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Daily Devotion for August 31, 2017


Jospeh and Benjamin, illuminated Morgan Bible
An illumination from the Morgan Bible, c. 1220, showing Benjamin being returned to Joseph.

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 Do God's Will Today

Thy will be done. Dear God, I am full of the sound of my own voice, that lump of pride deep within me that will not go away, no matter how I try. Give me the strength through the power of your Holy Spirit to hear your voice and follow it, fighting the temptation to sin that bubbles up inside me whenever my mind strays from you.

Thy will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will be done.

You have commanded us to love one another, this I know without doubt. And yet all day I am filled with judgments, with resentments, with anger that sneaks in and grabs me when I am not paying attention to you. I pray dear God, that you will soften my heart to my fellow humans, no matter how sinfully they may act, and leave the judging to you, as you have commanded. Fill me with acceptance in place of judgment, sympathy in place of anger, faith in place of resentment. For my judgments and anger are the creatures of pride.

May I do thy will this day, in the name of Christ I pray.

Amen.

Prayer of Supplication

Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me, for I am poor and needy. Without you, I have nothing. I pray that this day I will have food, and shelter, and be free of pain and fear. If it is not your will for me to suffer, Lord, I pray that I will not. And above all, cleanse my soul of sin, that I might someday be free of all pain and evil; for, whatever I may bear in this life, I have faith and hope in the life to come, through your goodness and mercy. In Christ's name, I pray,

Amen.

Dedication to Service

Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,

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

What Bible verse assures us that we will not be tempted beyond what we are able?

Answer: 1 Corinthians 10:13



endless knot

By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.

~ (Saint) Augustine of Hippo


Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 44:1-13 (ESV)

Joseph Tests His Brothers

Then he commanded the steward of his house, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph told him.

As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his steward, “Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.’”

When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! Behold, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be my lord’s servants.”

He said, “Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent.” Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. Then they tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.


Notes on the Scripture

T



here is not much to comment upon in today’s Scripture. Joseph is still playing with his brothers, like a cat with mice, only we do not get the idea that this ultimate intention is to do them harm. But he certainly intends to discomfit them. He hides a silver cup in Benjamin’s sack and then sends his guard to search the brothers’ belongings, so that they will fear that Benjamin will be enslaved or executed for theft.

Nothing could terrify them more, for losing Benjamin would be such a blow to their father as to dispirit him forever, or even kill him. Moreover, he will hate his sons for losing Benjamin — they, after all, talked Jacob into letting Benjamin come to Egypt — and both Reuben and Judah have made pledges for his safe return.



Devotional painting of Saint Augustine in his Study by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1490
Saint Augustine in his Study by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1490


Daily Inspiration

“Let us Love in Deed and Truth”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.



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