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Daily Devotion for April 22, 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.
Guy Penrod ties his own life to the song The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference.
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.
For Each of Us in Our Work
Almighty God, heavenly Father, who makes it possible for me to work and gives every creature its food, declaring your glory and showing your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in my work, from coveting material goods, from falling into the temptation of serving mammon and putting money in the forefront of my life. Help me to perform the work which you have put at my hand, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men as well as myself; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lived and died only to serve us.
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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.)
Think About Where You are Headed
1 John 3:1-3
The World Does Not Know Christ
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Notes on the Scripture
Today's reading is related to the reading from Revelation in yesterday's devotional. There, John the Divine gave us a picture of what it would be like when Christ comes again. We will wear snowy white, to symbolize the perfection and sinlessness in our souls, because we have washed our clothes in the "miracle detergent" of Christ's forgiveness. We will "hunger no more, and thirst no more; . . . and God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes". (Revelation 7:15-17)
Today's lesson was probably written by the same John (although some scholars think otherwise). Here he tells us why the world can be so hard on us, and gives us comfort in this life.
Once we have truly accepted Christ, with all our heart, we become the children of God. It is the best thing possible, for we are assured that our existence will become one free of pain, an existence of perfect happiness and joy. But we cannot expect all the world to understand this; it was the world, after all, which rejected Christ and killed him. Evil and stupidity have been powerful in the world ever since God gave us free will.
And if the world did not recognize Christ for who he was, how can we expect that it will recognize us for who we are? Is the world a mess? Yes, of course it is. But knowing that judgment will come, and that we will stand before Christ in perfect knowledge, as his children, is the hope that sustains us through all the tribulations and foolishness of the world.