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Daily Devotion for April 19, 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.
Our Virtual Church this Sunday is a Southern gospel service, but it is sort of a “show” church, since the entire congregation is — well, let’s just say that the person sitting next to you isn’t singing off-key.
By helping those who are in need;
My life on earth is but a span,
And so I’ll do the best I can.
Life’s evening sun is sinking low,
A few more days, and I must go
To meet the deeds that I have done,
Where there will be no setting sun.
To be a child of God each day,
My light must shine along the way;
I’ll sing His praise while ages roll,
And strive to help some troubled soul.
The only life that will endure,
Is one that’s kind and good and pure;
And so for God I’ll take my stand,
Each day I’ll lend a helping hand.
I’ll help someone in time of need,
And journey on with rapid speed;
I’ll help the sick and poor and weak,
And words of kindness to them speak.
While going down life’s weary road,
I’ll try to lift some trav’ler’s load;
I’ll try to turn the night to day,
Make flowers bloom along the way.
Music and lyrics by William M. Golden, 1918
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.
Prayer for Forgiveness
Almighty and most merciful Father, I have erred and strayed from your ways like a lost sheep. I have followed too much the devices and desires of my own heart. I have offended against your holy laws. I have left undone those things which I ought to have done; and I have done those things which I ought not to have done; and there is no good in me. O Lord, have mercy upon me, a miserable sinner. Spare all those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent; according to your promises declared to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. And Grant that I and all who confess his holy name may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; to his glory and not our own,
Prayer for Sunday
Heavenly Lord, I think you for this day, when your holy priesthood gathers around the world to celebrate your victory over death, in the resurrection of our Savior, Christ Jesus. Help me always to keep in mind that the Sabbath was made for men, and that your commandment to keep one day holy, not to work and not to suffer others to work, was made for our benefit. Help me understand, Holy God, the benefit to me, both in this world and the next, of taking a day every week to dedicate to you; keep me from the temptation of adding to my worldly wealth on this day, for all wisdom is yours, and you have commanded us to make this a day of rest and worship.
Make me always aware that your commandment extends to making others work; and let me do what is within my power to follow your commandment with my full heart, as you Spirit may guide me.
And finally, grant me O Lord, I pray, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it may burn in me and shed its light on those around me, and that by its brightness I may share a vision of that holy City, where dwells the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
"People need loving the most when they deserve it the least."
~ John Harrison
Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV)
The Creation of Man
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Notes on the Scripture
God created us in his image, and after His likeness. Does this mean we look like God? Actually, we don't know! Certainly God has appeared to men looking like something very different from a human being: A burning bush, a flash of light, a pillar of cloud and fire. But we also see God or his messenger (an angel) very like a human being in appearance. Jesus was God; however, Jesus was made man, so it would be more accurate to say he was made to look like us than vice versa. Most adults, however, visualize God in more abstract terms, perhaps as existing in the entirety of space.
But the words “in his image” might mean something other than arms, legs and a nose. We have the capacity, of all the creatures known to us, to distinguish between good and evil. We have the capacity to think. And we have the capacity to exercise free will. We can do something or believe something purely because we decided that it is the right thing to do, even if it is contrary to our animal instincts.
Most Christians believe that these attributes are the image of God. However, we must always remember that a likeness is not identical to the original. We are made in God's image, but we are not God; if we look in a mirror, we see an image of our ourself, but it is not ourself.
But we are special. Of all the gazillion things in the universe, only one of them (that we know of) was made in the image and likeness of God, and that is us. But there's a catch: all the other people in the world, including the burglar stealing our money and the politician we cannot stand, are also made in God's image. They are his beloved children and the likeness of God, and it is for that reason Christ told us that we may not judge one another.