Daily Devotion for January 23, 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.
This should put a little bounce in your step to start the week out.
Prayer for the Morning
May all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul and revive my tired spirit: be with me today. Be at my side and walk with me; be my support, that your hand may be seen in every action I take, that your goodness may be in every word I speak, and that your spirit may inhabit my every thought. Make my thoughts, my work, and my very life blessings for your kingdom. In Christ's name I pray,
Prayer of Praise (from Psalm 86)
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done. All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.
For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever 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.
You don't have to tell; It shows on your face.
Abiding in Christ
1 John 3:18-24
Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.
Notes on the Scripture
In a nutshell, John tells us: "Don't be a hypocrite and you won't feel guilty." Only two people truly know us, ourselves and God; and we can even hide the truth from ourselves. Many people spend a lot of mental energy, in fact, convincing themselves that they have done nothing wrong when deep in their heart, they know better. And the opposite is also true: People continue to harbor guilt in their heart, even when they have been forgiven by the grace of Christ.
The first sentence defines hypocrisy; specifically, loving others in your words but not in truth, for if we love in truth, our deeds will show our love. It is so easy to see hypocrisy in others, and so difficult to see it and root it out in ourselves. And yet Christ asked us why we point out the splinter in our neighbor's eye, when we should be trying to remove the beam from our own eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)
But if we do this — if we love others truly, as shown in our deeds — we will know that we are of the truth. Even if we feel some guilt in our heart, God will send His spirit to remove the anxiety and guilt; we will have confidence before God, because we have kept His commandment. The aim of Christian life is to abide in God, which he has made possible by sending His Holy Spirit to be with us in our everyday lives.