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Daily Devotion for November 30, 2012
St. Andrews's Day (UK)
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.
I have always loved this account of Samson's life, written by the Reverend Gary Davis.
He was the strongest man that ever lived on earth.
One day old Sampson was walking alone
He looked down on the ground and he saw an old jaw-bone.
He lifted up that jaw-bone and he swung it over his head,
And when he got to moving ten thousand was dead.
If I had my way,
If I had my way in this wicked world,
If I had my way
I would tear this building down.
Sampson and the lion got in attack
Sampson he crawled up on the lion's back
You read about this lion - he killed a man with his paw
Sampson he got his hands around the lion's jaw
And he ripped that beast till the lion was dead
And the bees made honey in the lion's head.
Delilah was a woman, she was fine and fair
She had lovely looks, God knows, and cold black hair
Delilah she climbed up on sampson's knee
And said "tell me where your strength lies, if you please"
She talked so fine, she talked so fair,
Sampson said "Delilah, cut off my hair,
Shave my head just as clean as your hand
And my strength will be like a natural man."
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,
Prayer the Gospel May Be Spread
Almighty God, you called your church to be united in faith. By your grace you have given us new life in Jesus Christ, and by your Spirit you have called us to proclaim his name throughout the nations. Awaken in me such a love for you and your world that I may so boldly proclaim Jesus Christ by word and deed that all people may come to know him as Savior and follow him as Lord. And bless and strengthen all those who dedicate their lives to the increase of your church, both at home and abroad. Send your spirit to fill their tongues with your message and protect them from all harm, to the glory of your Name.
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make us faithful to your Word that we may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our 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.
He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
Being a Christian Today
Recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting.
Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Notes on the Scripture
The pep talk in Hebrews 10 is worth reading and remembering. It can be a source of inspiration to many of us, especially when we are embarrassed by anti-Christian diatribes or the media's delight when a self-proclaimed Christian does something terrible. Professing Christianity puts a target on your back. You are held to a higher standard. People will laugh at you and lump you in with the many charlatans, hypocrites, and sanctimonious nut cases who call themselves "Christian".
Anti-Christian tshirt on zazzle.com
As television becomes more and more the arbiter of social mores, you may feel alienated. When is the last time you saw somebody on t.v. go to church? Read the Bible? Mention Jesus Christ or even a deep belief in God? But the explosion of atheist and anti-Christian sentiment in the U.S. is small beans compared to the tribulations Paul addresses. He mentions prison, public abuse, and the plundering of possessions. Our trials are miniscule in comparison.
There are responses we can make to aggressive and abusive atheists, but today is not the time to talk about such matters. The most important thing is not to become angry, defensive, or shaken in our faith. "Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours." Some people are exposed to this more than others; and if you are a person who is often told (as I am) you are an "idiot" because "gawd" is equivalent to the tooth fairy, you might want to keep this Scripture handy, to regain your balance. And be thankful: at least we are not often fed to lions today!