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Daily Devotion for June 20, 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.
Get ready to tap your toes.
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, I give you may hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me - love the Father and love all humankind. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Prayer for Help with Our Troubles
O God, my help and assistance, who is just and merciful, and who hears the supplications of your people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner. Have mercy upon me, and deliver me from all the troubles and tribulations of life. I acknowledge and believe, O Lord, that all trials of this life are given by you for our chastisement, when we drift away from you and disobey your commandments, and thus for our salvation.
Deal not with me after my sins, I pray, but according to your measureless mercy, for I am the work of your hands, and you know my weakness. Grant me, I beseech you, your divine helping grace, and endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering, I flee to you, my only hope and refuge, for relief and comfort, trusting to your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, you will deliver me from all the trials of this life, and turn my distress into comfort. I rejoice in your mercy, and exalt and praise your holy name, oh Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever.
Community of Prayer
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.
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.
Envy of Prosperous and Wicked Men
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
From their callous hearts comes iniquity ; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression.
Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?"
This is what the wicked are like - always carefree, they increase in wealth.
Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your children.
When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
Notes on the Scripture
Seeing sinful, even wicked, people who are rich, beautiful, and in possession of many desirable worldly attributes and goods, is sometimes a difficult pill to swallow. This psalm does a wonderful job of explaining how to deal with envy of such people. The key lies in the transitional verse, " When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me, until I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny."
There is really very little to add. Beauty, wealth, and life itself are fleeting. We store up our treasure in heaven, "where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal". (Matthew 6:20)