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Daily Devotion for March 12, 2017
Daylight Savings Time (U.S.)
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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week is a recreation of an old Sunday meeting, done by the Gaithers. There are churches today that retain the a cappella style of singing, such as Mennonites and many Churches of Christ.
We praise Thee, O God!
For the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died,
And is now gone above.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.
We praise Thee, O God!
For Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior,
And scattered our night.
All glory and praise
To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins,
And hath cleansed every stain.
All glory and praise
To the God of all grace,
Who hast brought us, and sought us,
And guided our ways.
Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.
Music by John J. Husband, 1815
Lyrics by William P. Mackay, 1863
Look down with mercy on thy servants who have come here to pray
To honor you and worship you
and to celebrate the resurrection of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Accept the petitions now offered up unto you.
Pardon oh! God the offences of the past week.
We are conscious of many frailties;
we remember with shame and contrition, many evil thoughts and neglected duties;
and we have perhaps sinned against you and against
our fellow-creatures in many instances of which
we have no remembrance. Pardon oh God!
whatever you has seen amiss in us,
and give us a stronger desire of resisting every evil inclination
and weakening every habit of sin.
You know the infirmity of our nature,
and the temptations which surround us.
Be merciful, oh heavenly Father!
to creatures so formed and situated.
We bless you for every comfort of our past and present existence,
for our health of body and of mind
and for every other source of happiness which you have bountifully bestowed on us
and with which we close this day,
imploring their continuance from your fatherly goodness,
with a grateful sense of them at all times.
May the comforts of every day, be thankfully felt by us,
may they prompt a willing obedience of your commandments
and a benevolent spirit toward every fellow-creature.
Have mercy oh gracious Father!
upon all that are now suffering from whatever cause,
that are in any circumstance of danger or distress.
Give them patience under every affliction,
strengthen, comfort and relieve them.
To your goodness we commend ourselves this day
and for the coming night
beseeching your protection of us through its darkness and dangers.
We are helpless and dependent; graciously preserve us.
For all whom we love and value, for every friend and connection,
we equally pray; however divided and far asunder,
we know that we are alike before you, and under your eye.
May we be equally united in your faith and fear,
in fervent devotion towards you,
and in your merciful protection this night.
Pardon oh Lord!
the imperfections of these our prayers,
and accept them through the mediation of our blessed saviour,
Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, eternal and unchanging.
Let me not forget my prayers as I go out into the world. Holy Spirit, be with me, and let me praise you and remember you in my every action and thought, for the entire day long. In Christ's name I ask this,
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.
Proverbs 14:19 (NKJV)
The evil will bow before the good,
And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
Genesis 18:22-33 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham  - Sodom
So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”
And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”
He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”
And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
Notes on the Scripture
In today's passage, the remarkable familiarity between God and Abraham becomes even more so. God has humbled Himself to treat Abraham as a familiar; He has taken the form of a man, conversed with Abraham, and told him about his plans in advance. He has traveled with him as if He were human. And now, God negotiates with him!
braham is fully aware of the extraordinary situation. “Behold,” he says, “I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.” “Behold” is one of those Bible words that nobody uses in actual speech, but we still get the drift; Charlie Brown would say, “Good grief!” And yet Abraham continues, for if God has allowed his familiarity — and indeed, God has created the situation — how could Abraham refuse God's offer of friendly discourse?
Abraham actually preaches righteousness to God! He tells Him that, as judge of mankind, it would be unjust for Him to kill the innocent with the wicked; and God accedes to Abraham's argument.
Events are not actually altered by the conversation, for as we all know, Sodom will be destroyed; there are not ten righteous men within its walls. It is included, then, not to show how Abraham convinced God to spare Sodom for the sake of the innocent, but to show that God listened to Abraham. Their relationship changed when Abraham, by faith, showed faith deep enough to alter his flesh and that of the men in his entire household.
And even more broadly, it teaches us that our relationship with God includes an aspect of friendship. God will listen to us; while blasphemy is sacrilegious, we may be bold enough question God directly, in our prayers. Our faith alters our relationship with God and allows His love to fully enter our lives.