Daily Devotion for July 13, 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.
comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever,
'twixt that darkness and that light.
By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv'ries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Father in heaven, creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon me and receive my heartfelt gratitude for all that you have done for me and for those I love. Thank you for all the graces and blessings you have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: Our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; the love we have for one another; and the lives of our Lord and friends. Dear Father, in your infinite generosity, please grant us continued grace and blessings during the coming day. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your only son, who has saved us from death.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify me completely, and may my whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. For I know that He who calls me is faithful; he will surely do it.
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.
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
O Lord, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.
1 Peter 5: 7-10 (ESV)
Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith.
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.
Notes on the Scripture
Every person has a basic decision to make in their life: Whether they will serve God or mammon. There is an old hymn which starts, "Once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide." At some moment, we must decide to dedicate ourselves to Christ. Christianity is an affirmative decision, for to try to avoid the decision is to decide in favor of mammon. It isn't like an election, where we can let other people decide between two candidates for us. It is, rather, a decision to be more than what we were born to be, to correct a major fault that nature has given us: death.
Once we make a decision to follow Christ, we must practice our faith and work at it every day. It is like being on a diet, or getting an education. We must live our decision. So Peter tells us to be alert and discipline ourselves.
The problem with practicing Christianity is like the problem with many of life's achievements, because it is subject to becoming undone by procrastination, the "one-day" excuse. Like, "I can eat all I want today, I won't gain that much weight and I can take it off tomorrow," or, "I don't have to study my lessons today, I can take a day off and study extra hard tomorrow." But it is always now when a decision is implemented. If we are actually going to do something tomorrow, it will still be now when we do it; it will just be now, one day later.
It is, in short, impossible to do something tomorrow. We can plan to do something in the future, but we can only do something in the present.
With our faith, though, there is an immediate benefit that can help us overcome our procrastination. Once we have made a decision to follow our belief, we can cast our anxieties on God. God has asked that we let him have our anxieties; we should take advantage of the offer!
Christ promised to refresh us from our burdens. (Matthew 11:28) So let us always, when we take the time out to pray, to worship, to study or read, let us always remember to give our worry and anxiety over to Christ to carry for us.