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Daily Devotion for June 3, 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.
Our "Virtual Sunday Church" today takes us to the chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Prayer for Purity of Worship
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you and worthily praise your holy name. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of your law, so that we might know our sin, and your Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,
Oh Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you"; I pray that I and your whole church, the body of all faithful people, will know your peace, and live in harmony and unity, one with another, in accordance with your wishes. This I pray to you, who lives and reigns forever.
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 have cried out day and night before You.
Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry.
1 John 1:6-10 (ESV)
Walking in the Light
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Notes on the Scripture
John ties into another concept central to his gospel, the concept of Christ as a light, which light "is the life of men". (John 1:1-14) We cannot know God and be in fellowship with him without knowing and practicing our faith in Christ. To act as if we are righteous before God without following Christ in our hearts is a lie.
John is addressing hypocrisy for a reason, as we will see later in the epistle. A number of people had started to appear, saying that they were prophets or authorities, but giving their listeners false versions of the gospels, making up untruths about Christ's life and teaching. So John builds his case one brick at a time. Here, he establishes a basic foundation: that to know and follow Christ is to walk in the light of salvation.
Another fundamental concept is that our baptism does not make us free from sin, because we cannot be free from sin. No matter how hard we try, it is ours by our nature. Christ will cleanse our sin, but only if we confess it and ask for forgiveness by grace.
People have trouble with both sides of this basic concept. The more obvious is someone who thinks he can do no wrong. There are people, both inside and outside the church, who really cannot grasp the concept that they have done something wrong. Some are leaders of religious cults, some are in prison, some are just everyday people. But whatever they think or do, they cannot grasp that it may be truly wrong.
More important for us, however, are those of us who cannot accept Christ's mercy. We try and try to do better at something and yet, it seems, we just cannot quite get there. We still lust, we still covet, we still become envious. We reply harshly to someone who has offended us. This can get to be a big problem, if we become frustrated and think we aren't making progress. Our frustration can damage our faith.
But if we are trying, falling short should not get us down, because everybody falls short. Do not get down on yourself! You are never going to become a perfect person.
Do not get discouraged and think "I am not a good Christian." Instead, let Christ's forgiveness fill you with joy and peace, despite your sin. Being a Christian is the greatest thing on earth. You can be imperfect, because Christ's love for you is perfect; let Him carry the load. Trust in Jesus. Have faith in your forgiveness. And — let yourself enjoy it!