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Monday, November 19, 2018

Daily Devotion for August 30, 2015


The light shined in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.

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.

Today’s “Sunday Virtual Church” takes us to Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida.



For the Spirit of Prayer

Almighty God, who pours out the spirit of grace and of supplication to all who ask for it; Deliver me, when I draw near to you, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, so that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections, I may worship You in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Penitential Prayer

O  Changeless God,
Under the conviction of the Spirit I learn that
The more I do, the worse I am,
The more I know, the less I know,
The more holiness I have, the mores sinful I am,
The more I love, the more there is to love.
O wretched man that I am!

O Lord, I have a wild heart
And cannot stand before thee;
I am like a bird before a man.
How little I love thy truth and ways!
I neglect prayer,
By thinking I have prayed enough and earnestly,
By knowing thou hast saved my soul.
Of all hypocrites, grant that I may not be an evangelical hypocrite,
Who sins more safely because grace abounds,
Who tells his lusts that Christ’s blood cleanseth them,
Who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell, for his is saved,
Who loves evangelical preaching, churches, Christians, but lives
Unholily.
My mind is a bucket without a bottom,
With no spiritual understanding,
No desire for the Lord’s Day,
Ever learning but never reaching the truth,
Always at the gospel-well but never holding water.
My conscience is without conviction or contrition,
With nothing to repent of.
My will is without power of decision or resolution.
My heart is without affection, and full of leaks.
My memory has no retention,
So I forget so easily the lessons learned,
And thy truths seep away.
Give me a broken heart that yet carries home the water of grace.

Amen.

Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples. Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love, and that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation; Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.

Amen.

Benediction

May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in His sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be 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

Psalm 145:8-12

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.

All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.

They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.


Blue Latin Cross

John 1:1-5 (NKJV)

In the Beginning

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shined in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.



Notes on the Scripture

Of the many beautiful passages in the Bible, I think this is my personal favorite. It has certainly appeared the most often as the daily Bible reading.

The test of great poetry is that you cannot say it another way without losing some of the meaning. You cannot describe it in prose and get 100% of the meaning. The full meaning can only be grasped slowly, by reading it repeatedly. You can, however, help yourself (or others) appreciate it and fully understand it by making some of the meaning more literal.

"The Word" refers to Christ before he became human. At the same time, "the Word" refers to God the Creator. John tells us that "in him was life, and the life was the light of men". This is backwards from how we usually think of Christ. We usually think of Christ as the light which brings life to men. But John goes back one step. He tells us that life was in Christ from the beginning of time. This life is then depicted, metaphorically, as light that shined in the darkness.

lighthouse, light unto the nations

This is the light of men. It is not the light of plants, the light that gives physical life. If you have not considered it before, all physical life originates from the sun. All food originates from plants, which take the sunshine and use their chlorophyll to combine the sun's energy with chemicals; if this didn't happen, there would be no food at all.

But there is another kind of light, the light of men. Just as there would be no physical food, and everything on earth would die, without the light of the sun, so our souls would die without the light of Christ.

The darkness is life without knowledge of God, or without Christ's grace. It depicts a general absence of everything humanity has learned and obtained by hearing and reading words that originated from God. It also gives us an image of the creation, the darkness of outer space before there were stars.

But the light of the sun and other heavenly bodies (the moon, the stars) is something all humanity understands. Even the blind can feel the sun's warmth. The light that came from life, however, was incomprehensible to mankind. The life that was contained in Christ, from the first moment of creation, was invisible to humanity until it was made manifest by God.



Jesus Christ stained glass

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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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