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Daily Devotion for April 7, 2017


<i>Sacrifice of Isaac</i>, Caravaggio ca. 1603.
Sacrifice of Isaac, Caravaggio ca. 1603.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.




Prayer for This Day

Holy God, I pray in the name of Christ that you will this day increase my faith in the sweet promises of the Gospel. Give me repentance from dead works. Pardon my wanderings, & direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments.

Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber. But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life.

Bless my family, friends & kindred; unite us all in praising & glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father.

Amen.

Simple Prayer

God of love, my prayer is simple: Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me. I know only that I cannot have real strength unless I rely on you. I cannot feel protected from my many weaknesses until I turn to you for forgiveness and your unalterable love. Help me to share this strength, protection and love with others.

Amen.

Benediction

Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Amen.


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

Where does Jesus say, “And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town”?

Answer: Matthew 10:11



endless knot

Proverbs 14:28 (NKJV)

In a multitude of people is a king’s honor,
But in the lack of people is the downfall of a prince.

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 22:5-8 (ESV)

The Story of Abraham [36] - Isaac

Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.

And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “There are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.


Notes on the Scripture

238

esterday, we talked about the need for burnt offerings. God's law, stated in the Old Testament (right in the same books as the Ten Commandments), requires them. Why, then, do we no longer make them? Christ did not abolish the law; and yet, I doubt many of us have burned an animal carcass or measure of wheat on a fire, as God commands, or even overcooked a hamburger on our grill as a sacrifice to the Lord. Why not? Our duty to do so is right there in the Bible.

Today's passage provides the answer. Abraham still believes that God has required him to kill his son, Isaac, and burn his body as a sacrifice to Him. So he does not fully understand the prophetic truth of his words: “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering”.

This is the first prophecy of Christ in the Bible. As unwitting as it is, the remark is profound. We often call Christ “the lamb of God”, or even “lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world”, without fully appreciating its meaning.

Burnt offerings were made as a sacrifice for sin. Technically, our duty to make this sacrifice still exists. But we no longer do it, because God Himself has provided the lamb for the sacrifice. Christ was the “lamb of God”; our duty to sacrifice, as detailed throughout the Old Testament, was satisfied by Christ's suffering and death. He gave His own body as a perfect sacrifice, sufficient for all time for those who would believe in Him.

It is important to understand this. It is like there is a mortgage on our house, but someone pays the bill every month. It is easy to forget the debt exists and to think that we are debt-free, but this is wrong. Like the person whose mortgage is paid by someone else, we are not debt-free. Our constant sin creates a debt, and the requirement of sacrifice to atone for our sins still exists. The only reason we do not make these sacrifices is that someone who loves us, utterly and completely, has paid the debt for us in advance.

In this, as in many other ways, Christ did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. (Matthew 5:17-18)



Christ Wearing the Crown of Thorns, painting by Annibale Carracci c. 1600


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“ Cut It Out! ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.



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