Daily Devotion for September 17, 2010
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer from Psalm 86Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done.
All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.
For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.
Prayer for Purity of Thought
Almighty God, who alone gave me the breath of life, and alone can keep alive in me the holy desires your Spirit brings; I pray to you, in the name of your infinite compassion, to sanctify my thoughts and endeavors this day; that I may not begin to act without a pure intention or continue it without your blessing. And grant that, having the eyes of my mind opened to behold things invisible and unseen, I may in heart be inspired by your wisdom, and in work be upheld by your strength, and in the end be accepted by you as your faithful servant; through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Prayer for Life
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
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 118:1, 4-6 (NLT)
Let all who fear the Lord repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.”
In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?
(Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.)
Noah and the Flood [Part 6]
Then God said to Noah, "Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it."
So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on the earth—came out of the ark, one kind after another.
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done."
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease."
Notes on the Scripture
Not only Christians, but also the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Jews (obviously), Muslims, Indians, aborigines in Australia and New Zealand -- and on and on -- tell of a great flood that covered the earth. Atheists seek to discover and explain this common myth in all kinds of ways, while ignoring the truth: The Biblical story of Noah is factual (in part or in full, depending on your belief). Most scientists say it didn't occur, but if there is one thing I have learned in life, it is that scientists don't know as much as they think they do. For thousands of years, scientists has held themselves up as infallible thinking, for some reason, that at the moment in time in which they live(d), the actual final scientific truth about something has been found. A few hundred years ago, science would have told us authoritatively that the sun revolves around the earth.
It is true that much of the story is so implausible as to be outrageous. But I don't care. It doesn't matter. The story about a holy man who was the son of God, and who was killed and then came back to life, is 100% implausible and outrageous, and I believe that with my whole heart. I think people should make up their own minds about things; myself, I am perfectly happy thinking that Noah lived to be 600 years old and carried around a gigantic menagerie of animals for the better part of a year, including food for them, inside a big wooden boat that he made by hand because God told him to; I am also perfectly happy thinking that much of the story is an elaboration of an ancient oral tradition. It just doesn't matter to me.
I will say, I believe in the kernel of the story: God once destroyed mankind by a great flood, and inspired a righteous man and his family to build a boat and save themselves and some animals. But again, it's the sort of thing where people have to make up their own mind.