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Welcome back, Friend.

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.


Evening Devotion for June 20, 2024


<i>Going to Church</i> by William H. Johnson, ca. 1939
Going to Church by William H. Johnson, ca. 1939. Johnson was a remarkably talented primitive artist. (See full-size.)

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.

This brilliant clip comes from the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). The music features Allison Krauss and a studio choir singing the old hymn, “Down in the River to Pray.”




Prayer for the Evening

O  Lord Jesus Christ, Whose unwearied eye neither slumbers nor sleeps, but continually watches in defense of your servants; take me and mine, I beseech you, into your protection, and grant, that while my body is asleep, my soul may be awake to you, and that I may hereafter see you in that blessed and heavenly country, where you, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, rule eternally, and where all the angels, with the blessed saints, are citizens forever.

Amen.

Confession

Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the day and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.

Have mercy on me, I pray; pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me in the coming day, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.

Amen.

To Focus on God

I  am so sorry, Lord, that I let the worries of the day push ahead of you in my mind. Please help me to keep your Holy Spirit in the forefront of my thoughts, throughout the day.

Amen.

To Know God’s Word

Heavenly Lord, I pray to be able to read the Bible and learn your truth. Give me the spirit of understanding and wisdom, for you know how difficult it can be sometimes. Let me understand and absorb the words in your Bible, dear God, and let me see beyond the words on the page and know your true and full Word, Jesus Christ.

Let me not be impatient; let my vision not be distorted by my bias, or my preconceptions, or my foolishness, or the foolishness of the world around me. Give me the courage to change my mind, when that is necessary. Let me know you as you intend for me to know you, I pray, O God; let me find my way to you, for I crave to know you and be with you, now and for all of my life,

Amen.

Meditation

“I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.”

~ J. S. Bach

Dedication

O  God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray,

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

Owned

The person who angers you, conquers you.

~ Elizabeth Kenny


Blue Latin Cross

Romans 11:11-16 (ESV)

The Importance of Judaism to the Gentiles

o I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.


Notes on the Scripture

Paul has been very tough on the Jews, especially in the first verses of Romans 11, pointing out how frequently they had stumbled and how, at times, only a handful of the entire Hebrew nation remained faithful to God under the old covenant. In fact, just 200 years earlier, during the times of Judas Maccabeus, Judaism had come close to total destruction.

Early Christians

Paul calls the partial falling away of the Jews “stumbling,” and they stumbled often, but they never “fell”; i.e., there were always a faithful contingent who were eventually triumphant. Paul now says that God will not allow the Jews to fall, simply because so many have failed to recognize the fulfillment of their covenant in the coming of Christ, the Messiah. Rather, although much of the “tree” of Judaism that sprang from the holy root of Jesse is now dead, a new branch is fully alive; for, as the prophets foretold, the Messiah came from the tree of Jesse both in flesh (Mary was a blood descendant of Jesse) and in spirit (Christ was the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish covenant with God).

“Jealousy” is the word almost all Bibles use in this passage, but “envy” might convey the meaning better. The Jews whom Paul seeks to make jealous are not going to take his life in the Holy Spirit away; nor does he mean for them to dislike him. He simply means that he wants other Jews to see his joy and to want it for themselves.



Devotional painting of St. Paul by James Tissot



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“Christ In You”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 6:25: Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.



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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