Daily Devotion for January 8, 2017
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 Southwark Cathedral, London.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not,
Thy compassions, they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Lyrics by Thomas Obediah Chisholm
Music by William Marion Runyan
Prayer for Sunday Worship
O God, you make me glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son my Lord: Give me the peace to worship you with my whole heart and mind, forgetting the cares of the world, and dwelling with you for a short moment with my entire being. And give me this day such blessing through my worship of you, that the week to come may be spent in living knowledge of your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty Father; I enter your presence confessing the things I try to conceal from you and the things I try to conceal from others. I confess the heartbreak, worry, and sorrow I have caused, that make it difficult for others to forgive me; the times I have made it easy for others to do wrong; and the harm I have done that makes it hard for me to forgive myself. Lord have mercy on me, and forgive me for all my sins against you and against others. And teach the grace to forgive others to all who ask for it, through the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ,
Prayer of Praise
O Father, majestic is your name!
From the rising of the sun to its setting your name is to be praised,
Merciful God, gracious Lord.
Hear us in the name of Your Son,
For He has promised that where two or three of us are gathered in Your name
He would be with us and our prayer would be heard.
Hear us in the name of Your Son,
For He is the revelation of Your wisdom, the outpouring of your glory,
The incarnation of your mercy toward us and the whole human race.
To You be the glory,
All praise and honor, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One God, now and evermore.
Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my mind. Give me a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that I may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will.
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.
Who Does God Look Upon?
“For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
Psalm 118:19-29 (NKJV)
This is the Day the Lord Has Made
Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord,
Through which the righteous shall enter.
I will praise You,
For You have answered me,
And have become my salvation.
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Save now, I pray, O Lord;
O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
God is the Lord,
And He has given us light;
Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Notes on the Scripture
ere we see one of many examples proving that Christ’s coming was foreseen by prophets 1,000 years before His birth. (And other passages might be found even earlier.) Some of them are rather speculative, but we have proof that this psalm is prophetic of Christ, because Peter tells us, in Acts 4:11, that the psalm refers to Him.
“The stone which the builders rejected” is Christ. The builders, in the first instance, are those Jews who clung to the Law after Christ came; those who refused to accept the Son of God as the Messiah. They rejected Him rather forcefully, too! I imagine an isolated tribe being sent a modern doctor, who can heal them of endemic miseries such as cholera, malaria, etc. But the witch doctors get jealous and beat him senseless, then hang him on a tree to die.
But of course, the history of the Jewish Messiah has a happier ending. The stone that the “builders” tossed out was resurrected from the trash heap. In fact, it was gone the next morning, much to their surprise. It was taken away by believers, to be used as the first stone — the cornerstone — of a new building. The Temple that the builders were building has long since been destroyed. Literally, the Second Temple was razed to the earth in the first century B.C. and has never been rebuilt. Metaphorically, Christianity has given humanity salvation; it is truly God’s “house” in a way that the Temple never was. For we are invited into the church of God, which has the power of salvation and eternal life, something the Temple never had.
This psalm is the source of the charming little song, “This is the day the Lord has made.” Most people, when they sing it, think that they are talking about today; they sing it as a way to rejoice in the day that God has given them, and the sentiment is laudable. But technically, the phrase refers to the coming of Christ: if one wanted to tie it to a specific day, the day of His resurrection, or possibly the day of His birth, would be good choices. Really, though, “day” is used more generally to refer to the time period when Christ came to us.
What reason does the psalm give for this remarkable salvation, sent to us by God? Praise. Just as Paul’s epistles tell us that salvation came ultimately by faith, so the psalmist tells us that salvation came from an act of faith, the praising of God. Let us praise His Holy Name!