Daily Devotion for April 10, 2010
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.
God Be With You Till We Meet Again
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer of Saint Francis of AssisiLord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Tomorrow, we will continue the story of King David as recounted in 2 Samuel.
The Vanity of Philosophy
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Notes on the Scripture
One of the greatest puzzles of life is how strongly a person will believe that some philosophy or way of life is absolutely and universally correct, simply because it makes sense to him or her. People kill each other by the millions, absolutely convinced about the universal truth of communism, or the right of their race or tribe to dominate, or one of a hundred philosophical or political systems. Our minds and intelligence are so limited, and our viewpoints are so narrow, and yet we are convinced of our ability to know some absolute truth. We are amazed and infuriated when others disagree.
In this short passage, Paul warns us about becoming captive to ideas. We must, of course, live in the world. Nothing in the Bible forbids us from voting, or believing that democracy or socialism or something else is a better form of government, or that slow drivers should stay to the right or that people should keep their front lawn mowed. Should we spank our children? Should people eat meat? Put people in jail for smoking pot? We have to answer a lot of questions for ourselves, and most people probably would say that they have a philosophy about various aspects of life; but this is not what Paul is talking about when he speaks of a "hollow and deceptive philosophy".
What is important to recognize, as stated in this passage, is that we must not become captive to our thoughts and opinions, to the point that we ignore some basic commandment that comes from God. For example, "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is a rule that most Christians would agree is a universal, God-given truth. Yet, how often will we ignore such an actual truth, and hate someone or wish them dead because they hold some 'hollow and deceptive philosophy' that disagrees with our own hollow and deceptive philosophy?