Daily Devotion for April 10, 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.
The Lenten music for today is sung by Bobby McFerrin's father, Robert McFerrin, who was a famous baritone.
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 Lenten Prayer
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help me, who is assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of myself and all people, let all of your servants find you mighty to save; in Jesus name I pray,
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.
~ Dwight L. Moody
I Have Overcome the World
"I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father."
His disciples said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God."
Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
Notes on the Scripture
"In the world you will have tribulation." If there is a sentence in the Bible that is easy to believe, that is it. People joke that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. But they are wrong. People have avoided both death and taxes. But I don't think anyone has avoided tribulation.
Have you ever wished you could be someone else? Well, you would probably be disappointed. "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence". If you were, somehow, mystically swapped into someone else's life, one of the first things you would notice is how much they suffer from problems you had no idea about.
Rich, famous, young and beautiful people sometimes commit suicide because their pain is so great. More often, such people commit virtual suicide with drugs and alcohol they take to erase the pain of their existence.
We cannot expect perfect happiness on earth; Christ, who told the truth, informed us that we will have tribulations. If anyone has ever had tribulation, it is Christ himself! How would you like to be whipped, derided, marched through the streets of your town before your society, and then hung on a pole in the hot sun until you died? Not so much.
I don't mean to minimize anybody's suffering. But we simply must accept life as it is. Life on earth is going to be tough.
But rather than giving in to our suffering, we must always seek to take comfort from Christ and the Holy Spirit. We will suffer from our problems; but Christ has overcome the world. And through him, we will overcome the world, too.
Christ did not tell us that the world is not real; it is. But it is like a terrible medical procedure. It hurts, but we know what the outcome will be, and the outcome will be unbelievably good. We will live for eternity, in perfect peace and happiness.