Daily Devotion for October 4, 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.
This pretty hymn is sung by the choir of the Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School in Singapore.
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, please give me the patience to make it through this busy day with all the hustle, demands and distractions of modern life. Let me find the quiet time to hear your voice and feel your calming presence. I ask this in your son's name.
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples. Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love. and that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation; Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
Prayer of Surrender
All to Jesus, I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live.
If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.
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.
Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own.
~ Harold Coffin
Genesis 39:19-23 (ESV)
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife 
As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.
But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it.
The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.
Notes on the Scripture
Joseph seems to gain the trust, admiration, and respect of anyone who oversees him. He was his father's favorite; when he was sold into slavery, his master, Potiphar, respected and trusted him so much that Joseph became Potiphar's steward. And now, even the warden of the prison puts Joseph in charge of the other prisoners. He rises to the top wherever he goes.
It is unfortunate that the gifts he has been given from God may raise jealousy in others and cause him as much hard as good, for it was his brothers' jealousy that enslaved him and the jealousy and spite of Potiphar's wife that has now landed him in prison. But the story of Joseph is a very human tale, and this is certainly something we see in ourselves and others every day.
People with advantages raise negative emotions in others. Who has not felt it, when a friend or acquaintance buys an expensive new house or car that we could never afford, or wants to show everybody pictures of the expensive vacation they took. Did any of us never have a negative thought about the best-looking or most popular person in a class at school?
The higher a person rises, the more people seem to enjoy his fall; or if "enjoy" is the wrong word, at least have some tiny corner of negativity mixed in with our dismay. The Pharisees were surely smiling when Jesus was led to his death; for he attracted great crowds of admirers and disciples, and worked many miracles.
Envy is known as one of the seven deadly sins. It is perhaps the easiest to do without, because, as Joseph Epstein once said, it is the only one of them that is no fun at all.
It lives within us and it simply will never go away completely; but we must remain always on our guard, and understand and confess our envy in our prayers, so that we might be forgiven; for God does not want us to compare ourselves to other people, but rather, to keep our eye and heart on Him, full of thankfulness for all that we have received in our lives.