Daily Devotion for June 23, 2022
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.
A phenomenon similar to Hillsong, in Australia, the Oslo Gospel Choir is not as well-known (at least in the U.S.) but has the same terrific spirit and high level of musical skill.
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,
Open the eyes of my heart;
I want to see You;
I want to see You.
To see You high and lifted up
Shining in the light of Your glory;
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy.
Holy, holy, holy,
We cry holy, holy, holy,
You are holy, holy, holy,
I want to see you.
Music and Lyrics by Michael W. Smith
A Prayer of Entreaty by Jane Austen
Compassionate Lord, give me a thankful sense of the Blessings in which I live, of the many comforts of my lot; that I may not deserve to lose them by Discontent or Indifference.
Be gracious to my Necessities, and guard me, and all I love, from Evil this day. May the sick and afflicted, be now, and ever thy care; and heartily do I pray for the safety of all that travel by Land or by Sea, for the comfort & protection of the Orphan and Widow and that thy pity may be shewn upon all Captives and Prisoners.
Above all other blessings Oh! God, for myself, and my fellow-creatures, I implore Thee to quicken our sense of thy Mercy in the redemption of the World, of the Value of that Holy Religion in which we have been brought up, that we may not, by our own neglect, throw away the salvation thou hast given us, nor be Christians only in name. Hear me Almighty God, for His sake who has redeemed me, and taught me thus to pray.
Prayer for Mercy
I confess with faith and adore You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, uncreated and immortal essence, creator of angels, of humans, and of all that exists. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.
“To feel sorry for the needy is not the mark of a Christian – to help them is.”
~ Fred Clark
Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
Money is not a blessing; it's a test.
~ Francis Frangipane
Matthew 19:27-30 (ESV)
Many of the last will be first.
Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”
Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Notes on the Scripture
fter all of the scary stuff, about it being easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven, it is time for some comfort! The apostles themselves were made anxious; in verse 25 they even ask, “Who then can be saved?” The question can only mean that they fear salvation is impossible, that the requirements are too tough.
But Jesus’ words, “through God all things are possible” gives hope to all; for God can, indeed, make a camel fit through the needle’s eye. We must remember always that the salvation of Christ is not, first and foremost, a salvation of works. It cannot be had by acts alone. It occurs in the heart and soul, when we receive the Holy Spirit.
But then we must go back to the preceding verses; holding onto the things of this world makes salvation more difficult and might make it impossible. Faith without works is, in the words of James, “dead”. If the Spirit is strong in us, we will naturally follow Christ more strongly.
The lack of a Mosaic law, the lack of a specific set of external requirements that will ensure our salvation, is sometimes disquieting. But we must remember, first, that righteousness through law failed. God only gave the law of Moses, in fact, so that we might realize that we cannot follow it. Anyone who thinks that he has done enough good deeds to earn his place in heaven is kidding himself.
But Jesus does promise heaven to the apostles, those who have given up everything — possessions, friends, family, comforts — to follow him. And (to interpret the passage), his teaching “that many who are first will be last” seems to indicate that heaven holds greater and lesser rewards, or at least, some sort of hierarchy. Christ speaks repeatedly to the effect that our actions “lay up treasure in heaven” for us, or that some will be more blessed in the afterlife than others. He might mean this literally, i.e., the more closely we follow him, the greater our joy when the new order arrives. Or, he might simply be trying to depict heaven in terms we can understand.
Nevertheless, we must strive for holiness in everything we do. We must not lie to ourselves. Loving our money, giving in to our materialism and vanity, our pride, our anger, are terrible sins, and we must constantly strive to overcome them.