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Daily Devotion for June 16, 2021


<i>Christ Blessing the Children</i> by Lucas Cranach the Elder, ca. 1545.
Christ Blessing the Children, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, ca. 1545.
Cranach treated this subject often. This charming version is inscribed, at the top, “VNND SIE BRACHTEN KINDLIN ZU IHM DAS ER SIE ANRVRET. MARCVS AM X” (“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them. Mark Ch. 10”).

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.

A superb live performance of the old favorite, How Great Thou Art, from Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill.




Morning Prayer of George Washington

Almighty God, and most merciful father, who commanded the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day; receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee. I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated to thine own service and for thine own honor.

George Washington praying

Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do my own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou require of me.

And since thou art a God of pure eyes, and will be sanctified in all who draw near to thee, who does not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in thy courts: Pardon, I beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into thy temple, and compass thine altar, my prayers may come before thee as incense.

And as thou would hear me calling upon thee in my prayers, so give me grace to hear thee calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith, and that it may accomplish in me, Gracious God, the good work for which thou have sent it.

Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God & guide this day and for ever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

Prayer for Family and Friends

Blessed are you, loving Father, for all your gifts to me and those close to me. Blessed are you for giving me family and friends to be with me in times of joy and sorrow, to help me in days of need, and to rejoice with me in moments of celebration.

Father, I praise you for your son Jesus, who knew the happiness of family and friends, and in the love of your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.

Amen.

Meditation

Try thinking not “is it right or wrong,” but “does it honor God?”


Dedication

Let me not forget my prayers as I go out into the world. Holy Spirit, be with me, and let me praise you and remember you in my every action and thought, for the entire day long. In Christ’s name I ask this,

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.



endless knot

Making it Possible

“Men ought to seek with their whole hearts to be filled with the Spirit of God. Without being filled with the Spirit, it is utterly impossible that an individual Christian or a church can ever live or work as God desires.”

~ Andrew Murray


Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 6:10 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Time (Galatians #97)

As we have time, therefore, let us perform good towards all, and most especially towards the household of faith.


Notes on the Scripture

N

ot just one ambiguity, but three, can be found in this simple verse. What does “as we have time” mean? Does it mean (1) “we should perform good towards all when we can find the time”? Does it mean (2) “since we all have enough time,” we should be spending a lot of it in performing good? Or does it mean, (3) “since the amount of time we have before we die and/or Christ returns is limited, we need to get busy performing our good deeds”? (The same ambiguity exists in the Greek original as in the English translation.)

When we turn to context for clarification, the last choice would seem to be correct. The preceding verses speak of the time between sowing and harvesting, with an implication that there will be a considerable lag between the time we sow the seed of the Spirit, and the time we harvest the reward in heaven. So, it appears, Paul is telling us to take advantage of the summer, while our crop grows. Of course, the sow/reap analogy is not perfect and it breaks down, for a good work done one minute before we die will “ripen” at the same time as a good work done in childhood.

Monkey feeding a bird, from an illuminated Bible

The spiritual advice given here accords with well-known aphorisms of worldly life. “Make hay while the sun shines.” Any atheist can say this. The fable of the grasshopper and the ant is the same idea, set in the context of worldly living rather than spiritual life. (And, in fact, the fable may be rooted in the Bible. Proverbs 6:6-8)

In the words of Nike’s iconic advertising slogan, “Just do it!” If you want to get into shape physically, or accomplish some athletic task or meet some goal, the only way to accomplish it is to start. Why not now? And again, with spiritual goals, we may say the exact same thing. We have time now. We will have less time tomorrow. Eventually, our time on earth will run out. If we want to follow Paul’s advice to perform good towards all, when is it we propose to get started? Most of us likely have something we want to do, in this regard, and are waiting some undefined time to get started. Well . . . just do it!

At the end of the verse, we see something that most of us get right by instinct, but it is nice to know that it has God’s approval. We have a duty of good work to all people. Sending a check to starving children in some unknown part of Africa will please God. Yet, we have a primary duty towards “the household of faith,” that is, the Christian family. So, one might suppose it is fair to say, we must make sure that the world’s Christians are taken care of, and perhaps even local Christians, remembering the admonition: “The aim of your lifestyle should be to become a model of conduct to the outside world and to need nothing from them.” (1 Thess. 4:11-12)



Angel by Gustave Moreau, ca. 1890.  (Detail from <i>King David.</i>)
Angel by Gustave Moreau, ca. 1890. (Detail from King David.)

Daily Inspiration

“Forward Faith”

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Today in Daily Prayer


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Memory Verse

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12: Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, . . . so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.



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Christysays...

Jenny, I’ve always loved the accounts of Simeon and Anna, seeing the promised Savior as an infant. Your comments on “backward” and “forward” faith in Jesus added new insight to that incident, and its application to my life.

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