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Daily Devotion for April 20, 2018


<i>Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple </i> by El Greco, ca. 1600.
Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple by El Greco, ca. 1600.
“Zeal for Your house has consumed me.”

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.

The lovely voice of soprano Sandrine Piau gives a quiet and lovely moment of praise to the glory of God.




Morning Confession

I  confess with faith and adore You, O Light indivisible, Holy Trinity and single Godhead, creator of light and dispeller of darkness. Dispel from my soul the darkness of sin and ignorance, and at this hour enlighten my mind, that I may pray to You according to Your will, and receive from You the fulfillment of my supplications. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

Amen.

To Hold Fast in a Changing World

Lord, when I see how the world is changing, sometimes I begin to feel unsure. Please help me not to embrace anything that is forbidden by you, but to measure all things by your divine yardstick. What used to be commonplace truth is frowned upon and new standards are being espoused, standards that you did not set out for us. Let me follow only your way. Let me hear only your voice, not the voices of those who do not believe in your teachings. Let me celebrate and rejoice with those who do believe in you.

Help me to stand firm always, and gain my strength through faith, prayer, study of your Word, and worship. Let me turn my head from things that destroy or weaken me. Let me say no to the forbidden that lasts for a short moment in time, looking ahead to the pleasures you have waiting for all who follow your path to eternal glory. Thank you, Lord, for the wisdom to say no to man’s constant, changing lifestyles that steal me away from you. Keep my eyes fixed on you. I ask this in the name your Son, Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Benediction

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time,

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

Which Psalm relates to Christ throwing the money-changers out of the Temple?

Answer: Psalm 69 - see today’s Scripture.



endless knot

Psalm 69:5-9 (NKJV)

O God, You know my foolishness;
And my sins are not hidden from You.

Let not those who wait for You, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed because of me;
Let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel.

Because for Your sake I have borne reproach;
Shame has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my brothers,
And an alien to my mother’s children;
Because zeal for Your house has consumed me,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.


Blue Latin Cross

John 2:13-17 (ESV)

Jesus Cleanses the Temple (1)

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.

And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” [Psalm 69:9.]


Notes on the Scripture

W

e are really starting to see the difference between John and the other three (synoptic) Gospels by now. John has jumped from the wedding at Cana to Jerusalem at the time of Passover. What John lacks is any real attempt to report a chronological “Life of Jesus.” Instead, his Gospel is organized into events that show a progression of theological events, relating to the meaning of Christ’s life.

Although Christ frequently spoke in very strong, even harsh, terms on occasion, this is the only time in the Bible he is shown to resort to physical violence himself. He hits the forecourt of the temple like a tornado, and he cleans house.

The impetus to make money from religious belief is a constant problem, and the history of Christianity affords us a prime example. In fact, the word “hypocritical” takes a prominent place in almost every anti-Christian diatribe one sees. Most major churches are guilty to one degree or another; from the selling of indulgences and sacraments-for-pay of the Middle Ages to the “money theology” of today, greedy people within our churches have continuously undermined Christ’s message.

Churches themselves are generally tainted with institutional avarice. What church do you know that doesn't emphasize giving to the church—as opposed to giving to the poor—as a duty of members? There are some, but not many. Money that used to support missionaries now builds fitness centers.

It is not for us to judge them; priests and ministers constantly face difficult questions about money, and who are we to point fingers? But it is well to keep the problem in mind and to meditate and pray about how greed can interfere with our own spiritual life.



<i>A Hermit at Prayer</i>, after Gerrit Dou, ca. 1725.
A Hermit at Prayer, after Gerrit Dou, ca. 1725.

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“ The Doctor Will See You Now ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.



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