Daily Devotion for November 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.
Heaven hear me now.
I'm lost without a cause
After giving it my all.
Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun.
After all that I've been through
Who on earth can I turn to?
I look to you. I look to you.
After all my strength is gone,
In you I can be strong.
I look to you.
I look to you.
And when melodies are gone,
In you I hear a song.
I look to you.
About to lose my breath,
There's no more fighting left,
Sinking to rise no more,
Searching for that open door.
And every road that I've taken
Lead to my regret.
And I don't know if I'm going to make it.
Nothing to do but lift my head.
My levees are broken,
My walls have come
Crumbling down on me.
When rain is falling.
Defeat is calling.
I need you to set me free.
Take me far away from the battle.
I need you to shine on me.
Music and lyrics by Robert S. Kelly
For God’s Guidance
Heavenly Father, in you I live and move and have my being: I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of my life I may not forget you, but may remember that I am ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For Past Mistakes
Holy Jesus, help me to surrender past mistakes; not to dwell on them, but to accept your forgiveness in the certainty of hope. The past is over and gone forever. Having made such restitution as is your will, there is nothing more I can do about them.
Lift the burden of my past failures from my spirit. Let me go forward in faith. Clear the clouds from my path and lighten my step. If you do not reproach me, let me hear no reproach from myself or any other person, but only your promise of new life. And bring your Word and your light and your forgiveness to all who have wrecked their lives, I pray; for your power is greater than sin, and there no human being you cannot heal, no matter how wretched and vile, if they only surrender their lives to you.
“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”
~ A. W. Tozer, from The Pursuit of God
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip me with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in me what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be 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.
Actions Speak Louder
The only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us in our daily conduct.
~ Andrew Murray
Matthew 6:24-33 (The Message)
Sermon on the Mount - Lifestyle - The Lilies of the Field
You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.
If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion — do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers — most of which are never even seen — don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Notes on the Scripture
As we pointed out previously, this passage has two primary themes: First, stop worrying so much. Second, stop paying so much attention to lifestyle. We love the glorious and beautiful King James translation of this passage, and recommend it. But the quirky, and very editorial, translation of The Message really plays into the second of these two themes.
Human beings cry out for freedom, but all of us are servants to someone or something. Atheists who say “I don’t need some so-and-so telling me how to live my life” delude themselves. They are slaves to the instincts of a dumb beast; they have little more actual “freedom” than an amoeba. What they do have is knowledge of good and evil, and therefore, sin.
Our default setting is slavery to our animal urges; but once we know God, through His Word, we come to appreciate the proper place of things — of stuff — and our possession of them.
Ultimately, all things are from God and belong to Him. No human being has ever created anything: what we call creating is actually rearranging something God created, using the mind and body He has given to us. Even our body is only a lease, our mind a rented tool God gave us to assist us in finding Him.
As Christians, we serve God, not things. Wealth is a subordinate good. Wealth, and the things it brings, and the egotism which tempts us to cherish it, are never as important as other people. For it is God’s will that we love and serve others. Philippians 2:1-4.
When we use things to place ourselves above others, we run especially afoul of the Christian goal of humility and service: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” At the last supper, Christ Himself knelt before Peter, and each of the other apostles, and washed their feet. (John 13:1-17)
Jesus was not a hypocrite. Even though He was the Son of God, he practiced humility better than anyone else in history. He did not just tell us to serve other people instead of our own ego and pocketbook; he lived it. Are we better than Him, that we deserve to have more money than He did? Are we too good, too important, to humble ourselves to other people? Because Jesus wasn’t. If God Himself rode a donkey and washed his disciples’ feet, how should we act?