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Daily Devotion for August 2, 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.
I confess with faith and adore You, O Light indivisible, Holy Trinity and single Godhead, creator of light and dispeller of darkness. Dispel from my soul the darkness of sin and ignorance, and at this hour enlighten my mind, that I may pray to You according to Your will, and receive from You the fulfillment of my supplications. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.
For Those Who Suffer from Prejudice
Holy God, teach me to treat every person with the pure love of Christ. Do not let me hate any person, but to forgive them when they sin, and to disregard every external attribute that prejudices one person against another. For we are all your children, equally loved, although we be sinners all.
And bless those who hate and those who are hated, especially from prejudices against attributes of birth, or appearance, or ability, or any other worldly feature that divides us from one another. Comfort and bless those who suffer such discrimination and do not let them fall into Satan's trap, but give them always a spirit of sincere and pure forgiveness, as Christ forgave those who tortured and murdered Him.
And reform those who say words or commit acts that hurt others; if it be your will, let them see their sin and grow to hate it. Call them to your Spirit and let them be reborn in love and humility through the power of Christ, in whose name I pray,
Into your hands, O Lord, Jesus Christ, my God, I commend my spirit. Bless me and all those who pray in faith of You this day; save us and grant unto us everlasting life.
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
In what verse does Christ tell us to go and make disciples of all nations?
Proverbs 15:19 (NKJV)
The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns,
But the way of the upright is a highway.
1 John 2:3-11 (ESV)
The New Commandment
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.
By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.
At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.
Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Notes on the Scripture
You could well summarize the first part of today’s Scripture with current slang: It’s not enough to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. John again uses the image of Christ as the light of men, combining it with the concept of walking as Christ walked. And we know what happens if we try to walk somewhere without any light, in darkness: We stumble.
o we try to live in the light, conceiving of all our actions by holding them up against Christ’s commandments. But, what commandments? Jesus was famous for his refusal to follow the Mosaic law to the letter. Most notably, he would heal on the Sabbath, which the Jewish authorities thought was a breach of the fourth commandment.
Christ had many teachings and we must always read the gospels, to keep them fresh in our mind. But the only time he used the word “commandment” to characterize his teaching was in his summary of the law:
John is continuing to emphasize the critical lesson of loving one’s fellow man as the mark of one who will truly follow Christ. He is telling us that this is the new commandment, the mark of salvation, the test of our faith.
It is a test we meet every day. Other people are aggravating. They do stupid things that affect us. They insult us and undermine us. They drive too slow or too fast. They vote for the wrong person. Occasionally, they may rob us or hurt us, even kill us. But we must keep our eye on God and love them, not judge them; for as Christ loved and saved mankind, despite the fact of his torture and murder, we must follow in his footsteps every day.