June 29, 2022 Devotional

  • Morning Devotional:
    • Jeremiah 23:16-22, Following stubborn hearts
      • Lesson: No peace
  • Midday Devotional:
    • Matthew 10:16-25, Sheep in the midst of wolves
      • Lesson: Sharing in His suffering
  • Evening Devotional:
    • Psalm 75, It is God who lifts up
      • Lesson: Do not blame God for the evil that you do

Invitatory

The earth is the Lord’s for he made it: 

Come let us adore him.

Hymn

“Amen”

Morning Prayers

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us… As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen. [1]

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,

    for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Short Verse

LORD, God of hosts, hear my prayer;* hearken, O God of Jacob. 

—Psalm 84:7

Morning Reading

Jeremiah 23:16-22, Following stubborn hearts

16 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.

They make you worthless;

They speak a vision of their own heart,

Not from the mouth of the Lord.

17 They continually say to those who despise Me,

‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace” ’;

And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,

‘No evil shall come upon you.’ ”

18 For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord,

And has perceived and heard His word?

Who has marked His word and heard it?

19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury—

A violent whirlwind!

It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.

20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back

Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.

In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.

21 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.

I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in My counsel,

And had caused My people to hear My words,

Then they would have turned them from their evil way

And from the evil of their doings.

Morning Lesson

No peace

Worthless (v. 16) “is used to describe the futility of listening to those who speak a vision of their own heart. Visions were commonly understood to be a means of receiving a message from God (or the gods). The term vision used here and in 14:14 is also found in Daniel (Dan. 1:17; 8:1); plus it is used in other prophetic books to describe a divine revelation (see Is. 1:1; Mic. 3:6).” [2]

Verse 18 says, For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, And has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? There are two ways to read this phrase the counsel of the Lord. [3] “First, it may refer to the prophets who stood in God’s presence to receive a divine message. We know that earlier Jeremiah stood in such a council (18:20). But there the issue seems to refer to those who are not true prophets and who deceive the people. To stand in the council of the Lord is to serve as a kind of royal messenger who has been transported to the council of the Lord by way of a vision (Isa 6:1–8). It is the true prophet who has been privileged with this opportunity and been given the responsibility to proclaim the word of the Lord. Second, it may be understood in light of other Biblical texts and in the context of Mesopotamian religious texts. The idea of a council or assembly of the gods is found early in Mesopotamian literature.” [4]

“God’s counsel is available to one who walks in the fear of the Lord according to His word, who understands God’s working in nature and history.” [5]

Verse 19 begins, Behold, a whirlwind… “The Hebrew term refers to a kind of swirling wind accompanied by rain. It may even refer to a kind of tornado, though these are rare and occur only near the coast. The kind of storm wind mentioned here was common during the rainy season. Both this wind and the sirocco are metaphors for destruction, devastation and punishment in the Hebrew Bible.” [6] “God’s counsel to Jeremiah’s audience was not peace but harsh judgment.” [7] 

Midday Prayers

You, Christ, are the King of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you took our flesh to set us free you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. 

  • from Te Deum Laudamus [8]
A Parent’s Prayer 

O GRACIOUS GOD, I commend my children to you; let them know you to be their God and protector, their creator and savior, the rock of their life and the goal toward which they move. Pour your grace into their hearts, and confirm and multiply in them the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that they may abound daily in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus; may they find joy and wonder in all your works, and grow in faith, hope, and love toward you and all people. Of your infinite goodness, provide whatever they lack from my frailty or negligence. As you have called me to this great work, awaken in me the patience, the wisdom, and the love necessary to complete it, that your presence may be the joy of our home and our eternal hope. Amen. [9]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Short Verse

But it is good for me to be near God;* I have made the Lord GOD my refuge. 

—Psalm 73:28

Midday Reading

Matthew 10:16-25, Sheep in the midst of wolves

16 “I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the gentiles. 19 When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you at that time, 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Sibling will betray sibling to death and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this town, flee to the next, for truly I tell you, you will not have finished going through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “A disciple is not above the teacher nor a slave above the master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

Midday Lesson

Sharing in His suffering

Today’s passage begins, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves (v. 16). “Ancients viewed sheep as helpless against wolves, and some Jewish teachers viewed Israel as such sheep. More unusual, Jesus says that his sheep are sent among wolves.” [10] Jesus then “instructs the disciples to be wise as serpents so that they might not be unnecessarily wounded and that they might take all advantage in the spread of the gospel. He also tells them to be as harmless as doves so that they should not retaliate against those who do them wrong, and should be blameless in their witness of the gospel.” [11]

In verses 17-18 Jesus warns, Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the gentiles. “Priests and other elders normally judged local councils. Synagogues doubled as community centers, and disciplines could be meted out there. If they carried out beatings as in somewhat later tradition, the condemned person would be tied to a post, then given 26 lashes with a calf-leather whip across the back and 13 lashes across the chest. The number of lashes (39; cf. 2Co 11:24) was to prevent accidentally exceeding the Biblical limit of 40 (Dt 25:3).” [12]

