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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Daily Devotion for August 30, 2014


Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis, all riding to glory.



Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian (350 A.D.)

O  Lord and Master of my life, this day, give me not the spirit of laziness, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of sobriety, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages.

Amen.

For Peace of Mind

Blessed Lord Jesus, I need you now because I am filled with stress and anxiety. But you have promised that if I read and remember your Word, and come to you in prayer, your Holy Spirit will come to me. I lay my burdens on you, precious Christ, as you have promised to take them. Please carry them for me so that I don't have to, for they overwhelm me. Replace my fears with your humble and gentle yoke, so that I will find rest for my soul today. Let me feel your love.

I accept the peace of mind and quietness of heart, which you offer to all men as a gift. My praise and thanks that it is possible for me to lie down this evening in peace, and find the rest of sleep, by your gift. For with you, I have faith that I dwell in perfect safety. What should I fear, when you have promised to be with me for all time? I pray that I can find your perfect peace, by your Word and your promise, this day and every day, until I see you face to face.

Amen.

Meditation

[Give me quietness of heart, Lord Christ, whatever the cost.]


Benediction

Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.

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>Nativity</i> by Giotto, ca. 1311.
Nativity by Giotto, ca. 1311.

Strength

Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas.

And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?

~ Henry Van Dyke, from Keeping Christmas (1924)


Blue Latin Cross

Micah 4-5 (ESV) (excerpts)

Israel after Solomon (25): Micah’s Prophecies of Redemption

It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains . . . .

He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide for strong nations far away;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.

And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.

And he shall be their peace.


Notes on the Scripture

There are two small towns named Bethlehem in Canaan. One is up in Galilee, called Bethlehem Zebulun because it was in the allotment of land to the tribe of Zebulun. (See Joshua 19:10-15) By far the more famous of the two was Bethlehem Ephrathah, also called Ephrath, just south of Jerusalem. It was the locale where the book of Ruth took place, and thus, the birthplace of David, and also where David was anointed king by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:4-13).

Anyway, do not be put off by the name; this is indeed a prophecy, some 700 years before the fact, that the Messiah would be born in the Bethlehem where Jesus was born.

As remarkable as that is, there is something even more astonishing about Micah's messianic prophecy. Notice the end of the third paragraph, “whose coming forth is from old, from ancient days.” The trustworthy NASB translates this verse a bit differently: “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”

If you have read the Gospel of John, this might ring a very loud bell. Micah seems to anticipate John's theological statement, that Christ was an aspect of God who existed when the world was created. It is hard to believe that a Jewish prophet in 700 B.C. would make such a profoundly Christian theological statement, as to say that the messiah had been preordained since the creation: but there it is, in black and white.

These chapters also depict a messiah of peace, not a great general who will restore the Israel of David and Solomon, with the great line: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares.” So, if anyone might doubt that the “Minor Prophets” are called minor because of the length, rather than the importance, of their content, one need only look to Micah; for these may be the greatest lines of prophecy in the Old Testament.



endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 John 1:7: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.


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