Daily Devotion for September 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.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for all that I have. Even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe.
Let me never take for granted these gifts of life, oh Lord, but always remember that they come from you; without you, no man could make the sun shine or the tree bear its fruit. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. In the name of Christ I pray,
O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are the very essence of goodness and love. I promise to strive to love my neighbor as myself, out of my love for you. I forgive all who have injured me, and I ask to be pardoned wherever I have done injury to my brothers and sisters, who are your beloved children even though they, like me, are sinners.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I hate all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of Hell; but most of all because I love you and want to serve you, my God, who is all good and worthy of all love and devotion. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to always confess my sins, to do whatever penance your Holy Spirit may put in my heart, and always to strive to amend my life, so that my life might return a small portion of all you have given me. Through Christ I pray,
Now, oh Lord, I pray that you may lift up the light of your countenance upon me, and give me peace; in my going out and in my coming in; in my sitting down and my rising up; in my work and in my play; in my joy and in my sorrow, in my laughter and in my tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark.
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.
To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.
I will behave wisely in a perfect way.
Oh, when will You come to me?
I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will not know wickedness.
Isaiah 51:9, 12-16 (ESV)
God, Our Power and Our Salvation
O arm of the Lord;
awake, as in days of old,
the generations of long ago.
I am he who brings you comfort. What are you, that you fear men, who will die, and the sons of men, who are made like grass? You have Jehovah your creator, who stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth.
Why do you live all the day in continual fear of men who oppress you, as they make ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor?
The captive exile will be freed quickly. He will not die and descend to the pit, nor run short of bread. For I am Jehovah your God, who stirs up the sea, so that the waves roar. Jehovah of hosts is his name. I have put my words in your mouth, and have sheltered you in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, You are my people."
Comment on the Scripture
The passage starts off by telling us to wake up, or more literally, rouse ourselves from our lethargy. The church of the faithful is the "arm of the Lord"; what, exactly, are we afraid of? Why are we hiding ourselves instead of going forth, like an army of Israel, and fighting for our faith?
Isaiah wrote this passage to the Jews, who had been captured by the great Babylonian army, and seemed to have been content to be subjugated in faith and freedom by Nebuchadnezzar and his successors. They became complacent, forgetting the power of the Lord, unwilling to tap the power of God and fight for their faith.
We pray "Thine is the . . . power and the glory," but for all God has done for us, what have we done for God? And what have we done for our fellow men, wallowing in unrepentant and self-justified sin, who will pay such a terrible price when Christ's judgment falls upon them?
The church in North America, Western Europe, and the English-speaking world, are in much the same position as the Jews during the Babylonian captivity, for we have become wordless and compromising prisoners of a sinful and secular kingdom. The United States had its origin in the strength and purpose of our Christian forefathers, but their values and faith have become a joke, an historical footnote.
If we pray that the power belongs to God, we must act on our belief. Keeping our mouths shut because we do not want to suffer the mockery of fools is not the lesson the Bible teaches us; for Peter, and Paul, and almost every other saint of the early church, was mocked and scorned — and, sometimes, murdered by a crowd, as was Christ Himself. So why should we shrink in fear of criticism?
Our society is without doubt in decline, and it is our fault, for we have become largely passive and relativistic. Most of us seem willing to accept the values that we learn, not from the Bible, but from people who seek salvation is the fulfillment of their appetites. Never has public opinion been so driven by lust, greed, and rage.
We must never be afraid to speak out, to spend the currency of our lives and energy in spreading the truth and love of Christ to those who can hear it. Let us all resolve in the coming week to let the truth be known at least once, in a situation where we may be met with scorn; for God's power is great, and He waits with love and mercy for all who might turn to him.