Daily Devotion for August 9, 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.
The moving Sabbath Prayer from “Fiddler on the Roof”, where Tevye and Golde pray for the future of their unmarried daughters. This is sung at supper on Friday, the start of the Sabbath.
To Live in God's Presence
Dear God, I know you are with me now. I know you are with me any time I call on you, or even think about you. Let me remember, every minute of every day, that you are with me, watching me, ready to help, protecting my soul even when the things of this world give me pain.
Let my every minute be lived in your presence. Let my every action be an offering of love to you. Let my every word be a prayer.
For Those with Disabilities
Dear heavenly Father, my thoughts and prayers are with all who have lost the use of their body or mind, in some important way: those of us who cannot move, those who cannot walk, who cannot see or hear, whose minds are not clear: for all of us who have lost some function that others of us take for granted. And I count myself among them, for who among us will not face such tribulations as we grow older?
I pray that those of us so afflicted may know you, Lord Christ, and that your Holy Spirit may be strong in us, to give us comfort in the inconvenience, the frustration, and often the embarrassment we might suffer. Heal us, where it is your will, Lord; and for those of us who cannot be healed, let us know with complete confidence that we are truly whole. Bring to all of your children full comprehension of the freedom and joy that await us, after the short trial of this life is ended, and we all come to perfection together.
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”
~ (Saint) Augustine of Hippo
Blessing for the Day
Oh God, hold me in the palm of your hand. I pray that you will mold me into what you want me to be. May I joyfully fill the role you have given to me and feel your peace deep in my soul, today and 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.
Proverbs 11:21 (ESV)
Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.
Matthew 5:7 (ESV)
Forgiveness  — The Importance of Forgiving Others
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
Notes on the Scripture
hrist commands us, again and again, to be merciful to others. He repeatedly connects the mercy we give to the mercy we will receive. This is reflected in one of the main phrases of the Lord’s Prayer — “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Forgiveness of others is the key that unlocks Christ’s forgiveness, and forgiveness through Christ is the key that unlocks the kingdom of God.
If we do not forgive someone, can we be forgiven for our own sins? Possibly not. Further down in Matthew 5:21-26, Jesus speaks on the subject at length, including the admonition: “Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment . . . So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
This sounds very much as if we must settle our differences with others — both those with whom we are angry, and those who are angry with us — before we worship. On the other hand, God’s mercy knows no bounds; our salvation is one of grace, not of works. This would indicate we can be forgiven anything, including our failure to settle out differences with our brothers and sisters before we worship. Perhaps it is best to say, in terms of theology, that if we truly believe in Christ and love him, we will want to settle our differences with our brothers and sisters as He has commanded us to do.
But is this possible for a human being? Anger is a powerful emotion, and it can be difficult to quell, especially when it is strong or fresh. And it may, literally, be impossible to make peace with someone else. There are people on earth who will nurse a grudge and never let it go.
The key to dealing with anger, as with all sins, is that we must try. And when we fail, seek to confess our sins and receive the grace of forgiveness. But when it comes to resolving disputes with other people, especially where we and/or the other person are angry, we must make a really concerted effect (and possibly succeed) before we can be forgiven for our own sins.
In the next two lessons, we will examine the practical, human, emotional difficulties of the two sides of this coin: First, ceasing to be angry with someone who has wronged us; and second, making things right when we have offended someone else.