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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Daily Devotion for January 28, 2014


Mosaic from the ceiling of St. Catherine
Mosaic from the ceiling of St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, depicting the Transfiguration of Christ. This is the oldest (or one of the oldest) working monasteries in existence, originally dating from the 6th century. The figures on the mosaic represent, counterclockwise from the top left, Elijah, John, Peter, James, and Moses.

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.

The woman singing here with Bocelli is Heather Headley from Trinidad, who has earned recognition for both her Broadway performances and her Gospel recordings.


Prayer to Hear God’s Word

Dear God, There is only one voice that is perfect truth, and that is yours: the voice of your Spirit and the voice of your Word. Help me, I pray, to hear your voice clearly. For I tend to lose it in the cacophony. I am filled with the sound of my own voice, with the sense my importance and the correctness of my thought; and on top of that, I am besieged by dozens and hundreds and thousands of words and voices telling me all kinds of things.

Lead me to read your Word without listening to any voice but yours. Let me hear your truth and read your Word without adding to it or subtracting from it, without twisting it to meet the demands of my own preconceptions. Let me not deny your Word because it is inconvenient for me; even if I cannot follow it today, let me know the truth. Where your teaching and my thoughts conflict, help me to change. Help me to set aside my prejudice, my illusions of knowledge, my rationalizations, so that I can learn; and even if I do not follow your Word perfectly, let me know where to ask forgiveness. This I ask in the name of my only Savior, Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Meditation

[Lead me to read your Word without listening to any voice but yours. ]


Prayer for Unity Among Christians

O  God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace; Give us grace to take to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatever else may hinder us from godly union and concord: that as there is but one Body and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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.




endless knot

Don't Get Sour

Men are like wine — some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.

~ Pope John XXIII


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 17:9-13 (ESV)

The Transfiguration [2]

And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”

And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.”

Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.


Notes on the Scripture

We see Jesus, time and time again, charge those who witnessed miracles or teachings not to tell anyone about it. He does not give a reason for this, but one obvious explanation is that He does not want the Jewish people to widely proclaim the coming of the Messiah before they (or at least some of them) understand what the Messiah is. Jesus is very different from what they expect. Most Jews expect a beefed-up version of David, a military and political leader, probably of high birth, who would drive the Romans from the Promised Land and reinstitute the integrated Kingdom of Israel. fnMost Sadducees thought the Messiah had actually already come! They saw the Messiah not as a man, but as a process, that had started with Judas Maccabeus.

We have seen, and continue to see today, how difficult it is for people to hear the actual message of Christ. People will say and do all kinds of crazy and unchristian things in his name. Even with Peter beginning to comprehend the full meaning of his existence, Christ anticipated the difficulties the church would face, once He had ascended.

God would not force salvation on us. But if a Christ Movement arose as an armed rebellion, not only would Christ's message of a new covenant (and therefore the salvation he brought) be drowned out, but any Christian who understood the message would be slaughtered along with the rest of the “rebels”. As it was, Christ intervened directly by converting Paul; but that was as far as God intended to go, in using force to spread repentance and the acceptance of the Holy Spirit.

The idea that Elijah would reappear in advance of the Messiah is complex. It was a doctrine widely held among the Jews. John the Baptist did act as a forerunner of Christ, and here Jesus speaks of John as fulfilling the expected role of Elijah; but John the Baptist, himself, denied he was Elijah. (John 1:21) And indeed, he was not, for Elijah was a specific individual and had not died.

As we see in the first chapters of Acts, this gives a practical aspect to the Transfiguration. People will make any argument they can, to obfuscate the truth. So, God has given Peter a retort to anyone who will argue, “Christ could not be the Messiah, because Elijah did not return to earth to precede him.” (Malachi had made multiple prophecies, one of which did indeed predict the return of Elijah, but that prophecy seems to refer to the Second Coming.)

