Daily Devotion for March 2, 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.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
He that rides to be crowned, will not think much of a rainy day.
~ John Trapp
The Story of Abraham  - Isaac
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns.
And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, "The Lord will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided."
Notes on the Scripture
Today's Scripture is one of the Bible's most heart-rending depictions of faith. Having read through the entire history of Abraham, we appreciate exactly how important Isaac is to him. First, of course, Isaac is his son, and Abraham has the extraordinary love of a parent for a child. How many people, of any time in history, would be willing to kill a beloved child, even if God appeared to them in person and demanded it?
And added to that, Isaac is Abraham's heir. He has already sent his eldest son into the wilderness, never to see him again. And Isaac is a miracle child, given to Abraham when he and Sarah were no longer fertile. Issac is the answer to a prayer, given by God.
The importance of this story is not that we are going to be asked to kill our children. And the depiction of the monumental faith of Abraham is not the only meaning. We must also realize that God has done what he demanded of Abraham. God asked Abraham to do something that only God Himself would actually do. He recanted his demand to Abraham, and allowed Issac to live; but His own son, He would give up to terrible suffering and death by crucifixion.
The Bible here tells us just how deep God's love for us runs. It is absolute. It is so pure, it is beyond our comprehension. The closest we can come to understanding God's love, is by analogy. And so, the story of Abraham and Isaac approximates the story of God the Father and Christ the Son, but in terms we can fully understand: the sacrifice of a beloved son by a "normal" human being. For we can surely understand how impossibly painful these events were to Abraham.