Evening Devotion for May 20, 2018
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.
I actually have no idea what church our “Virtual Sunday Church” is set in, other than it appears to be in the UK somewhere. Sing along!
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease;
'tis music in the sinner's ears,
'tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
he sets the prisoner free;
his blood can make the foulest clean;
his blood availed for me.
He speaks, and listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive;
the mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold your savior come,
and leap, ye lame, for joy.
In Christ, your head, you then shall know,
shall feel your sins forgiven;
anticipate your heaven below,
and own that love is heaven.
Music by Carl G. Glaser
Lyrics by Charles Wesley
To Proclaim the Gospel
Almighty God, who called your Church to bear witness that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself: help us to proclaim the good news of your love, that all who hear it may be drawn to you; through him who was lifted up on the cross, and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
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.
A Prayer of Abandonment to the Holy Spirit:
Holy Spirit, God of Love, be present to me; accept the offering of myself which I make to you. Receive these hands, these feet, these eyes, this tongue, and all my senses. Receive my memory, my will, my understanding, my desires, my sighs, the longings and the aspirations of my soul. Receive my every hour, my every moment, and all the happenings of my life. Holy Spirit, God of Love, knit my soul to you. Let your love possess my whole being - my senses, my powers, my affections, my very life. Let your love rule my labor and my rest, my going and my staying, and move me as it pleases. Let your love disquiet or comfort me, humble or exalt me, and burn away all my faults.
Holy Spirit, God of Love, draw me to yourself. Do with me what you will. Nothing will cause me fear if only your love enfolds me. I ask confidently because your desire to give is greater than mine to receive. Transform me into yourself, so that I may no longer know myself, nor find myself, except in you.
Blessing of Mark
O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Laced with Wisdom
“I used to tell young preachers, in order to preach you’ve got to have the power of God on your life. Now I tell them, in order to tie your shoes you’ve got to have the power of God on your life.”
~ Paul David Washer
Acts 2:1-11 (ESV)
hen the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
Notes on the Scripture
The Pentecost was, in effect, a “jump start” for the reign of the Holy Spirit. Christ had finished His mission on earth and had ascended to heaven. He promised that after he had left the world, He would leave “another Advocate” to dwell with those who believed in Him and followed His commandments. The Pentecost marks the coming of the Holy Spirit, the name by which we call the Spirit of God that remained with us after Christ had ascended.
The event itself is colorful and wonderful, a short time when everybody in the vicinity of the disciples could witness the miracle of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were speaking in the native language of every person present.
There is a wonderful metaphor in this, relating back to the ancient promise that Christ would make God’s grace available to all nations. The old covenant was specifically a relationship between God and the Jews; Christ brought a new covenant, that could be shared by anyone who believed in Him. The best we know, God had never spoken to human beings in any language but Hebrew, or Hebrew and Aramaic, if one counts the teachings of Jesus. Now, God speaks in the languages of all the nations.
On a more personal level, if we have accepted Christ into our hearts and follow His commandments, the Holy Spirit will live within us and we can know God in a way different from how we “know” anything else. He will speak to us in a language we can understand.