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Daily Devotion for October 13, 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,
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.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these."
~ George Washington
Romans 4:13-17 (ESV)
The Promise Realized Through Faith
The promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring — not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations" — in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
Notes on the Scripture
Faith is "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see". (Hebrews 11:1) Abraham had faith in God's promise to him, that he and his offspring would be heir to the world.
Obviously, this did not mean temporal ownership of the world. God did actually make Abraham's descendants owners of part of the world, in the literal sense: Canaan, the land lying between the Nile and Euphrates Rivers. But Jesus was the offspring of Abraham, legally (through Joseph), physically (through Mary), and spiritually. And to Jesus was given dominion over the world, in fulfillment of the promise to Abraham.
The question is, did Abraham's heirs enjoy the fruits of God's promise to Abraham by acting correctly? No, it is impossible. The kingdom of God cannot be gained by acting well, because nobody is capable of following the law. To say that righteousness comes from following the law -- through the doing of good deeds -- is to say that we are all condemned.
But remember: God promised. God isn't going to break His promise by giving us laws, knowing that we will sometimes break them, and then telling us that we can have salvation if we follow them, knowing that we will fail. The idea of salvation through good deeds, i.e. by following the law, is impossible, because God is not a liar.
We have faith that God will keep His promises; we are "sure of what we hope for." And Paul tells us that it can only be through our faith that God's promise to us is fulfilled. God did keep his promise to Abraham, by sending Christ into the world; and with him came grace to all those who had faith.