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Daily Devotion for June 30, 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.
This pretty anthem, sung by the Cathedral of St. Paul CHoir, is based on Psalm 121 (reproduced in a slightly different translation in today’s Scripture).
Prayer for the Morning
Good morning, dear Father; thank you for this day,
Help me to follow you in every way.
Let me speak as you speak, and do as you do;
Let me help others, as you help them, too.
Help me to be honest, don't let me play games,
Help me to grow, yet still stay the same.
Help me not to be selfish, to give of my heart, my mind and my labor;
Give all - not just part.
Help me to love others, my family, my friends,
Bless all of my foes, help me make amends.
Help me be kind, Father, where I am needed, let
Me give warm attention, and see all needs are met.
Help keep me busy, to strive for the best,
Help me not to be lazy, but find needed rest.
Let me come to you, Father, throughout the day,
Often to thank you, often to pray.
For a Loved One Who Has Died
O God, who has decreed that our bodies must decay and die as the price of our sinfulness, but who from unfathomable love has given forgiveness and sanctification to our souls, that we might know You in eternity, I thank you for the life of your servant ___________, who has passed from this world. I will mourn, for I am human, and heartbreak in the passing of a loved one is the nature you have given me. But I know, deep in my spirit, that he (she) died in faith of Christ and the true light of His redemption; and as He lived again, so shall _________ live together with you in eternity, in the peace and perfect joy that comes to us only through death of our body.
All praise to you, Lord God, for your mercy in saving us from the grim clutch of Death. And I beg of you, receive my prayer for the soul of ______, and all my loved ones now departed, in the name of Christ,
[The goal of “giving all.”]
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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.
Psalm 121 (KJV)
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
from this time forth, and even for evermore.
1 Peter 3:18-20 (ESV)
Emulating Christ with Our Gentleness
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
Notes on the Scripture
Peter outdoes himself with his long sentences today! This passage occurs in the middle of a discussion of Christians who suffer generally for their faith, and specifically those who meet harsh critics with gentleness and respect.
earing harsh criticism of one’s faith, which often includes personal attack and ridicule, hurts. Our instinct is to counterattack. In Wednesday’s lesson, Peter strongly urged Christians to avoid such an instinctive verbal reprisal. Anger has a peculiar effect of increasing a person’s confidence. But Peter teaches us to take our confidence from the Holy Spirit. The more fully we know that Christ is truth, the less anger we need to keep from feeling vulnerable.
The primary purpose of this passage is to reinforce that lesson. Peter shows how Christ embodied the principle of confident, calm defense of truth. In essence, when we hear Christians called fools or evil hypocrites, we are suffering for the sins of others. Christ did it to “that he might bring us to God”, and if we are to effectively defend Christianity and help others become closer to God, we must emulate Him.
Christ was put to death in the flesh but was raised again by the power of the spirit. When we are able to take vicious attacks against Christian belief calmly and reply gently, we imitate Christ’s life. Our earthly pride may suffer, but our spirit becomes stronger. By His gentleness, both in word and in action, Christ freed those in the prison of sin. Our minor suffering will have the same effect. We must imitate Him; Jesus is our role model.
Finally, Peter makes a very creative and interesting comparison of Christ’s life to the story of Noah. We must be utterly patient with nonbelievers. As God patiently waited for Noah to build the ark, to save only eight people, we must be patient in our defense of our faith. For only a few may ultimately hear the Word and even that may take time.