Daily Devotion for July 18, 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.
An American classic. The song is a bit patriotic for this website, so let us to remember to pray first for God to bless all people of the world, wherever they may live.
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, I give you may hands to do Your work; I give You my feet to go Your way; I give You my eyes to see as You see; I give You my tongue to speak Your words; I give You my mind that You may think in me; I give You my spirit that You may pray in me. Above all, I give You my heart that You may love in me - love the Father and love all humankind. I give You my whole self, Lord, that You may grow in me, so that it is You who lives, works and prays in me.
For the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law;
Trying to Understand God
Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it."
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you."
Notes on the Scripture
Do you believe in God? I imagine anyone reading this will answer "yes", but we know that it can be a difficult thing at times, because it is impossible for the human mind to grasp Him. We are accustomed to relying on our senses and our logic to decide what is true and false, but God cannot be known in that way.
We do know that both logic and our senses are fallible. David Copperfield can convince you that a building has disappeared. We constantly fall for sales pitches of some sort and equally often reject truth. At one time, people could not grasp that the world was round. And just try to understand Einstein's theory of relativity, or quantum mechanics. We cannot even agree whether the earth is getting warmer because of air pollution or not, which would seem to be well within the grasp of modern science. All I know on the subject is that someone is wrong about it, and he or she is a lot smarter than I am.
The point being, that God is a lot harder to understand than quantum mechanics. We simply cannot grasp Him with the enormous limitations of logic and our senses.
Here, when Philip asks Christ to show him the Father, he is saying that he will make a decision based on his sense of sight. Certainly, David Copperfield could have obliged Philip and shown him something convincing. But Christ refuses. Christ is standing right in front of him and will not indulge Philip's naivete with a magic act.
Instead, Christ tells Philip to follow His commandments. If he does so, Christ will send another Advocate to abide with him. That is, the Holy Spirit will come to dwell in Philip, and Philip will know of His existence, even though the Spirit cannot be seen or known by the world. And this is the answer we must either accept or reject. Learn and follow Christ's teachings and you will know of God's existence, because he will dwell within you and you will know Him.