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Daily Devotion for January 31, 2015
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.
When I saw this, I just had to share it, and after all Saturday is “Oldies Day”. Four actresses in the 1950s formed a group called “The Hollywood Christians”. It is a bit preposterous -- Jane Russell singing gospel! -- but the feeling is very real despite the 1950s pop music sound.
Prayer for the Morning
May all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul and revive my tired spirit: be with me today. Be at my side and walk with me; be my support, that your hand may be seen in every action I take, that your goodness may be in every word I speak, and that your spirit may inhabit my every thought. Make my thoughts, my work, and my very life blessings for your kingdom. In Christ's name I pray,
Prayer of Praise (from Isaiah 45)
You are the Lord, and there is no other; apart from You there is no God. From the rising to the setting of the sun, I know there is none besides You. You formed the earth; You made the earth to be inhabited, and you created me in your image to dwell upon it. All praise to the great Creator: You are the Lord, and there is no other.
To Be Led by God’s Gifts
Heavenly Father, for the words of faith shared in devotionals, from the pulpit, in the sanctuary, in prayer, in song, that color my life so rich: I give thanks, and pray that they will enrich my journey of faith, sharing a bit of grace with other earlier saints.
For the sacrifice, the example, the gift of your Son; who came to earth and lived among us, who gave us words to guide us, who infused the law with Spirit and taught us the beauty of change within our hearts; for the loving way Christ showed us, I give thanks, and pray that His words may lead me to live life as your servant, as your disciple, today and forever.
[Apart from God there is no god.]
As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope.
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.
Proverbs 18:2 (NKJV)
A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.
Exodus 3:1-6 (ESV)
Moses and The Burning Bush 
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.
And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Notes on the Scripture
Moses, who would become the greatest prophet of God until the coming of Christ Himself, is different from most of the holy figures in the Bible, because he is an ordinary man, ridden with faults. His early life was unusual but not necessarily supernatural. Unlike almost every other Old Testament prophet, his early life was characterized by neither great righteousness nor signs of a great destiny. God has, in fact, been silent for centuries.
And now, at a fairly advanced age, he is happy to live out his life as an escaped criminal, in the mean prosperity of a shepherd, grazing his father-in-law's herd in the margins of the civilized world.
Perhaps it is related to Moses' worldliness, but compare how God presents Himself to Moses as opposed to, say, Abraham or Mary, whom He approaches as a warm friend. Moses is contacted by a rather terrifying vision, not in human form; the burning bush does not come to him, but commands him to approach in humility and reverence. If you consider the rude "Hello" Paul got on the road to Damascus, it seems that the way in which He approaches people has much to do with their godliness.
But Moses is no Saul/Paul; he is not horrendously sinful, just a bit slack. He has simply been living his life as if God did not exist. Unlike Adam, when God calls him, he does not try to hide; he is not a purposeful sinner, trying to avoid God. When the Lord calls him, Moses says "Here I am" and obeys in fear and wonder. Fear of God, as Proverbs tells us, is the beginning of all wisdom, and Moses is at the beginning of his relationship with God.
The bush is symbolic; for like the bush, Moses is touched by God's firey hand, but not destroyed. And similarly, the Hebrews will suffer God's wrath, but He will not destroy them. The bush foreshadows God's treatment of Moses and the Hebrews.