“In the Roman Empire, governors ruled most provinces. The emperor appointed his own representatives to govern provinces with legions, and appointed equestrians to control some other provinces; the senate appointed governors for provinces not directly under the emperor’s control. The emperor also allowed some states to retain client kings answerable to Rome, such as Herod the Great (2:1), Aretas (2Co 11:32) and, briefly, Herod Agrippa I (Ac 12:1).” [13]

“Persecution (v. 23)must not cause the disciple to quit, but simply to move forward in his mission. According to St. John Chrysostom, before the Son of Man comes is not a reference to the Second Coming, but merely means that before the disciples could visit all the cities in Palestine, Christ would rejoin them, thus more quickly ending the hostility they would encounter.” [14]

In verse 24 Jesus says, A disciple is not above the teacher nor a slave above the master. “Apart from attending to the master’s feet, disciples would ideally do for their rabbi anything a servant would do. A mature disciple could become a rabbi but was not normally considered greater than the one who schooled him.” [15]

Jesus referenced Beelzebul in verse 25. “Because Jesus’ first hearers spoke Aramaic, they may have caught a wordplay: Beelzebul literally means “master of the house”; it probably plays on Baal-Zebub, a pagan deity (2Ki 1:2–3, 6, 16). Beelzebul was also used with reference to Satan; cf. 12:24–28.” [16]

“Christ promised the assistance of the Holy Spirit, who would empower the disciples to be his witnesses during times of trial.” [17] “God desires the salvation of all people. For this reason, each person should have great hope that with the grace of God we will obtain the reward and eternal joy of Heaven.” [18] “In sharing his mission, Christ’s Apostles and disciples would also share in his suffering and rejection.” [19]

Eventide Prayers

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God, so may your mercy come down upon us to cleanse our hearts and set us free to sing your praise now and for ever. Amen. [20]

Tune thou my harp; 

There is not, Lord, could never be, 

The skill in me.

Tune thou my harp;

That it may play thy melody,

Thy harmony.

Tune thou my harp;

O Spirit, breathe thy thought through me,

As pleaseth thee. Amen.

  • Amy Carmichael [21]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Short Verse

Jesus taught us, saying: ‘I shall not leave you orphans; I shall come to you. In a short time the world will no longer see me; but you will see that I live and you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.’ 

—John 14:18-20

Eventide Reading

Psalm 75, It is God who lifts up

We give thanks to you, O God;

    we give thanks; your name is near.

People tell of your wondrous deeds.

At the set time that I appoint,

    I will judge with equity.

When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,

    it is I who keep its pillars steady. Selah

I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”

    and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;

do not lift up your horn on high

    or speak with insolent neck.”

For not from the east or from the west

    and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,

but it is God who executes judgment,

    putting down one and lifting up another.

For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup

    with foaming wine, well mixed;

he will pour a draught from it,

    and all the wicked of the earth

    shall drain it down to the dregs.

But I will rejoice[a] forever;

    I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

10 

All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,

    but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Eventide Lesson

Do not blame God for the evil that you do

“If God is blamed for the evil that you do and you take credit for the good, then you are speaking wickedly against God. Listen to what the psalm has to say on this point: “Do not lift your horn on high or speak wickedly against God.” The iniquity you were speaking against God is this, that you were wishing to attribute everything good to yourself and everything bad to him. By lifting up the horn of pride, you were speaking wickedly against God. With humility you speak justly,” (Augustine, Sermon 16b.2). [22]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Holy Lord, Thank you for grace.

Please help me move beyond the hurdles that trip me up,

And give me the strength and wisdom to look up and see the hope,

I run toward in Christ.

In Jesus’ name, 

Amen. [23]

Citations:

[1] Church House Publishing. (2005). Morning Prayer in Ordinary Time. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 190). 

[2] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Jeremiah. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 4697). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[3] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Jeremiah footnotes. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 6670). essay, Zondervan.

[4] Ibid. 3, P. 6670-6671

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Jeremiah. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 4697). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[6] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Jeremiah footnotes. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 6671). essay, Zondervan.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Jeremiah. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 4697). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[8] Church House Publishing. (2005). Prayer During the Day. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 65).

[9] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Various Prayers. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 62). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[10] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Matthew footnotes. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 8417). essay, Zondervan.

[11] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Matthew. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1316). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[12] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Matthew footnotes. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 8417-8418). essay, Zondervan.

[13] Ibid. 12, P. 8418

[14] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Matthew. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1316). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[15] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Matthew footnotes. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 8418). essay, Zondervan.

[16] Ibid. 15, P. 8418-8419

[17] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Matthew. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2703). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[18] Ibid. 17

[19] Ibid. 17, P. 2704

[20] Church House Publishing. (2005). Evening Prayer in Ordinary Time. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 197). 

[21] Forward Movement. (2013). Prayers for Guidance and Surrender. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 475). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[22] Augustine. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2347). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[23] 15 Popular Bedtime Prayers For Children And The Benefits Of Praying, retrieved at: https://www.momjunction.com/articles/bedtime-prayers-for-children_00474335/

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