Daily Devotion for July 31, 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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) in Morristown, New Jersey. This is a sing-along hymn!
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease;
'tis music in the sinner's ears,
'tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
he sets the prisoner free;
his blood can make the foulest clean;
his blood availed for me.
He speaks, and listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive;
the mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold your savior come,
and leap, ye lame, for joy.
In Christ, your head, you then shall know,
shall feel your sins forgiven;
anticipate your heaven below,
and own that love is heaven.
Music by Carl G. Glaser
Lyrics by Charles Wesley
For Sunday Morning
Oh heavenly Lord, who decreed that we should take one day of rest, one special day in remembrance of you, today I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the moment of His glorious victory over death. I add my voice to countless millions of others in thanks, in praise, and in awe of Your sacrifice for us.
Help me, dear Lord, to dedicate these few moments to You completely. You have taught us that we may dwell with you, even while we are caught in this difficult world, and I pray to dwell with you fully now. Guard me against wandering of mind and the intrusion of mundane thought, so that I may be fully present with you, through the power of Your Holy Spirit.
And in the coming week, I pray that my mind may constantly turn to you, so that I may always remember you when I am tempted to anger, to selfishness, to lust for power and the vanities of this world, or any of the myriad temptations that might assail me in the course of life. In the name of Christ and through faith in Him, I pray,
For Eternal Life
O Merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Resurrection and the Life; whoever lives and believes in Him, will not die eternally, but have everlasting life. You have taught us, by the holy Apostle Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for those who sleep in him. I humbly beseech you, O Father, to raise me and all who confess your holy name, from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness; that, when we depart this life, we may rest in Him; and that, at the general Resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in your sight. I pray that you will give us that blessing, which your well-beloved Son will then pronounce to all who love and fear you, saying, Come, you blessed children of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this, I beseech you, O merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
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 96:2-4 (NASB)
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (NIV)
Indescribable and Glorious Joy
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith — being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Notes on the Scripture
ost of the epistles are addressed to someone specific: To a church, such as Galatia or Rome, or to a person, such as Titus or Philemon. But Peter's epistle is addressed to believers in general, who are strangers in every city or country where they live, and are scattered through the nations. That is, it is addressed to us. And the author is the man who knew Christ better than any other person, who was the first called (with Andrew), who lived through the arrest, and crucifixion, and spoke to the resurrected Jesus, and who Jesus called “the rock on which I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18)
And what is his message to us? Exaltation! If we ever feel that Christianity has burdened us or has been imposed on us, we need to read Peter's letter; for his first sentence sounds like he has won the Powerball lottery. He is sharing with us how incredibly lucky he feels to have been given such a wonderful gift, an inheritance that will never dwindle or fade.
Today's lesson describes the great joy that we feel, the enormous burden that Christ has lifted from us. We should never forget how lucky we are. Even when life throws us a curveball, or even a terrible tragedy, we have a ray of light that can always keep us from despair. Because Christ has promised that we will be okay. Nothing in the world can destroy our place in heaven. We have in our hearts a living hope. It cannot be destroyed, it cannot be sullied, and it never loses its power.
We can praise God and live our lives in the beauty of holiness, loving God and forgiving our neighbors; any harm we might suffer will fade and disappear, but our life of light, truth, and indescribable happiness will endure forever.