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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Daily Devotion for April 9, 2018

Baptism of Christ
Baptism of Christ, by Dave Zelenka, 2005.



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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.


A pretty version of Down in the River to Pray, sung by Susan Isaacs and friends.

Morning Prayer (George Washington)

O  Lord our God, most mighty and merciful father, I, your unworthy creation and servant, once more approach your presence. Though not worthy to appear before you, because of the many sins and transgressions which I have committed against your divine majesty; yet I pray you, for the sake of him in whom you are well pleased, the Lord Jesus Christ, to let me give you thanks and praise for your many and varied mercies extended toward me, for the quiet rest and repose of the past night, for food, clothing, health, peace, liberty, and the hopes of a better life through the merits of your dear son's bitter passion.

And O kind Father, continue your mercy and favor to me this day, and always; give resolution to all my lawful undertakings; let me have all my directions from your Holy Spirit; and success from your bountiful hand. Let the bright beams of your light so shine into my heart, and enlighten my mind in understanding your blessed word, that I may be enabled to perform your will in all things, and effectively resist all temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. Preserve and defend our rulers in church and state. Bless the people of this land, be a father to the fatherless, a comforter to the comfortless, a deliverer to the captives, and a physician to the sick. Let your blessings guide me and all of us, this day and forever, through Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray.


Love for Christ

O  Lord, let me rest the ladder of gratitude against your cross and, mounting up, kiss your feet.



[Kissing the feet of Christ.]


All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

endless knot

Advice on Interpreting the Bible

God’s words are not for me to edit and tinker with, but to believe and obey.

~ A. W. Tozer

Blue Latin Cross

John 1:32-34 (ESV)

The Holy Spirit descends on Christ

And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

Notes on the Scripture


he parents of John the Baptist knew that he was to be a special person, long before his birth. He had a destiny given by God. Elizabeth, his mother, was visited by an angel who announced the pregnancy to her and informed her of the child’s special purpose. In today’s scripture, we learn that John himself has some sort of first-hand knowledge; God has spoken to him. This revelation is not described in the Bible, but John says that he has received instructions and knowledge from God first-hand. It is, indeed, the only way he could know about his mission.

Baptism simple graphic

Although John has baptized many people with water by now, his mission is not simply to baptize Jews in a river. It is the means by which God has promised to reveal the identity of his son, the Christ. So when John baptizes Jesus and actually sees the Holy Spirit descend upon him, he knows that Jesus is the Christ for whom he has been waiting.

The passage doesn’t say that the Holy Spirit took the actual form of a dove; there is a difference of opinion about this (although most of the iconography shows a white dove just above Jesus’ head). Did an actual dove descend? Or perhaps, did a soft white ball of light descend, that reminded John of a dove? We are not sure. But the Spirit that came from heaven was, somehow, like a dove, and the symbolism is important.

When Julius Caesar was vying for political authority, he was empowered by the appearance of an eagle, the greatest and most powerful bird of prey, the very symbol of military might carried on Roman standards. A dove, by contrast, is the most peaceful of birds. It is preyed upon by falcons and eagles. It harms nobody. Its song is a soft and comforting cooing sound. It is beautiful, a symbol of love throughout the ages. It represents peace.

So a dove-like apparition presages the great surprise that will characterize Jesus’ life and ministry. The savior of the Jews does not come with a sword to kill the enemies of Israel, but carrying a cross that he will be killed upon, to defeat the real enemies of all humanity. He will not bring death; he will defeat death.

<i>Baptism of Christ (detail)</i> by Giotto (Giotto di Bondone), ca. 1305.
Baptism of Christ (detail) by Giotto (Giotto di Bondone), ca. 1305. Giotto was a true pioneer and his treatment of draped cloth was a revelation to the art world. Still, we can see the absence of modern technique in the awkward rendering of John's feet on the rocks.

