Daily Devotion for July 23, 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.
chosen e'er to witness for his name,
Far and wide we tell the Father's story,
Far and wide his love proclaim.
Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing.
God our strength will be;
press forward ever,
Called to serve our King
Called to know the richness of his blessing
Sons and daughters, children of a King -
Glad of Heart, his holy name confessing,
Praises unto him we bring.
To Serve God
Teach me, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that I do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Almighty Christ, let me look into that place beyond space and time where you dwell, from where you came and to which you will return. Let me look to you and be saved: Beyond material things, beyond the insistent desires of my flesh, beyond the reach of Satan.
Give me the faith that can save me from despair, the faith that will dissolve my worry and care, the faith that can bring peace beyond all understanding. Let me move every day towards absolute faith in you, for there lies the strength I need to follow you without reservation. Let me find, every day, more and more faith, that I may have an ever-renewing vitality and power, and live in the conviction that you and only you can and will take care of me, forever.
Prayer for Christian Unity
O almighty God, who has built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head cornerstone: Grant that all who profess the name of Christ may be joined together in unity of spirit and faith, setting aside all doctrinal quibbling of our fallible human minds; that we may be a holy temple, a royal priesthood, acceptable to you, living in unity and Godly love as you have commanded us to do.
“God has no use for the prayers of people who won’t listen to Him.”
The blessing of the Lord rest and remain upon all his people, in every land, of every tongue; the Lord meet in mercy all that seek him; the Lord comfort all who suffer and mourn; the Lord hasten his coming, and give us, his people, the blessing of peace.
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.
2 Baruch 70:3-5 (Apocrypha)
And they will hate one another and provoke one another to fight. And the despised will rule over the honorable, and the unworthy will raise themselves over the illustrious.
And many will be delivered to the few, those who were nothing will rule over the strong, the poor will be greater in number than the rich, and the impious will exalt themselves over the brave. The wise will be silent, and the foolish will speak.
Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV)
The Nature of Christ
ong ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Notes on the Scripture
We do not know who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. It was once thought to be Paul, but now we know he almost certainly could not have written it, despite theological similarities in the message. But the message, not the messenger, is what counts: it thoroughly reconciles Judaism to the new covenant and explains to the Jews how Christ had changed their relationship to God. It begins by acknowledging the truth of the prophets as God’s spokesmen.
God talks to Amos
on a wall.
The phrase “many times and in many ways” seems like a quick, shallow nod to diverse prophets, but think about it. The Bible is immensely diverse, to the point that it is difficult to understand how it all fits together. God walked with Adam; thereafter, He drowned almost the entirety of humanity. He appeared to the Hebrews in Sinai as a firey entity so terrifying that to look on Him meant death; He appeared to Abraham as a man, so intimately that it was like one friend talking to another. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Most of this happened before Moses was born and Judaism began — before the huge mass of history and prophecy that makes up the bulk of the Old Testament.
Moreover, after Moses we see two very different kinds of prophets: Those like Isaiah and Amos, who predict the future and are primarily known as prophetic authors, and those like Elijah and Elisha, whose were men of action and left nothing in the way of writing. Christians today think very seldom of Elijah, yet he was the most holy of all the prophets. In the Gospels, we hear many times that Elijah will come again before the Messiah, and he is one of two prophets who appear during the Transfiguration (e.g. Mark 9:2-13).
We are in a sense fortunate, as Christians, for God has much simplified our religion! All of this unmanageably large and diverse portfolio of prophets points to one person: Jesus Christ. Christ was, and is, the heir of all things.
He was not simply God’s messenger, but stood in the same position as the Father. In fact, Christ had been the vehicle by which God had made the universe. We learned this in the first verses of the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word . . . . by Him all things were made.”
In the final sentence of the second paragraph, the theme of inheritance, so strongly stated in Galatians, is reiterated. The name of God was a hugely important concept to the Hebrews, so holy and fearsome that it was not spoken except on rare occasions inside the Holy of Holies, i.e. the inner sanctum of the Temple. For Christ to inherit the name of God was thus a matter of identity, which is the primary message of the Epistle: Christ is God.