Daily Devotion for May 5, 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 Tallis Scholars here sing a haunting old motet, written by Thomas Tallis in 1620. The only words are Miserere Nostri, Domine (Have mercy on us Lord.) You might try playing this as background music while you pray.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.
~ Dr. Seuss
1 Peter 1:17-19 (ESV)
The Word Made Flesh
And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
Notes on the Scripture
Peter does love a long sentence! Perhaps parchment was rare or he needed to keep his epistle short, so that it could be more easily carried, or copied, or even concealed from Roman authorities. Whatever the reason, he really crams a lot of meaning into a short space.
The only solution is to read him slowly and carefully, taking your time to understand exactly what he is trying to say.
The heart of this single sentence lesson is an "if - then"; if you call on God as your Father, conduct yourself with fear. The Old Testament, with its emphasis on righteous conduct, was not abolished in Christ. Our duty to follow the letter of the law was replaced by the duties of love and forgiveness in Christ.
But we still have an obligation to follow the spirit of the law, where it does not conflict with Christ's fulfillment of it; for the Old Testament is often how we can tell right from wrong.
How can we call on an almighty and all-powerful God, if our conduct throws His law into His face? God loves us, but he will judge impartially. Sin is still sin. Adultery, pride, and envy will still be judged, and the judgment is death.
But now, since we have been born again in Christ and can be forgiven for our sin, we have even more reason to conduct ourselves with fear. We have been ransomed. Sin kidnaps our souls when we are born, but Christ pays the ransom to free us from the sin that keeps us in bondage through temptation.
And the ransom was not a million dollars; the ransom was Christ's very blood. Being the only man to escape the kidnapper, he came back to be tortured and killed, that we could be set free. All we have to do is be willing to walk out of the door of our prison cell.
But we call on God in fear and obedience, even though we are forgiven. For to love God is to hate sin, even when we have fallen short.