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Daily Devotion for August 5, 2022


One flesh | Paradise Lost by John Milton

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.

Kate Smith is associated so strongly with “God Bless America” that people have forgotten her actual theme song. Written by Meredith Willson, who wrote The Music Man, and sung here by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.




For Joy in God’s Creation

O  Heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open my eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, I may learn to serve you with gladness, faithfully managing your bounty; for the sake of him by whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

To Cast Off the World

Give me thy grace, good Lord:
To set the world at nought;
To set my mind fast upon thee,
And not to hang upon the blast of men’s mouths;
To be content to be solitary,
Not to long for the world’s company;
Little and little to utterly cast off the world,
And rid my mind of all the business thereof.

Amen.

Meditation

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones. And when you have labored to accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

~ Victor Hugo


Benediction

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

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.



Marc Chagall, An Angel Painter, 1927
An Angel Painter by Marc Chagall, ca. 1927.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do,
everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 23:29-36 (ESV)

W


oe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?

Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”


Notes on the Scripture

Hypocrisy: Seeing the Past through Rose Colored Glasses

The “fathers of the Pharisees” persecuted and sometimes murdered the prophets. Not necessarily each individual’s literal, genealogical forebears; no doubt, some Pharisees could trace direct blood relation to, say, Manessah, the King of Judah who sawed Isaiah in half. But that is not what Jesus means.

The guilt for such deaths was first off, a collective one attributable to the Jewish leadership; and even more important, a theological one; the murder of God’s prophets by whoever might be in charge, because the truth was intolerable to their wicked pride. Seen from the viewpoint of Israel’s religious history, these Pharisees — who will soon kill Jesus — are the current generation in a long line of hypocritical religious leaders, who kill those openly preaching righteousness.

Paul in Prison - Rembrandt
Paul in Prison

They mourn and honor the dead prophets of the past; but in the present, they act just like the people who killed those same prophets.

Christ’s words are reiterated often in the early church; we see them in Acts and the Epistles several times. Perhaps the most notable case is the first martyr, Stephen, who was stoned to death by the members of the Sanhedrin. How did he enrage them so? For one thing, he told them that their crucifixion of Jesus was just like their forebears’ murder of the prophets. He echoed the words of Christ in today’s Scripture. (Acts 7:51-60.)

This brings up a very painful question. If Christ were alive today (in His first incarnation, not in his second coming), how many “Christians” would reject and even hate Him? Most Christians and most churches seem to work pretty hard at ignoring or “interpreting” at least a few parts of the New Testament, including direct quotes from Christ’s mouth; if not in the pulpit, at least in the consensus of the congregation. So what would happen if Jesus stood up in a service and said something roughly like today’s Scripture?

Every Christian thinks the Pharisees were the bad guys and see themselves on the side of Christ. But we see Christ “through rose colored glasses,” just as the Pharisees saw the dead prophets of old. In truth, we ourselves sometimes resemble the Pharisees, honoring Christ as the Pharisees honored the prophets, yet reacting with denial, anger and indignation if we are criticized for not following Christ’s teachings in the here-and-now.

We must always look to ourselves, first and often “only”. It is easy to see where other people have completely ignored some clear teaching in the Bible; but it is a lot harder for me to see where I am ignoring, overlooking, or explaining away something in the Bible I don’t like. So here is the painful question: If Christ were to come today as He first did, how sure am I that I would not walk away from Him, seething in resentment?





endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“My Time is My Own”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 6:25: Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.



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Comments (2)

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Senior
Paulsays...

And to add on to Roxanne's comment: I now add "Mason Barge" to my list of writers to read when I need to get my pride back in check and bring on that blessed humility (CS Lewis tops that list). Would I be any different than everyone else who scorns this person preaching uncomfortable truths? Sadly, most likely not...

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Senior
Roxanne(New York, US)says...

Good morning! Excellent question to ponder on today. What if Christ was here today? I like the thought for today. Thank you.

Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Aug 05, 2022 were:
Pam Carpenter (12)
Norman Daniels (12)
Tom Kraft (12)
Linda Lyonl (11)
Keith Langley (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9)

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