Daily Devotion for July 10, 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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints.
For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord?
Who We Are
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
Notes on the Scripture
These two closely related teachings come from the Sermon on the Mount. The first does not translate well into modern terms, because salt does not have the meaning to us that it did to the people of the Roman era. They had no refrigeration and little canning. Meat began to spoil as soon as an animal died.
In dry climates, salting the meat to amplify the drying was the only practical means of preserving it. And despite the current fad of disdaining sodium, people engaged in hard physical labor in hot climates need salt to keep their blood electrolytes in balance. If you drink too much water without taking in salt, it will actually kill you!
Christianity preserve the souls of men the way salt preserves meat. If a Christian abandons his role of bringing others to Christ, he is no longer special. He is like salt without saltiness.
Pride is a terrible sin, the progenitor of many other sins; but there is sinful pride and honest pride, and in this we can take honest pride. We are special to God. Once we find Christ, we have confidence in our salvation, and we become disciples of God. We are his emissaries, his exemplars, his salesmen.
Do we feel embarrassed in mentioning Christ or salvation to people who are atheists, agnostics, or even "Sunday Christians"? We need to get over it. Do we continue in our sin despite our learning and our prayers for forgiveness? We need to get busy fixing that! Do we skip spending some real time in study and prayer, because we just can't tear ourselves away from some earthly activity? We need to find time! We need, in short, to get our priorities and lives in sync with our beliefs.
Christ forgives us for our sins, and we must not feel guilty when we fall short of perfection. All of us do all of the things mentioned in the preceding paragraph. The solution is not to beat ourselves up or feel guilty about the past. Today is a new day; let us all resolve to bring the Holy Spirit into our lives today as never before.