Daily Devotion for May 2, 2015
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.
Prayer for Forgiveness
Lord, I have betrayed you by following my own way; I have denied you by fearing to follow yours; and I have mocked you by not taking your death seriously. I sometimes feel like I am lost. Let your forgiveness find me. Hold me in your strong arms and give me your new life. Live in me and with me this day, that I may by your power find forgiveness and be made ever anew, reborn from above, living fully in your Spirit every minute. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray,
The little plans I tried to carry
O' Dear God.
But, I will not sorrow
I will pause a little while
And try again tomorrow.
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,
[I am poor and needy.]
All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live.
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.
Over My Dead Body!
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”
~ Charles H. Spurgeon
James 4:7-10 (NASB)
Draw Near to God
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Notes on the Scripture
We have a guest commentary today, a continuing weekly series on the Epistles of James, from Dr. Ken Boa of Atlanta.
“Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom.” (Jas. 4:9). These are stern words! Nowhere does James sound more like an Old Testament prophet than in this verse. What does he mean, and how does this relate to the joyful and abundant life promised to believers elsewhere in the New Testament?
In the context, the apostle has been exposing the profound influence of the world system on the belief and behavior of his readers. Many of them had succumbed to the mentality of grabbing and self-gratification, and James warned them that this was the path to foolishness and futility.
The solution to adultery with the world is allegiance to God. We were created to serve, but we have been given a choice: serve the world as slaves of sin and selfishness or serve the Lord as “slaves of righteousness.” (Rom. 6:18). It is only as we submit our desires, plans, careers, and hopes to Christ that we will find the freedom and fulfillment that we seek. By taking His yoke upon ourselves we become free to realize His high calling for our lives.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light (Matt. 11:29-30). Any other yoke is a burden we were not designed to bear.
James takes a serious view of sin because of its devastating consequences. After appealing to his readers to submit to God and draw near to Him (4:7-8), he exhorts them to turn away from their compromises with the world and bear the fruits of repentance. But his words are so strong that we are tempted to dilute them.
Certainly James is not opposed to Christian joy; he speaks of it in positive terms in 1:2 and 5:13. Nor is he saying that believers should walk about with sour faces, rebuking the sound of laughter (cf. Job 8:21). Yet we must not gloss over what he is saying, because it is a message too seldom heard.
Dr. Boa is devoted to a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a B.S. in astronomy from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. I highly recommend a visit to his website, KenBoa.org, which is filled with free videos, written commentary, newsletters, etc.