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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 August 7, 2013

Matthew 5:16, Let your light shine before



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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.


Praise and Thanks this Morning

Hallelujah! The sun has risen again and it is morning! And I have awoken into it, alive, breathing, thinking, knowing that the Son will rise again and I will be saved. What did I do to deserve this day? It is a gift from you. Glory and praise to you, my God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for filling me with life to live another day, for it is you who made me and not me myself.

I resolve to spend this day in the presence of the Holy Spirit, filled with his joy and energy, that I might accomplish your will, my God, and do what I can to deserve the joys of the day, for I know my time here is short. Be with me, oh Holy Spirit, to fill me with the energy and positivity and comfort that only you can bring. In Christ's name I pray that thy will be done,


Prayer Not to Judge Others (by Jane Austen)

Heavenly Father, give me grace to endeavor after a truly Christian spirit to seek to attain that temper of forbearance and patience of which my blessed savior has set me the highest example, and which, while it prepares me for the spiritual happiness of the life to come, will secure the best enjoyment of what the world can give. Incline me, O God, to think humbly of myself, to be severe only in the examination of my own conduct, to consider my fellow creatures with kindness, and to judge of all they say and do with that charity that I would desire from them myself. In Christ's name I pray,



May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in his sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.


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.

The more materialistic science becomes, the more angels shall I paint: Their wings are my protest in favor of the immortality of the soul.” (Edward Burne-Jones, 1881)
“The more materialistic science becomes, the more angels shall I paint: Their wings are my protest in favor of the immortality of the soul.” (Edward Burne-Jones, 1881)


“What you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”

~ Hans Urs von Balthasar, Prayer

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)

Sermon on the Mount - Light of the World

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Notes on the Scripture

We are accustomed to the humility of denying glory to ourselves and giving all glory to the Lord. It is he who has made us, and he who has given us all gifts, both physical and spiritual.

What an extraordinary statement, then, for Christ to tell us that we are the light of the world. We spend our time and effort — at least when we are in a religious mood — fighting down our pride and self-glory. In today's verse, Christ introduces us to discipleship. We are to carry and transmit the very glory of God.

Light is a common metaphor for spiritual truth. John 1 tells us that the Word was a light that shined in darkness, which the darkness did not understand. The Psalms recount that Israel will be a light to lighten the Gentiles. Here, the metaphor works on another level.

When you consider the energy we use for light, whether it be a candle, a lamp, an electric light, even a chemical light, it is always at its essence stored sunlight. Most energy originates in photosynthesis: wood, coal, oil, etc. Hydroelectric power has its origin in the sun heating and vaporizing water, which becomes rain in the mountains. Nuclear and geothermal power are exceptions, but even those are, in a sense, the presence of the sun on earth.

When we are baptized, we have Christ's light within us, for the Holy Spirit dwells with us and within us. We were made in God's image; we have the capacity to live in the Spirit, not perfectly, but with great power.

When we receive the Holy Spirit, we do not simply reflect God's goodness; we become potential transmitters of it. Like a plant that stores the sun's energy and thus can give off light in the darkness, we can give off the radiance of God's Spirit. And not only can we do it; here, Christ instructs us that we should do it.

The importance of leading a life that will bring others to Christ through our example, and the difficulties and strategies of it, would fill a book. All we have room for, here, is one anecdote.

Christ fish car emblem

I know a man — call him Jim S. (Hi, Jim!) — who is a devout Christian and had, as witness to his faith, one of those raised metal fish on the trunk of his car. Then, one day, he told me that he had taken it off. The reason: his driving was so often bad, and road rage so prevalent in city driving, that he was afraid he would alienate more people from Christianity than he would attract; he feared that when he did something perceived as rude, someone would say “ That figures — just another hypocrite Christian jerk” . . . or something a bit stronger.

Some time later I saw him in the parking lot, and the fish had been glued back onto his car trunk. I asked him about it and he said something like this: “I realized I didn't need to stop testifying to my faith. That's something we are supposed to do. What I needed to do was change my driving.”

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Matthew 6:3-4: When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

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