Daily Devotion for August 8, 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.
(See today’s Notes, regarding this music.)
Prayer to Do God’s Will
Oh Lord God, Father Almighty who created me and everything I see and enjoy, blessed and beautiful Jesus, love of my heart, bounteous Holy Spirit of God who is so kind as to be with me and comfort me whenever I ask, I thank you for all that I am and all that I have had in my life. Thy will be done, my God. I ask only that you let me know your will for me, for I am often confused or conflicted, and I seek your guidance. Knowing your will for me, let me be anxious for nothing. And I pray for the strength, the power and the energy, to accomplish your purpose. All glory be to you, one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who was before time and will be forever,
Prayer the Gospel May Be Spread
Almighty God, you called your church to be united in faith. By your grace you have given us new life in Jesus Christ, and by your Spirit you have called us to proclaim his name throughout the nations. Awaken in me such a love for you and your world that I may so boldly proclaim Jesus Christ by word and deed that all people may come to know him as Savior and follow him as Lord. And bless and strengthen all those who dedicate their lives to the increase of your church, both at home and abroad. Send your spirit to fill their tongues with your message, and protect them from all harm, to the glory of your Name.
Benediction (from Jude 1)
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep us from falling away and will bring us with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time!
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What does Christ say about someone who does not take up his cross and follow Him? Can you name a Bible chapter and verse?
AnswerMatthew 10:37-38. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
Psalm 97:1,6-7 (NIV)
The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.
All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols —
worship him, all you gods!
Matthew 24:9-14 (ESV)
Gospel Proclaimed Throughout the World
Jesus said to his disciples, “They will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.”
Notes on the Scripture
The Church of South India
The music today is a Christian song in the Malayalam language, which is a language of coastal southeastern India. There is a large Christian population in this area, due in part to Portuguese influence.
About 20 percent of the population of the area shown on the map (the State of Kerala) is Christian. While these faraway and exotic names mean little to most Americans, consider that there are about as many Christians in Kerala as there are Mormons or Methodists in the United States.
The specific denomination is call Mar Thoma, “Saint Thomas,” which originated in Syria in the first century A.D. under the mission of St. Thomas. The church, with ties to the Orthodox Church, spread to Malabar, India. It flourished there, and eventually began to hold services in the Malalayam language (one of the 22 registered languages of India), leading ultimately to a split from the Syrian church.
The Church of South India, to which many Malayalam-speaking Christians belong, was formed from a rather odd conglomeration of protestant denominations: Anglican, Presbyterian, Reformed, Congregational, and some Baptist and Pentecostalist churches, as well as native churches like Mar Thoma (or Marathoma). It is structured with elements of all its primary component churches, although it is a member of the Anglican Communion. With roughly four million members, it is more than twice the size of the Episcopal Church in the US. (The largest organized church in India is Roman Catholicism, with about 17 million communicants.)
Christ said, “good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world”, and we must always remember that we have brothers and sisters in every culture in the world. When we get caught up in church politics, remembering the sheer number of Christians in all corners of the globe — even in the many countries dominated by atheism or by other religions (such as India) — helps bring our problems into perspective.
Sliba Marthoma (Cross of St. Thomas)
at the Kadamattom Church,
And while the music and dress of the people might seem strange, consider for a moment that, at the deepest level, they are more similar to us than the atheist or agnostic who lives next door.
We should also reflect that the charming hymn in today's prayers, which seems so minor, comes from a church that is larger than most Protestant churches in the US. Christ's message is being proclaimed throughout the world, and not just to tiny splinter sects. To put this in perspective, it has been reported that, on the average Sunday, there are more Anglicans attending church in Nigeria than in the U.K. There are more practicing Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa than there are people in North America.
So, we rejoice today; Christ's word is spreading to souls throughout the world. Most growth is in developing nations, but should we be surprised? Christ said, “The meek shall inherit the earth.”