Daily Devotion for March 12, 2019
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.
Ashes, ashes, we fall down;
It always feels too soon.
But when we walk on golden ground
All will be made new.
All will be made new.
Life is but a dream at best,
Morning's coming soon.
Kingdom come will bring us rest;
All will be made new
All sorrows and sighs
Will fade away into the night
And all will be made new.
Music and Lyrics by JJ Heller
To Belong to Christ
Oh loving Lord Christ, so eager to die that I might live,
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
Put me to doing; put me to suffering;
Let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you;
Exalted for you, or brought low for you;
Let me be full, let me be empty;
Let me have all things; let me have nothing.
I freely and with my whole heart yield all things to your will and direction.
And now, oh glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours. Let this be for eternity, I pray.
Prayer for the World
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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.
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 verse gives us boldness in saying, at any time and under any circumstance, “Christ is not divided”?
The Proper Way
“The proper way for a man to pray,”
Said Deacon Lemuel Keys,
“The only proper attitude
is down upon his knees.”
“No, I should say, the way to pray,”
Said Reverend Doctor Wise,
“Is standing straight with outstretched arms
And rapturous upturned eyes.”
“It seems to me his hands should be
Devoutly clasped in front,
With both thumbs pointing t’ward the ground,”
Said Reverend Doctor Blunt.
“Last year I fell in Hodgkin’s well
Head first,” said Cyrus Brown.
“With both my heels a’sticking up,
My head a’pointing down.
And I made a prayer right then and there,
Best prayer I ever said—
The prayerest prayer I ever prayed
Was standing on my head.”
~ Author unknown
Acts 7:1-8 (ESV)
Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin 
nd the high priest said, “Are these things so?” And Stephen said:
“Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living.
Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect—that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years.
‘But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’ And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.
Notes on the Scripture
At this juncture—in the New Testament, after the Gospels—we oddly get a basic history of Judaism. Stephen, in his defense before the Sanhedrin, will give us the Cliff’s Notes version of Hebrew History.
This is actually very useful, because the Old Testament is so long and full of details that it is difficult to grasp the outline. And also, there is a complete lack of sources outside the Bible for it. The Hebrews were utterly inconsequential to the rest of the ancient world, until they conquered Canaan and became a minor tribe situated between Egypt and the Assyrians.
A page of Exodus,
from an illuminated Tanakh.
Most notably, there is no archaeological record of their sojourn in Egypt. Some scholars use this to argue that it simply did not happen. I think I would believe it did, even if I did not have faith in the Bible, simply because the Old Testament is so detailed on the subject. It just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that somebody would make up.
Also, may I point out, it seems that the more time passes, the more evidence archaeologists find of historical records, previously known only from Old Testament. In 1993, secular historians finally began to admit that King David might have actually existed!
Also, we can see even today the Jews’ resilience to assimilation when displaced into a foreign land. It has been proven time after time in the past four thousand years. So it is credible that their strong bond, kept through the covenant of circumcision, would differentiate them from other tribes even over 400 years of Egyptian captivity. Jewish males carried the mark of their difference on their very bodies.
We also know, from archeological evidence, that Harran — a small area now in Turkey, right on the southwest border next to Syria — was settled as a trading outpost of Ur of the Chaldees roughly two thousand years before Christ. The journey of Abraham from Mesopotamia (the land of the Euphrates River, one of the borders of Eden) to Harran is entirely consistent with the time.