Daily Devotion for October 16, 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.
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation
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.
Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret (Greek Orthodox)
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. 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 12:43-45
An evil generation seeks a sign  — The unclean spirit
"The unclean spirit, when he has left the man, passes through waterless places, seeking rest, but not finding it. So he says, 'I will return to my house, from which I came'; and when he arrives, he finds it empty, swept, and decorated. He takes with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter the house and live there. Thus the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. It will be just so, to this evil generation."
2 Peter 2:9, 20
The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment. . . . For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state is worse for them than the first. It would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
Comment on the Scripture
This metaphorical and rather weird passage from Matthew (also given in Luke 11:24) is difficult to interpret exactly. Clearly, Christ is predicting spiritual misery for the Jews who are hostile to him. In Matthew, the passage is a continuation of his response to the demands made by the Pharisees and scribes to give them a sign of his holiness (see Matthew 12:39).
The best interpretation appears to be guided by the passage from 2 Peter: That Christ is referring to those who haved been saved by his word, but then turn away from him, following false leaders and becoming once more entangled in the world of the senses.
Christ's continuing diatribe against the "current generation" thus becomes clearer. The people of Judea have been given the opportunity of salvation during Christ's life. Those who reject the living word are even worse off than those who have never had the opportunity. An evil spirit leaves them when they witness the Word; but if they return to their old ways, the evil spirit returns to their life, bringing with it seven spirits even more evil. (Compare the "seven deadly sins".) They are kept under this punishment until the day of judgment comes.