Daily Inspiration

“Turn the Other Cheek”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 5:39, 44: I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. . . . [L]ove your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

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Comments (11)

Topic: Devotion for Day of April 9, 2018 | Daily Prayer
Mikey Broaddus (Kettering) says...
Mason your words of "I don't know" ring loud and clear,that is the only answer any of us can give concerning turning the other cheek.I do know this,I resolve to live this day to share Christ Love with others in My Life the best I can,with His guidance.I commit myself to give this day to Him,even to those of evil and harmful actions If possible In the name of Christ.I also know How Jesus stood firm against the fact He was going to be murdered unjustly.I too choose to stand firm,if ... Read More
9th April 2018 10:13am
Mason says...
I'm not sure what you're saying here, exactly, except that you struggle with doing what the Bible tells you to do.

I do too!
9th April 2018 10:40am
linda (wpg can.) says...
Thankyou Mason, for your prayers to the many who are devastated by the tragedy in Sask.As usual, for the last 4yrs, this is my one & only site I go to.You are honest & shoot from the hip,
9th April 2018 9:48am
Evelyn (Euclid Ohio, US) says...
I am so grateful for finding this site.I am working on growing spiritually and the daily prayer and inspiration is really helping me on my journey. Thank you and to God be the glory!
9th April 2018 8:42am
Mike Rice (EAGLE, US) says...
Justice - the purpose of government is to exact God's vengence on evil. Rom 13:4 While we are to turn the other cheek, there are many verses that tell us it is our role to resist evil and fight for those who can't fight for themselves. 1Pet 2:13-17, Ps. 82:3-4, Rom 13: 1-6
9th April 2018 7:23am
Mason says...
What do 1 Pet. 2:13 and Rom 13:3 command us to do?
9th April 2018 10:21am
Aries (El Paso, US) says...
I have been living in fear lately. Had someone send me a very threatening and demanding set of messages trying to extort me, i was and am still scared out of my mind and am just trying to believe in Jesus and God again and leave everything up to him. I was lost for a while but having returned to my faith i am now feeling comfort in him again. I prsy nothing happens to me and i pray for my enemies and those who seek to harm me for no reason other than because they are full of sin and are trying ... Read More
9th April 2018 7:00am
Mason says...
How awful for you, Aries. I will pray for you.
9th April 2018 10:22am
Kathryn (okemos MI) says...
Mason, Thank you for today's Daily Inspiration. Turning the other cheek is a daily struggle for me.
9th April 2018 6:11am
Mason says...
9th April 2018 10:42am
Mike (Ringtown PA, US) says...
Hard for this old Irishman as well. But since stopping here last few years and learning the Bible I have been slowly changing. My views on Capitol punishment are totally changed.
God Bless!
9th April 2018 11:17am
Wayne Mills (CABOOLTURE SOUTH, Australia) says...
I was thrilled to read the old prayer which came from the Episcopal prayer book. This is our sister church in Australia, the Anglican Church of Australia ( formally Church of England).
Many memories came flooding back and I surprised myself that I could still remember most of it. Thx so much Mason
8th April 2018 8:37pm
Silvana (Canada) says...
Let us all pray for the families struck by a great tragedy following a bus crash in Saskatchewan. Junior hockey team was travelling when struck leaving 15 dead. May God give them strength.
8th April 2018 9:48am
Ann Brock (US) says...
Thank you Margaret and Michelle for your lovely comments regarding the inspiration that I wrote. We all have our "rainstorms" do we not? Often it is very difficult to put on our dancing shoes. However, we can always depend on the Lord to continually be with us until the dark clouds disappear, the rain stops, and the sun begins to shine. God bless you both as you dance in the rain not only alone, but with others as they experience their "rainstorm". Cool
8th April 2018 9:35am
Michelle G (US) says...
I think about what is taught in Colossians 3 on a daily basis because I know this but have such difficulty applying it. Today’s notes on the scripture was a great way for me to think. Reminding us to remember this on a daily basis ......well......thank you. And, as always, Ann, God has given you such a beautiful gift of teaching us through your elegant written expression. Today I will pray to trust Jesus in my rainstorms and to help others through theirs. ✝️
8th April 2018 6:16am
Margaret (Edenfield, UK) says...
A heavenly psalm and a truly inspiring piece this morning Ann, what a great start to my day.
Thank you.
8th April 2018 3:58am
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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Apr 09, 2018 were:
Norman Daniels (12)
Michael Lockhart (12)
Sylvia Banda (11)
Jack Willis (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Sylvia Banda (9 out of 9)
Greg Flippin (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)
Michael Lockhart (9 out of 9)

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