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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 21, 2023


“Joseph and Jacob Reunited”, illustration from <i>The History of Joseph and His Brethren</i>, by Owen Jones, 1869
“Joseph and Jacob Reunited,” illustration from The History of Joseph and His Brethren, by Owen Jones, 1869.

Prayers

Scripture

456 people in our community are currently praying with you.

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.

If you are listening to this song, performed by Crowder, I want to tell you that God really loves you. You are not alone.

I pray that whatever is hurting you or stressing you gets better. May the dark thoughts, the overthinking, and the doubt exit your mind right now. May clarity replace confusion. May peace and calmness fill your life. Amen.




Prayer for Morning

In the morning when I rise, I give praise to my God, who shows His glory in the sun. O Lord God, you are the source of all warmth, all light, all sustenance. You bring us out of the darkness of ignorance and the blindness of death every day, that we might remember who made us and who sustains us. Your sun is a promise, that the night of death will end and you will rise again, and with you, all who confess the name of your blessed Son, Christ Jesus.

Let me remember you when I rise and all the day, my God, every waking moment; and let me sleep each night in peace, confident that I will rise with your sun once again, in the time you have chosen for me.

Amen.

Prayer to Love Others

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom you have taught us that love is the greatest good; defend me this day against all the instincts that tempt me away from love of my fellow man. Let me put aside every sort of prejudice and bias against other people who are different from me: those who have a different gender, or skin color, or accent, or who have different ideas about politics or how to drive a car or any of the thousand other differences that Satan uses to drive a wedge between me and all the other people of earth.

group prayer

Let me accept others for who they are. Let me know that they are your creatures, and that you love them just as you love me. Let me not be stingy with my affection or my support of others out of jealousy, or greed, or pridefulness; but look upon the work of others, and their well-being, as I look upon my own.

I am weak, Lord, and I often stumble and let myself lapse into irritation or anger at others; but through your Holy Spirit, all things are possible; and I ask that today you be with me at every moment, and fill me with the capacity for love that only your Spirit can bring to me. In the name of my Lord Christ I ask this,

Amen.

Meditation

“God has two dwellings – one in heaven and the other in a thankful heart.”

~ Izaar Walton


Benediction

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.

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

Proverbs 17:5 (NKJV)

Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 46:8-26 (abridged)(ESV)

N

ow these are the names of the descendants of Israel, who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons. Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. [Names of Jacob’s other eleven sons and their children.]

All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own descendants, not including Jacob’s sons’ wives, were sixty-six persons in all. And the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two. All the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy.

[unabridged version]



Notes on the Scripture

Joseph Brings His Family to Egypt

These verses of Genesis 46 comprise a detailed roster of all the male (and some of the female) Israelites who entered Egypt. These were truly the “Israelites” now, that is, the bloodline descendants of Israel (Jacob), and so they have been called ever since.

Flight into Egypt by Gustav Dore 1865

The need for this detailed genealogy is to establish — for a period of over 3000 years — one’s legitimate claim to the birthright of Abraham’s descendants. Judaism was racial as well as religious, and one’s right to participate in the old covenant with God was determined by one’s ability to trace one’s lineage to one of the twelve sons of Jacob. (The Jews make the lineage of the kings and queens of England look recent, and the Mayflower Society like utter arrivistes!)

The date when the Jews entered Egypt is difficult to place. Neither Potiphar nor Joseph appear in Egyptian records (or anywhere else outside the Bible). On the Jewish calendar, Joseph was purchased in the year 2216, which is 1544 BC. The difficulties in establishing the time frame drives scholars to distraction, and gives rise to periodic claims that none of it even happened.

But of every hard fact in the Old Testament, this might be the most credible, even to a person who is not a believer, due to the extraordinary detail of the record. It is, in fact, one of the most extraordinary ancient historical documents in existence; there really is nothing else like this part of Genesis, for it records the detailed events of a group of people who were, at the time, simply and completely inconsequential.

They were a small band of nomads and herders of cattle and sheep, an occupation contemptible in the eyes of the Egyptians. The Pharaoh’s granting them the right to graze a bit of land would have been a minor two-minute formality in the boring routine of the court. To the secular eye, it was one of a million moments in ancient history, most of them lost forever, of no more apparent importance to the great world than a drop of water flowing into the Mediterranean.



The Duomo (Cathedral) in Siena, Italy.
The Duomo (Cathedral) in Siena, Italy.

Daily Inspiration

“A Cardboard Box”

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Today in Daily Prayer

New Music

I am so thankful, a couple of you mentioned Crowder, whom I had never heard about. So here you go!

Memory Verse

Matthew 5:34: I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool . . . . Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.



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