Daily Devotion for May 8, 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.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, let me live this day as the gift it is, for You has truly blessed me to live it. And if I may suffer, I will carry with me the certainty that one day I will see You face to face, a day when all things will become clear and my pain will be made whole through the grace of Christ, my God. Blessed be you, oh Lord my God, and blessed be the day you have given me.
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my 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.
We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.
~ Stephen Covey
1 Peter 1:25, 2:1-3 (ESV)
The Milk of Human Kindness
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation — if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Notes on the Scripture
The passage begins with the last verse from 1 Peter 1, to remind us of all he had to say about the imperishable Word, Jesus Christ, in the preceding chapter. We have been reborn by our belief in Christ, and in our reborn identity we must love one another like brothers and sisters.
This change is an actual change in who we are. We are not the same people acting differently. And thus we must strive to make our love for one another sincere and true, loving our fellows not just in our faces and words, but also in our hearts.
Look at the list of actions and thoughts that Peter tells us to put away: Malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander. These are not characteristics of a baby. They are evils we learn to practice as we grow older, in order to manipulate the world and other people with dishonesty. Of course a baby wants things. He wants milk. He wants pain to go away. But as we grow older, our brain begins to serve these wants and we become devious. Evil comes naturally to us.
We get a second chance when we accept Christ, because we become babies again. But what we want now is to satisfy a spiritual need, which Peter likens to the milk an infant cries for. Our new self, receiving this "spiritual milk" grows into something that, unlike a human baby, will live forever.
If we learn how good this is and truly live in Christ, there is no need for malice, or deceit, etc. We can have all the milk we want; Christ has given us a full inheritance that will completely satisfy every need of our reborn selves. As we grow in the spirit, then, it becomes easier and easier to put aside malice and deceit and envy. For what good can malice do for us, when the milk that fully sustains us is the milk of love and kindness? What is there that we can envy, when we have everything?