Daily Devotion for January 5, 2014
Twelfth Day of Christmas
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.
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby,
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little Child.
He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall:
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour holy.
And through all
His wondrous childhood,
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay.
Christian children all should be,
Mild, obedient, good as He.
Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him, but in heaven,
Set at God's right hand on high;
When like stars
His children crowned,
All in white shall be around.
Prayer for Purity of Worship
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you and worthily praise your holy name. Through Christ I pray,
A General Intercession
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who in your mercy and all-loving kindness regards the prayers of all who call upon you with their whole heart, incline your ear and hear my prayer, now humbly offered unto you:
Be mindful, O Lord, of the church of all who believe and confess the name of Jesus Christ; confirm and strengthen it, increase it and keep it in peace, and preserve it unconquerable forever. Be mindful, O Lord, of all priests, ministers, pastors, deacons, bishops, and others known by whatever title, who work as Christian leaders, for you have established them to feed the flock of the Word. And by their prayers, have mercy upon me and save me, a sinner.
Be mindful, O Lord, of all civil authorities, of our Armed Forces, of this city in which I dwell, and of every city and land; grant us peaceful times, that we may lead a calm and tranquil life in all godliness and sanctity.
Be mindful, O Lord, of my parents, my brothers and sisters, my relatives and friends, and all who are near and dear to me, (name those who you wish to remember), and grant them mercy, life, peace, health, salvation and visitation, and pardon and remission of sins; that they may evermore praise and glorify your holy Name.
Be mindful, O Lord, of those who travel by land, and sea, and air; of the young and the old; orphans and widows; the sick and the suffering; the sorrowing and the afflicted, all captives, and the needy poor; upon them all send forth your mercies, for you are the Giver of all good things.
Be mindful, O Lord, of me, your humble servant; grant me your grace, that I may be diligent and faithful; that I may avoid evil company and influence, and resist all temptation; that I may lead a godly and righteous life, blameless and peaceful, ever serving you, that I may be accounted worthy at the last to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Be mindful, O Lord, of all those who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection unto life eternal, especially (name those you wish to remember); pardon all their transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, whether in word, or deed, or thought. Shelter them in a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away, and where the sight of your countenance rejoices all your Saints from all the ages. Grant them your heavenly Kingdom, and a portion in your ineffable and eternal blessings, and the enjoyment of your unending Life.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, for you are merciful and compassionate, and love mankind, and to you are due all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
When to Get Started
A year from now, you will wish you had started today.
~ Karen Lamb
God’s Love for Humanity
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.
Notes on the Scripture
This is the last day of the traditional celebration of Christmas; tomorrow, the Epiphany is celebrated and our season ends. Let us remember the purpose of Christmas by reading one of the most beloved and meaningful passages from the Bible, John's summation of Christ's mission.
We so often let these words slip into the back of our mind: “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order to save it.” It is a constant temptation to condemn. And Christians, being only human, can be as bad as anyone on this account. Really, we can be even worse than atheists, since when we condemn, we act as though we have God's authority.
But if condemnation is not God's purpose in sending Christ to us, why should it be ours? Are we better than Christ? Do we know more?
Christ will indeed come again to judge the world, but we must always remember, it is He that is commissioned to judge us, not we who are commissioned to judge others. Our job is to follow Christ. We are followers. We want to be leaders, and some leadership is needed, but we should never forget that our first job, whether we are ministers or elders or bishops or the unattractive person sitting in the back corner of the balcony, is to follow Christ.