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Daily Devotion for April 14, 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 account of Samson's life was orginally written by the Reverend Gary Davis. The sound from this 1970s recording is scratchy but this is the best version available.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples. Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love. and that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation; Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
Prayer of Surrender
All to Jesus, I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live.
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.
"I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams."
~ Jonas Salk
Know Peace in Your Life
At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Notes on the Scripture
This passage is a wonderful moment of Christ's love and peace. He combines the messages of how we should come to Him as children with the message that, when we do, we will find peace and rest.
The burden of living can become terribly heavy. We are weighed down by worries about money, health, marriage and love, family members, politics, crime — we all know how difficult life can be for us, and for others. We have adult worries; children, who are (hopefully) shielded from most of the cares of the world do not yet have to shoulder such burdens, and we think of them as playing, carefree, on a warm spring day.
But Christ tells us that if we come to him with the innocence of children — if we set aside all the sordid lessons we have learned and think we need in order to meet "harsh reality" — He will protect us. Because Christ's burden is light, ever so much lighter than the weight we take onto ourselves.
Because, what is the burden of following Christ, really? We are all going to die — it isn't like we will succeed in beating reality. So, how taxing is it simply to love the God who gave us all we have? Is it really so very difficult to love other people and forgive them, or to stop lusting after someone else's spouse, or to tell the truth?
The kicker is that studies have repeatedly shown that Christians live longer and happier lives than atheists and agnostics. We will not find heaven on earth by following Christ, but life itself is better; and best of all, we will find heaven — in heaven!