Daily Devotion for January 18, 2012
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.
I hope you'll give this a minute to get going; great things come to those who wait!
Prayer for the Morning
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart.
Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Do not hold Your peace,
And do not be still, O God!
For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.
Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die."
But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Notes on the Scripture
Job's wife voices a reaction that we hear countless times. The atheist or agnostic might say, "There cannot be a God, else He would not allow this to happen." A believer, whose faith fails the test of a tragedy, might even curse God, as Job's wife would have him do.
But they are actually not saying anything about God; rather, they are talking about an unsupportable attitude of entitlement within themselves.
Everything we have is a gift from God. Our very existence is a gift. Did we give ourselves life through our hard work, our intelligence and power? The elements of our sustenance are given to us for free. With saw and hammer, we may build ourselves a house of wood, but still: did we make the tree from which we get our wood, or the sun and water and soil that sustain it?
A gift, by its nature, is something we are given that we are not entitled to. It is something we have not earned and do not "deserve". And none of us was entitled to be born; we did nothing to earn our birth or all of the blessings that come with it.
By what right, then, having received countless blessings (including life itself), shall we complain that we deserve even more?
It is truly one of the hardest things we learn as Christians, to count our blessings and thank God for them, even when life has dealt us a miserable blow. It is helpful, when we are in pain, to remember the two most basic truths. First, that our very life is a gift. We should not ask, why is our life not better, but rather, why were we so lucky as to be born at all. If we have lost a child, it is foolish to curse God for taking her; the years we had her were a gift, and we must be thankful for them, rather than angry that they did not last longer.
Second, we must remember that if we use our gift wisely, we will receive an even greater gift, a life free of pain that will never know death. Unlike our birth, this is a promise that God has made to us.