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Daily Devotional Prayer

Daily Devotion for January 23, 2021


Jacobo Bassono, The Last Supper, ca. 1546 (Venetian)
The Last Supper by Jacobo Bassano (Venice), ca. 1546.
Most of the people are standing, as they would have done at early Passover feasts. Note the lamb’s head, although the yeast bread is oddly inauthentic. Peter is to Christ’s right, and Judas skulks in the corner.

Prayers

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.

Prayer to Be Close to God

Mighty Lord, I come before you today to thank You for all the blessings that You have given me. Many times my life is so full of busy work that I neglect my relationship with You, and for that I am deeply sorry. I know that You never neglect me, for if You did my very life would cease to be. Continue to pull me to Yourself, guide me in my journey, and hold me close in Your bosom until the day I come home to be with You forever. Be with me now as I gather together with this online community, in Your name, that I and all who pray with me may feel your presence among us. In Jesus precious name I pray.

Amen.

Prayer of Praise

Christian girl worshipping cross in devotion

Glory to Thee, transfiguring our lives with deeds of love,
Glory to Thee, making wonderfully Sweet the keeping of Thy commandments,
Glory to Thee, making Thyself known where man shows mercy on his neighbour,
Glory to Thee, sending us failure and misfortune that we may understand the sorrows of others,
Glory to Thee, rewarding us so well for the good we do,
Glory to Thee, welcoming the impulse of our heart's love,
Glory to Thee, raising to the heights of heaven every act of love in earth and sky,
Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age.

Amen.

Benediction

May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in His sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen.

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.


Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

What fundamental change has occurred to Christ since His resurrection?

Answer: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ”
~ Hebrews 13:8



Lyrics

Scripture

Proverbs 19:3 (NKJV)

The foolishness of a man twists his way,
And his heart frets against the Lord.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 12:14-20 (ESV)

The Passover [2]
T

his day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

Jewish children learning about Passover

On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly. No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you. And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever.

In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. If anyone eats what is leavened, that person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread.”

Notes on the Scripture

Did you notice something odd about this passage? It determines how an event shall be commemorated, before the event occurs. And if you have ever wondered how the date of Easter is calculated, and why it is calculated as it is in such a terribly complex manner, here’s your answer. Christ was crucified on the Passover, and so we use the Jewish calculation of Passover — given to them in Exodus 11 — to determine the date of Good Friday.

(Note that many churches use wafers in their communion service; this is unleavened bread, and reflects that the Last Supper was, in fact, held during Passover week.)

Aside from the obvious importance of the events in Exodus, the commemoration of Passover is given direct, independent significance. The requirement to celebrate is worded more strongly than the Ten Commandments, in a way. By the direct terms of this Scripture, “if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from [the congregation of] Israel.” It was an offense punishable by expulsion and the duty to follow it is permanent, to be observed “as a statute forever.”

Tel Aviv streetwalkers
Prostitution is legal in Israel.

We often bemoan people who call themselves “Christians” and seem not to have read the Bible, or don’t take it seriously. But the Jews have the same problem, because full-fledged members of the “congregation of Israel” are the exception rather than the rule. At least half of the Jews in Israel consider themselves “secular” Jews and do not even try to worship God as He commanded the Jews to do. And the count of “observant” Jews who worship Yahweh as He commanded is lower (and declining). Thus, a sizable majority of the people who claim ownership of the land of Canaan because it was given to them by God, have no right, no claim, for they are not really Jews.

And will God fulfill his promise to allow the Jews to inhabit Canaan when great numbers of them turn their backs on him? If you believe the Bible, not necessarily. Time and time again, the histories of the Old Testament tell us how God allowed Israel to be conquered and the Jews to be taken into captivity because they ignored His statutes.

So one must view Jewish claims of divine right to inhabit Israel with some skepticism. More Israelis need to read their deed! There is a kick-out clause. Nobody speaks for God, and whether or not He will preserve the current State of Israel from its enemies, we cannot know. But it is not a cut-and-dried question, at least in the minds of anyone who has bothered to read the Bible.



Daily Inspiration

“God’s Wish for Us”



Passover, Exodus, <i>Gathering Bitter Herbs</i> by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, pastel ca. 1856.
Gathering Bitter Herbs by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, pastel ca. 1856.

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is inspired by God . . . .



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