Daily Devotion for January 16, 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.
Another day is through.
Someone slipped and fell.
Was that someone you?
You may have longed for added strength,
Your courage to renew.
Do not be disheartened,
For I have news for you.
It is no secret what God can do.
What He's done for others, He'll do for you.
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do.
There is no night for in His light
You never walk alone.
Always feel at home,
Wherever you may go.
There is no power can conquer you
While God is on your side.
Take Him at His promise,
Don't run away and hide.
Music and Lyrics by Stuart Hamblen (1954)
Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester (1230 A.D.)
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits thou hast won for me,
For all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother,
May I know thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
And follow thee more nearly
For ever and ever.
Prayer to Resist Temptation
Holy God, You know the temptations that I am facing today. But your Word promises that I will not be tempted beyond what I can bear.
Help me, heavenly Father, to stand up against sin, to resist whatever temptation I may encounter this day, in whatever form it may come. Your Word promises that you will provide a way out of any temptation, and I pray to be able to find it and to have the wisdom to use it, and to walk away when temptation arises. All thanks be to you, O Lord, for you are a faithful deliverer; and I can count on your help in my time of need.
[Standing up to sin by the power of the Spirit.]
Oh God who has made me, oh God who keeps me, oh God who will be my Lord through all eternity, shine down Your blessings and wisdom upon me like the sun upon a field; and may I keep You in the forefront of my every thought and deed, throughout this day, and evermore.
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.
The Cause of Misery
The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.
~ C.S. Lewis
Exodus 34: 25-29 (ESV)
The Versions of the Ten Commandments 
“You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover remain until the morning.
The best of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.
You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.”
And the Lord said to Moses, “Write 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 neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Notes on the Scripture
. . . continued from yesterday.
Our trip through the rather weird-sounding ten commandments — the second version of what was engraved on stone — ends with the completely baffling stricture: “Thou shalt not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.” Feel free to laugh; the first thing that comes to mind when hearing this is, “No problem. Never done it, never intend to.” But the truth of this commandment, its importance, and the degree to which Christians ignore it, will give most people unfamiliar with it a bit of a shock.
Boiling a baby goat in its mother's milk was a primary fertility ritual in Egypt and Canaan at the time. It was thought to magically increase the number and health of the offspring in a goat herd. A similar practice was planting a small amount of a second seed in a field; say, scattering a bit of barley seed in a field of wheat. These are not rituals directly associated with worship of an idol. They are simply superstitions.
So, do we think the number 13 is unlucky, or the number 7 is lucky? Throw salt over our shoulder when we spill it? Fear a black cat crossing our path? Shrink from opening an umbrella inside the house?
Yes, we do, most of us. But we must realize, and realize well: These “harmless” superstitions are an affront to God. We are allowing ourselves to be drawn into the fringe of magic. What do we think, what is going through our mind, when we practice superstitions? What power in the universe is going to give us good or bad luck depending on where a cat runs?
Superstitions violate the ten commandments. They are, first off, a total lie. We are not going to make a new friend just because we find a penny. A horseshoe or rabbit's foot will not make us luckier. But that is not the point here. The point is, superstition is just a less fully developed indulgence of our natural tendency to idolatry. Given free rein, this natural tendency will result in voodoo dolls and cutting off the heads of chickens. It saps the strength of faith.
In most cases these little superstitions are fairly harmless. But what we need to realize is that standing up against them is a magnificent step forward in our life with Christ. There is no other God but God! We can give 100% of our faith to Him.
Christ is not going to let us come to harm just because a black cat runs in front of us. Well, I can tell myself, probably not, but I'll just avoid it anyway to play it safe. Play it safe against what? The possibility that Jesus is not real? That He is not going to save us, but this unknown power that makes the number 13 unlucky will?
We all do worse things than engaging in little superstitions; but overcoming them will free us from one of the shackles that slow us down in our journey towards Jesus. We can just clean out whatever corner of our mind that idiotic superstition has been occupying and make a little more room for the Holy Spirit.