Daily Devotion for July 26, 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.
All things work for the good,
Though sometimes we can't
See how they could.
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth.
Our Father knows what's best for us;
His ways are not our own.
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just can't see him,
Remember you're never alone.
God is too wise to be mistaken;
God is too good to be unkind;
So when you don't understand,
When don't see his plan,
When you can't trace his hand:
Trust His Heart
He sees the master plan;
He holds the future in his hand;
Don't live as those who have no hope,
While our hope is found in him.
We see the present clearly
But he sees the first and last,
And like a tapestry He's weaving you and me,
To someday be just like him.
He alone is faithful and true;
He alone knows what is best for you.
When you can't trace his hand,
When you don't see his plan,
When you don't understand:
Trust His Heart.
Music and Lyrics by Eddie Caswell and Babbie Mason
The Love of Christ
Oh holy Christ, I thank you and love you for seeing who I really am. You know things about me that I don't even know myself, for you see with the clear eye of God, and not through the psychological tangle of human emotion and self-deception as others see me and I see myself. I most especially thank you, I fall upon my knees in gratitude, that you love me despite all of the sin and ugliness you see in me. You can see my beauty and heart, also, though, and love me as nobody else possibly could.
Like a father, you love me. Like a perfect brother, you love me. Knowing that you see me so clearly, and yet love me enough to suffer torture and death to save my soul, transcends my comprehension. I would be sick with shame, except that you have forbidden it, and by the power of God forgive my wrongdoing.
I give myself to you wholly, freely; every part of me blesses you. Take me to your bosom, holy Christ; let me live your love and reflect your light, that others may see a dim reflection of your magnificence in my lowly life, and that despite my many grievous faults, I might please you by doing better today, and every day. And this I vow: I will try, at least once today, to take a step closer to you, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer of Thanks for Patience in My Tasks
Lord, I thank you for teaching me how to live in the present moment. In this way I enjoy each simple task as I do it without thinking that I must hurry on to the next thing. I do what I am doing with all my ability and all my concentration. My mind is no longer divided, and life is more peaceful. Thank you for teaching me how to do this, and please help me how to show others the way to learn to trust you more completely and to do everything which has to be done at your time and your speed.
[The tangle of human emotion and self-deception.]
Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ's name,
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.
Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair; but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you into the haven of peace.
~ Charles Spurgeon
1 John 1:1-4 (ESV)
The Word of Life
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Notes on the Scripture
Today’s Scripture is the same as yesterday’s, because yesterday’s devotional was devoted to the circumstances surrounding how the epistle was written and its overall meaning and purpose.
lthough the first paragraph is punctuated as a very long sentence, it is stylistically different from the long sentences in 1 Peter. The semicolons separate functional sentences. John uses semicolons and dashes, instead of periods, to group together fairly simple sentences that are connected in a single argument or teaching.
Notice that the first words reflect the first words in John’s gospel. Christ was with God, and was God, at the beginning of time. (See John 1:1.) But John hammers home the most critical point of his epistle. He had seen Jesus with his own eyes, heard Him with his own ears, touched Him with his own fingers. Jesus was real, and moreover, He was a human being. John wants his audience and all of prosperity to know that he was an eyewitness to the events in Christ’s life and wants to give testimony.
Jesus was practically a non-entity to those in power when He was crucified, just another religious nut in a small backwater of the Roman Empire. The Jewish authorities took little notice of him and the secular authorities, none at all. So John wants to make sure that there is an historical verification, a certified eyewitness account, of Christ’s life and deeds.
He then gives the basic authority and purpose for evangelism. Those who saw the monumental miracle occur and who, by their direct friendship with Christ, continued to live in fellowship with Him after his ascension, want to share their joy with others.
This reminds us of our ties to Christ by a direct line to Christ himself, through those who knew him. “Apostolic succession” has a specific meaning in some denominations. But it has a more general meaning applicable to all Christians. Our knowledge of Christ is traceable through an unbroken line of believers to those who knew Him, and thus to Christ himself.
And finally, John reminds us that our joy is not complete unless we share our knowledge of Christ with others. All Christians have a duty of evangelism, because we love our neighbors. And what could be more loving, than to share with them the most wonderful gift of all, the gift of righteousness before God and a life (and death) in God’s grace through the remission of our sins?