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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 1, 2014


<i>Elijah Warns Ahab and Jezebel</i> by Thomas Matthews Rooke, ca. 1896.
Elijah Warns Ahab and Jezebel by Thomas Matthews Rooke, ca. 1896.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

A beautiful modern song, Miserere sung by Andrea Bocelli and John Miles.




A Puritan Prayer

Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Your care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. Incline my heart to Your ways. Mold me completely into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay.

May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Your praise. Let those around see me living by Your Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clothed in the entire armour of God, shining as a never-dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings. Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, and hands.

May I travel swampy paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In every transaction let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth.

Order this day all my communications according to Your wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day. This I pray in the name of Christ, my Lord and Savior,

Amen.

Prayer to Relinquish Shame

Oh Lord Christ, by your death and resurrection you have made forgiveness for my sin possible; and having confessed and repented of my sin, let me have confidence in your forgiveness. Let me not be ashamed; for to feel shame at my sin is to doubt your power. Rather fill me with faith in my salvation, that I may boldly praise your name before all the world, and live in love and constant growth in your Spirit and holiness.

Amen.

Meditation

[Let me have confidence in the forgiveness of Christ.]


Dedication

Walk with me, dear Lord, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may reflect the light of your truth, to inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.

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 74:9-10 (ESV)

We do not see our signs;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is none among us who knows how long.

How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?


Blue Latin Cross

1 Kings 17 (ESV)

The History of the Northern Kingdom (2) - Elijah Appears

(This passage is editedTo eliminate repetition and padding, the passage has been heavily redacted without ellipses or other marks of omission. . Click here to read the full passage.)

Now Elijah, of Tishbea in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

And the word of the Lord came to him: “Go to Zarephath. I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” And when he came to the gate of the city, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, and a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour, and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”

Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” And she went and did as Elijah said. And the jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty.

After this the son became ill, and there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!”

And he took him from her arms and carried him up to his own bed. Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again.

And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”


Notes on the Scripture

We are introduced to Elijah abruptly. 1 Kings 16 ends by telling us that King Ahab provoked God more than any other king, by his horrendous idolatry; in fact, he married a priestess of Ba'al from Phoenicia, Jezebel, whose name still stands today for female wickedness. The next thing the Bible tells us is that some man named Elijah comes up to Ahab and predicts a drought. Elijah is a nobody from nowhere. We have no background information at all, except that he is from Gilead, a poor mountainous land east of the Jordan River. Like David, he pops up out of nowhere.

The story told in 1 Kings 17 is not of much historical interest and would be unimportant except for one thing: it is theological dynamite. Elijah does not simply have the gift of prophecy — for we suspect that his prediction of a drought will come true — but also, he can work miracles by the power of God.

Anyone who has read one of the Gospels will hear a bell ring, when Elijah makes a tiny amount of food last for many meals, and brings someone back from the dead. He is a prophet not only in his words, but also and more importantly, in his person. Isaiah and others will be the great verbal prophets of a messiah; but Elijah is a preliminary embodiment of the messiah. He is unique. His prophecy is himself.

His memory will be so powerfully etched on the Hebrew mind that, when Jesus asks the disciples who the people think He is, they reply: “Some say . . . [you are] Elijah.” (Mark 8:27-28)



Angel by Wm. Baxter Closson
This graceful pastel angel was painted by Wm. Baxter Closson, ca. 1912.

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Memory Verse

Psalm 19:14: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.



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