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Daily Devotion for January 19, 2021



Vision of Ezekiel, by Francisco Collantest, ca. 1630. (Ezekiel 37:1-12)

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.

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Thank You Jesus

Oh dear sweet, loving Jesus: How often I forget that it is because of You that I live. You made all of us from the very dust that You created. Then You did the most wondrous of all things, You made us in Your image and You breathed life into us. I join those praying with me today in thanking you for our lives, and we pray that You continue to sustain us each day. From Your heavenly place accept our prayers and our praise.

Amen.

For Humility

abstract man bowing before cross right

Heavenly Lord, no matter what I do or which way I turn, my pride raises its ugly head to damage my life. It tells me that my opinions are correct, no matter how ill-informed I might be. I fail to appreciate my stupidity, my weakness, my self-deception and rationalization for my many errors and shortcomings. Help me, O Holy Spirit, to see my fault. Instruct me in my error and support me in my efforts to follow your commandments; for I truly love you, Lord God, and want to grow in service and faith. In the name of Christ, forgive me and bring me closer.

Amen.

Prayer to Gain and Share Wisdom

Lord, there is so much that I don’t know, and I ask you to inspire me with a thirst for knowledge. I pray, too, for wisdom and understanding that I may use my knowledge well. I give thanks for many people I have never met whose knowledge and understanding have been passed on to me. I ask that I may benefit from their work and experience and may contribute, in turn, to the well-being of others.

Amen.

Benediction (from Colossians 3)

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me all this day; and whatever I do in word or deed, may I do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

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 do we hear the difficult teaching of Christ, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me . . . . And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”?

Answer: Matthew 10:37



endless knot

Home

Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.

~ C.S.Lewis


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 11 (Good News Translation)

Moses Announces the Death of the First-Born
T

hen the Lord said to Moses, “I will send only one more punishment on the king of Egypt and his people. After that he will let you leave. In fact, he will drive all of you out of here. Now speak to the people of Israel and tell all of them to ask their neighbors for gold and silver jewelry.” The Lord made the Egyptians respect the Israelites. Indeed, the officials and all the people considered Moses to be a very great man.

Moses then said to the king, “The Lord says, ‘At about midnight I will go through Egypt, and every first-born son in Egypt will die, from the king’s son, who is heir to the throne, to the son of the slave woman who grinds grain. The first-born of all the cattle will die also. There will be loud crying all over Egypt, such as there has never been before or ever will be again. But not even a dog will bark at the Israelites or their animals.

Then you will know that I, the Lord, make a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites.’” Moses concluded by saying, “All your officials will come to me and bow down before me, and they will beg me to take all my people and go away. After that, I will leave.” Then in great anger Moses left the king.

The Lord had said to Moses, “The king will continue to refuse to listen to you, in order that I may do more of my miracles in Egypt.” Moses and Aaron performed all these miracles before the king, but the Lord made him stubborn, and he would not let the Israelites leave his country.



Notes on the Scripture

This is a good point to recall the first time Moses first spoke to Pharaoh in Chapter 5. Pharaoh’s reply was, “Who is this Yahweh, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go?” The very nature of God was so different from the Egyptian experience of their inanimate statues that Pharaoh could not grasp it. In his eyes, he was the greatest living power on earth, and his pride is so fixed and absolute that even the nine plagues have not dented it.

Exodus is not only history; it is a metaphorical exploration of how pride can operate to condemn a determined atheist to hell. You will hear atheists demanding proof of God’s existence or a sign from God; but in fact, when such signs occur, they will be ignored or rationalized. Consider the life of Christ. When He would, for example, heal a sick person who was beyond hope, determined nonbelievers would not only ignore the implications of the miracle, but would also criticize Him for healing on the Sabbath!

Chapter 11 also highlights another terrible aspect of life, how people must pay for the actions of their government. All of Egypt is ready to submit to Yahweh; even the highest officials will bow down before Moses, to entreat him to intervene for them. But Pharaoh is an absolute ruler. And we have seen, in recent history, how easily the sin and pride of a single absolute ruler can condemn hundreds of millions to death.

Is it fair, that God will kill so many people—including small children—for the actions of their king? One simply cannot apply the idea of “fairness” to God. The human concept of fairness is not necessarily a bad thing; it often stands, in human affairs, as a rule-of-thumb to implement our concepts of love and justice. But it is a two-edged blade, and if it opposes the will of God, it opposes holiness; this is one lesson we take away from Exodus. God is not in our control and is not ours to judge, and certainly not by soft-headed human notions of what is “fair”. We do not teach God right from wrong; we learn from Him.

We suffer the damage and ultimate destruction of our bodies, sometimes at seeming random, and it is not “fair”. But in this regard, we must always remember two things. First, Christ Himself was unfairly tortured and executed. And second, in allowing this to occur, He made the death of our bodies almost irrelevant. For by His resurrection, Christ proved His power over mortal death; and by His sacrifice, He promised that we could find the grace to share in His eternal life.



The Crucifixion</i> by Matthias Grunewald (German), ca. 1524.
The Crucifixion by Matthias Grunewald (German), ca. 1524.

Daily Inspiration

“The Veil of Veronica”

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Comments (2)

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Michael(Pennsylvania, US)says...

Can we please, please leave politics out of our prayer group. Thanks in advance.

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Judy(Elyria, US)says...

Thank you for today's music and inspiration. Mercy me is one of my all time favorites. The movie was also so moving and inspirational. Veronica cloth is call the veil of Veronica is well know to many Christians. On the eve of the Inauguration please pray for the safety of our President elect and vice president elect and the safety of our country. God bless the United States of America from sea to shining sea.

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