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Friday, August 17, 2018

Daily Devotion for May 9, 2014

<i>Adoration in the Forest (detail)</i> by Fra Lippo Lippi, ca. 1459.
Adoration in the Forest (detail) by Fra Lippo Lippi, ca. 1459.



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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.


Many people consider Mozart’s Requiem Mass to be his greatest work. But whether or not that is true, the ethereal beauty of the Benedictus has certainly charmed listeners for over 200 years.

Prayer for the Morning

Heavenly Father, I do not fear this day, for you are with me wherever I might go, your light to shine ahead, your footsteps to lead the way. I do not fear this day, for your word will be my guide. Your strength will sustain me and your love revive me, this day and all days. I do not fear this day, for you are with me. In the name of Christ, I call upon you.



[I have no fear.]

Prayer for the Troubles of the Earth

God of comfort, these times seem so uncertain, so scary. The world seems darker than it has in the past and I am less sure of myself. Maybe that's a good thing; maybe now I am turning to you with a realization that I need you so much more and that my life is not in my own control.

Let me not forget all of those around the world who are frightened at this moment. Help those who are victims of terrorism and war. Be with those who have lost so much in the past year. Hold us all in your loving arms and let us be comforted by the strength and peace you make available to us through the birth of your son, Jesus; and thank you for all the many gifts you offer us, during our life on earth and for all eternity.



The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

St. Matthew by Franz Hals, ca. 1660.

The Explanation

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.

~ C. S. Lewis

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 28:20 (ESV)

The Gospel of Matthew — Conclusion

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Notes on the Scripture

We have taken nine months, with a few short interruptions, to read the Gospel of Matthew thoroughly. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope that it enriched your life and faith as much as it did mine.

If I could only have one book of the Bible, Matthew would be it. It has the narrative and historical aspects of Mark, the human picture of Christ we associate with Luke, the long informative discourses of John, and of all the Gospels, excels at setting Jesus' life and works in the context of the Old Testament.

The other Gospels all have content that Matthew does not have; I do not mean to imply that it stands alone. John especially, with its powerful emphasis on the divinity of Christ, must be read for the fullest understanding of how Christ came to justify us before God. But Matthew is the most complete.

It is also by far the best-organized of the Gospels. It is structured into six sections of historical narrative, alternating with five sections of concentrated discourse tied to the chronological point at which they occur. My favorite thing about Matthew is these five sections of discourse, each of which can stand on its own as a work of teaching.

1) The first is also the most famous, the Sermon on the Mount, Chapters 5-7. It is beautiful, it is shockingly radical, and it is the heart of Christian living. Can you imagine what the world would be like if people actually followed it? Can you imagine what the church would be like if Christians actually followed it?

2) The second, Ch. 10, is Jesus' instructions to his disciples when He first sends them out on their own (in pairs). Even if we of the 21st century cannot bring ourselves to follow it literally, we might take it as a goal and ask ourselves, “How can I bring my life closer to Christ's actual teaching?” We compromise, but we can tilt our compromise more towards Christ.

3) The third is the great lecture on parables in Ch. 13. This is a discourse of understanding more than instruction. It is difficult to summarize, but it needs to be read on a regular basis. It encourages us step back and think about the interrelationship of Christianity with the world. It objectifies Christian life and sets our beliefs and actions into context.

4) In Ch. 18, we see instructions and clarifications about Christian life, especially about the need for continuing innocence and forgiveness. It is a refresher course, in effect, for people more mature in their faith.

5) The final discourse, Ch. 23-25, comprises Christ's final instructions before the beginning of the passion. It is, in essence, the most important prophetic book in the Bible. Ch. 23 is a vitriolic denunciation of hypocrisy and is just as true today as it was 2000 years ago; Christ outdoes even Amos and Jeremiah in colorful, outraged invective. And still, it goes unheeded. Ch. 24 and 25 are prophecy of prediction rather than criticism, telling us what to expect in the future and how to prepare for it.

See Page Two for discussion about what is coming next.

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

James 4:11 (ESV): Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Comments (5)

Topic: Daily Prayer and Devotional Online - Page Two
Doug Waldron (Missoula MT -, US) says...
Doug W. Montana, US

Mason I tend to agree with Karen(Westborough)US I'm learning so much from your teachings. God Bleass
9th May 2014 10:45am
Karen M (Westborough, US) says...
Mason - choose whatever fits best into your life and your audience will adapt accordingly. You have no idea how much this daily devotion has helped me as I'm sure others feel the same. Thank you so much.
9th May 2014 10:12am
Les Brown (US) says...
In conducting my Bible classes for my church and others I find that there is a fear of reading the Bible as it is too difficult to understand. I like to ease them into the Epistle of James which is pretty straight forward. After such study they seem readier to attack portions of the Gospel. This is my experience for what it is worth.
9th May 2014 7:05am
Kathryn (Okemos, US) says...
Yes, I would love to study Revelations, Daniel, and James. Sounds like a great plan Mason.
9th May 2014 6:19am
Jane Eastlake (Bristol, UK) says...
Hi Mason, study Revelations- there is so much in there ....... And it's often brushed aside as being too difficult. It would also seem to make sense if that is where your studying next. But in all things, may The Lord guide you as to the message and teaching He wants you to bring across the world. Trusting in Him. God bless and thank you. X
9th May 2014 3:11am
Rosita (Canada) says...
Thanks for the adjustments, great improvements. All aspects of the devotions including the music are much appreciated. Thank you Mason for your explanation on the bible passages.
8th May 2014 8:27am
Jan Marra (LaSalle, US) says...
I'm almost a week late with this comment, but it's been on my mind all week; so here goes. On May 3rd you showed a beautiful, but disturbing painting called, Corpse of Christ by Annibale Carracci. To me the painting really brings home the humanity of Jesus. Being Christian, I know that Jesus is God. In my mind I like to envision him dressed in glory. Always clean, well groomed. But in reality, Jesus had all the same "human" problems we have. Fact is, Jesus probably had dirty ... Read More
8th May 2014 7:36am
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