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Monday, November 19, 2018

Daily Devotion for August 29, 2015


<i>God the Father</i> by Wilhelm Kotarbinski
God the Father by Wilhelm Kotarbinski ca. 1890. This idiosyncratic imagining of God the Father shows His merciful aspect more than most such paintings; notice the dove of the Holy Spirit inset into His chest. The angels with red wings are most unusual, showing early stirrings of art nouveau.

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.

The odd combination of Mahalia Jackson and Dinah Shore (on the The Dinah Shore Show in 1954) actually works, in large part because Dinah has enough humilty and/or musical sense to take second seat to her guest.



To Walk in the Spirit Today

Holy God, in the daily journey from sunrise to sunset, remind me always of your holy presence hovering near, both within me to guide me, and surrounding me to protect me. Free me from shame and self-doubt; and help me, and all of my fellow believers, to see the myriad opportunities to walk our path in the courage, honesty, and wisdom inspired by your Holy Spirit.

Amen.

To Find God in His Creation

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

Amen.

Meditation

[Give us not to think so far away/As the uncertain harvest.]


Benediction

God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and Spirit of God amidst us, direct our way unto you. Make us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

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.



The Resurrection of Christ, Mikael Nesterov (Russian), c. 1917
The Resurrection of Christ, Mikael Nesterov (Russian), c. 1917

How Good is An Opinion?

A demonic spirit's favorite activity is making a person feel religious without an understanding of the Word of God.

~ Max D. Younce


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 3:16-22 (ESV)

Moses and The Burning Bush [4] - The Lord Charges Moses

Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’

And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’

But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.

And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”



Notes on the Scripture

God gives Moses a synopsis in advance; unlike His call to many of His prophets, He gives Moses the comfort of knowing a precise outcome. Moses might not suspect the degree of difficulty, or long time that the process will take, but God in His wisdom does give him a specific set of promises.

Bible land of milk and honey
“A land flowing with milk and honey.”

God's tone has become a bit gentler; perhaps He is pleased with Moses' humility, who in the previous verses says "who am I?" to carry out such a great mission. Moses has allowed the Lord to define their relationship: he asks who God is, and then, who he himself is. Although he has not always behaved correctly, Moses is utterly open to instruction and obedience when God speaks to him.

There is a capsule summary of the Christian quandary concerning predestination. God knows that the Pharaoh will be disobedient; but his foreknowledge is not the same as the actual occurrence. He will offer a peaceful solution that would hardly burden Pharaoh at all; He will give him a chance, and not raise His hand against the Egyptians until they actually defy Him.

I

t may seem a bit strange that God promises, or even commands, that the Hebrew women take their neighbors' clothing and jewelry. Of course, God is God, and who can question His commandments? But there are two ways of looking at this.

First, God's relationship with humanity was built over time, and at this early stage, His promises to His chosen people were often material and often at the expense of other, idolatrous tribes. The taking of Egyptians' possessions is small potatoes compared to the slaughter God will wreak a bit later. It is always well to remember that God's wrath is a terrible thing. If we make ourselves His enemies by the worship of idols, He will destroy us.

But there is justice in this instruction, also, for the Hebrews have been enslaved and abused for centuries. One could look at the instruction (or promise) to carry off this wealth as back wages or reparations.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“The Age of Freedom”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Psalm 16:8 (NKJV): I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.


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