Daily Devotion for November 1, 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.
The words of this song mean "We are marching in the light of God" (although there are repeted words and phrases).
Prayer for the Morning
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart.
Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 120:1-4 (New Century Version)
Lord, save me from liars and from those who plan evil.
You who plan evil, what will God do to you? How will he punish you?
He will punish you with the sharp arrows of a warrior and with burning coals of wood.
Children of God
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
Notes on the Scripture
Most people don't like other people telling them what to do all the time. It may present a difficulty, even perhaps an unconscious difficulty, to our life in Christ, because it seems like Christ and Paul demand virtual slavery from us.
There is a difference, however, between the orders of a slave master and the laws of God. First, we are His children and stand in line to receive a fantastic inheritance. Secondly, once we understand the difference between good and evil, we generally want to do good. We love God, as a child loves his parents, and come to want to obey His commandments out of love rather than out of fear or out of a hope of reward.
Finally, God is both giving and forgiving. He is not trying to take away our lives, because it is God who gave them to us. And like a parent, he loves us and will forgive us when we are disobedient.
The slavemaster is not God; rather, the slavemaster is within us, the desires that try to compel us to sin. Take pride, for example. Here is a hypothetical: Say that, in secret, you are able to pick one person to get credit for saving a child's life. Nobody will ever know that you made the decision. That person's picture is going to appear on the front of the New York Times with a glowing account of heroism. Or say that you can choose someone to receive a million dollars; say that you have won a lottery.
Most likely, you are at least going to consider choosing yourself. If you win the lottery, you are going to consider keeping all or part of the money. But why, out of the six billion people on earth, are you even considering yourself? Even if you reject yourself as the pick and choose someone else, you are going to think about choosing yourself, because you are bound to your pride. It is part of being human. This is the slavery in which we serve. God's commandments are not slavery, but a light shining at the top of a deep pit, showing us the only way out of the slavery into which we were born.