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Daily Devotion for September 3, 2014


<i>Christ Leaves His Trial</i> by Gustave Doré, ca. 1880.
Christ Leaves His Trial by Gustave Doré, ca. 1880.

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.



prayer for morning (e. e. cummings)

i thank God for most this
amazing
day; for the leaping greenly
spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything
which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes

Amen.

Prayer of St. Basil the Great

O  God and Lord of the Powers, and maker of all creation, who, because of your clemency and incomparable mercy, sent your only-begotten son and our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind, and with his venerable cross tore asunder the record of our sins, and thereby conquered the rulers and powers of darkness: Receive from me, a sinful person, O merciful Master, these prayers of gratitude and supplication, and deliver me from every destructive and gloomy transgression, and from all visible and invisible enemies who seek to injure me.

Nail down my flesh with fear of you. And do not let not my heart be inclined to words or thoughts of evil, but pierce my soul with your love, that always contemplating you, being enlightened by you, and discerning you, the unapproachable and everlasting Light, I may unceasingly confess my misdoings and show my gratitude to you: The eternal Father, with your only-begotten Son, and with your all-holy, gracious, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Amen.

Meditation

[Pierce my soul with your love.]


Dedication

Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.

Amen.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.


endless knot

Proverbs 11:21 (ESV)

Though they join hand in hand, the wicked will not go unpunished;
But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 5:7 (ESV)

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.


Notes on the Scripture

The Importance of Forgiving Others

Christ commands us, again and again, to be merciful to others. He repeatedly connects the mercy we give to the mercy we will receive. This is reflected in one of the main phrases of the Lord's Prayer — “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Forgiveness of others is the key that unlocks Christ's forgiveness, and forgiveness through Christ is the key that unlocks the kingdom of God.

If we do not forgive someone, can we be forgiven for our own sins? Possibly not. Further down in Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus speaks on the subject at length, including the admonition: “Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment . . . So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

This sounds very much as if we must settle our differences with others — both those with whom we are angry, and those who are angry with us — before we worship. On the other hand, God's mercy knows no bounds; our salvation is one of grace, not of works. This would indicate we can be forgiven anything, including our failure to settle out differences with our brothers and sisters before we worship. Perhaps it is best to say, in terms of theology, that if we truly believe in Christ and love him, we will want to settle our differences with our brothers and sisters as He has commanded us to do.

But is this possible for a human being? Anger is a powerful emotion, and it can be next to impossible to quell, especially when it is strong or fresh. And it may, literally, be impossible to make peace with someone else. There are people on earth who apparently will nurse a grudge and never let it go.

The key to dealing with anger, as with all sins, is that we must try. And when we fail, seek to confess our sins and receive the grace of forgiveness. But when it comes to resolving disputes with other people, especially where we and/or the other person are angry, we must make a really concerted effect (and possibly succeed) before we can be forgiven for our own sins.



<i>John the Baptist</i> by Matteo di Milano, ca. 1498.
John the Baptist by Matteo di Milano, ca. 1498. A page from a prayer book quoting Isaiah 29:1, traditionally read to celebrate John the Baptist: “The Lord hath called me by my name from the womb of my mother.”

Daily Inspiration

“Christian Pornography”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 Peter 3:10: Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile.


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Comments (6)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of September 3, 2014 | Daily Prayer
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T (Baltimore, US) says...
What a joy to begin my day with E.E. Cummings! Thank you Mason for posting "prayer for morning." DP never fails to lift me up and bring me closer to God.
3rd September 2014 9:37am
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Mason Barge says...
yes i get a kick
out of that
. poem
. too
3rd September 2014 9:40am
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T (Baltimore, US) says...
LOL Nicely done Mason. Thanks for brightening my day.
3rd September 2014 10:09am
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Suzanne (Indian River, US) says...
Mason, your words today on forgiveness really hit home. I have a brother who is very bitter and angry after his divorce. He blames everyone but himself. I think the key for him is to try to forgive even though some of it is not justified in our opinion. He has turned away from God and his family. I am worried about him. I am going to try to attempt again to reach out to him and pass on some of your words today to him. Please pray for him.
Thanks and God Bless you!
Suzanne
3rd September 2014 9:06am
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Mason Barge says...
I will surely pray for him, Suzanne. People can carry this around like a sore they pick at, refusing to let it heal, their entire lives. Of course, the best thing in the world for him (and what I myself realized in my little vignette) is not simply forgiving the other person - pretty much impossible without Christ. But even harder, and even more important, is asking the other person to forgive you yourself. My thought about whether or not forgiveness is justified is that it is a human concept. ... Read More
3rd September 2014 9:37am
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Suzanne (Indian River, US) says...
Thank you for taking the time to respond and once again your words of wisdom!
Bless you!
4th September 2014 10:44am
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mary Pregler (Glen Saint Mary, US) says...
Mason, What a beautiful witness story! We have all been there! I love the idea of baby steps. Its hard to be able to pull your ego out of the way, and do the Godly thing, but at least we can take a tiny step in that direction. I also liked the self examining you did.The next time this kind of thing happens this is what you will remember, and maybe take 4 or 5 more baby steps! Thanks
1st September 2014 11:39am
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Beverly (Nashville, US) says...
Thanks for your testimony. I need to hear that fellow Christians miss opportunities and pray to do better next time. I volunteer one day a week for Operation Christmas Child. I had on a T-shirt with the logo, went into a Hispanic market, and the young man who checked me out recognized the logo. He told me he had once received a shoebox. I was so surprised, I found myself searching for words. Lord help me find the right words next time.
1st September 2014 9:15am
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