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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Daily Devotion for August 13, 2015


<i>Adoration of the Golden Calf</i> by Andrea di Lione, ca. 1629.
Adoration of the Golden Calf by Andrea di Lione, ca. 1629.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.



For the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O  thou who camest from above,
The pure celestial fire to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love
On the mean altar of my heart.

There let if for thy glory burn
With inextinguishable blaze,
And trembling to its source return
In humble prayer, and fervent praise.

Jesus, confirm my heart's desire
To work, and speak, and think for thee;
Still let me guard the holy fire,
And still stir up thy gift in me.

Ready for all thy perfect will,
My acts of faith and live repeat,
Till death they endless mercies seal,
And make my sacrifice complete.

Amen.

To Be Free of Anxiety

Lord Jesus, I have allowed myself to be filled with depression and negativity over what I see as my failures in life, where I have been disappointed in something I wanted from this world. I find myself hiding, full of anger and self-righteousness and self-pity, and have turned my eyes away from you.

Give me the hope I need and help me never to be afraid to begin again. You told your disciples to be anxious for nothing. I give to you my anxiety, Lord Christ, and lay my troubles upon your mighty back; and I pick up your burden, for you have promised that it is light, and that you are gentle and kind. Let me work for your glory and not my own, that the anxiety that comes from pride and vanity and fear of others might be gone from me, and I may serve you in joy and peace.

Amen.

Meditation

[God will give me the hope I need.]


Closing Praise

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.

Amen.


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.



endless knot

On Self

The more we get what we now call “ourselves” out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. . . . I am not, in my natural state, nearly so much of a person as I like to believe: most of what I call “me” can be very easily explained. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.

~ C.S. Lewis


Blue Latin Cross

Amos 5:18-24 (ESV)

The Wrath of God

Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord:

Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord! Why do you want the day of the Lord?

It is darkness, not light; as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake.

Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?

I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon.

Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.


Notes on the Scripture

A

ncient Israel awaited the "day of the Lord", when God would come down and destroy Israel's enemies. But the time of Amos (and his more famous contemporary Isaiah), although a time of peak prosperity for Israel and Judah, was also a time of growing secularism. Devotion to the Lord was becoming ever more perfunctory. Many ignored their religious obligations totally. And increasingly, people failed to provide for those in need, the poor, the widowed, and the orphaned.

In this baleful passage, Amos asks the people of Israel why they act so eager for the day of the Lord to come. Everyone thinks that, simply because they are Jews and possibly engage in the outward trappings of religious life, they will be part of the God's victory.

If this sounds familiar, it should, because it is terribly close to Western society today. The media preach to us that nice people all go to heaven when they die. But what does the Bible say about idolaters and the self-satisfied?

    [Beware anyone who] blesses himself in his heart, saying, 'I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.' . . . The anger of the Lord and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven.

The western world uses the Christian knowledge of heaven like a bedtime story for a frightened child. They spend their lives in sin, and even curse the name of God or Jesus, and yet they believe that their death will lead them to eternal peace. This is the great folly of American and Europe today; for the end waiting for the unfaithful is terrible.

The subject of God's wrath and the hell that likely awaits most people after they die has become an unpopular subject in mainstream Christianity. But it serves us well to remember, from time to time, that the Bible does not change simply because we ignore parts of it. Damnation of the wicked and the unfaithful is terrible to contemplate and very real.



<i>Jesus Cleansing the Temple (detail)</i> by Carl Heinrich Bloch, ca. 1875.
Jesus Cleansing the Temple (detail) by Carl Heinrich Bloch, ca. 1875.

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

John 16:33 (ESV): I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.


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