Daily Devotion for September 27, 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.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for all that I have. Even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe. Let me never take for granted these gifts of life, oh Lord, but always remember that they come from you; without you, no man could make the sun shine or the tree bear its fruit. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. In the name of Christ I pray,
Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of thy law, so that we might know our sin, and thy Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
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.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
Being in Church
For the person who prays in his heart, the whole world is a church.
~ Sylvain of Athos
Romans 1:13-17 (ESV)
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
Notes on the Scripture
Two notes on the language: First, the word "brothers" was used in Greek to mean "brothers and sisters"; so there is no innuendo that the letter is addressed to men. Second, the term "barbarians" means Gentiles who had not adopted Greek culture, who would have been a minority in Rome -- many would have been slaves brought home from foreign wars.
The first paragraph is straightforward. Paul wants to visit Rome and help convert the lost. He has been given a special mission to non-Jews and so he is eager to visit Rome in person.
The second two paragraphs are a little harder to understand fully. Paul is "not ashamed" to preach the Gospel, because the Gospel is our salvation. No matter what obstacles are set before him, he will preach it, because it reveals how we can become righteous in God's eyes -- but only if we have faith in God. It can only be revealed successfully "from faith to faith" — by a person who has faith, to another person who has faith in God.
This is because faith in God, and living as if we have faith in God, is a hallmark of the righteous. We cannot be righteous in God's eyes unless we live like we have faith in Him.
Most of us are ashamed, to one degree or another, to proclaim the gospel. Our embarrassment in telling the truth is a temptation to sin. Society leads us into this temptation. Although we are not beaten, jailed, or executed for speaking the truth, much of society will belittle us for speaking about Christ.
Yet, how can we not speak a truth that is salvation? Would we not show other people where the life jackets were stored if our ship had hit an iceberg? Do we hesitate to tell others when we hear about a study, that eating a certain food will prolong our lives? Paul is not afraid to preach the Gospel, because it is the power of God; knowing it is the difference between being lost to sin and becoming reconciled to God for the rest of our lives, both on earth and in the afterlife.