Daily Devotion for May 10, 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.
I think the beautiful voice in this video belongs to Sharon Hopkins, an esteemed music and voice teacher.
1. A poor, wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I ran and raised the suff’rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o’er;
I drank and never thirsted more.
2. ‘Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest,
Then made the earth my bed and seemed
In Eden’s garden while I dreamed.
3. In pris’n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor’s doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him ‘mid shame and scorn.
My friendship’s utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, “I will!”
4. Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
“Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto me.”
Music by George Coles, 1792-1858
Lyrics by James Montgomery, 1771-1854 (abridged by Sharon Hopkins)
Turn Thy Face Unto Us
Look upon us, O Lord, and let all the darkness of our souls vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love, and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom. All our desire is known unto thee, therefore perfect what thou hast begun, and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face, turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory. Then shall our longing be satisfied, and our peace shall be perfect.
Thanks for the Word of God
I thank you, loving God, that we have the Scriptures to search, given by your inspiration in total truth, that we might gain the profit of salvation from them. I give thanks for all those who toiled to preserve your Word for our learning. I give thanks that through the patience and comfort of the Bible we may have hope: a light of prophecy and truth, as sure as a bright star in the darkness, leading us to Christ. And I give thanks that on the most ordinary day, both I and any other person who seeks you may hear in our own tongue the mighty works you have done.
And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father's boundless love, with the Holy Spirit's favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What Bible verse informs us that salvation is not the product of good deeds?
Defining Who We Are
When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.
~ Wayne Dyer
Isaiah 51:17-23 (ESV)
God Promises Salvation for Zion
wake, awake, and stand, Jerusalem, which has drunk the cup of Jehovah's wrath. You have drunk the cup until you stagger, and drained it.
Among all the sons she has spawned, there is none to lead you; among all the sons that she has raised, none will take her by the hand.
You have received desolation and destruction have fallen, and who will moan for you? Both famine and the sword have come, and how can you be comforted?
Your sons have fainted and lie in the streets, like deer in a trap; they are full of the wrath of Jehovah, the rebuke of your God.
Therefore hear this, you afflicted, drunken with wine. Your Lord Jehovah speaks, your God who pleads the cause of his people. “Behold, I have taken the cup of staggering out of your hand, even the bowl filled by my wrath; you will drink it no more. I will put it instead into the hands of them that afflict you, that have said to your soul, 'Bow down, that we may pass by.' For you have put your back flat on ground, as flat as the street, to them that pass by you.”
Notes on the Scripture
In the 6th Century B.C., the Babylonians (under Nebuchadnezzar and his heirs) sacked Jerusalem, knocking down the walls, the houses and, most importantly, the Temple. Most of the prominent Israelites who survived were taken back to Babylonia in chains, to become slaves.
In Isaiah 51, the image of wine and the cup are used extensively: First, as an analogy for the general moral dissipation of the Hebrew people (which surely included excessive drunkenness); and Second, as a concrete metaphor for God's wrath. Drunkenness, which prostrates men with intoxication, and God's wrath, which lays men on their backs in death or fear of the conquering Babylonians, are both represented as drinking from a cup.
But Isaiah, the great prophet of the transition from the Old Testament to the coming of Christ, has many layers of meaning, and his message of hope to those “flat on their back” lives on today, in full force. Most of us have paid a price for our sins during our lives. In extreme cases, our lives seem to be permanently damaged. We lose our home or our job, we get divorced, we go to jail. We clog our arteries and wait in patience, trying not to feel the terror of the heart attack or stroke that will come. Our ability to withstand some temptation seems inadequate, and we feel doomed to continue sliding down a slope, for we do not have the strength to stop our fall.
Many are terrorized and controlled by other people. This can be especially acute outside the English-speaking world, but it can happen to anyone. And the victims are powerless to fight their oppressors.
But there is one who has such power, and that is God Almighty. He has the power and, as one person after another will testify, He will help if asked often enough and with conviction. Because His power is greater than that of sin; His power has overcome death itself.
God can and will help us if we ask him with sincere and steadfast hearts. It is true that good Christians are murdered or suffer gravely: we cannot know the mind of God. But person after person will testify to victory over a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, that came only after they began to ask for, and unwaveringly believe in, God's love and willingness to help us overcome our sin.