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Welcome back, Friend.

May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.


Daily Devotion for January 27, 2013


Hope, Charity and Faith</i> by Edward Burne-Jones, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
Hope, Charity and Faith by Edward Burne-Jones, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.

Prayers

Scripture

503 people in our community are currently praying with you.

lessons and scripture

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.

Our "Virtual Sunday Church" this week takes us to hear the St. Olaf College Chapel Choir in concert.



Prayer for the Day Ahead

Who can tell what a day might bring? Therefore, gracious God, cause me to live every day as if it were to be my last, for I cannot know not that it not. Help me to live this day as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

Amen.

For the Spirit of Prayer

Almighty God, who pours out the spirit of grace and of supplication to all who ask for it; Deliver me, when I draw near to you, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, so that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections, I may worship You in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayer for Peace

I  thank you, Master and Lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. I appeal to you to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hatred for their neighbors, thinking especially of those at war or preparing for war.

Grant peace to your servants. Implant in them the fear of you and confirm in them love one for another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement.

I pray, Lord our God, for all those who suffer from acts of war. I pray for your peace and your mercy in the midst of the great suffering that people are now inflicting on each other. Accept the prayers of your Church, so that by your goodness peace may return to all peoples. Hear us and have mercy on us. For you are our peace and to you we ascribe glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.

Amen.

Benediction

Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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.




endless knot

Psalm 146:1-6

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish.

Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them —
he remains faithful forever.


Blue Latin Cross

John 1:10-13

The Right to Become the Children of God

He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.



Notes on the Scripture

The first sentence gives one of the important concepts of Christianity. When Christ was born, God entered the world that He had made, but the world did not know him. It did not recognize him and it did not partake of him. By becoming human, God humbled himself to be one of the creatures he had made. But humanity did not know him and did not receive him.

When John tells us that the world did not receive Christ, there are several simultaneous meanings. The most apparent is in the old-fashioned meaning of "receive", harkening back to the time when people more commonly used the term "receive visitors". When there were no telephones, people would call on each other in person. The friendly thing to do would be to invite them in for conversation and perhaps some refreshment, i.e., receive them. The alternative was to have the butler or maid tell the visitors that the person was "not at home".

But this is a philosophical passage, and John means also that people did not invite Jesus into their hearts and minds. They did not receive him, in the sense that a radio might not receive a signal.

And then, there is that wonderful last sentence. Those humble or smart enough to receive Christ got something more precious than anything else in existence: the right to become the children of God.



Children at prayer



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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Luke 11:9: “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”



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  • Daily Devotion Comments • Re: Praying for those in heaven

    There is not much to go on, concerning what happens to our souls immediately after we die. Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return to God who gave it,” but this is clearly lacking in specifics.

    In 1 and 2 Thess., Paul characterizes the time after we die as "sleep". And in several places, he strongly asserts that we will get a "glorious new body" when Christ returns to take us to heaven. E.g., 1 Corinthians 15:12-58. But for sure, this all means that our earthly body is returned to "dust" at our death, i.e. it is no longer our home.

    Then there is the peculiar story of Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, told in Luke 16:19-31, but this reflects a non-biblical theory of the Jews in the second temple period. Jesus tells it as a parable, so it is hard to say we must take it literally, or figuratively, or somewhere in-between. It depicts a man righteous under the Law, Lazarus, as existing in a pleasant place (the "Bosom of Abraham") after his death, and a rich man, who had sinned during his life, dwelling in a hot and parching hell, with an unbridgeable gulf between them.



  • Daily Devotion Comments • Re: Praying for those in heaven

    tcharlene wrote:
    Why do we pray for those who have already gone on to Heaven and are living in eternal glory with Jesus?
    The Catholic Church holds that "all who die in God's grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified" undergo a process of purification after death, which the church calls purgatory, "so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven". Prayer for their souls is thus encouraged. The Orthodox churches have a similar doctrine.

