Angel praying, art nouveau illustration by Richard Lauda, c. 1904. (The text reads, "Peace on earth, good will to men" or “peace on earth to men of good will.”)
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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 Day
Mighty Father God, I thank You for this day — that it even exists, and especially, that I can live in it, that I can know it through the senses you gave me and breathe the air you have made. Your bounty and goodness to me is beyond understanding. I worship and praise you above all things, because you are above all things. Your hand has made them, and your love has forgiven me and blessed me.
Keep me and those I love from danger, sickness, accident this day, I pray. Help me to turn my back on evil in all of its myriad forms, to turn aside from the temptation that besets me from within myself and from my reaction to the world outside. Broaden my mind and give me the gift of hearing truth even when I do not want to hear it, when a false thought is embedded in my mind and the truth disagrees with my preconceptions.
Fill me with gratitude. Give me the courage to change the things that are contrary to your Word, even when they are ingrained and it is painful for me to give them up. Let me realize my sin, and give me the grace to repent it and seek your forgiveness. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior,
Mason Barge 10/11/2015
To Be Led by God’s Gifts
Heavenly Father, for the words of faith shared in devotionals, from the pulpit, in the sanctuary, in prayer, in song, that color my life so richly: I give thanks, and pray that they will enrich my journey of faith, sharing a bit of grace with other earlier saints.
For the sacrifice, the example, the gift of your Son; who came to earth and lived among us, who gave us words to guide us, who infused the law with Spirit and taught us the beauty of change within our hearts; for the loving way Christ showed us, I give thanks, and pray that His words may lead me to live life as your servant, as your disciple, today and forever.
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.
by Æthelwold, Bishop of Winchester, 958 A.D.
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.
This hauntingly beautiful hymn was actually written by Patrick Doyle for a modern-day action movie. The text is “Faith of Our Fathers,” translated into Russian.
Lyrics to Faith of Our FathersFaith of Our Fathers
Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whenever we hear that glorious Word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
Faith of our fathers, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife,
And preach thee, too, as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life.
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!
Psalm 37:23-24 (KJV)
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
Romans 2:6-11 (ESV)
God Shows no Partiality
e will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.
For God shows no partiality.
Notes on the Scripture
When reading this one must keep in mind, first and foremost, that salvation comes by faith, not by works. This is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity. Otherwise, no person could hope for heaven. We would all be condemned, for none of us can stand before God on our own merits. We sin. But we can find forgiveness for our sin, through our faith in Christ.
Forgiveness, however, is not a loophole. We cannot spend our lives pandering to evil, keeping Christ’s forgiveness in our back pocket like a “Get Out of Jail Free” card tucked under our side of the Monopoly® board. Trying to manipulate God’s forgiveness is not “faith”; it the gamesmanship of the Sunday Christian, a glib and poorly conceived strategy of hedging one’s bets, rooted in agnosticism.
Looking on the bright side, though, Paul does not say that only people with perfect conduct will find eternal life; he says that those who seek God’s glory will find eternal life. The opposite of seeking God is translated “self-seeking,” but this term is somewhat misleading. Self-seeking, in its common sense, certainly refers to sinful behavior, such as greed and avarice. But here it is used in the more fundamental sense of seeking for truth within oneself, rather than from God’s word.
A person with real faith in God will, in consequence of his faith, behave better than he or she would without such faith. In fact, the impact of faith on a person’s actions is usually profound. But the man or woman of faith will still sin. It is our living faith, our seeking to find God’s glory, which will trump this behavior and ultimately earn us total forgiveness.
That said, Paul’s purpose in writing this passage was not to foment a discussion of faith vs. works. As one reads through Romans 2, it becomes increasingly clear that Paul is addressing Jewish Christians, to help them reconcile with Gentile Christians. The key phrase is “God shows no partiality.” The Jews were steeped in a religion of race, law, and salvation by works. Paul’s purpose in writing this passage was to convince them that Gentile and Jew would be judged exactly alike.
As a side note, having given the psalm today in the KJV, I noted that the KJV of Romans 2:11 reads, “For there is no respect of persons with God.” Even the NKJV changes this to “God shows no partiality.” The wording in the KJV unfortunately sounds, to the modern ear, as if Paul is saying that God has no respect for human beings, which is not the intention of the sentence. The clear meaning is that God does not care who you are: Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or king, etc. Still, as is so often the case, the elegant KJV says it better!
In fact, let’s read the KJV:
Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
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Today in Daily Prayer
Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.