Daily Devotion for January 21, 2017
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.
This 1927 film of Blind Willie Johnson singing Trouble Soon Be Over is a remarkable glimpse into life and worship a century ago.
Draw Thou Our Hearts
O Lord Jesus Christ, draw thou our hearts unto thee; join them together in inseparable love, that we may abide in thee, and thou in us, and that the everlasting covenant between us may stand sure forever. O wound our hearts with the fiery darts of thy piercing love. Let them pierce through all our slothful members and inward powers, that we, being happily wounded, may so become whole and sound. Let us have no lover but thyself alone; let us seek no joy nor comfort except in thee.
Prayer to Know God's Will
And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father,
Until it be according unto mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.
I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire -
See in my quiet places, wishes thronging -
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.
[“Purge, though it be with fire.”]
May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in His sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
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.
If you live close to God, and His infinite grace,
You don’t have to tell; It shows on your face.
Abiding in Christ
1 John 3:18-24 (ESV)
Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.
Notes on the Scripture
n a nutshell, John tells us: “Don't be a hypocrite and you won't feel guilty.” Only two people truly know us, ourselves and God; and we can even hide the truth from ourselves. Many people spend a lot of mental energy, in fact, convincing themselves that they have done nothing wrong when deep in their heart, they know better. And the opposite is also true: People continue to harbor guilt in their heart, even when they have been forgiven by the grace of Christ.
The first sentence defines hypocrisy; specifically, loving others in your words but not in truth, for if we love in truth, our deeds will show our love. It is so easy to see hypocrisy in others, and so difficult to see it and root it out in ourselves. And yet Christ asked us why we point out the splinter in our neighbor's eye, when we should be trying to remove the beam from our own eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)
But if we do this — if we love others truly, as shown in our deeds — we will know that we are of the truth. Even if we feel some guilt in our heart, God will send His spirit to remove the anxiety and guilt; we will have confidence before God, because we have kept His commandment. The aim of Christian life is to abide in God, which he has made possible by sending His Holy Spirit to be with us in our everyday lives.