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Daily Devotion for April 6, 2013

I bore you on eagles wings Exodus 19:4
Lake Erie, near Silver Creek, New York.



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

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 of St. Ephraim the Syrian (350 A.D.)

O  Lord and Master of my life, this day, give me not the spirit of laziness, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of sobriety, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages.


Prayer of Thanks

For the gladness here where the sun is shining at evening on the weeds at the river,
Our prayer of thanks.
For the laughter of children who tumble barefooted and bareheaded in the summer grass,
Our prayer of thanks.
For the sunset and the stars, the women and the white arms that hold us,
Our prayer of thanks.
God, the game is all your way, the secrets and the signals and the system; and so for the break of the game and the first play and the last.
Our prayer of thanks.


from Our Prayer of Thanks by Carl Sandburg


And now, as a little child, let me abide in you all this day, oh Christ, so that when you appear I may have confidence and not shrink from you in shame at your coming. For I know that you are righteous, and I am sure that I will be made righteous only by my life in you.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

<i>The Approach to Mt. Sinai</i> by David Roberts ca. 1839
The Approach to Mt. Sinai by David Roberts ca. 1839 (Full size)


We may speak about a place where there are no tears, no death, no fear, no night; but those are just the benefits of heaven. The beauty of heaven is seeing God.

~ Max Lucado

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 19:1-6 (ESV)

The Call to the Old Testament

On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, while Moses went up to God.

The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

Notes on the Scripture

Rephidim could not have been far from Mount Sinai, for the entire area is pure desert and devoid of water; their only water source was at the foot of the mountain. They have been through a three-month period of preparation and training. They have formed into a nation with a judiciary and a military; they have learned the power of God and they have learned that their lives, every minute, depend on Him. He does not allow them the illusion of self-sufficiency we enjoy today; God provides their food and water directly, for they live in a land that has neither.

Moses praying

And now, the great moment occurs. God announces his covenant with the Hebrews, the "old testament". They will keep His laws and He will make them a holy nation. They will stay in this camp for almost 11 months learning these laws. (Numbers 10:11)

Just in case they have not fully grasped the point, God makes one of the clearest statements of monotheism in the early parts of the Bible: "All the earth is mine." Polytheism and idol worship, the tendency to forget God's overriding importance, was and remains a constant temptation; we swim upstream against it. Living in the Spirit is an active state. Without constant effort, any person will slip into polytheism or, more popular today, materialism and narcissism.

"The wings of eagles" is a stirring metaphor for life in the Spirit, or in terms of the Old Testament, a life of righteousness under God's law. Isaiah repeats it in a memorable passage (Isaiah 40:30-31)

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Trying to follow God's law, sitting down to read the Bible or starting to pray may seem like a chore sometimes; but when we move ourselves into the life of Spirit, God transforms us into something wonderful. To the Hebrews, he makes a promise of this life to them as a people. And they shall be the kingdom of priests, who will lead the rest of the world to this true and mighty God, if only they will obey Him.

endless knot

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Memory Verse

Matthew 5:16: In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

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