Daily Devotion for January 18, 2018
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.
pilgrim though this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore.
Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fiery cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through;
be thou still my Strength and Shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
bear me through the swelling current,
land me safe on Canaan's side;
songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee.
Music by John Hughes (1907)
Lyrics by William Williams (1771)
Prayer of St. Patrick
Lord, be with me and all who love you, this day:
Within us to purify us;
Above us to draw us up;
Beneath us to sustain us;
Before us to lead us;
Behind us to restrain us;
Around us to protect us.
In Christ’s name I pray,
To Appreciate God’s Creation
Lord God, may all of your creation - from the vastness of mighty planets and stars to the lowliness of the smallest living creature I can see - remind me to live in wonder and appreciation of all that is around me.
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples. Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love, and that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation; Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
And now, as a little child, let me abide in you all this day, oh Christ, so that when you appear I may have confidence and not shrink from you in shame at your coming. For I know that you are righteous, and I am sure that I will be made righteous only by my life in you.
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
Which Bible verse tells us (in no uncertain terms) that we must speak respectfully of our civil leaders?
Do not say, “I cannot help having a bad temper.” Friend, you must help it. Pray to God to help you overcome it at once, for either you must kill it, or it will kill you. You cannot carry a bad temper into heaven.
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
1 Samuel 2:27-36 (ESV)
Eli Receives a Warning
ne day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the Lord:
“I revealed myself to your ancestors when the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt. I chose your ancestor Aaron from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests. So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me — for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel.
”Therefore, the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me. . . . Those who survive will live in sadness and grief, and their children will die a violent death. And to prove what I have said, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day.
“Then I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire. I will establish his family, and they will be priests to my anointed kings forever. All of your surviving family will bow before him, begging for money and food.
Notes on the Scripture
The saying “what goes around, comes around” was never more true than in the Old Testament. A mysterious and unnamed “man of God” appears at Eli’s doorstep with a sinister warning of violent death and humiliation for his family, as retribution for their abuse of the priesthood.
Levi was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, and his descendants — the Levites, one of the twelve tribes of Israel — held special status. They were the family who had kept faith in the Lord in Egypt; Moses and Aaron were descendants of Levi. After the Exodus, they were the center of resistance against worship of the golden calf. Even today, Levites have special duties and privileges in both Orthodox and Conservative Judaism.
The name became very popular and was frequently given to Jewish children. It was also taken as a last name (both by legitimate Levites and non-Levites). Even the occasional Christian child would be named “Levi.” The name was translated into numerous languages during the diaspora, e.g. “Levine” and “Leventhal.” During the Clinton administration, we (unfortunately) saw the Polish form of the name in the news: “Lewinsky.”