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Daily Devotion for January 3, 2010
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 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.
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.
Our Role in Christ's Church
To each one of us grace was given according to the nature of Christ's gift. . . . It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, when we become mature, attaining the whole measure of Christ.
As a result, we are no longer to act like children, tossed here and there by waves and blown around by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness or deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, Christ himself. The body is held together by every joint and ligament, each of them supplying a needed role; and thus Christ has appointed the growth of the body, building itself up in love.
Notes on the Scripture
The critical part of this passage is the first few words: "To each one of us grace was given" Christ did not leave anyone without some work to do on earth. The passage discredits a habit of nearly all people and societies: to value people according to some scale of importance. The talented, the highly visible, the televised, the quoted . . . a cult of celebrity has sprung up, comprised of people whose only claim to fame is that they are famous.
Your work for Christ, whatever it may be, is as important as anyone's. The eyes that matter are the eyes of God, not those of the local news anchor, or a local gossip, or an applauding audience. God sees what you do and approves your mission in Christ, whether you lead millions or perform an uncredited small kindness to a stranger. Our roles stem from the nature of the gift given to us by Christ, not from some inherent degree of greatness in which we may glory or feel humiliation. "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."