Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Daily Bible Readings for SATURDAY, November 21, 2020

 

The Daily Readings
SATURDAY, November 21, 2020
Psalm 100; Ezekiel 34:25-31; Matthew 12:46-50
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.
Paul wrote about how God fills the church with gifted people who are able to serve in diverse ways to glorify Him. Thank the Lord for the ways He has gifted you and your Christian community. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in how to utilize your gifts. Praise God that the gifts He gives are complete and efficient. Pray that you would eagerly wait for God’s leading instead of relying on human strength and understanding. Ask God to help you remember that God is the source of your gifts. Thank God for His faithfulness.

Today’s Readings:
Psalm 100
We are the people of God’s pasture
1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Commentary

This song of praise should be considered as a prophecy, and even used as a prayer, for the coming of that time when all people shall know that the Lord he is God, and shall become his worshippers, and the sheep of his pasture. Great encouragement is given us, in worshipping God, to do it cheerfully. If, when we strayed like wandering sheep, he has brought us again to his fold, we have indeed abundant cause to bless his name. The matter of praise, and the motives to it, are very important. Know ye what God is in himself, and what he is to you. Know it; consider and apply it, then you will be more close and constant, more inward and serious, in his worship. The covenant of grace set down in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, with so many rich promises, to strengthen the faith of every weak believer, makes the matter of God's praise and of his people's joys so sure, that how sad soever our spirits may be when we look to ourselves, yet we shall have reason to praise the Lord when we look to his goodness and mercy, and to what he has said in his word for our comfort.


Ezekiel 34:25-31
A covenant of peace to come
34:25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

30 Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God.

31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.
Commentary

The whole nation seemed to be the Lord's flock, yet they were very different characters; but he knew how to distinguish between them. By good pastures and deep waters, are meant the pure word of God and the dispensing of justice. The latter verses, Ezekiel 34:23-31, prophesy of Christ, and of the most glorious times of his church on earth. Under Him, as the good Shepherd, the church would be a blessing to all around. Christ, though excellent in himself, was as a tender plant out of a dry ground. Being the Tree of life, bearing all the fruits of salvation, he yields spiritual food to the souls of his people. Our constant desire and prayer should be, that there may be showers of blessings in every place where the truth of Christ is preached; and that all who profess the gospel may be filled with fruits of righteousness.


Matthew 12:46-50
The true kindred of Jesus
12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.

47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
Commentary

Christ's preaching was plain, easy, and familiar, and suited to his hearers. His mother and brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him, when they should have been standing within, desiring to hear him. Frequently, those who are nearest to the means of knowledge and grace are most negligent. We are apt to neglect that which we think we may have any day, forgetting that to-morrow is not ours. We often meet with hinderances in our work from friends about us, and are taken off by care for the things of this life, from the concerns of our souls. Christ was so intent on his work, that no natural or other duty took him from it. Not that, under pretence of religion, we may be disrespectful to parents, or unkind to relations; but the lesser duty must stand by, while the greater is done. Let us cease from men, and cleave to Christ; let us look upon every Christian, in whatever condition of life, as the brother, sister, or mother of the Lord of glory; let us love, respect, and be kind to them, for his sake, and after his example.



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. www.commontexts.org
The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, November 21, 2020
Psalm 100; Ezekiel 34:25-31; Matthew 12:46-50 (KJV)

Prayer of the Day for SATURDAY, November 21, 2020

 

Prayer of the Day
Saturday, November 21, 2020


Accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. Do all this in prayer, asking for God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God's people.

Lord God, whose might is over all the world, over heaven and over earth, we want to find strength in you, for you have given us thousands of proofs that you are with us, helping in all that happens. And when we meet with difficulties, we want all the more to find strength in you, we want all the more to hope in you and await your victory. Let your light shine into everything, in life and in death. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, November 21, 2020

 

Verse of the Day
SATURDAY, November 21, 2020


1 Corinthians 1:4-5
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.
Paul wrote about how God fills the church with gifted people who are able to serve in diverse ways to glorify Him. Thank the Lord for the ways He has gifted you and your Christian community. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom in how to utilize your gifts. Praise God that the gifts He gives are complete and efficient. Pray that you would eagerly wait for God’s leading instead of relying on human strength and understanding. Ask God to help you remember that God is the source of your gifts. Thank God for His faithfulness.

