Daily Devotion for January 25, 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
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 for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
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.
The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple (1)
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen.
And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Fatherís house a house of trade."
His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."
Notes on the Scripture
We are really starting to see the difference between John and the other three (synoptic) Gospels by now. John has jumped from the wedding at Cana to Jerusalem at the time of Passover. What John lacks is any real attempt to report a chronological "Life of Jesus". Instead, his Gospel is organized into events that show a progression of theological events, relating to the meaning of Christ's life.
Although Christ frequently spoke in very strong, even harsh, terms on occasion, this is the only time in the Bible he is shown to resort to physical violence himself. He hits the forecourt of the temple like a tornado, and he cleans house.
The impetus to make money from religious belief is a constant problem, and the history of Christianity affords us a prime example. In fact, the word "hypocritical" takes a prominent place in almost every anti-Christian diatribe one sees. Most major churches are guilty to one degree or another; from the selling of indulgences and sacraments-for-pay of the Middle Ages to the "money theology" of today, greedy people within our churches have continuously undermined Christ's message.
It is not for us to judge them; priests and ministers constantly face difficult questions about money, and who are we to point fingers? But it is well to keep the problem in mind and to meditate and pray about how greed can interfere with our own spiritual life.