Daily Devotion for May 15, 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.
Prayer to Dedicate Oneself to Christ This Day
Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day, I commit myself Your care. Mold me in your image. In everything I say and do, let my mind be on the eternal goodness of heaven rather than the vanities of earth, meaningless pride, or the anger and envy that tear apart my precious soul.
I dedicate myself to your holiness, Oh sweet and innocent Christ, and pray that you may be with me, to check my tongue before it can speak evil and to stop my hand when it seeks to sin. I come to you as a child. I will look to you for guidance and wisdom. Let me know the joyful feeling of having done something that pleased you; let me never feel the pain of knowing I have disappointed you. And let me live without fear, without confusion, always steady in the certainty of your forgiveness and ultimate victory, I pray,
[Let me check my tongue before it can speak evil.]
Prayer of Praise (from Psalm 86)
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done. All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.
For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.
Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts, be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity.
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.
Most of the luxuries, and many of the so called comforts of life, are not only indispensable, but positive hinderances to the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Deuteronomy 24:10-22 (The Message)
Human Rights in 1400 B.C.
When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, don’t enter his house to claim his pledge. Wait outside. Let the man to whom you made the pledge bring the pledge to you outside. And if he is destitute, don’t use his cloak as a bedroll; return it to him at nightfall so that he can sleep in his cloak and bless you. In the sight of God, your God, that will be viewed as a righteous act.
Don’t abuse a laborer who is destitute and needy, whether he is a fellow Israelite living in your land and in your city. Pay him at the end of each workday; he’s living from hand to mouth and needs it now. If you hold back his pay, he’ll protest to God and you’ll have sin on your books.
Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor children for their parents. Each person shall be put to death for his own sin.
Make sure foreigners and orphans get their just rights. Don’t take the cloak of a widow as security for a loan. Don’t ever forget that you were once slaves in Egypt and God, your God, got you out of there. I command you: Do what I’m telling you.
When you harvest your grain and forget a sheaf back in the field, don’t go back and get it; leave it for the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow so that God, your God, will bless you in all your work.
Notes on the Scripture
Other than Genesis and the first few chapters of Exodus, the Pentateuch is heavy sledding; most people find that reading it is torture-by-boredom. But for people who are interested in the Bible, the second half of Deuteronomy is rather fascinating. (We have taken a sample here as translated in The Message, the best of the “contemporary language” translations, and recommend it or The Living Bible for anyone who has tried to read Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, or the later chapters of Exodus and found it impossible.)
A favorite point of attack on the Bible is the harsher laws of Moses. Sexual offenses were often punishable by death. Even more terrible to the modern ear are God's commandments for the total annihilation of idol-worshipping populations, especially those inhabiting Palestine. God decreed that Canaan was to be a holy land, promised to the Hebrews alone, where no other God would be worshipped. The theology underlying the conquest of Canaan requires a deep study of the Old Testament and is not directly applicable to Christians, for it lies among the part of the law superseded by the first coming of Christ.
Of more immediate interest to modern Christians is an underappreciated aspect of Mosaic law: its revolutionary human rights code. This category of Mosaic law remains in effect upon all believers. Bible critics try, in vain, to compare other early civilizations' treatment of humanity to that of the Hebrews, but there is none. The Hebrew law protected the poor and helpless — including slaves and wives — for no reason other than their humanity. Moreover, these laws (with one or two exceptions) applied fully to Gentiles: non-Jews who came to visit or live within the control of the future Hebrew lands. (Numbers 15:15-16)
Today's passage is an eclectic sample of such laws, making provision for laborers to be paid each day, for crops to be left unharvested so that the very poor might be fed, for debtors to retain possession of pledged property needed for life, and forbidding the lending of money at interest (although this did not apply to money lent to Gentiles).