Daily Devotion for March 6, 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.
chosen e'er to witness for his name,
Far and wide we tell the Father's story,
Far and wide his love proclaim.
Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing.
God our strength will be;
press forward ever,
Called to serve our King
Called to know the richness of his blessing
Sons and daughters, children of a King -
Glad of Heart, his holy name confessing,
Praises unto him we bring.
For God’s Blessing
O marvelous God, who is my light, my life, and my salvation; Grant to me, I pray, such fullness of faith and such a consciousness of your love and goodness, that your blessed Spirit, dwelling within me, may give me health of body, peace of mind, faithfulness of heart, and holiness of life and being; through the mercies and merits of the same, my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Prayer for the Troubles of the Earth
God of comfort, these times seem so uncertain, so scary. The world seems darker than it has in the past and I am less sure of myself. Maybe that's a good thing; maybe now I am turning to you with a realization that I need you so much more and that my life is not in my own control.
Let me not forget all of those around the world who are frightened at this moment. Help those who are victims of terrorism and war. Be with those who have lost so much in the past year. Hold us all in your loving arms and let us be comforted by the strength and peace you make available to us through the birth of your son, Jesus; and thank you for all the many gifts you offer us, during our life on earth and for all eternity.
I dedicate this day to you, mighty God. I pray that your Spirit will lift me up this day, and that your face may shine upon me all the day long, that I might do your will and lead a new life in Christ, reborn in the Spirit.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
In what verse does Jesus tell us that He came to fulfill the Law of Moses?
Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV)
The Nature of Christ
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Notes on the Scripture
e do not know who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. It was once though to be Paul, but now we know he almost certainly could not have written it, despite theological similarities in the message. But the message, not the messenger, is what counts: it thoroughly reconciles Judaism to the new covenant and explains to the Jews how Christ had changed their relationship to God. It begins by acknowledging the truth of the prophets as God's spokesmen.
The phrase “many times and in many ways” seems like a quick, shallow nod to diverse prophets, but think about it. The Bible is horrendously diverse, to the point that it is difficult to understand how it all fits together. God walked with Adam, spoke to Moses (and drowned almost the entirety of humanity), and appeared to Abraham so intimately that it was like one man talking to another. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. All of this, and more, happened before Moses was born and Judaism began — before the huge mass of history and prophecy that makes up the bulk of the Old Testament.
Moreover, after Moses we see two very different kinds of prophets: Those like Isaiah and Amos, who predict the future and are primarily known as prophetic authors, and those like Elijah and Elisha, whose were men of action and left nothing in the way of writing. Christians today think very seldom of Elijah, yet he was the most holy of all the prophets. In the Gospels, we hear many times that Elijah will come again before the Messiah, and he is one of two prophets who appear during the Transfiguration (e.g. Mark 9:2-13).
We are in a sense fortunate, as Christians, for God has much simplified our religion! All of this unmanageably large and diverse portfolio of prophets points to one person: Jesus Christ. Christ was, and is, the heir of all things. He was not simply God's messenger, but stood in the same position as the Father. In fact, Christ had been the vehicle by which God had made the universe. We learned this in the first verses of the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word . . . . by Him all things were made.”
In the final sentence of the second paragraph, the theme of inheritance, so strongly stated in Galatians, is reiterated. The name of God was a hugely important concept to the Hebrews, so holy and fearsome that it was not spoken except on rare occasions inside the Holy of Holies, i.e. the inner sanctum of the Temple. For Christ to inherit the name of God was thus a matter of identity, which is the primary message of the Epistle: Christ is God.