Daily Devotion for May 9, 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.
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Music (Eventide) by Wm H. Monk, 1861
Lyrics by Henry Lyle, 1847
Prayer for Guidance
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart. Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Holiness
Holy God, no one can put together what has crumbled into dust, but you can restore a conscience turned to ashes. You can restore to its former beauty a soul lost and without hope. With you, there is nothing that cannot be redeemed. You are love; You are Creator and Redeemer. I praise you with my every ounce.
I fear the lesson, my God, of the fall of Lucifer, full of pride. I pray you will keep me from such a terrible fate; keep me safe with the power of your Grace; save me from falling away from you. Save me from doubt. Incline my heart to hear your mysterious voice every moment of my life and thus be led to call upon you, for you are present in every thing and every moment.
Dedication to Service
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
and whose speech is gracious,
will have the king as his friend.
Deuteronomy 5:28-33 (ESV)
The Versions of the Ten Commandments [Summary]
“And the Lord heard your words, when you spoke to me. And the Lord said to me, ‘I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!
Go and say to them, “Return to your tents.” But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you the whole commandment and the statutes and the rules that you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess.’
You shall be careful therefore to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.
Notes on the Scripture
The distinction many people make between what they call "The Law of Moses" and what they call "The Ten Commandments" is erroneous. Strict, literal obedience to any of the laws stated in the Old Testament, is not required for our salvation. On the other hand, compliance with the spirit of all of the laws of Moses must inform our lives and our morals. The Ten Commandments are not as special as most people would have us believe.
Our primary relationship with God was changed by the coming of Christ, from one of legalistic obedience to one of faith. (E.g., Hebrews 8:7-13) This is made crystal clear by the difference between justification by works, the basis of the Old Testament, and justification by faith (or God's grace through Jesus Christ), the basis of the New Testament. (E.g. Galatians 2:16)
But this does not mean that the laws of Moses have become null and void. When asked how to find salvation, Christ Himself would frequently cite the law; for example, nine of the Exodus 20 "ten commandments" are repeated in the New Testament. He expressly stated that He had not come to abolish the law (of Moses). (Matthew 5:17) But although the laws engraved on stone are given emphasis — and, as we have seen, there are more like 15 or 16 of them than 10 — the New Testament is replete with references to other laws. These laws have no less applicability to us than the Ten Commandments. They are the entire basis of Christian morality and, unwittingly, non-Christian Western "morality". The Old Covenant is obsolete in its entirety; but the law of Moses is still the law of God, in its entirety.
As a clear (although flawed) analogy, suppose the judges in your town stopped enforcing traffic tickets. They will pay for everyone's fines. Does this mean that the posted speed limit in a school zone is null and void? Should you now speed through a school zone? No. The reason it was there in the first place was to keep children from being hit by cars, and driving 15 or 25 miles per hour when you are near a school is still the right thing to do.
In short, we are obligated to be guided, in good faith, by the spirit of the laws of Moses, although we are freed from technical compliance. In modern-day terms: we are not obligated to follow the letter of the law, but if we love God, we will follow the spirit of the law. Those who are justified by their faith in Christ will live their lives under the morality of the Old Testament, as informed by the duties of love and forgiveness given such emphasis by Christ. We are not justified by good works; but we are created and saved to show forth God's glory by doing good works. (E.g. Ephesians 2:10)