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Daily Devotion for April 6, 2017



Baptism by L'Ouverture Poissant, Haitian primitive artist, ca. 1954.

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.

God bless Crystal Bowersox, who put the Word into mainstream television about the only way possible: by singing a gospel song on a talent show.




Prayer for the Morning

Heavenly Father, let me live this day as the gift it is, for You have truly blessed me to live it. And if I may suffer, I will carry with me the certainty that one day I will see You face to face, a day when all things will become clear and my pain will be made whole through the grace of Christ, my God. Blessed be you, oh Lord my God, and blessed be the day you have given me.

Amen.

To Show Forth God’s Beauty

Heavenly Father, help me to make religion a thing so beautiful that all men may be won to surrender to its power. Let me manifest in my life its sweetness and excellence, its free and ennobling spirit. Forbid that I should go up and down the world with melancholy looks and dejected visage, lest I should repel people from entering your Kingdom. Rather, may I walk in the freedom and joy of faith and with your new song in my mouth, so that all who look on me may learn to trust and to love you. And this I ask in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, my Savior.

Amen.

Meditation

[Blessed be the day God has given me.]


Benediction

Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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.



endless knot

Psalm 89:14-15 (NKJV)

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Mercy and truth go before Your face.

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.


Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 22:1-4 (ESV)

The Story of Abraham [35] - Isaac

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.


Notes on the Scripture

T

oday we reach the most famous part of Abraham's life. It is rightfully famous, for the story is the source of many of the fundamental themes of Christianity: faith, sacrifices, and obedience. Even today, well over 3000 years later, we look to Abraham as the first source of many of our beliefs.

The passage does not begin with God simply giving Abraham a command. God calls his name, and Abraham replies, “Here I am.” We cannot miss the implied contrast to Adam, who, in his shame, hid from God. Unlike Adam, Abraham lives in faith and obedience. Thus, he is eager to hear God's voice; and he calls out to God, for unlike Adam, he is eager for God to find him.

Abraham prepares for a sacrifice by burnt offering. Putting aside Isaac's involvement for the moment, the idea of worshipping God by burning an animal in an open fire seems at best primitive to us, and at worst, barbaric. The constant mention of the practice in the Old Testament distances many people from it. It is more difficult to identify one's own life with the lives of the ancient Hebrews, when they did such things. But the law has not changed. God's requirement of burnt offerings are right there in the Bible, in the same books as the Ten Commandments.

Our delicacy about burning an animal on a fire is misplaced; we still slaughter animals and cook them. We simply have someone else do the dirty work for us. In the same vein, many people still cook on a fire — a barbecue grill — at times. But even if we do not barbecue, our electric and gas stoves are the equivalent of an open flame. They are simply a refinement.

Thus, we still do what the Hebrews did; we perform the equivalent act of roasting animals and vegetables on a wood fire. And the law of Moses requires that we make sacrifices to God in the same manner as we cook our food. But we do not. None of us roast animals or wheat in sacrifice, as God clearly requires. Why is that?

. . . continued tomorrow.


Abraham Leading Isaac to the Sacrifice
Abraham Leading Isaac to the Sacrifice, by an unknown Flemish master.

Daily Inspiration

“Illumination”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.



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