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Friday, November 16, 2018

Daily Devotion for February 11, 2018


<i>Ghent Alterpiece</i> (main panel, <i>Adoration of the Lamb</i>) by Jan and  Hubert van Eyck, ca. 1432.
Ghent Alterpiece (main panel, Adoration of the Lamb) by Jan and Hubert van Eyck, ca. 1432.

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.

Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week is a recreation of an old-time meeting performed by the Gaithers.



For a Heart Open to God's Word

God, as you gave us the sun to lighten our days, so you have given us your Word to lighten our minds and our souls. I pray that you will pour out on me your Spirit as I pray today, that my heart and mind may be opened to your Word, and that I may learn and accept your will for my life.

Shine within my heart, loving God, the pure light of your divine knowledge; open the eyes of my mind and the ears of my heart to receive your Word, this day and always,

Amen.

Song of Praise

Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you heavens: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all people on earth: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
O people of God bless the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you priests of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you servants of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all you of upright spirit: bless the Lord you that are holy and humble in heart.
All Bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

Amen.

Prayer to Treat Others Well

Father, thank you for bringing me into your family. May I never disappoint you in the way I treat others. Teach me to show love, patience, and acceptance to all who come to me; let me show peace of soul and firm conviction that your will governs all. And I pray that others may see in me the qualities of character that can only be attributed to your presence in my life.

Make my life a window for your light to shine through and a mirror to reflect your love to all I meet. To you be the glory and the honor, forever and ever, through Jesus my Lord.

Amen.

Benediction

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.

Amen.


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.



endless knot

Pippa’s Song

THE year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearl'd;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven-
All’s right with the world!


Blue Latin Cross

'Revelation 7:9-17 (ESV)

Heaven

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


Notes on the Scripture

The Revelation of St. John the Divine (usually shortened to “Revelation”) is generally known for its bizarre, surreal, and frightening imagery of the Day of Judgment. Yet here we have one of the most beautiful and comforting poetic passages in the Bible.

T

hree forms of relief are specified, all in the negative: Hunger, thirst, sun. These are specific to life in ancient Palestine. Water, of course, is determinative of life in a generally parched land; and food is always a problem, especially for ancient peoples and doubly so where water is scarce. The problem continues today in arid lands near the equator. The third, the problems that come from intense hot sunshine, don't resonate as much with most of us who live in more northern lands, where we consider sunshine a blessing!

But the hot sun is a constant curse to the people of Canaan, and relief from it is one of the greatest pleasures possible. Cf. Psalm 121:5-6,

The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

We can generalize these three specific reliefs into a general promise; the environment of heaven will be heavenly! There will be no more pain or even discomfort. And there will be no emotional pain: God will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

Another metaphor we see is clothing. In the ancient middle east, a person’s status was carried on his back. The clothing a man or woman wore indicated their status. Those before the throne of God wear white robes: they have neither wealth nor poverty, position nor humility. Rather, they have purity. Their sins have been forgiven. Their “robes” have been washed and bleached to a perfect white by Christ’s sacrifice.



Jesus Heals a Blind Man, El Greco, ca. 1578
Jesus Heals a Blind Man (detail), El Greco, ca. 1578,

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV): For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.


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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Feb 10, 2018 were:
Norman Daniels (12)
Michael Lockhart (11)


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