Daily Devotion for April 1, 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,
A Prayer for Fasting
Holy Lord God, who by your word reminds us of all who have offered you the gift of fasting as a symbol of contrition; Guide me in my denial of worldly pleasure during this season of repentance, that I may always be reminded of the sin that Christ died to overcome; and accept, I pray, the offering I give you with my body in memory of Christ's suffering.
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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.
John 14:1-11 (NKJV)
The Way, the Truth, and the Life
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
Notes on the Scripture
As Christ approaches his execution, his characterization of the relationship between himself and God the Father changes. The identity grows stronger, as he truly admits his own divinity. In his early teachings, his tone when talking about the subject emphasized that God the Father spoke through him, and that through him God the Father could be found. Now, when asked "show us the Father", Jesus says "he is within me"; that is, basically, "stop asking to see God, you're looking at him".
These verses also contain the beautiful and meaningful quote, "in my Father's house are many mansions". This comes directly after Christ informs Peter that he will deny him three times before the cock crows. But he immediately consoles Peter, by telling him that there is more than one kind of life that will lead one to heaven.
It is also meant to comfort the disciples who are worried that Christ is going where they cannot follow. They do not want to lose him, or even never see him again. Thus, he also means to assure them that there is a place in heaven for them.
Christ says he is "the way" and they will reach heaven by following him. A "way" is a road or path; we say, "this is the way" to tell someone which way to turn to reach their destination. It is a very concrete metaphor, very easy to understand. To dwell with Christ in heaven, all we have to do is follow a path, the path he is taking. It gets a little harder to grasp when you consider that Jesus himself is the path. He has, in a sense, blazed a new trail.
All throughout their history, the Jews have been trying to find the path to heaven, like early explorers seeking the trail to Oregon. Finally, Christ has come. He not only shows us the trail to follow, he himself embodies the trail. It could not be simpler. To find heaven, follow Christ. At the end of the trail, there will be a mansion waiting for us, where we may dwell forever.