Daily Devotion for June 27, 2010
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.
A pretty baptism song for country music fans.
Prayer for the Morning
Lord, teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Help us do today the things that matter, not to waste the time we have.
The moments we have are precious, Lord, see that we count them dear. Teach us to number our days aright. Fill us this day with your kindness, that we may be glad and rejoice all the days of our life. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are You, loving Father, For all your gifts to us. Blessed are You for giving us family and friends To be with us in times of joy and sorrow, To help us in days of need, And to rejoice with us in moments of celebration.
Father, We praise You for Your Son Jesus, Who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 82 (King James Version)
How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
The Good News
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'"
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."
Notes on the Scripture
The beliefs and practices concerning baptism vary widely among Christian denominations. Several — notably the Quakers and the Salvation Army — neither believe it is necessary nor practice the ritual. A great many (such as the Catholic and Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, and Methodist communions) believe that baptism is necessary to salvation and that an actual transformation takes place. Others, notably Baptists, do not believe it to be a sacrament, but practice it as an act of Christian obedience.
Baptism, basically, means a cleansing. It derives from a Greek word meaning "to immerse", and indeed, many Christians perform baptism by totally immersing the person in water. The Greek word also applied to less dramatic cleansing by water, such as dipping one's hands in water to clean them before a meal. So when a person is baptized, he is generally cleansed with water to correlate with the cleansing of the soul from sin by Christ's grace. It represents the moment when a person is reborn in Christ's grace, either symbolically or sacramentally (that is, an outward and visible sign of an actual simultaneous spiritual event).
Jesus' baptism by a non-divine human (John the Baptist) has agitated theologians for two thousand years. How can Christ, who was born without sin, be baptised at all, much less by a mortal man "not worthy to untie His sandals"?
Well, I don't know; but, fortunately, I have very little need for logic when it comes to Christian teachings. Logic is, in a sense, a limitation of the human mind. Clearly, the event marked a milestone in Christ's life; it was the point at which he emerges from his youth and begins his full-time mission of teaching, a three-year journey ending in His death, resurrection, and ascension. Equally clearly, Christ's baptism demonstrates that the three persons of God are acting in harmony.