Daily Devotion for May 30, 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.
Does the road you travel, harbor dangers yet unknown?
Are you growin' weary in the struggle of it all?
Jesus will help you with all his name you call.
He's always there hearing every prayer, faithful and true
Walking by our side, in his love we hide all the day through
When you get discouraged just remember what to do
Reach out to Jesus, he's reaching out to you.
Is the life you're living filled with sorrow and despair?
Does the future press you with its worry and its scare?
Are you tired and jealous, have you almost your way?
Jesus will help you, just talk to him today.
words & music by Ralph Carmichael
To Keep God in Mind This Day
Lord, let me begin this day in devout meditations, in joy unspeakable, and in blessing and praising You, who has given me such good hope and everlasting consolation.
Lift up my mind above all these little things below, which are apt to distract my thoughts; and keep it above, until my heart is fully resolved to seek You every day, in the path where Jesus has trod before me.
Prayer for Strength
Holy Lord God, I truly want to carry your truth into the world as you have commanded us to do, and to live every moment of my life in your Holy Spirit. But sometimes I feel weak and discouraged, like it is too much for me.
Let me always remember your words, that we should put on your armor and be strong, not in our own power, but in the strength of your might. Help me to stop calling on my own power and learn to call upon the power of your Spirit, that dwells always within me and loves me, and waits only to be called. For I am weak, but your strength know no limit, and it is mine to have in your service. Embolden and empower me to fight evil wherever I may find it, and to tell the world of your grace in Christ Jesus.
[The strength of the armor of God.]
If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my 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.
Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves—to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.
~ from “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis
James 4:1-10 (NASB)
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?
Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Notes on the Scripture
A Friend of the World
We have a guest commentary today, a continuing weekly series on the Epistles of James, from Dr. Ken Boa of Atlanta.
The fourth chapter of James clearly tells us that the world is a battle front for every believer. The other two fronts are the flesh and the devil. Of the three, the world may be the most neglected. Let's take a closer look at this subtle enemy.
The primary New Testament word for world, kosmos, is used in different ways. Jesus said that God loved the world (John 3:16), but He also said that the world hates Him and His followers. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you (John 15:19).” John's first epistle adds, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
In the first of these verses, “world” refers to people, the objects of God's love. But in the other two verses, the world is our enemy. In these contexts, it is the organized system of temporal values which are opposed to the life of Christ in the believer. In his book, The Adversary, Mark Bubeck defines the world as “a composite expression of the depravity of man and the intrigues of Satan's rule, combining in opposition to the sovereign rule of God.” As such, the world promotes an attitude of independence from God.
The world system aggravates the battle with the flesh by promoting and providing opportunities for the indulgence of the deeds of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21. The world, in turn, is shaped by the manifestations of the flesh and by the satanic warfare against the plans of God. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 2:16).
Moreover, the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) is in fact the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31), and “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).
Dr. Boa is devoted to a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a B.S. in astronomy from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. I highly recommend a visit to his website, KenBoa.org, which is filled with free videos, written commentary, newsletters, etc.