Daily Devotion for June 19, 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.
The girl singing this is 15 years old.
Prayer for Purity of Thought
Almighty God, who alone gave me the breath of life, and alone can keep alive in me the holy desires your Spirit brings; I pray to you, in the name of your infinite compassion, to sanctify my thoughts and endeavors this day; that I may not begin to act without a pure intention or continue it without your blessing. And grant that, having the eyes of my mind opened to behold things invisible and unseen, I may in heart be inspired by your wisdom, and in work be upheld by your strength, and in the end be accepted by you as your faithful servant; through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Thanks for the Life of Christ
Almighty God, I thank you for the life and teachings of your only Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is amazing to me that he lived and walked among us, one of us, a mortal man who bled and felt pain, who felt anger and love, who would become tired and hungry. Your love in showing us that you would share the burdens of mortality is great. Although the terrible beating and torture, and long painful death, that He suffered at the hands of the powerful was a terrible thing, his ultimate victory in overcoming that death was the greatest victory in the history of mankind.
I praise you for Christ's resurrection and victory, and for His promise to all people, that he will intercede for us at our death, and bring us to eternal life. Today I remember and celebrate His resurrection, giving all glory to Father, Son and Holy Spirit for this miracle and the redemption of our own lives. Through Christ I pray,
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you - I, whom you have redeemed.
My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Earthly Matters vs. Spiritual Concerns
Since it is by God's mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God's word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus' sake.
For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Notes on the Scripture
Today's reading continues the theme of yesterday: How much time and effort should we spend pursuing earthly goods, and how much time and effort should we expend to gain God's grace? There is no easy answer. It is tempting to say that there is an easy answer, i.e., we should spend every waking minute in the worship and service of Christ, and give no thought to the needs of our earthly body.
But this isn't a realistic answer for most of us. Very few people are called to the monastic life. Even most people who are called to spread God's word as a "full-time" vocation, such as priests, ministers, pastors, evangelists, etc., enjoy the fruits of the earth. Many marry and have children. Most of them enjoy a good meal and a warm bed in a shelter that protects them from the elements. Most have some sort of hobby or avocation.
Paul gives us, in this verse, a bright-line standard of "how much is too much"; that is, we cannot be so wrapped up in earthly life that we are blinded by "the god of this world" to the gospel of the glory of Christ. It is something people must decide for themselves, but it is worth constant self-examination, or perhaps (if we feel uncertain) a conversation with a friend whose relationship with God is solid.
I suggest sitting in a quiet relaxing place, asking for God's guidance, and simply asking yourself, "are the things of this world interfering with my ability to know and follow Christ?"
There is a television show called "Wife Swap". If you have time, try to watch it sometime; if you can see past the immediate sensationalism of the show, it offers profound insights into self-delusion and obsession. Often, there is a heartwarming moment of self-realization by one or more of the participants. It isn't a Christian show, but it can be helpful to anyone who has sizeable interests in earthly matters and wonders whether they have gone overboard, to the detriment of their duty to worship and serve God.