Daily Devotion for November 14, 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.
This extraordinary Romanian Orthodox song, “O, Maicuta Sfanta” (Oh Holy Mother) is performed by Teodora Paunescu Tuca. (Thanks to Alex Zaciu for help translating the lyrics.)
1. O, Maicuta Sfanta
Nu lasa Maicuta,
2. Cand plangeai sub Cruce
3. Calatori pe marea
4. Fa sa-ti batem zilnic
5. Iar cand nori si ceata
Prayer for the Morning
O Lord, open up a window of heaven,
And lean out far over the battlements of glory,
And listen this morning.
Lord, have mercy on proud and dying sinners—
Sinners hanging over the mouth of hell,
Who seem to love their distance well.
Lord—ride by this morning—
Mount Your milk-white horse,
And ride all this morning—
And in Your ride, ride by old hell,
Ride by the dingy gates of hell,
And stop poor sinners in their headlong plunge. In the name of Christ, I ask it,
Prayer for Decision-Making
Gracious God, it’s time. It’s time to make the hard decisions. Sometimes I’m scared, sometimes I’m confused, and sometimes I just don’t want to believe I have to make a decision. Help me to trust You. Give me strength and wisdom so that whatever happens honors my fellow humans and You. Thank You for hearing me and answering my prayer.
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
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
In what Bible verse does Christ tell us, “he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”?
Answer: Matthew 10:37-38
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
Psalm 119:33-35 (NKJV)
Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees;
then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Jonah 1:7-16 (ESV)
Jonah Is Thrown into the Sea
And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.
Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.”
Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.”
So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
Notes on the Scripture
one of the people in this tale is outright immoral or murderous. Jonah admits his fault and takes the responsibility — and the consequences — of his wrong action. The sailors are Phoenicians, however, not Hebrew, and they worship idols. Likely they are acquainted with the curious One God of the Hebrews, for their home base is on the shoreline of northeast Israel and they would have had significant trade involving the Hebrews, both buying and selling goods and transporting for Hebrew traders.
Still, the Phoenicians are loathe to hurl Jonah to his death, even when they learn he is responsible for their predicament. They recognize the immorality of murder. Although they do not worship the Lord, they are primitive in matters of religion and perfectly willing to accept another god, especially when such a god is attributed to a powerful force. And so they call out to the Hebrew God for mercy.
The incident lives in modern language. Among sailors, who tend to be a bit superstitious anyway, a “Jonah” is still the term for a person who brings bad luck to a sea voyage.