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Daily Devotion for April 9, 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.
Alan Jackson give a country twist to an old favorite.
Martin Luther's Prayer for Morning
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me.
Prayer for Deliverance
Dear Lord, grant me, I beseech you, your divine helping grace. Endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering. I flee to you, my only hope and refuge, for relief and comfort, trusting to your infinite love and compassion; that in due time, you will deliver me from all the trials of this life and turn my distress into comfort. I rejoice in your mercy. I exalt and praise your holy name, oh Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever.
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.
But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
What We Say
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Notes on the Scripture
Both of the Bible passages today relate to the same topic: the importance of what we say. Think for a moment how important your speech is. It is powerful. You can almost instantly change another person's emotions with just a word, and many times you can influence what they think and do. A word can even kill; and a word can save a life.
There is another importance to our speech. Whenever we speak, we influence how others perceive us. It is how other people know what we are thinking, what is in our heart. If we are to let our "light shine before others" (Matthew 5:16), we must do it with our speech.
Jesus tells us, in the Gospel of Luke, that by talking and writing we can produce good. We can make the world a better place just by speaking what is in our heart. We have the power within ourselves to actually create goodness.
But if our heart is evil, so our words will damage both others and the way others see us. This creates a difficult problem because, being human, we are filled with all kinds of sinful drives: Pride, anger, self-righteousness, envy . . . the list is long. We must speak our heart, but first, we must fill our heart with the goodness of Christ.
The Bible does not tell us to be stupid; it tells us to use our minds to distinguish good from bad, to be "as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves." (Matthew 10:16) Our ears are filled with all manner of evil and bad advice, and sometimes, it is hard to tell what is what; but we must try. We must try to think about things, and always, to measure each day what we see and hear against what we read in the Bible and what we discover about ourselves when we pray.
And having prepared our heart, we must then speak the good that is in it; for the goodness in our heart is a "treasure" that we should share with others. There is no limit to the goodness that God will put into our hearts, if we seek it; and "out of the abundance of [our] heart" we can speak this goodness in all that we do.