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Daily Devotion for June 20, 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.
The great Claramae Turner, late in her career, sings one of the greatest inspirational songs to come from Broadway.
Prayer for Renewal in Christ
My Father, if Your mercy had boundaries, where would be my refuge from just wrath? But Your love for me in Christ is without measure. Thus, I present myself to You with sins of commission and omission, against You, my Father, against You, Adorable Redeemer, against You and Your stirrings, O Holy Spirit, against the dictates of my conscience, against the precepts of Your Word, against my neighbours and myself.
Enter not into judgment with me, I pray, for I plead no righteousness of my own, and have no place to hide my iniquity. Pardon my day dark with evil.
This morning I renew my repentance. I vow to love You more fervently, to serve You more sincerely, to be more devoted in my life, to be completely Yours; Yet I soon stumble, backslide, and have to confess my weakness, misery and sin. But I bless You that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from my doings, that His atonement is sufficient satisfaction for my sins.
If future days be mine, help me to amend my life, to hate and abhor evil, to flee the sins I confess. Make me more resolute, more watchful, more prayerful. Let no evil fruit spring from evil seeds my hands have sown; Let no neighbour be hardened in vanity and folly by my want of watchfulness.
If this day I be ashamed of Christ and His Word, or show unkindness, malice, envy, lack of love, unadvised speech, hasty temper, let it be no stumbling block to others, or dishonour to Your name. O, help me to set an upright example that will ever rebuke vice, appeal to goodness, and evidence that lovely are the ways of Christ.
Prayer to Inspire Others
Lord, I ask you to inspire me to encourage others by what I say and do today. God and Father of all people, never let me look down on others or make anyone feel inferior.
Lord, show me how to live today with genuine concern for others. In expressing my care, may I show people that they are valued, loved and appreciated for who they are.
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
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 verse reminds us to trust in God rather than the thoughts in our own mind?
A New World
“It was the Lord who put into my mind that fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures.”
~ Christopher Columbus
Genesis 29:1-30 (TLB)
The Story of Jacob  - Rachel and Leah
Jacob traveled on, finally arriving in the land of the East. He saw in the distance three flocks of sheep lying beside a well in an open field, waiting to be watered. But a heavy stone covered the mouth of the well. (The custom was that the stone was not removed until all the flocks were there. After watering them, the stone was rolled back over the mouth of the well again.) Jacob went over to the shepherds and asked them where they lived.
“At Haran,” they said. They then told Jacob that they knew Laban, and that he was coming with his flock, accompanied by his daughter Rachel.
“Why don’t you water the flocks so they can get back to grazing?” Jacob asked. “They’ll be hungry if you stop so early in the day!” “We don’t roll away the stone and begin the watering until all the flocks and shepherds are here,” they replied.
s this conversation was going on, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. And because she was his cousin—the daughter of his mother’s brother—and because the sheep were his uncle’s, Jacob went over to the well and rolled away the stone and watered his uncle’s flock. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and started crying! He explained about being her cousin on her father’s side, and that he was her Aunt Rebekah’s son. She quickly ran and told her father, Laban, and as soon as he heard of Jacob’s arrival, he rushed out to meet him and greeted him warmly and brought him home. Then Jacob told him his story.
“Just think, my very own flesh and blood,” Laban exclaimed.
After Jacob had been there about a month, Laban said to him one day, “Just because we are relatives is no reason for you to work for me without pay. How much do you want?” Now Laban had two daughters, Leah, the older, and her younger sister, Rachel. Leah had lovely eyes, but Rachel was shapely, and in every way a beauty. Well, Jacob was in love with Rachel. So he told her father, “I’ll work for you seven years if you’ll give me Rachel as my wife.”
“Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to someone outside the family.”
So Jacob spent the next seven years working to pay for Rachel. But they seemed to him but a few days, he was so much in love. Finally the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my contract,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife, so that I can sleep with her.”
So Laban invited all the men of the settlement to celebrate with Jacob at a big party. Afterwards, that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. (And Laban gave to Leah a servant girl, Zilpah, to be her maid.) But in the morning — it was Leah!
“What sort of trick is this?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked for seven years for Rachel. What do you mean by this trickery?”
“It’s not our custom to marry off a younger daughter ahead of her sister. Wait until the bridal week is over and you can have Rachel too — if you promise to work for me another seven years!”
So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. Then Laban gave him Rachel, too. And Laban gave to Rachel a servant girl, Bilhah, to be her maid. So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her more than Leah, and stayed and worked the additional seven years.
Notes on the Scripture
We have a long passage today, because not much is needed in the way of commentary on this “Bible story.” Theologically, the only significance is that Jacob marries within the tribe; like Isaac, he returns to his ancient lineage to find a wife. But he doesn't get the wife he bargained for!
It is odd that Isaac, unlike Abraham, doesn't set aside a large amount of gold or other goods to buy Jacob a wife. Jacob has to earn his bride, very unlike lucky Isaac; remember that Abraham sent a servant with gold to Mesopotamia, and the servant brought the beautiful Rebekah back to Isaac and, almost literally, dropped her in his lap. But God works in mysterious ways, and Jacob is going to need a number of women to beget all the sons he will need to populate the nation named after him.