Daily Devotion for April 3, 2013
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.
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
2. There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, "Sometime I’ll try,"
But go and do something today.
’Tis noble of man to work and to give;
Love’s labor has merit alone.
Only he who does something helps others to live.
To God each good work will be known.
Music and Lyrics by Will L. Thompson, 1847–1909.
Prayer for Purity of Thought
Almighty God, who alone gave me the breath of life, and alone can keep alive in me the holy desires your Spirit brings; I pray to you, in the name of your infinite compassion, to sanctify my thoughts and endeavors this day; that I may not begin to act without a pure intention or continue it without your blessing. And grant that, having the eyes of my mind opened to behold things invisible and unseen, I may in heart be inspired by your wisdom, and in work be upheld by your strength, and in the end be accepted by you as your faithful servant; through Jesus Christ our Savior.
For Each of Us in Our Work
Almighty God, heavenly Father, who makes it possible for me to work and who gives every creature its food, declaring your glory and showing your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in my work, from coveting material goods, from falling into the temptation of serving mammon and putting money in the forefront of my life. Help me to perform the work which you have put at my hand, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men as well as myself; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lived and died only to serve us.
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are you, loving Father, for all your gifts to me and those close to me. Blessed are you for giving me family and friends to be with me in times of joy and sorrow, to help me in days of need, and to rejoice with me in moments of celebration.
Father, I praise you for your son Jesus, who knew the happiness of family and friends, and in the love of your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.
Lord, in utter humility I thank you and glorify you, that you might hear the prayer of one so small as myself, amidst the billions of souls among billions of stars in one of billions of galaxies in your universe. Let me go forth in your peace, keeping your Spirit always in my mind; and bless me, I pray, that I might always follow your will and live in the radiance of your blessing.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
"People need loving the most when they deserve it the least."
~ John Harrison
Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV)
The Creation of Man
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Notes on the Scripture
God created us in his image, and after His likeness. Does this mean we look like God? Actually, we don't know! Certainly God has appeared to men looking like something very different from a human being: A burning bush, a flash of light, a pillar of cloud and fire. But we also see God or his messenger (an angel) very like a human being in appearance. Jesus was God; however, Jesus was made man, so it would be more accurate to say he was made to look like us than vice versa. Most adults, however, visualize God in more abstract terms, perhaps as existing in the entirety of space.
But the words "in his image" might mean something other than arms, legs and a nose. We have the capacity, of all the creatures known to us, to distinguish between good and evil. We have the capacity to think. And we have the capacity to exercise free will. We can do something or believe something purely because we decided that it is the right thing to do, even if it is contrary to our animal instincts.
Most Christians believe that these attributes are the image of God. However, we must always remember that a likeness is not identical to the original. We are made in God's image, but we are not God; if we look in a mirror, we see an image of our ourself, but it is not ourself.
But we are special. Of all the gazillion things in the universe, only one of them (that we know of) was made in the image and likeness of God, and that is us. But there's a catch: all the other people in the world, including the burglar stealing our money and the politician we cannot stand, are also made in God's image. They are his beloved children and the likeness of God, and it is for that reason Christ told us that we may not judge one another.