Daily Devotion for July 22, 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.
For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord ? Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.
O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
Gifts of the Spirit
Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The Lord did not appear to you'?"
Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied.
The Lord said, "Throw it on the ground."
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. "This," said the Lord, "is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you."
Then the Lord said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.
"Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
Then the Lord said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."
Moses said to the Lord, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
The Lord said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord ? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
Notes on the Scripture
This scene occurred after Moses had first been expelled from Egypt and is dwelling in the desert. He is preparing to return to Egypt to set the Hebrews free.
The final verse is much like several New Testament verses, dealing with gifts of the Holy Spirit after Christ's ascension. In Exodus, God specifically reminded Moses that it was He who had given man the power of speech and that He could make Moses (or anyone else) speak with eloquence.
Since Christ's ascension, we have had the Holy Spirit available to us to bring us the gifts that we need, in order to carry out Christ's mission. Do not forget that this Holy Spirit is a face of God. In many cases, this is nearly identical to the gift God offered to Moses, the gift of eloquent and convincing speech.
Of course, eloquence and persuasion are human traits; they are possessed by many people untouched by God's Spirit and are often used for self-gain or even in the service of evil. But a gift of the Spirit is something slightly different from natural human talent. Even though it is difficult for the listener to differentiate between them, we should know, in our hearts and through prayer, what gifts God has given us to spread the Word and be careful not to abuse them; for it is only through knowing Christ and following His commandments, that such a gift will be given.