Daily Devotion for June 26, 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.
Mirrors of God
We must mirror God's love in the midst of a world full of hatred. We are the mirrrors of God's love, so we may show Jesus by our lives
~ Corrie ten Boom
Summary of 1 John
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it . . . .* * *
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.* * *
Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.* * *
I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. . . . By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.* * *
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Notes on the Scripture
The apostle John, who wrote the Gospel of John, was also the author of the three epistles known as 1, 2, and 3 John. He was the only one of the apostles to die of natural causes, and he lived to be very old. He was probably the Bishop of Ephesus and well over 80 when he wrote 1 John.
There were a number of reason for him to write this epistle, which was designed to read throughout Christendom; each of the primary reasons, the main themes of the letter, is represented by one of the paragraphs above.
First, he wanted to make a contemporary eyewitness affidavit of the occurrences in Christ's life. He was, likely, the last living human being who had lived with Jesus during His life and witnessed the crucifixion and resurrection. It was 60 years since the events had taken place and, perhaps, there were already people saying "we want proof". He can give first-hand eyewitness testimony, and he does so, both for those then alive and for all future generations.
Second, he wanted to squash three egregious misrepresentations about Christ and Christianity. The first of these heresies was that, by being baptized, we become like Christ himself, without sin. John clarifies that we must continue to ask for forgiveness of our sins, even after we receive Christ and the Holy Spirit.
The second was a philosophical argument, that since those with faith in Christ would be forgiven for their sins, they could (and some claimed, should) sin all they wanted to. The third, more theological argument (in ¶ 4) was the Christ was not really human, but a spirit who appeared to be human. 1 John is the only book in the Bible to use the word "antichrist", and he uses it to describe the deviant sect leaders who made such claims.
Finally, John had come to a point where he strongly emphasized the importance of love between Christians. He fills many chapters with arguments, statements and inspiration about the need for love, and coins the expression, "God is love."