Daily Devotion for October 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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to Detroit, Michigan, to worship at St. John's Church.
1. On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
announces that the Lord is nigh.
Awake and harken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings!
2. Then cleansed be every life from sin:
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.
3. We hail you as our Savior, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward.
Without your grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.
4. Stretch forth your hand, our health restore,
and make us rise to fall no more.
O let your face upon us shine
and fill the world with love divine.
5. All praise to you, eternal Son,
whose advent has our freedom won,
whom with the Father we adore,
and Holy Spirit, evermore.
Music and Lyrics by Charles Coffin, 1736
Prayer for Sunday Worship
O God, who makes us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ; Give me this day such blessings through my worship of you, that the days to come may be spent in your service; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Most Gracious Lord God, from whom proceeds every good and perfect gift, I offer to your divine majesty my unfeigned praise and thanksgiving for all your mercies towards me. You made me at first and have ever since sustained the work of your own hand; you gave your Son to die for me; and have given me assurance of salvation, upon my repentance and sincerely endeavoring to conform my life to his holy precepts and example.
You are pleased to lengthen out to me the time of repentance and to move me to it by your spirit and by the word, by your mercies, and by your judgments; out of a deepness of your mercies, and by my own unworthiness, I do appear before you at this time; I have sinned and done very wickedly, be merciful to me, O God, and pardon me for Jesus Christ's sake; instruct me in the particulars of my duty, and suffer me not to be tempted above what you give me strength to bear.
Take care, I pray you, of my affairs and more and more direct me in your truth, defend me from my enemies, especially my spiritual ones. Do not allow me to be drawn away from you, by the blandishments of the world, carnal desires, the cunning of the devil, or deceitfulness of sin. Work in me your good will and pleasure, and discharge my mind from all things that are displeasing to you, of all ill will and discontent, wrath and bitterness, pride and vain conceit of myself, and make me charitable, pure, holy, patient and heavenly minded.
Be with me at the hour of death; dispose me for it, and deliver me from the slavish fear of it, and make me willing and fit to die whenever you may decide to call me. Bless our rulers in church and state. Bless O Lord the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of You and your son Jesus Christ.
Pity the sick, the poor, the weak, the needy, the widows and fatherless, and all that mourn or are broken in heart, and be merciful to them according to their particular needs. Bless my friends, and grant me grace to forgive my enemies as heartily as I desire forgiveness from You, my heavenly Father.
I beseech you to defend me this week from all evil, and do more for me than I can think or ask, for Jesus Christ's sake, in whose most holy name & words, I continue to pray, Our Father.
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.
I believe in the sun even if it isn’t shining. I believe in love even when I am alone. I believe in God even when He is silent.
~ Author Unknown
Romans 12:3-8 (ESV)
Gifts of Grace
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Notes on the Scripture
If our earthly position is elevated, and the gifts we have been given to use on earth are many so that we are rich, or smart, or powerful, able to persuade others or in positions of leadership, we should not elevate ourselves above others in our minds. We might get used to feeling somewhat superior to employees, or those we give charity, or those we lead; it becomes a habit that spills over from our function as a boss, into our existence as a member of Christ.
aul gives us two messages today, one of humility and one of pride. Now that we have sacrificed our bodies to Christ, what are we to think of our lives in the world? We are members of something, a society, the body of Christian faithful; and we are all equal before the throne of God.
But as Paul taught us in the preceding verse, we should not be “conformed to this world”, but rather, we should be “transformed” in our minds, by the miracle of grace. To let our high position give us an attitude of superiority is one such example of being conformed to the world.
And if we are humble in our circumstances, we should feel no shame, no inferiority. Who was Jesus? A poor carpenter. And during his ministry, abjectly poor, a scruffy itinerant preacher without even a place to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20) Who was Mary? A homemaker (with perhaps eight children), married to a carpenter. Who were Peter and Paul? A village fisherman and a tentmaker who had become a henchman for the Pharisees.
All of us are members of Christ's body and our gifts are those that God wants us to have. We must seek to use the gifts we have been given, no matter how great or small; because if a role in life was given to us by God, it is God-given. How can we question the merit of what we do, or the talents we have, if God gave it to us? If we use whatever talents we have, with cheerfulness and zeal, we may be satisfied with what we have done. God has told us we are completely adequate: Who are we, then, to be embarrassed or ashamed of our circumstances?