Daily Devotion for February 2, 2014
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.
I actually have no idea what church our “Virtual Sunday Church” is set in, other than it is in the UK somewhere, but they can really sing!
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease;
'tis music in the sinner's ears,
'tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
he sets the prisoner free;
his blood can make the foulest clean;
his blood availed for me.
He speaks, and listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive;
the mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold your savior come,
and leap, ye lame, for joy.
In Christ, your head, you then shall know,
shall feel your sins forgiven;
anticipate your heaven below,
and own that love is heaven.
Music by Carl G. Glaser
Lyrics by Charles Wesley
Sunday Morning Invocation
God of glory, by the raising of your Son you have broken the chains of death and hell: fill my spirit, and the spirit of all the people of your universal church, with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned, and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
George Washington's Sunday Prayer
O most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins, but so coldly and carelessly, that my prayers are become my sin and stand in need of pardon. I have heard thy holy word, but with such deadness of spirit that I have been an unprofitable and forgetful hearer, so that, O Lord, tho' I have done thy work, yet it hath been so negligently that I may rather expect a curse than a blessing from thee.
But, O God, who art rich in mercy and plenteous in redemption, mark not, I beseech thee, what I have done amiss; remember that I am but dust, and remit my transgressions, negligences & ignorances, and cover them all with the absolute obedience of thy dear Son, that those sacrifices which I have offered may be accepted by thee, in and for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ offered upon the cross for me; for his sake, ease me of the burden of my sins, and give me grace that by the call of the Gospel I may rise from the slumber of sin into the newness of life.
Let me live according to those holy rules which thou hast this day prescribed in thy holy word; make me to know what is acceptable in thy holy word; make me to know what is acceptable in thy sight, and therein to delight, open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith and repentance, increase my faith, and direct me to the true object Jesus Christ the way, the truth and the life, bless O Lord, all the people of this land, from the highest to the lowest, particularly those whom thou has appointed to rule over us in church & state. continue thy goodness to me this week to come.
These weak petitions I humbly implore thee to hear accept and answer for the sake of thy Dear Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present ourselves blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
1 John 3:1-3 (ESV)
The World Does Not Know Christ
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Notes on the Scripture
Today's reading is related to the reading from Revelation in Wednesday's devotional. There, John the Divine gave us a picture of what it would be like when Christ comes again. We will wear snowy white, to symbolize the perfection and sinlessness in our souls, because we have washed our clothes in the “miracle detergent” of Christ's forgiveness. We will “hunger no more, and thirst no more; . . . and God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes”. (Revelation 7:15-17)
Today's lesson was probably written by the same John (although some scholars think otherwise). Here he tells us why the world can be so hard on us, and gives us comfort in this life.
Once we have repented our sin and truly accepted Christ, with all our heart, we become the children of God. It is the best thing possible, for we are assured that our existence will become one free of pain, an existence of perfect happiness and joy. But we cannot expect all the world to understand this; it was the world, after all, which rejected Christ and killed him. Evil and stupidity have been powerful in the world ever since God gave us free will.
And if the world did not recognize Christ for who he was, how can we expect that it will recognize us for who we are? Is the world a mess? Yes, of course it is. But knowing that judgment will come, and that we will stand before Christ in perfect knowledge, as his children, is the hope that sustains us through all the tribulations and foolishness of the world.
And in the meantime, we must follow the advice of Peter, in the great sermon he gave at Pentecost: “Save yourselves from this crooked [or perverse] generation.” (Acts 2:40) Christians have neither instructions nor authority to change the secular world. We have the Great Commission, to preach the Gospel so that those who might be saved, will be. But Christ himself told his apostles, if nobody wanted to listen to them, to “shake the dust from your sandals”.