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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Daily Devotion for January 30, 2016


<i>God and the Angels visit Abraham</i>, Arent de Gelder ca. 1685.
God and the Angels visit Abraham, Arent de Gelder ca. 1685.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.



Thank You Jesus

Oh dear sweet, loving Jesus: How often I forget that it is because of You that I live. You made all of us from the very dust that You created. Then You did the most wondrous of all things, You made us in Your image and You breathed life into us. I join those praying with me today in thanking you for our lives, and we pray that You continue to sustain us each day. From Your heavenly place accept our prayers and our praise.

Amen.

Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)

Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of your law, so that we might know our sin, and your Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short: Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,

Amen.

Epitaph of Winifred Holtby

God give me work
Till my life shall end
And life
Till my work is done.

Amen.

Meditation

[Resisting the arguments of the ungodly.]


Dedication (from St. Teresa of Avila)

May it please you, my good Lord, that there may come a day when I can repay a little of my great debt to you. O Jesus, strengthen my soul, you who are good above all good; and since you have inclined my soul in this way, show me how I may act for you, whatever it may cost, O Lord. Here is my life, my honor and my will; I have given them all to you and they are yours: use me to do whatever you want.

Amen.


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.



Grandma Moses at work
Grandma Moses, who painted her first picture at age 76.

Proverbs 16:31 (KJV)

The hoary head is a crown of glory,
if it be found in the way of righteousness.

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 18:1-14

The Three Visitors

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre, while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way — now that you have come to your servant."

. . . [Abraham fixes a feast for the strange visitors.] . . .

"Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him.

"There, in the tent," he said.

Then he said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my husband is old, will I now have this pleasure?"

Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord ? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."


Notes on the Scripture

Of all the messages in this wonderful Bible story, the most inspirational is Sarah's pregnancy. Sarah was old at the time. Not only was she past childbearing age, but she had been infertile even in her youth. The idea of getting pregnant made her laugh; it was utterly absurd. She was resigned to living out her life in a strange land, wandering around with her peculiar husband and serving him. But not only did she did get pregnant, but the child she bore would be the father of Israel, the founder of Judaism.

As people get older, they tend to look backwards more and more, often with regret. We see the future less as a time filled with possibilities and potential. Our future seems shorter and shorter compared to our past, our powers seem to diminish, and the possibility of great achievement seems less and less likely. But here, we have the Bible telling us the opposite tale.

And not just the Bible, but also every era of history, tells us that there is no reason, other than a self-imposed restriction, that people can't reach their greatest achievement in old age — often in an entirely new field.

Michelangelo designed the dome of St. Peter's at age 83, in a time where the average lifespan was under 40. Oliver Cromwell was a marginal gentleman farmer with little military training when, inspired by his Puritan faith, he raised a troupe of cavalry at age 43. Grandma Moses, an unschooled farmer's wife, was in her mid-70's when arthritis forced her to give up her hobby of embroidery — so she started painting! Harlan Sanders' roadside restaurant was bypassed by I-75 when he was 65, so he started helping other people fry chicken.

Enough, then; we don't need a long list of late bloomers or those with new careers late in life. Age is clearly not an impediment to great works, even in a totally new field. We should not delude ourselves that we are incapable of something, solely because we are older than we used to be. Everyone is older than they used to be.

Contrary to popular mythology, you can learn a new language at any age. You can learn computer programming. You can reach a new level of achievement or success in a field in which you have practiced your entire life, or you can start working in a field completely unrelated to anything you have ever done. Those who tell you differently are wrong. It's never too late.



endless knot

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“Special Revelation and the Bible”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Romans 15:1 (NASB): We who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those who are not strong, and not to please ourselves.


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