Daily Devotion for August 30, 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.
Life is easy, when you're up on the mountain,
And you’ve got peace of mind
Like you’ve never known.
But then things change and you're down in the valley;
Don’t lose faith for you're never alone.
For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right.
And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times;
The God of the day is still God in the night
We talk of faith when we're up on the mountain,
But talk comes easy
When life’s at its best.
But it's down in the valley of trials and temptations,
That’s where faith is really put to the test.
Music and Lyrics by Tracy G. Dartt
Prayer for the Morning
Blessed are you, O Lord my God, King of the universe, who removes sleep from my eyes, that I may see the returning light of the your day. I thank you for all that you have done while I was asleep, watching over me and all your children while we slept unaware, and I pray that my thoughts and acts this day may show forth my love and thanks for you and all you have done for me.
Help me through your Holy Spirit, that I may remember what you have taught me in the Bible and it may show forth in my every deed. Let me not wander into the hands of sin, nor into the hands of pride or perversity, nor into the hands of temptation, nor into the hands of shame, but steer my inclinations towards goodness and charity this morning and all the day. In the name of Christ I pray.
For the Clergy and All Who Minister in Christ’s Name
Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders in your Church: Give your grace, I humbly pray, to all who are called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of the church of all faithful people, now and until the end of days.
[God watches over me while I sleep.]
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
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.
Psalm 88:1-2 (NKJV)
O Lord, God of my salvation;
I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!
1 John 3:16-18 (ESV)
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Notes on the Scripture
“Love” in the New Testament has a specific meaning, a bit different from most uses of the word. It is an emotion, and emotions are always hard to define. You really cannot know an emotion unless you experience it. But John chooses to tell us what it means by showing us what a person does who experiences it. Specifically, Christian love is whatever caused Christ to die for us.
ot only did Christ die for others, but, first, He did so because others had sinned. He was paying the price for crimes committed by other people. And second, these were people whom He had never met and who, possibly, hated him! Some of them would thank him later, but still, imagine being executed for something somebody else had done, and that person is someone who dislikes you so much that he participates in the lynching.
Whatever would cause a person to do such a preposterous thing defines Christian love. It is sacrificing things of this world for the sake of other people, with no hope of earthly reward. We seek a greater reward: true communion with the One God.
John takes a swipe at hypocrisy, too. It is easier to talk about such love than to practice it, for talking about it costs us nothing. Talking about it is good; Christian love is a state so hard to reach for us, that we need all the support we can get. But talking about love is not love, but talk. It is our deeds that can constitute real love.