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Monday, November 19, 2018

Daily Devotion for August 15, 2017



Prudence, glazed terracotta, ca. 1470, by the extraordinary Andrea della Robbia, who revolutionized vitreous enamel. The Spirit of God indwells the Eve-figure, battling against her sinful vanity.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.

Josh Garrels decries the hypocrisy of the modern world in strong terms.



Morning Prayer

Let me to-day do something that shall take
A little sadness from the world’s vast store,
And may I be so favoured as to make
Of joy’s too scanty sum a little more.

Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed
Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend;
Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need,
Or sin by silence when I should defend.

However meagre be my worldly wealth,
Let me give something that shall aid my kind –
A word of courage, or a thought of health,
Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find.

Let me to-night look back across the span
‘Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say –
Because of some good act to beast or man –
“The world is better that I lived today.”

Amen.

For Those Who Are Struggling

Heavenly Father, I pray for all my Christian brothers and sisters and for each and every family member in their households. I pray for peace to come in their hearts; I pray for love and joy to abound in their homes; I pray that they might enjoy good health, that they are not in debt, and that all their needs are met.

I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than you, Mighty God. Every battle is in your hands for you to fight, Lord. I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them. In Christ’s name,

Amen.

Meditation

[Praying for all who confess Christ.]


For Faith

Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my mind. Give me a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that I may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will.

Amen.


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.



Resurrection of Christ, devotional painting by Coypel
The Resurrection of Christ by Noel Coypel c. 1700.

The Difficult Parts

Let’s be honest: There are some difficult things in the Bible that, if we had the choice, we would cut out of it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson, who was not a believer, literally took scissors and cut out the parts of the Bible that he did not like! While none of us would be so brazen, in effect we often do just as Jefferson did. We don’t literally cut out the difficult parts, but we just ignore them or don’t work at understanding and submitting to those parts.


Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 41:46-57 (ESV)

Joseph Rises to Power [2]

Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.

Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.”

So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.


Notes on the Scripture

C

onsider Joseph’s story, so far, in the larger context. Without fault of his own, his brothers threw him into a pit and then sold him into slavery. By the grace of God and his inherent ability, he rose from slavery to great power and, once again, a sinful woman had him thrown into prison. By the spiritual gift of God (his ability to interpret dreams), after at least two years in prison, he rose to even greater power. And because he was given this power, he has saved the people of Egypt from starvation.

The shape of his story is similar to that of Christ’s, and it is seen repeatedly in the Bible. In Hebrew culture, a pit was the symbol of death and hell. He was, in effect, killed by his brothers for no reason except their jealousy and resentment. Then, the lust and pride of another person, a woman, has him imprisoned. Joseph is done in repeatedly by the faults that lie, not in himself, but in others.

This happens to us all. We do not come through life undamaged. Sometimes the damage is self-inflicted; we do things that haunt us with guilt or remorse. Sometimes it comes from someone else, with no fault on our own part: a parent, people in school, co-workers, a stranger. Sometimes, it is an accident or a disease. We feel that these things should not have happened, but they do, and everyone suffers them.

But God gives Joseph power, and Joseph uses the power God has given him to rise up from the pit, to walk out of his prison. And ultimately, it is not for his personal glorification so much, but for the great service his intelligence and foresight are able to accomplish, to save Egypt from famine.

We must not dwell on our pain, for we share it with every other person. Rather, we must find God’s spirit and the power that He has for us, for by this power we can transcend the damage life has done to us and rise to accomplish much for the glory of God and the well-being of our fellow man.

Isaiah 40:31 carries a powerful message that bears repeating here: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“As I Clean The Floors”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

John 14:6: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.


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