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Daily Devotion for February 14, 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,
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are You, loving Father, For all your gifts to me and those close to me. Blessed are You for giving us family and friends To be with us in times of joy and sorrow, To help us in days of need, And to rejoice with us in moments of celebration.
Father, I praise You for Your Son Jesus, Who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and 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 stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
The Judgment of Christ
"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come outóthose who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me."
Notes on the Scripture
If we ever have questions about the day of judgment, this passage puts them to rest. There are several lines of thought about judgment and what will happen to us when we die, and all of them have some basis in the Bible. The most straightforward is that we die and await in a state of death until Christ comes again, at which time the dead will be raised just as Christ was. All will be fulfilled, and the sinless (those who have accepted Christ's grace of forgiveness) will be passed through into heaven to dwell with God for eternity.
This is the Jewish view and that of many Christians. The Catholic Church has taken a somewhat intermediate position, positing a state of purgatory, where our souls dwell until they are shriven of sin and then accepted into heaven.
The most common view in Protestant churches (and the general, rather amorphous view of most agnostics and non-Biblical Christians) is that we are judged after we die. Those who have accepted Christ's grace are redeemed and are accepted into heaven, while the unredeemed are cast into hell, to suffer separation from God for eternity. There is some authority for this view, as well: Christ, on the cross, told the penitent being crucified with him, "today you will be with me in Paradise". (Luke 23:43)
Views of what heaven and hell are range even wider; from Dante's inferno on the one hand, where sinners suffer eternal bodily torture tailored to their most egregious sin, all the way to the most philosophical and abstract, almost Buddhist, concept of heaven as a union with God and hell simply the eternal separation from God, into nothingness.
But, like so much theological separation, it makes little difference what we believe, since we don't know. What we do know is sufficient. Our belief in Christ and acceptance of the Holy Spirit will lead to forgiveness of our sins; whatever heaven is, we will know it for eternity.