Daily Devotion for September 27, 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.
Dottie Rambo (the small, dark-haired woman), the “Queen of Gospel Music,” did not have much voice left when this was recorded, a few years before her death in 2008, but it is a special to hear her sing a few words of one of the 2,500 songs she wrote. Her friend Vestal Goodman sings the solo.
The holy hills of heaven call me
to mansions bright across the sea,
where loved ones wait and crowns are given,
the hills of home keep calling me.
This house of flesh is but a prison
bars of bone hold my soul,
but the doors of clay are gonna burst wide open
when the angels set my spirit free,
I’ll take my flight like the mighty eagle
when the hill of home start calling me.
I see loved ones over yonder,
tears are gone and hearts are free,
and from the throne my Savior beckons,
and the hills of home keep calling me.
Music and Lyrics by Dottie Rambo.
For God’s Guidance
Heavenly Father, in you I live and move and have my being: I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of my life I may not forget you, but may remember that I am ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Contrition, Remembering the Passion of Christ
O Jesus! You have proved that you have no greater desire than to be among men, even assuming human nature at the fullness of time for the love of men. I recall all the sufferings of your life especially your passion.
I remember, O Lord, that during the last supper with your disciples, having washed their feet, you gave them your most precious body and blood, and, while consoling them, you foretold your coming passion. I remember the sadness and bitterness which you experienced in your soul as you said, “my soul is sorrowful even unto death.”
I remember all the fear, anguish and pain that you did suffer in your delicate body before the torment of your crucifixion, when, after having prayed three times, bathed in a sweat of blood, you were betrayed by Judas, arrested by the people of a nation you had chosen and elevated, accused by false witnesses and unjustly judged by three judges.
I remember that you were despoiled of your garments and clothed in those of derision, that your face and eyes were covered, that you were beaten, crowned with thorns, a reed placed in your hands, that you were crushed with blows and overwhelmed with insults and outrages. In memory of all these pains and sufferings which you endured before your passion on the cross, grant me before my death a true contrition, a sincere and entire confession, worthy satisfaction and the remission of all my sins.
I pray that I may be blessed every step of my path this day by the great God of light. May your sun shine upon me; as the moon moves the tide, may your Spirit move my emotions with every grace and magic; may my heart sing with the voice of your angels and my hearth be warm; and may this and every blessed day You have given me be filled with joy.
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What Bible verse tells us to live quietly and “mind our own business”?
Psalm 40:1-3 (NKJV)
I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.
Romans 6:15-19 (ESV)
Slaves to Righteousness
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
Notes on the Scripture
f this passage sounds familiar, it is because it is very similar to a previous argument in Romans. But Paul “grinds exceeding small.” He previously countered the argument that we should sin more often, so that God might forgive us more often, and therefore there would be more of God’s grace in the world. Here, he counters a slightly different, more sensible argument.
We are to be forgiven for all of our sins through our belief in Christ, so why be concerned if we sin? It has no practical effect on us; God’s grace is boundless, his forgiveness a bottomless well. In his infinite power and mercy, he can forgive Hitler or Stalin as easily as Mother Theresa.
The last paragraph, where Paul essentially apologizes for speaking in “human terms,” refers to the analogy to slavery. Having written about a difficult abstract concept, “death to sin,” Paul attempts to make his point more concrete and understandable. Slavery was widespread in the Roman Empire and particularly in Rome itself, where as many as half the population may have been some sort of slave. It was accepted and a major part of their daily life. Moreover, some slaves were voluntary — akin to what we might call indentured servants.
Let My People Go
Rose Ruth Starr
The analogy is unfortunately dated; to modern people, slavery is terribly negative, an anathema; whereas, in the history of the world before about 1800, it was considered the normal order of things. We might be better served to think of ourselves as people who have left the nation of evil and immigrated to a new country, the nation of Christ.
We have moved to the this new country because we are in search of righteousness before God, and we know that its laws are righteous. However, in the new country, there are no police, no courts and no jail. So what do we do? Do we flout the law, knowing that we will not be punished? Or do we seek to obey the law?
The very fact that we have taken the trouble to emigrate from the nation of evil speaks what is in our heart. We have come to a new land because of our belief in it. We follow the laws of our new nation because they represent the deepest desire of our heart. It simply makes no sense to say that we would move to the nation of Christ in order to disobey the law.
Belief in Christ is belief in goodness. It is our belief in goodness, not our fear of punishment, that makes us want to obey God’s commandments in the depths of our heart. To commit sin and not feel remorse is impossible if we truly believe in Christ.