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Monday, November 30, 2020
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Daily Devotion for March 29, 2014


<i>The Great Day of His Wrath</i> by John Martin, ca. 1853
The Great Day of His Wrath by John Martin, ca. 1853.

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.



Prayer for the Morning

I  bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.

Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,

Amen.

Meditation

[Remembering God's blessings can help us with tribulations.]


Keep Me from Falling

'Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
I stumble as I fare along Earth's way; keep me from falling.

Mine eyes are open but they cannot see for gloom of night:
I can no more than lift my heart to thee for inward light.

The wild and fiery passion of my youth consumes my soul;
In agony I turn to thee for truth and self-control.

For Passion and all the pleasures it can give will die the death;
But this of me eternally must live, thy borrowed breath.

'Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
I stumble as I fare along Earth's way; keep me from falling.

Amen.

Dedication to Service

Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,

Amen.


Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.



contemporary angel
In Truth There Is Love by Elvira Amrhein, contemporary.

Revelation 21:1, 4 (ESV)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away . . . And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God . . . . He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more.


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 24:15-22 (ESV)

Jesus’ Prophecy of the Last Days

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.”

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. ”


Notes on the Scripture

We have come to a passage that is full of difficulties. Or perhaps more accurately, a chapter that needs considerable examination if we are to understand what Christ wants us to know. Part of the problem is that He is talking about at least two different events and weaves them together.

The more straightforward part is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem. Matthew begins the chapter with Christ's claim that “there will not be left here [in the Temple] one stone upon another.” To a listener at the time, this prophecy would have seemed like lunacy. The Temple was huge, 1000 feet square, and the corner stones were 20 to 40 feet long and weighed 80 to 100 tons. Many wall stones weighed 8 tons. (By way of comparison, the stones used in the Great Pyramid range from 10 to 1.5 tons.)

We thus have Christ giving us a sign, that is, something to demonstrate the truth of His prophecy. For in less than forty years, the Romans will do the unthinkable: utterly demolish the Temple, razing it to the ground. (Christ engaged in a bit of hyperbole, for some of the stones still sit on top of others, but not many.) By giving a prophecy of an unthinkable event that will come true shortly in the future, He gives plausibility to His other (even more unlikely-sounding) prophecies that will occur in the far future.

Secondly, the immediate prophecy of the Temple's destruction was a warning to the Christians to get clear; and many did, in contrast to the Jews, who fled to the apparent safety of Jerusalem and the Temple. Those who ignored Christ's warning perished in one of the most terrible sieges of history.

The historian Josephus wrote:

[“T]hose places which were adorned with trees and pleasant gardens, were now become desolate country . . . a desert . . . The slaughter within was even more dreadful than the spectacle from without. Men and women, old and young, insurgents and priests, those who fought and those who entreated mercy, were hewn down in indiscriminate carnage. ”

We will spare the even more gruesome details. Josephus estimated that 1,100,000 were slain.

Knowing about the more immediate prophecy and how it was fulfilled, we can better understand Matthew 24 insofar as it relates to the “Day of the Lord”, the terrible time to come between the current age and the final institution of the Kingdom of God. (Since the precise identity of the “abominating desolation” is not given, it is a matter of speculation or interpretation, so I'll save it for Page Two.)




endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 23:10-12 (CEB): Don’t be called teacher, because Christ is your one teacher. But the one who is greatest among you will be your servant. All who lift themselves up will be brought low. But all who make themselves low will be lifted up.



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