Daily Devotion for September 11, 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.
Prayer for the Morning
Blessed are you, O Lord my God, King of the universe, who removes sleep from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids. I thank you for all that you have done while I was asleep, watching over me and all your children while we slept unaware, and I pray that my thoughts and acts this day may show forth my love and thanks for you and all you have done for me.
Help me through your Holy Spirit, that I may remember what you have taught me in the Bible and it may show forth in my every deed. Let me not wander into the hands of sin, nor into the hands of pride or perversity, nor into the hands of temptation, nor into the hands of shame, but steer my inclinations towards goodness and charity this morning and all the day. In the name of Christ I pray.
Prayer of Thanks
O Thou whose bounty fills my cup with every blessing meet! I give Thee thanks for every drop, the bitter and the sweet.
I praise Thee for the desert road, and for the riverside; for all Thy goodness hath bestowed, and all Thy grace denied.
I thank Thee for both smile and frown, and for the gain and loss; I praise Thee for the future crown and for the present cross.
I thank Thee for both wings of love which stirred my worldly nest; and for the stormy clouds which drove me, trembling, to Thy breast.
I bless Thee for the glad increase, and for the waning joy; and for this strange, this settled peace which nothing can destroy.
Dedication to Service
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
1 Corinthians 15:42-49 (ESV)
The Resurrection of the Dead 
So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.
It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Notes on the Scripture(Continued from yesterday.)
Here, Paul actually finds the flaw in his own analogy. He spoke of our human body as a seed, which disappears and transforms into a great plant or tree. An oak tree is still an acorn, but an acorn transformed, an acorn that has fulfilled its potential. This is success; the acorn that does not transform simply rots and disappears forever.
We know that our human bodies will not last. The human body is created from "dust" — natural matter, which we would more likely call "chemicals" today. But this animal houses a soul. Similar to the way an acorn is fertilized from outside to enable it to transform some day, our body is fertilized by a soul. The acorn will disappear, for its only function is to nurture the germ within it, so that it may transform into something greater.
But there is a fundamental difference, for our souls will transform into something imperishable. As great as an oak tree might be compared to an acorn, it cannot compare to the form we will take when we are resurrected. For the oak is still just a plant; but our new form, our new "body", will be imperishable, as are the forms of angels or "the man of heaven" — Christ after His resurrection.
Christ has shown us what we will be. For after He was resurrected, he was able to appear completely human. In fact, God the Father personally appeared to Abraham as a man. (Genesis 18)
The details of our existence after our bodies dies is still a mystery. But knowing that we will have the possibility of being much as we are now is comforting, for change is always unsettling and often frightening. So, this is one reason for Christ appearing just as he was before he dies; to comfort us, to demonstrate to us that we do not need to fear a radical change.