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Daily Devotion for April 12, 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.
This tuneful worship video comes to us from Michael W. Smith.
The Love of Christ
Oh holy Christ, I thank you and love you for seeing who I really am. You know things about me that I don't even know myself, for you see with the clear eye of God, and not through the psychological tangle of human emotion and self-deception as others see me and I see myself. I most especially thank you, I fall upon my knees in gratitude, that you love me despite all of the sin and ugliness you see in me. You can see my beauty and heart, also, though, and love me as nobody else possibly could.
Like a father, you love me. Like a perfect brother, you love me. Knowing that you see me so clearly, and yet love me enough to suffer torture and death to save my soul, transcends my comprehension. I would be sick with shame, except that you have forbidden it, and by the power of God forgive my wrongdoing.
I give myself to you wholly, freely; every part of me blesses you. Take me to your bosom, holy Christ; let me live your love and reflect your light, that others may see a dim reflection of your magnificence in my lowly life, and that despite my many grievous faults, I might please you by doing better today, and every day. And this I vow: I will try, at least once today, to take a step closer to you, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
A Penitential Prayer
All-merciful Lord, have mercy upon all Your faithful, on those who are mine and on those who are strangers; on those whom I know and on those whom I know not; on the living and on the dead; and forgive all my enemies, and those who hate me, the trespasses that they have committed against me; turn them from the malice which they bear towards me, that they may be worthy of Your mercy. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.
Into your hands, O Lord, Jesus Christ, my God, I commend my spirit. Bless me and all those who pray in faith of You this day; save us and grant unto us everlasting life.
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 warns us away from making up ideas about God and Christ?
1 Samuel 25 (abridged) (NLT)
David and Abagail
Now Samuel died, and all Israel gathered for his funeral. They buried him at his house in Ramah.
Then David moved down to the wilderness of Maon. There was a wealthy man from Maon who owned 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, and it was sheep-shearing time. This man’s name was Nabal, and his wife, Abigail, was a sensible and beautiful woman. But Nabal, a descendant of Caleb, was crude and mean in all his dealings.
“Who is this fellow David?” Nabal sneered to the young men. “Who does this son of Jesse think he is?” So David’s young men returned and told him what Nabal had said. “Get your swords!” was David’s reply as he strapped on his own.
Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s servants went to Abigail and told her, . . . Abigail wasted no time. She quickly gathered 200 loaves of bread, two wineskins full of wine, five sheep that had been slaughtered, nearly a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes. She packed them on donkeys and said to her servants, “Go on ahead. I will follow you shortly.”
As she was riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, she saw David and his men coming toward her. [S]he quickly got off her donkey and fell at his feet. “I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests. When the Lord has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance.”
David replied to Abigail, “Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands.” Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.”
When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal was throwing a big party. In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result, the Lord struck him, and he died.
When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise the Lord, who has avenged the insult I received from Nabal and has kept me from doing it myself. Nabal has received the punishment for his sin.” Then David sent messengers to Abigail to ask her to become his wife. Quickly getting ready, she mounted her donkey and went with David’s messengers. And so she became his wife.
Notes on the Scripture
avid is already acting like a king, or at least a feudal lord. His soldiers protected the local shepherds during the grazing season, and even though he asks Nabal for food rather than demanding it, his response to the insulting refusal is “strap on your swords.” Luckily for Nabal and his household, Abagail seems to grasp the situation and has the gumption to ignore her husband and secretly prepare a generous gift for David's little army.
Once again we see premonitions of Christ in the story of David. David himself is not Christlike in this passage. Rather, God intervenes through an agent, the beautiful and wise Abagail. We are instructed here, and many times in the Bible, about the power of God acting through a good and holy woman. Many more people know the story of Ruth, than have ever heard of Abagail. We might describe such a woman today as “an angel,” and the term is even more appropriate for Abagail! For she literally brings God’s Word to David, although in the form of persuasion rather than command.
It is in her humility that we see Christ most clearly, here. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)