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Daily Devotion for October 21, 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.
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 PrayerMay 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 13:44-52
A Pearl of Great Price
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man finds, and hides; and in his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys the field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking good pearls. Discovering a pearl of great price, he sells all that he has, to buy it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that is cast into the sea and gathers all kinds of fish. When it is filled, they draw up on the beach; and they sit down, and gather the good into vessels, but the bad they throw away.
So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels will come forth, and sever the wicked from among the righteous, and cast them into the furnace of fire; and there will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all these things?"
They replied, "Yes."
And he said to them, "Just so, every scribe who has been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven is like a man that is a householder, who brings out both new and old things from his treasure."
Comment on the Scripture
The last paragraph is unusual. Christ speaks directly to, or at least about, the scribes, very likely Pharisees, with whom he has had so much trouble (and who will eventually be directly resposible for his execution). His analogy to a homeowner who produces both "new and old" things from his holdings, ties his teachings to Judaism as practiced at the time.
He directly implies that there is much truth and godliness still to be found in the law of Moses, but that those Hebrews who want to be disciples of the kingdom of God must be willing to accept new teachings. This accords with Christ's great statement about his mission: that he comes "not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it."