Daily Devotion for May 5, 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.
He came down to my level
When I couldn't get up to His
With a strong arm He lifted me up
To show me what livin' is
He'll come down to your level if you'll open up the door
He wants to make your life worth livin'
That's what he came down for.
If you're lookin' for contentment
In the things that you can see
You're gonna have some disappointment
So won't you listen to me please
'Cause I know about a Savior
He came down to be a man
And when He left He sent His Spirit
He made me everything to me.
Sometimes I make decisions
That later I regret
But the Lord keep assuring me
He's not finished with me yet
I don't worry about tomorrow
I don't worry about yesterday
I don't worry about this crazy world
'Cause I Found a better way.
To Submit My Day to God
Almighty God, who has given me life and breath, and another day: I do not know what this day might bring. For men make plans, and their plans come to naught, as you will it. Thus I take this day out of my hands and submit it to your will. Make me this day your servant, that I might find my hand at the tasks you have meant for me to do, and might do them as well as I can. For there is nothing better than a person should rejoice in his work, to your glory and for the love of his neighbors, as you have commanded us through your Son. In His name, I pray, let my day be yours, and let it be filled with goodness and faith.
[What does God mean for me to do today?]
Prayer the Gospel May Be Spread
Almighty God, you called your church to be united in faith. By your grace you have given us new life in Jesus Christ, and by your Spirit you have called us to proclaim his name throughout the nations. Awaken in me such a love for you and your world that I may so boldly proclaim Jesus Christ by word and deed that all people may come to know him as Savior and follow him as Lord. And bless and strengthen all those who dedicate their lives to the increase of your church, both at home and abroad. Send your spirit to fill their tongues with your message, and protect them from all harm, to the glory of your Name.
May the God of hope fill me and all of us with the joy and peace that comes from believing, so that we may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
He alone can believe in immortality who feels the resurrection in him already.
~ Frederick W. Robertson
Matthew 28:1-10 (ESV)
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”
So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
Notes on the Scripture
The “other Mary”, here and at the crucifixion, could be one of several people. The majority of scholars believe that she was the mother of the apostle James (“the Lesser”), son of Alphaeus. There are differences in details among the gospels due, no doubt, to the extreme emotional state of the witnesses. They had just undergone the sight of their beloved Lord, to whom they had dedicated their lives, hideously crucified. It is hard to imagine how one might react, to find him standing alive in the darkness of early morning. Matthew says they departed the tomb with “fear and great joy,” a bit of an understatement.
The angel did not speak on his own accord, but rather brought them a message directly from God the Father. In both Hebrew and Greek, the root meaning of angel is “messenger”, and generally that is what we see angels doing in the Bible: delivering messages. But notice, the message has three instructions, which to this day represent the three basic duties of Christian faith. These women, the first people to know the resurrected Christ, could be considered the first Christians.
The angel told them, first, to believe. Reading over any of the gospels, one can see a story of belief: the apostles and other followers of Christ certainly believed in him, and trusted what he said. But somehow, they could never quite get their minds wrapped around the reality that he would be executed and then rise up from the dead on the third day, no matter how many times he told them. While the women were at the tomb, Peter and the other apostles were hiding in fear and confusion.
Secondly, the angel tells them to share what they have seen and what they have been told. His directions to “go quickly and tell” bring to mind the Great Commission, given to us by Christ, to share our knowledge with the world. (Matthew 28:16-20)
Third, Jesus himself meets them and tells them to rejoice. (This is translated “Greetings” in most Bibles, but I am at a loss to explain why, because what he says (“chairete”) means, literally, “Rejoice”. See for yourself.) And how could they not? Their beloved teacher, whom they credited to be the Son of God, was arisen from the dead. He was not only alive, but by the miracle of resurrection had demonstrated his divinity beyond question.
And so we should also remember, we have met the resurrected Christ. Finding Christ is the greatest thing that could happen to anyone. We put ourselves in their place, suddenly realizing that we can personally know the Son of God, who arose from death. And even better, who will love us beyond imagination and save us from death, for eternity. So — don't forget to be happy about it. Rejoice!