Daily Devotion for February 8, 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 bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
Dedication to Service
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives.
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.
We Have Heard for Ourselves
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the womanís testimony, "He told me all that I ever did." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word.
They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."
After the two days he departed for Galilee. (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own land.) So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.
Notes on the Scripture
It is hard to decide which is more remarkable: that the Jewish Messiah spends time and energy in the heathen land of Samaria, or that large numbers of Samaritans are so readily convinced to believe in Him. The Samaritans, remember, were despised by the Hebrews. A devout Hebrew man would not -- could not -- sit down at a table and eat with an unclean person. And the Samaritans were worse than simply heathens; they were heathens who were occupying Canaan, the birthright land of the Hebrews which was given to them by God. As we just saw, the very well where Jacob drew water was in the center of Samaria and was used by its people for water.
Yet, Christ stays there for days, living among its people and showing them the true light of God; and they accepted Him as their savior.
This might not seem so hard to believe in modern times. On any given Sunday, there are more Nigerians actually attending services in Anglican churches than there are in England. If you were on a mission, who would you rather try to convert: An atheist in the "Christian" city of New York or London, or atheist in a heathen tribe in Africa?
People who live in advance civilizations or have spent their lives in a higher educational system are clearly more resistant to the Word of God. Atheists will claim this is because the latter are ignorant and easily fooled, but I don't think so. I think that some people begin to think they have all the answers. They are glutted with the pride of their knowledge. As Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their is the kingdom of heaven".
If a person's spirit is filled with pride, there is no room for the spirit of God. This is applies as much to you and me as it does to any clever atheist. If we do not seek the Kingdom of God first, if we let our pride in our knowledge fill up our mind, the Holy Spirit will not find as much room in which to live. Not knowledge, but pride in knowledge. Christ never said we must be stupid, or ignorant of worldly wisdom. In fact, he told his disciples to be "as wise as serpents".