Daily Devotion for January 17, 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.
This video came without identifying the choir or church, which would seem to be in the British Isles. (I think the accent is Irish.) The hymn is set to a traditional Irish melody. Delightful.
1. Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever child-like, no cares can destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.
2. Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.
3. Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.
4. Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.
Traditional Irish Tune
Lyrics by Jan Struther, 1931
Prayer of St. Chrysostom
Almighty God, Who has given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee and does promise that when two or three are gathered together in Thy name you will grant their requests; fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of your servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the world to come life everlasting,
Prayer of Confession
Most merciful God, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done, and by what I have left undone. I have not loved you with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbors as myself; and I sorrow for these wrongful acts and omissions from the bottom of my heart. I humbly and fully repent all of my misdeeds, and pray that for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, you will have mercy on me and forgive me, not by my merits, but by that grace that He has granted those who confess his name. And I pray that you will be in my heart and walk with me, that I might sin no more.
Prayer for Sunday
Heavenly Lord, I think you for this day, when your holy priesthood gathers around the world to celebrate your victory over death, in the resurrection of our Savior, Christ Jesus. Help me always to keep in mind that the Sabbath was made for men, and that your commandment to keep one day holy, not to work and not to suffer others to work, was made for our benefit. Help me understand, Holy God, the benefit to me, both in this world and the next, of taking a day every week to dedicate to you; keep me from the temptation of adding to my worldly wealth on this day, for all wisdom is yours, and you have commanded us to make this a day of rest and worship.
Make me always aware that your commandment extends to making others work; and let me do what is within my power to follow your commandment with my full heart, as you Spirit may guide me.
Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.
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.
Psalm 8:1-2 (NKJV)
O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
Philippians 1:12-20 (CEV)
Paul in Rome
My dear friends, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the good news. The Roman guards and all the others know that I am here in jail because I serve Christ.
Now most of the Lord's followers have become brave and are fearlessly telling the message. Some are preaching about Christ because they are jealous and envious of us. Others are preaching because they want to help. They love Christ and know that I am here to defend the good news about him.
But the ones who are jealous of us are not sincere. They just want to cause trouble for me while I am in jail. But that doesn't matter. All that matters is that people are telling about Christ, whether they are sincere or not. That is what makes me glad.
I will keep on being glad, because I know that your prayers and the help that comes from the Spirit of Christ Jesus will keep me safe. I honestly expect and hope that I will never do anything to be ashamed of. Whether I live or die, I always want to be as brave as I am now and bring honor to Christ.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul's spirits are raised because he knows that his imprisonment has helped spread Christ's word. Other Christians, instead of being cowed by it, have become braver and tell a hostile world the good news fearlessly. Even "agent provocateurs", who preach the Gospel hoping to upset the authorities further and thus make Paul's punishment more severe, make him happy: they are unwittingly furthering the spread of Christianity.
Most of us struggle with our work and testimony about our belief, at some level, and it can be discouraging. How uplifting to hear Paul, in prison and uncertain of his future, so full of spirit and determination. The secular world can be so far from God's work today, with the increasingly wide spread of pornography, sexual activity at younger ages, dislike and even hatred among people within the country and in attitudes towards other countries and cultures — and receiving the same hostility from neighbors and people in foreign countries alike.
But we know, in our hearts, that hatred and hostility are the anathema to Christ's message. We must keep faith that telling his Word, telling people the true message of Christ's gospel and salvation, is the work of God and is done to His glory.