Daily Devotion for November 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.
You may not know that this song was written by country singer Hank Williams (Sr.)
Prayer for the Morning
I bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of thy law, so that we might know our sin, and thy Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,
Dedication to Service
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,
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.)
But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
Romans 10:1-4 (ESV)
Paul's Prayer for the Jews
Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Notes on the Scripture
The "them" about whom Paul is speaking is those Jews who have not accepted Christ, their own Messiah. They seek the righteousness of God diligently, but without knowledge. The verse could apply to many non-Christians, for their are many who seek God and righteousness with zeal; but their lack of knowledge will defeat them.
The message of the first half of Romans has had some very hard edges to it. There will be a time of death and there will be a day of judgment; and much of what seems easy to sweep under the carpet today, will become a source of extreme regret.
The general source of Paul's regret is people who try to be righteous without first finding Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit. If you decided to do something you knew nothing about, what is the first thing you would do? If you are smart, you would read a book or at least ask someone who knows.
If you want to build a house, you must first lay the foundation correctly; if you want to build a corporation, you must first file proper articles of incorporation; if you want to grow an orange grove, you must first graft the seedlings correctly. If you do not, no matter how much zeal and energy and good intentions you may have, you will one day have a moment of terrible realization, that all you have done is for naught.
Christ is in many ways the end of God's road to salvation, His final act to save humanity, but Christ is also the starting point for our journey on earth. Seeking to do good and find God's righteousness without Christ is as futile and ultimately disappointing as building a house without a proper foundation. We start with Christ, so that we may live under grace, filled with His Holy Spirit; because to follow the law, to live a life of goodness and charitable works without Christ, is futile.