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Daily Devotion for October 14, 2009
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Sunday Song to the Lord
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and show ourselves glad in him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God; and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are all the corners of the earth; and the strength of the hills is his also.
The sea is his, and he made it; and his hands prepared the dry land.
O come, let us worship and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is the Lord our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth stand in awe of him.
For he comes to judge the earth; and with righteousness to judge the world, and the people with his truth.
Community of Prayer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
Gospel of Matthew 12:38-41
An evil generation seeks a sign — Jonah
Certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, "Teacher, we would like to see a sign from you. But he answered, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign; but no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
"The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, one greater than Jonah is here."
Comment on the Scripture
Christ is asked for a sign, not by his followers as a blessing, but by his sceptics and detractors as a challenge. He calls them an evil and "adulterous" generation. During this period of his ministry, Christ often derided the "current generation", comparing it unfavorably to previous periods of more devout adherence to the law and acceptance of prophets.
Here, he first compares the scepticism of the Hebrew officials unfavorably to the repentance of the gentile Ninevens. The sign he promises is the sign of Jonah — Christ will be in the earth buried for three days, as Jonah was in the whale's belly for three days and given up for dead; and like Jonah, Christ will give glory to God by his (actual) resurrection as Jonah did by his (perceived) resurrection. But unlike the Ninevens, the Pharisees will not accept the sign, even though Christ is greater than Jonah.
Christ then makes a shocking statement. The heathen Ninevens, who glorified God when Jonah was saved, will "stand in the judgment", i.e. be qualified for salvation on the day of judgment. They will condemn the Pharisees. He implies that the Pharisees of that generation, who witnessed Christ's life and did not repent, may lose the salvation they expect from the First Covenant.