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Daily Devotion for January 12, 2016
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.
1. All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
2. Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.
3. The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.
4. The purple headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning,
That brightens up the sky.
5. The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one:
6. The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;
7. He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
Music from an English folk song, adapted by William Henry Monk (1879)
Lyrics by Mrs. Cecil F. Alexander (1848)
For the Day Ahead
Oh Lord God, I come to you in the morning, full of hope that the day to come might be filled with joy and energy. Grant that I may do my work with a light and happy heart; and if there are tasks that I do not look forward to, or even dread, let me undertake them with courage and resolve. For this day could be perfect, if I can only live it in You and with You and for You.
Where I face frustration today, let me handle it with acceptance and faith that the outcome is in Your hands. Lead me away from anger or judgment of other people. Let me tend to my own garden instead of looking over the fence. If my neighbor's yard is filled with weeds, help me not to criticize, and keep me from envy of those whose tree bears more fruit.
And let everything I attempt be filled with the knowledge and guidance of Your Holy Spirit. I pray that the Spirit will be with me at every moment, and that I will always be aware of Him, and live every moment of this day in Your presence. In Christ's name, I pray,
For God's Peace
Drop thy still dews of quietness till all our strivings cease,
Take from our souls the strain and stress and let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.
Prayer of Penitence
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy.
[I delight to do thy will, O my God: thy law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8]
And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father's boundless love, with the Holy Spirit's favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.
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.
Luke 10:21 (KJV)
Exodus 34:1-2, 27-28 (NASB)
What Ten Commandments?
Now the Lord said to Moses, “Cut out for yourself two stone tablets like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered. So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain.
* * *
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Notes on the Scripture
Our current study of Chapter 34 of Exodus, interrupted by the Christmas season, involves a microcosm of several of the thorniest issues in reading the Bible. What we commonly call the Ten Commandments comes from Deuteronomy 5. It is a straightforward and understandable passage: Moses recounts to the Hebrews that God spoke to them from Mount Horeb ten commandments “and no more”, which he wrote on two tablets of stone. Moreover, the account in Exodus 20 lends support to Deuteronomy 5. God speaks words almost identical to the ten commandments of Deuteronomy, and then proceeds to give Moses a number of additional laws, which Moses relates to the Hebrews.
Here's the rub. The only time “Ten Commandments” is mentioned in Exodus is in Exodus 34, and the ten laws God gives Moses and orders him to write on the two stone tablets are quite different from the ten commandments of Deuteronomy 5!
It is a long passage, so rather than repeat it here, we have made up a separate page for it, The Ten Commandments as Stated in Exodus 34.
e thus have conflicting and apparently inconsistent accounts. Christian scholars over the ages have probably chosen correctly, to set down the Deuteronomy version and call it the Ten Commandments. The Bible, taken as a whole, seems to indicate that if we are to set aside ten laws and call them “the Ten Commandments,” the Deuteronomy version — the one with which most Westerners are familiar — must win the battle. It is clearer and it harmonizes almost perfectly with the words spoken by God directly to the Hebrew people, as recounted in Exodus 20.
But they commit an act of intellectual dishonesty by ignoring the Exodus 34 version entirely. So why do they do it? Some reasons are no doubt benign. There is nothing in the least bit wrong with them: they are a powerful (if incomplete) statement of God’s Word. And most people simply do not want to take the time and trouble to read and understand the Old Testament. It is surely simpler to have one group of moral laws called the “Ten Commandments”.
But there is one reason for ignoring Exodus 34 that is very wrong-headed. Aggressive Bible-bashers use inconsistencies in the Bible to argue that it cannot be the Word of God. “How can the Bible be the inerrant Word of God,” they ask, “when it says different things in different places?” Fighting the battle on such people's ground, by trying to make these inconsistencies disappear, is a mistake. The Bible is indeed inconsistent and self-contradictory. It defies human logic.
So which is greater, Mr. Atheist? Your intelligence, or the Word of the very God who created you? For God's Word itself claims to be foolish to feeble human intelligence. Read the passage from Luke at the top of the this page; or even better, Paul’s powerful diatribe against human wisdom in 1 Corinthians 1. “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
Being smart will not save us. Searching for signs will not save us. The only thing that will save us is our childlike faith in Christ. “For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor. 1:22-24)