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Daily Devotion for July 9, 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 brings us a hymn performed by the Fron Choir.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Lyrics by Isaac Watts, 1707
Tune “Hamburg” by Lowell Mason, 1824
A Prayer Before Reading Scripture
Open my eyes, gracious Lord, as I turn to your word. I long to know you, to understand life, and to be changed. Examine me, Lord, by the floodlight of your truth.
Thanks for the Life of Christ
Almighty God, I thank you for the life and teachings of your only Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He lived and walked as one of us, a mortal man who bled and felt pain, who felt anger and love, who would become tired and hungry. The world has seen no other love like this, for you willingly bore the pain of mortality, that we might be saved.
The beating, torture, and painful death that Christ suffered at our hands was a terrible thing; yet you considered his victory in overcoming that death worth the cost, so powerful was your love. I praise you for Christ's resurrection and victory, and for his promise to all people, that he will intercede for us at our death, and bring us to eternal life. Today I remember and celebrate His resurrection, giving all glory to Father, Son and Holy Spirit for this miracle and the redemption of our own lives. Through Christ I pray,
Gracious God, our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo. Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment. Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed; and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image, through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.
[Giving sins to God’s forgiveness, that are too heavy to carry.]
Oh Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you”; I pray that I and your whole church, the body of all faithful people, will know your peace, and live in harmony and unity, one with another, in accordance with your wishes. This I pray to you, who lives and reigns forever.
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 37:7-8 (NASB)
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
Genesis 1:1-3 (ESV)
Does God Exist?
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Notes on the Scripture
ost scientists would agree that, in the beginning, the “earth was without form and void, and there was darkness everywhere.” It is generally accepted that the universe had a beginning and, before that beginning — well, nobody really knows, exactly. Scientists make important-sounding guesses, but they don’t actually know. As far as anyone knows, neither energy, nor matter, nor time, nor space as we know it even existed.
Human beings have a terrible habit of acting like they know things when they really don’t. Just a few hundred years ago, a renown physician would tell you, with utter assurance, that your illness was caused by an imbalance of humours, and should be treated by sticking leeches on you to remove excess blood. Scientists, like every other kind of expert, sometimes have a hard time saying “I don’t really know.”
Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist, recently declared that God does not exist. Because of his popularity and status as a famous scientist — an expert on the beginning of the universe — people seemed to think he has some sort of special insight into the issue. But he doesn’t.
He does not actually understand his own area of expertise; he doesn’t know whether there was a “Big Bang.” Even within the language of science, it is only a theory. And neither Hawking nor any other physicist even attempts a coherent proof of what existed before the Big Bang, or how or why it happened. Hawking’s own explanation is that, well, the universe just popped into existence!
This isn’t a diatribe against science, or all the wonderful things done by all the brilliant and hard-working people that have improved our lives so much. The point is: Steven Hawking’s opinion on the existence of God has no more validity than that of a washerwoman.
What we Christians understand, that Hawking does not, is that God cannot be known simply with the mind. Spiritual knowledge cannot be found by mathematics. We can only find God with our heart and our spirit, and with the innocence of a child.