arrow to previous dayarrow to next day
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Daily Devotion for December 21, 2014

Fourth Sunday in Advent


<i>Nativity</i> by Brian Kershisnik, modern
Nativity by Brian Kershisnik, modern.

Prayers

Scripture

142 people in our community are currently praying with you.

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 Personal Conduct (from 1 Timothy)

Lord God, I pray that this day my conduct will be like that you have set for your clergy: Above reproach. May I be this day, and during the coming week, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, and not violent, but gentle. May I never be quarrelsome, always seeking peace even in disagreement, and may my love be for you and my fellow man, not for money. I pray that I manage my own household well. If I have any children in my charge, I pray to that I may take the time to see that they are in control and behaving with proper respect. Grant me a good reputation with outsiders, so that I will not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil. This I pray through my Lord Christ, whose love and attention ever gave us an example of conduct,

Amen.

Prayer of Praise (from Psalm 86)

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done. All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.

For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.

Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.

Amen.

Advent Prayer

Holy Jesus, as I spend these days waiting to celebrate your birth, give me the grace to greet you without suppressed sighs of weariness. Grant me the spirit of generosity; let me open my front door to you, without any thought of inconvenience. Let me work every teaching and commandment you gave us, let me know your love and share it abundantly with all I may meet, remembering throughout this time your message and example of long-suffering love and infinite patience.

Amen.

Meditation

[Unite my heart to fear Your name.]


Blessing

The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.

Amen.


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


Devotional painting of the birth of John the Baptist
Birth of John the Baptist by Murillo, c. 1660.

Gift Suggestions

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

~ Oren Arnold

Blue Latin Cross

Luke 1:57-66 (ESV)

The Birth of John the Baptist

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered,“No; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.”

And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered.

And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.



Notes on the Scripture

The events recounted by today's Scripture follow the chronology of Luke but are a bit misleading as to the timing of events. John was actually born about six months before Jesus (and the feast of his birthday is celebrated on June 24). Nevertheless, his birth is properly part of the Christmas celebration, because of the parallels between them and because of the amount of interaction between John's mother, Elizabeth, and Mary during their pregnancies. His birth is part of the Christmas story.

Virgin Mary with infants Jesus and John the Baptist,Bouguereau ca. 1875
The Virgin, Jesus and John Baptist
(Bouguereau ca. 1875)

John the Baptist had a specific role ordained by God as forerunner or precursor of Jesus, who was the foretold Messiah. The New Testament Gospels speak of this role. In Luke 1:17 the role of John is referred to as being “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord”; in Luke 1:76 as “thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways”; and in Luke 1:77, “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins.”

There are several passages within the Old Testament which are prophetic of John the Baptist, and his role in Christ's mission. Malachi prophesied the coming of John the Baptist in two passages: “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1) And again, “I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers.” (Malachi 4:5-6)

The Jews of Jesus' day expected Elijah to come before the Messiah; indeed, some modern Jews continue to await Elijah's coming as well. This is why the disciples asked Jesus (in Matthew 17:10-13), “'Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come (before the Messiah)?'

Jesus replied, 'To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have abused him as they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.' Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.”



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“ Will You Say Yes? ”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Hebrews 13:8 (ESV): Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.


About Daily Prayer


Follow us on Facebook
Join the Daily Prayer Group.


If you are new to Daily Prayer, welcome. This page provides a non-denominational, Bible-based devotion every day, including prayers, Scripture, Bible study, music, and art, designed to be usable for worship and the deepening of faith by any person who confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

We hope you will take a look around at some of the features. Registration is not necessary, although if you do register, you will be greeted by name and be able to record your scores on our Daily Bible Quiz, Match-a-Verse, and Memorize Favorite Bible Verses features.

We do not email anything, except replies to emails from readers. Registration asks for an email address as a means of verifying that people are real, but this is kept completely private and never used.

