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Daily Devotion for November 9, 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.
Emeli Sandé performs the song she sang at the London 2012 Olympics in a quiet studio with a single mike.
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Music (Eventide) by Wm H. Monk, 1861
Lyrics by Henry Lyle, 1847
Prayer for the Guidance During the Day
Oh my God, you know my weakness and failings, and that without your help I can accomplish nothing for the good of souls, my own and others'. Grant me, therefore, the help of your grace, according to my particular needs this day. Enable me to see the tasks you will set before me in the daily routine of my life, and let me set my hand to these tasks with the vigor and joy of one with whom you abide. And if I should face trials, suffering or failure, I pray that your hand will lift me up, and I may be refreshed. In the name of Christ, I pray,
Thanks for Everything
O Lord my God, it seems sometimes like you want to give me gifts more than I want to receive them, because my life is filled with so many wonderful things that I take for granted. I don't remember to ask for them and hardly remember to thank you for all of them. Most of the parts of my wonderful body function as they should, or at least pretty well; and it is only when something goes awry that I realize it is there!
Who could possibly remember to thank you for everything? The way my eyes move and focus, all the parts of my heart that keep lifeblood circulating, every minute of every day, without me even thinking about it. All those weird little parts of my brain. The chlorophyll in plant leaves that make my life possible. Nobody could come close to thanking you for all the wonders of life.
So I pray that you will accept my thanks for all the little things that make my life possible, and pleasant. The necessary things, and the beautiful things, and the things that smell good, and the things that make me laugh; everything that I will never remember to thank you for specifically, great Lord, I thank you for now.
Prayer of Penitence
Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in my contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all my sins, and cleansing me from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. And turn my heart to your will at every moment, I pray.
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
Which Bible verse promises us that we will not be tempted beyond our ability to resist, if we turn to God?
Answer: 1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Psalm 119:33-40 (He) (ESV)
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
Confirm to your servant your promise,
that you may be feared.
Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.
Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!
Jonah 1:1-6 (ESV)
Jonah Flees the Presence of the Lord
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them.
But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”
Notes on the Scripture
onah was a historical figure, a prophet who railed against the idolatry of Jeroboam. Judea had split into two kingdoms after Solomon died; Jeroboam rebelled against Rehoboam, and became the king of the northern half, called Israel. This is a little confusing today, because what we call Israel is what the Bible calls Judea; the Kingdom of Israel was the northern section of today’s Israel, and the more important southern half, where Jerusalem lies, was called Judah.
Jeroboam was a wicked king; his most notable evil was idolatry, as he set up two golden calves at the borders of his kingdom (1 Kings 12:28). Hence, Jonah’s diatribes against him. Nineveh, the capital of heathen Assyria, would eventually conquer the northern Kingdom of Israel and enslave the Hebrews there for many years.
Here, God seeks to have Jonah travel into the lion’s den of Nineveh itself, to try to bring the people there to righteousness. We are not told why Jonah is so dead set against it, for he was a prophet and a godly man. Perhaps he fears his death or resents God’s favor upon evil Assyria when Israel is in such poor shape. Whatever the reason, he flees his assignment and tries to sail as far as possible away from Israel.
But running away, when God has called, never seems to work out well for Old Testament figures, from Adam on. God sends a great storm to threaten Jonah’s ship. As the furious storm tosses the craft towards its doom, Jonah — well, Jonah takes a nap. This symbolizes his greater sin, his choice to withdraw from the storm of wickedness and idolatry raining down on Israel and Assyria. He wants to sleep while Israel itself founders.
But the agitated captain, on the verge of losing his ship and his life, will have none of it. He rouses Jonah roughly and demands that he pray to the Lord, that He might look on them with favor and save them.