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Monday, October 15, 2018

Daily Devotion for February 11, 2017



Remembrance of Heaven by Louis Janmot, ca. 1854. Janmot was an early precursor of Symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite influence in French art.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.

Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins, all riding to glory.



To Walk in the Spirit Today

Holy God, in the daily journey from sunrise to sunset, remind me always of your holy presence hovering near, both within me to guide me, and surrounding me to protect me. Free me from shame and self-doubt; and help me, and all of my fellow believers, to see the myriad opportunities to walk our path in the courage, honesty, and wisdom inspired by your Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.

Amen.

For Those Praying with Me

Heavenly Father, there are people praying with me, right now, whom I will never meet. I don't know their names, or what country they live in, or what they may look like, but I will know their souls, for we are brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that we might be united in the Holy Spirit, and that I will know and feel the kinship and love, in my spirit, of those who share these prayers with me.

Amen.


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.




endless knot

Psalm 85:10-11

Mercy and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 15:1-6 (ESV)

The Story of Abraham [9]

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.”

And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.


Notes on the Scripture


bram has a dialogue with God. Consistent with His earlier promises, God reveals more of his plan to Abram, for the earlier promises of a multitude of offspring who will inherit Canaan has left a question unresolved. Abram and Sarai, who are probably over 40 years old by modern reckoning, are childless; they cannot even imagine having children at this point in their lives.

So Abram asks God how much of a reward can he get, since he has no offspring. His statement that, without children, his estate will pass to a person in his household, seems very odd to us now, with our advanced rules of inheritance; in the tv series Downton Abbey, set in Edwardian England, Earl Grantham (who has no son) must scour the country to find a third cousin he barely knows, to inherit a great estate.

Yet again, we are reminded how ancient the story of Abraham is. He is as much a minor tribal chieftain as paterfamilias. His household is a primitive political unit — we know he has 318 men trained to fight. With women, children, the elderly and men unfit to fight, his estate easily exceeds 1,000 people. So really, he rules over a village-size pastoral community. It makes sense that a trusted senior member of the community would become the leader, rather than some distant blood relative (such as his nephew Lot) with no ties to the community.

If you cannot quite understand the last sentence of today's Scripture, you are not alone. Jewish and Christian scholars have debated its meaning for thousands of years without reaching a verdict as to who counted what to whom “as righteousness”. The idea that Abraham is judging God, and that he takes God's promise as evidence that God is righteous, simply does not fit the rest of the story.

It is entirely possible that the sentence means “God gave credit to Abraham for Abraham's belief that God could accomplish the seemingly impossible”. A modern editor would clarify this, but the text is ancient.



<i>The Temptation of Christ (detail)</i> by Duccio, ca. 1310.
The Temptation of Christ (detail) by Duccio, ca. 1310. Another “precursor” painting: The first inklings of Renaissance style can be seen in Duccio's work, some of which dates to the 1200s.

Daily Inspiration

“ Majestic Mountains ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


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