Daily Devotion for June 25, 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
May all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul and revive my tired spirit: be with me today. Be at my side and walk with me; be my support, that your hand may be seen in every action I take, that your goodness may be in every word I speak, and that your spirit may inhabit my every thought. Make my thoughts, my work, and my very life blessings for your kingdom. In Christ's name I pray,
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.
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
I cry out day and night before you.
incline your ear to my cry!
1 John 5:16-21 (ESV)
The End of John's Epistle
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life — to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
Notes on the Scripture
John's teaching gives an important example of the preceding verses concerning our confidence that, when we pray in accordance with the will of Christ, God will hear us and grant our requests.
The passage, with all its talk about sins that lead to death and sins that do not lead to death, can be very confusing. It sounds as if, perhaps, he is talking about mortal sin and venial sin, a concept important to Catholics, but he is not. John's "sin that leads to death" is sin committed by one who has not found Christ.
His meaning is that we cannot save other peoples' souls through our own prayers. Every person is responsible for their own salvation, at least in the first instance: a person finds salvation and eternal life only by faith in Jesus Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit. We can and should forgive them, for it is not for us to judge; and we might ask God to forgive them, but we have no confidence that our prayer will be granted.
On the other hand, where a brother or sister in Christ has sinned, we may pray for their forgiveness, even if they do not; Christ will hear our prayer and grant it. This solves a big problem; we do not have to engage in some sort of salvation game at the time of our death. A great many Christians die suddenly, or with sins they do not realize, but these sins will not lead to death. Unless we renounce Christ or the Holy Spirit, intentionally forfeiting our salvation, Satan cannot touch us.
Finally, to quote the great Matthew Henry: "We should pray for others, as well as for ourselves, beseeching the Lord to pardon and recover the fallen, as well as to relieve the tempted and afflicted. And let us be truly thankful that no sin, of which any one truly repents, is unto death."