Daily Devotion for May 21, 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 “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to a Mennonite service in Ohio. If you like to sing harmony, here’s your chance!
ye soldiers of the cross;
lift high his royal banner,
it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory
his army shall he lead,
till every foe is vanquished,
and Christ is Lord indeed.
2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the trumpet call obey;
forth to the mighty conflict,
in this his glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve him
against unnumbered foes;
let courage rise with danger,
and strength to strength oppose.
3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls or danger,
be never wanting there.
4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the strife will not be long;
this day the noise of battle,
the next the victor's song.
To those who vanquish evil
a crown of life shall be;
they with the King of Glory
shall reign eternally.
Prayer of Ambrose of Milan
O Lord, who has mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ's sake.
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the week and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me today and throughout the coming week, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
Last Prayer of Thomas More
Give me the grace, Good Lord
To set the world at naught. To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang upon the words of men's mouths.
To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.
Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me.
Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labor to love Him.
To know my own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God. To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity.
Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life.
To have the last thing in remembrance. To have ever before my eyes my death that is ever at hand. To make death no stranger to me. To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell. To pray for pardon before the judge comes.
To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me. For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.
To buy the time again that I have lost. To abstain from vain conversations. To shun foolish mirth and gladness. To cut off unnecessary recreations. Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.
To think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.
These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Mind over Matter?
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
~ Dr. Seuss
1 Peter 1:17-19 (ESV)
The Word Made Flesh
And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
Notes on the Scripture
eter does love a long sentence! Perhaps parchment was rare or he needed to keep his epistle short, so that it could be more easily carried, or copied, or even concealed from Roman authorities. Whatever the reason, he really crams a lot of meaning into a short space.
The only solution is to read him slowly and carefully, taking your time to understand exactly what he is trying to say.
The heart of this single sentence lesson is an “if - then”; if you call on God as your Father, conduct yourself with fear. The Old Testament, with its emphasis on righteous conduct, was not abolished in Christ. Our duty to follow the letter of the law was replaced by the duties of love and forgiveness in Christ.
But we still have an obligation to follow the spirit of the law, where it does not conflict with Christ's fulfillment of it; for the Old Testament is often how we can tell right from wrong.
How can we call on an almighty and all-powerful God, if our conduct throws His law into His face? God loves us, but he will judge impartially. Sin is still sin. Adultery, pride, and envy will still be judged, and the judgment is death.
But now, since we have been born again in Christ and can be forgiven for our sin, we have even more reason to conduct ourselves with fear. We have been ransomed. Sin kidnaps our souls when we are born, but Christ pays the ransom to free us from the sin that keeps us in bondage through temptation.
And the ransom was not a million dollars; the ransom was Christ's very blood. Being the only man to escape the kidnapper, he came back to be tortured and killed, that we could be set free. All we have to do is be willing to walk out of the door of our prison cell.
But we call on God in fear and obedience, even though we are forgiven. For to love God is to hate sin, even when we have fallen short.