Daily Devotion for March 26, 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.
~ Dr. Kent M. Keith
They Loved the Glory That Comes from Man
When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them."
Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
Notes on the Scripture
This discussion of those who saw and heard Christ, and saw his miracles performed with their very eyes (or with eyewitness reports), can help us understand all those who reject and scorn God's word. God truly gave us free will. He knew from the beginning that many of us would use this power to reject Him and his son.
There has never been, and will never be, a truly "Christian" period on earth. If people can witness Christ perform miracles before their very eyes, and still reject Him, how can we expect that everyone will accept Him now that He has ascended?
It hurts to hear the sometimes nasty criticism of Christianity; it hurts to see people who reject Christ's teachings; and it hurts to see people call themselves "Christians" while doing horrible things and driving others away from Christ. It hurts to have others assume that you are a narrow-minded and judgmental hypocrite because you witness to Christ.
Such people simply have not understood the word or read the Bible. Because they do not seek God — because their hearts are hardened and their eyes blind — they will scoff and scorn at those who can see and hear.
But in truth, they could see if they wanted to. All of us are born with the "sight" that can see the light of Christ. But many love the things of the world too much. Wanting the things of this world, wanting to be accepted by and praised by other people, they reject the only true and enduring glory. It was true when Christ was standing before us; how can we expect it not to be true today.
Confessing Christ can be very difficult; even Peter denied Christ three times. It is a luxury to live in a time and place where we can worship without being beaten and killed! We must always remember, with love and admiration, the men and women who have given their very lives to follow Christ. Whatever difficulties or criticism we may endure today, remembering those who have gone before puts things into perspective.