Daily Devotion for February 8, 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.
The electrifying Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) from Verdi's Requiem — hold onto your hat!
"For Each New Morning"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
I thank thee.
Thanks for the Life of Christ
Almighty God, I thank you for the life and teachings of your only Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is amazing to me that he lived and walked among us, one of us, a mortal man who bled and felt pain, who felt anger and love, who would become tired and hungry. Your love in showing us that you would share the burdens of mortality is great.
Although the terrible beating and torture, and long painful death, that he suffered at the hands of the powerful was a terrible thing, his ultimate victory in overcoming that death was the greatest victory in the history of mankind. I praise you for Christ's resurrection and victory, and for his promise to all people, that he will intercede for us at our death, and bring us to eternal life. Today I remember and celebrate His resurrection, giving all glory to Father, Son and Holy Spirit for this miracle and the redemption of our own lives. Through Christ I pray,
Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.
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.
Preserve my life, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
For I cry to You all day long.
The Story of Abraham 
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly."
Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God."
Notes on the Scripture
Some time has passed since Ishmael was born, perhaps six years. At this point of Genesis, the calendar being used had a year about half as long as the Gregorian calendar's, so Abram is around 50.
God comes to Abram and repeats a part of the old covenant we have seen several times before. Abram will be the father of countless men and women, who will form nations, and among his offspring there will be kings. Also, they are to have the land of Canaan. We have heard this twice before, over the course of many years, but today there are subtle changes. God is finalizing the covenant.
He starts by changing Abram's name. Abram, which means "noble father", was sufficient while Ishmael was his only child. But the child to be born whom God is talking about, the progenitor of a blessed nations who will carry God's word, demands that he be called "Abraham", which means "father of many".
There is another difference which we hardly notice, simply because we are reading the Bible. It is at this point that God gives Abraham a difficult task, to "walk before me and be blameless". God explicitly requires Abraham's devotion as his part of the contract. This will give rise to many centuries of turmoil, for countless numbers of Abraham's offspring will turn their back on God and worship idols, or breach other laws that God will give to them; and they will feel God's wrath. He will not honor his covenant with them, when they boldly abandon their part of it.
The old covenant between God and the Jews did not spring into existence fully-formed; Abraham's part took many years, and the entire covenant will not be complete for hundreds of years, at least until the days of Moses and Joshua. And of course the final covenant will not be complete for well over a thousand years, when Christ's spirit ascends.