Daily Devotion for October 14, 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.
Going Home, sung with real emotion by the much-loved Bill Gaither.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
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.)
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
Romans 4:18-25 (ESV)
In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be." He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead ( since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.
No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness."
But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul, as part of his overall argument that we are saved by faith, not by good works, here continues to discuss the faith of Abraham. For Abraham was the first Jew, the man with whom God made the old covenant of circumcision. But Paul is demonstrating that it was Abraham's faith, not the act of circumcision, that delivered him into righteousness.
Today he compares the faith of Abraham with the faith of Christians. God promised to make Abraham the father of many nations. But Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were old. Paul say Abraham was "as good as dead" and Sarah had been barren even in her youth. How were they to father a child, much less "many nations"? It's laughable.
But Abraham's faith was powerful. He never wavered in his belief that God could and would do what he had promised. And this faith was "counted to him as righteousness". And Abraham and Sarah gave birth to Isaac, from whom all Jews are descended.
Those who are told that God raised Jesus from the dead, to save us from sin and death, are put in the same position as Abraham. Our experience in the world tells us that it is impossible to raise someone who has been dead for three days, or for a barren couple in the 90's to have a child. But we believe in what we cannot see. We have faith that God keeps his promises and tells the truth. And it is this faith that is "counted to us" as righteousness, just as it was for Abraham.