Daily Devotion for April 24, 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 old hymn, a favorite of people from all denominations, is given a fabulous fresh sound by Francisco Ortega.
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how all thy longings have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
[Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.]
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
Music by Lobe den Herren (1665)
Lyrics by Joachim Neander (1680), English tr. Catherine Winworth (1863).
Prayer for the Armor of Light
The night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let me then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Most merciful Father, I beseech you, for your mercy’s sake, continue your grace and favor towards me this day; let the sun of your gospel never go down out of my heart; let your truth abide and be established with me, and among all of us, forever. Help my unbelief, increase my faith, give me a heart to consider the time of my visitation. In faith clothe me with Christ, that he may live in me, and your name may be glorified in me, in the sight of all the world.
St. Anselm’s Prayer for Love
O blessed Lord, who has commanded us to love one another, grant us grace that having received your undeserved bounty, we may love everyone in you, and for you. I implore your clemency for all; but especially for the friends whom your love has given to me. Love them, O fountain of love, and make them to love you with all their heart, that they may will, and speak, and do those things only which are pleasing to you.
Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine — to him be glory in the Church through Jesus Christ for ever and ever,
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What Bible verse tells us that it is our duty, as Christians, to spread the Word?
Answer: Matthew 28:19
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Tomorrow, we will continue the story of King David as recounted in 2 Samuel.
Colossians 2:8 (ESV)
The Vanity of Philosophy
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Notes on the Scripture
ne of the greatest puzzles of life is how strongly a person will believe that some philosophy or way of life is absolutely and universally correct, simply because it makes sense to him or her. People kill each other by the millions, absolutely convinced about the universal truth of communism, or the right of their race or tribe to dominate, or one of a hundred philosophical or political systems. Our minds and intelligence are so limited, and our viewpoints are so narrow, and yet we are convinced of our ability to know some absolute truth. We are amazed and infuriated when others disagree.
In this short passage, Paul warns us about becoming captive to ideas. We must, of course, live in the world. Nothing in the Bible forbids us from voting, or believing that democracy or socialism or something else is a better form of government, or that slow drivers should stay to the right or that people should keep their front lawn mowed. Should we spank our children? Should people eat meat? Put people in jail for smoking pot? We have to answer a lot of questions for ourselves, and most people probably would say that they have a philosophy about various aspects of life; but this is not what Paul is talking about when he speaks of “being taken captive by a hollow and deceptive philosophy.”
What is important to recognize, as stated in this passage, is that we must not become captive to our thoughts and opinions, to the point that we ignore some basic truth or commandment that comes from God. For example, “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is a rule that most Christians would agree is a universal, God-given truth. Yet, how often will we ignore this actual truth, and hate someone—even wish them dead— because they hold some 'hollow and deceptive philosophy' that disagrees with our own hollow and deceptive philosophy?
If it is in the Bible, it is true. If it is not in the Bible, it is something less than “true,” in the ultimate sense. We cannot put something in the Bible just because we like it, and if it is in the Bible, we cannot ignore it or “interpret” it out of existence. John Calvin put well: “When God closes His holy mouth, I will desist from inquiry.”