Daily Devotion for October 13, 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.
Prayer to Be Filled with Flowing Spirit
Oh heavenly Father, make me an empty vessel for your Spirit to fill. Purge me of the world, of pride and lust and greed and foolish wanderings of mind, that I may be prepared to hear your truth.
Let me pour myself out continuously all the day long, so that you might refill me with your Spirit; for I know that the more I give away, the more I will have for myself. Oh Lord, I truly believe that you will keep me filled with all goodness as long as I am giving to others. Do not let me become blocked off from You, mighty Lord, by selfishness; keep me like a crystal brook, flowing always, less I become stagnant and fetid. Let me look to my outflow and trust to you for my inflow, today and always. In Christ's name I pray,
Prayer for Mercy
Holy Lord God, creator of all things, who has commanded our obedience to your commandments as a sign of our love: Look with mercy, I pray, on the sins I have this day committed, and in mercy make me feel them deeply, that my repentance may be sincere, and my resolutions against them steadfast. Teach me to understand the sinfulness of my own heart. Bring to my knowledge every fault of character and every evil habit in which I have indulged, to the discomfort of my fellow-creatures and the danger of my own soul. May I now, and every day, consider how my time has been spent, what have been my prevailing thoughts, words, and actions, and how I might can acquit myself of evil. Have I thought irreverently of you? Have I disobeyed your commandments, neglected a known duty, or willingly given pain to another? Incline me to ask my heart these questions, O Lord, and save me from deceiving myself by pride or vanity.
[Teach me to understand the sinfulness of my own heart.]
Prayer for Life
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me so to die daily to sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
For her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;
none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.
John 6:22-29 (CEV)
What Exactly Does God Want Us to Do?
The people who had stayed on the east side of the lake knew that only one boat had been there. They also knew that Jesus had not left in it with his disciples. But the next day some boats from Tiberias sailed near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread for which the Lord had given thanks. They saw that Jesus and his disciples had left. Then they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. They found him on the west side of the lake and asked, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you for certain that you are not looking for me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate all the food you wanted. Don't work for food that spoils. Work for food that gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give you this food, because God the Father has given him the right to do so."
"What exactly does God want us to do?" the people asked.
Jesus answered, "God wants you to have faith in the one he sent."
Notes on the Scripture
The little anecdote in the first part of the lesson shows that human nature hasn't changed in 2000 years. Jesus snuck away after feeding the 5,000, because He wanted to prevent the crowd from proclaiming Him a secular king. He then joined the apostles in their boat, walking over the water to reach them. Now, a curious crowd gets in boats and starts sailing around the Sea of Galilee looking for Him!
The very nice thing about this bit of Scripture is how simple it is. Theologians, numbering in the tens of thousands, have spent their lives trying to tear apart every word, examine every angle, consider every aspect of the Bible, from historical, archaeological, theological, philosophical, and every other possible perspective. They get Ph. D.'s and teach courses. Like the people getting into boats to chase Jesus around the Sea of Galilee, people have never stopped trying to get more of Christ.
But for all the arcane and complex knowledge and theory people have written about, for all the fights and wars between sects of Christianity, the religion can be boiled down to a simple sentence: "God wants you to have faith in the one he sent".
It isn't rocket science. It isn't in the least bit complicated. Have faith in Christ. That is what God wants you to do. If you get that right, everything else will follow.