Daily Devotion for October 31, 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.
When the Roll is Called Up Yonder should get us pepped up for the new week!
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
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
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. 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.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
Relying on God
Relying on God has to start all over everyday, as if nothing has yet been done.
Heirs with Christ
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Notes on the Scripture
Once we have received the Holy Spirit and accepted Christ into our hearts, how should we act? We should act differently. Paul tells us here that we have not received the spirit of slavery, but the Spirit of adoption. People who pander to their natural instincts become nothing else during their lifetimes. We think of overeating or drinking too much as self-indulgence, but it comes in many forms. Pride is perhaps the worst self-indulgence, because it poisons us against learning.
We are slaves to our pride; we are slaves to anger; but today, Paul tells us that we are slaves to fear. One great gift of the Spirit is that we do not need to live in fear; the more we accept the Spirit, the less fearful we become. As slaves of our mortal shell, we live in fear. But the spirit we have received is not the spirit of fear, it is the Spirit of adoption.
We should realize that we are not slaves, but family members. We are no more like the ungodly than a slave is like one of the children of the master of a house. So why do we act and feel like slaves? We should not.
Here, Paul admits that Christians will suffer in life. The Spirit is not here to return us to Eden; we are not going to un-eat the apple; the serpent hasn't died or gone away. If Christ suffered so much, we should not expect to be free of it. The point is, we no longer need to fear it. Christ did not fear his crucifixion, because he knew that it was temporary. The words "Abba! Father!" are a reference to Christ's words on the cross.
The pain we feel from suffering is very different depending on our attitude. Picture someone lost in the middle of the ocean, and compare that to someone who sees an island in the distance. Both may feel terrible pain from the cold water, the salt water in their mouth and nose, their cramping muscles; but the person who knows he can make it to the island suffers much less, from the same amount of pain.
Just so, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the sufferings of life will not be so painful, because you know you are going to make it to God. When we know that there are better things ahead, we can handle whatever life throws at us.