Daily Devotion for September 9, 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.
Our Virtual Church this Sunday is a Southern gospel service, but it is sort of a "show" church, since the entire congregation is — well, let's just say that the person sitting next to you isn't singing off-key.
Click the Lyrics link below the video to follow the words.
By helping those who are in need;
My life on earth is but a span,
And so I’ll do the best I can.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low,
A few more days, and I must go
To meet the deeds that I have done,
Where there will be no setting sun.
To be a child of God each day,
My light must shine along the way;
I’ll sing His praise while ages roll,
And strive to help some troubled soul.
The only life that will endure,
Is one that’s kind and good and pure;
And so for God I’ll take my stand,
Each day I’ll lend a helping hand.
I’ll help someone in time of need,
And journey on with rapid speed;
I’ll help the sick and poor and weak,
And words of kindness to them speak.
While going down life’s weary road,
I’ll try to lift some trav’ler’s load;
I’ll try to turn the night to day,
Make flowers bloom along the way.
Music and lyrics by William M. Golden, 1918
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 Repentance (from Psalm 51)
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight. I am full of shame at my sin, and my heart lies heavy.
Purge me and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Those Who Have Turned Away
Grant, O Lord, peace, love and speedy reconciliation to your people whom You have redeemed with your precious blood. Make your presence known to those who have turned away from You and do not seek You, so that none of them may be lost, but all may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, so that everyone, in true love and harmony, O long-suffering Lord, may praise your all holy Name.
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
1 Corinthians 15:29-34 (ESV)
The Resurrection of the Dead 
Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? Why are we in danger every hour? I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!
What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
Notes on the Scripture
If asked, most people would not be able to guess the origin the phrase "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Shakespeare? The gladiators? It actually comes from the Old Testament; it appears repeatedly in both Isaiah (e.g. Isaiah 22:13 and Ecclesiastes (e.g. Ecclesiastes 8:15.
The phrase is always fatalistic. Taken at face value, it sounds like the espirit of soldiers about to go into battle, who intend to enjoy themselves before they die. But the phrase is never used as such in the Bible. In Isaiah, it is used to describe those who will die in battle for their sins. In the more poetic Ecclesiastes, it is part of the rich and beautiful poem about the vanity of earthly existence. And here, Paul uses it as an attitude that the Christian has outgrown, which has been rendered foolish by the resurrection of Christ.
For, tomorrow we do not die. Or more accurately, we may appear to die, but we die in the expectation of resurrection. To sum up this passage: If we do not believe in the resurrection of Christ and, thus, our own resurrection through His power, why bother with Christianity? And if you do believe in Christ, the phrase "eat, drink, and be merry" — which implies sinful gluttony because there will be no consequence, since one is about to perish — no longer makes sense.
Once our eyes are opened to the truth, we naturally want to stop our sinful conduct. And as he has said before, one of the components to our own salvation is to avoid those who will pull us into sin with their ignorant, self-indulgent conduct.