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Daily Devotion for September 25, 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.
I don't know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what lies ahead.
Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.
Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden's getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.
I don't know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood.
Music and Lyrics by Ira Stanphill (1950)
To Belong to Christ
Oh loving Lord Christ, so eager to die that I might live,
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
Put me to doing; put me to suffering;
Let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you;
Exalted for you, or brought low for you;
Let me be full, let me be empty;
Let me have all things; let me have nothing.
I freely and with my whole heart yield all things to your will and direction.
And now, oh glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours. Let this be for eternity, I pray.
Prayer Against Hypocrisy
Lord God, I understand your holy Word well enough. I study your Word, but I do not follow it. Christ has told us that those who love Him follow His commandments; yet, who actually does this?
I read your commandments to care for the poor and to lead a life of service, but I live in luxury while others starve and look for others to serve me, instead. I seek my self-glorification at every turn; often my greatest concern in life is to vindicate myself in even the most petty matters. I long for money, power, comfort. I look to politics to save the world, when you have stated so clearly that the world will be destroyed and only those who look away from it, those who focus their eye on You, will be saved.
Help me to find you, Lord. Help me not to read your Word and then ignore it in my actions. I expect to be saved by my faith; and yet, You tell me bluntly that faith without works is dead. Help me Lord; I love you, I give myself to you. Affirm my sincerity and help me to see my vast hypocrisy and, by the power of your Almighty Spirit, overcome it. In Christ's name, I pray this.
[How does my sinful pride warp my understanding of the Bible?]
And now let me go forth praising you, O Lord, with all my heart, telling of all your wonders, with my words and in my actions. I will be glad and rejoice in you this day. I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
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 89:1-2 (NKJV)
I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness
to all generations.
For I said, "Steadfast love will be built up forever;
in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness."
1 John 4:12-17 (ESV)
Seeing God Through Love
No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.
God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
Notes on the Scripture
here are enormous implications to John’s first sentence — “No one has seen God at any time.” For we have seen manifestations of God. The person of God the Father made himself famously manifest to Moses and Abraham; in Abraham’s case, He took on the form of an ordinary man and conversed with him. The Word was made manifest as a flesh-and-blood human being, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit took visible form several times in the New Testament.
John, of course, was well aware of this. So what does he mean?
He means, the actual being we call God is incomprehensible to us. He exists outside the boundaries of time, space, and matter; in fact, God is infinite and created the finite universe in which we exist. Our universe is, in effect, a sealed box. How can anyone be so prideful or short-sighted not to realize that something may exist outside of it, and not be subject to its rules and limitations?
So how can we know God? Why do we believe in Him?
God manifests Himself to us, out of love for us, so that we can know Him. And for our generation, the most available manifestation is the Holy Spirit, for it is still with us, as Christ promised it would be. The Spirit cannot be quantified or even detected by science; and yet, once we accept Christ into our heart, we become capable of knowing the Spirit and “abiding” with it. We can’t hear it or see it, but we can see its power, in the way it changes lives. And, if we ask it, the way it will change our own lives.
“By this we know that we abide in [God], and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” Knowing the Holy Spirit is a key to deepening our faith, because by the Spirit, and only by the Spirit, we can know God first-hand.