Daily Devotion for November 26, 2022
Miss Nightingale was the Mother Theresa of her day (only she was Anglican rather than Catholic). By her campaign for hospital sanitation, she probably saved more lives than almost any doctor of her generation. Her vocation was a calling: “God called me in the morning and asked me would I do good for him alone without reputation.”
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.
This extraordinary footage of Ethel Waters and two children singing His Eye is on the Sparrow — a capella! — is taken from a 1952 movie, “The Member of the Wedding.”
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home?
When Jesus is my comfort (portion) -
Oh, my constant friend is He -
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me.
I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me.
To Live in God’s Presence
Dear God, I know you are with me now. I know you are with me any time I call on you, or even think about you. Let me remember, every minute of every day, that you are with me, watching me, ready to help, protecting my soul even when the things of this world give me pain.
Let my every minute be lived in your presence. Let my every action be an offering of love to you. Let my every word be a prayer.
Prayer to Remove Hardness in My Heart
Precious Lord God, I am deeply distressed at my failure to know you as fully as I want to. I do things that I do not want to do and I think things that I regret. Sometimes I feel like a phony Christian, for there is a hard place in my heart that urges me to live, not in your Spirit, but in the world.
King David in Prayer
Please, God, I beg of you, in your mighty power, melt the hardness of my heart. Of my own free will, I ask you into the deepest crevice of my being, that I may be filled with your love and holiness. I depend on you without any backup plan, Lord; for you and only you have the power to change me.
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then, of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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 Philippians 2:8 tell us?
The Best Epitaph
Carve your name on hearts, not on marble; A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered.
~ Charles H. Spurgeon
1 Peter 3:8-12 (ESV)
inally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord
are on the righteous,
and his ears
are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord
is against those who do evil.”
Notes on the Scripture
Think for a moment about what “being called” means. Someone cries out your name as a request that you come to them. Calling is verbal. It is a request from someone you cannot see to do something, hear something, perhaps learn something. As a child, a parent stood at the back door while you were playing to call you home for supper.
A God who we cannot see calls us, as individuals, to come and be saved. We do not hear a voice, because it is a spiritual calling, and we hear it with our spirit. We are informed that the time has come for us to change what we are doing. God calls us to come to him, like a parent calling a child to get off the railroad tracks, because a train is coming.
Why else would we pray, or read the Bible, or go to church? Something we do not hear with our ears calls us. It may be faint. Sometimes we may not be sure we have even heard it, but consider: Are you insane? If you have once prayed, if you have even once wanted to read the Bible, your spirit has heard the voice of Christ. Why else would you do these things?
This is the central theme of Peter’s epistle. Sometimes we limit the idea of “calling” with becoming an ordained minister or full-time missionary. But Peter says no: The more important calling is the call to belief. By our call, and by answering our call, we have become members of a “holy nation” that transcends the temporal world of countries, languages, races, genders, and denominations.
But what, exactly, were we called to? Peter gives us a number of attributes of our calling: the first, “unity of mind,” could fill a book, for brotherhood in Christ is contaminated by pridefulness. Christians have reviled and even killed each other throughout history. And these sins have had an ill effect, for many people mock the very word “Christianity” for this very reason.
God calls us to live in unity. Can we force others to bless us and call us brother and sister? No; if they are called, they will come to that conclusion eventually, but it is not our calling to revile others. It is our calling to bless.