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Daily Devotion for October 16, 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.
Our "Sunday Virtual Church" this week leads us to a stirring and familiar anthem from the Salvation Army (which many people do not realize is actually a Christian denomination).
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.)
"Evil triumphs when good men do nothing."
~ Edmund Burke
Romans 5:6-11 (ESV)
Peace with God Through Faith
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Notes on the Scripture
People sometimes give their lives for a good person, a loved one, a cherished cause. But people don't die to save their enemies. With one exception: Christ.
In Romans 5, Paul tacitly depicts godless humanity as people waging a war against God. No matter how much God does love us, his wrath descends upon people fighting against him. They have made themselves his enemies. Modern feel-good theology has come up with slogans such as, "It doesn't matter if you believe in God; He believes in you." But of course, this is just the opposite of what the Bible says. The Bible tells us that, if we do not believe in God, we will know his wrath.
Humanity was entirely at war with God, filled as it was with sin, when Christ was born. Christ thus died for his declared enemies. Saying that we have gone to war with God, and that he will punish us for it, is not to say that God does not love us with a love beyond our imagination. This is what Paul is saying: Christ, unlike anyone else, died so that his enemies might live. Not enemies by Christ's choice, for God's love has never failed us, but rather, enemies by their choice.
Through Christ's death, we were not simply justified before God; we were also reconciled with him. Justification is a legal concept, meaning that we will be found "not guilty" when we are judged. Reconciliation is a term of relationship. If we made ourselves God's enemies through atheism, idolatry, or simple lack of concern with righteousness, we were and are reconciled through Christ. Given the choice between the world and God, we have chosen God, and part of our reward is an ongoing, loving relationship with him.