Read all of 1 Corinthians 1

Listen to 1 Corinthians 1


The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — Worshiping Rightly in God's House

 

Worshiping Rightly in God's House

"When you come to appear before Me, who has required of you this trampling of My courts?"

It isn't that people in Isaiah's day weren't going to the temple to worship together. They were. The air was full of festivity. The courts of the temple were filled with jostling, clamoring crowds. Cattle to be sacrificed were lowing all over the place. The air was thick with the smoke of burnt offerings, heavy with the fragrance of incense. Worshipers assumed the posture of prayer, and gave every appearance of piety. The spectacle was magnificent, and one would think that the prophet would have been moved to admiration and praise by it all.

Instead, Isaiah insulted everybody. We have the prophet's word for it: the mind of God was wearied, and His heart was sickened by the false worship He saw everywhere, including in His house. Mere religion and false piety mean nothing. He says so through the mind of the prophet, who talks the kind of language any one of us can understand. "When you come to appear before Me, who has required of you this trampling of My courts?"

Piety is not enough, said the prophet. Have faith. Have faith in God. He can be trusted. Listen to what He has to say, "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool" (Isaiah 1:18). God is talking to you. He is talking to me. It doesn't make any difference who we are. He has a heart for each of us, and He speaks to us plainly.

His plainest talk of all is His Word to the world in His own Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus came, sent by the Father, to be the Savior of the world. All He was and everything He did was for us. To Isaiah He looked like a suffering servant, a man of great sorrows and acquainted with grief. He looked that way because "He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows ... He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities ... and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (see Isaiah 53:4-6).

This is the Savior we believe in. There is a difference—a great difference—between faith in Christ and trusting in our religion or piety. Faith in Christ changes us, renews us from the inside out. Whatever before was the appeal of an outward showing of religiosity no longer interests us. We want more. God's Spirit inside us wants more for us; He wants to change us to be like God's Son.

Now—by God's grace—we earnestly desire a genuine, Spirit-filled faith that loves God in ways that are true and right and pleasing to Him. Above all, we want to be like Jesus who worshiped the Father rightly, in Spirit and truth, "for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him" (John 4:23b). Now, we can be those people—called by God, redeemed by Jesus, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, teach us to honor Your house and the people we find there. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

From "Trampling the Courts of the Lord," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann.

Reflection Questions:
1. Do our actions speak louder to others than our words when it comes to our faith?

2. How does a church keeps its focus on God in a world pressing in on all sides?

3. What's the best way to guard against being religious in a showy way in our own lives?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Do our actions speak louder to others than our words when it comes to our faith?

Standing Strong Through the Storm — STAND FIRM AND STAND TOGETHER

 
STAND FIRM AND STAND TOGETHER

But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.

As members of the same family, we have the responsibility to come to the aid of another member who is suffering. The body of Christ is strong when each part is closely knit together. When one part suffers, all the other members suffer (1 Corinthians 12:20–27).

Members of the persecuted church who have been helped by others around the world have made comments like those of young Salamat Masih in Pakistan. He was charged with writing blasphemies against the Prophet Mohammed—even though he was illiterate. He was on death row until finally exonerated. After receiving cards from all over the world, assuring him of prayers, Salamat said: “I never realized that I had so many brothers and sisters around the world.”

A pastor who was attacked and hurt in Indonesia was so traumatized that he and the family left the area and the ministry. Before we judge him, perhaps we should ask if this pastor ever received enough encouragement and help from other churches and believers. Could it be that he felt so alone because there were not enough other people who cared for him?

Another believer from a Hindu background in eastern Indonesia was led to the Lord by a doctor who prayed for him regarding his incurable disease, and God healed him. He lost no time in joining a local church.

He said, “At that time, a lot of people accepted Jesus in my village, but they were afraid of the threats from their families. When they convert, village officials come to interrogate them. I, myself, have been interrogated many times after my conversion and warned me not to convert others. But I was not afraid. I chose to keep my faith in Him, no matter what happened.” He experienced severe opposition and persecution from everyone he knew, but he held fast to his faith. Open Doors then connected him with a group of other believers from a Hindu background.

