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Friday, May 25, 2018

Daily Devotion for December 16, 2017


The Prophet Micah, detail from the Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, c. 1432
The Prophet Micah, detail from the Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, c. 1432. The inscription reads ex te mihi egredietur qui sit dominator in Israhel, or "From thee to me he comes forth who will be ruler in Israel."

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.

Whenever I hear the expression “voice of an angel,” Kathleen Battle is the first person who comes to mind.



Prayer to Dedicate This Day to God

Holy God, as I face another day, I know I am going to face many challenges: to my faith, to my patience, to my love for others. I am going to have constant temptations to lapse into sin. Come to me now, Lord, and stay with me all day. Let your Spirit encompass my mind. Let me know your presence. Steer my hand, direct my words, guide my thoughts in everything I think and say and do. I resolve to live this day as a beacon of your glory, the best I can, with your help. I commit myself to give this day to you. In the name of Christ, be with me and help me.

Amen.

Prayer to be Free of Anger

Lord Christ, you taught us that anger with our brethren is a violation of your law, that it condemns us just as murder condemns us. Let me see clearly that anger is moral filth, as your servant James taught us. And yet, anger arises in my mind. [Pause to remember occasions when you have been angry recently.] I repent my anger, and ask that I be forgiven for this sin, by my faith in you.

Holy Spirit, be with me now and help me to recognize my anger instead of denying it. Teach me to forgive each and every act that makes me angry. Where I have been directly offended, grant me the spirit of forgiveness; where I have become angry over things I have seen other people do or heard them say, imbue me with such a powerful sense of acceptance that my anger will disappear. Let me remember always, Holy God, that I am not in charge of the world; You are. Give me total faith that you know what you are doing.

I pray not to live with suppressed anger, nor to deceive myself by denying my anger when I have merely suppressed it, but let it be utterly abolished within me. Grant me to live in love and peace, as my Savior did and taught us to do. Let my anger be crucified, I pray in your name, Lord Christ,

Amen.

Meditation

[I am not in charge of the world.]


For Faith

Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my mind. Give me a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that I may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will.

Amen.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.


endless knot

A Season of Hope

The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and his presence among us — as one of us — give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter the darkness, that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices, that we are never alone or abandoned.

Connections (11/28/93)

Blue Latin Cross

Micah 5:1-5 (ESV)

The Ruler to Be Born in Bethlehem

Now muster your troops, O city of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
on the cheek.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.

Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.

And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.

And he shall be their peace.


Notes on the Scripture

M

icah lived roughly 700 years before the birth of Christ. Here he predicts that the savior of Israel will be born in the tiny town of Bethlehem Ephrathah. There were two towns called “Bethlehem” in Canaan; one of them had been previously called Ephrathah, so Micah uses the word to specify which of them he meant. And there is no confusion — this is the exact town in which Christ was born seven centuries later. The area was actually famous from very early in Hebrew history, as the birthplace of Benjamin (and the home of the small tribe that remained under the rule of David's blood descendants after the split of the Kingdom of Israel). (See Genesis 35.)

This passage is, truly, one of the great miracles of the Bible, for it is historically proven that the prophecy was made prior to 701 BC, when Micah died. The birth of Jesus of Nazareth in that very town, and his role as the savior of Israel (and all of humanity), standing and shepherding his flock in the strength of the Lord, “great to the ends of the earth,” can be nothing except the fulfillment of this ancient prophecy.



Star of Bethlehem painting

Daily Inspiration

“ God's Love - The Gift
That Keeps on Giving ”

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Memory Verse

Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this age . . . .


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Comments (3)

Topic: Daily Prayer and Christian Devotional
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Andrea Flannery (Saratoga Springs -NY, US) says...
Beautifully written Ann. We just returned from a Christmas cantata, where O Holy Night brought tears to my eyes (again) in realization of how much love God bestowed on us.
16th December 2017 4:40pm
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Kathy Thompson (US) says...
Today’s music selection....does not get any better than that! The amazing power of the Grace of God. Thank you!
16th December 2017 10:10am
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Ralph Stokes (Exeter, US) says...
On an unhappy note, R.C. Sproul, whose words occasionally grace this site, passed away yesterday. A tribute by Dr. Al Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, includes this kind of wonderful paragraph: “He was, as the British would say, a man in full. He never made a half-argument, presented a half-correction, preached a half-sermon, or laughed a half-laugh. He was all in, all the time. His voice would fill the room, his preaching would shake the timbers, and his ... Read More
15th December 2017 11:01am
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Alan (Rose Hill KS, US) says...
Thank you, Dr Sproul, for all that you did during your short visit here on earth.
16th December 2017 11:57am
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Mason says...
FYI, the Comments section is the only code in Daily Prayer I didn't write, and I have no idea how to fix it. It acts up in two ways. First, it has started reposting random comments, such as Patricia's about columns. This isn't her fault. I went into the database to try to correct this but I'm not sure I did. Second, it will label random posts as "spam" and refuse to publish them until I okay it. This is fine if I'm in town, but if I'm gone there's nothing I ... Read More
15th December 2017 10:10am
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Ann (Birmingham, US) says...
Your site gives me the message I need each day. The calligraphy, the art and music lift my soul. Thank you for your commitment to excellence. May God give you the desire and resources to continue.
15th December 2017 10:02am
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Greg (Medina, US) says...
Mason, great song today. "Mary did You Know" is one of my favorite Christmas songs. Blessings to all of you today!
15th December 2017 6:58am
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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Dec 15, 2017 were:
Margaret Entwistle (12)
Norman Daniels (12)
Pam Carpenter (11)
Kathryn Epperson (11)
Michael Lockhart (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Greg Flippin (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
Linda Surber (9 out of 9)
Michael Lockhart (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)

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