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Friday, November 27, 2020
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Daily Devotion for May 24, 2013



Revelation 19, Bible
Lucas Cranach the Elder did a set of rather startling and vivid illustrations for Martin Luther’s Bible in 1534. This woodcut depicts a scene from Revelation 19, in which the seven-headed beast falls into a lake of fire, as Christ’s army triumphs.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.



Prayer for the Morning

Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for all that I have. Even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe.

Let me never take for granted these gifts of life, oh Lord, but always remember that they come from you; without you, no man could make the sun shine or the tree bear its fruit. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. In the name of Christ I pray,

Amen.

For Forgiveness Among Fellow Christians

Teach me, O Lord, to act so that all my deeds will glorify your holy name and your wonderful creation. Take pity, O Lord, on all Christians. Hear the desires of all who cry out to you, and deliver them from evil. Send them comfort; consolation in sorrows, and your holy mercy.

O Lord, I especially pray for those who have in any way insulted, abused or aggrieved me. Do not punish them for the sake of me, a sinner; but pour your mercy upon them. I also pray to you for all those whom I, a sinner, have insulted or tempted in word, deed, thought, whether knowingly or without realizing it. O Lord God, forgive us our sins and offenses and insults against each other. Dispel from our hearts all indignation, suspicion, anger, remembrance of evil, quarrels, and all that might hinder and lessen brotherly love. Replace resentment with forgiveness, I pray, in the name of Christ.

Amen.

Dedication

As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope.

Amen.


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.



Nun of Saint Clare, in charity and poverty, at devotional prayer
The nuns of the Catholic Order of Saint Clare are especially known for their vow of poverty.

Proverbs 23:9 (NKJV)

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 23:1-9 (ESV)

Resisting Pressure

“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.”

“If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

“You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.


Notes on the Scripture

This section of Exodus reminds one of Proverbs, for there are many disparate and disconnected gems of wisdom and law, all jumbled together, without any narrative flow.

Two of the four paragraphs today deal with fundamental questions of justice and how we, as individuals, behave. The first, with the pressure we feel when a friend or ally pressures us to speak falsely.

If this has never happened to you, count your blessings, because it is difficult to imagine just how painful it can be. It is one thing to tell a painful truth about yourself; but when it involves a friend, who does not value honesty, it is even worse. He will see a refusal to lie to protect him as a betrayal, a failure of loyalty. Most often such people rationalize their conduct until, somehow, they are in the right. Or perhaps they fall back on the greatest lie of all, that the end justifies the means. You not only lose your friend's affection; but also, you stand accused, in his mind, of heinous conduct.

Slightly different, but just as difficult, is when the person who expects you to lie (or cheat, or steal) is your boss or business partner instead of your friend. Honesty in business is, let's face it, often a disadvantage, at least in the short run. We serve God instead of mammon; we cannot expect mammon to thank us! Our model is Christ. We remember always how Satan tempted Christ with the wealth of the world, and Christ chose instead a life of simple material existence. (Matthew 4:1-11)

Our emotions to run with the pack, to be a good member of our team, are very strong. Our instinct is to be swept along. And this is never so strong, not even with a friend or a boss, as when we find ourselves in a mob. If our hearts truly belong to Christ, we will almost always be in a minority. And in the very worst of times, mobs will turn on Christians and kill them. But God's commandment here is just as applicable to today's Christian as to the Jew of 1500 B.C. "You shall not fall in with the many to commit evil."

But what a reward we have, leading a life in the Spirit. The greatest blessing may require great sacrifice; but the joy and peace we will find in Christ is worth every evil the world can throw at us.



endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 28:19 (NIV): “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”



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