Daily Devotion for February 11, 2024
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 week our “Virtual Sunday Church” shares an anthem with the (excellent!) choir of First Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
What ever my lot you have taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though the devil will ruin, though trials may come,
Let this blessed assurance control;
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And He shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
My sin not in part but the whole.
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul.
And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
And the clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1876
Lyrics by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
Sunday Prayer of Praise to God’s Glory
Heavenly God, you are the King eternal, immortal and invisible. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God; the same yesterday, today, and forever.
All One in Christ
In times long past did you lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands: Yet they will perish, but you will endure; yes, all of them will grow old like a garment, as a coat you will change them, and they will be changed; but you are the same, and your years will have no end.
You alone are God, and do not change; and because of this, we may hope to be preserved. Are you not from eternity, O Lord our God, our Holy One? The everlasting God, even the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, who does not faint nor grow weary? There is no searching out your understanding, mighty Lord, but by our praise we may glorify your Holy Name, now and all our lives.
Prayer of Repentance
Dear God, I come to you as a sinner who is undeserving of your grace and presence. I repent all my sins and ask you to forgive me so that my request may be heard by you. Lord, have mercy on me and fill me with your grace. Wash me with the blood of your son Jesus Christ that I may shine and walk unashamed. I ask for your favor from this moment to the end of the day. I thank you, for you are faithful.
Song of Praise
Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you heavens: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all people on earth: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
O people of God bless the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you priests of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you servants of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all you of upright spirit: bless the Lord you that are holy and humble in heart.
All Bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.
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.
Psalm 92:6-8 (KJV)
A brutish man knoweth not;
neither doth a fool understand this.
When the wicked spring as the grass,
and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish;
it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:
But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore.
Acts 16:16-34 (ESV)
The Jailer in Philippi
[Paul and Silas have driven a demon out of a slave girl in Philippi—a Greek town in Macedonia—and she has become a convert. The slave owners] seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.”
The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened.
When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
Notes on the Scripture
ometimes we get into bad habits. We get stuck in a rut. All of the spirit goes out of us and we don't seem to be able to find the power to change. Often we get obsessed with some way of life: a hobby, a way of living, a daily routine.
But the Bible shows us how God can make great changes occur in our lives. Paul and Silas were thrown into a stone prison in Macedonia and their feet locked into stocks. Like a person who has been enslaved by obsession or habit, they were seemingly bound without hope of escape. But they did not despair. They prayed and sang hymns, and suddenly a great earthquake occurred. The very foundations of the prison were rocked, and Paul and Silas were set free. And the very man who was holding them in captivity was converted.
We are capable of great changes in our lives. If you are in a rut you despise, there is a way out. If you are obsessed by work, or by physical fitness, or by watching television, or by a hobby, or by alcohol, or anything else, God will send a metaphorical earthquake into your life to free you from your shackles and knock down the prison walls of your mind.
Prayer and persistence are the keys to change. It will lead you to whatever help you need and give you the courage to change. The earthly prisons in which we may find ourselves cannot withstand the mighty hand of God.
If you need to make a change, but your sin seems like a mountain before you: There is no mountain so high that God cannot surmount it. Call down the power of the mighty God of Hosts into your life! Never doubt the love God has for you, even in your darkest hour; never forget that Christ Himself sweated blood before His ultimate ordeal. Let Him be your guide, for His faith never wavered, even when this wicked world threw its biggest punch at Him.