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Daily Devotion for September 20, 2021

God’s in His heaven



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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.


A live performance by Kim Walker-Smith singing with Jesus Culture. “I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.”

Prayer to the Holy Spirit to be with Me This Day

In utter humility, before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I come before you this morning, Eternal Spirit of God, to offer myself, my soul and body to you. I live in awe of your purity, your justice, and the power of your love. You are the strength and light of my soul, for without you I have neither life nor goodness. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you.

Mercifully guard my every thought; and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to listen first for your voice in everything I may say or do, this day and always,


For Contentment

Heavenly Father, I have spent my life constantly wanting more. Let me be content. If I am having trouble paying my bills, let me look to those who live in cardboard shacks without clean water; if my vision is poor, let me help the blind; if my mobility is impaired, let me visit a prison filled with those who can walk and run; if I envy the young, let me pray for those who were killed by their mothers in the womb.

I too often look to those who have something I do not, or more of something I want; let me give thanks for the great bounty you have showered upon me, oh Lord, remembering in my envy and pain that all I have is a gift from you. In the name of Christ I pray,



Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.

~ Psalm 146:2


May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.


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.

Illuminated Bible, Gospel
Evangelarium from the Lindisfarne Gospels, created around 700 A.D. at the island monastery of Lindisfarne, off the northeast coast of England.

The Year’s At The Spring

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;

The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his Heaven —
All’s right with the world!

~ Robert Browning

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 4:23-25 (ESV)

Jesus Ministers to Great Crowds

nd he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.

And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

Notes on the Scripture

The first 3 1/2 chapters of Matthew describe occurrences that are important, but introductory: His birth, early life, baptism, temptation, etc. At 4:23 we see a shift, as Matthew plunges us into the actual ministry of Jesus. This is the bulk of the book and will continue until it gradually shifts focus to His preparations for the crucifixion.

Matthew’s great strength lay in recording Jesus’ words. Without him, we would live in a different world, for a majority of Jesus’ teachings would be lost, especially his direct instructions on how we should live. But as a history of the life of Jesus, it lacks some of the details of the other gospels.

In today’s lesson, we are given no details at all. The passage must cover a goodly period of time and distance, for enough time passed that word of Christ spread at least as far south as Jerusalem, east into the Greek cities on the other side of the Jordan (the “Decapolis”), and north into Syria. (See Map.) This would have taken time in an era when both travel and communications were primitive.

Apostle Matthew by Van Dyck
(A. van Dyck, 1620)

Also, Matthew was called as a disciple fairly late, possibly last among the twelve apostles. Matthew describes his call in Ch. 9, but Luke and Mark seem to put it earlier. Harmonizing the chronology of the four gospels is beyond the scope of our study, but Mark and Luke seem more interested in putting the events of Jesus’ life in correct order; while Matthew arranges his gospel in teaching modules. (If this interests you, a good starting point is Luke 6.)

Three activities are named. First, Jesus taught in synagogues. These were numerous, for it took only ten Jewish men to form a synagogue. Sacrifices were made only at the Temple in Jerusalem, so synagogues were strictly educational in nature. They were almost like Quaker meeting-houses, for there was no designated preacher. At a meeting, a portion of the Torah would be read, prayers would be said, and educated members of the congregation would teach. Learned visitors were most welcome to speak, since they would bring new knowledge and fresh viewpoints.

As we will see in later chapters, Jesus might have had a fresher viewpoint than most synagogues had counted on; he would, in fact, cause a furor with his revolutionary and even heretical teachings.

Secondly, he “proclaimed the gospel.” That is, he told them the good news, that the Kingdom of God had arrived. Whether he lay claim to divinity during this period, we do not know. But he surely attacked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and laid the foundation for the new covenant: that salvation would require a change within, not simply compliance with the law of Moses.

Third, he healed. Generally, healing by Christ and his apostles would occur only in a person who had faith in him and his word. This was not some reward, not a method to manipulate people into outward protestations of faith. It was rather a sign that Christ could remit sin, and not just personal sin, but the sin of Adam which had engendered all human misery.

endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Salvation by Grace”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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Comments (1)


Mason, I truly enjoyed reading your interpretation of today's memory verse:

Ephesians 2:8-9. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." For anyone reading this, if you need additional information about Faith, read Hebrews 11. Paul provides some excellent examples.

Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Sep 19, 2021 were:
Norman Daniels (11)
randall martin (11)
Visitor Dozier (11)
Pam Carpenter (10)
Cindy Moniz (10)
Gary Merriman (10)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Stanley Clowes (9 out of 9)
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)

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