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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Daily Devotion for June 25, 2014


<i>Baptism Day</i> by Clementine Hunter, ca. 1960.
Baptism Day by Clementine Hunter, ca. 1960.

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.

Some hard-rock worship from the very popular band, Third Day.



Prayer for the Morning

I  call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.

I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.

I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.

I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.

Amen.

To Heal Divisions

Father, may our human family not become separated from you by building barriers of race, color, class, or beliefs. Inspire us to recognize that we are all made in your image and likeness, so that we may grow in appreciation of all people, and encourage each other to grow in pride in who we are and who we are called to be. May we recognize your Son in our midst, and live truly as brothers and sisters. I pray this in the name of Christ, in remembrance of His love for the Samaritan woman at the well.

Amen.

Meditation

[Let me not compare other people's outside to my inside.]


Parting Prayer

Oh Lord as I face creation
Let me see with eyes made clear
By Your promise of salvation,
Never to return to fear.

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.



<i>Crucifixion</i> by  Anthony van Dyck, ca. 1620.
Crucifixion by Anthony van Dyck, ca. 1620. Van Dyck is often passed off as a secondary painter, a lightweight, but this powerful study of the crucifixion proves him a true Flemish master.

Being a Christian

“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion — it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”

~ Billy Graham


Blue Latin Cross

John 5:24-26 (ESV)

The Living God and the Living Person

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.


Notes on the Scripture

Many Christians view the power of Christ something like this: I will confess my sins, repent of them, be baptized, try to follow Christ's commandments. (Perhaps they belong to a denomination with other specific practices for salvation, and follow these.) When I die, I will reawaken and be forgiven for my sins (immediately or eventually) and live forever in perfect peace with Christ, in heaven.

Smithfield Decritals, ca. 1300.

That is, at any rate, a simplified statement of general Christian belief. We will strive, and persevere through suffering, for a few transitory decades of life on earth; then by God's grace, whatever sins we have committed will be forgiven and we will know God.

But Christ's words in today's Scripture are dynamite to anyone who has not read and fully appreciated them. Jesus does not say will have eternal life, He says, “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life”.

He does not say that the person with faith in Him will pass from death into life; He says that the believer “has passed from death to life.” He does not simply say the time will come; He says the time “is now here.”

There will be a final judgment, but that does not mean we are cut off from God until it occurs. God lives in us right now; by virtue of our baptism and/or confession of belief and repentance, our hope for the future is already realized. God's living Spirit dwells within us, right now. Judgment is already being determined; we do not have to wait until the end of time to enjoy the great benefits of God's love, mercy, and power in our lives. Our eternal life has already begun.

Our God is a living God. Christ left us and ascended into heaven, but God did not leave us. That is the whole point of Pentecost: the Holy Spirit, who is every bit and 100% of the actual, living, eternal God, with all of His power, has changed us already. God is alive and lives within us.

In John 1:13-14, John tells us, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” This does not mean we will become the children of God “some day”. It means we are the children of God right now.

See what Peter has to say about this:

But you 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. (1 Peter 2:9-10)

Could this be any clearer? God is a Living God, and we are his living apostles — not some day in the future, but right now. And like Christ himself and the apostles and all the saints, God's purpose in giving us this gift while we are alive in the flesh is to make His name known, to proclaim his excellencies, as Peter put it. So: Let's do it!



endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 Peter 2:9: [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.


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