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Daily Devotion for November 28, 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.
This video is labeled only ST GEORGES'S-WINDSOR. I spent half an hour trying to figure out why this pretty little church did not look like St. George’s Chapel at Windsor -- I thought, perhaps, it was a side chapel -- before it finally dawned on me. St. George’s Windsor is also the name of a tune -- to which this hymn is sung!
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God's own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is God's own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.
For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.
Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.
Text: Henry Alford, 1810-1871
Tune: “St. George’s Windsor” by George J. Elvey, 1816-1893
For a Cheerful Disposition in All I Do Today
Holy God, who has filled me with the joy of your grace and salvation, assist me this day that I may do all things I am called to do without grumbling or disputing. I call on your Spirit to assist me, that I may be blameless and innocent, a child of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.
Let me follow holy Christ and all his saints: Let me shine as a light, a beacon in a world where darkness seeks to overcome us in every thing and at every moment. And help me to hold fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ's return I may be proud that I did not strive in vain.
I pray this not for my own glory, but in all humility before you, to whom be all glory and honor,
Prayer for Those in Their Final Days
Heavenly Father, I know that all men will die, for this is the nature of life and the cost of sin. I pray for those who are in their last days. Those with cancer, or heart disease, or kidney disease, or malnutrition, or who are grieved by any of the countless diseases and traumas that bring us to our final rest. I know your sympathy for us, for through your Son, you have agonized exactly as we do; by his willing sacrifice, he gave us eternal assurance that you understand our fear and pain.
Bless those in fear of death this day, I pray. Send your Holy Spirit to console and comfort them and those who love them. Let them know the assurance of the wonderful eternity we will know, and bring them peace in their final days. In the name of the limitless love of Christ, I pray,
[No matter how much pain I may suffer, Christ voluntarily suffered the same agony I do.]
Into your hands, O Lord, Jesus Christ, my God, I commend my spirit. Bless me and all those who pray in faith of You this day; save us and grant unto us everlasting life.
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.
Galatians 5:1 (KJV)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 (DP)
3-6 In particular, be careful not to stray into sexual immorality, such as fornication. Those who do not know God, believing themselves to be free, are enslaved to passion and lust like animals, but you have been set free by Christ: so control your own bodies in holiness and honor, for it is God’s will that you be sanctified. And especially, do not seduce anyone or take sexual advantage of another person, for God will avenge them.
3 For this is will of god, the sanctification of you, to abstain you from the fornication,
4 to know how each of you the of himself vessel to control in holiness and honor,
5 not in passion of lusts just as also the not-knowing-god Gentiles,
6 the not to transgress against and to take advantage of in the matter the brother of him, because avenger lord is concerning all these, as we both previously told to you and witnessed 4Or warned..
v6 - 4 Or warned.
Notes on the Scripture
o read Paul, or for that matter the New Testament, involves the difficult task of unlearning the definitions of several words. “Sanctify” (and its cognate noun, “sanctification”) is one such. Theological usage of the term distorts it into a difficult technical term; its use in church ritual and doctrine make it sound sanctimonious.
To sanctify means to set something apart for God, taking it out of the general realm of the world. A sanctuary is a sanctified room, a room set aside for worship. If you sometimes hear it used to mean something more complicated or different — in your church, in a theology book, in a lecture or discussion — you will be well-served to unlearn it when you read the Bible. The basic definition is simple and should be the only meaning we understand, when we see it in Scripture.
It is the will of God that we be sanctified; 1 Thess. 4:3 tells us this unambiguously. We are, therefore, to be special people whose lives are set apart for God. It may be an impossible goal, without the grace of Christ, for the most devout monk will confess his sins. But it is nevertheless a goal for which we must strive, to which we must always grow closer.
The first item in Paul's teaching of sanctification, the first direct command, is abstinence from sexual immorality. A secular moralist might call fornication a victimless crime, but Paul disagrees. Reading the “Literal” version of this passage, one sees that Paul is especially concerned about the cumulative effect of having two persons engaged in sin together. It is easy enough to see his point where one seduces another person, or commits adultery; and even an act of simple fornication will involve collaborative sin.
But how can this be harmonized with Christ's teaching in Matthew 5:28, “everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart”? Sin begins in the heart. A dieter ensures her downfall when she starts to dwell on her craving for “just one piece ”of chocolate. One begins the process of murder when one points a gun at another person.
Paul does not teach contrary to Christ, but he does teach about sexual morals with more emphasis on the act itself, and the impact it has on others. His theology strongly emphasizes freedom from slavery, the same idea as Christ's teachings about purity of heart, but where Christ's intention was to show a group of self-righteous Jews their sin, Paul's intention is to teach a group of Greeks, brought up in an environment of superheated lasciviousness, to break the chains of slavery to animal passion.
This is a basic disparity in the point of view of a Christian and a pagan. An atheist will complain about the straitjacket of Christian morals. He sees Christianity as slavery, because it would hinder him from doing what he wants to do. A Christian understands that the atheist's “freedom of choice” is not freedom at all; the atheist is simply obedient to his base instincts rather than the higher and holy law of God.