Daily Devotion for February 15, 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.
The Fountainview (Youth) Chorus sings a hymn that grownups should take seriously.
comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever,
'twixt that darkness and that light.
By the light of burning martyrs,
Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv'ries ever
with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties,
time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward,
who would keep abreast of truth.
Blessed are you, Lord God: Blessed are you forever. Holy is your name: Blessed are you forever. Great is your mercy for your people. In the morning I cry out to you: Blessed are you forever.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I praise you and give you glory: I bless you for calling me to be one of your holy people. Remain in my heart, and guide me in my love and service all of this day. Help me to shine your light before others and lead them to the way of faith. Holy Trinity of love, I praise you now and for ever.
For Past Sins that Haunt Us
Gracious God, my sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what my lips tremble to name, what my heart can no longer bear, and what has become for me a consuming fire of judgment. Set me free from a past that I cannot change; open to me a future in which I can be changed; and grant me grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
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
Name a Bible verse that tells us to take our values from the Bible, rather than from society?
I have a better Caretaker than you and all the angels. He it is who lies in a manger, but at the same time sits at the right hand of God, the almighty Father. Therefore be at rest.
~ Martin Luther
Genesis 15:12-16 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham 
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him.
Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
Notes on the Scripture
bram has heard the wonderful news from God, that he will have a son and descendants as many as the stars in the sky. And having made his sacrifice, the entire scene turns dark, for there is bad news to come. The scene is set like a Greek tragedy; the sun goes down, Abram himself goes from wakefulness to deepest sleep, and the prophecy given to him concerns a dormant, dark period of Jewish history.
In fact, saying that the Hebrews will be sojourners in a strange land and servants is softening the blow; in fact, they will be captives and slaves of the Pharaoh for centuries, although (as we have learned) we cannot trust the term “years,” because our calendar did not exist. If we use other passages from the central part of Genesis as a guide, the Egyptian captivity lasted more than 100 and less than 200 of our years.
But there is a silver lining. Abram himself will live a full life, and the Hebrews will return to their land to stamp out idolatry. At the time, the nomadic Amorites were the primary force in Canaan. But this scene will be played out again and again throughout the history of the Jews: capture, servitude and removal or dispersal, followed by a return to their land to reclaim it from heathen squatters.