So essentially, Christ is saying, if you would have Elijah before the Messiah, you have John. But God also gives Peter an ironclad fallback; he and two other Jews have personally witnessed Elijah's return. Yes, the entire business of John and Elijah (and the multiple prophecies of Malachi) is complicated to us. But the Transfiguration actually simplified the acceptance of Christ, and the proof of his divinity, for Peter and the apostles. If there were any confusion about the return of Elijah — he had returned and they had seen him!



Fiery Chariot of Elijah, Bible, Russian icon
Russian Orthodox icon, ca. 1550, of Elijah’s fiery chariot taking him to heaven.

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 John 2:9 (ESV): Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.


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If you are new to Daily Prayer, welcome. This page provides a non-denominational, Bible-based devotion every day, including prayers, Scripture, Bible study, music, and art, designed to be usable for worship and the deepening of faith by any person who confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

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Comments (9)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of January 28, 2014 | Daily Prayer
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Diana (Gainesville, US) says...
Thank you so much for this site. I've been reading it for about two weeks now, and have been so pleased I have made this my home page. Being able to come home to evening prayers after work is perfect for my schedule, and re-reading the scripture multiple times on my days off I see things I didn't the first time around. You are doing good things. Keep it up!!
28th January 2014 6:30pm
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Mason says...
It's so nice to have you join us, and to hear from someone who uses the Evening version. Which Gainesville are you in?
28th January 2014 7:05pm
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Nick (Harpenden, UK) says...
I have been following your devotion for about a year now and it helps me so much in my daily life. To read the comments from around the world is just wonderful. "The Prayer" today is one of my favourites.
Thank you
28th January 2014 5:34pm
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Mason says...
Mine, too. There are certain pieces of music I have to restrain myself from using every week Smile

I have to add to that category, Hosanna by the Soweto Gospel Choir. It hits me right in the heart.
28th January 2014 7:03pm
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Victoria says...
This is a test.
28th January 2014 1:49pm
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David Pickney (Westerville, US) says...
I am new to this cite and find it soothing to my soul. I heard a saying a week or so ago which runs through my mind over and over. " I was a thorn in your crown but yet you still Love me". It so much fits my past life and now I choose to become a better Christian.
28th January 2014 8:37am
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Kathryn (Okemos, US) says...
Thank you for the verses (at the top of this page) about fear. I am in a constant battle with fear and I need ammunition to fight it. God's word is the only antidote for my fears and sins.
28th January 2014 8:00am
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Rebecca Lewton (Chichester, UK) says...
Thank you for this wonderful site. I look forward to listening each day to something different. The songs are well chosen. I love the diversity of the prayers every day. I am delighted to say I have introduced my mother to your site (her first introduction to daily readings) and she's really enjoying it.
Thank you.
28th January 2014 3:48am
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VICTORIA JARVIS (Saint Simons Island, US) says...
This site has inspired me to overcome a memories of a life of sin and travail. I came to our Lord many years ago, but still the ghosts of the past reach out for all of us. I am so grateful to read this site and share with others that are blessed with His mercy, care and forgiveness.
27th January 2014 9:07pm
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Mason Barge says...
Victoria, come back here tomorrow. I just heard a wonderful talk comparing the way Christians view and handle sin, compared to what Satan wants us to do. It was very inspiring to me, and I think it will reinforce what you are saying.
28th January 2014 7:53am
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Sandra (Columbus, US) says...
This morning's devotion was extremely enjoyable to me today. It has started my day off in a most positive way. The music selection put the icing on the cake.
Hope you all have a blessed day.
27th January 2014 8:18am
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kris says...
Jesus desires transformation, a turning away from sin and turning to Him. I love learning about the saints. It would help all Protestant Christians to learn more about these extraordinary men and women- those that have gone before us on this journey of transformation. We can all be encouraged by their lives.
27th January 2014 6:30am
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Margaret ENTWISTLE (Edenfield, UK) says...
I sing a song of the saints of God . . . Thank you Mason for sharing your great knowledge each day.
27th January 2014 3:18am
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