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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 5, 2024


Jesus and Mary</i>, by  Lu Hongnian
Jesus and Mary, by Lu Hongnian (China, ca. 1950).

Prayers

Scripture

411 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.

Our “Contemporary Tuesday” song had me hooked from the first line: “Though I walk through a valley that feels worse than death. . . .”




To Give Our Will to God

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.

All is yours now; dispose of it wholly according to your will. Give me only your love and your grace; that is enough for me.

Amen.

Prayer of St. Francis

A Lenten Prayer

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help me, who is assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of myself and all people, let all of your servants find you mighty to save; in Jesus name I pray,

Amen.

Meditation

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”

~ C. S. Lewis

Benediction

If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my 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 3:13-15 (NKJV)

Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.

She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.


Blue Latin Cross

John 8:12-20 (ESV)

Jesus Defends His Self-Witness
A

gain Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.

Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”

They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.


Notes on the Scripture

John 8 and 9 can be difficult to read, and it is tempting just to skim over them. But we have set out to read the entire Gospel, and that means digging into the difficult parts.

The Pharisees, here, give us a foretaste of a Jewish court seeking to establish the truth of Jesus’ claim to divinity, by using Jewish legal principles. Jewish law required that two witnesses swear to a fact, in many cases, in order to prove it true. (See, e.g., Deuteronomy 19:15.) Moreover, in some cases (as far as I can tell) a person may not bear witness as to himself, although in at least some cases he can. But the context of the quoted verses shows that the Pharisees would not accept Jesus’ testimony as to his own divinity—and since the Pharisees were experts, it’s safe to say that two independent witnesses were required.

Jesus’ reply is difficult to follow, but what he says, in essence, is that he is not subject to their rules. He poses a logical quandary; because if he is not the Son of God, he would be subject to their jurisdiction and would not be able to prove that he is the Son of God. But if what he says is true, and he is the Son of God, then they have no right to require him to follow their procedures.

He then spins logic around even further by saying that he does have two witnesses, himself and his Father. When the Pharisees ask him to produce his Father as a witness, he tells them that they cannot know him—and cannot take testimony from him—unless they first accept that he is the Son of God.

This is the logical quandary that we all face in our faith. Once we come to accept Christ, we know God, and we need no “proof.” But if a person does not know Christ, he cannot know God, and God’s existence cannot be proven to him.

The solution to this eternal dilemma is something Jesus says, which we have already read in the Gospel of John. If we truly seek God, and are “poor in spirit” —that is, if we do not fill our minds with our own preconceptions—we will find Christ. To find the kingdom of God, one must first seek it. If a person is skeptical, Jesus cannot be proven to him; but if he seeks God, no proof is necessary, because the person will find Him himself.



Archangel Michael defeats Satan, Guido Reni ca. 1635
St. Michael Archangel by Guido Reni (ca. 1635). The final triumph of light over darkness. Michael, the embodiment of the Church militant, defeats a grotesque Satan in a scene based on the Book of Revelation.

Daily Inspiration

“Song of Solace”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Romans 8:18: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.



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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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