    Protestants (I think all of them) believe that salvation is complete at the time of death. Many protestant writers/pastors get very agitated about purgatory and prayers for the dead, but I'm not one of them. God tells us to pray our hearts, and I am going to hope too see my mother and heaven and so I am going to pray about it! I'm going to pray that my mother goes there and that I do, too. I don't care if Mr. Theologian X tells me my prayer is meaningless or even "wrong" -- he isn't God!

    I will say one thing about death and heaven that seems pretty clear to me from the Bible. In both 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Paul tells us that we sleep after we die, and will be resurrected when Christ returns to join Him in heaven. My understanding from the Bible is thus that we do not go to heaven when we die. So this would mean, our dead relatives are not in heaven yet.

    But this is one of those silly quibbles that Satan uses to create divisions between Christians. Because it doesn't really matter, does it? God is going to do what God wants to do! I trust God to take care of me after I die, for I am sure to live with Him in heaven for eternity. In the mean time, I have things to worry about where I can actually have an effect, like how do I treat my next-door neighbor.
    Very thoughtful and thought provoking post. I have wrestled with this concept myself on many occasions. I tend to agree with you for the most part. The only sticking point for me is...our souls. Do our souls lie dormant in our decomposing bodies? Myself, I intend to be cremated...where goes my soul then? I think our souls are the important thing...our bodies are just vehicles. Just thinking out loud, I guess. Again, nice post.

    Tom K.
    5/17/24



  • Daily Devotion Comments • Re: Praying for those in heaven

    Please consider … that there is a dimension that we do not understand… a dimension that has no time… a mystery to us.
    We were not designed to understand - thank goodness. Prayer helps us wrestle with these mysteries and lets us ask God for comfort.
    Isaiah 55:8. In Peace



  • Daily Devotion Comments • Re: Praying for those in heaven

    tcharlene wrote:

    Why do we pray for those who have already gone on to Heaven and are living in eternal glory with Jesus?
    The Catholic Church holds that "all who die in God's grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified" undergo a process of purification after death, which the church calls purgatory, "so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven". Prayer for their souls is thus encouraged. The Orthodox churches have a similar doctrine.

    Protestants (I think all of them) believe that salvation is complete at the time of death. Many protestant writers/pastors get very agitated about purgatory and prayers for the dead, but I'm not one of them. God tells us to pray our hearts, and I am going to hope too see my mother and heaven and so I am going to pray about it! I'm going to pray that my mother goes there and that I do, too. I don't care if Mr. Theologian X tells me my prayer is meaningless or even "wrong" -- he isn't God!

    I will say one thing about death and heaven that seems pretty clear to me from the Bible. In both 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Paul tells us that we sleep after we die, and will be resurrected when Christ returns to join Him in heaven. My understanding from the Bible is thus that we do not go to heaven when we die. So this would mean, our dead relatives are not in heaven yet.

    But this is one of those silly quibbles that Satan uses to create divisions between Christians. Because it doesn't really matter, does it? God is going to do what God wants to do! I trust God to take care of me after I die, for I am sure to live with Him in heaven for eternity. In the mean time, I have things to worry about where I can actually have an effect, like how do I treat my next-door neighbor.



  • Daily Devotion Comments • Praying for those in heaven

    Why do we pray for those who have already gone on to Heaven and are living in eternal glory with Jesus?



  • Daily Devotion Comments • Re: Buechner

    Good Morning Claudette!

    Thanks so much for your prayers and encouraging words. You're correct about this site. I've been coming here for 15+ years...I can't start my day any other way. I have learned sooo much on this site. Mason is a genius!

    It's nice to know there's another older warrior facing challenges and dealing with them. I use a slogan from my time in the Infantry..."Adapt and Overcome". It's served me in good stead...especially after the paralysis. So, you keep fighting Down Under and I'll do the same Up Above.

    G'day to ya,
    Tom K.
    5/15/24



  • Daily Devotion Comments • Re: Buechner

    In Addition, too, might I add, Titus Chapter 3 vs 9, In God's Choosing or free will Choice,if You are His it is of No consequence, It is Foolish and Trivial!



