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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Daily Devotion for December 11, 2013

Abraham, Moses, Isaiah
Abraham, Moses and Isaiah, in the clerestory (row of high windows) of Exeter Cathedral, England.



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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.


This sweet, simple advent hymn was written by James White, a farmer in Maine (1843). He belonged to the “Millerite Movement”, be livers in the imminence of Christ's return who eventually evolved into Seventh Day Adventists. Who better to write an Advent hymn?

Prayer for an Advent Morning

Thank you, dear God in Heaven, for this day. What a gift you give us each day, with the blazing sunrise through a cloudy winter sky. It is hard getting up these dark mornings, Lord, and yet when I do, you gift us with a sight that we miss at other times of year. I stare out the window at the red and purple light, gloriously framed by the gold of the rising sun. Let me remember your words when I see it, “Be still, and know that I am God”. Let me watch your day unfold in silence, filled with a sense of your presence in my life.

I am filled with gratitude this day for such a treasure and could feel it and see it as a gift from you. Thank you for your love. Today, let me carry a sense of how much you love me to send me such a gift. Let that awareness of your love change the way I treat others today. Let me be more reverent in the irritations of the day. I ask your help to move through my errands and holiday preparations today with peace and a sense of your sunrise in my heart. Your glory fills my spirit and I want only to give thanks with my life this day.


Prayer to Resist Temptation

Holy God, You know the temptations that I am facing today. But your Word promises that I will not be tempted beyond what I can bear.

Help me, heavenly Father, to stand up against sin, to resist whatever temptation I may encounter this day, in whatever form it may come. Your Word promises that you will provide a way out of any temptation, and I pray to be able to find it and to have the wisdom to use it, and to walk away when temptation arises. All thanks be to you, O Lord, for you are a faithful deliverer; and I can count on your help in my time of need.



Oh Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you”; I pray that I and your whole church, the body of all faithful people, will know your peace, and live in harmony and unity, one with another, in accordance with your wishes. This I pray to you, who lives and reigns forever.


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

endless knot

Special Delivery

A scientist said, making a plea for exchange scholarships between nations, “The very best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person.” That was what happened at Christmas. The idea of divine love was wrapped up in a Person.

~ Halford E. Luccock

Blue Latin Cross

Isaiah 27:1-6 (ESV)

The Whole World Will Be Filled with Fruit

In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea. In that day,

“A pleasant vineyard, sing of it! I, the Lord, am its keeper;
every moment I water it.
Lest anyone punish it,
I keep it night and day;
I have no wrath.

Would that I had thorns and briers to battle!
I would march against them,
I would burn them up together.
Or let them lay hold of my protection,
let them make peace with me,
let them make peace with me.”

In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots and fill the whole world with fruit.

Notes on the Scripture

Isaiah is so poetic in his prophecies that he is often hard to follow. Here he foretells the day when God will destroy the evils of earth, with the metaphor of God slaying Leviathan, a mythical sea monster. But in that same day — and like much of the Old Testament, "day" is used to mean a period of time, not necessarily 24 hours — God's wrath will end.

Isaiah writes a passage, “would that I had thorns and briers to battle”, remembering the time before the day of judgment, when God would give a choice to the enemies of truth: to be destroyed by Him or to make peace with Him. But his wrath is gone, and all that remains is a garden (perhaps a reference to the Garden of Eden) that God keeps.

Finally, Isaiah once again tells us that the root of Jacob will put forth shoots and fill the world with fruit. Jacob, also called “Israel”, was Christ's ancestor. He was Christ's physical ancestor, a line traced over thousands of years through Jesse and David. But more importantly, he was Christ's spiritual ancestor, as his offspring were the keepers of the covenant with God described in the Old Testament, until Christ — a shoot from the tree of Jesse — would come to fulfill God's plan.

<i>The Triumphant St. Michael,</i> by Dosso Dossi, ca. 1562.
St. Michael Triumphant by Dosso Dossi, ca. 1562.
St. Michael's victory over the dragon in Revelation 12:7-9 is closely tied to Isaiah's prophecy in Isaiah 27.

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 12:6:

“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.”

With the Christmas season upon us, Daily Prayer has shifted to Scripture appropriate to the season. We will resume our study of the second half of Matthew in early January.

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