Daily Devotion for June 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.
Like so many popular groups, the Statler Brothers started out singing gospel.
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.
O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me;
for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary.
In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see,
for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me.
To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
where his glory forever I'll share.
Music and Lyrics by George Bennard, 1910
Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester (1230 A.D.)
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits thou hast won for me,
For all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother,
May I know thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
And follow thee more nearly
For ever and ever.
O God, I know that if I do not love you with all my heart, with all my mind, with all my soul and with all my strength, I will love something else with all my mind and heart and soul and strength. Grant that by putting you first in all my desires I will be liberated from all lesser desires, loving you first and foremost. Grant that my loyalties will lie completely with you; and that I will always have you as my first love, my chiefest good, and my final joy.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.
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 Bible verse gives rise to the expression, “turn the other cheek”?
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain, not loss; good, not evil; success, not failure; in order that I shall not regret wasting a day that will never return.
1 Peter 2:13-17 (ESV)
Submission to Authority
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Notes on the Scripture
aving shown us that we are a “royal priesthood and a holy nation” and should therefore live our lives as examples to non-believers, Peter begins a section of difficult lessons. Here he tells us to be subject to the laws of the civil authority. We do not need to do this for our own salvation, but rather, in our role as disciples. Specifically, to avoid giving foolish people — atheists, Wiccans, and all the varieties of people who have not found Christ — fuel to criticize us and thus bring Christ’s name into bad repute.
This is fine and good, we think, when the government is good. But do we really have to obey a government that is evil, corrupt, immoral?
The answer to this question lies in the circumstances under which Peter wrote this epistle. The “emperor” whom Peter tells the exiled Christians to honor was one of the wickedest men who ever ruled: Nero. The emperors of Rome during this time exiled, suppressed, tortured, and murdered Jews and Christians by the thousands.
But nevertheless, we are free. We can live by our conscience (as long as we do not use our faith to cover up evil). To honor the emperor does not mean to act contrary to our morals.
The most shining example is our very profession of belief in Christ. At several times during this period, Roman authorities ordered Christians to stop worshipping, and to swear against their beliefs, on pain of death; and many disobeyed the law and were killed. They did not call the emperor foul names, curse the government of Rome, or start a revolution. They continued to honor the civil authority even as they refused to follow a wicked law.
This is the model for all Christians to follow. Hopefully we will not be called upon to die for our faith! But we can always live for our faith, and the kinds of disputes and pridefulness that come with too much faith in the governments of this world will always take away from our effectiveness as Christ’s disciples. If we profess Christ openly, we must lead honorable lives and not make enemies in worldly disputes — in this case, political enemies. For if we do, they become enemies of Christ as well.