Daily Devotion for November 12, 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.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end...
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Music by Jean Sibelius
Lyrics by Catharina von Schlegel, @ 1740
Prayer for Purity of Worship
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you and worthily praise your holy name. Through Christ I pray,
Spirit of God, true God, who descended into the Jordan and into the upper chamber, and who enlightened me by baptism in the holy font, I have sinned against Heaven and before You; cleanse me with Your divine fire as You purified the holy Apostles with fiery tongues. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.
Glory to God
O Glorious God, I see Your heavens resplendent with stars. How glorious You are, radiant with light! Eternity watches me by the rays of the distant stars. I am small, insignificant, but You are at my side. Your right arm guides me wherever I go.
Glory to You, ceaselessly watching over me;
Glory to You for the encounters You arrange for me;
Glory to You for the love of parents, for the faithfulness of friends;
Glory to You for the humbleness of the animals which serve me;
Glory to You for the unforgettable moments of life;
Glory to You for the heart's innocent joy;
Glory to You for the joy of living,
Moving and being able to return Your love.
Glory to You, O God, from age to age,
May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.
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 121 (ESV)
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not smite you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
2 Peter 1:13-21 (ESV)
Interpretation of Scripture
I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.
So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Notes on the Scripture
Interpretation of the Bible is sometimes excruciatingly difficult. First, times do change and some customs must affect the meaning of Scripture. Even the most ardent fundamentalist does not consider it obligatory to wear sandals and few missionaries go from door to door, asking that the inhabitants give them a room for the night.
Secondly, we do not always know the exact meanings of the original words; most of Christ’s words have been translated several times, and even the ancient Greek or Hebrew translation is sometimes a bit obscure.
But most important, humans are fallible. We cannot see the unvarnished truth. It is not a capablility God has given to us. Everything we think, everything we know, is colored by our own emotions and personality and culture.
So what do we make of Peter’s instruction that “no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation”? Well, we must try. We must read the Bible and try to set aside our own preconceptions of right and wrong. Almost everyone seeks to read the Bible to find support for their beliefs, at least to some degree; it is human nature. But it is the worst kind of sinful pride to do it. The Bible must be read with an absolutely open mind, the mind of one who seeks truth rather than the mind of one who thinks he knows the truth and seeks an authority so that he can convince others of his correctness.