Daily Devotion for October 26, 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 God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Thanks
O Thou whose bounty fills my cup, With every blessing meet! I give Thee thanks for every drop, The bitter and the sweet.
I praise Thee for the desert road, And for the riverside; For all Thy goodness hath bestowed, And all Thy grace denied.
I thank Thee for both smile and frown, And for the gain and loss; I praise Thee for the future crown And for the present cross.
I thank Thee for both wings of love Which stirred my worldly nest; And for the stormy clouds which drove Me, trembling, to Thy breast.
I bless Thee for the glad increase, And for the waning joy; And for this strange, this settled peace Which nothing can destroy.
by Jane Crewdson (1860)
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
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.)
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
The Law and Sin 
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? Not so!
Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said,
"You shall not covet." But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness.
For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.
For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Notes on the Scripture
Picture yourself standing in a dimly lit room. You cannot see very much at all, except that there is a white wall in front of you. Suddenly, someone turns on a light. And when the light is on, you can see something you could not see before — the wall is covered with all kinds of dirt, stains and mold. The room seemed perfectly clean before. But now, you now see that it is filthy.
Before the law of Moses, people were not righteous before God, but they could not see it. Then the law, like the light in the room, showed them all the wrong they were committing in their lives. Before the law, if someone craved their neighbor's house, they did not realize they were coveting it, or that it was sinful. The people of earth did not know what coveting was until the law told them, "Thou shalt not covet".
What Paul is saying today, is: You can't blame the light for making the room dirty. It might appear to a person standing in the room that the light created the dirt and mold, but of course, it did not. The dirt and mold and stain were always there; it was just that we were blind to it.
This is what Paul means when he says that the law created sin. God shined a light on our lives that exposed our actions as sinful. But the law — the light that went on in the room — is not evil. The light actually gives us the ability to clean up the room, just as the law gives us the ability to correct our sinful actions, because it shows us what is right and what is wrong.
But there is another angle to this. We may have felt happier in the darkness! We were able to delude ourselves that everything was fine.
This lesson from Romans is as true today as it was then. Resentment against morality in society has never been greater than it is today, and the trend is growing.
Those who have turned away from God are in full-out attack against morality and Christianity. They want to indulge their lust, their greed, their pride; and so, instead of trying to correct their sinful activity, they attack the moral code that shows it to be wrong. People are screaming: "Turn out the light, it makes the room look dirty". But it is utter foolishness. God's law, like the light in the room, is "holy and righteous and good".