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Daily Devotion for November 4, 2009



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lessons and scripture

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.


Prayer for the Morning

Good Morning My Lord:

Thank you for keeping me safe through the night,
Please watch over me during the day,
and keep me safe from harm.

Give me strength, O Lord,
So that I may make the right choices,
Be kind and good to others.

Please keep my family and friends safe,
Throughout the day and into the night,
And please let me always know you are always with me,
Guiding me and Loving me.

In Jesus Christ's name, I pray

This is a traditional American Shaker hymn.

Prayer for Grace and Strength

Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,


Community of Prayer

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us 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.

endless knot

Gospel of Matthew, 17:10-13

John the Baptist is identified with Elijah

[Christ and his disciples are coming down from the mountain, where God's voice has told them that Jesus is his son.]

His disciples asked him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come before the Messiah?"

And he answered, "Indeed, Elijah must come, and restore all things. But Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did with him whatever they wanted to. They will make the Son of man suffer the same way."

Then the disciples realized that he was speaking about John the Baptist.

Malachi 4:5

5   Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Comment on the Scripture

The scribes' belief comes from the Book of Malachi. Almost nothing is known about the person whose words are recorded in this Book. Malachi — which means "my messenger" — may not even be his name, but rather a title of respect.

As witty classics professors sometimes put it, the Greek Odyssey was written either by Homer or by somebody else with the same name. We actually know even less about Malachi than about Homer. We can state for certain, however, that the Book of Malachi was written either by Malachi, or by somebody else with the same name, or by somebody else with a different name.

There has been much conjecture, by both Jewish and Christian scholars, about his identity. Most scholars place the date of the book around the 5th Century BC. Many think that he was actually the same person as another prophet, Ezra and Mordecai being two favorite possibilities. Or he may simply be, like Homer, a person about whom nothing is known today, other than his words. His words, however, are considered authentic divine prophecy by most mainstream Jews and Christians, just as they were by the Hebrew scribes in Christ's day and age.

Malachi prophesied that Elijah would return to earth before the day of judgment, and the Israelites believed he spoke God's true word. This was interpreted to mean that Elijah would precede the Messiah. As he so often did, Christ reminds his followers that his coming is not a rejection of the first covenant or Judaism. Rather, he is the fulfillment of it. Christ implicitly embraces Malachi's prophecy, and tells us that it was fulfilled by John the Baptist.

Some authorities use the word "reincarnation", others seem to avoid the word. But many times, theology and human speculation can obscure the important point: Christ fulfilled the Old Testament. His life and work were part of a continuous realization of the promises made to Abraham and Moses.

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