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Daily Devotion for February 15, 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.
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
For the Presence of God
O God, be present with me always, dwell within my heart. With thy light and thy Spirit guide my soul, my thoughts, and all my actions, that I may teach thy Word, that thy healing power may be in me and in all the saints of thy church universal.
For Each of Us in Our Work
Almighty God, heavenly Father, who makes it possible for me to work and who gives every creature its food, declaring your glory and showing your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in my work, from coveting material goods, from falling into the temptation of serving mammon and putting money in the forefront of my life. Help me to perform the work which you have put at my hand, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men as well as myself; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lived and died only to serve us.
For Those Who Die by Human Hand
Holy Christ, who has taught us to forgive our enemies, and promised that as we forgive others, so shall our Father forgive us: I pray for all who have died at the hand of others: Victims of common murder, casualties of war, people chopped down by machete in Rwanda, Muslims stripped and slaughtered by Christian Serbs, people beheaded by Isis, Christians hung on crosses in France. The list of Satan's work is endless and timeless.
I pray for the souls of those who have died, and I pray for the souls of those who have killed. And I pray that those of us left behind can forgive the hardest deed of all to forgive; for the greater the sin we forgive, the greater our love, and the closer we come to you, Lord Christ.
[Forgiving great sins.]
Lord, in utter humility I thank you and glorify you, that you might hear the prayer of one so small as myself, amidst the billions of souls among billions of stars in one of billions of galaxies in your universe. Let me go forth in your peace, keeping your Spirit always in my mind; and bless me, I pray, that I might always follow your will and live in the radiance of your blessing.
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.
Interpreting the Bible
We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure time, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books” — join in the cry.
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Notes on the Scripture
Learning the Bible
If we cannot cite to Scripture, we are poorly equipped to join God's army. The Great Commission, to teach and make disciples of all “nations” — which is to say, all people — cannot be accomplished without God's Word. In the first quotation, Paul tells us that Scripture makes the man of God complete, equipped for every good work. Here, the word “man” should be read in the sense of “messenger”, for it is in our commissioning as Christ's disciples that learning the Bible fulfills its second function. It instructs us, most assuredly; but it also gives us the means to instruct others.
Yet how can we do this, if we do not have the Scripture ready in our mind to speak it? It is well and completely good to read something in the Bible and to take the meaning to heart, to conform to it, even if we do not remember precisely where we read it. And truth be told, being able to cite a verse from the Bible verbatim is a tough chore for those of us without photographic memories — and it doesn't improve with age, does it?
ut look at the benefit of remembering a verse from the Bible. It is not simply written on our heart, to warm and keep us in time of need, and to steer us away from sin; it is written on our tongue, as well, so that we might shed this most divine source of light and warmth upon another person. We are gathering up a gift, at the expense of our time and trouble, whose value is beyond measure to another. If we are “God's Army,” then the Bible is our armament: “[T]ake the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)
To help us along, we are going to give a little more emphasis to our Memory Verses. Daily Prayer publishes one every ten days, but it might be helpful to everyone if we emphasized it a bit more. If you are worried about memorizing the Bible, fear not: This will be one sentence every two weeks; if you can feed yourself, you can remember one sentence every two weeks!
These are not going to be random Bible verses. Each will be chosen to address a specific issue, and usually one that a lot of people seem to get wrong. They may address sensitive or controversial subjects.
I do not know why something that is written in plain and simple language in the Bible should be controversial among Christians. I suppose it should not surprise me. The hospitals are full of people who read boldfaced warnings and immediately ignore them. How many people will take a drug that says “Danger! Do Not Drink Alcohol” and then have a couple of beers?
We might drive away some readers who don't like what the Bible says. I have yet to find a church denomination that does not generate doctrine in direct conflict with the Bible. But if someone doesn't like what the Bible says, I expect that they won't like what Daily Prayer says, either.
Starting today, we are going to stress our Memory Verses a bit more and integrate them with some commentary. We will extend the reading time to two weeks. On alternate Mondays, we are going to address the meaning and importance of the verse in the Daily Inspiration. We might repeat this the following Monday, or perhaps restate it — we might try several different formats to see which one is the most useful.
The goal is to tie together the memorization aspect with the usefulness of the verse in teaching or discussion. Ultimately, we hope to better prepare ourselves to speak or think God's Word, as it pertains to a specific topic, and be able both to quote and to cite a pertinent verse, whether to ourselves or for the benefit of others.