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Friday, December 14, 2018

Daily Devotion for August 14, 2015


<i>A Walking Monk</i> by Camille Corot, ca. 1840.
A Walking Monk by Camille Corot, ca. 1840.

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.



Prayer To Do God's Will Today

Thy will be done. Dear God, I am full of the sound of my own voice, that lump of pride deep within me that will not go away, no matter how I try. Give me the strength through the power of your Holy Spirit to hear your voice and follow it, fighting the temptation to sin that bubbles up inside me whenever my mind strays from you.

Thy will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will be done.

You have commanded us to love one another, this I know without doubt. And yet all day I am filled with judgments, with resentments, with anger that sneaks in and grabs me when I am not paying attention to you. I pray dear God, that you will soften my heart to my fellow humans, no matter how sinfully they may act, and leave the judging to you, as you have commanded. Fill me with acceptance in place of judgment, sympathy in place of anger, faith in place of resentment. For my judgments and anger are the creatures of pride.

May I do thy will this day, in the name of Christ I pray.

Amen.

For Forgiveness

Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, I confess that I have sinned against your Holy Word. I pray that you will now fulfill in me and in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all our sins, and cleansing us from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen.

Meditation

[Feeling the peace of Christ deep within my soul.]


Blessing for the Day

Oh God, hold me in the palm of your hand. I pray that you will mold me into what you want me to be. May I joyfully fill the role you have given to me and feel your peace deep in my soul, today and always,

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.



Crucifix by Giovanni Cimabue, ca. 1290.
Crucifix by Giovanni Cimabue, ca. 1290.

Proverbs 12:17-19 (NKJV)

He who speaks truth declares righteousness,
But a false witness, deceit.

There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

The truthful lip shall be established forever,
But a lying tongue is but for a moment.


Blue Latin Cross

2 Timothy 1:6-14 (ESV)

Hold to the Standard of Sound Teaching

For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace.

This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him.

Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.


Notes on the Scripture

We are often faced with conflict between two different principles and must make a choice, a decision, according to which principle we choose. Sometimes, the choice is more obviously one between our Christian beliefs and our human nature. Do we gossip maliciously about someone whose teenage child has been arrested for selling drugs, or do we pray for them to know Christ's forgiveness and try to help them overcome their obstacles? If we need money and we find a fat wallet, do we take out the money before returning it anonymously to the owner (or even throw it in the trash)?

B

ut sometimes the line between ethical and selfish behavior is not so clear-cut. If we are short of money and can barely meet our bills, do we give money to a beggar on the street who doesn't seem, to us, to even try to be earning his own living? If our neighbor insists on parking broken-down old pickup trucks in his driveway (or yard), what do we do? If the popular crowd at our school is wearing an expensive new item of clothing that we can afford, which becomes an earmark of higher status, do we buy one?

Paul gives us, in his Epistle to Timothy, an anchor point to help us out. "Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are Jesus Christ."

The Bible is filled with wisdom to help us make difficult choices. It gives us a bedrock of standards against which we can test our decisions and actions. If we make these standards our primary focus, our lives will follow a straight and focused path. We will not feel so much confusion every time our situation changes.

The more we study and learn, the better we are able to subordinate quick or transient solutions to our long-term goals. As we internalize these standards, we will feed less anxiety when we are unwilling to compromise them. And without doubt, the more we keep in mind our long-term goals, the better off we are, not only in terms of our eternal relationship with God, but also in terms of the contentment and peace of mind we enjoy during our lives.

Let us all strengthen our resolve to turn to God in our daily decisions.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“In the Cool of the Day”

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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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