Daily Devotion for May 17, 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.
This video is just full of happiness and hope.
I gotta get myself together, 'cause I got some place to go,
And I'm praying when I get there, I'll see everyone I know.
I wanna go to heaven, I wanna go to heaven,
said I wanna go to heaven, I wanna go to heaven,
do you wanna Go?
Can you picture a place where there's a smile on every face
And all the worry, all the stressing, all the pressure's been erased?
Walking down a street that's golden,
Angels singing perfect weather.
Everybody's got a mansion, y'all it just don't get no better,
I wanna go.
The only way I can explain it,
is that in life we go through changes.
Though we know it serves a purpose,
still sometimes it just seems worthless.
But this race that I am running,
whether I run it fast or slow
Long as I just keep on running,
I'm gonna make it there someday
There's a place for us,
one day I wanna see it.
There's a place for us,
and you may not believe it.
But I'm just living my life
so I can live again.
Everyday I'm getting ready,
'cause I wanna make it in.
Prayer for the Morning
Father, as I face this new day, let me be aware of the work you have done for me as I slept. I praise you that your loving care never slumbers, but has been with me while I was least aware of it; and that you renew me and the whole world, fresh every day, preparing your plans for me.
I pray that I may seek your will this day, your plan for my life, and carry out your plan in my every action. I lay my hopes and fears on an altar before you, that your Holy Spirit may guide my hopes toward the light of your holiness, and may quiet my fears with the knowledge of your infinite peace, in total confidence that your grace will save me from the evils of this world. In Jesus' name I pray,
Prayer in Time of Anxiety
Blessed Lord Jesus, I need you now because I am filled with stress and anxiety. But you have promised that if I read and remember your Word, and come to you in prayer, your Holy Spirit will come to me. I lay my burdens on you, precious Christ, as you have promised to take them. Please carry them for me so that I don't have to, for they overwhelm me. Replace my fears with your humble and gentle yoke, so that I will find rest for my soul today. Let me feel your love.
I accept the peace of mind and quietness heart, which you offer to all men as a gift. My praise and thanks that it is possible for me to lie down this evening in peace, and find the rest of sleep, by your gift. For with you, I have faith that I dwell in perfect safety. What should I fear, when you have promised to be with me for all time? I pray that I can find your perfect peace, by your Word and your promise, this day and every day, until I see you face to face.
May God Almighty send me his light and truth, to keep this day and all the days of my life. And may His mighty hand protect me, and all my brothers and sisters who have joined me in prayer this day, blessing our homes and our lives.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Living in the World
True godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it.
~ William Penn
Verses 22:1-15, which deal with compensation for specific instances where property is stolen or destroyed, are omitted. If you want to read the entirety of Exodus, read them in your Bible or here.]
“If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.”
Notes on the Scripture
The law given here concerning men is quite clear. If a man sleeps with a virgin, he has to marry her, unless her father objects. Given the change in marriage laws, however, the guidance concerning the modern woman is not so clear. One might conclude that the woman, being half of the couple, would have the same obligation as the man; or we might conclude that, since she stands in the place of a Hebrew father — that is, she rather than her father picks whom she will marry — she may make the decision not to marry.
Also, we might wonder, is this entirely a moral law, or at least partially a practical one? The Hebrews did not have access to birth control and any act of sexual congress risked pregnancy. Whereas today, a couple might have sexual relations with relatively less chance of conception. Moreover, Hebrew girls normally were betrothed — very similar to today's engagement — when they were extremely young. Women did not spend their teens and 20s (and often, 30s) as single women away from home before they married, as they do today.
This does not seem to vitiate the law, though, because Hebrew men, who married later in life, were also expected to control themselves. As a practical matter, they could get away with casual sex much more easily; men don't develop a telltale bump in their belly a few months later. But the women who would normally sleep with them were prostitutes, not the girl next door, and later verses repeatedly warn young men to resist the seductress and the prostitute. (E.g. Proverbs 5:3-6)
If we read the Bible, without preconception or distortion, we see a definite norm take shape, that sex should be reserved for marriage. For single people, it is not quite the fierce stricture that the Victorians made it out to be — offenders, for example, would not be stoned. The punishment for the man involved, for example, is that he must offer to marry the woman and pay the bride price, even if her father forbids the marriage.
It might be more accurate to say that sex creates a marriage, rather than to say premarial sex is a sin. Remember that (with her father's blessing and after paying the bride price) Isaac married Rebekah by simply "taking her into his tent." But see 1 Corinthians 7:2: "There is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband."
The stated verse leaves an interesting grey area for engaged couples. Remember that Joseph and Mary traveled and stayed together; she remained a virgin, but their conduct in traveling as a couple was apparently accepted by the Jewish authorities. So we might infer that the verse does not prohibit relations between a betrothed couple.