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Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Welcome back, Visitor.

Evening Devotion for November 21, 2020


<i>Grace</i>, photograph by Eric Enstrom ca. 1918.
Grace, photograph by Eric Enstrom ca. 1918.

Prayers

Scripture

189 people in our community are currently praying with you.

Lord’s Prayer

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.

Amen.

Our “Saturday Oldies” feature Elvis often enough. Some people think that this is a novelty, but like so many singers, he was a Gospel singer first and a pop star later; in fact, he won four Grammy awards and every one of them was in the Gospel category!

I think this was the best Gospel song he recorded, myself (although his Grammys were for “How Great Thou Art”).




For Grace and Goodness

Almighty God, who has given your only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also a model of godly life; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive His inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavor ourselves to follow the blessed steps of His most holy life; through the blessing of Him, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Benediction

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.

Amen.


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

In what book of the Bible do we learn that Paul’s teachings come directly from Christ?

Answer: Galatians!



endless knot

Psalm 116:5-7 (ESV)

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
The Lord protects the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 8:20-30 (ESV)

The Fourth Plague: Flies
T

hen the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand.

But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.”’”

And the Lord did so. There came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and into his servants’ houses. Throughout all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by the swarms of flies.

blue bottle fly

Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? We must go three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he tells us.”

So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me.”

Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you and I will plead with the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow. Only let not Pharaoh cheat again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.”

So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. And the Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained. But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.


Notes on the Scripture

Commentary can add little to this straightforward narrative. The plagues are progressive. As miserable as swarms of gnats may have been, flies are worse, for flies are associated with death. Perhaps they were not understood fully as vectors of disease; but in ancient Egypt, just as today, they seem to appear from nowhere when a corpse or dead animal is left unattended. The flies are thus not merely a misery, but a warning; it is as if Egypt is a corpse.

As the plagues are progressive, Pharaoh’s responses are progressive. He has abandoned his magicians. Although he will never fully grasp the nature of Yahweh, the one true God, his primitive theology at least realizes that the juju of this Hebrew god is powerful.

He has also begun to bargain. Pharaoh will never become trustworthy; his pride, which will lead him to break any promise at his will, will thus lead him to ultimate destruction. But, his pride bends enough to offer concessions. He finally agrees to let the Hebrews travel into the wilderness to worship. He just cannot bring himself to actually fulfill his promise.




Guardian angel, Come unto me all you who travail weary, Bible Matthew 11:28

Daily Inspiration

“Reach Out
and Touch Someone’s Life”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Philippians 2:8: Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.



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Kathrynsays...

Is there any way to get information--e.g., artist, title--about the picture accompanying today's Daily Inspiration by Ann Brock? It is so beautiful. Also especially enjoyed the Elvis song.

Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Nov 20, 2020 were:
Sylvia Banda (12)
Norman Daniels (11)
Gary Swart (11)
randall martin (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Keith Langley (9 out of 9)
Sylvia Banda (9 out of 9)
Elaine Gibson (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)

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