Daily Devotion for September 27, 2010
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.
Prayer to Dedicate Oneself to Christ This Day
Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day, I commit myself Your care. Mold me in your image. In everything I say and do, let my mind be on the eternal goodness of heaven rather than the vanities of earth, meaningless pride, or the anger and envy that tear apart my precious soul.
I dedicate myself to your holiness, Oh sweet and innocent Christ, and pray that you may be with me, to check my tongue before it can speak evil and to stop my hand when it seeks to sin. I come to you as a child. I will look to you for guidance and wisdom. Let me know the joyful feeling of having done something that pleased you; let me never feel the pain of knowing I have disappointed you. And let me live without fear, without confusion, always steady in the certainty of your forgiveness and ultimate victory, I pray,
Prayer for the Angry
Dear heavenly Father, I pray this day for all angry, hostile people, all those filled with hate for their fellow creatures; for violent criminals who harm the body, for those who hurt their family members, for bullies on playgrounds and sadists in charge of others; and for the many more who, through their angry words, ideas, and grudges, promote discord, misunderstanding and violence, and especially all those who contribute to the great wars that kill and hurt so many.
Dear God, show them the beauty of your peace and grant that they may love others so much that they cannot bear to harm them, both for their own sake and that of those they hurt. And help their many victims, saving them, comforting them, and granting them to know your Son Jesus Christ so well that they can forgive. In whose name I pray,
[Am I living a lie? How can I begin to change it today?]
Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts, be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity.
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.
Avoiding the Truth
Why do we read or hear something we know is true, and then put it in the back of our mind? Because it is easier. It is easier not to change. If I am in a rut, it takes less effort just to stay in it than to climb the sides and travel on higher ground, no matter how much better my life would be if I got out of it. The Holy Spirit is the power to climb the side of that rut!
John 12:36-43 (ESV)
“While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”
Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke of Him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in Him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
Notes on the Scripture
his discussion of those who saw and heard Christ, and saw his miracles performed with their very eyes (or with eyewitness reports), can help us understand all those who reject and scorn God’s word. God truly gave us free will. He knew from the beginning that many of us would use this power to reject Him and his son.
There has never been, and will never be, a truly “Christian” period on earth. If people can witness Christ perform miracles before their very eyes, and still reject Him, how can we expect that everyone will accept Him now that He has ascended?
It hurts to hear the sometimes nasty criticism of Christianity; it hurts to see people who reject Christ’s teachings; and it hurts to see people call themselves “Christians” while doing horrible things and driving others away from Christ. It hurts to have others assume that you are a narrow-minded and judgmental hypocrite because you witness to Christ.
Such people simply have not understood the word or read the Bible. Because they do not seek God — because their hearts are hardened and their eyes blind — they will scoff and scorn at those who can see and hear.
But in truth, they could see if they wanted to. All of us are born with the “sight” that can see the light of Christ. But many love the things of the world too much. Wanting the things of this world, wanting to be accepted by and praised by other people, they reject the only true and enduring glory. It was true when Christ was standing before us; how can we expect it not to be true today?
Confessing Christ can be very difficult; even Peter denied Christ three times. It is a luxury to live in a time and place where we can worship without being beaten and killed. We must always remember, with love and admiration, the men and women who have given their very lives to follow Christ. Whatever difficulties or criticism we may endure today, remembering those who have gone before puts things into perspective. And we must always be ready to emulate them, for we cannot tell whether we might one day be called upon to sacrifice our lives for Christ.