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Monday, October 24, 2016

Daily Devotion for June 26, 2013

People at prayer in a Kenya Christian mission
Worship service in Kenya.



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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.


Martin Luther's Prayer for Morning

I  give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me.


Prayer to Know God's Will

And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father,
Until it be according unto mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.

I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire -
See in my quiet places, wishes thronging -
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.



Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


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

<i>Italian Monk Reading</i> by Camille Corot, ca. 1826.
Italian Monk Reading by Camille Corot, ca. 1826.

Proverbs 27:1 (KJV)

Boast not thyself of to morrow;
for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

Blue Latin Cross

Psalm 115 1-9,13-15 (King James Version)

They have ears, but hear not

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?’

But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.

He will bless those who fear the Lord,
Both small and great.
May the Lord give you increase more and more,
You and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

Notes on the Scripture

The odd thing about idols is that they reflect something within us. Few people in our society actually worship an object as a god. We don't have neighbors who make a statue of a bull, cover it in gold and declare it to be a god, burning incense before it and chanting hymns.

Today, the people who say “where is their God” are not Gentiles, but atheists. For God has been made known to the Gentiles — which includes most of us Christians — through the life of Christ. But we are as plagued by the idolatry of atheism as the Jews of David’s time by Moloch-worshipping Philistines. And it creeps into our own lives, for no temptation is as strong as temptation that surrounds us, supported by voices telling us to accept it.

When Yahweh first gave the law to the Hebrews, He warned them against the temptations of rubbing shoulders with idolators; he forbade them to marry women who did not believe or to allow such people to live nearby. For example, “Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.” (Exodus 23:32-33)

Idolatry today has taken a new form. Instead of making a golden god to worship, today's idol-worship cuts directly to self-glorification. Idols are designed to make people worship, not the idol itself, but the owner. Today's Philistines have discovered they don't need a ridiculous snake-headed god to intermediate between their lusts and nature.

Their god is Jimmy Choo or Mercedes-Benz, and their idol a $1,000 handbag; and not last month's $1,000 handbag, which is in the closet or perhaps, in the name of charity, on the shelf of a second-hand store. Consumerism, like a drug addiction, demands a new fix when the high of the last purchase inevitably wears off.

The hard part is: The “they” is actually “me”, for we do not judge the splinter in our friend's eye. We cannot escape consumerism, and very few of us are able to resist its influence, just as the Hebrews could often not resist the influence of Baal.

It is a difficult issue for most Christians who live in the secular world. There are many grey areas — but probably not as many as we think, for human beings are experts at rationalization of their conduct. We especially do not want someone to look down their nose at us, because, for example, we are not as well-dressed as they are.

But comfort for our injured pride is in the Bible, if we will read it, and think and pray about our lifestyle choices. Once we plug into the blessings of God, and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit instead of the vain criticism of a money-worshipping secular society, we find peace and joy beyond anything Hermes or Gucci can provide.

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

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