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Daily Devotion for November 27, 2021


<i>A Prayer for Those at Sea</i> by Frederick Daniel Hardy, ca. 1868.
A Prayer for Those at Sea by Frederick Daniel Hardy, ca. 1868.

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.

Our “Saturday Oldie” features the golden voice of “Gentleman” Jim Reeves.

I try to resist becoming an old fuddy-duddy, but I think the world has lost something when we can no longer hear such a sweet, comforting Christian message broadcast on popular radio or television.




To Wield the Sword of Faith

Flood me with your Spirit, O God. Drown Satan in a deluge of your mighty power! Shake the foundations of hell. Let the beauty and love of Christ pour through me like a cataract. Let me wield the Sword of Faith. Renew me, empower me, purify me this day to your Great Commission.

Amen.

To Focus on God

I  am so sorry, Lord, that I let the worries of the day push ahead of you in my mind. Please help me to keep your Holy Spirit in the forefront of my thoughts, throughout the day.

Amen.

To Sustain Faith from Boredom


lighthouse, light unto the nations

Lord, sometimes I feel myself growing weary with my faith, with you, with prayer, with everything good and Godly in life. I feel a pain where before they was joy and hope. I know you do not want us to feel guilty, but how can I not feel guilty, when I admit to myself that my love for you felt stronger yesterday or last week or last year, than it does now.

Come to me, Holy Spirit, and drive away my apathy. Forgive me for the smallness and selfishness of my mind. Take away this sense of tedium with your Word, your love, the wondrous gift of eternal life; fill me with zeal and hope, knowing that your plans for me are glorious, and all that I have or will ever have comes from you.

Amen.

Benediction

God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and Spirit of God amidst us, direct our way unto you. Make us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

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.


Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

What does James 2:17 tell us?

Answer: “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”



Luke 22, Not my will but your will be done.

Psalm 106:1-5 (NKJV)

Praise the Lord!
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?
Who can declare all His praise?
Blessed are those who keep justice,
And those who do righteousness at all times!

Remember me, O Lord, with the favor You have toward Your people.
Oh, visit me with Your salvation,
That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones,
That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation,
That I may glory with Your inheritance.


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 7:7-11 (ESV)

Sermon on the Mount - Ask, and It Will Be Given
A

sk, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!


Notes on the Scripture

We have made our reading of Matthew sufficiently detailed that we can talk about translation on occasion, and we must do so here. In English, the imperative mood is used for commands or strong requests, such as “Go home!” The Greek for “ask”, “seek”, and “knock” are in the Greek imperative mood, but are translated in English as a simple declarative conditional. That is, we read this in English as saying “if you ask, it will be given to you.”

But realizing that the Greek is in the imperative mood gives the first paragraph a different meaning, in two ways. First off, Christ is not telling us simply that if we knock, it will be opened. He is commanding us to ask, knock, and seek, and assuring us a reward when we comply.

Secondly, the Greek form of these verbs implies a continual action. In English, it sounds like we are being told to take a single action; but the Greek reads more like “knock constantly” or “always be asking.” We thus avoid the error of thinking that if we ask for something tonight, it will be delivered by morning post, which is not what the passage means. Christ is not advertising some sort of cosmic room service.

Eventually, we will receive “it”; but “it” is ambiguous. Christ does not promise we will get a specific item that we ask for. He does promise that we will receive good things.

We should not fear to ask God for what we want, whether or not we think we will receive exactly what we ask for, because God loves for us to ask Him for things. But what is the “it” we will get? First off, what we will not get is a fake. Notice how each of the specific bad items (in the second paragraph) somewhat resembles the good thing asked for. So in response to a petition, God is not going to punish us or play a trick on us.

The gods were notorious for nasty trickery in Greek mythology. Zeus offered Aurora (the Greek goddess of dawn) one request, and she asked that her mortal lover (Tithonus) live forever. So Zeus made Tithonus immortal - but not eternally young. So Aurora’s lover got older and older, until he was little more than a pile of dust.

So, if we think we would be better off if we had a brand new Mercedes CL that costs $200,000, we should ask God for it. God, who loves us (often more than we love ourselves) and is smarter than we are, will give us something good — but it may not be what we requested. If it is not, it is because God gives us something better. (It might not seem likely that receiving a luxury automobile would be “good for us,” as luxury goods are tied to avarice, pride, and worldliness, but who knows? None of us can speak God’s mind.)

It serves us well, in this regard, to recall the request of Solomon: 1 Kings 3:1-15 or 2 Chron. 1. As we mature in our faith, we become less and less likely to ask God for an expensive car. For our reflection and meditation, we might study the petitions in The Lord’s Prayer: E.g. “Give us this day our daily bread”; “Forgive us our trespasses”; or, especially, “Thy will be done.”

One thing Christ does not say, but can fairly be implied, is that if we do ask for a serpent, the Father might give us a fish instead. This makes immediate sense to any parent whose 6-year-old asks for, say, a machine gun. If a parent knows that a requested gift will hurt the child, he will substitute something beneficial.

Finally, let us summarize the primary point of these verses: We should never stop asking, seeking, and knocking. God wants us to pester Him constantly. He has promised us that He will reward us, even if He is too loving to give us exactly what we request.

We must interrupt our study of Matthew for Advent and the Christmas season, although we will be read the first few chapters for Christmas. We will pick up where we left off (with Matt. 7:12) on January 7.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“True Humility”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 5:39, 44: I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. . . . [L]ove your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.



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Comments (3)

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Regular
Roxannesays...

Good morning to the 510 saints up in devotion and praying. Have an amazing day.

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Regular
Thomassays...

The song today was wonderful, thanks Mason. But I resemble that "becoming an old fuddy-duddy" comment...

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Regular
Claudette(Bucasia, Queensland, Australia)says...

Loved the Notes on the Scripture of today, thank you Mason! I do a lot of 'door knocking'! My constant meditation prayers are ALSO the three that you mentioned, and my biggest knock is . . .'but deliver us from evil'.

The prayer 'To wield the Sword of Faith' in today's prayer section, resonates very strongly with me. I was almost in tears as I read it!

May the good Lord have mercy on us all!

Thank you Mason, for starting my day with such beautiful prayers.

Many blessings to you and yours.

Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Nov 26, 2021 were:
Norman Daniels (12)
Allison King (12)
randall martin (12)
Keith Langley (11)
Margaret Entwistle (11)
Tom Kraft (11)
Suzanne Rigsby (11)
Felix Trim (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Keith Langley (9 out of 9)
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
Allison King (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)

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