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Daily Devotion for October 29, 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
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Prayer for Peace
I thank you, master and lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. I appeal to you to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hate for their neighbors, thinking especially of those at war or preparing for war.
Grant peace to your servants. Implant in us the fear of you and confirm in us love for one another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For you are our peace and to you we ascribe glory: to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.
Now, oh Lord, I pray that you may lift up the light of your countenance upon me, and give me peace; in my going out and in my coming in; in my sitting down and my rising up; in my work and in my play; in my joy and in my sorrow, in my laughter and in my tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark.
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.)
Set Your Mind on the Spirit
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Notes on the Scripture
Yesterday's Scripture described something we all experience constantly. We want to do good but we choose something bad; the spirit is strong, but the flesh is weak. What can we do?
Well, we cannot do anything by ourselves. One of the first things they teach in the worst cases of inability to control harmful action — addiction to alcohol or drugs — is to turn to a higher power for help. (In fact, the famous "Third Step" of Alcoholic Anonymous is: "[We made] a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him".) God has done what the law could not.
Sin is not going to disappear from our lives or from our actions; we are imperfectable in the flesh. But the Spirit is within us. We can set our minds on the Spirit instead of setting them on the flesh, and it will make us strong in the face of temptation. Our sin will not disappear, but it will fall away.
For the Spirit speaks to us, just as the flesh does. By prayer, by meditation, by reading and study of God's word, we awaken the Spirit within ourselves. We must "set our minds on the Spirit".
We know that we should love others as God loves us; but remember, we are one of God's children also. We must learn to love ourselves as God loves us. Love yourself, be good to yourself. To set your mind on the Spirit does not simply please God; it brings us life and peace even amid the tumult of our time on earth. If we live always in the Spirit, we will know a peace and joy in life that we could never have by listening to our flesh.
We cannot fight sin alone. We must let our God feed us. By actively living in the Spirit, we will avoid so much sin that would be impossible to avoid otherwise. To live in the Spirit is to express our love for ourselves, to forgive ourselves as God forgives us.