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Daily Devotion for May 6, 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.
For “Oldies Saturday” we have something extra special: Elvis and the Jordanaires performing “Peace in the Valley” on the Ed Sullivan Show. It’s a 1937 song written by Thomas A. Dorsey (the “grandfather of black gospel”) for Mahalia Jackson.
But I must go along
Till the Lord comes and calls, calls me away.
Well the morning's so bright
And the lamb is the light
And the night, night is as fair as the day.
There will be peace in the valley for me,
There will be peace in the valley for me,
oh Lord I pray.
There'll be no sadness, no sorrow
No trouble, trouble I see
There will be peace in the valley for me.
Well the bear will be gentle
And the wolves will be tame,
And the lion shall lay down by the lamb.
And the beasts from the wild
Shall be led by a child,
And I'll be changed, changed from this creature
That I am.
To Submit My Day to God
Almighty God, who has given me life and breath, and another day: I do not know what this day might bring. For men make plans, and their plans come to naught, as you will it. Thus I take this day out of my hands and submit it to your will. Make me this day your servant, that I might find my hand at the tasks you have meant for me to do, and might do them as well as I can. For there is nothing better than a person should rejoice in his work, to your glory and for the love of his neighbors, as you have commanded us through your Son. In His name, I pray, let my day be yours, and let it be filled with goodness and faith.
To Hold Fast in a Changing World
Lord, when I see how the world is changing, sometimes I begin to feel unsure. Please help me not to embrace anything that is forbidden by you, but to measure all things by your divine yardstick. What used to be commonplace truth is frowned upon and new standards are being espoused, standards that you did not set out for us. Let me follow only your way. Let me hear only your voice, not the voices of those who do not believe in your teachings. Let me celebrate and rejoice with those who do believe in you.
Help me to stand firm always, and gain my strength through faith, prayer, study of your Word, and worship. Let me turn my head from things that destroy or weaken me. Let me say no to the forbidden that lasts for a short moment in time, looking ahead to the pleasures you have waiting for all who follow your path to eternal glory. Thank you, Lord, for the wisdom to say no to man’s constant, changing lifestyles that steal me away from you. Keep my eyes fixed on you. I ask this in the name your Son, Jesus Christ,
And now let me go forth praising you, O Lord, with all my heart, telling of all your wonders, with my words and in my actions. I will be glad and rejoice in you this day. I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
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 verse commands us not to speak evil of our national leader?
Proverbs 16:21 (Good News V.)
A wise, mature person is known for his understanding.
The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is.
Hebrews 12:5-7,11-14 (ASV)
You have forgotten the exhortation, addressed to you as God's children:
'My child, do not regard the Lord's discipline lightly, or lose heart when you are punished; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.'
Endure life's trials for the sake of discipline. God treats you as his child; for what child does a loving father not discipline?
It always seems painful rather than pleasant; but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, lift your drooping hands, and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not become crippled, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Job 5:17-20 (ASV)
So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For He inflicts pain, and gives relief;
He wounds, and His hands also heal.
From six troubles He will deliver you,
Even in seven, evil will not touch you.
In famine He will redeem you from death,
And in war from the power of the sword.
Notes on the Scripture
One thing that characterizes a responsible adult is the willingness and confidence to discipline others in his charge. Another is the ability to accept discipline. We see the opposite every day; in fact, our human instinct is to deny we have done anything wrong and evade responsibility and punishment.
ut accepting responsibility, understanding that our own actions can be wrong, and even realizing that the discipline we receive might make us better, is part of what many people call “character.” To accept discipline requires humility. We have to accept, first off, that we are not perfect, that what we do and say and think is not necessarily correct just because it is we who have done or said or thought it.
Even worse, we attach ourselves to public figures or causes or groups, and then rationalize their conduct, as fiercely as we might rationalize our own if we had no character at all. The media circus will crank up every few months with the latest scandal; a recent example is Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, and a number of officials at Penn State University.
But the media simply do not grasp one aspect of these cases. They never seem concerned with the harm that people who have committed a hidden wrong have done to themselves.
What harm was done to, say, a person like Jerry Sandusky by evading the proper discipline for his action? What could Roman Polanski, who has successfully evaded punishment for statutory rape of a 13-year-old for decades, what could his relationship with God be like? Discipline is an act of love; humiliating to be punished by another and painful by definition, but still, often the only way to truly change the heart of someone gone astray.
“It is always painful rather than pleasant; but later, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” We are fortunate that God loves us enough to punish us for our sins while we are alive on earth. It is one of the ways by which He delivers us from evil.