Daily Devotion for November 23, 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.
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by our lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heav'nly Father created for me.
He gave me my eyes that I might see
The color of butterfly wings.
He gave me my ears that I might hear
The magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart:
I thank him rev'rently
For all his creations, of which I'm a part.
Yes, I know Heav'nly Father loves me.
Words and music: Clara W. McMaster, 1904-1997
For Perseverance Today
If things get tough today, Lord — and in all hard times — let me stay motivated and calm. Let me look at how far I have come rather than how far I still have to go. Let me continue counting my blessings, not what I've been missing. May every day bring new chances to grow, new beautiful things to see, new plans to do, and new goals to pursue, as every new day is Your miracle day.
Thank You Lord
Sometimes I stop and wonder why you're still here; Or what is good about me, and why you even care.
You're always there with me to help me out each day; Even though I seldom listen to the words you have to say.
The things I always pray for, I know they will come true; My joy and peace you give me when each day is new.
You continue to forgive me for all that I have done; When nights are filled with sorrow, the day will bring the sun.
In days full of trouble, and friends won't say hi; I know you will be there with me to take me if I die.
For who am I to deserve the grace you have shown; Thank you Lord for keeping me, when life for me was cold.
by Gary R. Ferris
Thirty Days of Thanksgiving
#22 What story am I thankful for?
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What Bible verse commands us to take our values from God, and not from society?
Proverbs 14:31 (ESV)
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
Romans 12:13 (ESV)
Supporting Christ’s Workers
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul's entreaty to “contribute to the saints” is not referring to long-dead icons of faith. I will drop a coin in the metal box in front of a shrine to St. Anthony or St. Barnabas or whoever, when I visit a cathedral, but that isn't what he's talking about. By saints, he means either missionaries or the poor members of the church.
The saints of Paul's time were almost all alive; the idea of a church officially beatifying someone long dead had not even occurred to anyone. He sometimes uses the word “saints” to refer to the body of all devout Christians, and sometimes to refer to people engaged full-time in the spread of the gospel. At various points in his epistles, Paul reminds us of the need to support both the spread of Christianity and the obligation to support members of locals churches in need.
ut the second part of the verse, “seek to show hospitality”, would seem to indicate that he is specifically referring to those who, like himself, traveled about the world at great danger and with little money, to spread the good news of Christ. Paul had to work from time to time during his journeys — he was a tentmaker by profession — and although he never complained of it, certainly he would have rather spent the time building Christ's church.
This verse, thus, is not so much of a general plea for money as a plea to support the spread of Christianity.
Of course, the verse can also be read as a general plea to take care of unfortunate church members in Rome; Romans itself is addressed “To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.”
In either case, once we have given our bodies as a sacrifice to God, the purchase of shiny baubles to entertain us becomes increasingly unattractive. The fashion industry begins to look utterly absurd. Great corporations seek to inflame our lust for new “stuff” and even to create new desire for worldly items; they create things for no other reason than to make people want them. They turn our eyes away from the poor and from God, and focus us on our own vanity and pride.
So we read this verse, and it gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we need, and on how we express our real priorities in life, by the way we use our money.