Daily Devotion for March 22, 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 love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Music and Lyrics by Frederick H. Lehman, 1917
Prayer to Change to Better Serve God
Holy God, I believe that you will change people and many things, if asked and if it is your will. Change me Lord, if it is your will, for I would lead a better life. Touch me, I pray, great God whose touch transforms. Reach out your mighty hand to me, and to all who seek you in the name of your Son. Heal us, transform us, and make us whole; reach out your mighty hand to lift us up to serve you; touch me and all of us this very day, O Lord, that our own hands may bring your hope and healing to this broken world.
Prayer of Praise
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, mighty Lord, for I know you will answer me.
Among all men, and the gods of their imagination, and the works of their hands, there is none like You, O Lord; nor are there any works like those you have made. Our great thoughts are pitiful shadows of your wisdom, and our great machines are foolish beside the immensity of your universe.
All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name; for you are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God.
A Lenten Prayer
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our 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
What Bible verse tells us that faith without works is “dead”?
Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Genesis 19:30-38 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham  - Lot and his daughters
Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.”
So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.
Notes on the Scripture
fter his experience in Sodom, one could hardly fault Lot for fearing to live in one of the towns of the Jordan Valley; Sodom, certainly, seemed to have the political framework of a prison run by the inmates. He goes to live in a cave with his daughters; and today, there is a cave in Israel reputed to be the very cave where he lived.
The juicy part of the story, of course, is the seduction of Lot by his daughters. There are simply no men around and thus nobody, “after the manner of all the earth”, to give them children. Moreover Lot, who is old, has lost his wife and has no chance of keeping his line alive.
The actions of Lot's daughters are certainly salacious, and it is our immediate reaction to see them as outrageously immoral. Yet, that is not really how the story reads. The daughters' motivation is neither perverted sexual desire, nor even to benefit themselves by having children. Their motive is actually sympathetic: they want to preserve their father's lineage.
It is a curious story. Maybe the best thing that can be said about it, is that sexual morality prior to the Mosaic law was, at best, murky; this is more simply a historical and human interest story.