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Welcome back, Friend.

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 4, 2016



Christ in the House of His Parents (detail) by John Millais ca. 1850. Young Jesus, who has cut his hand on a nail in his father’s carpentry shop, offers a kiss to his mother, Mary.

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.




Prayer to Walk with Christ Today

Dear Heavenly Father, I am learning to understand what your Word says. Yet so often I simply hear it or read it and think about applying it, but get no further. I want to do it and intend to do it Lord, but it is gone from my mind so easily. I am deceiving myself if I simply hear it and do not make it a part of my life.

Please help me today to take one truth and apply it to my circumstances. Oh blessed Holy Spirit, nudge me, remind me throughout my day, again and again, for I know I will find freedom in obedience to your Word. I pray, show me what I need to focus on, right now and wherever the day might take me.

Change my vision. Embolden me to practice what you reveal to me, for I am confident of the blessings that come from life in harmony with your Word. My life is yours: I give it to you, of my own free will, and pray you to take it up and show me your path. In the name of Jesus, I pray this with all my heart,

Amen.

Simple Thanks

For our restful sleep at night,
for the rain and sunshine bright,
For the love that Thou dost send,
For our homes and for each friend,

For the day and all its pleasures,
Grateful thanks I render now.
May our lives pass on the blessings,
None can give to us, but Thou.

Amen.

Benediction

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

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.


Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

Who said, “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”? Can you cite the chapter and verse?

AnswerJames, in James 2:17.



endless knot

Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV)

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.

Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


Notes on the Scripture

W

e all feel burdened. No, it isn't just you. All the rest of us have the same feelings, at least sometimes, that things are just too much for them to bear. It doesn't matter whether you are five years old or 95. Perhaps we feel a certain sadness when we look at photographs of loved ones who are gone. Perhaps we feel anxiety about what the future will bring. Some days we just don't think we have what we need to get everything done that we thing needs to be done. “Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1)

Feeling that we are too busy to pray, however, is like feeling we are too busy to take an aspirin when we have a headache. If you are carrying a 50-pound backpack and feel like you are about to drop, the last thing you want is to pick up another five pounds. But if you pick up the five pounds of faith, the 50 pounds goes away.

Practicing Christianity involves, without doubt, a bit of effort. Christ himself calls it a “yoke”. But look at what he gives us. First, he promises that it will be light, that we will find it gentle, that it is easy.

And on the other side of the equation, the burden we give up is heavy, and harsh, and difficult. Life grinds you down; it is Satan's glee. He wants to see us running like a rat on a wheel, until we drop.

And the reward for following Him? “They will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

Christ has infinitely broad shoulders and will take up our burden, if we ask. It may take some time and effort at the very moment when we feel like we have nothing left to give; but he will come to us. “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23)

So, that is where to start, when we “labor and are heavy laden.” We simply let ourselves remember Christ, for it is impossible to know him and not love him.



Angel by Abbot Handerson Thayer, ca. 1889. Another portrait of an angel from the master of angels, employing his elder daughter Mary as the model.

Daily Inspiration

“High-Quality Fruit”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 5:30: I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. . . . [L]love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.



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