Daily Devotion for October 20, 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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to Church of the Redeemer (Episcopal) in Morristown, New Jersey. This is a sing-along hymn!
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease;
'tis music in the sinner's ears,
'tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
he sets the prisoner free;
his blood can make the foulest clean;
his blood availed for me.
He speaks, and listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive;
the mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold your savior come,
and leap, ye lame, for joy.
In Christ, your head, you then shall know,
shall feel your sins forgiven;
anticipate your heaven below,
and own that love is heaven.
Music by Carl G. Glaser
Lyrics by Charles Wesley
A Prayer Before Reading Scripture
Open my eyes, gracious Lord, as I turn to your word. I long to know you, to understand life, and to be changed. Examine me, Lord, by the floodlight of your truth.
Prayer for Unity Among Christians
O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace, I have tried to read your Bible and find your Word and your will for me, and to study it. But I think so many thoughts about it, and then I start to think I know something, and then I see another church or hear a pastor or read something, and I think, “that person is wrong”. Or the pastor of my church or a Bible teacher will tell me one thing, and then somebody else will tell me something completely different.
of a cross #1
Please, dear God, help me and every person who confesses Christ as his Lord and Savior, not think that they know everything and get into arguments with each other. Let us always remember that it is not other Christians who are our enemies, just because they think something different, or baptize people differently, or have different ideas about sacraments or church leadership or whatever foolish doctrine we might fight about. Let us always remember that there was one Christ, one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and one church. Heal any and all divisions between Christians, Holy God.
And let me be part of the solution and not part of the problem, I pray. Let me put first your command, that we bear with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Let me not be made angry or self-righteous by doctrine, but remember always who our true enemy is and direct my efforts to the defeat of atheism and the death that comes from living in the flesh. In the name of Christ, hear my prayer,
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
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.
Psalm 96:2-4 (NASB)
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV)
Indescribable and Glorious Joy
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Notes on the Scripture
ost of the epistles are addressed to someone specific: To a church, such as Galatia or Rome, or to a person, such as Titus or Philemon. But Peter's epistle is addressed to believers in general, who are strangers in every city or country where they live, and are scattered through the nations. That is, it is addressed to us. And the author is the man who knew Christ better than any other person, who was the first called (with Andrew), who lived through the arrest, and crucifixion, and spoke to the resurrected Jesus, and who Jesus called “the rock on which I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18)
And what is his message to us? Exaltation! If we ever feel that Christianity has burdened us or has been imposed on us, we need to read Peter's letter; for his first sentence sounds like he has won the Powerball lottery. He is sharing with us how incredibly lucky he feels to have been given such a wonderful gift, an inheritance that will never dwindle or fade.
Today's lesson describes the great joy that we feel, the enormous burden that Christ has lifted from us. We should never forget how lucky we are. Even when life throws us a curveball, or even a terrible tragedy, we have a ray of light that can always keep us from despair. Because Christ has promised that we will be okay. Nothing in the world can destroy our place in heaven. We have in our hearts a living hope. It cannot be destroyed, it cannot be sullied, and it never loses its power.
We can praise God and live our lives in the beauty of holiness, loving God and forgiving our neighbors; any harm we might suffer will fade and disappear, but our life of light, truth, and indescribable happiness will endure forever.