Daily Devotion for January 15, 2020
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.
A beautiful modern song, Miserere (“Have Mercy”), sung by Andrea Bocelli and John Miles.
Miserere, miserere, miserere, misero me,
Ma che mistero, e la mia vita,
Io sono il santo che ti ha tradito
Se c'e una notte buia abbastanza
Music and lyrics by Zucchero Fornaciari
To Spend this Day in Thankful Reverence
Holy Father, Holy God, I come before you today in reverence and awe; I am filled with humility in the face of your greatness, your majesty, your holiness, and your power. And to acknowledge my sinfulness in the face of your pure and holy presence fills me with fear.
Yet I pray boldly, for you have called me and adopted me as your rightful heir, through the sacrifice of your Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I give you thanks for your mercy with every ounce of my being, and pray that your Holy Spirit might be with me, that I might do your will in every thought and action this day; and that the work of my hands and the words of my tongue might seek your glory, and not my own.
And I promise, with your help and grace, to be fearless in the world; for if you are with me, who can be against me? Let me not hesitate to call upon you, for your power and love will see me through anything this world can bring against me. All thanks and praise be to you, almighty God.
In the name of Christ, I pray,
To Abandon Delusions
Dear Lord, forgive me that I turn my eyes away from you towards the things of this world. I am sorry for the fantasies that I so desperately cling to in order to sustain my ego, my pride, my selfishness. Take them away by your marvelous power, oh Holy Spirit, that I might serve you and my fellow man rather than my sinful self. Let me see myself through your eyes and know that my glory, peace, and salvation come from you alone.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
~ C. S. Lewis
Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.
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.
“You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy — the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud.”
~ St. Vincent de Paul
1 Peter 2:9-12, 2:19-21, 5:6-7 (ESV)
ou are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
* * *
[T]his is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
* * *
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Notes on the Scripture
Overview of the New Testament: The Epistles
15. First Epistle of Peter (1 Peter)
The epistle titled 1 Peter, unfortunately obscured by its placement behind the massive Hebrews and the Pauline epistles, is a different animal from anything preceding it. Peter was foremost among the apostles, the head of Christ’s church by designation of Christ himself (Matthew 16:15-19), and the premier witness to the events of Christ’s life. He was not an educated man, but his zeal, wisdom and humility were unequalled. As a result, he employed the services of better-educated men to help him write: first Mark (for his gospel) and then an even better writer named Silvanus or Silas, for his epistles. (Both are mentioned in this epistle.)
Peter’s first epistle has no equal for clarity, brevity, authority, and inspiration to the modern Christian. One can simply read it, two thousand years later. Part of the reason for its direct application to any modern Christian is that it was meant as a written summary of Christian faith to “the dispersion” — those people who did not have direct access to teaching by one of the apostles. This is why it speaks so directly to us: we are in the same position as the people to whom it was written. We are, in effect, the intended audience.
Peter begins by describing the situation of a Christian living in the church age. We are heirs to the kingdom of God by the grace of Christ, saved by faith in a man we have never seen.
He then tells us how we should, therefore, behave: with respect for all, in obedience to civil authority (when it does not conflict with God’s ordinances) and to those who lead us in our personal lives. Those who lead must be respectful and loving, rather than proud and domineering, leading by example. Love for one another, humility, and obedience to God are key themes in the letter. We constitute royal priesthood whose purpose is to live so that others might see the power of God in our conduct.
This ties in with another primary theme in 1 Peter: how we are to understand suffering in this time, to help us persevere when we suffer in the name of Christ. We emulate Christ, showing our holiness by enduring tribulation without complaint or retaliation.