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Friday, November 16, 2018

Daily Devotion for November 16, 2018


<i>The Harrowing of Hell</i> by Fra Angelico, ca. 1446
The Harrowing of Hell by Fra Angelico, ca. 1446.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord’s Prayer

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.

Amen.

I meant to include this on Veterans/Rememberence Day. Well, I could sing it every day!



Prayer for the Morning

I  call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.

I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.

I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.

I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.

Amen.

For the Holiness of the Church

Oh God my Father, who has always loved and protected your universal church, I pray that your Holy Spirit may fall upon all ministers, priests, pastors, bishops, and all who lead in churches; and upon all teachers of your holy Word.

Make them good and faithful stewards of your Holy Word, dear Lord. Bless them to lead us closer to you every day. Let them not be hypocrites in their actions, nor blinded by their personal bias to the truth of your teaching. Let them be strong against the pressures of the secular world, without compromise. Let them always strive for unity with all Christians, not pridefully dividing themselves from one another by the fallible doctrines of man. Raise them up, to peace and love and utter humility, that by their example your flock may be guided into the way of truth.

Amen.

Meditation

[Why are we so afraid of death, and yet, we are not fearful of the billions of years before our birth, or even our non-existence before the universe was created?]


Parting Prayer

Lord, pour your love into my heart, that I may love you above all things, and my neighbors as myself. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.


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.



<i>Pick Up Your Cross,</i> by Wm. Adolphe Bougeuereau, ca. 1880.
Pick Up Your Cross, by Wm. Adolphe Bougeuereau, ca. 1880.

Proverbs 13:10 (NASB)

By pride comes nothing but strife . . .


Blue Latin Cross

Romans 9:1-5 (ESV)

Paul’s Regret for Judaism

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.


Notes on the Scripture

F

or once, a passage from Romans is easy to understand. Paul is in anguish over the plight of his people, the Jews. After thousands of years of strife, the Messiah has finally come to them — but many of them have failed to take advantage of the fulfillment of their effort. They had dropped the ball an inch short of the goal line.

Even worse, one must remember, “The chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death.” (Matthew 27:1.) And much responsibility falls on Paul himself! In his early days, there was nobody more zealous in his persecution of Christ’s followers than Paul (Saul). His anguish is made more heartbreaking by remembrance of his own guilt.


Ancient mosaic, Tabgha, Israel

Paul traces the history of God and the Jews in a list of words: Adoption, i.e., God literally adopted the heirs of Abraham as his children; Glory: God glorified the Jews, making them the most important people on earth; Covenants: It was the Jews and nobody else who, for the preceding thousands of years had made covenants with God; Giving of the Law: it was the Jews who received the Ten Commandments and the law of Moses; the Worship: It was the Jews who had first worshipped God in their temples, and even at the birth of Christ almost all of the worship of God was centered on Judaism; and the Promises: God promised that the Jews would be redeemed, that they would be his children.

Why does Paul interrupt his discussion of Christian theology with such an abrupt and incongruous statement of personal emotion? For one thing, a large part of his audience was Jewish. Christianity has always had a direct personal element; Christ put his own body on the cross. The personal relationship, the totality of commitment of one person to another, is a defining aspect of Christianity.

Secondly, Paul is about to explain God’s treatment of the Jews. The thousands of years during which the Jews single-handedly carried the torch of God were not in vain. Paul expresses a wish that he could magically bring Judaism to Christ, but of course, he cannot. But what he cannot do with magic, he can try to do with argument, by showing the Jews how they have been rewarded for their service.

And this is what he will do, in the remainder of Romans 9.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“ Are You An Official
Burden Carrier? ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 5:39, 44: I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. . . . [L]ove your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.


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