Daily Devotion for March 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
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.
For he dwells by you for safetyís sake.
John 8:48-59 (ESV)
Children of Abraham 
The Jews answered him, "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?"
Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."
The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, 'If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.' Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?"
Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, 'He is our God.' But you have not known him. I know him.
If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad."
So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."
So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Notes on the Scripture
Jesus has now, obviously, pushed the group of Jews past their boiling point. When he says that those who keep his word will never die, they become infuriated, because he has placed himself above the great figures of Judaism: Abraham and the prophets. Christ refuses, however, to say outright that he is greater than Abraham. When asked, he declines to answer, saying that "if I glorify myself, my glory is nothing." In other words, he is refusing to brag.
But when he says "before Abraham was, I am", it is too much; the group picks up stones to kill him. It is not simply that Jesus says he lived before Abraham. He doesn't say that before Abraham was, "I was". Instead he says before Abraham was, "I am".
This is tantamount to saying "I am God", because "I AM" is how God the Father answered questions about his name. The name of God was unspoken by devout Jews. It is called Jehovah in the King James Bible, or "Yahweh" or "YHWH", and it means "I am who I am". At other points, God simply says "I AM".