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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Daily Devotion for November 22, 2014



art nouveau angel praying
Angel praying, art nouveau illustration by Richard Lauda, c. 1904.
(The text read, "Peace on earth, good will to men.")

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.

A marvelous and authentic rendition of a popular gospel hit from the 1930s, by the Abbot Kinney Lighthouse Choir.



Morning Prayer (George Washington)

O  Lord our God, most mighty and merciful father, I, your unworthy creation and servant, once more approach your presence. Though not worthy to appear before you, because of the many sins and transgressions which I have committed against your divine majesty; yet I pray you, for the sake of him in whom you are well pleased, the Lord Jesus Christ, to let me give you thanks and praise for your many and varied mercies extended toward me, for the quiet rest and repose of the past night, for food, clothing, health, peace, liberty, and the hopes of a better life through the merits of your dear son's bitter passion.

And O kind Father, continue your mercy and favor to me this day, and always; give resolution to all my lawful undertakings; let me have all my directions from your Holy Spirit; and success from your bountiful hand. Let the bright beams of your light so shine into my heart, and enlighten my mind in understanding your blessed word, that I may be enabled to perform your will in all things, and effectively resist all temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. Preserve and defend our rulers in church and state. Bless the people of this land, be a father to the fatherless, a comforter to the comfortless, a deliverer to the captives, and a physician to the sick. Let your blessings guide me and all of us, this day and forever, through Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray.

Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness

Heavenly Father, true God, who sent your beloved Son to seek the wandering sheep, I have sinned against heaven and before you; receive me like the Prodigal Son, and clothe me with the garment of innocence, of which I was deprived by sin. Have mercy upon your creatures and upon me, a great sinner, through the miracle of Christ's resurrection and your grace, I pray.

Amen.

Meditation

[Clothe me with the garment of innocence, of which I was deprived by sin.]


Dedication

Oh Heavenly Father, in whom I live and move and have my being, I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the joys, occupations, and cares of this day I may never forget you, but remember that I am ever walking in your sight. In Christ's name, I pray,

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 43:1-4 (NKJV)

Vindicate me, O God,
And plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!

For You are the God of my strength;
Why do You cast me off?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your tabernacle.

Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 20:7 (NKJV)

The Third Commandment

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”


Notes on the Scripture

This is one place where older translations serve us badly. Who knows what “in vain” means? It is not a term we use or understand today. The Voice does a good job of translating this imprecisely, but in a way that gives us the full impact: “ You are not to use My name for your own idle purposes, for the Eternal will punish anyone who treats His name as anything less than sacred.”

There is, in every language, words or expressions that are considered coarse, vulgar, unmentionable in polite speech; they are reserved for sailors and criminals. (And, it seems, college students.) But this is just a means of distinguishing class. It's basically a socioeconomic device.

Abusing God's name — blasphemy — is an entirely different matter. If we believe in God and fear Him, we do not speak His name idly. Of course, we no longer use the “name” of God the Father at all: we simply refer to Him as “God” or “the Lord”. But idle use of this term is covered by the injunction of the commandment.

A word representing God is a symbol. Think of it as a statue; it signifies God Himself. It's proper use is only to address the deity or to discuss, to teach and learn, about Him.

swearing an oath on the Bible

What practices does this proscribe? First, certainly, the use of God as part of a curse. We don't want to say “Holy Jesus!” as an indication of shock, or “Goddamn you” as a light curse. Do we really expect that God is going to take our wishes into account when He decides the eternal fate of another person's soul? No. What these expressions do is to cheapen the name of God. We might say “I'll kill you if you take my cookie,” and we know it is a joke, because the person does not fear that we will kill him. But do we live in fear of God? Or is eternal life, and the possibility of eternal judgment, a joke?

But there is a use of God's name even more serious, and that is using God's name to assist in fraud: that is, swearing a false oath and invoking God to strengthen the fraud. God has never offered to act as the guarantor of our truthfulness.

Christ taught us that we should not swear an oath at all, much less using God's name, for we do not have dominion over God to make Him our guarantor. (Matthew 5:33-37) To swear an oath at all is a presumption that we have dominion over that which we swear upon. If we swear an oath on God's name, we arrogate God's righteousness to ourselves, which is an enormous sin of pride. We do not somehow magically become righteous in our lives by Christ's mercy; rather, we are made righteous by forgiveness. Shall we presume to have God's righteousness in what we say?



Devotional stained glass, Ruth and Miriam, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh
Ruth and Miriam, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

Daily Inspiration

“ Are You Ready? ”

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Printable Format for Today’s Devotion





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


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