Daily Devotion for April 19, 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 great Mahalia Jackson singing How Great Thou Art.
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Prayer for All People
O God, the creator and preserver of all humanity, I humbly pray to you for all sorts and conditions of people; that it might please you to make your Word known to them and bring your saving health to all nations. In particular I pray for the entirety of your church, in all of its many forms; that it may be guided and governed by your Holy Spirit, and that all who profess your name and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth. May all of us live in the unity of spirit our faith in Christ provides to us, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life.
Finally, I commend to your fatherly goodness all those who are ill or in distress, in their mind, body, or circumstances. May it please you to comfort and relieve them in accordance with their needs, giving them patience during their suffering, and a fortunate outcome to all of their problems. And this I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, who was always pleased to relieve the suffering of those he encountered.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant us to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord 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.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
"People need loving the most when they deserve it the least."
Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV)
The Creation of Man
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Notes on the Scripture
God created us in his image, and after His likeness. Does this mean we look like God? Actually, we don't know! Certainly God has appeared to men looking like something other than a human being: A burning bush, a flash of light, etc. But we also see God or his messenger (an angel) very like a human being in appearance. Jesus was God; however, Jesus was made man, so it would be more accurate to say he was made to look like us than vice versa. Most adults, however, visualize God in more abstract terms, perhaps as existing in the entirety of space.
But the words "in his image" might mean something other than arms, legs and a nose. We have the capacity, of all the creatures known to us, to distinguish between good and evil. We have the capacity to think. And we have the capacity to exercise free will. We can do something or believe something purely because we decided that it is the right thing to do, even if it is contrary to our animal instincts.
Most Christians believe that these attributes are the image of God. However, we must always remember that a likeness is not identical to the original. We are made in God's image, but we are not God; if we look in a mirror, we see an image of our ourself, but it is not ourself.
But still, we are special. Of all the gazillion things in the universe, only one of them (that we know of) was made in the image and likeness of God, and that is us. But there's a catch: all the other people in the world, including the burglar stealing our money and the politician we cannot stand, are also made in God's image. They are his beloved children and the likeness of God, and it is for that reason Christ told us that we may not judge one another.