Daily Devotion for April 19, 2018
All kinds of great things are happening here. It looks like the Rapture or the final ascension on the right, amid general devastation. The Antichrist is getting hosed in the center, by Jesus holding a cat’s head, a horned monkey, and some other horned creature, while a guy in the tower is ready with a club. The men on the left — your guess is as good as mine.
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.
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.
Wilt Thou not regard my call?
Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall —
Lo! on Thee I cast my care.
Reach me out Thy gracious hand!
While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,
Dying, and behold, I live.
Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
More than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name,
Source of all true righteousness;
Thou art evermore the same,
Thou art full of truth and grace.
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity.
Music “Aberystwyth” by Joseph Parry, 1876
Lyrics by Charles Wesley, 1740
Live with Me
Lord Christ, I have betrayed you by following my own way, and I have denied you by fearing to follow yours. I have mocked you by forgetting the agony and importance of your death. I am lost, O Jesus: Let your forgiveness find me. Hold me in your strong arms and give me your new life. Live in me and with me day by day, that my heart may be made anew within me, and that together we may show the world a new and better path.
For the Humility that Comes from True Wisdom
Mighty God, who has promised that you will grant us wisdom if we but ask; I am beset by pride, by ego, by my unremitting vigilance of my image. When others slight me or give me less deference that I think is my right, I become upset. I find insult even in unintentional remarks. I am easily bruised, and at other times, I feel embarrassed or humiliated at the most trifling discourtesy or even when someone does not pay attention to me. I walk through the world as if I am its center and all should take notice of me; and when it does not, I am hurt and angry.
Heal me, my God. I ask for the wisdom of true humility, through the monumental power of your Holy Spirit. Bring me to a place where my ego is utterly secure in my knowledge and love of you, when I truly am satisfied that all glory is yours, and I may lead my life on earth in security and humble service. Through Christ I pray,
[God will give us wisdom if we ask for humility.]
Lord, in utter humility I thank you and glorify you, that you might hear the prayer of one so small as myself, amidst the billions of souls among billions of stars in one of billions of galaxies in your universe. Let me go forth in your peace, keeping your Spirit always in my mind; and bless me, I pray, that I might always follow your will and live in the radiance of your blessing.
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.
Romans 6:13 (ESV)
Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
1 Samuel 28:15-24 (NLT)
Saul and the Witch of Endor - Part 2
“Why have you disturbed me by calling me back?” Samuel asked Saul. “Because I am in deep trouble,” Saul replied. “The Philistines are at war with me, and God has left me and won’t reply by prophets or dreams. So I have called for you to tell me what to do.”
But Samuel replied, “Why ask me, since the Lord has left you and has become your enemy? The Lord has done just as he said he would. He has torn the kingdom from you and given it to your rival, David. The Lord has done this to you today because you refused to carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites. What’s more, the Lord will hand you and the army of Israel over to the Philistines tomorrow, and you and your sons will be here with me. The Lord will bring down the entire army of Israel in defeat.”
Saul fell full length on the ground, paralyzed with fright because of Samuel’s words. He was also faint with hunger, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night.
When the woman saw how distraught he was, she said, “Sir, I obeyed your command at the risk of my life. Now do what I say, and let me give you a little something to eat so you can regain your strength for the trip back.” But Saul refused to eat anything. Then his advisers joined the woman in urging him to eat, so he finally yielded and got up from the ground and sat on the couch.
The woman had been fattening a calf, so she hurried out and killed it. She took some flour, kneaded it into dough and baked unleavened bread.
Notes on the Scripture
aving visited a necromancer, Saul gets what he deserves. His guilty intrusion into the realm of the dead provokes its proportionate reprisal in Samuel’s utter rejection of his mission.
You have to wonder, what was he even thinking. The irony of the statement is heavy: “God has left me . . . . So I have called for you to tell me what to do.” Saul has offended God by disobeying Him, and when God withdraws from him, he goes out and commits another deadly sin.
Well, we see enough of this today that it shouldn’t be a surprise. How many atheists, agnostics, and semi-Christians read their horoscopes every day? People who don’t read and understand and follow the Bible resort to all kinds of self-defeating sources to try to discover who they are and what is their meaning.
The reaction of the Witch is almost funny. “Let me fix you something to eat. It will make you feel better.” Again, irony: she kills the fatted calf and makes unleavened bread, both parodies of Hebrew religious practices. She dresses up ungodly practices with religious ceremony. Saul cannot accept what God has said, so he goes out to find someone who will tell him something different. The parallel in modern life might be a “liberal” or “conservative” church inviting a “Democratic” or “Republican” political figure to give a Sunday sermon.