Daily Devotion for April 20, 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.
Josh Garrels urges us to conform our lives to the Bible — to abandon “Babylon” and embrace “Zion” — in a 60s-style “social protest” song.
Oh great mammon of form and function,
Careless consumerist consumption,
Disguised as expensive taste.
I’m a people disgraced
By what I claim I need,
And what I want to waste.
I take no account for nothing
If it’s not mine.
It’s a misappropriation of funds
Protect my ninety percent with my guns
Whose side am I on?
Well who’s winning?
My kingdom’s built with the blood of slaves,
Orphans, widows, and homeless graves.
I sold their souls just to build my private mansion.
Some people say that my time is coming,
Kingdom come is the justice running,
Down, down, down on me.
I’m a poor child, I’m a lost son,
I refuse to give my love to anyone,
Fight for the truth,
Or help the weaker ones,
Because I love my Babylon.
I am a slave, I was never free.
I betrayed you for blood money.
Oh I bought the world, all is vanity,
Oh my Lord I’m your enemy.
Come to me, and find your life.
Children sing, Zion’s in sight.
I said don’t trade your name for a serial number -
Priceless lives were born from under graves
Where I found you.
Say, my name ain’t yours and yours is not mine
Mine is the Lord, and yours is my child.
That’s how it’s always been.
Time to make a change
Leave your home
Give to the poor all that you own.
Lose your life, so that you could find it.
First will be last when the true world comes,
Livin’ like a humble fool to overcome,
The upside-down wisdom
Of a dying world.
Zion’s not built with hands,
And in this place God will dwell with man,
Sick be healed and cripples stand
My kingdom’s built with the blood of my son,
Selfless sacrifice for everyone,
Faith, hope, love, and harmony.
I said let this world know me by your love.
By your love.
Oh my child, my daughters and my sons
I made you in love to overcome,
Free as a bird, my flowers in the sun
On your way to Mount Zion.
All you slaves, be set free;
Come on out child and come on home to me.
We will dance, we will rejoice,
If you can hear me then follow my voice.
Music and Lyrics by Josh Garrels
Prayer for the Guidance During the Day
Oh my God, you know my weakness and failings, and that without your help I can accomplish nothing for the good of souls, my own and others'. Grant me, therefore, the help of your grace, according to my particular needs this day. Enable me to see the tasks you will set before me in the daily routine of my life, and let me set my hand to these tasks with the vigor and joy of one with whom you abide. And if I should face trials, suffering or failure, I pray that your hand will lift me up, and I may be refreshed. In the name of Christ, I pray,
For Those Who Protect Us
Almighty God, I commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad; for those who fight fires and crime; and for all those who put themselves in danger for our protection. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[Where has God worked victory in my life?]
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.
Proverbs 28:9 (The Message)
God has no use for the prayers
of the people who won’t listen to him.
Matthew 4:8-11 (NKJV)
Get Thee Behind Me, Satan
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Notes on the Scripture
As we mentioned yesterday, there are two valid ways to interpret the physical events of the temptation: That Satan physically flew Jesus to several places, or that the battle took place internally in Jesus' human mind.
This second idea is not “modernist” theology, which feels free to rewrite the Bible. Even the more conservative theologians agree that Christ was fully human and had a human mind, which would have been as broken down as his body after his long fast in the desert. It is this very humanity that makes him so incredible, because it allowed him to be as fully tempted as you or I.
The emphasis on Christ's internal struggle highlights the power of the Spirit within him. He is fully human but can remain sinless, can resist temptation, no matter how badly he is tortured; even if his brain is rendered “broken” — and the purpose of torture is usually to do precisely that, to break down a person's mind so that their resistance to temptation is destroyed — Christ will not give in. He is incapable of sin.
he third temptation is very different from the first two, for Satan did not tempt Christ to clear sinfulness, or offer Christ a reward, in the first two. In the third temptation, however, he dangles the ultimate bait: He offers to give Christ complete ownership of the world. This highlights Satan's power on earth, for one must own something to offer it as a gift. And indeed, Satan has dominion over the riches and lands of the world. Giving in to temptation and sin can bring us these very things: earthly power over other people, wealth, status, ownership.
Why did the covenant of Moses fail? God offered the Hebrews what Satan offers Christ, complete dominion over (part of) the world, if they would worship Him. But they did not — the could not — hold up their end of the bargain. They could not resist sin, could not resist Satan's relentless, powerful gift of persuasiveness.
The third temptation is a paradigm for what every one of us faces every day. Satan tries to convince us that we can better our life on earth by giving in to him. Perhaps William Jennings Bryan overstated the point when he said, “No one can earn a million dollars honestly,” but he makes the same point as today's Scripture. We might commit a small theft by omitting to include $100 cash payment on our income taxes; small sin, small reward. What might we do for $100 billion and absolute political control of the world? To have every man and woman do our bidding?
Christ will not compromise with evil for anything this world has to offer. So the practical lesson of today's Scripture is: Refuse to compromise. “Put on the helmet of salvation and grasp the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17) We will be forgiven for our sins, but we must not wink at them, pretend they do not exist. We may compromise where Christ did not, but we should not fool ourselves.