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Daily Devotion for October 30, 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.
Heaven hear me now.
I'm lost without a cause
After giving it my all.
Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun.
After all that I've been through
Who on earth can I turn to?
I look to you. I look to you.
After all my strength is gone,
In you I can be strong.
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone,
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.
About to lose my breath,
There's no more fighting left,
Sinking to rise no more,
Searching for that open door.
And every road that I've taken
Lead to my regret.
And I don't know if I'm going to make it.
Nothing to do but lift my head.
My levees are broken,
My walls have come
Crumbling down on me.
When rain is falling.
Defeat is calling.
I need you to set me free.
Take me far away from the battle.
I need you to shine on me.
Music and lyrics by Robert S. Kelly
To Spend this Day in Thankful Reverence
Holy Father, Holy God, I come before you today in reverence and awe; I am filled with humility in the face of your greatness, your majesty, your holiness, and your power. And to acknowledge my sinfulness in the face of your pure and holy presence fills me with fear. Yet I pray boldly, for you have called me and adopted me as your rightful heir, through the sacrifice of your Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I give you thanks for your mercy with every ounce of my being, and pray that your Holy Spirit might be with me, that I might do your will in every thought and action this day; and that the work of my hands and the words of my tongue might seek your glory, and not my own.
And I promise, with your help and grace, to be fearless in the world; for if you are with me, who can be against me? Let me not hesitate to call upon you, for your power and love will see me through anything this world can bring against me. All thanks and praise be to you, almighty God.
In the name of Christ, I pray,
Prayer of Praise
Great You are, O lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Your power, and Your wisdom is infinite. You would we praise without ceasing. You call us to delight in Your praise, for You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts find not rest until we rest in You; to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit all glory, praise, and honor be ascribed, both now and forevermore. Amen.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What verse tells us that Christ gave up aspects of divinity during His human life?
Answer: Philippians 2:6-7
“Although He existed in the form of God, Christ did not retain equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men.”
Proverbs 16:2 (NKJV)
But the Lord weighs the spirits.
1 Corinthians 7:17-24 (ESV)
Live as You Are Called
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.
Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.
You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
Notes on the Scripture
n today’s Scripture, Paul celebrates the commonality of Christians who are not otherwise connected. From almost the earliest days, Christianity had to struggle with fundamental differences among people who were the fertile soil of Christ’s “Parable of the Sower,” people who heard the word, and it took root and flourished. The Middle East has always been a melting pot, an odd point of juncture for Asia, Europe, and Africa where many cultures collided.
The squabbling began as soon as the church started, for Christ and his disciples were all Jews, as insular a society as one could want. They would not even eat a meal with a Gentile or enter his house. Much of Acts and several epistles describe the shock to these people when Gentiles wanted to join their churches and worship Christ. They spoke different languages (Aramaic, Greek, or Latin mostly), they had different moral codes and, most telling, many of them lacked circumcision, the one defining mark to the Jew of a covenant with God.
Paul reminds us today that Christianity is not a nation, a culture, or a social class. Nor is it just some sort of international or cross-cultural friendship club, for it asks much more than that. It asks that we accept that our station in life is, ultimately, trivial. Preparing for our eternal life and living in the light of God’s love are so transcendently important, that we disdain earthly station.
In human terms, there is nothing a slave or bondservant wants more deeply than his freedom. And yet Paul tells them not to be concerned about it. For if our mortal life is all there is, whether it is spent in service to a random master or whether we are free men and women is critically important; but it is not. It is a period of preparation and trial.
And so, our brother is not the person who looks like us, speaks our language, dresses like us, votes like us, lives in our country. These matters are trivial. Our kinship is among those who confess Christ as their Lord and Savior and live in the Holy Spirit.
Daily Prayer is based in the United States and the prayers and Bible are in the English tradition. But our community is not American or Commonwealth, or even English-speaking. It is not Anglican or Orthodox or Baptist or Catholic or Coptic. We remember and celebrate today our true community, our brothers and sisters in Christ, wherever they may find themselves in their brief journey on earth.