Daily Devotion for October 9, 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
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart.
Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer of Praise (from Psalm 86)
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done. All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.
For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
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.)
Diligence is man’s precious possession.
Romans 3:21-26 (ESV)
The Righteousness of God Through Faith - Justification 
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul now reaches the argument he has been leading up to. Discussions of this passage have filled books; but since we only have a few paragraphs, let's explore Paul's concept of justification.
Everybody sins. A normal human being simply cannot live a life without sin. Jimmy Carter famously pointed out — in an interview with Playboy Magazine, of all places — that a man, seeing an attractive woman, will lust in his heart, meaning more generally, that sin cannot be avoided. The general principle applies to every man and every woman. You will covet, for example; there's no stopping it completely. In your life, you will see something that belongs to someone else and want it.
But if we all sin, time and time again, how can we possibly expect that God will not judge us guilty and condemn us? It is because we are justified by our faith in Christ. But what does this actually mean?
"Justify" can be a confusing word. It is one of those words you hear in church or Bible study and probably are willing to put it in a category of "religious words that I don't really understand precisely but get the general drift". But it is not that hard to understand exactly how "justify" is used in the Bible, because the term is still used today in daily life.
"Justify" usually refers to a specific instance of conduct that looks like it is wrong — illegal, immoral, or contrary to a rule. We justify our conduct if we show a reason why we are not guilty. Self-defense is justification for homicide; a person will go to prison for intentionally killing someone, but if he proves that the only reason he did it was that the victim was trying to kill him, he is justified. He is therefore innocent.
Getting back to Romans, we will one day appear before God to be judged. Unfortunately, our record will contain countless inexcusable sins. We will be guilty, and we will be subject to God's wrath. God is not going to accept "it is my nature" — that is what Paul proved in the first two chapters of Romans.
But "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (John 2:1. Christ will speak up for us. Although we are guilty of sin, every sin will be justified — Christ will provide justification for us, by grace. And by our faith in Him, we will be found innocent of the sin we have committed in our lives.