Daily Devotion for November 17, 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” is actually not a church at all, but the Royal Albert Hall, during the Festival of Massed Choirs.
1. Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in us thy humble dwelling;
all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.
2. Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast!
Let us all in thee inherit;
let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.
3. Come, Almighty to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.
4. Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.
Music “Blaenwern”, William P. Rowlands, 1905
Lyrics by Charles Wesley, 1747
Sunday Prayer to Do God’s Will
Almighty God, today I celebrate the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, the supreme victory over death that belongs to you alone. I pray that I may, today and in the coming week, act in appreciation of the ultimate gift you have given to me and to all who confess the name of Christ.
As you have commanded us, let me be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work; let me speak evil of no one and avoid quarreling. Give me the strength to be gentle, to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Fill me with love and humility.
For I was once foolish, disobedient, led astray, a slave to all sorts of passions and pleasures, passing my days in malice and envy, sometimes hating others. But when the goodness and loving kindness of Christ called me to you, He saved me, not because of works done by me in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on me in rich abundance. And now, through Jesus Christ my Savior, being justified by his grace, I have become heir to the hope of eternal life.
Make my heart clean within me, I pray, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that my every thought and deed will reflect the graciousness of the salvation given to me, not by my merit but by your love; and that I may continue to learn your word, and accept even what I do not want to hear, and always act in accordance with your will. In the name of Christ I pray,
Prayer for Forgiveness
Uncreated Essence, I have sinned against You in mind, soul and body; do not remember my former sins for the sake of Your Holy name. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner. In the name of Jesus Christ, and by His faith and by His sacrifice, I pray,
Freedom from Depression and Fear
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and I feel my weakness and helplessness, give me the sense of Your presence, Your love, and Your strength. Help me to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry me, for, living close to You, I shall see Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things.
May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.
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 75:2-4, 6-7 (NKJV)
“When I choose the proper time,
I will judge uprightly.
The earth and all its inhabitants are dissolved;
I set up its pillars firmly. Selah
I said to the boastful, ‘Do not deal boastfully,’ . . .
For exaltation comes neither from the east
Nor from the west nor from the south.
But God is the Judge:
He puts down one,
And exalts another.”
“God Shows No Partiality”
o Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Notes on the Scripture
Judging others is contrary to Christian belief. Christ taught us this in no uncertain terms. For example, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. (Matthew 7:1-3) It is a sin to judge other people; it is the sin of pride. When we do it, we puff ourselves up. Again, as Christ taught, we should not complain about a splinter in our neighbor’s eye, but worry about the “stake” that is in our own eye.
When we judge others, we compare their exterior against our interior. Our interior is a poor guide, because it is human nature to justify oneself. People universally inflate the importance and truthfulness of their thoughts and biases. Our opinions are especially, even notoriously, unreliable, yet most people will trumpet their opinion as if it is a quote from Christ.
On the other side of the coin, we cannot see into someone else’s heart. The most devout people are those most likely not to brag on their own deeds and attitudes. We judge or even dislike other people for the most ridiculous reasons: Their skin is a different color. They are too fat, too rich, too loud. They offend our pride. They go to a different church, vote for a different candidate. Our parents told us not to like them. A friend said something uncomplimentary about them.
Confession is a critical part of prayer. When we confess our sins, we must remember instances when we have judged others. We pray, always, for humility. Hopefully, this will gradually lead us closer to God and we will notice whenever we judge another person. And we must always remember: “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)