Daily Devotion for July 27, 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.
Even in his later days, despite his many troubles, Elvis insisted on performing Gospel songs in his concerts. This video was made in Las Vegas weeks before his death, with a poignant contrast between the message and the setting.
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, let me live this day as the gift it is, for You have truly blessed me to live it. And if I may suffer, I will carry with me the certainty that one day I will see You face to face, a day when all things will become clear and my pain will be made whole through the grace of Christ, my God. Blessed be you, oh Lord my God, and blessed be the day you have given me.
Prayer of Salvation
Heavenly Father, open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to You. For Jesus Christ is surely the gate of the Lord, and those that confess His holy name shall surely enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. No matter how weak I may be, I will always remember your words, that the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone of your church. This is your doing, and it is marvelous in my eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let me rejoice and be glad in it.
May God Almighty send me his light and truth, to keep this day and all the days of my life. And may His mighty hand protect me, and all my brothers and sisters who have joined me in prayer this day, blessing our homes and our lives.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I will try to change myself.
1 Corinthians 3:18-23 (ESV)
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God.
For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men.
For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.
Notes on the Scripture
The foolishness of human pride and wisdom is a theme that runs throughout Paul's epistles and, indeed, the entire Bible. In fact, the most beautifully written testament to the temporality of our achievements is in the Old Testament, the wonderful passage in Ecclesiastes, which starts:
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
The Hebrew word for "vanity" used here is the same as the word for "mist", and in terms of the age of the universe, our earthly wisdom is as inconsequential and fleeting as a mist in the morning. There was an argument recently published between two great scientists, about whether the Earth would end its existence in 1 billion years or 9 billion years. When one considers that God's time is infinite, a concept we cannot even truly grasp, and thus the age of the Earth is utterly small to Him, we see the folly in pride of our knowledge.
Paul refers this concept back to his main point in the first chapters of 1 Corinthians, that it is mistaken to define our beliefs as followers of a church leader. Factionalism in Christianity is the foolishness of human pride, and Paul means to discourage it as strongly as he can.
The last sentence sounds almost Buddhist, in its concept that once we belong to Christ, the world "or life or death or the present or the future" are ours. As John Wesley put it, "Peter (Note: Cephas) and every one in the whole world, however excellent in gifts, or grace, or office, are also your servants for Christ's sake. . . . Contend, therefore, no more about these little things; but be ye united in love, as ye are in blessings."