Daily Devotion for April 11, 2021
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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” takes us this week to the First Baptist Church of Panama City, Fla. I had never heard this hymn before, but I do love to learn something new!
I'll meet you in the morning by the bright riverside,
When all sorrow has drifted away.
I'll be standing at the portals when the gates open wide,
At the close of life's long weary day.
I'll meet you in the morning with a how do you do
And we'll sit down by the river and when all the rapture is renewed.
You'll know me in the morning by the smile that I wear,
When I meet you in the morning In the city that is built four square.
I will meet you in the morning in the sweet by and by
And exchange the old cross for a crown.
There will be no disappointments and nobody shall die,
In that land when life's sun goeth down.
Music and Lyrics by Albert E. Brumley
Call to Sunday Worship
O Lord, I beseech you mercifully to hear my prayers, and the prayers of all your people who call upon you; and grant that we may both perceive and know what things we ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill them; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the previous week and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me in the coming week, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
Prayer of Praise
O Father, majestic is your name! From the rising of the sun to its setting, your name is to be praised.
Merciful God, gracious Lord,
hear us in the name of Your Son,
For He has promised that where two or three of us are gathered in Your name
He would be with us and our prayer would be heard.
Hear us in the name of Your Son,
For He is the revelation of Your wisdom, the outpouring of your glory,
The incarnation of your mercy toward us and the whole human race.
To You be the glory,
All praise and honor,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One God, now and evermore.
Lord, in utter humility I thank you and glorify you, that you might hear the prayer of one so small as myself, amidst the billions of souls on this planet among billions of stars in one of billions of galaxies in your universe. Let me go forth in your peace, keeping your Spirit always in my mind; and bless me, I pray, that I might always follow your will and live in the radiance of your blessing.
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.
Psalm 22:22-24 (NIV)
I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
Ephesians 4:1-2, 7-8, 11-16 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)
Our Role in Christ’s Church
s God’s prisoner, then, I beg you to live lives worthy of your high calling. Accept life with humility and patience, making allowances for each other because you love each other. . . .
Naturally there are different gifts and functions; individually grace is given to us in different ways out of the rich diversity of Christ’s giving. As the scripture says: ‘When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men’.
His “gifts to men” were varied. Some he made his messengers, some prophets, some preachers of the Gospel; to some he gave the power to guide and teach his people. His gifts were made that Christians might be properly equipped for their service, that the whole body might be built up until the time comes when, in the unity of the common faith and common knowledge of the Son of God, we arrive at real maturity—that measure of development which is meant by the “fullness of Christ.”
We are not meant to remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching and the jockeying of men who are expert in the craft presentation of lies. But we are meant to hold firmly to the truth in love, and to grow up in every way into Christ, the head. For it is from the head that the whole body, as a harmonious structure knit together by the joints with which it is provided, grows by the proper functioning of individual parts to its full maturity in love.
Notes on the Scripture
Ephesians 4 tells us that “individually grace is given to us in different ways.” Christ did not leave anyone without some work to do on earth. We each have a gift, as part of God’s grace to us.
Our natural inclination as human beings, living in a society, is to value people according to some scale of importance. The talented, the highly visible, the televised, the quoted . . . in fact, in the media, a cult of celebrity has sprung up, comprised of people whose only claim to fame is that they are famous.
England, ca. 500 A.D.
Cross found with
body of a girl
But it is illusory, and erroneous. Your work for Christ, whatever it may be, is as important as anyone’s. The eyes that matter are the eyes of God, not those of the local news anchor, or a local gossip, or an applauding audience. God sees what you do and approves your mission in Christ, whether millions watch you on television, or you perform an uncredited small kindness to a stranger. Our roles stem from the nature of the gift given to us by Christ, not from some inherent degree of greatness in which we may glory or feel humiliation. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
Churches can easily fall into this error, for we seek by our nature a leader. But although pastors and bishops may be critically important to the earthly church, they are not greater in the eyes of God than food service workers, or the funny-looking guy in the corner with his head lowered. It is a mistake to fix our gaze upon a human being; we must remember always to fix our gaze on Christ, and to love and value ourselves and all of our brothers and sisters, no matter how humble or exalted our contribution to the body of Christ may seem in earthly terms.