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Daily Devotion for March 21, 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.
Kulo thixo omkhulu
Many thanks to “African Gospel Lyrics”
for the Zulu-English translation.
Glory to God
Glory be to You, mighty God, for calling me into being;
Glory to You, for showing me the beauty of the universe;
Glory to You, for spreading out before me heaven and earth
Like the pages in a book of eternal wisdom.
Glory be to You for Your eternity in this fleeting world;
Glory to You for Your mercies, seen and unseen;
Glory to You through every sigh of my sorrow;
Glory to You for every step of my life's journey
For every moment of glory.
Glory to You, O God, from age to age.
For All Who Serve Others
O Lord our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; I pray for your blessing on all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of their fellow men. Endue them with wisdom, patience, and courage, that they may strengthen the weak and raise up those who fall; and, being inspired by your love, may worthily minister in your name to the suffering, the friendless, the lost, and the needy.
Inspire them with perseverance; when they feel unappreciated, comfort them in knowledge of the blessing they earn by their service; and to those who teach, let your Holy Spirit guide them in their teaching, that they always know and speak the truth of your Word. For the sake of him who laid down his life for us, the same thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray,
O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray,
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 Bible verse tells us that the Bible is God’s Word, not the thoughts of men?
Psalm 146:1-4 (NKJV)
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.
John 1:10-13 (ESV)
The Right to Become the Children of God
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Notes on the Scripture
The first sentence gives one of the important concepts of Christianity. When Christ was born, God entered the world that He had made, but the world did not know him. It did not recognize him and it did not partake of him. By becoming human, God humbled himself to be one of the creatures he had made. But humanity did not know him and did not receive him.
hen John tells us that the world did not receive Christ, there are several simultaneous meanings. The most apparent is in the old-fashioned meaning of “receive,” harkening back to the time when people more commonly used the term “receive visitors.” When there were no telephones, people would call on each other in person. The friendly thing to do would be to invite them in for conversation and perhaps some refreshment, i.e., receive them. The alternative was to have the butler or maid tell the visitors that the person was “not at home”.
But the world, John tells us, did not know Him. It did not recognize him. He made the world, and He was in the world, but the world treated Him like a stranger in His own creation. And so, they told the butler “I do not know this person. Tell Him I’m not home.”
In the actual days when Jesus was alive in the flesh, people literally did not invite Him into their lives. More importantly, however, is the metaphorical or spiritual sense of receiving Him; they did not take Him into their hearts and lives, even though He was the embodiment of God who had made them.
We might even extend the metaphor to a modern sense of “receive.” We sometimes do not or cannot receive a radio or tv station, because we are tuned to the wrong channel. The majority of Jews—being Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, etc.— were not attuned to the prophesies of Isaiah et al. They expected a fierce warrior king to come, a political and military figure who would drive the Romans out of Canaan. They were not tuned into the channel that Scripture had pointed them to.
And then, there is that wonderful last sentence. Those humble or smart enough to receive Christ got something more precious than anything else in existence: the right to become the children of God. They were, and are, like Christ: Although we all have an earthly father, we were given the power to become like Jesus Himself to be reborn as He was born, with God as our Father. Just as Christ, we have the power to become the literal “children of God.”