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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.


Daily Devotion for May 28, 2024



Madonna of the Magnificat (detail), Sandro Botticelli ca. 1481.

Prayers

Scripture

498 people in our community are currently praying with you.

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.

Today is “Contemporary Tuesday”! We feature Make Room, a prayer for God to take the place that is rightfully His in our lives. This is a live performance by Kim Walker-Smith and Community Music.

Community Music is a leader in a modern phenomenon of Christian music performed by ad hoc groups of artists.




George Washington's Monday Morning Prayer

O  eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul.

George Washington praying

Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life. In the name of Holy Christ, I pray,

Amen.

Prayer for the Poor and Needy

Lord God, You came to give honor to the least: those forgotten, overlooked and misjudged. You came to give first place to the last, those left behind, to the misunderstood and undervalued. You came to give a warm welcome to the lost, orphaned, abandoned, and destitute. Help us to be your ears to listen to their cries. Help me to be your voice speaking out love and acceptance. Help me to be your feet walking beside those in need. Help me to be your hands to clothe, feed and shelter them. You came for the least, the lost and last of this world. Lord, hear my prayer.

Amen.

Meditation

Satan wants us to be independent and proud, because then we shrink away from God and depend on ourselves, and Satan is stronger than we are.

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,

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

Psalm 40:11-13 (NKJV)

Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth
continually preserve me.

For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me,
so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
O Lord, make haste to help me!


Blue Latin Cross

Romans 9:14-18 (ESV)

Is God Unjust?

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.


Notes on the Scripture

In the preceding verses, Paul discussed Abraham’s two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Both of them were apparently well-behaved, but Ishmael was eventually cast out of the Hebrew line and sent to live on his own. With Isaac’s sons, Esau and Jacob, God selected Jacob while they were still in the womb, and Esau lost his birthright to his younger brother and was also cast out.

Isaac and Jacob were chosen, and Ishmael and Esau were rejected, not because of anything they did or anything they thought. They lost God’s favor for the simple reason that God chose one over the other. It wasn’t “fair.”

Christians often ignore the implication of these events. But the lack of fairness does not escape Paul, and he addresses the question head-on: “Is there injustice on God’s part?”

Ask and it shall be given unto you

Paul’s answer is simple. God is God. He will have mercy on whomever He chooses. This dovetails with the main argument of Romans, that we are saved, not by our actions, but by the grace of God.

Paul then quotes a message God gave Moses to deliver to Pharaoh. God was, actually, “fair” with Pharaoh. He gave him chance after chance to free the Hebrews, demonstrating at each turn the terrible power He would unleash if they were not set free. Here one must ask, why didn’t God simply destroy the Egyptians? There are two reasons. One, he gave the Egyptians ample opportunity to repent. God knew that Pharaoh would not give in, that he would harden his heart towards God and the Hebrews, but He nevertheless gave Pharaoh a chance.

More importantly, God wanted the Hebrews, and all humanity, to understand His power and justice, and to let us see just how stubbornly some people would resist it. The essence of sinfulness is hardness of heart to God’s truth, despite the constant miracles of his creation.

This is a hard lesson that Paul teaches, but it is helpful, because if we understand it, it will keep us from torturing ourselves about the sinfulness of society. Salvation is not for everyone. We simply have to understand that there are people who will never, no matter what, accept God’s grace. This doesn’t mean we should not fight for Christ, that we should not spread the Gospel or hope to bring others to salvation. But we must realize, there are those who will not be saved.



Moses, Botticelli
Scenes from the Life of Moses (detail), Sandro Botticelli ca. 1482. This detail of a painting in the Sistine Chapel shows the barefooted Moses talking to God in the burning bush.

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 5:40: If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.



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