Daily Devotion for November 25, 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.
"An Old Account Settled" seems appropriate to today's Scripture.
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 Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
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 regards a rebuke will be honored.
Romans 12:10 (ESV)
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Notes on the Scripture
My first thought, when I read this passage, was: "Paul must not have had a brother (or sister) when he was growing up." There is no fight more passionate than one between siblings sharing the back seat of a car or wanting to play with the same toy. And this is by no means a modern phenomenon. The first brother who ever lived was murdered by the second.
But, generally, when we become adults, we "set aside childish things". Our siblings become some of the very few people, and perhaps the only people, whom we can count on completely. If the entire world abandons us, our siblings will still be there. You may have heard this saying before: "Family is who, if you have to go there, they have to let you in."
Our brothers and sisters are rarely people we would have chosen to be our friends. But the shoe is on the other foot, as well: we are rarely the people they would have chosen as their best friends. One of our deepest and longest-lasting commitments to another person is an apparent accident, a choice that we didn't make.
So this is the love Paul asks us to have for each other. We have given our bodies as a sacrifice to God; and now, we give up the pride and selfishness of judging which people we will call brother. But who are we to judge? If you are astute about psychology, you probably have realized that people you don't like are not necessarily bad people. Your judgment of others is more a reflection of your own (flawed) personality than a statement about them.
But when your eyes are focused on something more important, loving others whose eyes are focused on the same goal becomes easier. For the sake of Christ, we learn to get along with others who are trying to live a Christian life.
One place we often go wrong is when dealing with people from other churches. We are tempted to find fault with their religious practices. The brotherly love that Christ has required of us reverts to clannishness, snobbery, resentment and judgmentalism. But this, also, Paul asks us to put aside. The brotherhood of believers transcends denomination, education, and even language. We must always remember that their is a brotherhood of all Christian people and that they are our family.