  • Daily Devotion Comments • Re: Buechner

    It is quite simple, back on a Wednesday 1976 around 4pm I came home from work to an empty home, my wife and Our boys were out and about. One truth of my entire life even from a child through my teen years and early adulthood I always had a sense about God and something more of life with something missing in it, just a void and not any serious discerning or great theological searching of God. The one exception at that point in my life was a neighbor had moved in and His family and along the lines of the Brady Bunch, as time went on and they settle in as neighbors came the days on different occasions when the Dad would share Christ and His Faith with me along with an invite to Church the church where my Wife and I were baptized and became God's own. God's timing is perfect in each of Our lives, that Wednesday I described at 4pm was the day I knelt beside my bed and whether it was My free will choice or whether God chose me at that precise moment in time I do not know, what I do know is at 75 years old and so many years later from that Salvation Day at 4pm I became His in this very day I'm living and for Eternity to come. Free Will or His choosing is as Mason wrote, its TRIVIAL. I'm glad You did not delete it Mason...its TRUTH.



  • Daily Devotion Comments • Buechner

    G'Day Mason!
    I was mesmerised by Buechner's comment! I had to read it a couple of times before its meaning sank in! Then I sat here in awe . . .just a few words, but wth enormous depth!
    Thank you for YOUR enlightening thoughts! You filled in all the ?? marks! - forget about Plato!! :)

    This site is one of constant learning and soul evolution - so once again THANK YOU Mason!
    May the Lord always keep you safe and well, and may you always walk in Crisis's light.

    You are not alone Tom, not when you are on THIS site! My prayers of well being are winging their way to you! I am a little old lady now, and consider getting old to be a privilege!! In my head, I am in my forties and invincible . . .but my body is 180! I am wobbly and need the help of a walking stick (I call it my weapon of mass destruction!) - nothing wrong with my thinking or my mouth - my eyesight is getting iffy, I look a bit like Sherlock Holmes with his magnifying glass!!
    BUT, my faith in Christ keeps growing, with the amazing help of this amazing Mason and this lovely site!

    Blessings to all my brothers and sisters in Christ who pray on this site with me!

    Claudette from Down Under



  • Daily Devotion Comments • I did not come to judge the world; letting go

    Mason:
    A very strong message today and it perfectly sums up our mission. I say Amen to what you wrote, especially these words:

    'Christ's role on earth was, rather than condemning us for falling short, to forgive us. Thus, for us to condemn others for their “un-Christian” conduct is nonsensical. Christ’s emphasis was not to create a new moral code; his lesson was for us to love him and believe in him, to love our fellow man, and to forgive as we have been forgiven.' It is obvious also that Christ's ministry was of forgiveness, love and compassion. I know we all strive to be like Him, though a tall order it is. But I will never stop trying :).

    Today's daily inspiration was also very touching. I am confident we have all been where Jenny was and even at my advanced age, my family and I are coming thru a very difficult time. But thru the help of the Daily Prayer, and overcoming my many years of taking back from God what I ask Him to help me with, I am at peace as I have learned to let go. And shocker, God has given me peace and already forging the path to get us through the challenge. It is true when it is said, He never leaves our side. And thank God for that!!!

    Pete



  • Daily Devotion Comments • St. Augustine

    Regarding the question about St. Augustine in the Bible Quiz on 5/10. I cannot for the life of me figure out how Romans 3:13-14, out of all the Scriptures, would be the passage that converts you..
    13 “Their throat is an open grave;

    they use their tongues to deceive.”

    “The venom of asps is under their lips.”

    14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”

    John 3:16, for example, would be a much better Scripture for conversion. But to each his own, what ever works for you. God does work in mysterious ways.

    Tom K.
    5/10/24



  • Daily Devotion Comments • Re: Music guy

    Art, Music, Two of God's greatest Blessings and gifts he has bestowed within Me, as with All things filtered with the knowledge of Scripture and the magnificent Holy Spirit and God's will that leads My life."SING" appears in Scripture over 400 times in My Bible,50 of those are commands.
    "Behold appears 1,298 times in Scripture, in the Greek the word is "EIDO"-which translated means: Be sure to see: Don't miss this'
    Do not miss the gifts of either, I must run now, I have to paint and play my guitar a bit...Thank you Father for All your wonderful gifts of Life.




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