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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Daily Devotion for July 5, 2012

Ghent altarpiece
Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, from the Ghent Altarpiece, by Hubert & Jan Van Eyck c. 1432



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

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.


A wonderful modern setting of the Magnificat by Italian pop singer Mina.

"For Each New Morning"

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
I thank thee.
(From a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Prayer for Family and Friends

Blessed are you, loving Father, for all your gifts to me and those close to me. Blessed are you for giving me family and friends to be with me in times of joy and sorrow, to help me in days of need, and to rejoice with me in moments of celebration.

Father, I praise you for your son Jesus, who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.



Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

Devotional painting of Ghent altarpiece Lamb
Detail from Ghent Altarpiece

Remember that even Jesus’ most scathing denunciation - a blistering diatribe against the religious leaders of Jerusalem in Matthew 23 - ends with Christ weeping over Jerusalem. Compassion colored everything He did.

~ John MacArthur

Blue Latin Cross

Jonah 4:5-11 (ESV)

Jonah's Anger and the Lord's Mercy [2]

Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city.

Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.

When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.”

And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

Notes on the Scripture

In these final verses from the Book of Jonah, we find Jonah building a booth, a rough latticework structure with a roof and sides of sorts. This kind of temporary structure was often seen in the Middle East at markets and festivals, where ventilated protection from the sun was more important than protection from rain.

Jonah, as we saw in yesterday's Scripture, is distraught because God has commanded him to preach to the Assyrians, a heathen people who were often enemies of the Hebrews, while his homeland in the northern Kingdom of Israel turns to idolatry under its degenerate king, Jeroboam. Jonah would have considered them not only the enemies of Israel, but the enemies of God. Not much has changed in 2800 years, because Syria today has practically the same relationship to modern Israel!

The matter makes Jonah so angry that he wants to die. He expects God's wrath to fall on idolaters and the enemies of His people. But the entire story of Jonah is a bellwether of the New Covenant, a glimpse at the coming of Christ. It was no accident that Jonah spent three days in the whale's belly and was, in effect, resurrected to save a heathen nation.

The situation could hardly be more appropriate to contemporary life. We find a very understandable and sympathetic character in Jonah, for like him, our own country seems hell bent on rejecting Christ and sinking into depravity, while factions of the heathen Islamic world seek to attack us.

The secular world will do what it will do; whether to make war and how to do it is beyond the scope of Daily Prayer. Our concern is the lesson given by the Bible here.

We must not shirk from the daunting task of trying to bring the people of the world to Christ and this includes our enemies, even in war. We must love them as God loves them, and seek to bring them the greatest gift of all, salvation and eternal life. Our duty to the Muslim world, friend and enemy alike, is to let them know the truth of salvation and the importance of accepting Christ in their lives.

(The artwork today, from the great altarpiece of Ghent, is a panel showing people of all sorts coming to worship the Lamb at the Day of Judgment.)

endless knot

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Matthew 5:16: Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

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