Daily Devotion for September 29, 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.
Something a bit different for our “Saturday Oldie” this week. The video quality of this is poor, but well worth it.
For God's Help
Lord God, Enlighten what is dark in me,
Strengthen what is weak in me,
Mend what is broken in me,
Bind what is bruised in me,
Heal what is sick in me,
Revive whatever peace and love that has died in me.
Restore me, Father God, as you would have me,
That I may better serve you
And show your Glory to all the world.
In the name of Christ, I pray,
Prayer to Remove Hardness in My Heart
Precious Lord God, I am deeply distressed at my failure to know you as fully as I want to. I do things that I do not want to do and I think things that I regret. Sometimes I feel like a phony Christian, for there is a hard place in my heart that urges me to live, not in your Spirit, but in the world. Please, God, I beg of you, in your mighty power, melt the hardness of my heart. Of my own free will, I ask you into the deepest crevice of my being, that I may be filled with your love and holiness. I depend on your without any backup plan, Lord; for you and only you have the power to change me.
[God can mend what is broken in us.]
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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 94:1-2 (NKJV)
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
1 Peter 1:22-25 (ESV)
That Which Will Not Perish
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
Notes on the Scripture
This passage begins with another of Peter's long sentences. It looks impenetrable, but what he is saying is, actually, not hard to understand.
e have “purified our souls by obedience to the truth.” The souls of all have been corrupted by life. By obeying Christ's teaching, by believing in Him, we have purified our souls of this corruption. Christ's truth includes a teaching that we should love one another with a sincere “brotherly” love.
Since the truth we have followed tells us to share this form of love, it is imperative that we build this love with other Christians. We cannot pretend, either. It must be sincere. We cannot fake it, acting nice to someone we can't stand, smiling while we are boiling inside. We must examine our thoughts, pray where we feel anger or judgment towards another, ask the Holy Spirit to help us.
Why? It is part of our rebirth in the spirit. We are a new person when we are baptized and/or accept Christ fully.
Our old self existed entirely as a perishable body and we made decisions based solely on animal drives and selfishness. But the Word of God is living, not dead. Jesus is alive; He defeated death. And furthermore, Christ and his teachings abide: that is, they have a permanent home with us, inside us, in the person of the Holy Spirit.
Peter calls the source of our bodies “perishable seed”, which is easy enough to understand. But when we are reborn, our selves and our souls have another existence created by the imperishable seed of God's word. Our body stays alive for a short while after this transformation — maybe for 100 years, maybe for a day, but a short while in terms of a universe that is 10 billion years old. During this time, our earthly body continues to demand that its needs and desires be met, which can lead us to sin.
Peter elaborates a little on the impermanence of the perishable seed, by quoting a passage from Isaiah. The analogy of human life to grass appears many times in the Bible. It helps us to understand, because the grass of the pastures lives for just one year — think of “grass” as wheat — and we can see the constant death and rebirth of humanity much clearer after watching wheat grow and die for a few years.