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Daily Devotion for August 1, 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.
Saturday is Oldies Day, and this one should bring a smile to your face. The Golden Gate Quartet was very big in the African-American community of the 1940s and 50s, and Hush was probably their best song.
Prayer for the Day (inspired by Jane Austen)
Give me grace Almighty Father, so to pray, as to deserve to be heard, to address you with my heart, as with my lips. You are everywhere present, from you no secret can be hidden. May the knowledge of this, teach me to fix my thoughts on you, with reverence and devotion, that I may not pray in vain.
May I now, and on each return of morning, consider how I will spend the day ahead; what thoughts will prevail in my mind? What words will I speak? Will my actions reflect your will, or my own? How far can I acquit myself of evil, and live in the goodness and beauty of my Lord Christ?
Will I think irreverently of you? Will I disobey your commandments? Will I neglect and make excuses for any known duty, or willingly given pain to any human being? Incline me to ask my heart these questions oh! God, throughout the day, to save me from deceiving myself by pride or vanity.
And give me always a thankful sense of the blessings in which I live, of the many comforts of my lot; that I may not deserve to lose them by discontent or indifference. Hear me almighty God, for his sake who has redeemed me, and taught me thus to pray.
Prayer for Renewal
Lord, I am one of your people, the sheep of your flock. I pray for you to heal those who are wounded; touch those who are in pain; clean those who are soiled; warm those who are cold; help me to know the Father's love through Jesus the shepherd, and through the Spirit.
Help me to lift up that love, and show it all over this land. Help me to build love on justice and justice on love. Help me to believe mightily, hope joyfully, and love divinely. Renew me that I may help renew the face of the earth.
[What thoughts will prevail in my mind today?]
Walk with me, dear Lord, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
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.
Psalm 4:1-3 (NKJV)
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood?
But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The Lord will hear when I call to Him.
John 11:25-26 (ESV)
I am the resurrection and the life
When she heard that Jesus was coming, Martha went and met him: but Mary still sat in the house. And Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother [Lazarus] would not have died. And yet I still know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you."
Jesus said, "Your brother will rise again," and Martha replied, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus then said to her:
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he die, yet will he live; and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die."
But as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth, And at last he will stand up upon the earth:
And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I see God;
Whom I, even I, shall see, on my side, And mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger.
Notes on the Scripture
ob is probably the oldest written book in the Bible. He suffers every kind of torment and expects to die, sick and alone, having lost his wealth, his family, and his position. And yet he echoes something that will not come to fruition for many centuries: after his body is destroyed, "without my flesh I will see God . . . and not as a stranger."
In days gone by, preachers like Charles Wesley and Haddon Spurgeon all made the point that "Redeemer" is the translation of the Hebrew "goel"; this was not a general term, but a specific person in Hebraic law. When a person died, a close kinsman would become his goel and would have the rights to reclaim his land, receive any restitution, raise his children and, if the man had been murdered, even take up his sword in blood justice. The rights and duties of a kinsman play an integral part in the plot of Ruth; Boaz must convince Ruth's closest kinsman to disavow his rights as Ruth's goal before Boaz can marry her.
Job's final misery is the belief that he will die without his Goel, for he is despised by all. When he says he knows that his Redeemer lives, he anticipates Christ, who will stand up for him even though he has been abandoned by all humanity. Christ will even carry a sword, the sword of righteousness, with which he will pursue and destroy Death on behalf of the most wretched person who dies believing in Him.
Our greatest natural fear is death. It is hard-wired into us, because we are given the body and instincts of an animal. But Christ vividly demonstrated to us that He can defeat death, and He has promised to do so for those who live and believe in Him.
Not only will we live without our flesh, when our time comes; but during our lives, we no longer have anything to fear. Poverty, illness, disability, the scorn of men: all are temporary. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4).