Daily Devotion for June 22, 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
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
Relying on God has to start all over everyday . . . as if nothing has yet been done.
~ C.S. Lewis
1 John 5:1-5 (ESV)
Overcoming the World
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Notes on the Scripture
John continues to hammer away at the importance of love, and the connection between love and God. As we saw yesterday, our disputes and dislike of other people comes from fear, and 90% of the time, the fear is that our self-image, our standing in others' eyes, or our control over the world will be threatened. But once we really turn our eye to our rebirth in Christ, these matters seem trivial. When we set ourselves on a mission, to love God and our fellow man, to let Christ's light show through us into the world, our self-image is unassailable.
Christ showed us how to overcome the world, to become the ultimate victors. His mission of love could not be deterred by anything. And in this, Christ is not simply our savior; He is our role model.
Who, he asks, overcomes the world without believing in Christ? People talk about the "rat race" sarcastically, but usually don't realize that they can actually do something about it. Nobody wins the rat race. Those who spend their lives and energy trying to attain great wealth, or power, or immortality, or fame: they are fools. Wealth is always lost; power disappears in the blink of an eye; people always die and the memory of them fades. The finish line of the rat race is oblivion. (If you have never read Ozymandias, I strongly recommend it, and have reprinted it here.)
But Christ did not seek to win this rat race. He overcame it. And to those of us who will be reborn in Him, He will give us the gift of victory, for we may overcome it also.