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Daily Devotion for February 3, 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.
Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Notes on the Scripture
In this passage, Christ claims not only the power to give eternal life, but the sole power to give it (at least on earth). The limp-wristed vague "spirituality" or "belief in God" that so many people profess is meaningless. There is one way and only one way to gain eternal life in heaven is to believe in Jesus Christ, and to obey him, for it is by his grace that we shall see life.
This stern message has been softened by "Hallmark Card" Christians; they think they will see their family members and even their pets in heaven, no matter what, just because they can't face the truth. If your father was an agnostic who questioned the divinity of Christ, if your brother became an atheist and died in a motorcycle accident, if your beloved Muslim friend who spent a life of kindness and goodness dies -- no, you won't see them in heaven.
We don't know whom Christ will judge, or even exactly what happens after death. Perhaps your dead atheist brother had a secret spiritual life you did not know about. One can only hope. And one doesn't need to go about telling people their dead relatives are in hell. But still, there comes a time and a place when it is wrong not to give testimony. It is belief in Jesus Christ, not partial adherence to a constantly-changing human moral code, that can give us grace and forgiveness of our sins after we die.