Daily Devotion for March 9, 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 beautiful and talented Katherine Jenkins performs this famous piece with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Prayer for Morning
Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praises; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee.
For Those Mired in Crime
O Mighty God, who spares us when we deserve punishment, and in your wrath remembers mercy; I humbly implore you, of your goodness, to comfort and enlighten all who suffer in prison, deserved though their punishment may be. Bring your light into their lives, O Lord, that they may know your only Son and find repentance and forgiveness in his name, leaving aside the guilt of past sins and the yearning for the darkness within which they committed them. And trusting in your truth and mercy, that they not place their hope anywhere except in the holiness, which only you can give them.
And awaken all criminals, whether convicted or free, to the light of conscience and self-knowledge, that they may learn to serve you and their fellow man, and so find their place at your side when they leave this earth. In Christ's name I beseech you on their behalf,
Prayer for Peace
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live together in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now all glory to you, mighty God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into your glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to you who alone are God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are yours before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time,
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord ?
Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
He is more awesome than all who surround him.
O Lord God Almighty, who is like you?
You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
Colossians 3:12-17 (ESV)
As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Notes on the Scripture
True forgiveness is one of the hardest things in life to do and one of the most important. It is the antidote for the sins of anger and pride. Forgiveness destroys a great barrier that separates us from Christ's grace. Like a muscle, it must be exercised repeatedly, for we will never tire of getting angry and prideful.
Forgiveness is an expression of one of the two great commandments of Christ: “Love the Lord with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it: Love thy neighbor as thyself.” We remind ourselves of its importance every day, when we pray “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The Lord's prayer was written by Christ Himself, and the prayer to forgive as we are forgiven is a constant reminder of its importance.
This is one act that divides the Christian from the secular world. Society and the media seem obsessed with revenge and justice. By and large, secular society does not ascribe to Christ's commandment. Many Christian doctrines have been secularized by society, but forgiveness is rarely one of them. Every time someone sins against you, hurts you in your earthly life, or offends your pride, you are given an opportunity to show the power of Christ.
We believe that justice belongs to God, not to ourselves. Certainly, the secular law may punish criminals, and most Christians have no problem in seeing that the law is carried out. But we must always be on guard against the trap of the “hanging judge”, a person who has internalized high standards of conduct for himself and therefore becomes even angrier and more vindictive when he sees evil in another. This is a parody of Christianity, held by many non-Christians to be typical and, in truth, occurring often enough in life to worry us.
When evil is done, our starting point must be Christ's commandment to forgive. It is sometimes unbelievably difficult, because people sometimes do terrible things. Drunken drivers run over and kill children. Rebellious teenagers vandalize property. There is nothing evil that can be done, that man will not do. But we must remember that the people who commit these terrible acts are God's children and their souls are not necessarily lost. Our initial reaction must be to remember this and to forgive them in our hearts.