Daily Devotion for July 22, 2016
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.
The great Karl Richter playing the great Toccata and Fugue in D minor by the great J.S. Bach on the great 1766 Riepp organ at Ottobeuren Monastery, Germany, is just, well, too great for words.
For Joy in God's Creation
O Heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open my eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, I may learn to serve you with gladness, faithfully managing your bounty; for the sake of him by whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ's name,
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.
A Quote from Buddha
James 1:19-26 (NIV)
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it he will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Notes on the Scripture
oday is “Anti-Anger Day”. We have included a quote from Buddha, whose teachings about morality and life were close in many respects to those of Christ and the early church fathers. Buddhism is pagan and false as a religion. In the quote, for example, we know “you will not be punished for your anger” is false; Christ Himself told us that anger violates the Sixth Commandment. It is a sin which, unshrivenShrive is a verb that means, in its broad sense, to obtain absolution from sin by confessing and doing penance. Denominations with the formal sacrament of confession use it to refer to that sacrament, while in most Protestant denominations one shrives sins by, for example, simply asking God for forgiveness, through faith in Christ. Some evangelicals believe that receiving the Holy Spirit and living in faith is sufficient., will condemn us to hell.
So why cite Buddha in a Christian devotional? We want to emphasize, today, the ways in which Christian principles benefit us not only in our eternal life, but in our secular life on earth.
As Christians, we must avoid anger because it is sinful in itself. Furthermore, it is a gateway sin; when we become angry, our human emotion drowns out the voice of the Holy Spirit and we might do terrible things. This is true of all the "seven deadly sins". James goes so far as to call it "moral filth".
But taming our anger also helps us live better and longer lives on earth. Scientific studies have proven that a person's subject's hostility ratings (how hostile and irritable they tend to act towards others) predict heart disease -- the number one cause of death -- more accurately than other known risk factors including cholesterol, alcohol intake, cigarette smoking and being overweight.
It is in this respect that Buddha's saying rings so true. To become angry, to act out of hatred, harms the person who has the anger. We may do even more harm to someone else, but have no doubt: By acting on your anger you hurt yourself physically as well as spiritually.
People who give free reign to their anger live short and miserable lives. Moreover, if we get angry enough, we will hurt ourselves in other ways. What good comes from punching a wall? Broken knuckles and you have to pay to have the wall fixed. Look at the many-faceted results of road rage: you can get put in jail, wreck an expensive car, injure or even kill yourself or someone else. Satan loves anger!
Suppressing anger, although better than giving it free rein, is only half a solution. If we use ego strength to suppress anger, it builds up in our mind, like steam in a pressure cooker. The answer is to dissolve it, to massage it into nonexistence, through prayer. We must not deny our anger, for by denial, we forgo the possibility of asking the Holy Spirit to abolish it. Forgiveness and acceptance, the antidotes for anger, do not come easily: most of us must pray for them every day.
(There is a good secular article on anger and anger management at MentalHelp.net.)