Evening Devotion for June 4, 2020
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.
If you dislike bagpipes — they only last a minute. This is worth waiting them out.
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
T'was Grace that taught
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within in the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been here ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
then when we've first begun.
Lyrics by John Newton (1773)
Music origin unk.
Father, I ask you to help me to be generous when I think of the attitude and actions of others. Forgiving someone isn’t an easy option, and I know that forgiveness isn’t somehow pretending that something wrong hasn’t happened. For what I have done wrong, forgive me Father. And let me live in obedience to your word, remembering that, as we forgive others, so shall we be forgiven.
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the day and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me in the coming day, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
Prayer of Praise
O Father, majestic is you name!
From the rising of the sun to its setting your name is to be praised,
Merciful God, gracious Lord.
Hear us in the name of Your Son,
For He has promised that where two or three of us are gathered in Your name
He would be with us and our prayer would be heard.
Hear us in the name of Your Son,
For He is the revelation of Your wisdom, the outpouring of your glory,
The incarnation of your mercy toward us and the whole human race.
To You be the glory,
All praise and honor, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
One God, now and evermore.
Prayer to Put My Trust in Christ
“I am the Good Shepherd”
You have promised to shoulder our burdens, Lord Jesus, and I am taking you up on your promise. I give myself to you, with all my emotional baggage. Teach me to lean upon you, to trust you, to know that in your ultimate victory, all of my fears will prove illusory, and my pains, short-lived.
Do not leave me to suffer alone, Lord; do not turn your face away. Forgive me my every sin and take me to your bosom, for I am your child and I know you love me. This I pray in your name, whose every word is truth,
Oh Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you”; I pray that I and your whole church, the body of all faithful people, will know your peace, and live in harmony and unity, one with another, in accordance with your wishes. This I pray to you, who lives and reigns forever.
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.
Proverbs 16:20 (ESV)
He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
Genesis 9:8-16 (ESV)
Noah and the Rainbow
od spoke to Noah and his sons, telling them: “Behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your children after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth. I establish this covenant with all that come out of the ark: never will all flesh be cut off again by floodwaters, and there will never again be a flood to destroy the entire earth. Here is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations; it is a rainbow, which I have set in the clouds, as the symbol of my promise.”
“I put my rainbow in the clouds, and it will remind you of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring a cloud over the earth, and a rainbow is visible in the cloud, I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature; and the waters will never more become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
Notes on the Scripture
First, we have a very special “guest appearance” today. Charles Spurgeon was a 19th Century Baptist preacher, writer, and theologian in England, and one of the most famous and influential preachers in the history of Protestantism.
From Charles Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening
“Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate, they are the peculiar possession of the Lord’s people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon Him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence.
In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation. Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose.
At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that His words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of His word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of His grace, which is a haven of delight.”
Evil men and women encourage anger, rage, fighting, and murder. Hatred is Satan’s most favorite emotion. Politicians use hatred to gain power. Just look back at the history of the 20th century. If you think we are living in difficult times, we are seeing only a shadow of Satan’s full power.
How would I like to have been living in Berlin in 1935, or Russia in 1914, knowing that the racial/class/political struggles would lead to massive carnage, and the utter destruction of my peaceful life, that lay ahead? If the people living then had been able to see where their anger would lead, would they have reconsidered? The Fascists, the Tsarists, and the Communists, who despised one another, collectively killed hundreds of millions; the “lucky” billion plus survivors were reduced to lives of horrendous fear and misery.
Most people are tempted to take sides in the current racial fiasco; but it is a mistake. I assume that all of the people reading this are saddened by the idea that the elected officials of a county in southern Georgia (the county where my own grandmother was born!) would turn a deaf ear to racial murder, or that white police officers in Minnesota would badly abuse, and possibly murder, an innocent African-American suspect. I also suspect that all of us are saddened when large crowds of people engage in widespread property destruction, theft, and the inevitable deaths that come as a result.
But to become angry creates a tiny cut in our spiritual skin that invites spiritual disease to enter. To nurse anger, to wish for revenge, is to pick away the scab and sicken ourselves with spiritual septicemia. To hate is to die doing Satan’s work. What does Christ say about this? His teaching is clear:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. . . .
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:21-22, 38-39, 43-45)
In his sermon, Spurgeon advises us, “The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon Him.” I wish the perfect peace, that only complete faith in Christ can bring, to all of you, and to all those in the world who have “ears to hear.”
Now would be a good time to listen to today’s music again.