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Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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Daily Devotion for January 14, 2021


<i>The Seventh (or Fifth) Plague</i> by Joseph William Turner, ca. 1807.
The Seventh Plague, mezzotint by Joseph William Turner, ca. 1807.
Turner uses the very absence of color to emphasize the powerful starkness and desolation of widespread death.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.




To Turn My Eyes to Eternity

Oh gracious God, who has promised us an eternal life of peace and joy within your Kingdom, let me remember, today and always, how fleeting are the problems and pleasures of this life. The earth and its nations will pass away, soon enough. My bank account, my fame and prestige before others, my accomplishments and failures, even my very body, will not belong to me one day soon.

You will wash away my iniquities. But every beggar I have fed, unto the least of these, what I have given will be counted as if to Christ. What love I show, what sin I avoid or repent, will rest for all time in your heart; for you are pleased when we show your love and obey your will. Grant me this day to lay up my treasure in heaven, and give me all confidence that the judgments of the world are fleeting vanity; but your judgments are eternal.

Amen.

To Cast Off the World

ancient Icon of Jesus

Give me thy grace, good Lord:
To set the world at nought;
To set my mind fast upon thee,
And not to hang upon the blast of men’s mouths;
To be content to be solitary,
Not to long for the world’s company;
Little and little to utterly cast off the world,
And rid my mind of all the business thereof.

Amen.

Benediction

May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.

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

Where does Christ inform us that He did not come to abolish the Law?

Answer: Matthew 5:17



endless knot

Proverbs 1:29-31 (NKJV)

Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,

therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 10:12-20 (ESV)

The Eighth Plague: Locusts [2]
T

hen the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, so that they may come upon the land of Egypt and eat every plant in the land, all that the hail has left.” So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night.

When it was morning, the east wind had brought the locusts. The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again. They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt.

Then Pharaoh hastily called Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. Now therefore, forgive my sin, please, only this once, and plead with the Lord your God only to remove this death from me.”

So he went out from Pharaoh and pleaded with the Lord. And the Lord turned the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea. Not a single locust was left in all the country of Egypt. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go.



Notes on the Scripture

Pharaoh is psychologically trapped. He is not stupid and knows what is happening, and he even knows what is going to happen. He asks Moses, not to make the locusts leave, but rather, “to remove this death from me.” He also makes the remarkable statement that he has sinned against the “Lord your God” and asks to be forgiven “just this once.” But when the threat is removed, he goes right back to his old ways.

The Courage to Change

Sound familiar? In our own lives and the lives of others, how often do people continue on a destructive course, even when the proof becomes irrefutable that it is leading them to failure, tragedy, or death? A combination of fear and pride can put us in a rut that we cannot bring ourselves to climb out of, even if it is otherwise not so terribly difficult.

We pray sometimes for the “courage to change,” and indeed, the Holy Spirit will come to us and lift us just high enough to overcome a destructive course or habit before it is too late. Has not God promised us “He will not let [us] be tempted beyond what [we] can bear. But when [we] are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that [we] can stand up under it”? (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God seems to love us, much of the time, more than we love ourselves. Fatalism is foreign to Christianity. So many people misunderstand Christ and become mired in guilt, or turn away for fear of guilt; but Christ’s forgiveness is the end of guilt. Once we fully grasp God’s love, we realize that we are empowered to love ourselves. We can enjoy our life fully, relish being alive, for we reject the inevitability of death.

The great secret lies in Christ’s teaching, that we must be born again. We must grab onto the notion of total and radical change, so powerful that it will pop us right out of that deep rut we have gotten into.



seventh plague|plague of hail>
The Plague of Hail
Woodcut from the Cologne Bible of 1478-80.

Daily Inspiration

“Custody Battle”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Psalm 94:12: Blessed is the man You discipline, O Lord, The man You teach from Your word.



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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Jan 13, 2021 were:
Sylvia Banda (12)
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Tom Kraft (11)
randall martin (11)

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Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Keith Langley (9 out of 9)
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Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)
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