Daily Devotion for May 28, 2012
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.
Prayer for the Morning
I bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Deliverance
Dear Lord, grant me, I beseech you, your divine helping grace. Endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering. I flee to you, my only hope and refuge, for relief and comfort, trusting to your infinite love and compassion; that in due time, you will deliver me from all the trials of this life and turn my distress into comfort. I rejoice in your mercy. I exalt and praise your holy name, oh Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever.
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.
~ William Hutton
1 Peter 5:1-5 (ESV)
Shepherd the Flock of God
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Notes on the Scripture
Many of Peter's exhortations to obedience and humility are addressed to those under authority. Here, however, he instructs Christian leaders; and what a better world we would live in, if his instructions were followed. There are two specific admonitions to those who are placed in charge.
First, to lead by example, not by domination. "Do as I say, not as I do" has no place in Christian doctrine, and especially not among those who would lead churches, ministries, or programs of any sort. Do children who are told to value honesty and humility listen, if their parents and teachers tell half-truths and act full of their own importance? For only by living the Gospel can one convince others to believe it.
Second, to lead "not for shameful gain, but eagerly." And shameful gain is not only the fortunes that some Christian leaders have amassed. It is other types of gain, as well. Seeking to become powerful and having others bend to one's own will, rather than to the will of God, is a common temptation among leaders who are blind to their own sin of pride. We are commanded, in effect, to all be humble before all of our fellows, a difficult task in a world where competition for money, status, and personal glory is constantly before us.
So today, let us pray for our own humility and try to take ourselves down a notch in our own estimation. For thereby we will please the God who made us and protects us in all things, and we can take joy and pleasure in having tried to please God, a joy more real and enduring than our silly pride.