Daily Devotion for August 30, 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.
1. A poor, wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not pow’r to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.
2. Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel’s portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.
3. I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst;
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the suff’rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o’er;
I drank and never thirsted more.
4. ‘Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest,
Then made the earth my bed and seemed
In Eden’s garden while I dreamed.
5. Stript, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment–he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.
6. In pris’n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor’s doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him ‘mid shame and scorn.
My friendship’s utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, “I will!”
7. Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
“Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto me.”
Music by George Coles, 1792-1858
Lyrics by James Montgomery, 1771-1854
To Remember God During the Day
Lord God, the heavens are telling of your glory and the wonders of your love, the sun by day, and the moon and stars by night. Yet, as clouds will cover your sky in gloom, as the ceilings of men's buildings hide the sky from my sight, so the cares of this existence block your majesty from my mind.
I look with hope to the day when my knowledge of your glory will never be hidden by the concerns of the world, and I may know you every moment of time, forever; but until then, forgive me for all the time I spend with my face bent to the things of earth, your Spirit ignored and forgotten; for you are always there, willing to show yourself to me and guide me and comfort me, if I only lift up my head and see the sky above.
Prayer to Love Others Today
Oh holy Christ, who has commanded us to love others as ourselves, and not to judge others, but to look to our own sins rather than criticizing our fellow man; I pray you to keep your words in my heart when others offend me, for they may fly from my mind when I am gripped by emotion. Many times I judge, many times I feel anger at others, many times I look down upon someone. And even when I show a smile, my heart may yet be filled with sin, anger and malice and jealousy.
I pray to you, mighty Christ, burn your love on my heart. Let me never forget the beauty and peace of loving my fellow man. Help me be sincere in choosing good over evil. Let me seek my glory in you, Lord Christ, instead of in my own image. Soften my heart so that I feel true sympathy, and so I value others just as I do myself.
May your Holy Spirit, who is with me, guide me in everything I think and do, this day and always.
May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.
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.
He turned the desert into pools of water
and the parched ground into flowing springs;
there he brought the hungry to live,
and they founded a city where they could settle.
They sowed fields and planted vineyards
that yielded a fruitful harvest;
he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
and he did not let their herds diminish.
Galatians 6:1-5 (ESV)
When Other People Sin
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
Notes on the Scripture
The first sentence teaches us how we should treat another Christian who has done something wrong. How do you treat a fellow believer who has committed adultery, or used profane language, or some other obvious sin? First off, of course, Christ forbids you to judge the person. Repeatedly in the New Testament, He tells us that we should not worry about the splinter in someone else's eye, when there is a giant arrow in our own eye; that we should “not judge, lest [we] be judged”. We even pray that God will use our forgiveness of others as the yardstick for deciding our own forgiveness.
But we should not sit on our hands. Paul tells us, here, to restore the person in a spirit of gentleness, with double emphasis on “gentleness.” Someone who has done something wrong, or perceives an accusation, will become extraordinarily defensive. Criticism is soft in the mind of the speaker, but a hundred times louder in the ear of the accused. Often, people will become defensive when no criticism is even intended.
efore I speak to anyone, I must examine my heart deeply and honestly: Do I feel judgmental? Do I think the person should be punished? If I do, I should probably keep my mouth shut. We are not going to “restore” someone to faith if he perceives any judgment or anger; we are, instead, going to make him angry and drive him to rationalizing his error, making excuses, and all other sorts of natural human behavior we all use to protect our egos.
Someone should talk to the person who has the knack of doing it in the true spirit of love, often someone who has a good relationship with him. In our pride, it is often hard for us to admit that somebody else can do a better job at this than we can.
The second sentence warns us not to be tempted ourselves, if we try to help another person avoid temptation. Now, there’s an irony: how many times does a hero try to save a drowning person, only to drown himself? How often does the person offering a hand up, instead of helping the victim, fall into the pit? Often enough.
We can all remember things we have done or thought in the heat of the moment, and regretted later. That kind of impulsiveness and malleability we mostly associate with teenagers, but we never lose the urge to be like our friends or companions. Yet, it is a danger Christ tells us to face: “Bear one another's burdens,” the Bible tells us.