Daily Devotion for August 11, 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 the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples.
Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love.
Grant me the Spirit of Fear of the Lord that I may be filled with a loving reverence toward You.
the Spirit of Piety that I may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others;
the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation;
the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know You and know myself and grow in holiness;
the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your truth;
the Spirit of Counsel that I may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom;
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may aspire to the things that last forever;
Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
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.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits —
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
God's Holy Temple
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Notes on the Scripture
Many people, especially those who are accustomed to more restrained forms of worship, sometimes push the Holy Spirit to the back of their minds. But the Bible teaches us in this passage, in black and white, that God's Spirit dwells in us. No interpretation can belie this fundamental tenet of Christianity. Although various denominations have different beliefs on how we receive the Holy Spirit and place very different emphasis on the Spirit in their worship services, none (to my knowledge) rejects the clear Biblical teaching, that the Holy Spirit dwells in those who have received Christ's grace.
It is important to remember our life in the Spirit in our daily lives, our thoughts and our prayers. It is a gift that is given to us during our human existence. It is a powerful gift. The Bible teaches us that it will put words into our mouth when our brains fail us, in order to speak Christ's message. The power of the Spirit can and will help us resist temptation to sin, if we only use it. Calling on the Spirit can certainly lift our mood.
We must always remember that the Holy Spirit is a face of God and is not our servant; we are its servant, and it will only move us and empower us when we are acting as Christ's servants. Unfortunately, the power of the Holy Spirit is easily confused, in our minds, with our own human traits and powers. Charlatans posing as Christian ministers mislead many people who have been touched by the Spirit and actually encourage them to call upon the Spirit to feed their own human drives.
The solution is to read the Bible and to compare your thoughts, and the words of other people, against it. It is especially important to read the New Testament (which sometimes contradicts the Old Testament), and even more especially important to read the teachings of Christ Himself. I try not to dwell on passages that reinforce my personal beliefs; it is much more important to read passages that conflict with your beliefs and to meditate on contradictions between Biblical teachings and your own thoughts.