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Daily Devotion for February 18, 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.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
John 6:15-21 (NLT)
Jesus Walks on Water
When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.
That evening Jesusí disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadnít come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum.
Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, ďDonít be afraid. I am here.Ē Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and they quickly arrived at their destination.
Notes on the Scripture
The first sentence is a transition from the feeding of the 5,000. The people who witnessed it became understandably excited; they were ready to proclaim Jesus the King of Israel, which would have started a political revolution, at the least against Herod and most likely against Rome. This is exactly the kind of "savior" whom the Jews were anticipating.
But as we know, Jesus had other plans entirely. He did not plan to rule on earth. Just the opposite: he planned to live and die as a humble commoner. He would never raise a sword against the Romans or the ruling parties of Judea. Instead, he would die like a criminal for an unjust accusation.
Christ's walking on water is one of the iconic moments of his life. Every Western atheist knows about it. I imagine walking on water comes in second only to St. Peter letting people into heaven as a setup for jokes with religious characters.
It is probably a good exercise to ask yourself whether you actually believe that Christ, literally and physically, crossed the open water of Lake Tiberius (another name for the Sea of Galilee) during a fierce storm. Whatever you think about it, it is a good starting point for someone to meditate on his or her beliefs about Christ and salvation.