Christ in stained glass, by Kevin Davidson (contemporary).
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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.
Sunday Prayer of Praise to God’s Glory
Heavenly God, you are the King eternal, immortal and invisible. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had
formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting
you are God; the same yesterday, today, and forever.
In times long past did you lay the foundation of the earth, and the
heavens are the work of your hands: Yet they will perish, but you
will endure; yes, all of them will grow old like a garment, as a
coat you will change them, and they will be changed; but you
are the same, and your years will have no end.
You alone are God, and do not change; and because of this, we may hope to be preserved. Are you not from eternity, O Lord our God, our Holy One? The everlasting God, even the Lord, the Creator of the ends of
the earth, who does not faint nor grow weary? There is no searching
out your understanding, mighty Lord, but by our praise we may glorify your Holy Name, now and all our lives.
George Washington’s Sunday Prayer
O most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins, but so coldly and carelessly, that my prayers are become my sin and stand in need of pardon.
I have heard thy holy word, but with such deadness of spirit that I have been an unprofitable and forgetful hearer, so that, O Lord, tho’ I have done thy work, yet it hath been so negligently that I may rather expect a curse than a blessing from thee.
But, O God, who art rich in mercy and plenteous in redemption, mark not, I beseech thee, what I have done amiss; remember that I am but dust, and remit my transgressions, negligences & ignorances, and cover them all with the absolute obedience of thy dear Son, that those sacrifices which I have offered may be accepted by thee, in and for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ offered upon the cross for me; for his sake, ease me of the burden of my sins, and give me grace that by the call of the Gospel I may rise from the slumber of sin into the newness of life.
Let me live according to those holy rules which thou hast this day prescribed in thy holy word; and by thy holy word, make me to know what is acceptable in thy sight, and therein to delight, open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith and repentance; increase my faith, and direct me to the true object Jesus Christ the way, the truth and the life, bless O Lord, all the people of this land, from the highest to the lowest, particularly those whom thou has appointed to rule over us in church & state. continue thy goodness to me this week to come.
These weak petitions I humbly implore thee to hear accept and answer for the sake of thy Dear Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
from The Prayer Journal of George Washington (verbatim)
Doxology (Traditional Anglican)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
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 old video of a parade in London in 1910 shows how much fire William Booth and the Salvation Army once had in their bellies. How we could use a man like that today!
Count your blessings, not your crosses; Count your gains instead of losses.
Count your joys instead of woes; Count your friends instead of foes.
Count your smiles instead of tears; Count your courage, not your fears.
Count full years instead lean; Count kind deeds instead of mean.
Count your health instead of wealth; Love your neighbor as yourself.
Hebrews 4:12 (NASB)
The Sword of the Living Word
or the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
John 18:7-11 (NASB)
Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,” to fulfill the word which He spoke, “Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.”
Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”
Notes on the Scripture
The anecdote of Simon Peter cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s slave primarily concerns issues of Jesus’ passion narrative, but let’s look at it in the context of Hebrews 4:12. God’s Word is repeatedly compared to a sword in the New Testament; another notable instance is Paul’s “whole armor of God” teaching, most fully realized in Ephesians 6:10-19.
There are several implications to the “living” Word. First and most simply, it is not “dead” in the sense of a “dead language”; that is, the Bible is as vibrant and relevant today as it was when it was written almost 2000 years ago. God, with timeless knowledge, gave humanity a document that would be completely and profoundly true until the world ceases to be. It is not simply the best-selling book of all time: It was the best-selling book of 1821, the best-selling book of 1921, and the best selling book of 2021!
Secondly, “the Word” is used to represent Christ as well as the Bible, and in this sense, we know that Christ still lives, both in heaven and through the Holy Spirit in our lives today. The Bible is one channel through which the living Christ speaks directly to us.
But perhaps most importantly, “living” describes a word that exists not only on a page, but also in our hearts and souls. We do not know Christ intellectually, as a concept to be learned with out brain and regurgitated on a test. We know Him personally. He is part of us. “Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:19-21)
We can read a biography of Thomas Edison, but we do not know him just because we read a book about him. We know about him, but we do not know him. The words on the page of his biography are meaningful to our intellect, but they are lifeless. We can also read the Bible in the same way. The many atheist college professors who purport to teach the “New Testament” understand, and give their students to understand, words such as “I am the way and the life and the truth” or “God gave His only-begotten Son to the end that all who believe in Him . . .” They understand them intellectually; but the Word is dead to them.
But if we have been reborn in the Spirit, we know the Word beyond intellectual understanding. We know it when it becomes a part of us, when we absorb it in a way that surpasses intellectual understanding. It becomes alive inside of us, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is the Living Word. Not the sentence we understand, but the supernatural change that it creates within us. By the Living Word, we know the Living God; we broaden and deepen our relationship with Christ and we know Him, as we could never know Thomas Edison or any other dead person.
Now, return to the first thought: Peter cutting off the slave’s ear with his sword. Peter had not yet fully come to know Christ, a process that we follow through the end of the Gospel and into the first chapters of Acts. He uses a sword just like the Pharisees used the Word of God. If the Word does not live in us, we use it as a weapon. And what does cutting off someone’s ear symbolize? It makes the person deaf!
The Word of God is a sword with two edges. If we use it to attack people, we make them deaf to it. It is not a weapon to use against other people, but a weapon to use against Satan. When we come up against ignorance in other people, be they believers or not, we do not use the Word of God as a sword to attack them, because all that will accomplish is to “cut off their ears.” Our duty is rather to put the sword in their hands, to convince them that the Word will protect them as nothing else can do.
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Today in Daily Prayer
Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for May 15, 2021 were:
Norman Daniels (12) randall martin (12) Margaret Entwistle (11) Cindy Moniz (11) Gary Swart (11)
Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9) Christine Phillips (9 out of 9) Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9) Norman Daniels (9 out of 9) Christy Ballard (9 out of 9) randall martin (9 out of 9)