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Friday, October 19, 2018

Daily Devotion for May 17, 2018


Michael Belk, Journeys with the Messiah
Lighten the Load, from the series “Journeys with the Messiah.” In 2009, fashion photographer Michael Belk undertook a series of photographs imagining Jesus in the 20th century. This is one of my favorites. The longer you look at it, the better the story it tells will become.

Prayers

Scripture

190 people in our community are currently praying with you.

Lord’s Prayer

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.

Amen.

This upbeat song comes from the opening of the 2102 Junior School Choir Competition (UK).



Prayer for God's Gifts

Oh Lord and Master of my life, take away from me the spirit of laziness, cowardliness, lust for power, and malicious and idle speech. But rather give me, throughout the day to come, an ample spirit of vitality and force in your service, to the benefit of your glory and the good of my fellow man. Let me act in humility, patience, and decency at all times, seeing my own error and overlooking the faults of others; and let me always know the presence of your Holy Spirit, to remind me of what I have asked, in the name of my savior Jesus Christ,

Amen.

To Witness to Christ

Heavenly Father, Christ left with us his instructions to spread the gospel into every nook and cranny of the world, to let others know about him and find him, to save their souls and bring them into true peace and your ultimate purpose for us. But I am so stupid and ignorant, I do not know what to say. I am so filled with a desire not to offend others that I am afraid to speak up. It is so much easier for me just to sit back and leave everything up to you, or up to professional preachers. I retreat into thinking that this is somebody else’s job.

Help me dear Lord to do your work. I promise to try, but I cannot do this without your. Fill me with the fire of your Holy Spirit and give me the words and the strength, if only to witness how much you have meant to me in my own life. Give me strength to plunge straight through feelings of awkwardness or potential hostility, and to offer to you just the simplest witness before others. For I know that if I help only one person to find you, it is worth ten thousand rejections. Bless me to remember, that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

In Christ’s name, I pray,

Amen.

Community of Prayer

I  pray to you, dearest Jesus, for all the graces I need to know you, to love you and serve you faithfully unto death, and to save my soul. Give me a tender and fervent devotion to your sacred passion by which I was redeemed, venerating you each day in prayer, and teach me how to unite sorrows and sufferings of my life with your own.

Amen.


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 reminds us that Christ “took the form of a bond-servant”?

Answer: Philippians 2:6-7



endless knot

1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV)

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.


Blue Latin Cross

2 Samuel 6 (NLT)

The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

Then David again gathered all the elite troops in Israel, 30,000 in all. He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring back the Ark of God, which bears the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it . . . to the City of David with a great celebration. After the men who were carrying the Ark of the Lord had gone six steps, David sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.

David dancing

But as the Ark of the Lord entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she was filled with contempt for him.

They brought the Ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And David sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Then he gave to every Israelite man and woman in the crowd a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people returned to their homes.

When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!”

David retorted to Michal, “I was dancing before the Lord, who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed me as the leader of Israel, the people of the Lord, so I celebrate before the Lord. Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes! But those servant girls you mentioned will indeed think I am distinguished!” So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life.


Notes on the Scripture

A

wife being embarrassed by her husband’s acts, especially in public, is an old tale oft told. It remains a problem for many people today; those who are more reserved or easily embarrassed may be led to criticism of those who worship in a more vigorous fashion. But as Michal’s example points out, it is well not to criticize the sincere worship of others, even if the ceremony is not to our taste.

Michal, who has been a rather steadfast and loyal wife to David, shows us how the best of us can be undone by pride. For she is the daughter of a king (Saul), accustomed to a great degree of dignity. Unfortunately, her prideful worldly expectations take priority over her devotion to the Lord, and she is severely punished for her sin.

This is a good time for a reminder of the importance of humility in all facets of Christian life, and especially from Christian leaders. “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” (Mark 10:42-45)



Devotional painting of
Ruth and Naomi by Ari Scheffer ca. 1870. Ruth was the very embodiment of humility and service.

Daily Inspiration

“ Grasping Grace ”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Proverbs 30:5-6: Every word of God is flawless. Do not add to his words or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.


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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for May 17, 2018 were:
Daniel Williams (12)
Norman Daniels (12)
Michael Lockhart (11)


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