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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Daily Devotion for December 2, 2013



Beauty is God’s handwriting
(The photograph of a sunset was taken in Tasmania and is unretouched.)

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.


For the Work of This Day and Week

O  God, who orders all things in heaven and earth: Help me to go about the tasks and duties of this day and the week to come with the remembrance that I am your servant therein. Make me honest, painstaking, and cheerful, and grant that all I do and say may bring good to others and glory to your Holy Name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

Amen.

Prayer to Give Witness When Called Upon

Oh my God, I wish I could convert as many sinners as there are grains of sand in the sea and on the earth, as many as there are leaves on the trees, plants in the fields, atoms in the air, stars in the sky, rays in the sun or the moon, creatures on the face of the earth. Loose my tongue Oh God that it may never be still in the face of embarrassment or hostility; put your words upon it, that I might serve you and know what to say, that I may never be at a loss of words when I am called upon to help those who seek you. And let me speak always in love and respect of others, this day and always,

Amen.

Benediction

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.

Amen.


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


<i>The Rich Man in Hell</i> by James Tissot, ca. 1890.
The Rich Man in Hell by James Tissot, ca. 1890. This illustrates the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, from Luke 16.

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 13:44-46 (ESV)

Parable of the Hidden Treasure;
Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.


Notes on the Scripture

These two short parables are joined by the word “again” because they speak the same lesson: total commitment to Christ. We don't really see many people who follow Christ's instructions to the rich man: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” (Matthew 19:21) He anticipates the same message in these two parables, for in both cases, the subject of the parable sells all that he has.

Most Christians read the word “perfect” with great relief; for like the rich man, they would be sorrowful if they had to choose between Christ and the comforts of their home. Christ reassures us that, although it is practically impossible for a rich person to enter heaven, all things are possible to God. (E.g. Matthew 19:25-26) Nevertheless: We do well to take heed of his admonition in Matthew 6:24: “You cannot serve both God and Mammon.”

To live in the kingdom of God is to learn and do God's will, to accept the will of God. The treasure indicates enormous value; the pearl indicates surpassing beauty. And what a good reminder, for these basic characteristics of God's kingdom can slip our minds so easily.

matthew 13 | parable of the pearl of great value

How can we lose sight of the value of God's love? It is a phenomenon economists call the “paradox of value”. We value diamonds more than water, because water is so readily available. But which is more valuable in the absolute sense? Ask a man alone in the desert. But as long as it keeps flowing from our faucets, we forget that water is infinitely precious to us.

God's love is yet more valuable than water. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” (John 4:13) The value paradox applies, however, because God's love (at least during the present age) is so plentiful that its unique value is forgotten even more readily than that of water. People sell it for a new car, a bigger house, a designer dress. But the day will come when the faucet of God's love is turned off, for those who have not accepted Christ. “Oh sinner man, where you gonna’ run to?” asks the old gospel song.

And like the pearl, God's kingdom is beautiful, lovely, beyond measure. The world is full of all kinds of lovely things; art, and music, and people, and food, and nature. The variety of beauty is marvelous. We should enjoy them fully, but always keeping in mind, they are dim reflections of the beauty of God. “For now we see through a glass, darkly,” as the KJV so eloquently puts it. (1 Cor. 13:12) If we ever allow our faith to become grim, all we need do is reflect on the perfect pearl we hold within our bosom and let its warm light shine throughout every fiber of our being.

Notice that the first man comes across his treasure by accident, suddenly and unexpectedly, in the course of hard manual labor, while the second spends his life searching for pearls. However people may find God, whether in a sudden brilliant flash of illumination, or by dint of a lifetime of searching, they must be willing to give up their past and follow him.



endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 12:37: I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.


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Comments (2)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of December 2, 2013 | Daily Prayer
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Christine Conkling (Walton, US) says...
When I was a teenage back in the 70's my bible was called The Way. I still have it.Smile
2nd December 2013 5:26am
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Mason says...
I remember it. It was an illustrated Living Bible translation with big Peter Max looking letters on the front. Very hip Smile
2nd December 2013 2:10pm
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Gary Boteler (Slidell, US) says...
SmileSmileI to daily look up each day &really enjoy Bible quiz I've been playing for 3yrs+ & like the new one Match aVerseSmile
1st December 2013 8:28pm
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Margaret Flynn (Stanley, Canada) says...
Thank you for daily prayer.I now look forward to morning devotional as never before.All of the elements are fatastic and speak to me every morning.Smile
1st December 2013 9:09am
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Christine Conkling (Walton, US) says...
Been with you since the beginning Mason. I have my devotional with this site every morning. Thank you so very much!!!Grin
1st December 2013 6:47am
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Evelyn Pereira (Glen Eden Auckland, New Zealand) says...
Everything in Daiky Prayer right from the Our Father, scripture, notes on scripture, the different prayers, images, the song each day, memory verse & the material on page 2 is just breath taking! I meant this as I pray with this website everyday first thing in the morning. I have also shared prayers & songs at times at Prayer time in school with the teachers & they have loved these. What a wonderful way to begin my day I have to say! Thank you for all you do to bring so much ... Read More
30th November 2013 3:04pm
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