Daily Devotion for January 18, 2013
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.
A serene and beautiful setting of the traditional Abide with Me.
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Music (Eventide) by Wm H. Monk, 1861
Lyrics by Henry Lyle, 1847
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, please give me the patience to make it through this busy day with all the hustle, demands and distractions of modern life. Let me find the quiet time to hear your voice and feel your calming presence. I ask this in your son's name.
Prayer for True Thought
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of your law, so that we might know our sin, and your Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and so guide me, that the clever words of men will never replace the truth which you have put into my heart. Through Christ I pray,
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
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.
Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.
~ George Muller
Exodus 2:13-15 (ESV)
Moses and The Burning Bush  - The Name of God
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
Byzantine mosaic, ca. 9th century
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”
And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”
Notes on the Scripture
There is a theological term, "immanent", which is useful to think about here. It unfortunately sounds like not one, but two more common words, "eminent" (outstanding, distinguished) and "imminent" (about to happen), but it is not related in meaning to either of them. The immanence of God means God as He exists in the world, as he is with us. Because God is immanent, we can know Him.
We cannot know God completely; we cannot see Him as He is. But, from time to time, God will be with us in a form we can know and understand. He makes himself into something or someone with whom we can communicate. In our world today, the immanent God is the Holy Spirit. Christ's promise to us, that He would not leave us alone, meant that God would be present forever as the Holy Spirit. Thus we say that the Holy Spirit is the immanent God.
At the beginning of Exodus 3, God has been out of communication with the Hebrews for hundreds of years. His appearance as a burning bush and a voice is a momentous event. Remember how gently God approached Abraham, in the time just before He destroyed Sodom (Genesis 18). One might say that this was possible, or appropriate, because Abraham knew God and actively sought to please Him.
So we have God appearing rather frightful, explicitly demanding reverence and telling Moses exactly who He is. (Exodus 3:1-6)
The Name of God was a more critical concept to ancient peoples, for their gods had names, and it was by their name that people thought the power of the god might be invoked. But the true God does not give what we would consider a "name". He basically says, "I'm God, period. If you have to call me something, know me as the God of Abraham and your forefathers."
But is this God, or an angel or incomplete manifestation of God? Well, the burning bush says both things, but there is a reason for what seems to us confusing or even contradictory statements. The immanent God is God as we can grasp Him, a voice and visual phenomenon created to communicate with Moses. On the other hand, God as He exists — the full nature of God — is unseeable and unknowable to our limited capabilities. He is only "I am".