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Daily Devotion for April 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.
Our Saturday Oldie this week is a 1950s tv clip. The Delta Rhythm Boys — known for their sense of humor — tell us what happened to some famous walls.
Prayer to Conform to God’s Will
O Lord God, I am so lukewarm towards you so much of the time, in so much of my life. I try not to admit it to myself, but I read your Word and I can see the gap between what you want for me and what I do. I make excuses. You tell us to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, imitating Him in all we do, but the lure of property, politics, entertainment — all of the matters of this world — is powerful. I concern myself with them constantly, ignoring the plain and simple message of the Bible. I live too much in the secular world, anxious for status and concerned about my future.
Have patience with me, mighty God, and forgive me. Do not spew me out, as you have warned you might do with the lukewarm. Fill my soul with the fire of your Word and help me grow, to put more and more confidence in you and less and less in the world before me; forgive me my sins and help me to live in them less and less today, and every day, that I might more perfectly follow your commandments. In Christ's name I pray,
For My Enemies
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead me from anger, prejudice, and selfish pride to acceptance, love, truth, and sympathy for all people, and especially those who would be my enemies in this life; and if it is your will, enlighten those who hate me, and bring them into your holy truth, that they may find you. Deliver all of us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Finally, may I go forth filled with the joy and confidence of your Spirit; and may everything I do this day, in word or deed, be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
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 Old Testament verse tells us that God is so great that we cannot understand His greatness?
Psalm 103:15-19 (NKJV)
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord
is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Romans 3:9-18 (ESV)
No One is Righteous
What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already established that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
All have turned away, they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good, not even one.
Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.
The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Notes on the Scripture
he passage is a veritable portrait of a person who does not acknowledge God or the Bible. It is the model of someone who lives according to his or her own understanding, a life dictated by animal desires, a life where decisions are made according to personal criteria, ignoring God and His Word.
This is why those who claim to know God and are raised in the church can so often rationalize their unbiblical behavior. They allow the world to dictate their morals and their values. Spouses fail to love one another as the Bible has commanded them to do (and as they promised to do when they married); they neglect their families and put an obsessive importance on their careers, their possessions, their appearance, or their self-development. Our political leaders, our cultural leaders, and sometimes even our spiritual leaders make excuses and rationalizations for selfishness and sin. For advice, we go to Dr. Phil instead of Dr. Paul.
Read a newspaper or magazine, watch television, go to a movie, and ask yourself: “Is this the product of a society that loves God and respects the commandments and guidance of the Bible?” Nine times out of ten, the answer is no.
It is a battle. We need to do whatever we can to practice the teachings of the Bible in our own lives and to hold up the light of God's word before others, because silence is acquiescence. To do nothing is to concede the world to the darkness of atheism and the standards of selfishness and hypocrisy. We all have sinned and we will all continue to sin. But we don't have to rationalize sinful conduct; we don't have to preach that such conduct is all right, simply it is something we might have done or want to do.
Many will never hear us, but it is not God’s intention to save this world; rather, it is His intention to save some of those who live in this world, for a better world to come. We cannot save others — but we can help them, show them the opportunity. And as time and the Bible both show, the best way is not to be swayed ourselves, nor to make ourselves obstreperous, but to live and speak the truth of God, not the “truth” of the world.