Daily Devotion for March 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.
Secret Garden, a Norwegian Christian group, is not as well known as they deserve; they wrote and first performed both this song and You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban’s great hit.
Prayer for Morning
Oh Lord, when it is still dark outside and I am half asleep
My prayers they slip and slide; I know my talk is cheap
For I am ever wandering; but I can hear you beckoning.
So every morning you can find me in this place
And I will be waiting; how I long to see your face
And I want to walk the deeper walk with you.
Prayer for Mercy
Holy Lord God, creator of all things, who has commanded our obedience to your commandments as a sign of our love: Look with mercy, I pray, on the sins I have this day committed, and in mercy make me feel them deeply, that my repentance may be sincere, and my resolutions against them steadfast. Teach me to understand the sinfulness of my own heart. Bring to my knowledge every fault of character and every evil habit in which I have indulged, to the discomfort of my fellow-creatures and the danger of my own soul.
May I now, and every day, consider how my time has been spent, what have been my prevailing thoughts, words, and actions, and how I might can acquit myself of evil. Have I thought irreverently of you? Have I disobeyed your commandments, neglected a known duty, or willingly given pain to another? Incline me to ask my heart these questions, O Lord, and save me from deceiving myself by pride or vanity.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
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.
O Lord God Almighty, who is like you?
You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.
The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
you founded the world and all that is in it.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
love and faithfulness go before you.
Romans 3:9-18 (ESV)
No One is Righteous
What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already established that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips.
Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Notes on the Scripture
The passage is a veritable portrait of a person who does not acknowledge God or the Bible. It is the model of someone who lives according to his or her own understanding, a life dictated by animal desires, a life where decisions are made according to personal criteria, ignoring God and His Word.
his is why those who claim to know God and are raised in the church can so often rationalize their unbiblical behavior. They allow the world to dictate their morals and their values. Spouses fail to love one another as the Bible has commanded them to do (and as they promised to do when they married); they neglect their families and put an obsessive importance on their careers, their possessions, their appearance, or their self-development. Our political leaders, our cultural leaders, and sometimes even our spiritual leaders make excuses and rationalizations for selfishness and sin. For advice, we go to Dr. Phil instead of Dr. Paul.
Read a newspaper or magazine, watch television, go to a movie, and ask yourself: “Is this the product of a society that loves God and respects the commandments and guidance of the Bible?” Nine times out of ten, the answer is no.
It is a battle. We need to do whatever we can to practice the teachings of the Bible in our own lives and to hold up the light of God's word before others, because silence is acquiescence. To do nothing is to concede the world to the darkness of atheism and the standards of selfishness and hypocrisy. We all have sinned and we will all continue to sin. But we don't have to rationalize sinful conduct; we don't have to preach that such conduct is all right, simply it is something we might have done or want to do; and we don't have to stand silent when such conduct is promoted by others.