Daily Devotion for October 16, 2021
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.
Our “Saturday Oldie” this week takes a Country turn, as Alan Jackson and friends perform a medley of old favorite gospel songs in Carnegie Hall.
I was standing by my window,
On one cold and cloudy day,
When I saw that hearse come rolling,
For to carry my mother away.
Will the circle be unbroken,
By and by, lord, by and by?
There's a better home a-waiting
In the sky, lord, in the sky.
I said to that undertaker,
Undertaker please drive slow;
For this lady you are carrying
Lord, I hate to see here go.
Oh, I followed close behind her,
Tried to hold up and be brave;
But I could not hide my sorrow
When they laid her in the grave.
I went back home, my home was lonesome,
Missed my mother, she was gone;
All of my brothers, sisters crying,
What a home so sad and lone.
We sang the songs of childhood,
Hymns of faith that made us strong;
Ones that mother Maybelle taught us--
Hear the angels sing along.
Music by Charles H. Gabriel
Lyrics by A. P. Carter
Prayer to Bear Witness Before the World
Let all who take refuge in you rejoice, O Lord. Let us ever sing for joy. Let those who confess your name raise up their voice, filling the air with glorious noise. Spread your protection over us, mighty God, that we who love your name may exalt you before all the people of the earth. Let the quiet and the shy find their courage so that they may sing and shout to the sky, “There is one great God who rules over us all, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth is His only Son”.
May I be blessed to help the blind see your glory and the deaf hear your praise, lest they surely die. For they must be told: Every heart will find righteousness and eternal life in the holy name of Christ, and nowhere else. Make me your trumpet, make me your lighthouse; let me proclaim to the very end of the earth, that Christ is King!
Prayer of Purpose
Lord, I believe you have placed me on this earth for your own divine purpose. Father, open my eyes to see it, let me walk in your plans for me. Show me this purpose, oh Lord, and let me daily live in it. Just as a stone does not see the ripples it makes when it is cast into a pond, we may not see the fruit of our devotion in our lifetime; so do not let me wallow in the illusion of despair, mighty God, for to believe that my life is without purpose is to doubt Your wisdom.
May I go in peace, with God and with his other children, and may we love one another as Christ taught us. May I follow the example of good men of old, and may God comfort and help me and all who believe in Him, both in this world and in the world which is to come.
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 verse tells us that Christ “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death”?
If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, “Unselfishness.” But if you had asked almost any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, “Love.”
~ C. S. Lewis, from “The Weight of Glory”
Romans 6:1-7 (NASB)
Positive and Negative
hat shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.
Notes on the Scripture
Read the quote from C. S. Lewis closely and you will notice that the two terms he contrasts — “unselfishness” and “love” — are not really all that different. When one loves someone else, in the highest sense of Christian love (or “charity,” in the KJV), one seeks the good of somebody other than oneself. The two terms are very nearly identical in meaning.
Love is not a gooey feeling; it is giving something to somebody else. One takes something away from one’s own worldly life and gives it, freely and with no hope of earthly reward, to someone else who needs it. I take a week of my life to help build a house for someone else; I take a dollar out of my pocket and give it to a beggar.
And this is how Lewis intends us to read it. The actual virtue being described by the modern good men and those of old is the same virtue: What Lewis is looking at, is the difference in how these persons express the virtue.
We might express most any Christian virtue (or vice) as a negative or a positive. “She is chaste” versus “she is not promiscuous.” “I am joyful” versus “I am not in despair.” “He is temperate” or “he is not given to excess.” C. S. Lewis wants us to see that there is sometimes an advantage to stating a virtue in the positive. Nor is this some psychological stratagem, some attempt to manipulate the listener’s opinion through semantics. Rather, it is how we see ourselves in relation to Christ after our salvation.
It would be difficult to list all the benefits of the positive statement, but one obvious benefit is that it turns our eyes away from judgmentalism and towards reform. We look to our goal. If we say “Leona is an unselfish person,” or “we should strive to be unselfish,” there is the tiniest grain of criticism of people who are not unselfish. We are holding up a negative ideal. This is a very small point, because there is certainly nothing wrong with being (or trying to be) unselfish; it is just a tiny bit better, in the long run, to say “I am trying to express my love for God.” We look away from what we have given up, and look forwards to what we have gained.