Daily Devotion for March 4, 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
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
For those in the Armed Forces of our Country
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For our Enemies
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 whom I may meet.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.
John 8:21-24 (ESV)
You Will Die in Your Sins
So he said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come."
So the Jews said, "Will he kill himself, since he says, 'Where I am going, you cannot come'?"
He said to them, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins."
Notes on the Scripture
Today, Jesus continues to address the Jewish court (Pharisees) who have demanded proof for his claim to be the Son of God. After basically rejecting their demand for proof, telling him that the only witnesses he would produce were himself and the Father, he proceeds to attack their religious authority.
They obviously still don't understand him. He says, "I am going where you cannot come" and the only way they can interpret it is to think he means to kill himself. This is ironic, because they will kill him (and yet he will not be dead and even his body will live again).
He then tells them exactly what he means: He is from God and of God, while they are not. He is "from another world", the world of the spirit -- heaven. Unless they believe in him, they are the ones who will die. But he will go to heaven and hell for three days after his death, where they will be unable to find him, because living humans cannot go there. If they want to live, they must believe in him.
First page of the Gospel of John, from the Book of Kells