Daily Devotion for June 11, 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 weeks takes us to the Hastings College Chapel
For Sunday Morning
Oh heavenly Lord, who decreed that we should take one day of rest, one special day in remembrance of you, today I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the moment of His glorious victory over death. I add my voice to countless millions of others in thanks, in praise, and in awe of Your sacrifice for us.
Help me, dear Lord, to dedicate these few moments to You completely. You have taught us that we may dwell with you, even while we are caught in this difficult world, and I pray to dwell with you fully now. Guard me against wandering of mind and the intrusion of mundane thought, so that I may be fully present with you, through the power of Your Holy Spirit.
And in the coming week, I pray that my mind may constantly turn to you, so that I may always remember you when I am tempted to anger, to selfishness, to lust for power and the vanities of this world, or any of the myriad temptations that might assail me in the course of life. In the name of Christ and through faith in Him, I pray,
Almighty Father; I enter your presence confessing the things I try to conceal from you and the things I try to conceal from others. I confess the heartbreak, worry, and sorrow I have caused, that make it difficult for others to forgive me; the times I have made it easy for others to do wrong; and the harm I have done that makes it hard for me to forgive myself. Lord have mercy on me, and forgive me for all my sins against you and against others. And teach the grace to forgive others to all who ask for it, through the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ,
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples.
Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love.
Grant me the Spirit of Fear of the Lord that I may be filled with a loving reverence toward You;
the Spirit of Piety that I may find peace and fulfillment in serving You, while serving others;
the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation;
the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know You and know myself, and thus grow in holiness;
the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your truth;
the Spirit of Counsel that I may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom;
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may aspire to the things that last forever;
Teach me to be Your faithful disciple. Animate me with Your Spirit in every aspect of my life, today and throughout the week to come.
[How does piety involve serving others?]
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 84:1-2 (NKJV)
How beautiful is Your dwelling,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
1 Peter 2:18-25 (ESV)
Subjection to Earthly Masters
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Notes on the Scripture
oday, Peter's message begins to get tough. It is easy to follow, but hard to swallow. And yet, his argument is unassailable, because what he asks is for us to act like Christ.
Peter tells us to do what our employers tell us to do and give them full respect, and not only if we have a good boss, but also if we have an unfair, mean boss. He asks us, in effect, to recreate the suffering of Christ in our daily lives.
The reason he gives is that we get no credit for suffering under a bad boss if we have misbehaved. If we profess Christ, however, and our boss mistreats us, both God and our fellow man will see our suffering as an example of Christian goodness.
This is a really, really hard principle to follow, for our pride is inflamed if we think we are treated unfairly. One only needs to be around small children to see how fiercely a human being resents the smallest hint of unfair or partial treatment.
If we indulge ourselves, even a small instance of wrongful treatment by an employer (or other person in charge of us) can become an enraged obsession. Another example of how furious our reactions can become is to follow a dispute involving a labor union. The rhetoric often becomes hateful and violent, and the violence can become physical.
You will probably not hear these verses in church, and if you do, you probably will not hear a sermon supporting and explaining it; for this is completely at odds with the worldly principle of "fighting for our rights". But Peter call on us to fight for Christ, not for our "rights". When we think we must choose between Christ and ourselves, we choose Christ; for by serving Christ, we benefit ourselves beyond measure, beyond anything that this world can give to us.
If you watch closely, you can see examples of a person following this principle every once in a while. In the baseball strike of 1981, Dale Murphy, the most famous and beloved player for the Atlanta Braves and a devout Mormon, could not bring himself to join the strike. (Luckily, both the team and the Players' Association respected his faith and did not put him in the position of crossing the picket line.)