Daily Devotion for July 14, 2010
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.
Jesus prayed for his disciples, and then he said. "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
"Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Notes on the Scripture
Jesus loves us, and He wants us to love each other. He prayed to God the Father on behalf of his disciples, but not only them; He prayed on behalf of those who would believe in them, because of what the disciples would tell them. That includes you, and me, and every other person on earth who confesses the name of Jesus and lives in his love and grace.
There is no more vivid illustration of human pride and human anger than the self-righteous violence that Christians have done to each other in the 2000 years since Christ. One person believes it is right to pray in front of a statue of a saint or the Virgin Mary; another believes that representations of people or other images is wrong. One person believes that our salvation is predestined, another that we have free will and the outcome is not preordained. The silly disagreements about worship and theology that people can create are as numerous as grains of sand on a beach.
And we have so much belief in the infallibility of our thoughts that we sometimes follow our thoughts, rather than reading the simple clear message of today's reading. Christ says, "The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
How clear and simple is this beautiful message. Those of us who believe in Christ are one. Christ instructs us to love each other. And yet time and time again, people will scorn, berate, imprison and murder each other over silly little matters. Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians get in fights about whether it is correct to cross oneself left to right, or right to left. English Protestants robbed, burned, and murdered Catholics, and the Catholics certainly returned the favor.
This is one matter in which you can easily follow Christ, rather than commit the sin of pride. Love and pray for anyone who confesses Christ, even if you think they have a wrong philosophy or theology. Worship as the spirit moves you to worship, and let others do the same.
Almost no religious practices or forms of worship, over which we argue so heatedly, come from Christ. They come from Satan, who claps his hands and laughs in delight every time two Christians fight over some meaningless issue of doctrine.