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May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.


Daily Devotion for March 15, 2018


<i>David & Saul</i>, by  Ernst Josephson, 1878.
David & Saul, by Ernst Josephson, 1878. (See Full-size.)

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.




An Old American Prayer for the Work Day

Almighty God, I thank Thee for the job of this day. May I find gladness in all its toil and difficulty, its pleasure and success, and even in its failure and sorrow. I would look always away from myself, and behold the glory and the need of the world, that I may have the will and the strength to bring the gift of gladness to others; that with them I stand to bear the burden and heat of the day and offer Thee the praise of work well done.

Amen.

A Prayer of Repentance

O  Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Benediction

Oh God Almighty, send me Your light and truth, to keep this day and all the days of my life. And may Your mighty hand protect me, and all my brothers and sisters who have joined me in prayer this day, blessing our homes and our lives.

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

Does Jesus change over time? Prove it.

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



endless knot

Colossians 2:8 (ESV)

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.


Blue Latin Cross

1 Samuel 16:14-23 (NLT)

David in Saul’s Service

Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear. Some of Saul’s servants said to him, “A tormenting spirit from God is troubling you. Let us find a good musician to play the harp whenever the tormenting spirit troubles you. He will play soothing music, and you will soon be well again.”

“All right,” Saul said. “Find me someone who plays well, and bring him here.”

One of the servants said to Saul, “One of Jesse’s sons from Bethlehem is a talented harp player. Not only that—he is a brave warrior, a man of war, and has good judgment. He is also a fine-looking young man, and the Lord is with him.” So Saul sent messengers to Jesse to say, “Send me your son David, the shepherd.” Jesse responded by sending David to Saul, along with a young goat, a donkey loaded with bread, and a wineskin full of wine.

So David went to Saul and began serving him. Saul loved David very much, and David became his armor bearer.

Then Saul sent word to Jesse asking, “Please let David remain in my service, for I am very pleased with him.” And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away.


Notes on the Scripture

A

n evil spirit (sent by God) troubles Saul. What is the cure? David. We are meant to understand the story literally. One cannot fail to see it, however, as a metaphor for Israel. Saul is the voice of the people. He has actually offended God by trying to please the Hebrews, rather than adhering strictly to God’s orders. And as we see throughout the Old Testament, God certainly “troubles” the Hebrews when they disobey him — he will ultimately hand the entire nation over to be raped, murdered, pillaged, and enslaved by foreigners.

We know that David is not “the” answer. As much as God loves David, David is not His son. David is, ultimately, only human, a sinner like all the rest of the world. But David will be the best that Israel can do without Christ. He is anointed by God to serve a great role in the salvation of the world.

Even Saul loves David. We will see, in chapter to come, a convoluted and often wrenching relationship between Saul, whom David is faithful to serve, and David, whom Saul loves but must ultimately hate—how else can a king feel about another man who is destined to dethrone him?



<i>David Plays the Harp</i>, by Giacomo del Po, ca. 1700.
David Plays the Harp, by Giacomo del Po, ca. 1700.

Daily Inspiration

“ Not Guilty ”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

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Today in Daily Prayer

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Memory Verse

Matthew 6:25: Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.



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