In November 2010, he and his family met a different kind of opposition that tested their faith. Mount Bromo erupted, covering hundreds of hectares of farmlands and plantations with volcanic ash. “Our livestock died, and we could not work on the farm…People around me ask why I can still smile and be happy. I just tell them that although I am poor and I face a lot of difficulties, I have Jesus. He gives me joy in my heart…Being with other believers reminds me that I am not alone. I am encouraged all the more to share the gospel with my people.”

RESPONSE: Today, I will remember that I am part of a large body…a family that deeply cares for me.

PRAYER: Pray for isolated believers that God will show them the reality of standing strong together.


Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
As members of the same family, we have the responsibility to come to the aid of another member who is suffering.

The NIV Couples Devotional — What We See in Each Other

 
What We See in Each Other

1 Samuel 16:1–13

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Samuel was sent to the house of Jesse to find a new king. When he got there, Samuel saw Eliab, one of Jesse’s sons. “Surely, he is the one God has chosen to be the next king,” Samuel thought. Evidently, like the previous king, Saul, Eliab was tall and striking. But Eliab was not the one God had in mind.

God warned Samuel not to assess people by their physical appearance. God reminded the old prophet that he doesn’t look at the outside; he looks at the inside. So each of Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel, but God did not indicate that any of them was the man God had sent him to find. Finally, David, the youngest son, came in from the fields. Then the Lord spoke to Samuel, telling him this was the right one.

When we look at someone’s outward appearance, we often fail to see what God sees. This message was clearly illustrated to writer John Fisher when he was speaking at a seminar. “A couple came in late, and I could see that they were in love,” Fisher said. “I couldn’t help but notice the woman was very attractive, while the guy was a real nerd.

“What could she see in him?” Fisher wondered. From the outside, this couple didn’t look like a match. “Then I realized she was blind,” Fisher said.

“What did she see in him? She saw everything that was important in a person. She saw love. While another woman might not have gotten past this man’s unimpressive exterior, she was blind to that. She only saw his heart. Blessed are the blind, for they can see people as they really are.”

Like Samuel, we often make judgments based on what people look like. But God doesn’t use looks as his criteria. He evaluates people by what’s in their hearts. He sees their character, their faithfulness, and their commitment to him.

During courtship, we can be charmed by someone’s good looks, attentiveness, or flattery. All of that can be fleeting. Over the course of a marriage, the real person breaks through. Perhaps as your marriage ages, your spouse’s outward appearance starts to change. Your spouse grays, loses hair, or gains a little weight. Perhaps the two of you fall into a rut, and the special treatment that marked your dating period begins to wane. That’s when we need to remember what the Lord said to Samuel about focusing on what’s in the heart rather than what’s physically noticeable.

A marriage’s success comes not in finding who we think initially is the “perfect” person for us, but in our willingness to adjust to the real person we married.

Jennifer Schuchmann


Let’s Talk
  • What characteristics initially attracted us to each other? What qualities do we treasure most today?
  • The blind woman never saw her partner’s appearance. Like God, she only saw his heart. Would we rather have people look at our appearance or at our heart? Why?
  • What steps are we taking to improve our faith, our character, and our commitment to God?
Samuel was sent to the house of Jesse to find a new king. When he got there, Samuel saw Eliab, one of Jesse’s sons.

John Piper Devotional — The Gravity of Gratitude

 
The Gravity of Gratitude

In the last days there will come times of stress. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful…

Notice how ingratitude goes with pride, abuse, and insubordination.

In another place, Paul says, “Let there be no obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking…but rather thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4). So it seems that gratitude is the opposite of ugliness and violence.

The reason this is so is that the feeling of gratitude is a humble feeling, not a proud one. It is other-exalting, not self-exalting. And it is glad-hearted, not angry or bitter.

The key to unlocking a heart of gratitude and overcoming bitterness and ugliness and disrespect and violence is a strong belief in God, the Creator and Sustainer and Provider, and Hope-giver. If we do not believe we are deeply indebted to God for all we have or hope to have, then the very spring of gratitude has gone dry.

So I conclude that the rise of violence and sacrilege and ugliness and insubordination in the last times is a God-issue. The basic issue is a failure to feel gratitude at the upper levels of our dependence.

When the high spring of gratitude to God fails at the top of the mountain, soon, all the pools of thankfulness begin to dry up further down the mountain. And when gratitude goes, the sovereignty of the self condones more and more corruption for its pleasure.

