Daily Devotion for November 22, 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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to a Mennonite service in Ohio. If you like to sing harmony, here’s your chance!
ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high his royal banner,
it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory
his army shall he lead,
till every foe is vanquished,
and Christ is Lord indeed.
2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict,
in this his glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve him
against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger,
and strength to strength oppose.
3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls or danger,
be never wanting there.
4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle,
the next the victor's song.
To those who vanquish evil
a crown of life shall be;
they with the King of Glory
shall reign eternally.
Call to Sunday Worship
O Lord, I beseech you mercifully to hear my prayers, and the prayers of all your people who call upon you; and grant that we may both perceive and know what things we ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill them; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help me, who is assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of myself and all people, let all of your servants find you mighty to save; in Jesus name I pray,
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.
Grant me the Spirit of Fear of the Lord that I may be filled with a loving reverence toward You;
the Spirit of Piety that I may find peace and fulfillment in serving You, while serving others;
the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation;
the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know You and know myself, and thus grow in holiness;
the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your truth;
the Spirit of Counsel that I may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom;
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may aspire to the things that last forever;
Teach me to be Your faithful disciple. Animate me with Your Spirit in every aspect of my life, today and throughout the week to come.
Finally, may I go forth filled with the joy and confidence of your Spirit; and may everything I do this day, in word or deed, be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Job 5:17-20 (ASV)
Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves,
So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For He inflicts pain, and gives relief;
He wounds, and His hands also heal.
From six troubles He will deliver you,
Even in seven, evil will not touch you.
In famine He will redeem you from death,
And in war from the power of the sword.
Hebrews 12:5-7,11-14 (ESV)
You have forgotten the exhortation, addressed to you as God's children:
'My child, do not regard the Lord's discipline lightly, or lose heart when you are punished; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.'
Endure life's trials for the sake of discipline. God treats you as his child; for what child does a loving father not discipline?
It always seems painful rather than pleasant; but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, lift your drooping hands, and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not become crippled, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Notes on the Scripture
One thing that characterizes a responsible adult is the willingness and confidence to discipline others in his charge. Another is the ability to accept discipline. We see the opposite every day. Perhaps the most prominent public case in our lives was Roman Polanski, a movie director who raped a 13-year old girl 30 years ago and fled the country to escape a prison sentence. He has since been living in European countries that refuse to extradite him. But when he was finally arrested in Switzerland, many journalists and people in the entertainment industry loudly protested his extradition!
The damage to the child happened long ago. But what of the damage to Polanski himself? Is he really better off having escaped his rightful punishment for this crime? Is society better off?
odging responsibility has become a profession — literally. Every politician has his spin doctor, every celebrity a Public Relations consultant (not to mention some criminal defense attorneys). People have a right to have their side of a story told, to make sure the facts in their favor are told; but they go far beyond that. It's nothing new, of course. But if "the Lord disciplines those he loves," these people need a lot of love.
The best thing that can happen to someone who has done something wrong is to be held accountable, and have a chance to learn from their correction. For God will hold us all accountable; the day will come when no secret will be hid. Forgiveness is the cardinal virtue of Christianity; but forgiveness does not necessarily require the absence of discipline. The hardest lessons are often the ones that change lives.
Accepting responsibility is another matter. Who has not heard the line, "every person in here is innocent", in a prison movie? People defend their righteousness fiercely; some die rather than admit their wrongdoing.
It is best to take this very hard truth to heart, as early as possible: evil lives within us, each and every one. Do we have a mean streak that we hide from ourselves, perhaps disguising it as humor or rightful indignation? Do we rationalize our greed? Have we cheated on our taxes for so long that we don't even question it?
We have no control over the lying politician or out-of-control movie star. Judgment is mine, sayeth the Lord. But we have control over our own lives. Every person on earth has some painful truth that he does not want to face about himself. It is our job to find out and face the truth about our own faults, because only then can we truly repent and find the beauty of Christ's forgiveness.