Daily Devotion for August 6, 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.
Casting Crowns, 2003
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?
Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are.
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours.
Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin?
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?
I am Yours.
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear,
'Cause I am Yours.
Prayer to Have Inner Peace in the Coming Day
Heavenly God, may I have peace within, this day;
May I trust God that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
May I not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May I use those gifts that I have received, and pass on the love that has been given to me.
May I be confident knowing I am a child of God.
Let this presence settle into my bones, and allow my soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. This I pray in Christ's name,
(~ St. Therese of Lisieux)
Prayer to Love Others
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom you have taught us that love is the greatest good; defend me this day against all the instincts that tempt me away from love of my fellow man. Let me put aside every sort of prejudice and bias against other people who are different from me: those who have a different gender, or skin color, or accent, or who have different ideas about politics or how to drive a car or any of the thousand other differences that Satan uses to drive a wedge between me and all the other people of earth.
Let me accept others for who they are. Let me know that they are your creatures, and that you love them just as you love me. Let me not be stingy with my affection or my support of others out of jealousy, or greed, or pridefulness; but look upon the work of others, and their well-being, as I look upon my own.
I am weak, Lord, and I often stumble and let myself lapse into irritation or anger at others; but through your Holy Spirit, all things are possible; and I ask that today you be with me at every moment, and fill me with the capacity for love that only your Spirit can bring to me. In the name of my Lord Christ I ask this,
[Let me accept others for who they are.]
Dedication to Service
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,
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.
and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
1 Corinthians 15:29-34 (ESV)
The Resurrection of the Dead
Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? Why are we in danger every hour? I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!
What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
Notes on the Scripture
If asked, most people would not be able to guess the origin the phrase ”eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Shakespeare? The gladiators? It actually comes from the Old Testament; it appears repeatedly in both Isaiah (e.g. Isaiah 22:13) and Ecclesiastes (e.g. Ecclesiastes 8:15).
The phrase is always fatalistic. Taken at face value, it sounds like the esprit of soldiers about to go into battle, who intend to enjoy themselves before they die.
But the phrase is never used as such in the Bible. In Isaiah, it is used ironically, because it describes those who will die in the siege of Jerusalem, about to suffer their long-awaited destruction for the sins of Israel. In the more poetic Ecclesiastes, it is part of the rich and beautiful poem about the vanity of earthly existence. And here, Paul depicts it as an attitude that the Christian has outgrown, which has been rendered foolish by the resurrection of Christ.
For, tomorrow we do not die; for death has become not the end, but only a time of change, the prequel to resurrection. The words either make no sense to us, or at least, don't mean what they once did. There is nothing in Christian doctrine that prevents us from enjoying God's good bounty. A good meal, good company, a glass of wine if we drink it, the laughter and good feeling that come from sharing a meal with friends . . . The Bible tells us that we should eat with other Christians in fellowship and mutual love of God. It is the “for tomorrow we die” part that no longer compels us.
Paul seems to have the Greco-Roman tendency to unrestrained and even Bacchanalian feasts in mind when he uses the phrase. It is the conduct of those who have nothing to look forward to except the vain pursuit of pleasure; they have no reason not to do whatever they want, for every day is simply one step closer to decay and annihilation. But we, who know the resurrection and have all faith, can avoid bad company and disgraceful behavior; we have awoken from our drunken stupor, and we can greet each new day with the eagerness and hope born of faith in Christ's power and love.