Daily Devotion for September 17, 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.
The Isaacs put a mainstream sounding vocal track against a modern bluegrass instrumental background. A very pretty tune.
The sweet Holy Spirit is promised to you
It sat upon Jesus in the form of a dove
When John was baptizing God's Dearly Beloved
Sweet Holy Spirit I'm down on my knees
I am low in the valley, I am so weak you see
I know I can make it for I trust in thee
The sweet Holy Spirit is falling on me
Sweet Holy Spirit, Oh how I love thee
For being a comfort so many times
And for strengthening me
For I could not make it across life's troubled sea
If the sweet Holy Spirit should ever leave me.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Defining Who We Are
When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.
~ Wayne Dyer
Isaiah 51 (conclusion)
God Promises Salvation for Zion
Awake, awake, and stand, Jerusalem, which has drunk the cup of Jehovah's wrath. You have drunk the cup until you stagger, and drained it.
Among all the sons she has spawned, there is none to lead you; among all the sons that she has raised, none will take her by the hand.
You have received desolation and destruction have fallen, and who will moan for you? Both famine and the sword have come, and how can you be comforted?
Your sons have fainted and lie in the streets, like deer in a trap; they are full of the wrath of Jehovah, the rebuke of your God.
Therefore hear this, you afflicted, drunken with wine. Your Lord Jehovah speaks, your God who pleads the cause of his people. "Behold, I have taken the cup of staggering out of your hand, even the bowl filled by my wrath; you will drink it no more. I will put it instead into the hands of them that afflict you, that have said to your soul, 'Bow down, that we may pass by.' For you have put your back flat on ground, as flat as the street, to them that pass by you."
Notes on the Scripture
In the 6th Century B.C., the Babylonians (under Nebuchadnezzar and his heirs) sacked Jerusalem, knocking down the walls, the houses and, most importantly, the Temple. Most of the prominent Israelites who survived were taken back to Babylonia in chains, to become slaves. In Isaiah 51, the image of wine and the cup are used extensively: First, as an analogy for the general moral dissipation of the Hebrew people (which surely included excessive drunkenness); and Second, as a concrete metaphor for God's wrath. Drunkenness, which prostrates men with intoxication, and God's wrath, which lays men on their backs in death or fear of the conquering Babylonians, are both represented as drinking from a cup.
But Isaiah, the great prophet of the transition from the Old Testament to the coming of Christ, has many layers of meaning, and his message of hope to those "flat on their back" lives on today, in full force. Most of us have paid a price for our sins during our lives. In extreme cases, our lives seem to be permanently damaged. We lose our home or our job, we get divorced, we go to jail. We clog our arteries and wait in patience, trying not to feel the terror of the heart attack or stroke that will come. Our ability to withstand some temptation seems inadequate, and we feel doomed to continue sliding down a slope, for we do not have the strength to stop our fall.
Many are terrorized and controlled by other people. This can be especially acute outside the English-speaking world, but it can happen to anyone. And the victims are powerless to fight their oppressors.
But there is one who has such power, and that is God Almighty. He has the power and, as one person after another will testify, He will help if asked often enough and with conviction. Because His power is greater than that of sin; His power has overcome death itself.
God can and will help us if we ask him with sincere and steadfast hearts. It is true that good Christians are murdered or suffer gravely: we cannot know the mind of God. But person after person will testify to victory over a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, that came only after they began to ask for, and unwaveringly believe in, God's love and willingness to help us overcome our sin.