Daily Devotion for May 2, 2021
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.
For our “Virtual Sunday Church,” we join the choir of the Prestonwood Baptist Church, in Plano, Texas, for a lovely modern anthem.
Lord, You're holy
Lord, You're holy
And we lift You up
And magnify Your name.
As I look around and I see
All the works that Your hands have made,
The awesomeness of You
And how Your love will never fail.
Mere words cannot express what I feel
I can't describe Your glory divine,
But as a token of my love
This is what I'll do:
I lift my hands and cry holy.
There's not enough words that I can say
To tell You how much I appreciate
All the wonderful things You've given me:
Your loving kindness,
Your tender mercies.
It's my desire to praise You
And tell You how much I love You.
You're worthy of all the honor
Lord You're worthy of all the praise.
I don't know how
You can love me
How You could give me
So much mercy.
You didn't have to suffer and die for me
Way back on Calvary.
But I just wanna thank You.
I thank You.
I thank You.
I thank You.
Wonderful, glorious, holy, and righteous,
Victorious, conqueror, triumphant and
Healer, deliverer, shield and defense,
Strong tower and my best friend.
Soon coming king,
Alpha, omega, lord of everything
Holy, holy, holy is Your name.
Music and Lyrics by Eddie James
Preparation for Prayer
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly-minded.
For with blessings in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
our full homage to command.
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the week and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me today and throughout the coming week, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
Sunday Prayer to Christ
Oh Christ, you are continually worshiped in heaven and on earth, in all times and at all hours; you are patience, compassion and mercy; you love the righteous, you have mercy on sinners, and you call all men to salvation, promising them all things to come:
Receive my prayers, this Sunday, as I celebrate Your resurrection; make my life conform to your will; sanctify my soul and body, order my thoughts, and give me victory in all trials and sadness, both today and in the week to come; protect me and bless me, and all of those who worship you this day, so that we may come to unity of faith and knowledge of your glory. For you live and reign, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God now and forever,
Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present ourselves blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.
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.
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
James 2:1-5 (ESV)
Gold Rings and Fine Clothes
y brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?
Notes on the Scripture
Often you hear (or say) “cleanliness is next to godliness,” but support for the proposition is mixed in the Bible and Christianity. Like so many attitudes, the saying is more an attempt to use the power of the Bible to support a personal preference than a real attempt to define our conduct by the Word of God. In short, “cleanliness is next to godliness” is a human saying, not a Christian saying.
Early Christians, especially the very fervent, often took to the countryside and refused personal hygiene or adornment. St. Francis of Assisi, for example, who was due to inherit considerable worldly goods, renounced all of it, including the clothing; he went barefoot. John the Baptist would have been kicked out of any restaurant in New York. The Bible is filled with instances where the holiest of men would eschew cleanliness.
On the other hand, nothing in the Bible forbids bathing, or (in the New Testament) shaving, or any basic hygiene. Christ and His disciples, we know, washed their feet at the end of the day. Exodus prescribes ritual handwashing for priests, and that God required the Hebrews to bathe and launder their clothes before giving them the Ten Commandments.
But all in all, when one looks to the Bible instead of one’s prejudices for guidance, there is nothing that categorically equates personal hygiene with spiritual growth. Like our occupation or politics, it is a matter of the world and has little to do with godliness. And using the Bible to further our personal agenda leads us away from Christ, not towards Him.
There does come a point where concern with personal adornment becomes an area of sinfulness, and one rarely hears it discussed. Vanity is a powerful urge, the servant of mighty Pride, king of the deadly sins. The fashion industry is a testament to the power of vanity; even worse, its adherents are ludicrously convinced of its importance. Cosmetic surgery has become a flourishing business.
Vanities of our world:
celebrity, and diamonds.
It is hard to resist. Even if you personally don’t have an excessive concern with appearances, living in a culture where the importance of fashion and appearance goes uncontrolled presents a powerful force to comply. The Amish will tell a woman, by way of compliment, “you look very plain today”; they take a lack of personal vanity as a sign of devotion, and the Amish culture supports minimalizing pride in appearance in favor of pursuing rewards of the Spirit.
It is often hard to grasp how non-Christian values can dominate “Christian” countries. In the matter of dress and appearance, sincere Christians will make extensive compromises that damage their faith. This is not to say we may not dress nicely or buy a new car. It is to say, rather, that this is a good area of meditation and prayer. When we feel called to examine our sins or to make a decision about buying something, we need to examine our conduct and attitudes about spending time and money to glorify our own pride.
And certainly, we can tell our children that cleanliness is important; but we need to be careful in what we equate to Godliness.