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Daily Devotion for February 7, 2017


<i>Christ Blessing the Children</i> by Luther Cranach the Elder, ca. 1545.
Christ Blessing the Children by Luther Cranach the Elder, ca. 1545. Cranach treated this subject often. This charming version is inscribed, at the top, “VNND SIE BRACHTEN KINDLIN ZU IHM DAS ER SIE ANRVRET. MARCVS AM X” (And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them. Mark Ch. 10.)

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.

A live performance of Michael Smith’s mega-hit, Agnus Dei.




Prayer for the Morning

Blessed are you, Lord God of my salvation, to you be praise and glory forever. As once you ransomed your people from Egypt and led them to freedom in the promised land, so now you have delivered me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of your risen Son.

May I, the fruit of your new creation, rejoice in this new day you have made, and praise you for your mighty acts. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Prayer for the Mentally Ill

Lord Christ, unto whom every life is precious: Your eye is on the littlest sparrow, and I know you watch over me and all my fellow beings, hoping at every turn that we may be free from the price of sin. I pray today for all those who suffer from darkness of mind. Be with them, I pray, in their torment; comfort them and their friends and families.

And if it be your will, free them from the demons of the mind, that we understand so little about. Bless the doctors and scientists who work to relieve mental illness and the people who care for the ill, and let your Spirit guide them to the alleviation of human suffering. And where a person cannot be healed, bless and keep his soul, I pray, that his lost mind may not be held against the salvation of his soul, and the eventual perfection he might find by your grace. Oh Holy Jesus, look down upon your lost sheep with mercy, I pray.

Amen.

Benediction

I  pray that I may be blessed every step of my path this day by the great God of light. May your sun shine upon me; as the moon moves the tide, may your Spirit move my emotions with every grace and magic; may my heart sing with the voice of your angels and my hearth be warm; and may this and every blessed day You have given me be filled with joy.

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

Identify this verse: “You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Answer Deuteronomy 10:19



endless knot

Making it Possible

“Men ought to seek with their whole hearts to be filled with the Spirit of God. Without being filled with the Spirit, it is utterly impossible that an individual Christian or a church can ever live or work as God desires.”

~ Andrew Murray


Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 6:10 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Time (Galatians #92)

As we have time, therefore, let us perform good towards all, and most especially towards the household of faith.


Notes on the Scripture

N

ot just one ambiguity, but three (or more), can be found in this simple verse. It is fortunately the same in English as in the original Greek. What does “as we have time” mean? Does it mean we should perform good towards all when we can find the time? Does it mean “because we all have enough time,” we should be spending a lot of it in performing good? Or does it refer, not to the amount of time we can find outside our daily necessities, but rather, the amount of time we have before we die and/or Christ returns?

When we turn to context for clarification, the last choice would seem to be correct. The preceding verses speak of the time between sowing and harvesting, with an implication that there will be a considerable lag between the time we sow the seed of the Spirit, and the time we harvest the reward in heaven. So, it appears, Paul is telling us to take advantage of the summer, while our crop grows. Of course, the sow/reap analogy is not perfect and it breaks down, for a good work done one minute before we die will “ripen” at the same time as a good work done in childhood.

The spiritual advice given here accords with well-known aphorisms of worldly life. “Make hay while the sun shines.” Any atheist can say this. The fable of the grasshopper and the antIf you do not remember this, the grasshopper spends the summer making music and enjoying the weather, and mocks the lowly ant, who diligently toils, setting aside food for the winter. When winter comes, the grasshopper perishes, while the ant snuggles in his burrow full of food. is the same idea, set in the context of worldly living rather than spiritual life.

Nike has a recent advertising slogan, “Just do it!” In other words, if you want to get into shape physically, or accomplish some athletic task or meet some goal, the only way to accomplish it is to start. Why not now? And again, with spiritual goals, we may say the exact same thing. We have time now. We will have less time tomorrow. Eventually, our time on earth will run out. If we want to follow Paul’s advice to perform good towards all, when is it we propose to get started? Most of us likely have something we want to do, in this regard, and are waiting some undefined time to get started. Well . . . just do it!

At the end of the verse, we see something that most of us get right by instinct, but it is nice to know that it has God’s approval. We have a duty of good work to all people. Sending a check to starving children in some unknown part of Africa will please God. Yet, we have a primary duty towards “the household of faith,” that is, the Christian family. So, one might suppose it is fair to say, we must make sure that the world’s Christians are taken care of, and perhaps even local Christians, remembering the admonition: “The aim of your lifestyle should be to become a model of conduct to the outside world and to need nothing from them.” (1 Thess. 4:11-12)



Angel by Gustave Moreau, ca. 1890.  (Detail from <i>King David.</i>)
Angel by Gustave Moreau, ca. 1890. (Detail from King David.)

Daily Inspiration

“ Forward Faith ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



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