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Daily Devotion for March 20, 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.
1. I need thee ev'ry hour,
Most gracious Lord.
No tender voice like thine
Can peace afford.
I need thee, oh, I need thee;
Ev'ry hour I need thee!
Oh, bless me now, my Savior;
I come to thee!
2. I need thee ev'ry hour;
Stay thou nearby.
Temptations lose their pow'r
When thou art nigh.
3. I need thee ev'ry hour,
In joy or pain.
Come quickly and abide,
Or life is vain.
4. I need thee ev'ry hour,
Most holy One.
Oh, make me thine indeed,
Thou blessed Son!
Lyrics by Annie S. Hawks, 1835-1918
Music by Robert Lowry, 1826-1899
Song of Praise (based on Psalm 8)
O Lord my God, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, who am I that you are mindful of me, who are any of us that you should guide and protect us?
Yet you have made us in your image, a little lower than the angels, and crowned us with glory and honor we do not deserve. You have given us dominion over the works of your hands and put the earth beneath our feet; you have given us dominion over the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea. O Lord my God, I praise you for your gifts to me. How majestic is your name in all the earth!
To Help Everyone I Meet
Holy God, I pray that today the love I show to my fellow man will not be a sham, but fashioned in a sincere heart. May your Holy Spirit be powerful in me, blinding me to annoyances and putting aside selfish greed, so that I may lift up the people I meet, showing them warm affection and leaving them filled with good spirits and confidence. If they are sorrowful, lead me to console them. If they are lost, let me show them the path. Help me always to seek after good rather than evil, and to display, for the whole world to see, the miracle you have worked in my soul.
In the name of Christ, who was always ready to teach and heal and save, I pray,
Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked will I return. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
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
Identify the verse: “Was Paul crucified for you”?
That They May All Be One
There is but one God, and they that serve him should be one.
There is nothing that would render the true religion more lovely, or make more proselytes to it, than to see the professors of it tied together with the heart strings of love. If God be one, let all that profess him be of one mind, and one heart, and thus fulfil Christ’s prayer, “that they all may be one.”
~ Thomas Watson
John 17:20-26 (ESV)
Jesus prayed for his disciples, and then he said. “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. ”
“The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Notes on the Scripture
esus loves us, and He wants us to love each other. He prayed to God the Father on behalf of his disciples, but not only them; He prayed on behalf of those who would believe in them, because of what the disciples would tell them. That includes you, and me, and every other person on earth who confesses the name of Jesus and lives in his love and grace.
One of Satan's greatest achievements is the violence that Christians have done to each other in the 2000 years since Christ left us. Self-righteous pride and anger make for a poor mix with a religion whose central tenets are love and unity. One person believes it is right to pray in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary; another believes that the very depiction of Mary violates the second commandment and is unholy. One person believes that our salvation is predestined, another that we have free will and the outcome is not preordained. Silly disagreements about worship and theology are limited only by human imagination, combined with a fixed certainty that our opinion constitutes an eternal truth.
Our belief in the infallibility of our thoughts can lead us to ignore the simple clear message of today's reading. Christ says, “The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
How simple is this beautiful message. Those of us who believe in Christ are one. Christ instructs us to love each other. And still people scorn, berate, imprison and murder each other over trivia. Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians have had great debates about whether it is correct to cross oneself left to right, or right to left. Catholics throughout Europe once robbed, burned, and murdered Protestants, and the Protestants returned the favor as soon as they could grab political power.
This is one matter in which we can easily follow Christ — no advanced theological degrees required: Love and pray for anyone who confesses Christ, even if you think they have a wrong philosophy or theology. Let us worship as the spirit moves us to worship, and let others do the same.
Almost none of the religious practices or forms of worship, over which we argue so heatedly, come from Christ. They come from Satan, who claps his hands and laughs in delight every time two Christians fight over some meaningless issue of doctrine.