Daily Devotion for September 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.
God bless Crystal Bowersox, who put the Word into mainstream television about the only way possible: by singing a gospel song on American Idol.
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Prayer for Obedience
Almighty God, who is the Father of lights and who has promised by your dear Son that all who do your will shall know your doctrine: Give me grace today, so to live that by obedience I may increase in faith and in the understanding of your Holy Word. Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Glory to God
Glory to You, Lord God, bringing from the depth of the earth an endless variety of colors, tastes and scents;
Glory to You for the warmth and tenderness of the world of nature;
Glory to You for the numberless creatures around us;
Glory to You for the depths of Your wisdom, the whole world a living sign of it;
Glory to You: on my knees, I kiss the traces of Your unseen hand;
Glory to You, enlightening us with the clearness of eternal life;
Glory to You for the hope of the unutterable, imperishable beauty of immortality;
Glory to You, O God, from age to age.
“To feel sorry for the needy is not the mark of a Christian – to help them is.”
~ Fred Clark
Blessing of Mark
O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.
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.
Job 5:17-20 (DP)
Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves,
So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For He inflicts pain, and gives relief;
He wounds, and His hands also heal.
From six troubles He will deliver you,
Even in seven, evil will not touch you.
In famine He will redeem you from death,
And in war from the power of the sword.
Hebrews 12:5-7,11-14 (ESV)
You have forgotten the exhortation, addressed to you as God's children:
y child, do not regard the Lord's discipline lightly, or lose heart when you are punished; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.”
Endure life’s trials for the sake of discipline. God treats you as his child; for what child does a loving father not discipline?
It always seems painful rather than pleasant; but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, lift your drooping hands, and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not become crippled, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Notes on the Scripture
One thing that characterizes a responsible adult is the willingness and confidence to discipline others in his charge. Another is the ability to accept discipline. We see the opposite every day. A prominent case of refusing to accept discipline, in my lifetime, was Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13-year old girl in 1977. He fled the country to escape a prison sentence. He thereafter lived (and at the time this is being written, was still living) in European countries that consistently refused to extradite him.
An amazing number of journalists and people in the entertainment industry loudly protested attempts to extradite him. We don’t want to get too far into self-righteous judgmentalism (and it is tempting to demonize the juvenile self-indulgence of Hollywood). The point is that Polanski is just one, among countless thousands of less prominent cases, where people have used their celebrity, power, influence, etc., to evade responsibility for their actions.
We can include those of us who have escaped punishment by lying, legal manuevering, etc. But, to bring this back to today’s Scripture: In the controversy, nobody has mentioned the harm that has been done to Polanski himself, including his relationship with God and the state of his immortal soul, by evading the proper discipline for his action.
We, by our nature, seem to have difficulty understanding or admitting when we have done something wrong; and it appears that Polanski has lived most of his life not realizing the wrong of his actions. Discipline is an act of love; it is humiliating to be punished by another, and painful by definition, but still, often the only way to truly change the heart of someone gone astray.
“It is always painful rather than pleasant; but later, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” We are fortunate that God loves us enough to punish us for our sins while we are alive on earth. It is one of the ways by which He “delivers us from evil.” So let us endure the pain of life without complaint and without evading discipline; for what child does a loving Father not discipline?