Daily Devotion for October 4, 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 video came without identifying the choir or church, which would seem to be in the British Isles. (I think the accent is Irish, but I am a poor judge!) The hymn is set to a traditional Irish melody. Delightful.
1. Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever child-like, no cares can destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.
2. Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.
3. Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.
4. Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.
Traditional Irish Tune
Lyrics by Jan Struther, 1931
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for all that I have. Even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe.
Let me never take for granted these gifts of life, oh Lord, but always remember that they come from you; without you, no man could make the sun shine or the tree bear its fruit. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. In the name of Christ I pray,
Heavenly Lord, no matter what I do or which way I turn, my pride raises its ugly head to damage my life. It tells me that my opinions are correct, no matter how ill-informed I might be. I fail to appreciate my stupidity, my weakness, my self-deception and rationalization for my many errors and shortcomings. Help me, O Holy Spirit, to see my fault. Instruct me in my error and support me in my efforts to follow your commandments; for I truly love you, Lord God, and want to grow in service and faith. In the name of Christ, forgive me and bring me closer.
Oh God who has made me, oh God who keeps me, oh God who will be my Lord through all eternity, shine down Your blessings and wisdom upon me like the sun upon a field; and may I keep You in the forefront of my every thought and deed, throughout this day, and evermore.
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 tells us that belief in Christ is the only path to salvation?
The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
~ George Muller
Genesis 50:15-21 (ESV)
Joseph Forgives His Brothers
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.”
Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people [a numerous people] should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Notes on the Scripture
he message of repentance and forgiveness in the last chapter of Genesis is inspiring. In itself the story is straightforward. Notice, though, that there has been no commandment from God concerning forgiveness, either generally to mankind or specifically to Joseph. Even centuries later, when the Hebrews finally receive the law, the idea of forgiveness is not the powerful concept that characterized Christ’s teachings and, in fact, His very existence.
Joseph’s treatment of his brothers is as much about acceptance as forgiveness. The doctrine of acceptance teaches us not only that we are often not in charge, but also that we should not be in charge. If we are actors on a stage, it sometimes seems as if every cast member wants to direct the play.
But Joseph can see that if his brothers had not sold him into slavery as they did, he would not have gone to Egypt and would not have encouraged Pharaoh to store up grain against the coming famine. Egypt would have starved; more important, the Hebrews might have starved and they surely would not have come to dwell in Egypt. Joseph sees this clearly and realizes that God is in charge of the tribe of Israel; He had a purpose that no human knew, or could possibly know; what seemed to be an evil to the human viewpoint was part of God’s plan to save the Hebrews.
The triumph of pride over
acceptance: Marie Antoinette
Acceptance is a primary Christian virtue; it is the opponent of the great sin, Pride. The first line of the famous Serenity Prayer — “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change” — could use an addendum: “and grant me the humility to realize that, even if I could change anything I wanted, I might only make things worse.”
God is in charge; we are not. He has a plan that we do not and cannot know or understand. Our foremost duty is to tend to our own garden. There is nothing in the Gospels that requires us or even authorizes us to try to reshape the world, except one: The duty to spread the Good News of Christ.