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May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.


Daily Devotion for March 18, 2023


Revelation 19, Bible
Lucas Cranach the Elder did a set of rather startling and vivid illustrations for Martin Luther’s Bible in 1534. This woodcut depicts a scene from Revelation 19, in which the seven-headed beast falls into a lake of fire, as Christ’s army triumphs.

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” today features rare movie footage of life and worship during the Depression, set to a popular hymn of the time, I'll Fly Away (1929).




Prayer for the Morning

Dear Lord, thank you for this beautiful day. Look after me and protect me throughout the day. Give me the wisdom to see and experience Your world in all its beauty. Let me experience the wonder of your creation.

Protect my family and those closest to me. Let me share with the world today, learning, growing, and contributing, and make the world a better place for all who know me, and for those who don't.

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 Know God’s Word

lighthouse, light unto the nations

Heavenly Lord, I pray to be able to read the Bible and learn your truth. Give me the spirit of understanding and wisdom, for you know how difficult it can be sometimes. Let me understand and absorb the words in your Bible, dear God, and let me see beyond the words on the page and know your true and full Word, Jesus Christ.

Let me not be impatient; let my vision not be distorted by my bias, or my preconceptions, or my foolishness, or the foolishness of the world around me. Give me the courage to change my mind, when that is necessary. Let me know you as you intend for me to know you, I pray, O God; let me find my way to you, for I crave to know you and be with you, now and for all of my life,

Amen.

Community of Prayer

I  pray to you, dearest Jesus, for all the graces I need to know you, to love you and serve you faithfully unto death, and to save my soul. Give me a tender and fervent devotion to your sacred passion by which I was redeemed, venerating you each day in prayer, and teach me how to unite sorrows and sufferings of my life with your own.

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.




endless knot

Isaiah 10:1-3 (NKJV)

Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees,
Who write misfortune,
Which they have prescribed;

To rob the needy of justice,
And to take what is right from the poor of My people,
That widows may be their prey,
And that they may rob the fatherless.

What will you do in the day of punishment,
And in the desolation which will come from afar?
To whom will you flee for help?
And where will you leave your glory?


Blue Latin Cross

1 John 2:21-25 (ESV)

I

write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us — eternal life.


Notes on the Scripture

Who is the Antichrist?

As his poem earlier in the chapter indicated, this pastoral epistle is not motivated by a need to teach basic Christian beliefs. It is intended for church members who are believers and grounded in the faith. Something odd was going on, however.

We don’t really understand the situation completely. But by implication we can see that some Christian person or sect had arisen that denied the divinity of Jesus, or was at least preaching that He was not the Jewish Messiah.

So John gets back to the most basic lesson of Christian belief, to reinforce something his listeners already knew; and if it was good for them to hear, it would be good for us to remind ourselves of it, as well.

Jesus from illuminated Bible

Nobody can come to God except through Jesus Christ. Period. Muslims do not know God and will not know eternal life. Very nice people who lead good lives and are beloved by their fellow men will have no place in heaven, because judgment is not a democratic institution. “Judgment is mine, saith the Lord.” Moreover, anyone teaching the opposite is “the antichrist.”

Because of Hollywood horror movies, people have an odd picture in their mind of what “antichrist” means. But since this is the only place in the Bible where the term is used, we must concentrate on what John tells us it actually means: A person who has come to have faith, but then teaches that Christ is not the Son of God and the sole means of salvation.

The civil right of freedom of worship is a fine and good thing, but Christians must not let it sneak into their minds to become a moral value. If you hear a Christian minister, or anyone speaking as a Christian, who says that maybe Muslims or Buddhists have found a different path to God, they are not only deluded; they are the very people John calls antichrists, for they contradict one of the most basic tenets of Christian faith:

I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.

(John 14:6.)


Woman praying meditation

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“Strike a Blow to Myself”

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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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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon





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