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Daily Devotion for June 24, 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" this week takes us to the chapel of King's College, Cambridge, England. The tune of Thine Be the Glory is taken from Handel's Oratorio Judas Maccabeus. (Click the Lyrics link to sing along!)
endless is the victory, thou o'er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict'ry, thou o'er death hast won.
Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.
No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.
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,
Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
Make a plan now to keep a daily appointment with God. The enemy is going to tell you to set it aside, but you must carve out the time. If you're too busy to meet with the Lord, friend, then you are simply too busy.
~ Charles Swindoll
1 John 5:13-15 (ESV)
That You May Know
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
Notes on the Scripture
John tells us that we should know we have eternal life; that we have confidence in Christ and he hears our prayers; and the requests we ask of him, in prayer, He will grant. This last part recalls a line from the old Prayer of St. Chrysostom, "when two or three are gathered together, thou wilt grant their requests." So . . . if we ask Christ for a new Mercedes, will he get us one?
The number of people would answer "yes" is surprisingly large. They call themselves Christians, but their theology is that God is some sort of cosmic bellhop whose primary function is to make them rich and happy by bringing them magic presents. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Christian leaders with crippled faith, who seem more interested in anything than salvation and forgiveness of sin. In fact, in recent times, the quoted line from the Prayer of St. Chrysostom has been changed in many denominations to "when two or three are gathered together, you will be in their midst."
The critical words, if you have read closely, are "if we ask anything according to his will." Neither John nor Chrysostom means to imply that Christ will use his power to further non-Christian values. Why would Christ preach that we must cease to serve "mammon" - stop placing importance on earthly riches - and then offer to feed our greed? Why would He teach us to turn the other cheek, and then help us win our court case or help our soldiers kill people?
If we would find God, we must be "poor in spirit", that is, willing to abandon our preconceptions. We must be willing to read the Bible for what it says, not for support of the ideas we already have. Becoming a Christian and growing in faith is a process of change, sometimes painful change. We must be willing to listen to ideas that are not our own. A good place to start is Proverbs 1 or Psalm 1. "Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7)