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Daily Devotion for July 21, 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.
A song about God’s forgiveness by the Sharon Singers (of the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute)
What a Great Morning
Holy God, thank you for giving me another morning! I am lucky to be alive on your beautiful planet, so full of marvelous things and the beautiful plants and animals and all the people you have created in your image. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, now and all day long, until I go to sleep, because I want to live with you every minute of this day. The time and opportunities I have right now will never return, so help me make the best of it, Lord. And let me remember this one thing: You know what you are doing, whether I can see it or not; so I will try to remember today that you are in charge, that you put me here for a reason and that, by your grace, things will turn out with your triumph and the Kingdom of Heaven, for all those who live by your grace. All praise to you forever,
For Those with Disabilities
Dear heavenly Father, my thoughts and prayers are with all who have lost the use of their body or mind, in some important way: those of us who cannot move, those who cannot walk, who cannot see or hear, whose minds are not clear: for all of us who have lost some function that others of us take for granted. And I count myself among them, for who among us will not face such tribulations as we grow older?
I pray that those of us so afflicted may know you, Lord Christ, and that your Holy Spirit may be strong in us, to give us comfort in the inconvenience, the frustration, and often the embarrassment we might suffer. Heal us, where it is your will, Lord; and for those of us who cannot be healed, let us know with complete confidence that we are truly whole. Bring to all of your children full comprehension of the freedom and joy that await us, after the short trial of this life is ended, and we all come to perfection together.
Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.
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 tells us that God’s greatness is “unsearchable”?
Fellowship means among other things that we are ready to receive of Christ from others. Other believers minister Christ to me, and I am ready to receive.
~ Watchman Nee
1 Peter 1:1, 13-15, 2:4-5, 3:13-15, 4:1, 5:6-11 (ESV)
Summary of 1 Peter
1:1 To those who are elect exiles . . . .
1:13-15 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.
2:4-5 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.
3:13-15 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.
5:6-11 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. . . . And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Notes on the Scripture
1 Peter was addressed from Peter, the first bishop in Rome, to Christians who had been exiled and scattered throughout Turkey. The purpose was to bolster their spirits and their faith, and to teach them about how to serve Christ best under persecution.
e begins by orienting them to their faith, reminding them to set their minds on their grace rather than being sucked back into the worldly orientation of their former lives. He reminds them how important this is, because they have a purpose, a mission. Just as Christ told Peter that he was the “stone upon which I will build my church,” Peter tell them that they are living stones in Christ’s church on earth.
He then teaches them how to serve Christ under persecution. As Christ suffered derision and ultimately death in His life, and yet remained gentle, they should consider that their suffering is not the product of wrongdoing, but a painful period that will make them blessed by God. But to best show Christ’s glory to nonbelievers, they should not be nasty or hostile to the society even though it scorns them.
Rather, they are to be respectful and humble to all those in authority, subjecting themselves both to the leaders inside the Christian community and in the hostile society where they live. (And within the church, leaders should be humble towards those they lead, serving them rather than dominating them.)
Finally, he urges them to turn their great anxieties over to God and not to worry, for their Christian conduct will be the source of the greatest reward imaginable. God is ultimately in charge, and they do not need to worry as long as they stay strong in their faith.