Daily Devotion for June 18, 2010
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 the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.
Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you?
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
The Parable of the Rich Fool
Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.'
But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
Notes on the Scripture
There is a joke on Wall Street that goes like this:
Answer: "A frustrated billionaire."
The joke is funny because it is so often true; it is a foible of human nature. We focus upon getting something -- often something that we actually need or is perfectly healthy to seek -- but we become obssessed by it. We lose sight of the goal and when we reach it, we continue to act as if it is something we need. Very often, the obssession involves an element of sinful pride, because we see ownership of a large excess, or an amount greater than another person, as something that glorifies us among men.
Money is only one example; you could think of a hundred others. For example, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be in good physical shape: having a healthy weight, having strong healthy muscles, and having good cardiovascular fitness. But it is easy for an outsider to see prideful excess in people who become obsessed with exercise or musculature, especially when it causes them to ignore other areas of activity or becomes harmful to their own body.
There are people who tan themselves to the point that they get skin cancer. (Some exposure to sun is actually vital for health, because our bodies need sunshine to produce Vitamin D!) There are people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on their clothes, just to glorify themselves over others. There are people who are so desperate to glorify themselves that they spend 100 hours per week playing video games in order to get more points than someone else, or to make sure that their online character has some item that makes it slightly more powerful than someone else's character.
At one point, Christ told his disciples to take to the road, carrying nothing more than the clothes on their back: "Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep." (Matthew 10:9-10) I personally don't think that this applies to most of us, unless we are called to spread the Gospel full-time. We work to make enough money to buy food and clothes, to have a place to live, etc. There is no wrong in this. But it is important to stop and think, "How much do I really need in terms of earthly things?", and to compare that to "How rich am I toward God?"