Daily Devotion for April 21, 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.
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Deity!
Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.
Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love and purity.
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Deity.
Prayer for God to Dwell with Us Today
Holy Jesus, who has promised that if we love you, you and the Father will love us and come to us and make your home with us, I give you my love without reservation. Your words are sacred and I aspire to live by them, this day and always, and I glorify you for your sacrifice of pain and death, made out of your love for us, that all who follow you might find salvation and eternal life.
Bless me this day to live with your Spirit, to resist temptation to evil, and to show your joy and love to all. Make your home with me, that I might be truly blessed, I pray,
Prayer of Thanks
O Thou whose bounty fills my cup with every blessing meet! I give Thee thanks for every drop, the bitter and the sweet.
I praise Thee for the desert road, and for the riverside; for all Thy goodness hath bestowed, and all Thy grace denied.
I thank Thee for both smile and frown, and for the gain and loss; I praise Thee for the future crown and for the present cross.
I thank Thee for both wings of love which stirred my worldly nest; and for the stormy clouds which drove me, trembling, to Thy breast.
I bless Thee for the glad increase, and for the waning joy; and for this strange, this settled peace which nothing can destroy.
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.
Psalm 10:16-18 (NKJV)
The Lord is King forever and ever;
The nations have perished out of His land.
Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may oppress no more.
Exodus 20:14 (ESV)
The Seventh Commandment
You shall not commit adultery.
Notes on the Scripture
Adultery to the Israelites, 3500 years ago, meant exactly what it means today: A married person having sexual relations with somebody other than his or her spouse. Both commit the sin, even if one is single.
There is no fudging allowed. The Bible does not allow the first pebble to tumble down the sliding heap of sexual morality. If a person's husband or wife has sexual problems, or will not have sex with them, or is away from home for a year, or acts so badly that the very sight of them is odious to their spouse, or whatever: there is no "but" clause. (Although even Christ would allow divorce of a partner who has committed adultery. Matthew 19:1-12)
The commandment does not deal with other aspects of sexual morality, but it is not hard to find them in the Bible, clearly stated. The urge to sex is immensely powerful and people do not want to hear that it is an offense against God to do what their body is urging.
In modern society, the sliding heap has slid so far that there is almost nothing left. It has been Satan's point of entry into the destruction of Christian society, his greatest lure to turn the eyes of the careless away from Christ and towards a morality of narcissism. The rationalization of the young couple in a "committed relationship" sleeping together is the little cut in the skin where the disease may enter.
The result? Today, forty percent of all children in the United States are born out of wedlock; to women under thirty, over 50% of children are born to single mothers, and in the African-American community, almost 75%. This is a societal disaster. Children born out of wedlock suffer far greater problems of every kind. Not to mention, the mothers - not having a man to carry half the burden - must turn to the government or society for help.
But proving that having children out of wedlock has dire consequences on how we all live is not the point. The point is: trust in God and do His will. If we truly have faith in Christ, we will not rationalize sin and we will not twist the clear words of the Bible.
Biblical sexual morality can be summed up in three phrases: No sex outside of marriage; no sex with someone of the same gender; and no lusting for "forbidden fruit". There is no provision for "well, we can make an exception in this special case." This all sounds rather harsh to the modern ear, but that is what the Bible says.
There is one very weird twist to all this: Nowhere does the Bible forbid polygamy outright. There is a clear implication in the New Testament that people should only marry one partner (for example, read Matthew 19, cited above); but even in the early church, polygamy was tolerated for people who were already married to more than one person when they converted.