Daily Devotion for June 4, 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
Heavenly Father, let me live this day as the gift it is, for You has truly blessed me to live it. And if I may suffer, I will carry with me the certainty that one day I will see You face to face, a day when all things will become clear and my pain will be made whole through the grace of Christ, my God. Blessed be you, oh Lord my God, and blessed be the day you have given me.
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples. Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love. and that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation; Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
Prayer of Surrender
All to Jesus, I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live.
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make us faithful to your Word that we may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Using Your Strength
When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
~ Audre Lorde
1 John 2:1-2 (ESV)
Christ Our Advocate
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Notes on the Scripture
First off, we need to understand the word "propitiation", for it is a long word that is almost never used any more. "Propitiate" is a transitive verb, that is, you have to use a direct object with it. You cannot say, "I will propitiate for my error"; you have to say, "I will propitiate so-and-so for my error". The definition of propitiate in the World English Dictionary is "to appease or make well disposed; conciliate".
It means to make someone who is angry with you happy with you, to take away someone's anger. So, if you ran over your neighbor's mailbox, you might propitiate him by buying him a new one.
Sin makes God angry. The Jews in the Old Testament propitiated God by making sin offerings on an altar, sacrificing grain or meat; but the problem with this practice is that, as soon as one makes such a sacrifice, one immediately sins again. The Jews tried very hard not to sin, but this proved fruitless. In fact, the purpose of the law of Moses was to show mankind that they could not follow God's law. We need help.
So, a propitiation in this context is something that takes away God's anger towards our sin and reconciles us with Him. That was why Christ came to earth, because it isn't something we can do effectively for ourselves. So Christ made one last, final sacrifice: Himself. That is why He is sometimes called "the Lamb of God"; lambs were often sacrificed as sin offerings.
So, it is important not to just mouth the words or let the sentences flow over us, feeling only some vague notion about Christ. Christ's role as the propitiator of God, on behalf of anyone in the whole world who sincerely follows Him, is real and specific.