Daily Devotion for September 5, 2017
Wear White for Christ Day
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.
Morning Prayer of George Washington
Almighty God, and most merciful father, who commanded the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day; receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee. I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated to thine own service and for thine own honor.
Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do my own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou require of me.
And since thou art a God of pure eyes, and will be sanctified in all who draw near to thee, who does not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in thy courts: Pardon, I beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into thy temple, and compass thine altar, my prayers may come before thee as incense.
And as thou would hear me calling upon thee in my prayers, so give me grace to hear thee calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith, and that it may accomplish in me, Gracious God, the good work for which thou have sent it.
Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God & guide this day and for ever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Love for God
I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life. I love You, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You. I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally. My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.
[Eternal love for God.]
God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and Spirit of God amidst us, direct our way unto you. Make us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
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.
On the Holy Spirit
It is quite right that you should feel that “something terrific” has happened to you (It has) and be “all glowy.” Accept these sensations with thankfulness as birthday cards from God, but remember that they are only greetings, not the real gift.
I mean, it is not the sensations that are the real thing. The real thing is the gift of the Holy Spirit which can’t usually be—perhaps not ever—experienced as a sensation or emotion.
The sensations are merely the response of your nervous system. Don’t depend on them. Otherwise when they go and you are once more emotionally flat (as you certainly will be quite soon), you might think that the real thing had gone too. But it won’t. It will be there when you can’t feel it. May even be most operative when you can feel it least.
~ from “The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis”
Genesis 45:1-8 (ESV)
Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers
Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?”
But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.
And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Notes on the Scripture
Generally, when people think about the history of the Jews leading up to the coming of Christ, their minds go immediately to Moses. Genesis is seen as a collection of stories but rather jumbled together. And Moses is a great dramatic hero, leading his people out of slavery, which strikes a brilliant political chord with the past few centuries.
ut the narrative begins not with Moses, but with Abraham, and in considering the salvation of Israel, Joseph is as great a figure as Moses. But although the part of Joseph’s history dealing with forgiveness is known fairly well, and certainly the family drama makes for a good tale, the great message of the early Bible is usually overlooked. Joseph, who effectively sells his entire tribe into slavery, is as great a hero as Moses.
First off, of course, he literally saves their lives, and probably the civilization of Egypt as well. They were in real danger of starvation. God could have provided for them in Canaan, but this was not His plan. His plan was, first, to humble them and, second, to separate them from absorption into surrounding society for centuries, until their identity was so well-formed as a people that they would never be assimilated. For the Egyptians would consider the Jews nearly subhuman; as we saw earlier, they will not even sit at the dinner table with a Canaanite.
And so Joseph sends all the Egyptians away and tells his family that it was not they, but God, who had sent him to Egypt in chains. Obedience is one of the cardinal virtues in our relationship with God, and possibly the most difficult to come by. God will humble the Jews and then, once they are ready, demonstrate for the first of many times that their only path to freedom is by His power, and their obedience to Him.
Wear White for Christ Day
I don’t really know very much about this — I saw it on Facebook. The idea, as far as I can tell, is to witness to your belief by wearing white the day after Labor Day (in the U.S.). In the U.S., fashion rules dictate that one not wear white after Labor Day, so apparently this is also a statement that Christ is more important to oneself than fashionable clothes. Or perhaps the people who started it are hoping people will make a remark to them, to give them a chance to witness to Christ by explaining why they are wearing white.
It seems like a good idea and I decided to go along with it and wear a white polo shirt today. You might want to search around the Internet for more about it and make up your own mind.