Daily Devotion for February 2, 2018
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.
Even though I speak not one word of Russian, I sang in the Yale Russian Chorus for two years just because I loved the music so much. (it was quite a task memorizing all the words!) I have never felt the existence of God more powerfully than when singing this haunting Halleluia.
Lord, I come before you today and I thank You for all the blessings that You have given me. Many times my life is so full of busy work that I neglect my relationship with You: for that I am truly sorry. I know that You never neglect me, for if You did my very life would cease to be. Continue to pull me to Yourself, guide me in my journey, and hold me close in Your bosom until the day I come home to be with You forever. Be with me, and with those who pray with me, for although we are in different places around the world, we gather spiritually in Your name. May we feel your presence among us. In Jesus’ precious name I pray.
Prayer of Penitence
Come to me, my God. Call me in. I wander from the sheepfold mindlessly; I am adrift. I love you deeply in my soul, O Mighty God, with all my soul and heart and mind, and I regret this sin of inattention. Forgive me, for you are my only hope. As I commit so many sins, I commit the sin of joylessness and lack of interest. I repent of it, Lord; forgive me, and let me not feel guilt, but instead allow your Spirit fully into my heart, today and forever.
Let me not forget my prayers as I go out into the world. Holy Spirit, be with me, and let me praise you and remember you in my every action and thought, for the entire day long. In Christ’s name I ask this,
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
What verse assures us that God has a plan for our well-being?
“Remember that the Lord Jesus came to take away sin in three ways; He came to remove the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and, at last, the presence of sin.”
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
1 Corinthian 13 (ESV)
Faith, Hope, and Charity [summary]
hough I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not vaunt itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Notes on the Scripture
Taken as a whole, Paul’s great essay on Christian love — agape, translated “charity” in the King James Bible — gives us an anchor, a point by which we can orient our priorities, thoughts, prayers, and actions. In fact it gives us three such anchors, faith and hope being the other two, but tells us to turn first to the concept of love when we examine our past actions or plan those to come.
Faith is not subordinate to love, for it is through faith that we are saved. Paul himself says this: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
The third cardinal attribute of Christianity is hope. The concept of hope overlaps with the concept of faith, the difference being that our faith involves our conviction that God exists and has given us His holy word in the form of the Bible, whereas our hope involves our relationship with Christ. Hope is not to be confused with “wish,” for we hope in certainty. The first definition in Merriam Webster is “to desire with expectation of obtainment.”
Hope is an enormously important — a critical and necessary component of Christian life. If you are not convinced that you will be given eternal life, through Christ, or that such life will not be paradise, it is a good point for meditation and prayer. Every person, being imperfect, will hold some degree of doubt. We cannot help it; we were born into sin. But we must let ourselves hope, if we have faith in Christ’s promises, for life after death does indeed exist and will be ours, by virtue of our faith.
Of the three, though, love is the greatest, for it is our expression of Christ into the world while we still live in it. We burst through the wall of selfishness and show Christ’s power when we love. Our faith and hope are our means of salvation; but our love is our means of helping others to find salvation. To love is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Himself.