“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon





Comments (5)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of December 21, 2014 | Daily Prayer
Facebookdel.icio.usStumbleUponDiggGoogle+Twitter
Gravatar
Carol says...
Mason - what is the date Jesus was born?
21st December 2014 10:40am
Gravatar
Gail (Pittsburgh, US) says...
Hi Carol, I hope you don't mind me responding to your question, but I was just reading about this and I thought I would share what I read. According to the book about Jesus' life, titled "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived", Jesus was probably born sometime in the spring or autumn. The reason is because December is a cold & rainy time of year in Bethlehem and shepherds would not have been out at night tending to their sheep as the scripture tells us they were. Hope this helps.
21st December 2014 11:32am
Gravatar
Mason says...
Gail did a good job. Another source about it: I have read a Jewish scholar who followed all the feasts and cycles and decided John the Baptist was born in the spring, so Jesus would have been born in the fall.

The year was probably around 4 B.C. History books say that Herod the Great died in 4 BC so a lot of people find any later year unlikely.
21st December 2014 12:16pm
Gravatar
Kathryn Halfman (Wichita, US) says...
I haven't even read the Scripture, prayers, devotion, etc. for the day but wanted to comment on the wonderful picture that leads today. I don't generally care much for contemporary, but what a lovely perspective! Thank you for all you do to introduce so many to a variety of art, music, prayers, and commentary. Merry Christmas to all that go into making this site my go-to morning warm-up for prayer every day.
21st December 2014 6:19am
Gravatar
Mason says...
Thanks for the kind words and I'm glad you liked the painting.

People's taste is enormously varied, so it's lucky I like a lot of different kinds of art, music, etc.! The biggest concession I've made personally is that we cut down the amount of classical music; we still do some but it's about half of what I would want.

The bright side is that I have developed a love of so much contemporary Christian music I probably never would have listened to.
21st December 2014 1:28pm
Gravatar
mary Pregler (Glen Saint Mary, US) says...
I Love the story of Martha and Mary. I must confess that I flip flop between the 2 of them every day. Thank you Stephen for your inspirational comments. I will start my meditation with this prayer "Lord, I am putting this time aside for only you, may I sit at your feet and take you in. Wash me from the inside out." no amen is needed for this will become my life long mantra.
19th December 2014 9:02am
Gravatar
D Malmberg (Clover, US) says...
Thanks to you, Mason, and all who contributed to today's devotional. The Ave Marias, the artwork, scripture and the lessons were wonderful blessings. Thank you all for the work of today and all year long. Merry Christmas and may God bless you and keep you.
19th December 2014 8:06am
Page 1 of 1

Add Comment

Daily Quiz

No scores available at this time.



Our Community Around the World: Visitors July 1, 2009 - January 1, 2018


US  27,351,090
PH  2,536,471
CA  1,853,222
UK  1,004,655
AU  226,003
MY  65,993
ZA  51,385
SG  49,058
NG  44,005
IN  43,546
AE  33,122
SA  29,493
TT  29,087
KE  27,995
NZ  48,220
BB  25,751
JM  20,844
FJ  17,844
KY  16,993
CN  16,385
DE  14,541
HK  12,325
KR  11,058
GH  10,924
DM  10,005
IT  10,002
FR  9,455
TZ  9,220
BM  8,941
BS  8,277
MW  7,459
ID  7,441
LC  5,995
ZW  5,478
GU  5,759
PK  5,589
CZ  5,325
CO  5,286
UG  5,459
HN  4,555
VC  4,106
QA  4,008
MX  3,569
KW  3,592
BR  3,421
NL  3,356
TH  3,225
BZ  2,994
BW  2,653
OM  2,551
BG  2,547
BO  2,420
EG  3,991
CH  4,560
NA  2,006
ES  2,245
AW  1,818
PR  9,258
LK  2,644
IE  2,546
IL  2,116
GY  1,935
ET  1,839
TW  1,832
CM  1,831
BE  1,674
DK  3,945
LB  1,443
ZM  1,209