Evening Devotion for February 25, 2017
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 to Live with Jesus
Dearest Jesus, work another miracle, a prodigy of grace. Make my soul a beautiful, living Tabernacle where You will ever dwell. Let me never leave You alone, but remind me to return hundreds of times in the day and have a word with You.
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.
For All Who Sin
Mighty Jesus, you are the radiant dawn bringing life into the world, and yet there are those who would hide in the shadows and under cover, in the caves of the flesh, telling each other that the darkness is good, and easy, and comfortable. I pray dear God that you will send your Holy Spirit to all of them, to show them that the fearful jaws of their insecurity become toothless when seen in the sunshine of your Word, and that they might see the true nature of evil, which hides with them in the dark, to keep them company and whisper lies in their ears.
For those who have seen the light and shrunk from it, I pray that they may be restored, and that you will ease the terrible pain that drove them to hide from you, that they might be assured of forgiveness if they will only repent. Lighten the minds of those who have been warped by anger, by bitterness, by selfishness, or by the allure of glittering bangles of wealth or status or pride.
Have mercy on me, dear Jesus, where I have strayed; and bring your light to all our brothers and sisters, that they may seek your mercy also, and find your perfect and eternal life.
As my evening prayer rises before you, O God, so may your mercy come down upon me, my family, and the company of all faithful people, to cleanse our hearts and set us free to sing your praise now and forever.
I play this once a year or so, and it always manages to touch my heart. Notice that “A Night to Remember” used the older English tune, which was actually played on the Titanic, rather than the better-known American tune (used in the remake in 1997).
Psalm 86:1-3 (NKJV)
Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me;
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
For I cry to You all day long.
Genesis 17:1-8 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham 
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”
Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
Notes on the Scripture
Some time has passed since Ishmael was born, perhaps six years. At this point of Genesis, the calendar being used had a year about half as long as the Gregorian calendar's, so Abram is around 50.
od comes to Abram and repeats a part of the old covenant we have seen several times before. Abram will be the father of countless men and women, who will form nations, and among his offspring there will be kings. Also, they are to have the land of Canaan. We have heard this twice before, over the course of many years, but today there are subtle changes. God is finalizing the covenant.
He starts by changing Abram's name. Abram, which means “noble father”, was sufficient while Ishmael was his only child. But the child to be born whom God is talking about, the progenitor of a blessed nations who will carry God's word, demands that he be called “Abraham”, which means “father of many”.
There is another difference which we hardly notice, simply because we are reading the Bible. It is at this point that God gives Abraham a difficult task, to “walk before me and be blameless”. God explicitly requires Abraham's devotion as his part of the contract. This will give rise to many centuries of turmoil, for countless numbers of Abraham's offspring will turn their back on God and worship idols, or breach other laws that God will give to them; and they will feel God's wrath. He will not honor his covenant with them, when they boldly abandon their part of it.
The old covenant between God and the Jews did not spring into existence fully-formed; Abraham's part took many years, and the entire covenant will not be complete for hundreds of years, at least until the days of Moses and Joshua. And of course the final covenant will not be complete for well over a thousand years, when Christ's spirit ascends.
of Noble Character”
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Today in Daily Prayer
Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;