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Daily Devotion for May 18, 2013

<i>Moses Receiving the Ten Commandments</i>, panel from the Doors of the Baptistery of St. John, Florence, Italy, by Lorenzo Ghiberti ca. 1420.
Moses Receiving the Ten Commandments, panel from the Doors of the Baptistery of St. John (San Giovanni), Florence, Italy, by Lorenzo Ghiberti ca. 1420.



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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.


Saturday is Oldie Goldies day, and I’m sure some people will remember these guys.

Prayer for the Morning

Blessed are you, O Lord my God, King of the universe, who removes sleep from my eyes, that I may see the returning light of the your day. I thank you for all that you have done while I was asleep, watching over me and all your children while we slept unaware, and I pray that my thoughts and acts this day may show forth my love and thanks for you and all you have done for me.

Help me through your Holy Spirit, that I may remember what you have taught me in the Bible and it may show forth in my every deed. Let me not wander into the hands of sin, nor into the hands of pride or perversity, nor into the hands of temptation, nor into the hands of shame, but steer my inclinations towards goodness and charity this morning and all the day. In the name of Christ I pray.


Prayer of Supplication

Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me, for I am poor and needy. Without you, I have nothing. I pray that this day I will have food, and shelter, and be free of pain and fear. If it is not your will for me to suffer, Lord, I pray that I will not. And above all, cleanse my soul of sin, that I might someday be free of all pain and evil; for, whatever I may bear in this life, I have faith and hope in the life to come, through your goodness and mercy. In Christ's name, I pray,



Oh Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you"; I pray that I and your whole church, the body of all faithful people, will know your peace, and live in harmony and unity, one with another, in accordance with your wishes. This I pray to you, who lives and reigns forever.


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.

Women at prayer

Psalm 14:1-2, 5-6 (NKJV)

The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.

There they are in great fear,
For God is with the generation of the righteous.
You shame the counsel of the poor,
But the Lord is his refuge.

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 22:18-20 (ESV)

Forbidden Acts

Do not allow a sorceress to live.

Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal is to be put to death.

Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.

Notes on the Scripture

When we think of the sterness of the Old Testament, these verses are the very heart of it. These are the three sentences most likely to cause "Old Testament" to be used as an adjective.

None of these is a crime today, and other than bestiality, not even frowned upon. And in modern experience, putting witches to death has proven not to be conducive to justice; for it is easily abused by hysterical and superstitious people under the guise of Christian practice.

As we have discussed many times, the letter of Mosaic law has been fulfilled; we are not bound by it, strictly speaking. We are no longer compelled, for example, to put witches or sexual deviants to death. And yet, the meaning of the law represents the will of God; if we love God, we will not ignore it. It is our morality, for it is given by God, for our good.

astrology leo pisces aquarius

The ban on sorcery is directly related to the last commandment in Exodus 34, forbidding a kid from being cooked in its mother's milk — a common occult ritual that was, for lack of a more elegant term, just plain weird. The point of these laws for modern Christians can be simply stated: Avoid superstition. We may not feel like Jeanne Dixon should be executed, but we must avoid horoscopes. Do you really think your personality is determined by the way the stars were aligned when you were born.

When I was much younger, I decided to read a horoscope book. I was born in March so I looked up Aries, and . . . it described me perfectly! I considered myself adventurous, open to new experiences, etc. Then I realized: the signs don't go by the month, but run from the 20th day. I had the wrong sign. So I read the description for Pisces, and . . . that described me perfectly, too! Astrology, palm reading, tarot cards, etc., are hogwash.

The witches, Wiccans, and astrologers of the world are for Jesus to judge, not us. They will not find death at our hand or society's hand, but they will find death. For these practices are not only utterly erroneous; they violate the great First Commandment summarized by Christ: To love God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind. For all of these practices presuppose a supernatural force outside God's control which we must obey, or suffer harm.

If we think of astrology as harmless fun, we need to think again, for the Bible clearly tells us that it is harmful to us; in fact, it is so offensive to God, that practitioners will die. It is, in effect, almost identical to the third stricture in today's Scripture, giving sacrifice to a false god. When we let superstition into our lives, we encourage evil in ourselves. The Holy Spirit is shoved into a corner.

So, let us avoid such things. Not because it is a meaningless rule, part of God's plan to make our lives boring, but because it is harmful to us. It diverts our attention from the Truth and steers us away from true happiness.

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

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Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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