Daily Devotion for September 24, 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.
We have never shown dancing before, but the Bible tells us repeatedly to dance in praise of God, and this ballet to a setting of the Agnus Dei is lovely.
Prayer for the Morning
Blessed are you, Lord God of my salvation, to you be praise and glory for ever. As once you ransomed your people from Egypt and led them to freedom in the promised land, so now you have delivered me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of your risen Son. May I, the fruit of your new creation, rejoice in this new day you have made, and praise you for your mighty acts. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Prayer to Live Christ's Word
Gracious God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as your child.
Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to you, O God. I commit myself to your call to discipleship: to pray, study your Word, worship you, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me. This I pray in Jesus' name.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
I asked Jesus ... "How much do you love me " And Jesus said ... "This much." Then He stretched out His arms and died.
1 Kings 3:5-12
The Wisdom of Solomon
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I should give you."
And Solomon said, "You . . . have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?"
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.
God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you."
Notes on the Scripture
The moral of this famous Bible story is driven home, again and again, through the Bible, in Old Testament and New. Wisdom, or seeking after wisdom, is the hallmark of blessings both in both our earthly life and our spiritual existence.
Wisdom is not identical to knowledge; countless intelligent and knowledgeable people say and do very stupid and destructive things, because they do not have a context within which to order their knowledge. They cannot become wise, because they have built the house of their knowledge on a foundation of sand.
Proverbs 9:10 tells us where to start: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." "Fear" is a difficult word in this context, because its meaning extends far beyond its common meaning. It is more akin to respect, and includes the ideas of love and voluntary obedience.
Our knowledge must have a hierarchy, and our thoughts must be organized, for wisdom to come to us, and our devotion to God must be the absolute root of it. All knowledge is subordinate to the key idea, that God created and rules our existence. Only when we fully realize this, will true understanding and wisdom come to us.
It is very easy to lose one's way. Throughout our lives, we learn a vast multitude of facts and ideas from dissimilar sources; they become jumbled and confused, and they often contradict each other. How can we reconcile this mental hodgepodge with our dedication to God?
The very first verses of the Book of Psalms answers this exact question: "Blessed is the man . . . [whose] delight is in the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." By studying the Bible and praying from Scripture, we will not lose sight of our first principles. Whatever we learn from any source, we will remember to fit it into the framework of our faith, and our wisdom will increase with our knowledge.