Daily Devotion for September 16, 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.
If you dislike bagpipes — they only last a minute. This is worth waiting them out.
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
T'was Grace that taught
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within in the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been here ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
then when we've first begun.
Lyrics by John Newton (1773)
Music origin unk.
Prayer for the Morning
May all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul and revive my tired spirit: be with me today. Be at my side and walk with me; be my support, that your hand may be seen in every action I take, that your goodness may be in every word I speak, and that your spirit may inhabit my every thought. Make my thoughts, my work, and my very life blessings for your kingdom. In Christ's name I pray,
For All Who Sin
Mighty Jesus, you are the radiant dawn bringing life into the world, and yet there are those who would hide in the shadows and under cover, in the caves of the flesh, telling each other that the darkness is good, and easy, and comfortable. I pray dear God that you will send your Holy Spirit to all of them, to show them that the fearful jaws of their insecurity become toothless when seen in the sunshine of your Word, and that they might see the true nature of evil, which hides with them in the dark, to keep them company and whisper lies in their ears.
For those who have seen the light and shrunk from it, I pray that they may be restored, and that you will ease the terrible pain that drove them to hide from you, that they might be assured of forgiveness if they will only repent. Lighten the minds of those who have been warped by anger, by bitterness, by selfishness, or by the allure of glittering bangles of wealth or status or pride.
Have mercy on me, dear Jesus, where I have strayed; and bring your light to all our brothers and sisters, that they may seek your mercy also, and find your perfect and eternal life.
[Do I feel insecure from knowing my sin?]
And finally, grant me O Lord, I pray, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it may burn in me and shed its light on those around me, and that by its brightness I may share a vision of that holy City, where dwells the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 147:5-7 (NKJV)
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.
John 4:39-45 (ESV)
We Have Heard for Ourselves
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word.
They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."
After the two days he departed for Galilee. (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own land.) So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.
Notes on the Scripture
These verses occur when Jesus is returning to Galilee from Judea, passing through the largely heathen land of Samaria. He has had a remarkable encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well, and although she tried to lie to Him, He saw through her lies and called her to account for her promiscuity. (John 4:1-38)
It is hard to decide which is more remarkable: that the Jewish Messiah spends time and energy in the heathen land of Samaria, or that large numbers of Samaritans are so readily convinced to believe in Him. The Samaritans were despised by the Hebrews. A devout Hebrew man would not — could not — sit down at a table and eat with an unclean person. And the Samaritans were worse than simply heathens; they were heathens who were occupying Canaan, the birthright land of the Hebrews which was given to them by God. The very well involved here was the one where Jacob had drawn water, now in the midst of Samaria.
Jesus and the rich young man
Yet, Christ stays there for days, living among its people and showing them the true light of God; and they accepted Him as their savior.
This might not seem so hard to believe in modern times. On any given Sunday, there are more Nigerians actually attending services in Anglican churches than there are in England. If you were on a mission, who would you rather try to convert: An atheist in the "Christian" city of New York or London, or atheist in a heathen tribe in Africa?
People who live in advanced civilizations or have spent their lives in a higher educational system are apparently more resistant to the Word of God than simpler people who live closer to the land. Atheists will claim this is because the latter are ignorant and easily fooled, but I don't think so. I think that some people begin to think they have all the answers. They are glutted with the pride of their knowledge. As Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".
If a person's spirit is filled with pride, there is no room for the spirit of God. This applies as much to you and me as it does to any clever atheist. If we do not seek the Kingdom of God first, if we let our pride in our knowledge fill up our mind, the Holy Spirit will not find much room in which to live. Not knowledge, but pride in knowledge. Christ never said we must be stupid, or ignorant of worldly wisdom. In fact, he told his disciples to be "as wise as serpents".