Daily Devotion for February 18, 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.
For our Saturday Oldie, I thought we might enjoy this entrancing video about the rise of a musical phenomenon largely forgotten today: Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
To Do God’s Will in Our Work
O God, who hast ordained that whatever is to be desired should be sought by labour, and who by they blessing bringest honest labour to good effect, look with mercy upon my studies and endeavours. Grant me, O Lord, to design only what is lawful and right; and afford me calmness of mind and steadiness of purpose, that I may so do thy will in this short life, as to obtain happiness in the world to come, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Prayer to Gain and Share Wisdom
Lord, there is so much that I don't know, and I ask you to inspire me with a thirst for knowledge. I pray, too, for wisdom and understanding that I may use my knowledge well. I give thanks for many people I have never met whose knowledge and understanding have been passed on to me. I ask that I may benefit from their work and experience and may contribute, in turn, to the well-being of others.
Oh Lord as I face creation
Let me see with eyes made clear
By Your promise of salvation,
Never to return to fear.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 85:12-13 (NKJV)
Yes, the Lord will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.
Genesis 15:17-21 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham 
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
Notes on the Scripture
The last occurrence in Abram's event-filled day is one which will reverberate throughout history. Like the other events, it is set on a stage of mystic symbolism, for after dark, when Abram has awakened from his deep sleep, a “smoking fire pot and a flaming torch” pass among the animal sacrifice he has made.
These must be one of the mysterious manifestations of God, by which He made his presence known to the early Hebrews. The fire pot, smoking rather than in flame, essentially resembles an incense burner. It fills the air, always the symbol of God's breath, of holiness and the spirit. God is symbolically sanctifying the Hebrew nation to come. It is also a symbol that the events will be passed from generation to generation, because a fire pot was used to carry fire, to store it for future use.
The torch, being the principal source of outdoor illumination used in Abram's time, is the symbol of God's truth revealed to man. Compare the opening of the Gospel of John, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:4-5) The Hebrews will carry the light of God for countless centuries, until the coming of Christ.