Daily Devotion for February 15, 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.
This gorgeous Romanian song is very popular in Hungary and Italy.
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.
The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be.
Testimony to Christ
"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.
You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish — the very works that I am doing — testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life."
Notes on the Scripture
This passage illustrates, or even summarizes, the distinctive goals of John's Gospel compared to the synoptics. Christ does not accept the testimony of men, although he encourages it because it might help lead men to salvation. However, Christ does not accept it. It does not move Christ himself to believe he is the Son of God.
This is something it might not occur to you to ask: How did Christ know, how was he totally convinced, that he was the Son of God? We are not really told, but here, Christ does tell us what he considers to be the linchpin proof of his divinity: the miracles he performed or which occurred around him. These are the signs which he considers most important.
John numbers seven miracles that he considers the critical "signs" of Jesus' divinity. We have seen two of them so far: 1) The wedding at Cana, where he turned water into wine, and 2) healing the sick man at the Pool of Bethesda, in Jerusalem.
Jesus also says that the Father himself has testified, but he does not tell us exactly what he means. John does not recount the voice from the heavens at Jesus' baptism, although John the Baptist's vision of the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove is told in John 1.
In addition, Jesus leans upon the word as received in the Bible -- i.e., the Old Testament -- which foretold his coming. Many circumstances of his birth and life were prophesied, especially in Isaiah, and Christ expects us to lean on them as a foundation of our faith.