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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Daily Devotion for November 2, 2013

All Souls Day (Philippines)

<i>Christ Blessing the Children</i> by Luther Cranach the Elder, ca. 1545.
Christ Blessing the Children by Luther Cranach the Elder, ca. 1545. Cranach treated this subject often. This charming version is inscribed, at the top, “VNND SIE BRACHTEN KINDLIN ZU IHM DAS ER SIE ANRVRET. MARCVS AM X” (And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them. Mark Ch. 10.)



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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.


You might want to turn your sound up, as this recording is very soft.

For a Sense of Wonder at God's Creation

Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe. Delight me to see how your Christ plays in ten thousand places, in limbs and eyes not His, to be the father through the features of men's faces. Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all; I ask only to share the wonder of it all.


Prayer for Purity of Thought

Almighty God, who alone gave me the breath of life, and alone can keep alive in me the holy desires your Spirit brings; I pray to you, in the name of your infinite compassion, to sanctify my thoughts and endeavors this day; that I may not begin to act without a pure intention or continue it without your blessing. And grant that, having the eyes of my mind opened to behold things invisible and unseen, I may in heart be inspired by your wisdom, and in work be upheld by your strength, and in the end be accepted by you as your faithful servant; through Jesus Christ our Savior.


Dedication (from St. Teresa of Avila)

May it please you, my good Lord, that there may come a day when I can repay a little of my great debt to you. O Jesus, strengthen my soul, you who are good above all good; and since you have inclined my soul in this way, show me how I may act for you, whatever it may cost, O Lord. Here is my life, my honor and my will; I have given them all to you and they are yours: use me to do whatever you want.


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

Good versus evil, William Blake ca. 1795
The Good and Evil Angels, Wm. Blake ca. 1795.

The New World

“It was Lord who put into my mind that fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures.”

~ Christopher Columbus

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 11:25-27 (ESV)

The Voice of Authority

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Notes on the Scripture

In our discussion of the modes of Christ's speech, today's passage demonstrates his authoritative voice. Christ frequently authenticates himself as the Son of God, the mediator between the Father and humanity. The unconditional authority with which He makes these claims really leaves us with only two choices: either we believe He is the Messiah and himself part of the Godhead, or else we must think him an utter meglomaniacalMegalomania: A psychological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence. lunatic.

Life, experience, and society teach us to think so much in terms of grey areas, especially when dealing with reality, that it is almost a relief to have such a black or white choice presented by the New Testament. Jesus asks us to trust him, absolutely and without reservation. And many have, with conviction so strong that they gave their lives to him, in every sense of the word.

It is this trust that He has in mind when He says, “you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children”; He will return to this theme several times in Matthew. Jesus does not intend to demean the human intellect, but rather, to emphasize that salvation comes entirely through the heart, not through the mind. We can learn about God through our mind; but we can only know him through the Spirit.

We naturally attempt to understand God with our mind, an impossibility, really; but Jesus gives us the answer to this conundrum. He states it more clearly in John 14:9, “Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father.” One of Christ's purposes in becoming mortal was to give God a human face; to become something we could better understand.

Christ said and did things that are hard to comprehend; but He could be known. He could be questioned, He could be touched, He might even wash your feet. It is sad for us that we could not know him as a man and can only read about him; but the Spirit was sent to us, to keep us company until He returns.

Again, John speaks to this issue more thoroughly than Matthew, especially John 14.

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 6:19-21: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon