Daily Devotion for June 10, 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.
Rachmaninoff’s Russian-language “Ave Maria” has an unspeakable, ethereal beauty.
Blagoslovyena Ty v zhenakh,
Prayer To Do God’s Will Today
Thy will be done. Dear God, I am full of the sound of my own voice, that lump of pride deep within me that will not go away, no matter how I try. Give me the strength through the power of your Holy Spirit to hear your voice and follow it, fighting the temptation to sin that bubbles up inside me whenever my mind strays from you.
Thy will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will be done.
You have commanded us to love one another, this I know without doubt. And yet all day I am filled with judgments, with resentments, with anger that sneaks in and grabs me when I am not paying attention to you. I pray dear God, that you will soften my heart to my fellow humans, no matter how sinfully they may act, and leave the judging to you, as you have commanded. Fill me with acceptance in place of judgment, sympathy in place of anger, faith in place of resentment. For my judgments and anger are the creatures of pride.
May I do thy will this day, in the name of Christ I pray.
Prayer for the Troubles of the Earth
Let me not forget all of those around the world who are frightened at this moment. Help those who are victims of terrorism, war, and plague. Be with those who have lost so much in the past year. Hold us all in your loving arms and let us be comforted by the strength and peace you make available to us through the birth of your son, Jesus; and thank you for all the many gifts you offer us, during our life on earth and for all eternity.
God of mercy, swift to help: as my lips pour forth your praise, fill my heart with the peace you give to those who wait for your salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.
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 Bible verse skewers denominationalism, by asking: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
Proverbs 22:11 (ESV)
and whose speech is gracious,
will have the king as his friend.
Deuteronomy 5:28-33 (ESV)
The Versions of the Ten Commandments [Summary]
nd the Lord heard your words, when you spoke to me. And the Lord said to me, “I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!
Go and say to them, ‘Return to your tents.’ But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you the whole commandment and the statutes and the rules that you shall teach them, that they may do them in the land that I am giving them to possess.”
You shall be careful therefore to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.
Notes on the Scripture
First, the contents of the Ten Commandments is unclear. There is no numbering system, one through ten, given in the Bible. The numbers we see were added by translators and commentators, and even today, Catholic and Protestant churches number them differently.
The good news is that everything we see in any version of the Ten Commandments do, in fact, belong there. But if one reads closely through Exodus (and Deuteronomy), one finds that there were almost certainly matters written on the two stone tablets that are omitted from the modern-day version. (Personally, I think the actual first commandment might have been split into pieces and made into two, three, or four of the “Ten Commandments.” But this is just my own speculation!)
Secondly, the distinction between what most people call “The Law of Moses” and what they call “The Ten Commandments” is flawed and confused. Strict, literal obedience to any of the laws stated in the Old Testament — with the arguable exception of the First — is not required for our salvation. On the other hand, compliance with the spirit of all of the laws of Moses must inform our lives and our morals. The Ten Commandments are not the foundation of our salvation, as many people seem to believe; yet they (and other parts of the Old Testament) give us a moral code that the New Testament assumes we understand and accept.
Our primary relationship with God was changed by the coming of Christ, from one of legalistic obedience to one of faith. (E.g., Hebrews 8:7-13) This is made crystal clear by the difference between justification by works, the basis of the Old Testament, and justification by faith (or God’s grace through Jesus Christ), the basis of the New Testament. (E.g. Galatians 2:16)
But this does not mean that the laws of Moses have become null and void. When asked how to find salvation, Christ Himself would frequently cite the law; for example, nine of the Exodus 20 “ten commandments” are repeated in the New Testament. He expressly stated that He had not come to abolish the law (of Moses). (Matthew 5:17) But although the laws engraved on stone are given emphasis — and, as we have seen, there is probably more to them than most Christians understand — the New Testament is replete with references to other laws. These laws have no less applicability to us than the Ten Commandments. They are the entire basis of Christian morality and, unwittingly, non-Christian Western “morality.” The Old Covenant is obsolete; but the law of Moses is still the law of God.
As a clear (although flawed) analogy, suppose the judges in your town stopped enforcing traffic tickets. They will pay for everyone’s fines. Does this mean that the posted speed limit in a school zone is null and void? Should you now speed through a school zone? No. The reason it was there in the first place was to keep children from being hit by cars, and driving 15 or 25 miles per hour when you are near a school is still the right thing to do. Similarly, stealing and coveting are as wrong in the New Testament as in the Old; it’s just that Jesus has “paid the fine.”
Is the penalty for adultery still death by stoning? Yes. But Jesus has stepped in front of the adulterer and taken the punishment for him. (Nor can we, as sinners, judge, something we will study at length in the future.)
In short, we are obligated to be guided, in good faith, by the spirit of the laws of Moses. In modern-day terms: we are not obligated to follow the letter of the law, but if we love God, we will follow the spirit of the law. Those who are justified by their faith in Christ will live their lives under the morality of the Old Testament, as informed by the duties of love and forgiveness given such emphasis by Christ. We are not justified by good works; but we are created and saved to show forth God’s glory by doing good works. (E.g. Ephesians 2:10)