Pray for a great awakening of humble gratitude.

Notice how ingratitude goes with pride, abuse, and insubordination.

Un dia a la Vez — Digamos «NO» al divorcio (primera parte)

 
Digamos «NO» al divorcio
(primera parte)

El esposo debe amar a su esposa como a su propio cuerpo. El que ama a su esposa se ama a sí mismo.

Solo en nosotros está la decisión de decirle «NO» al divorcio. En su Palabra, Dios deja bien clara varias advertencias. Por ejemplo:
  • «No os unáis en yugo desigual con los incrédulos» (2 Corintios 6:14, rv-60). Antes de dar el paso del matrimonio, la pregunta es la siguiente: «¿Por qué te casas con un inconverso?». Si lo consideras, no todos los casos terminan felices, pues muchos no van jamás a la iglesia aunque se casen porque uno no puede cambiar a nadie.
  • «El hombre deja a su padre y a su madre, y se une a su mujer» (Génesis 2:24). Muchos matrimonios llegan al divorcio por los suegros. Si te casas, debes «dejar» la falda de mamá. Claro, hay casos preciosos donde la suegra es de bendición en el hogar.
  • «Y los dos se funden en un solo ser» (Génesis 2:24). Se trata de un solo ser, pues no son parejas de tres ni de cuatro. Es decir, debe ser de una sola mujer y un solo hombre porque ya somos uno en Cristo.
  • «¡Goza con la esposa de tu juventud!» (Proverbios 5:18). Por eso debes disfrutar a tu cónyuge aun en la vejez. No dice que el amor es solo durante la juventud, sino que es para siempre.
  • «Dando honor a la mujer como a vaso más frágil» (1 Pedro 3:7, rv-60). En esto se incluye el respeto, la ternura, la suavidad.
Únete a esta campaña y digamos «NO» al divorcio. No perjudiquemos más la Palabra de Dios y démosle testimonio al mundo.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Solo en nosotros está la decisión de decirle «NO» al divorcio.

Хліб Наш Насущній — Інструменти миру

 

Інструменти миру

Читати: Якова 3:13-18 | Біблія за рік: Єзекіїля 16–17 ; Якова 3

Плід правди сіється творцями миру.

Коли в 1914 році розпочалася Перша світова війна, британський державний діяч сер Едуард Грей сказав: “Над усією Європою погасне світло, і за нашого життя воно більше не засяє”. Грей був правий. Коли “війна, яка мала припинити всі війни”, нарешті скінчилася, 20 мільйонів людей було вбито (серед яких 10 мільйонів цивільних), і ще 21 мільйон – поранено.

Спустошення можуть виникати і в нашому особистому житті, хоч і не в таких масштабах. Наш дім, місце роботи, церква або наш район також можуть бути охоплені темрявою конфлікту. Це одна з причин, чому Бог нас закликає міняти світ. Однак у цьому нам потрібно покладатися на Його мудрість. Апостол Яків написав: “А мудрість, що зверху вона, насамперед чиста, а потім спокійна, лагідна, покірлива, повна милосердя та добрих плодів, безстороння та нелукава. А плід правди сіється творцями миру” (Як. 3:17-18).

Роль миротворця важлива своїми наслідками. Слово “правда” означає “належне становище” або “належні стосунки”. Миротворці можуть допомогти відновити стосунки. Не дивно, що Господь Ісус сказав: “Блаженні миротворці, бо вони синами Божими стануть” (Мт. 5:9). Божі діти, покладаючись на Його мудрість, стають інструментами Божого миру, там де він найбільше потрібний.
У яких особистих конфліктах ви потребуєте світла Божої мудрості? Як Його мир може допомогти вам бути миротворцями, якщо оточуючі обирають війну?

Отче, Твоє світло проникає в найбільшу темряву, а Твій мир заспокоює стривожене серце. Допоможи мені пізнавати Твою мудрість і Твій мир, щоб передавати їх іншим.

Автор Білл Краудер

© 2020 Хліб Наш Насущні
Коли в 1914 році розпочалася Перша світова війна, британський державний діяч сер Едуард Грей сказав: “Над усією Європою погасне світло, і за нашого життя воно більше не засяє”. Грей був правий.