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Daily Devotion for May 17, 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.
A wonderful old hymn, sung “sweetly” by the Sharon Mennonite Singers.
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.
To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.
Music by Joseph P. Webster
Lyrics by Sanford F. Bennett, 1868
Prayer for the Day Ahead
Who can tell what a day might bring? Therefore, gracious God, cause me to live every day as if it were to be my last, for I cannot know that it is not. Help me to live this day as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
To Live in the Spirit
Holy Spirit of God, I pray for commitment and enthusiasm in every good work, showing the happiness and cheerfulness that comes only when we work for you. Let me live in your presence. Give me patience in difficulties, Lord, being happy and cheerful as I place my trust in you. Show me how to live in your presence. When difficulties arise, teach me to be patient.
I resolve to welcome others and to be generous with those in every sort of need. May I never curse others, but bless them, even when they have not been good to me. Help me to do all I can to live in peace with everyone. Let me support and encourage others by rejoicing with those who are happy, and sharing the sadness of those who are in sorrow. May I never look down on another person, but always be positive and helpful towards my fellow man. May I be as concerned for those who can do nothing for me in return as for those who are very close to you. Lord, let me break the cycle of evil, conquering it with goodness, for only with your help and your strength can I live fully in obedience to your Word.
In Christ’s name I pray,
Prayer of Resolve
I bind myself to you this day, oh Christ, in your truth and in your sacrifice. I give to you my anxiety and my fear, my depression and my doubt, for you have promised to take them if we only ask; and I take upon myself your burden, for it is light and your way is gentle. May I keep this in my heart and mind all this day.
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 the Bible tell us that faith by itself, if it does not have works, is “dead”?
The Big Church
For the man who prays in his heart, the whole world is a church.
~ Sylvain of Athos
1 Peter 1:10-12 (ESV)
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Notes on the Scripture
f you can recall the end of Sunday's devotional, Peter is writing this epistle to the Christians who have been exiled from Rome (or ran in fear of their lives) and live in regions of modern-day Turkey. He is giving them a pep talk to bolster their faith, sorely tried by the times they had been through. At the end of yesterday's passage, he specifically addressed the difficulty of believing in a Christ who they had never seen and could not see.
Peter was not a deep theological writer, like Paul, and did not have Paul's gifts as an orator or letter writer. But he had a gift whose value was beyond compare, for by this time, he was one of the few living men who had been with Jesus through all of the events of His life, death, and resurrection. He could testify first-hand. His credibility was unmatched. It was if he were the last astronaut alive who had ever walked on the moon, if all of the movies and photographs had been destroyed.
Here, he testifies not only to Christ, but to the apostles and prophets who had lived with Christ and told of their accounts, and whose accounts were beginning to be written down. He assures them that these people were not nut cases or the type of people who would believe everything they might hear. They "searched and inquired carefully" into the promises of salvation and, even in their own prophecies, examined their beliefs and words thoroughly.
Now, the role of these people has been fulfilled. They did not receive salvation and the gift of prophecy simply for their own good. Rather, they were to serve others, both those living and those to come. By this time, most of the apostles were dead; probably only Peter and John were still alive, and they were old men. The first generation of Christ's followers was on the verge of leaving this life, and Peter wants to assure the churches in Turkey, and everyone to come, that the testimony given by these people was mature, measured, and correct. (John, also, who like Peter did not write much, would also pen several short epistles before his death.)