Daily Devotion for February 11, 2011
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 is much more contemporary in sound than most of the music we use, but I hope you'll give it a chance -- this woman has a real gospel voice and a wonderful message.
"For Each New Morning"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
I thank thee.
Prayer for the Nation
Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; I humbly pray that we may always prove ourselves a people who remember your favor and are glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.
Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here from so many different lands and languages. Grant the spirit of wisdom those to whom we entrust with the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may demonstrate your praise among the nations of the earth. In times of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and days of trouble, do not let our trust in you fail; all which I ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
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.
would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.
Take Up Your Bed and Walk (2)
And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, �It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.�
He answered them, �He who made me well said to me, �Take up your bed and walk.��
Then they asked him, �Who is the Man who said to you, �Take up your bed and walk�?� But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, �See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.�
The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Notes on the Scripture
Mosaic Law (that is, the set of laws governing Jewish conduct that began with Moses) gives a wide range of laws that interpret the Ten Commandments. The fourth (or in many churches, third) commandment, "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy", is amplified into a long list of specific things that may or may not be done between sundown on Friday and sundown on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath), with specific exceptions for specific circumstances.
Obviously, carrying a bed is work that is forbidden on the Sabbath. But as we will learn, Christ supersedes the Laws of Moses, and he will frequently run afoul of Jewish religious leaders on that account. Remember, though, that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. (Matthew 5:17) Christians can certainly follow Mosaic Law almost entirely. A good Christian can practically live as an Orthodox Jew (from the person's perspective -- the Jews would not appreciate him spouting off about Christ, as they believe the Messiah has not yet come). But not quite. For example, the law that forbids eating a meal with a non-believer could easily run afoul of a Christian teaching.
It is still God's will that we respect the general meaning of the Ten Commandments, for example, but Christianity often reinterprets the letter of them. The most common case is respecting the Sabbath. Very few Christians observe the Sabbath or even know when it occurs. On the other hand, the meaning of the commandment is reinterpreted and followed by devotion on Sunday, and (in more restrictive denominations) refusing to work. The Puritans followed an especially strict set of rules for Sunday conduct.
Most of us would be better off to pay more attention to keeping the Sabbath or Sundays holy. But the lesson today is the first glimpse we get, in John, of just how much authority Christ has asserted; he can act and teach that the very word of God concerning how men conduct their lives, the law given by God himself to Moses, has been changed because of his arrival. In short, he asserts the authority of God himself.