Daily Devotion for April 2, 2020
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
A phenomenon similar to Hillsong, in Australia, the Oslo Gospel Choir is not as well-known (at least in the U.S.) but has the same terrific spirit and high level of musical skill.
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You;
I want to see You.
To see You high and lifted up
Shining in the light of Your glory;
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy.
Holy, holy, holy,
We cry holy, holy, holy,
You are holy, holy, holy,
I want to see you.
Music and Lyrics by Michael W. Smith
Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester (1230 A.D.)
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits thou hast won for me,
For all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother,
May I know thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
And follow thee more nearly
For ever and ever.
Prayer for the Troubles of the Earth
God of comfort, these times seem so uncertain, so scary. The world seems darker than it has in the past and I am less sure of myself. Maybe that’s a good thing; maybe now I am turning to you with a realization that I need you so much more and that my life is not in my own control.
Let me not forget all of those around the world who are frightened at this moment. Help those who are victims of terrorism, war, and plague. Be with those who have lost so much in the past year. Hold us all in your loving arms and let us be comforted by the strength and peace you make available to us through the birth of your son, Jesus; and thank you for all the many gifts you offer us, during our life on earth and for all eternity.
Oh Heavenly Father, in whom I live and move and have my being, I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the joys, occupations, and cares of this day I may never forget you, but remember that I am ever walking in your sight. In Christ’s name, I pray,
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
In which verse did Christ command us to make disciples throughout the earth?
Psalm 84 (NKJV)
How lovely are your dwellings,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. Selah
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
Note on Psalm 84
The Hebrews believed that God actually lived in the Ark, which was kept at the tabernacle and later the Temple. One can imagine the poet here (David?) seeing birds nesting in the area around the altars and tabernacle, and marvelling at the nesting birds in the house of God.
Today, God’s home is everywhere, yet the psalm is still beautiful. He has provided a place for the swallow to nest and raise her young. We do not engage in a pilgrimage to the Temple, but a pilgrimage through time, finding God wherever we go, for His Spirit is with us and within us.
Summary of Philippians
here are three main themes we have seen in Philippians—two of them closely connected. The first these is joy. Paul teaches us to rejoice in God, no matter where we may be or what circumstances we may encounter. He does not depend on his personal comfort or the praise of men to find joy; he has learned to rejoice in his salvation and to carry the joy of God’s blessing through times of plenty and times of deprivation, times of comfort and times of terrible suffering. This is why he says (in a generally misunderstood quote): “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
Second, he makes an important theological point. God was made man, and in so doing, He gave up aspects of divinity until the time He died on the cross. Jesus did not know all things; he prayed to the Father and was obedient to Him. One might conclude that God wanted to die, to show us that He had power over death, and also to show us the possibility of perfect faith. But God cannot die; He had to become human.
Paul in Rome
He then turns back to the theme of how to live on earth, taking full advantage of God’s blessings to us while accepting our suffering. In two beautiful and famous passages, he instructs us:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
And then he tells us what we should think about:
[W]hatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.