Daily Devotion for April 6, 2018
This scene shows the Lamb, God the Father, and the four Evangelists as symbolic animals, together with other details from Revelation 5. (Full-size)
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.
A little girl gives 75 cents to a street musician in Sabadell, Spain.
Music by Ludvig von Beethoven
Lyrics by Friedrich Schiller (1785)
Martin Luther's Prayer for Morning
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me.
Glory to God
How glorious you are in the nature of your world, O Lord. Each day, your creatures awake to new life and joyfully sing your praises with a thousand tongues. You are the source of life, the destroyer of death. By the light of the moon, the night birds sing, and the valleys and hills lie like wedding garments, white as snow. All the earth is your promised bride awaiting her spotless husband. If the grass of the field is like this, how gloriously shall we be transfigured in the coming of your kingdom! How splendid our bodies, how spotless our souls! All praise to you for your power and mercy, now and forever,
[Sit in silence. When you breathe out, silently say ‘I love you’ as the expression of your whole being as an act of love to God. And as you inhale listen to God silently saying, ‘I love you.’ ]
Oh Heavenly Father, in whom I live and move and have my being, I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the joys, occupations, and cares of this day I may never forget you, but remember that I am ever walking in your sight. In Christ’s name, 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.
Psalm 148:1-4 (NKJV)
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
John 1:29-31 (ESV)
Behold, the Lamb of God
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.”
Notes on the Scripture
The image of Christ as “the Lamb of God” has so many layers of meaning and interpretation, we cannot begin to address them all. But we have recently celebrated Easter, and we have fresh in our minds the Last Supper.
It was, of course, a Passover meal. The Passover lamb was the animal God directed the Israelites to use as a sacrifice in Egypt on the night God struck down the firstborn sons of every household. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Passover lamb, the perfect and ultimate sacrifice; after Him, the annual ritual became moot. Just as the blood of the Passover lamb signaled the “destroyer” to pass over Israelite homes in Egypt, Christ’s blood causes God’s judgment to “pass over” sinners. In this way, the blood of the Lamb of God saves all who believe in Him.
s with the verses just before, the Gospel of John has prepared us to understand fully what John the Baptist is saying. When he says, “a man who ranks before me, because he was before me,” we remember the words from the beginning of John 1. From the beginning of time, Christ (“the Word”) was with God. John the Baptist was sent from God, and was actually born about six months before Jesus. But the Christ, who had existed since the beginning of time, existed before John the Baptist or any other man.
John also counts himself among the ranks of those who “knew him not.” He did not automatically know that his cousin Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. Apparently, he learned this only by doing God’s will — by abandoning wealth and comfort, going into the wilderness to baptize people who came to him. As we will see tomorrow, there is a hidden reason for his conduct; Christ will come to be baptized, and it is during this baptism that his identity will be revealed.
When we pray “Thy will be done” in the Lord’s Prayer, it is good to remember this example of a person who abandoned his life to do God’s will. God has a purpose for us. It might not be as exalted as the purpose given to John the Baptist; but if we follow God’s will with courage and cheerfulness, we will know His purpose in due time, and then we will know the great reward that God has in store for us, just as John the Baptist did.