Daily Devotion for June 4, 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 didn't realize this lovely a capella hymn was sung by an Anabaptist/Mennonite group, until I did some research. It sounds very mainstream.
Prayer for the Morning
Good morning, dear Father; thank you for this day,
Help me to follow you in every way.
Let me speak as you speak, and do as you do;
Let me help others, as you help them, too.
Help me to be honest, don't let me play games,
Help me to grow, yet still stay the same.
Help me not to be selfish, to give of my heart, my mind and my labor;
Give all - not just part.
Help me to love others, my family, my friends,
Bless all of my foes, help me make amends.
Help me be kind, Father, where I am needed, let
Me give warm attention, and see all needs are met.
Help keep me busy, to strive for the best,
Help me not to be lazy, but find needed rest.
Let me come to you, Father, throughout the day,
Often to thank you, often to pray.
[Help me keep busy, to strive for the best.]
Prayer to Witness Boldly
O Holy One, I call to you and name you as eternal, ever-present, almighty, and boundless in love. Yet there are times, O God, when I fail to recognize you in the everyday routine of my life. There are times timidity clenches my heart and I hide my faith from the world and even from myself. Sometimes fear makes me so small that I miss a chance to express my belief. Doubts and insecurity suppress the wonderful wisdom I have learned, from your holy word, from listening to your teachers, and from the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, in the daily round from sunrise to sunset and to sunrise again, remind me again and again of your holy presence hovering near me and in me. Free me from shame and self-doubt in expressing my faith. Help me to see you in the fleeting moments of possibility and be filled with your courage and your word. In Christ's name I pray,
May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.
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.
“You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy — the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud.”
~ St. Vincent de Paul
1 Peter 2:9-12, 2:19-21, 5:6-7 (ESV)
[Y]ou are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
* * *
[T]his is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
* * *
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Notes on the Scripture
Overview of the New Testament: The Epistles
15. First Epistle of Peter (1 Peter)
The book of 1 Peter, unfortunately obscured by its placement behind the massive Pauline epistles, is a different animal from anything preceding it. Peter was foremost among the apostles, the head of Christ's church by designation of Christ himself (Matthew 16:15-19), and the premier witness to the events of Christ's life. He was not an educated man, but his wisdom and humility were unequalled. As a result, he employed the services of better-educated men to help him write: first Mark (for his gospel) and then an even better writer named Silvanus or Silas, for his epistles. (Both are mentioned in this epistle.)
Peter's first epistle has no equal for clarity, brevity, authority, and inspiration to the modern Christian. One can simply read it, two thousand years later. Part of the reason for its direct application to any modern Christian is that it was meant as a written summary of Christian faith to “the dispersion” — those people who did not have direct access to teaching by one of the apostles. This is why it speaks so directly to us: we are in the same position as the people to whom it was written. We are, in effect, the intended audience.
Peter begins by describing the situation of a Christian living in the church age. We are heirs to the kingdom of God by the grace of Christ, saved by faith in a man we have never seen. He tells us how we should behave and why: with respect for all, in obedience to civil authority (when it does not conflict with God's ordinances) and to those who lead us in our personal lives. Those who lead must be respectful and loving, rather than proud and domineering, leading by example. Love for one another, humility, and obedience to God are key themes in the letter. We constitute royal priesthood whose purpose is to live so that others might see the power of God in our conduct.
This ties in with another primary theme in 1 Peter: how we are to understand suffering in this time, to help us persevere when we suffer in the name of Christ. We emulate Christ, showing our holiness by enduring tribulation without complaint or retaliation.