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Daily Devotion for November 8, 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.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
Prayer for the Morning
Blessed are you, O Lord my God, King of the universe, who removes sleep from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids. I thank you for all that you have done while I was asleep, watching over me and all your children while we slept unaware, and I pray that my thoughts and acts this day may show forth my love and thanks for you and all you have done for me.
Help me through your Holy Spirit, that I may remember what you have taught me in the Bible and it may show forth in my every deed. Let me not wander into the hands of sin, nor into the hands of pride or perversity, not into the hands of temptation, nor into the hands of shame, but steer my inclinations towards goodness and charity this morning and all the day. In the name of Christ I pray.
Prayer to Live Christ's Word
Gracious God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as your child.
Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to you, O God. I commit myself to your call to discipleship: to pray, study your Word, worship you, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me. This I pray in Jesus' name.
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
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.)
But he who gathers by labor will increase.
Why Have You Made Me Like This?
You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?
Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory — even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
As indeed he says in Hosea,
and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'"
"And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,'
there they will be called 'sons of the living God.'"
Notes on the Scripture
In this passage, Paul addresses what theologians call "the problem of evil in the world". Since God is all powerful, why doesn't He simply destroy evil? Why does He allow evildoers to go unpunished, and wicked men to rule nations?
Paul's answer is, basically, "who do you think you are, to ask such a question? Did you create yourself?"
We are God's creation, as are the earth and all people. As such, we are simply not in a position to question our creator. If a potter makes one good pot and one bad one, well, it was his clay and they are his pots.
People are naturally judgmental; everyone is a critic. We feel a strong urge to ask the potter, "why did you make such a crummy pot"?
Christ and many of the prophets and apostles in the Bible warn us repeatedly not to judge others. But if it is wrong to judge others, it is simply foolish to judge God. It is not given to us to question a world we did not make; we must accept it. Instead of criticizing God, we should fall on our knees in thankfulness, for he has made all of us who believe in Christ his beloved children.