Daily Devotion for June 8, 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.
The beginning of this moving song is sung in Kituba, a language widely spoken in central Africa. The Kituba lyrics are (thankfully) translated onscreen, but we have supplied the English lyrics for It is Well with My Soul.
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
What ever my lot you have taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though the devil will ruin, though trials may come,
Let this blessed assurance control;
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And He shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
My sin not in part but the whole.
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul.
And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
And the clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1876
Lyrics by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
Prayer for God’s Gifts
Oh Lord and Master of my life, take away from me the spirit of laziness, cowardliness, lust for power, and malicious and idle speech. But rather give me, throughout the day to come, an ample spirit of vitality and force in your service, to the benefit of your glory and the good of my fellow man. Let me act in humility, patience, and decency at all times, seeing my own error and overlooking the faults of others; and let me always know the presence of your Holy Spirit, to remind me of what I have asked, in the name of my savior Jesus Christ,
Prayer to be Free of Anger
Lord Christ, you taught us that anger with our brethren is a violation of your law, that it condemns us just as murder condemns us. Let me see clearly that anger is moral filth, as your servant James taught us. And yet, anger arises in my mind. [Pause to remember occasions when you have been angry recently.] I repent my anger, and ask that I be forgiven for this sin, by my faith in you.
Holy Spirit, be with me now and help me to recognize my anger instead of denying it. Teach me to forgive each and every act that makes me angry. Where I have been directly offended, grant me the spirit of forgiveness; where I have become angry over things I have seen other people do or heard them say, imbue me with such a powerful sense of acceptance that my anger will disappear. Let me remember always, Holy God, that I am not in charge of the world; You are. Give me total faith that you know what you are doing.
I pray not to live with suppressed anger, nor to deceive myself by denying my anger when I have merely suppressed it, but let it be utterly abolished within me. Grant me to live in love and peace, as my Savior did and taught us to do. Let my anger be crucified, I pray in your name, Lord Christ,
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.
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
How many books are there in the Bible?
The Cause of Misery
The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.
~ C.S. Lewis
Exodus 34: 25-29 (ESV)
The Versions of the Ten Commandments 
“You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover remain until the morning.
The best of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.
You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
And the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Notes on the Scripture
. . . continued from previous lesson.
Our trip through the rather odd-sounding commandments in Exodus 34 ends with the completely baffling stricture: “Thou shalt not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.” Feel free to laugh; the first thing that comes to mind when hearing this is, “No problem. Never done it, never intend to.” But the truth of this commandment, its importance, and the degree to which Christians ignore it, will give most people unfamiliar with it a bit of a shock. It has almost nothing to do with goats, milk, or what we can eat.
Boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk was a primary fertility ritual in Egypt and Canaan at the time. It was thought to magically increase the number and health of the offspring in a goat herd. A similar practice was planting a small amount of a second seed in a field; say, scattering a bit of barley seed in a field of wheat. These are not rituals directly associated with worship of an idol. They are simply superstitions.
So, do we think the number 13 is unlucky, or the number 7 is lucky? Throw salt over our shoulder when we spill it? Fear a black cat crossing our path? Shrink from opening an umbrella inside the house?
Yes, we do, most of us. But we must realize, and realize well: These “harmless” superstitions are an affront to God. We are allowing ourselves to be drawn into the fringe of magic. What do we think, what is going through our mind, when we practice superstitions? What power in the universe is going to give us good or bad luck depending on where a cat runs?
Superstitions violate the ten commandments. They are, first off, a total lie. We are not going to make a new friend just because we find a penny. A horseshoe or rabbit’s foot will not make us luckier. But that is not the point here. The point is, superstition is just a less fully developed indulgence of our natural tendency to idolatry. Given free rein, this natural tendency will result in voodoo dolls and cutting off the heads of chickens. It saps the strength of faith.
In most cases these little superstitions seem fairly harmless, but they violate the First Commandment. They pay homage to a supernatural power that is not God. If you have superstitions, think of this: Standing up against them is a magnificent step forward in your life with Christ. There is no other God but God! We can give 100% of our faith and trust to Him.
Christ is not going to let us come to harm just because a black cat runs in front of us. “Well,” I might tell myself, “probably not, but I’ll just avoid it anyway to play it safe.” Play it safe against what? The possibility that Jesus is not real? That He is not going to save us, but this unknown power that makes the number 13 unlucky will?
We all do worse things than engaging in little superstitions; but overcoming them will free us from one of the shackles that slow us down in our journey towards Jesus. We can just clean out whatever corner of our mind that idiotic superstition has been occupying and make a little more room for the Holy Spirit.