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Daily Devotion for August 5, 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.
Prayer for Obedience
Almighty God, who is the Father of lights and who has promised by your dear Son that all who do your will shall know your doctrine: Give me grace today, so to live that by obedience I may increase in faith and in the understanding of your Holy Word. Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Prayer for Help with the Burdens of Life
Grant me, I pray, your divine helping grace; endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering and to you, my only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort; trusting your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when you know it is for the best, you will deliver me from my troubles, and turn my distress into comfort, and I will rejoice in your mercy, and exalt and praise your Holy Name, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Prayer for All Who Have Injured Me
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to this suffering — our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this, and when they come to judgment, let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness.
[Submission to God’s Word.]
Dedication (from St. Teresa of Avila)
May it please you, my good Lord, that there may come a day when I can repay a little of my great debt to you. O Jesus, strengthen my soul, you who are good above all good; and since you have inclined my soul in this way, show me how I may act for you, whatever it may cost, O Lord. Here is my life, my honor and my will; I have given them all to you and they are yours: use me to do whatever you want.
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.
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all.
~ First verse of Hope by Emily Dickinson
1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)
Do Not Love the World
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world.
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Notes on the Scripture
In Matthew 6:19, Christ told us not to lay up our treasures on earth, where moths corrupt and thieves may steal, but to lay up our treasures in heaven, instead. Today, John takes a slightly different angle in presenting the same truth.
He names three types of “things of the world.” The first could be called appetites. We eat and we may enjoy it; we may enjoy our intimate life with our husband or wife; we enjoy resting when we are tired. And these are good, gifts of God for us to use in their place, for it is how the world He created runs.
ut we cannot love them, in the sense of making them our goal, giving them great importance in our lives, for they will lead us into death. Food and drink are the means to sustain life, not the reason to live. We must eat to live, but we should not live to eat. We may look forward to our dinner, time alone with our spouse, our leisure time; but if we make them the center of our lives, there will be no room for God.
The second is consumerism, the desire of the eyes. Our clothes, our furniture, our cars — these are just stuff. We need stuff to live, but we don’t need to love it, because it will always disappoint us. Atheists decry the existence of God, but the real illusion is that shiny new car we crave but don’t need, or that expensive new dress or jacket.
These are guaranteed to be utterly gone and forgotten in the wink of an eye; in 30 or 60 years that shiny new car will be a pile of rusted metal; fashionable clothing will sit in our closet, be given away, become house rags and, soon enough, dissolve into the dust whence it came.
And our pride! It can consume us. Politicians sell their soul to be a senator or legislator; but they are soon enough forgotten by the earth, sometimes in five years, sometimes in five thousand. And they will die, and what profit will there be in it?
We have a gift that will never perish and will never turn to dust, for love of God leads us to something eternal. That is the promise of Christ and Christianity, and we must decide every day whether we believe it or not. For if we truly believe we will have eternal life and joy, the baubles of this world will appear as they really are: pretty, meaningless baubles, that will long be gone when God's elect have found true and timeless happiness.