Daily Devotion for February 2, 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.
There are times when you might feel aimless;
You can't see the places where you belong.
But you will find that there is a purpose.
It's been there within you all along, and when you're near it,
You can almost hear it.
It's like a symphony; just keep listening,
And pretty soon you'll start to figure out your part.
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us; oh, it's glorious.
And you will know how to let it ring out
As you discover who you are.
Others around you will start to wake up
To the sounds that are in their hearts;
It's so amazing, what we're all creating.
And as you feel the notes build,
You will see . . .
Music and Lyrics by Stephanie Mabey
Morning Prayer of George Washington
Almighty God, and most merciful father, who commanded the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day; receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee. I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated to thine own service and for thine own honor.
Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do my own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou require of me.
And since thou art a God of pure eyes, and will be sanctified in all who draw near to thee, who does not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in thy courts: Pardon, I beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into thy temple, and compass thine altar, my prayers may come before thee as incense.
And as thou would hear me calling upon thee in my prayers, so give me grace to hear thee calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith, and that it may accomplish in me, Gracious God, the good work for which thou have sent it.
Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God & guide this day and for ever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples. Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love, and that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation; Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
Blessing of Mark
O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
Did Christ come to abolish the Law? Cite a Bible verse.
Jonah 1:1-3, 17 (ESV)
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
* * *
And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Galatians 6:7-10 (Daily Prayer Bible)
Ignoring God (Galatians #89)
You simply cannot ignore God, for we shall reap what we sow. Whoever sows by the flesh will reap corruption. But whoever sows by the Spirit will harvest eternal life.
Notes on the Scripture
more literal translation of verse 7 might be, “Do not be deceived, God will not have noses turned up at Him.” The lesson of this verse is echoed myriad times in the Bible. In addition to Jonah, two immediately come to mind: Adam and Eve trying to hide from God after eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden, and the first line of Psalm 1,
“Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;”
Why do people do stupid things, which they know or should know will turn out badly? Did Adam and/or Eve really think that they could eat the fruit and God would not notice?
Why, for example, do atheists not only try to ignore God, but act superior in their beliefs? There is nobody more scornful or mocking on the face of the planet than an atheist in his intellectual superiority, laughing about the “tooth fairy” as he careens toward his destruction. We cannot fathom his foolishness. As Paul points out several times, even a savage in the forest who has never heard of God must believe in Him, for we can see His hand in all creation.
We might struggle to answer this in intellectual terms, but in our gut we know why, for we are tempted just as Adam and Eve were tempted. Moreover, the same person tempts us: Satan, almost always in disguise. In fact, it is ourselves who puzzle us the most. Paul poses the dilemma for us, in Romans 7:15, 19, “[W]hat I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. . . . For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”
What we can say about our dilemma, with absolute assurance, is that God understands it. He might seem puzzled in Genesis, but that is for rhetorical effect. He asks Adam where he is, and then asks him, “Who told you that you were naked?” But the critical point is not that God knows what we do and why we do it, in the sense of knowledge, but He understands it (as we do) at the gut level. Here lies one of our benefits that spring from the humanity of Christ.
Christ knew temptation as we know temptation, for He was fully human. When Satan tempted Him to turn stones to bread, Jesus had been fasting in the desert. He was hungry. He suffered no more and no less than one of us would have suffered. So let us give thanks for God’s amazing love, that He would join us in our pain, which we brought on by our own sin. There is no need to hide from Him; we must resist the temptation to hide, and instead, be filled with faith in His knowledge and His forgiveness.