Daily Devotion for March 16, 2018
Note: You might want to play today’s music while you say the 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.
Prayer to Address God with My Heart (inspired by Jane Austen)
Give me grace Almighty Father, so to pray, as to deserve to be heard, to address you with my heart, as with my lips. You are everywhere present, from you no secret can be hidden. May the knowledge of this, teach me to fix my thoughts on you, with reverence and devotion, that I may not pray in vain.
May I now, and on each return of morning, consider how I will spend the day ahead; what thoughts will prevail in my mind? What words will I speak? Will my actions reflect your will, or my own? How far can I acquit myself of evil, and live in the goodness and beauty of my Lord Christ?
Will I think irreverently of you? Will I disobey your commandments? Will I neglect and make excuses for any known duty, or willingly given pain to any human being? Incline me to ask my heart these questions oh! God, throughout the day, to save me from deceiving myself by pride or vanity.
And give me always a thankful sense of the blessings in which I live, of the many comforts of my lot; that I may not deserve to lose them by discontent or indifference. Hear me almighty God, for his sake who has redeemed me, and taught me thus to pray.
Prayer for Life
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me so to die daily to sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
[Deceiving myself by vanity.]
And finally, grant me O Lord, I pray, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it may burn in me and shed its light on those around me, and that by its brightness I may share a vision of that holy City, where dwells the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Salvation is from our side a choice; from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our accepting and willing are reactions rather than actions.
John 1:1-5 (KJV)
In the Beginning
n the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shined in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Notes on the Scripture
Of the many beautiful passages in the Bible, I think this is my personal favorite. It has certainly appeared the most often as the daily Bible reading.
The test of great poetry is that you cannot say it another way without losing some of the meaning. You cannot describe it in prose and get 100% of the meaning. The full meaning can only be grasped slowly, by reading it repeatedly. You can, however, help yourself (or others) appreciate it and fully understand it by making some of the meaning more literal.
“The Word” refers to Christ before he became human. At the same time, “the Word” refers to God the Creator. John tells us that “in him was life, and the life was the light of men.” This is backwards from how we usually think of Christ. We usually think of Christ as the light which brings life to men. But John goes back one step. He tells us that life was in Christ from the beginning of time. This life is then depicted, metaphorically, as light that shined in the darkness.
This is the light of men. It is not the light of plants, the light that gives physical life. If you have not considered it before, all physical life originates from the sun. All food originates from plants, which take the sunshine and use their chlorophyll to combine the sun’s energy with chemicals; if this didn’t happen, there would be no food at all.
But there is another kind of light, the light of men. Just as there would be no physical food, and everything on earth would die, without the light of the sun, so our souls would die without the light of Christ.
The darkness is life without knowledge of God, or without Christ’s grace. It depicts a general absence of everything humanity has learned and obtained by hearing and reading words that originated from God. It also gives us an image of the creation, the darkness of outer space before there were stars.
But the light of the sun and other heavenly bodies (the moon, the stars) is something all humanity understands. Even the blind can feel the sun’s warmth. The light that came from life, however, was incomprehensible to mankind. The life that was contained in Christ, from the first moment of creation, was invisible to our eyes.