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Daily Devotion for April 4, 2018


<i>Saint John The Baptist And The Pharisees</i>, by James Tissot, ca. 1890.
Saint John The Baptist And The Pharisees, by James Tissot, ca. 1890.

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.

Someone reading this needs to hear this song, today.




A Child's Prayer

For Morn, my dome of blue,
For Meadows, green and gay,
And Birds who love the twilight of the leaves,
Let Jesus keep me joyful when I pray.

For the big Bees that hum
And hide in bells of flowers;
For the winding roads that come
To Evening’s holy door,
May Jesus bring me grateful to his arms,
And guard my innocence for evermore.

Amen.

Save Me Jesus

Lord Jesus, your love and mercy knows no bounds. Give me strength when I am weak, hope when I am discouraged, peace when I am troubled, consolation when I am sad, comfort when I suffer, and understanding when I am perplexed. Above all, guide me and forgive me when I err. Direct me in your way and make me an instrument of your love and peace to those who are troubled and without hope.

Amen.

Meditation

[Do I subconsciously harbor a belief that Jesus’ mercy is limited?]


Benediction

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.

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 147:7-11 (NKJV)

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises on the harp to our God,
Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who prepares rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
He gives to the beast its food,
And to the young ravens that cry.

He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy.


Blue Latin Cross

John 1:24-28 (ESV)

The Testimony of John the Baptist (2)

(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”

These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.


Notes on the Scripture

J

ust as before, John does not state outright that he has been sent by God, or that he will baptize the Messiah. In fact (rather like presidential candidates so often do) the answer he gives does not really respond to the question asked. He simply uses the question — basically, “by what authority are you baptizing people?” — to make the statement he wants to make.

Even so, he does not come right out and say “The Messiah is coming.” He simply makes the famous statement that one is coming after him, the strap of whose sandal John is not worthy to untie.

Still, the implication is perfectly clear. Even though John is baptizing people — an act that presupposes a considerable degree of holiness — there is another coming after him who is so holy, that John will not even compare himself to him.

Once again, the Gospel of John creates a richness of meaning by use of language. We remember the text just above, “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.” When John the Baptist tells the Pharisees “among you stands one you do not know,” he identifies them as being the people who would not recognize God when He came to earth and lived among them.

It is practically an accusation of sin; but again, the situation is filled with dramatic irony. The Pharisees do not begin to grasp the implication of what John is saying, while the reader can hardly miss it.



Elijah in the Wilderness by Frederic Leighton, ca. 1875. Leighton uses ochres to convey the hopeless, unforgiving aridity of the desert, echoing the world before the coming of Christ.

Daily Inspiration

“ When The World Turns Upside Down ”

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Memory Verse

Matthew 10:14 (ESV): And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.



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