friend, or confiding a bit of unhappiness with one’s spouse to a sympathetic friend.

Before making what appears to be a harmless decision, stop and evaluate the cost. Success is less about having the right stuff than it is about choosing the right way. A lot of little choices done God’s way will add up to a lifetime of purpose.

Jennifer Schuchmann

Let’s Talk
  • Beginning with Samson’s birth in Judges 13, examine the decisions that Samson made in his life. Which ones led him to God? Which ones separated him from God?
  • What were the costs Samson paid for his decisions?
  • As a Nazirite, Samson had specific things that set him apart for God. What things set us apart for God? What sets our marriage apart as a Christian marriage?
Samson seemed to have all the right stuff.

John Piper Devotional — The Marvel of Creation

The Marvel of Creation

God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.

I have been picking up little things in Scripture that show God’s intimate involvement in creation.

For example, in 1 Corinthians 15:38, Paul compares how a seed is planted in one form and comes forth in another form with a “body” different from all other bodies. He says, “God gives it a body just as he wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.”

This is a remarkable statement of God’s involvement in the way God designed each seed to bring forth its own unique plant (not just species but each individual seed!).

Paul is not teaching about evolution here, but he shows how he takes God’s intimate involvement with creation for granted. He cannot imagine, evidently, that any natural process should be conceived without God’s doing it.

Again in Psalm 94:9, it says, “He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?” The psalmist assumes that God was the designer of the eye and that he designed the way the ear is planted in the head to do its hearing work.

So when we marvel at the wonders of the human eye and the remarkable structure of the ear, we are not to marvel at the processes of chance but at the mind and the creativity of God.

Similarly, in Psalm 95:5, “The sea is his for he made it; and his hands formed the dry land.” The involvement of God in making land and sea is such that the present sea is his.

It is not as though he, in some impersonal way, set it all in motion a billion years ago. Instead, he is the one who owns it because he made it. It is today his handiwork and bears the marks of his creator claim on it, like a piece of artwork belongs to the one who painted it until he sells it or gives it away.

I point out these things not to solve all the problems surrounding the issues of origins but to call you to be God-centered in your admiration of the wonders of the world.

I have been picking up little things in Scripture that show God’s intimate involvement in creation.

Un dia a la Vez — La envidia

La envidia

No te irrites a causa de los impíos ni envidies a los que cometen injusticias; porque pronto se marchitan, como la hierba.

No te sientas mal cuando sientan envidia de ti. ¿Sabes? Eso siempre lo he visto como una buena señal. Cuando llamamos la atención, es porque estamos haciendo algo que les inquieta a los demás. Claro, esto es bueno cuando hacemos lo recto.

La envidia se conoce también como celo o codicia. Es algo horrible, pues no puedes brillar con luz propia debido a que no quieres ser tú mismo. Te frustras a menudo porque no resistes que a las otras personas les vaya mejor que a ti.

También la Palabra de Dios nos orienta a que no sintamos envidia de los impíos, de los que no le conocen. No debemos envidiar sus triunfos ni sus riquezas, pues nosotros tenemos el mejor regalo que es la vida eterna. Además, contamos con todas las promesas a fin de tener prosperidad y bendición.

Sé que muchos nos quejamos y decimos: «Bueno, ¿por qué esta persona sale adelante y le va súper bien si no conoce de Dios, no se congrega, ni obedece sus mandamientos?».

¡No te dejes confundir! Dios te dice que muchos de ellos morirán sin conocerle.

Por lo tanto, es mejor que no lo tengamos todo, sino que lo tengamos a Él y la salvación.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
No te sientas mal cuando sientan envidia de ti. ¿Sabes? Eso siempre lo he visto como una buena señal.

Хліб Наш Насущній — У вогні


У вогні

Я бачу чотирьох мужів непов’язаних, що ходять посеред огню, і шкоди їм нема.

Пожежа в іспанській Андильї знищила майже 50 000 акрів лісу. Втім посеред спустошеної місцевості неушкодженими залишилися приблизно 1000 яскраво-зелених кипарисів. Здатність дерев утримувати вологу допомогла їм безпечно пережити пожежу.

Під час правління вавилонського царя Навуходоносора невелика група друзів безпечно пережила полум’я царського гніву. Шадрах, Мешах і Авед-Неґо відмовилися поклонитися ідолу, якого створив цар Навуходоносор. Вони сказали царю: “Наш Бог, Якому ми служимо, може врятувати нас з палахкотючої огненної печі” (Дан. 3:17). Розлючений монарх наказав напалити піч усемеро сильніше, ніж зазвичай (в. 19).

Воїни, які виконали царський наказ і кинули друзів у полум’я, згоріли, а Шадрах, Мешах і Авед-Неґо ходили у вогні “непов’язані… і шкоди їм” не було. У печі був ще один чоловік, “подібний до Божого сина” (в. 25). На думку багатьох богословів, то був Господь Ісус.

У загрозах і випробуваннях з нами також перебуває Ісус Христос. У моменти, коли ми зазнаємо утиску, нам не треба лякатися. Нам не завжди відомо, як або коли Бог нам допоможе, однак ми знаємо, що Він із нами. Він допоможе нам залишитися вірними Йому в будь-якому “вогні”.
Чому вас підбадьорює надприродна втіха Божої присутності? Як ви можете підтримати інших людей, які зазнають труднощів?

Прочитайте буклети серії “10 причин вірити”.
Дорогий Боже, сповни мене Своїм Духом, аби я не здавалася, коли мені хочеться це зробити. Я хочу прославити Тебе своєю непохитністю.

Автор Дженіфер Бенсон Шульдт

© 2020 Хліб Наш Насущні
Пожежа в іспанській Андильї знищила майже 50 000 акрів лісу. Втім посеред спустошеної місцевості неушкодженими залишилися приблизно 1000 яскраво-зелених кипарисів.