Daily Devotion for October 8, 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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to St. John’s Anglican Church in Detroit, Michigan.
1. On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
announces that the Lord is nigh.
Awake and harken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings!
2. Then cleansed be every life from sin:
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.
3. We hail you as our Savior, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward.
Without your grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.
4. Stretch forth your hand, our health restore,
and make us rise to fall no more.
O let your face upon us shine
and fill the world with love divine.
5. All praise to you, eternal Son,
whose advent has our freedom won,
whom with the Father we adore,
and Holy Spirit, evermore.
Music and Lyrics by Charles Coffin, 1736
Preparation for Prayer
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly-minded.
For with blessings in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
our full homage to command.
Sunday Prayer to Christ
Oh Christ, you are continually worshiped in heaven and on earth, in all times and at all hours; you are patience, compassion and mercy; you love the righteous, you have mercy on sinners, and you call all men to salvation, promising them all things to come: Receive my prayers, this Sunday, as I celebrate Your resurrection; make my life conform to your will; sanctify my soul and body, order my thoughts, and give me victory in all trials and sadness, both today and in the week to come; protect me and bless me, and all of those who worship you this day, so that we may come to unity of faith and knowledge of your glory. For you live and reign, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God now and forever,
Prayer of Confession
Most merciful God, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done, and by what I have left undone. I have not loved you with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbors as myself; and I sorrow for these wrongful acts and omissions from the bottom of my heart. I humbly and fully repent all of my misdeeds, and pray that for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, you will have mercy on me and forgive me, not by my merits, but by that grace that He has granted those who confess his name. And I pray that you will be in my heart and walk with me, that I might sin no more.
May the God of hope fill me and all of us with the joy and peace that comes from believing, so that we may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Take Up Your Cross
The place of suffering in service and of passion in mission is hardly ever taught today. But the greatest single secret of evangelism and missionary effectiveness is the willingness to suffer and die. It may be a death to popularity (by faithfully preaching the unpopular biblical gospel), or to pride (by the use of modest methods in reliance on the Holy Spirit), or to racial and national prejudice (by identification with another culture), or to material comfort (by adopting a simpler lifestyle). But the servant must suffer if he is to bring light to the nations, and the seed must die if it is to multiply.
John Stott from The Cross of Christ
Ephesians 4:1,11-16 (ESV)
Our Role in Christ’s Church
To each one of us grace was given according to the nature of Christ’s gift. . . . It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, when we become mature, attaining the whole measure of Christ.
As a result, we are no longer to act like children, tossed here and there by waves and blown around by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness or deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, Christ himself. The body is held together by every joint and ligament, each of them supplying a needed role; and thus Christ has appointed the growth of the body, building itself up in love.
Notes on the Scripture
he critical part of this passage is the first few words: “To each one of us grace was given.” Christ did not leave anyone without some work to do on earth. The passage discredits a habit of nearly all people and societies: to value people according to some scale of importance. The talented, the highly visible, the televised, the quoted . . . a cult of celebrity has sprung up, comprised of people whose only claim to fame is that they are famous.
Your work for Christ, whatever it may be, is as important as anyone’s. The eyes that matter are the eyes of God, not those of the local news anchor, or a local gossip, or an applauding audience. God sees what you do and approves your mission in Christ, whether you lead millions or perform an uncredited small kindness to a stranger. Our roles stem from the nature of the gift given to us by Christ, not from some inherent degree of greatness in which we may glory or feel humiliation. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”