Daily Devotion for January 30, 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
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
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 my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I 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.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all who I may meet.
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.
He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of Godís one and only Son.
Notes on the Scripture
This well-known passage was stated to Nicodemus, the "rabbi of Israel", who came to question Christ's authority to throw the moneylenders out of the Temple. It is the dividing line between "nice people" or "good people" and actual Christians, because it states, in a nutshell, the core belief of Christianity.
The first phrase tells us that God loves the world. We must remember this, because the world is filled with sin and ungodliness. There are murders single and wholesale -- just 55 years ago, "Christian" peoples slaughtered somewhere between 20 and 40 million civilians (although the two biggest numbers came from non-Christian leaders, the atheist Josef Stalin and the racial mystic Hitler). In American society, adultery is practically winked at by the courts. MTV has just started a television series, "Skins", that glorifies a group of teenage high school slackers whose lives center around drugs, music, promiscuous sex, material objects, and generally getting away with the greatest amount of moral-free hedonism they can beg, borrow or steal.
So, how does God love such a world? Why does he love such a world of people who thumb their noses at His laws and even His existence?
We don't really know. We just know that He does. And the only thing He requires for His greatest gift -- eternal life with Him -- is that we believe in Christ.
There is a second group of people in the US who are almost the diametric opposite of the Skins crowd. These are the "good" people, who try to be nice to the less fortunate (especially if they live in Africa), who are polite, who are not going to rob banks and murder people. They don't really believe in Christ and don't read the Bible, but they try to live by the principles that society has adopted from it. And they are going to the same hell that the teenagers with the rock-star lifestyle are headed for.
God saved us. He loves us so much that He came to live among us, suffer, and die, just so that we could see him and believe in him. And yes, if you believe in Him, you will have eternal life.