Daily Devotion for March 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.
The picture is a man named Horatio Spafford, a prominent attorney in Chicago married to the love of his life, Anna Larsen. In 1870, their 4-year-old son died of scarlet fever. Six months later, the Great Fire of Chicago destroyed his entire fortune. Two years later, the ship on which his wife and four remaining children were traveling to England sank; only his wife survived. He wrote this hymn while sailing to his wife in England.
The Spaffords lived out the rest of their lives as charity workers in Jerusalem.
Prayer for the Morning
Holy Father, who watches over your children by night and by day; blessed Jesus, my food and my strength; sweet Holy Spirit, the light and guide of my soul; I thank you for this new day and pray that you will watch over me. May my thoughts, my words and actions reflect the Spirit that dwells within me. And may every minute of my life celebrate the gift of grace, earned by the blood of Christ, in whose name I pray.
Prayer of Saint Clement of Rome
You, Lord, through your works have revealed the everlasting structure of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in your judgments, marvelous in strength and majesty, wise in creating and prudent in establishing what exists, good in all that is observed and faithful to those who trust in you, merciful and compassionate; forgive us our sins and our injustices, our transgressions and our shortcomings.
Do not take into account every sin of your servants, but cleanse us with the cleansing of your truth, and “direct our steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and purity of heart,” and “to do what is good and pleasing in your sight” and in the sight of our rulers. Yes, Lord, “let your face shine upon us” in peace “for our good,” that we may be sheltered “by your mighty hand” and delivered from every sin “by your uplifted arm”; deliver us as well from those who hate us unjustly.
Give harmony and peace to us and to all who dwell on the earth throughout the week to come, just as you did to our fathers when they reverently “called upon you in faith and trust,” that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and give harmony and peace to our rulers and governors on earth.
[God’s general revelation in the structure of the world.]
Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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 83:16-18 (ESV)
Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
Let them be confounded and dismayed forever;
Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
Genesis 1:20-25 (ESV)
The Creation of the World - Animals
And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds — livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Notes on the Scripture
Never let an evolutionist tell you that God does not exist, that He did not plan for earth's creatures to be made and then execute His plan. Scientists don't know everything, and more to the point, science does not have anything intelligent to say about God.
But we must always keep in mind that the Bible does not tell us things, particularly things about the world around us that we can find out for ourselves. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us that 1 + 1 = 2. But we understand it is true. It simply is not important to our understanding of God and our relationship to Him.
There is no reason for any tension or disagreement between science and religion. And once a person has accepted, by faith, that God gave us His holy word for us to learn and follow, so that we might be saved from sin, there is no reason to be defensive simply because science teaches things that the Bible does not.
Any time there seems to be a disagreement between the Bible and science, there is a reason for it. Our meager minds may struggle to find it, but we must always remember: The Bible is not a scientific treatise, and a physics textbook is not a religious treatise. Christians who try to take their science from the Bible, and scientists who try to take their knowledge of God from equations, will be equally disappointed at the result.
Genesis tells us that on the first day, God separated the light from the darkness. By “day”, does it mean a 24-hour period of the earth's revolution? There is Scriptural authority that we need not take it literally: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8; also see Psalm 90:4) Moreover, what Peter calls “a thousand years” is not meant to be an exact measurement of time, but a general illustration that God is not limited by our sense of time. He could as easily have said “a billion years”.
The Bible tells us that God made man by breathing on the dust. This drives an evolutionist nuts, because he thinks he can “prove” that human beings are descendants of lower primates. (This is not to argue that the theory of evolution is right or wrong; it is to argue that it is irrelevant.) But even if he is right — so what? To God, the intermediate details are irrelevant.
The Bible and the evolutionist are talking about different things. God made man by putting spirit into matter, that is, by “breathing on the dust”. Genesis seeks to tell us who and why. If the Bible omits intermediate details, it is because they are irrelevant in a book about God and the human soul.