Daily Devotion for June 5, 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 of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day. When I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope.
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.
But the way of the upright is a highway.
1 John 2:3-11 (ESV)
The New Commandment
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.
By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.
Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Notes on the Scripture
You could well summarize the first part of today's Scripture with current slang: It's not enough to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. John again uses the image of Christ as the light of men, combining it with the concept of walking as Christ walked. And we know what happens if we try to walk somewhere without any light, in darkness: We stumble.
So we try to live in the light, conceiving of all our actions by holding them up against Christ's commandments. But, what commandments? Jesus was famous for his refusal to follow the Mosaic law to the letter. Most notably, he would heal on the Sabbath, which the Jewish authorities thought was a breach of the fourth commandment.
Christ had many teachings and we must always read the gospels, to keep them fresh in our mind. But the only time he used the word "commandment" to characterize his teaching was in his summary of the law:
John is continuing to emphasize the critical lesson of loving one's fellow man as the mark of one who will truly follow Christ. He is telling us that this is the new commandment, the mark of salvation, the test of our faith.
It is a test we meet every day. Other people are aggravating. They do stupid things that affect us. They insult us and undermine us. They drive too slow or too fast. They vote for the wrong person. Occasionally, they may rob us or hurt us, even kill us. But we must keep our eye on God and love them, not judge them; for as Christ loved and saved mankind, despite the fact of his torture and murder, we must follow in his footsteps every day.