Daily Devotion for November 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.
Secret Garden, a Norwegian Christian group, is not as well known as they deserve; they wrote and first performed both this song and You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban’s great hit.
Thanks for Life
O mighty God, I was born a weak, defenseless child, but Your angel spread his wings over my cradle to defend me. From birth until now Your love has illumined my path, and has wondrously guided me towards the light of eternity; from birth until now the generous gifts of Your providence have been marvelously showered upon me. I give You thanks, with all who have come to know You, who call upon Your name. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer of Trust When We Feel Lost
Lord God, sometimes I feel like a lost child, alone in the woods or on a strange street. I cannot see the road ahead of me. I fear what lies in the shadows.
I have no idea where I am going. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself. And even though I am trying to follow your will, sometimes I can’t be sure whether I am or not. Sometimes, I think, I am fooling myself. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and that you will direct me, even if sometimes I get it wrong.
I hope and pray that I will at least not do anything today that I am certain will displease you, and I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always. Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my troubles alone.
“After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.”
~ Italian Proverb
Blessing of Mark
O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.
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.
Love Like God
To love someone means to see him as God intended him.
~ Feodor Dostoevsky
1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)
ikewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Notes on the Scripture
The Greek for this passage reads that men should live with their wives “according to knowledge.” Knowledge and ignorance, in the context of Peter’s epistle, have a specific meaning. Consider his teaching, “Do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” (1 Peter 1:14-15)
So the passage does not mean only that a man should “understand” his wife — something one might hear from a modern marriage counselor — but also, that he should treat his wife in the knowledge that he is a holy priest of God. Implicit in this is that a married couple should love each other.
But “love” means something different than what we call “being in love,” an emotion of nature, the powerful attraction of desire. It is rather a specific example of Peter’s great admonition in Chapter 1: “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”
Treating others with humility and honor is a general obligation. “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” And indeed, because of the nature of marriage, husbands and wives often face great difficulty in practicing this form of love towards one another.
As in the preceding verses, there is another phrase to anger secular feminists, “honor to the woman as the weaker vessel.” But Peter does not say “weaker people.” He uses the term “vessel,” which refers to the body in which our souls are kept. There is no real issue about the general physical strength given to the male body which, moreover, never has to endure pregnancy and childbirth.
But the discussion about secular feminism is irrelevant for a second reason: This teaching is addressed to men, not women, and the dictate is that men must honor their wives as the “weaker vessel.” In other words, not abuse or bully them physically, and to take into account the gender-specific problems that women may face. Concerning this last point, there are plenty of women who are physically stronger than their husbands, and yet, Peter does not qualify his admonition. Even a weak, sick, or disabled man must apparently give consideration to his wife’s gender, in the way he treats her.