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Daily Devotion for January 15, 2011
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
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me - love the Father and love all humankind. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of thy law, so that we might know our sin, and thy Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
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.
Psalm 146:8-10 (New Living Translation)
The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.
Praise the Lord!
The Word Becomes Flesh
And the Word became flesh and dwelled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Notes on the Scripture
The first sentence is possibly the more reverent and touching sentence in the Bible. God became a man and lived right in our midst. We -- or more accurately, those who lived during that short period of time -- could actually see and touch God, and could look at his glory. He was a man and he was God. No person before and none after has been filled completely with grace and truth.
Imagine that you are in a jet 35,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean and there is a huge storm. The pilot and copilot are killed, the radio has been knocked out by lightning, and the automatic pilot is starting to malfunction. This is the terror we would feel, in life, if we really could appreciate the hell to come after our death. We are helpless to stop our destruction.
Suddenly there is a man making his way towards the front of the aircraft. "Excuse me", he says, "I'm the airline's chief pilot and I need to get to the cockpit." Looking at him would be something like seeing Christ. You would suddenly realize, this man is filled with the knowledge we need to live. He is the best qualified pilot in the world for this aircraft. All we need to do, to live, is trust him and do what he tells us. We are saved.
Of course, the analogy is completely inadequate to describe the grace of Christ. He would have to die in pain that we might live in the next world. So why don't people fall over themselves to do exactly as Christ teaches us? Possibly, in part, because we don't feel the imminence of our destruction. And yet, death can come at any time. Few people wake up and think, "I am going to die today." And yet they do. We must be always ready to meet our God; it is only a matter of time, and how much time, we never know.