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Daily Devotion for October 6, 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.
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
T'was Grace that taught
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within in the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been here ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
then when we've first begun.
Lyrics by John Newton (1773)
Music origin unk.
For the Spirit of Prayer
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord. Let your Holy Spirit guide me in my prayer and in thought, and grant me the grace to listen and hear your Word. Soften my heart, that I may be directed by your truth, and not the devices of my body and mind. In the name of Christ I ask this,
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the week and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me today and throughout the coming week, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
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, or 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.
May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.
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.
Is it not enough that all the world is against us, but we must also be against one another? O happy days of persecution, which drove us together in love, whom the sunshine of liberty and prosperity crumbles into dust by our contentions!
~ Richard Baxter
John 17:20-26 (NIV)
Jesus prayed for his disciples, and then he said. "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
"Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Notes on the Scripture
Jesus loves us, and He wants us to love each other. He prayed to God the Father on behalf of his disciples, but not only them; He prayed on behalf of those who would believe in them, because of what the disciples would tell them. That includes you, and me, and every other person on earth who confesses the name of Jesus and lives in his love and grace.
There is no more vivid illustration of human pride and human anger than the self-righteous violence that Christians have done to each other in the 2000 years since Christ. One person believes it is right to pray in front of a statue of a saint or the Virgin Mary; another believes that representations of people or other images is idolatrous. One person believes that our salvation is predestined, another that we have free will and the outcome is not preordained. The silly disagreements about worship and theology that people can create are as numerous as grains of sand on a beach.
Are the ideas in our brains so infallible that we should follow them, rather than the simple clear message of God's word? Christ says, "The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one."
How clear and simple is this beautiful message. Those of us who believe in Christ are one. Christ instructs us to love each other. And yet time and time again, people will avoid, scorn, berate, imprison and murder each other over silly little matters. Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians have had fights about whether it is correct to cross oneself left to right, or right to left. European Catholics and Protestants robbed, burned, and murdered each other wholesale; the 30 Years' War left one-third of Germany's population dead.
This is one matter in which you can easily follow Christ, rather than commit the sin of pride. Love and pray for anyone who confesses Christ, even if you think they have a wrong philosophy or theology. Worship as the spirit moves you to worship, and let others do the same.
Surprisingly few of the details of our religious practices, forms of worship, or theology come from Christ. They may have a starting point in Scripture, but they are largely embellishments made by human hand. And it is Satan who claps his hands and laughs in delight every time two Christians fight over some meaningless issue of doctrine.