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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Daily Devotion for September 8, 2012

Day of Judgment, 'The Last Judgment', Fra Angelico, Devotional painting
The Last Judgment, a freestanding panel by Fra Angelico, c. 1425-30. (To see the full size, click here.)



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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.


This hymn is so beautiful that it must be heard, even though it's in German – a translation is provided below.

Prayer for the Morning (written by Metropolitan Philaret)

Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.

Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.

For our Enemies

O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer of Surrender

All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Him I freely give.

I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.



May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.

Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.


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

endless knot

Our Wisdom

I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.

~ Abraham Lincoln

Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (ESV)

The Resurrection of the Dead [2]

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”

But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Notes on the Scripture

In yesterday's Scripture, Paul emphasized the importance of the resurrection, which is a concept that we all grasp. But . . . what then? Christians often tend to be unclear on exactly what the Bible says about what is going to happen in the future. The five-dollar word for this is "eschatology", which sounds intimidating but could not be more simple: it's the theological study of what is going to happen next.

We will go to sleep for a time. It does not matter how long, because it will be instantaneous as far as we are concerned. Then, Christ is going to return to the earth to judge the souls of all who have lived. Some will be consigned to a fiery hell, and some will be assigned to an eternal life of joy and peace with God the Father.

Many modern churches tend to steer clear of the concept of hell. There are arguments that it does not exist or, at best, it is simply not mentioned. But Christ himself talks about it often, and the image of hell being "fiery" actually seems to originate with Jesus, the first being Matthew 5:22.

But of all concepts in Christianity, the Trinity seems to be the most misunderstood. Of course, we are probably simply not capable of understanding God, and possibly the difficulty of understanding the inter-relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is an aspect of our limitations.

But, as Paul makes plain in this passage, Jesus and God the Father are two different persons. It is hard to miss this point when you read through one of the Gospels, as Jesus repeatedly speaks of God the Father with reverence and submission. After his resurrection, however, Christ was made to rule over the earth. Christ will be subject to the Father.

We must realize that Christ, unlike us, has no resentment about being subject to God the Father. The concepts of ego, ambition, rebelliousness and such, simply do not exist for him. He does not "accept" his submission; he is not resigned to it. The concept is simply absent from him, because he is perfect.

And just so, we must treat our relationship to Christ. He is our friend, our God and our Savior. He loves us enough to die for us. But he is also our Lord. Our hearts must be filled with humility and sincerity if we are to find him.

<em>Resurrection of Christ</em>, Piero della Francesca, Devotional painting c. 1463
Resurrection of Christ by Piero della Francesca, c. 1463. Christ is depicted as victorious, a scruffy bleeding King with a crown of thorns. Click the photo to see it full-sized.

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