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Daily Devotion for January 27, 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.
chosen e'er to witness for his name,
Far and wide we tell the Father's story,
Far and wide his love proclaim.
Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing.
God our strength will be;
press forward ever,
Called to serve our King
Called to know the richness of his blessing
Sons and daughters, children of a King -
Glad of Heart, his holy name confessing,
Praises unto him we bring.
To Turn My Eyes to Eternity
Oh gracious God, who has promised us an eternal life of peace and joy within your Kingdom, let me remember, today and always, how fleeting are the problems and pleasures of this life. The earth and its nations will pass away, soon enough. My bank account, my fame and prestige before others, my accomplishments and failures, even my very body, will not belong to me one day soon.
You will wash away my iniquities. But every beggar I have fed, unto the least of these, what I have given will be counted as if to Christ. What love I show, what sin I avoid or repent, will rest for all time in your heart; for you are pleased when we show your love and obey your will. Grant me this day to lay up my treasure in heaven, and give me all confidence that the judgments of the world are fleeting vanity; but your judgments are eternal.
Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all our sins, and cleansing us from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
[What superstitions do I still practice?]
Now all glory to you, mighty God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into your glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to you who alone are God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are yours before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time,
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 14:1-2, 5-6 (NKJV)
The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.
There they are in great fear,
For God is with the generation of the righteous.
You shame the counsel of the poor,
But the Lord is his refuge.
Exodus 22:18-20 (ESV)
Do not allow a sorceress to live.
Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal is to be put to death.
Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.
Notes on the Scripture
When we think of the sternness of the Old Testament, these verses are the very heart of it. These are the three sentences most likely to cause "Old Testament" to be used as an adjective.
None of these is a crime today, and other than bestiality, not even frowned upon. And in modern experience, putting witches to death has proven not to be conducive to justice; for it is easily abused by hysterical and superstitious people under the guise of Christian practice.
As we have discussed many times, the letter of Mosaic law has been fulfilled; we are not bound by it, strictly speaking. We are no longer compelled, for example, to put witches or sexual deviants to death. And yet, the meaning of the law represents the will of God; if we love God, we will not ignore it. It is our morality, for it is given by God, for our good.
The ban on sorcery is directly related to the last commandment in Exodus 34, forbidding a kid from being cooked in its mother's milk — a common occult ritual that was, for lack of a more elegant term, just plain weird. The point of these laws for modern Christians can be simply stated: Avoid superstition. We may not feel like Jeanne Dixon should be executed, but we must avoid horoscopes. Do you really think your personality is determined by the way the stars were aligned when you were born.
When I was much younger, I decided to read a horoscope book. I was born in March so I looked up Aries, and . . . it described me perfectly! I considered myself adventurous, open to new experiences, etc. Then I realized: the signs don't go by the month, but run from the 20th day. I had the wrong sign. So I read the description for Pisces, and . . . that described me perfectly, too! Astrology, palm reading, tarot cards, etc., are hogwash.
The witches, Wiccans, and astrologers of the world are for Jesus to judge, not us. They will not find death at our hand or society's hand, but they will find death. For these practices are not only utterly erroneous; they violate the great First Commandment summarized by Christ: To love God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind. For all of these practices presuppose a supernatural force outside God's control which we must obey, or suffer harm.
If we think of astrology as harmless fun, we need to think again, for the Bible clearly tells us that it is harmful to us; in fact, it is so offensive to God, that practitioners will die. It is, in effect, almost identical to the third stricture in today's Scripture, giving sacrifice to a false god. When we let superstition into our lives, we encourage evil in ourselves. The Holy Spirit is shoved into a corner.
So, let us avoid such things. Not because it is a meaningless rule, part of God's plan to make our lives boring, but because it is harmful to us. It diverts our attention from the Truth and steers us away from true happiness.