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Daily Devotion for July 9, 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.
The Swahili lyrics of this wonderful South African gospel song are “Siyahamba kukhan yeni kwenko”, “We are marching in the light of God”, repeated over and over. Sing along!
The second piece they sing, “Siyabonga Baba (Jesu)” means simply “Thank you, Father (Jesus)”. Also, Nkosi sikelele (God bless).
Oh Holy God, look down upon me, a miserable sinner, and forgive me for the terrible things that I do, against your love for us and against the love that you have commanded us to show for our brothers and sisters. The people of the world are your holy and beautiful children, oh Lord, and I am one of them also. I pray that you will fill me so full of your might and love that I will not sin against myself or anybody else, this day, or ever; but if I do, I plead with you, give me that undeserved grace you showed by the life and sacrifice of your Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ.
To Live in Sympathy with Others
Blessed Lord Jesus, who wept with Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus had died, may I ever take your love and sympathy for humanity into my heart. As Paul prayed in Romans, “May I rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Soften my heart towards all, heavenly Lord, my enemies and my friends, my family and those who offend me. May I see the humanity of all my fellow men, rather than their sinfulness, and replace the fist of criticism with the opens arms of Christian love. By your grace, Lord Christ, I dare to ask your help in overcoming my hard heart,
[Overcoming my hard heart.]
Dedication to Faith in Christ
The Almighty Lord, who is a strong tower to all those who put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, do bow and obey; Be now and evermore my defense; and make me know and feel, that there is no other Name under heaven given to man, in whom, and through whom, I may receive health and salvation, but only the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ephesians 1:16-23 (ESV)
The Power of Christ — Human Charity
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.
God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.
And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Notes on the Scripture
In the first part, Paul prays that we will receive the spirit of wisdom. By our prayer and faith, we are to know some things that we didn't know before. First, hope; we will fully know hope, a hope for something wonderful that will actually come true. Second, the riches of his inheritance. Christ “remembered us in his will”. He bequeathed to us a great treasure. Imagine that you have received a billion dollars from a distant uncle; the inheritance that Christ left for you is even better, because a billion dollars cannot buy you eternal life, cannot buy you the hope and joy that Christ brings.
Third, knowledge of his power. When we hear the word “power”, it is often an empty phrase. But understanding and accepting the power of Christ is essential to us. Christ shows his power on earth every day, but the media ignore it, or attribute it solely to the works of man when they do acknowledge it. It is mostly ignored, because Christ's power so often benefits the poor, the powerless, the ignored. Imagine ABC News, every night, showing a Nigerian child who has gotten a meal because one of Christ's saints, impelled by the spirit and knowledge of Christ, has fed him. If they gave every such child the amount of coverage they give Kim Kardashian — whose accomplishments escape me — they would fill a thousand channels with praise of Christ's power on earth.
And on the rare news segment where the media do show charity at work, they do not ascribe it to Christ. They simply cannot accept that it is Christ and the Holy Spirit working through men and women; they ascribe it to some inherent goodness in mankind. But where were these actions before Christ lived? They existed only in sporadic instances and usually only to relatives or members of the same tribe.
If you doubt the power of Christ in the attitude of charity towards our fellow men, you need only to look at what happens when such charity is completely divorced from God. Both Russia and China adopted a philosophy whose primary tenets were the equal treatment of all people and the enforcement of absolute atheism. And in both cases, the result was the murder and starvation of tens of millions of people, and the terrorizing of hundreds of millions.