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Monday, October 22, 2018

Daily Devotion for October 12, 2014



Punishment of the Panderers, from illustrations to Dante’s Inferno, Botticelli ca. 1495.

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.

Everyone used to singing this hymn to the tune Coronation gets to learn a new song today! (Look on the bright side - Coronation has that horrible high note that you can’t quite reach.)



For Unity in Sunday Worship

Father of mercy, your love embraces everyone, and through the Resurrection of your Son you call me and all who pray with me into your wonderful light. Dispel our darkness and make us a people with one heart and one voice, forever singing your praise, in Jesus, the Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

Confession

Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the week and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.

Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me today and throughout the coming week, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.

Amen.

Sunday Prayer to Do God’s Will

Almight God, today I celebrate the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, the supreme victory over death that belongs to you alone. I pray that I may, today and in the coming week, act in appreciation of the ultimate gift you have given to me and to all who confess the name of Christ.

As you have commanded us, let me be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work; let me speak evil of no one and avoid quarreling. Give me the strength to be gentle, to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Fill me with love and humility.

For I was once foolish, disobedient, led astray, a slave to all sorts of passions and pleasures, passing my days in malice and envy, sometimes hating others. But when the goodness and loving kindness of Christ called me to you, He saved me, not because of works done by my in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on me in rich abundance. And now, through Jesus Christ my Savior, being justified by his grace, I have become heir to the hope of eternal life.

Make my heart clean within me, I pray, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that my every thought and deed will reflect the graciousness of the salvation given to me, not by my merit but by your love; and that I may continue to learn your word, and accept even what I do not want to hear, and always act in accordance with your will. In the name of Christ I pray,

Amen.

Benediction

Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.

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.



endless knot

Psalm 37:7-8

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret — it only causes harm.


Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 1:1-3 (ESV)

Does God Exist?

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.


Notes on the Scripture

Most scientists would agree that, in the beginning, the "earth was without form and void, and there was darkness everywhere". It is generally accepted that the universe had a beginning and, before that beginning — well, nobody really knows, exactly. Scientists make important-sounding guesses, but they don't actually know. As far as anyone knows, neither energy, nor matter, nor time, nor space as we know it even existed.

Human beings have a terrible habit of acting like they know things when they really don't. Just a few hundred years ago, a renown physician would tell you, with utter assurance, that your illness was caused by an imbalance of humours, and should be treated by sticking leeches on you to remove excess blood. Scientists, like every other kind of expert, sometimes have a hard time saying "I don't really know".

Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist, declared last year that God does not exist. Because of his popularity and status as a famous scientist, an expert on the beginning of the universe, people seemed to think he has some sort of special insight into the issue. But he doesn't.

Hawking actually said that the reason he does not believe in God is that he doesn't see how God could exist in time and space. Apparently he simply cannot grasp that something might transcend time and space. He has become so focused on the intellectual shoebox of physics that he cannot conceive of the lid being raised.

Neither Hawking nor any other physicist even attempts a coherent proof of what existed before the Big Bang, or how or why it happened. Hawking's own explanation is that, well, the universe just popped into existence!

This isn't a diatribe against science, or all the wonderful things done by all the brilliant and hard-working people that have improved our lives so much. And I don't mean to pick on Mr. Hawking; there are innumerable similar lamebrained statements from all sorts of people. The point is: Steven Hawking's opinion on the existence of God has no more validity than that of a washerwoman. And even worse, he is pandering to the bias of a world community that seems ever more eager to turn away from God.

What we Christians understand, that Hawking does not, is that God cannot be known simply with the mind. Spiritual knowledge cannot be found by mathematics. It is prideful to think that our puny brains are capable of grasping God. We can only find God with our heart and our spirit, and with the innocence of a child. We must pray for Hawking, and those like him, that they may find the light of the Spirit so that their souls might be saved from their own pride.

And just as an interesting aside, in case you hear atheists talking about Christians being “stupid”: Of the top 10 IQ scores ever recorded, there is one atheist and at least six (probably seven) Christians. And, besides, what could possibly be stupider than going to Hell?



Stained Glass Arch window
Window from Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois, Loire Valley, France, ca. 1850.

Daily Inspiration

“ Your Eyes Are The Mirrors
Of Your Soul ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 28:20-22: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.


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