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Daily Devotion for November 9, 2015

A Renaissance fantasy of heaven: <i>Coronation of the Virgin</i> by Eguerrand Quarton, ca. 1454
A Renaissance fantasy of heaven, Coronation of the Virgin by Eguerrand Quarton ca. 1454



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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.


Prayer for the Morning

Heavenly Father, I give you a million thanks that I have woken up alive this morning, once again to witness the magnificence, the glory of your creation. Even on the dreariest of days, when the weather doesn't suit me, let me rejoice in the taste of heaven you give us on earth. For the hottest, muggiest day; the coldest and most bitter weather; the clouds, the rain, the wind and snow, the lightning and thunder — these are all your creations, oh Lord, and all of them have a great beauty if I just take the time to see it.

Should I be blind, what would I give to see the cloudy rainy day that I complain about? Should I be deaf, how much I would long to hear your thunder! When I lie dying, how sweet it will seem to have been bundled up against a chill wind, or to be soaked in sweat as I work in the heat and humidity.

Let me be always filled with gratitude for the world you have given me, great God, Father and creator of all that is.


For My Enemies

O  God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead me from anger, prejudice, and selfish pride to acceptance, love, truth, and sympathy for all people, and especially those who would be my enemies in this life; and if it is your will, enlighten those who hate me, and bring them into your holy truth, that they may find you. Deliver all of us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



[God will deliver me from the hatred, cruelty and revenge within me.]

Prayer of Penitence

Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in my contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all my sins, and cleansing me from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. And turn my heart to your will at every moment, I pray.


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.

<i>Moses with the Ten Commandments</i> by Phillipe de Champaigne ca. 1648
Moses with the Ten Commandments by Phillipe de Champaigne ca. 1648

Psalm 15:1-3 (NKJV)

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;

He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 19:10-11 (ESV)

Israel at Sinai

When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

Notes on the Scripture

As we saw in the previous verses, God did not simply impose His covenant on the Jews; they had the power to exercise their free will and opt out of it, but they formally accepted the covenant, each of them. It was a contract. Moses acts like an ambassador in a peace negotiation, climbing back up the mountain to give their answer to God.

In their journey, the Israelites have seen distant manifestations of Yahweh, for He Himself marked their route as a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, in the direction they were to go. But only Moses has heard His voice.

Now, however, at this momentous occasion, God is going to manifest Himself and speak to the people directly. But He does not want to be confused with the idols that had served as "gods" during the Israelites formative years, for their temptation to revert to the confusion of their upbringing must have been strong. They cannot touch Him, cuddle Him, paint Him, or put Him on a pedestal to look at while they pray. This is a hard thing for them (or anyone) to learn.

But one must infer that God wanted the Israelites to witness His reality directly. For one thing, it stopped any accusation that Moses was a fraud — that he is simply going up the mountain and making stuff up — or even that he was insane. God is going to show Himself and speak directly to the people, but only once. For He is seeking, not to become a corporeal king, but an object of faith.

ecuminicism Christian friendship

One of the great divisions in Christianity is raised by the events in Exodus 19: the belief in mystical communion with God through the intermediation of a priest, versus the belief in direct communication. At one extreme, Catholic and Orthodox churches believe that a priest is ordained by God and holds a special place, the ability to perform sacramental rituals.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the pure Protestant churches, which reject the concept of sacrament completely. As a moderate example, most Baptists hold spectacular baptisms by total immersion, but they do not believe that the Holy Spirit is conferred by the ritual; rather, it is a demonstration to the world that the person has accepted Christ and has been blessed by the Holy Spirit. And there are "liturgical" Protestant churches (such as Anglicans and Lutherans) that fall somewhere in-between.

There is much to be said, both practically and Biblically, for both points of view. Daily Prayer very strongly believes that both are completely correct! Judaism would undergo the same differentiation; by the time of Christ, there was a great struggle in Judaism between the Sadducees, the very priest-oriented and more ritualistic sect, and the Pharisees, the sect that emphasized law and teaching, personal prayer, and a priesthood of all faithful Jews.

But in Exodus, we see both. By and large, God only speaks to the people through a prophet and priest: Moses and Aaron. And yet, here He is, preparing to speak directly to every Jew camped at the foot of Mount Sinai.

One thing is not at all in question: The frequent enmity between liturgical and evangelical worshipers is itself anti-Christian. To hate someone, who has sincerely confessed Christ as his Lord and Savior, is to hate Christ. (E.g., 1 John 4:20)

endless knot

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“Beauty and Goodness”

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Memory Verse

Proverbs 21:2 (ESV): Every way of a man is right in his own eyes.

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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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