Daily Devotion for July 16, 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.
Here's a rousing hymn to get you cranked up for the week.
ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high his royal banner,
it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory
his army shall he lead,
till every foe is vanquished,
and Christ is Lord indeed.
2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict,
in this his glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve him
against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger,
and strength to strength oppose.
3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls or danger,
be never wanting there.
4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle,
the next the victor's song.
To those who vanquish evil
a crown of life shall be;
they with the King of Glory
shall reign eternally.
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.
Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed, not by strength, but perseverance.
~ Samuel Johnson
Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Notes on the Scripture
In Chapter 11 of Hebrews (directly before today's passage), Paul give a long and inspiring list of the faith, sufferings and rewards of God's saints, from Abraham all the way to the many Christians being persecuted in his own time. This is the "great cloud of witnesses" to which he refers. He tells us to look to them for inspiration.
Perserverence is always easier when one is supported by a group of people, especially those engaged in the same pursuit. This is true whatever the goal: if it is good, such as Bible reading or exercise, we benefit greatly from having friends whose participation and encouragement can pick us up when our motivation flags. And even in pursuit of the darkest evil — no doubt, guards in Nazi death camps could never have done what they did, without the constant support of the SS.
So, we should pick our friends with care; for the delusion of a crowd is most powerful. And the crowd with the greatest and highest goals are our fellow Christians who have carried on in the face of obstacles.
No great thing is accomplished without perserverence. So, if we are to accomplish the greatest thing possible, our righteousness before God and His eternal blessing, we must keep at it. Boredom, frustration, laziness, distraction: all the enemies of any accomplishment.
The greatest enemy to our achievement is our tendency to ignore the important for the immediate. There are a thousand trivial tasks that will fill our entire day, then our entire week, if we let them, for they loudly demand to be done right now. One strategy to overcome this is to find a group with the same goal that meets at a set time and place. So let us make a firm decision, to try to find a Christian meeting that we like, of any sort — Bible study, prayer group, Christian study, general worship — and make a commitment to attending it.