Daily Devotion for April 10, 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.
An anabaptist hymn of prayer for strength and protection, written by Leonhart Sommer, who died in prison, December 1573, because of his belief.
Prayer for the Morning
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
Prayer to Live Christ's Word
Gracious God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as your child.
Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to you, O God. I commit myself to your call to discipleship: to pray, study your Word, worship you, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me. This I pray in Jesus' name.
Irish BlessingDeep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
1 John 1:5-10
Walking in the Light
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Notes on the Scripture
The three epistles called 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John were written by John the Evangelist, the same person who wrote the Gospel According to John. We do not see much of him in Acts, but he apparently spent his old age in Ephesus, where there was a great church, and the three epistles he penned are a practical guide complementing the very theoretical Gospel he wrote.
The theme of God as light, and evil as dark, reminds us directly of the opening of John's Gospel: "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shined in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:4-5) John is always poetic, and this passage is no exception. He compares Christ to light in his gospel, and in his epistle, he compares a person who lives by the word of Christ to a person who walks in that light.
The image is a very easy one to understand, because everyone knows what it is like to try to walk in darkness. You run into things, you creep slowly. If you have ever tried to walk in the woods at night without a flashlight, you will know it is next to impossible. You simply cannot do it.
So John is telling us that trying to find righteousness before God, without the knowledge of Christ we take from the Bible, is like trying to walk in total darkness. We are blind for lack of light.
But in this passage, he makes a more specific point: Refusing to admit our sin, as Christ taught us to do, is like turning off our flashlight at night. We cannot make the mistake of thinking we have become perfect, no matter how hard we try to follow God's law. Certainly we try to avoid sin; if we love Christ, we avoid sinful behavior the best we can out of our love for Him, our love for others, and even our love for ourselves.
But we must never make the mistake of thinking we have become perfect or even better than other people. "All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Our sin, and the grace we receive by being forgiven for our sin through our belief in Christ, is the very essence of Christianity.