Daily Devotion for April 5, 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.
(Note: Composers frequently repeat, omit, or put phrases out of order.)
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
A Puritan Prayer
Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Your care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. Incline my heart to Your ways. Mold me completely into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay.
May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Your praise. Let those around see me living by Your Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clothed in the entire armour of God, shining as a never-dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings. Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, and hands.
May I travel swampy paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In every transaction let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth.
Order this day all my communications according to Your wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day. This I pray in the name of Christ, my Lord and Savior,
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are you, loving Father, for all your gifts to me and those close to me. Blessed are you for giving me family and friends to be with me in times of joy and sorrow, to help me in days of need, and to rejoice with me in moments of celebration.
Father, I praise you for your son Jesus, who knew the happiness of family and friends, and in the love of your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.
May I go in peace, with God and with his other children, and may we love one another as Christ taught us. May I follow the example of good men of old, and may God comfort and help me and all who believe in Him, both in this world and in the world which is to come.
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 36:5-7 (NKJV)
Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
Your judgments are a great deep;
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
Matthew 1:1-5 (Phillips NT)
Generations of Jesus  - Christ the King
This is the record of the ancestry of Jesus Christ who was the descendant of both David and Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob, who was the father of Judah and his brothers, who was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar).
Perez was the father of Hezron, who was the father of Ram, who was the father of Amminadab, who was the father of Nahshon, who was the father of Salmon, who was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab).
Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth), and Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David.
Notes on the Scripture
If you have ever read Matthew cold, the beginning is discouraging: line after line of such riveting prose as, “ And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom;” Is Matthew trying to bore us senseless?
We said yesterday that two of the distinguishing characteristics of Matthew were that he wrote his gospel for the Jews, and that he wrote it with a strong them of Jesus as King. These verses, so impenetrable to the modern reader, had primary importance to those two purposes. A Jew in 100 A.D. would have found them as riveting as we find them tedious.
By the time of Christ, Judaism had become rigid, institutionalized and closed, very different from the freewheeling and open Hebrew society we saw in Exodus. Persons whose blood was not pure Hebrew were suspect.
In fact, to become a priest, a man was required to trace his ancestry directly to Aaron, through records kept at the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. In Ezra, after the return from Babylon, there were Levites excluded from the reconstituted priesthood because there were gaps in their genealogy. (Ezra 2:59-63) Herod the Great was despised by the Jews, in part, because he was half-Edomite. (He destroyed a great number of the genealogical records for this very reason: so that nobody could claim superior lineage to his own.)
If Jesus were to be considered the king, he needed to show not only that he was pure Jewish, but also that his blood was royal. Also, as we will see tomorrow, part of the prophecy of the Messiah was that it would come from the progeny of the great King David.
So we see three things of immense importance to the Jews, if they were to accept Christ as King and Savior. That he was a real Jew, with an unblemished heritage all the way back to Abraham; that he was eligible to be the true King of the Jews, with royal blood; and that he fulfilled the prophecies that the Messiah would spring from the root of Jesses and from the line of David.