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Daily Devotion for September 30, 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 "Sunday Virtual Church" this week takes us to the Church of God at Lee University, in Cleveland.
Prayer for Purity of Worship
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you and worthily praise your holy name. Through Christ I pray,
A General Intercession for Sunday
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who in your mercy and all-loving kindness regards the prayers of all who call upon you with their whole heart, incline your ear and hear my prayer, now humbly offered unto you:
Be mindful, O Lord, of the church of all who believe and confess the name of Jesus Christ; confirm and strengthen it, increase it and keep it in peace, and preserve it unconquerable forever. Be mindful, O Lord, of all priests, ministers, pastors, deacons, bishops, and others known by whatever title, who work as Christian leaders, for you have established them to feed the flock of the Word. And by their prayers, have mercy upon me and save me, a sinner.
Be mindful, O Lord, of all civil authorities, of our Armed Forces, of this city in which I dwell, and of every city and land; grant us peaceful times, that we may lead a calm and tranquil life in all godliness and sanctity.
Be mindful, O Lord, of my parents, my brothers and sisters, my relatives and friends, and all who are near and dear to me, (name those who you wish to remember), and grant them mercy, life, peace, health, salvation and visitation, and pardon and remission of sins; that they may evermore praise and glorify your holy Name.
Be mindful, O Lord, of those who travel by land, and sea, and air; of the young and the old; orphans and widows; the sick and the suffering; the sorrowing and the afflicted, all captives, and the needy poor; upon them all send forth your mercies, for you are the Giver of all good things.
Be mindful, O Lord, of me, your humble servant; grant me your grace, that I may be diligent and faithful; that I may avoid evil company and influence, and resist all temptation; that I may lead a godly and righteous life, blameless and peaceful, ever serving you, that I may be accounted worthy at the last to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Be mindful, O Lord, of all those who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection unto life eternal, especially (name those you wish to remember); pardon all their transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, whether in word, or deed, or thought. Shelter them in a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away, and where the sight of your countenance rejoices all your Saints from all the ages. Grant them your heavenly Kingdom, and a portion in your ineffable and eternal blessings, and the enjoyment of your unending Life.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, for you are merciful and compassionate, and love mankind, and to you are due all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
May the God who made me, the God who keeps me, and the God who will be my Lord through all eternity, shine down His blessings and wisdom upon me like the sun upon a field; and may I keep Him in the forefront of my every thought and deed, throughout this day, and this week to come, and evermore.
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.
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
No One is Righteous
What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already established that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:
"All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
"Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips."
"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
"Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know."
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Notes on the Scripture
The passage is a veritable portrait of a person who does not acknowledge God or the Bible. It is the model of someone who lives according to his or her own understanding, a life dictated by animal desires, a life where decisions are made according to personal criteria, ignoring God and His Word.
This is why those who claim to know God and are raised in the church can so often rationalize their unbiblical behavior. They allow the world to dictate their morals and their values. Spouses fail to love one another as the Bible has commanded them to do (and as they promised to do when they married); they neglect their families and put an obssessive importance on their careers, their possessions, their appearance, or their self-development. Our political leaders, our cultural leaders, and sometimes even our spiritual leaders make excuses and rationalizations for selfishness and sin. For advice, we go to Dr. Phil instead of Dr. Paul.
Read a newspaper or magazine, watch television, go to a movie, and ask yourself: "Is this the product of a society that loves God and respects the commandments and guidance of the Bible?" Nine times out of ten, the answer is no.
It is a battle. We need to do whatever we can to practice the teachings of the Bible in our own lives and to hold up the light of God's word before others, because silence is acquiescence. To do nothing is to concede the world to the darkness of atheism and the standards of selfishness and hypocrisy. We all have sinned and we will all continue to sin. But we don't have to rationalize sinful conduct; we don't have to preach that such conduct is all right, simply it is something we might have done or want to do; and we don't have to stand silent when such conduct is promoted by others.
Semonkong Waterfall in Lesotho (Africa)