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Daily Devotion for May 4, 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.
Live worship from Ireland featuring Stuart Townend, singing Benediction (May the Peace of God)
And the grace of Christ, the risen Son,
And the fellowship of God the Spirit
Keep your hearts and minds within His love.
And to Him be praise for His glorious reign;
From the depths of earth to the heights of heaven
We declare the name of the Lamb once slain-
Christ eternal, the King of Kings.
May this peace which passes understanding,
And this grace which makes us what we are,
And this fellowship of His communion,
Make us one in spirit and in heart.
Music and Lyrics by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
To Spread Cheer
Holy God, as I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more cheer than gloom, spread more joy than despair. Let me remind those I meet that our final existence will be total joy, and that we may taste this joy through the Spirit even today. Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them happy, and forget momentarily all the temporary unpleasantness in their lives. And in my final moment, may I hear You whisper, “When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.”
Prayer for Those Who Have Turned Away
Grant, O Lord Christ, peace, love and speedy reconciliation to your people whom You have redeemed with your precious blood. Make your presence become known to those who have turned away from You and do not seek You, so that none of them may be lost, but all may come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. May all the earth praise your holy Name, living in the true love and harmony you purchased for us by your suffering.
[Do I have ideas that I adopted in my younger days which I cling to, even where the Bible may show me they are contrary to God’s will?]
Benediction (from Colossians 3)
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me all this day; and whatever I do in word or deed, may I do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
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 148:5-6 (NKJV)
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.
John 3:16-18 (ESV)
The Role of Christ
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Notes on the Scripture
he setting for this famous passage is a conversation with Nicodemus, “the rabbi of Israel,” who came to question Christ’s authority to throw the moneylenders out of the Temple. Nicodemus, who has a lot to lose if he is seen consorting with this revolutionary heretic (in the eyes of the Pharisees), speaks to Jesus only under cover of night, on a rooftop in Jerusalem. Christ then states the core belief of Christianity. It creates an absolute the dividing line between “nice people” or “good people” and actual Christians, to whom God will grant eternal life.
God loves the world. We must remember this, because the world has filled itself with sin, ungodliness, strife, war, and suffering. Murder began with Cain and continues today. We delude ourselves with the righteousness of “Christian” nations, but there has never been a nation that did not engage in corporate murder.
In American society, adultery is practically winked at by the courts. MTV has a television series, “Skins,” that glorifies a group of teenage high school slackers whose lives center around drugs, music, promiscuous sex, material objects, and generally getting away with the greatest amount of moral-free hedonism they can beg, borrow or steal.
Even most Christians do not follow the Bible. “Liberal” churches preach the gospel of self-fulfillment, feminism, political action, and even homosexuality and abortion, in preference to the Bible. “Conservative” churches rationalize the murder of Muslims (and even other Christians). Many less colorful sins, such as lending money to the poor at interest, seeking revenge on enemies, or working on Sunday, are essentially ignored.
And that is just the visible sin. All of us are guilty; most of us refuse to even acknowledge all of our sinfulness. We twist the Bible to conform to our own notions of right and wrong. So, how does God love such a world? Why does he love such a world of people who thumb their noses at His laws and even His existence?
We don’t really know. We just know that He does. And the only thing He requires for His greatest gift—eternal life with Him—is that we believe in Christ.
God saved us. He loves us so much that He came to live among us, suffer, and die, just so that we could see Him and believe in him. And yes, if we believe in Him, we will have eternal life. We must therefore try to love Christ with our whole heart and follow his commandments, for Christ and Christ alone will ultimately lead us to salvation. And if it pains us in this life, the Father has sent us a Comforter, to help us through the trials of life.