Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Magnificent +

    Few songs capture the entrancing, humbling, overwhelming awe I experience in the presence of God. Magnificent, a song by U2 Read More
  • I'll Go Crazy +

    I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight Every generation gets a chance to change the world - U2 Read More
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grapevine1From the beginning God’s desire is to be with us–in our presence.

He walked with Adam and Eve in Eden, until our desire to be more like God separated us from him. Ever since then, God has worked to redeem our relationship, even as we continually frustrate his efforts. God’s mission to bless all the nations, to redeem the world–through faith in God–began with Abraham, and required obedience. First with Abraham, and through our faith in Jesus that He is who He says He is, we experience the creational effect of God’s blessing–the very first declaration from God: be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. God takes nothing and creates–first the beginning, then with an elderly barren couple, then with a virgin. Our mission follows Abraham’s: go and be a blessing to others. Abraham was known as the second Adam–the beginning of the redemption. Faith, obedience, ethical loyalty. The Bible’s story is about God wanting to be with us, wanting to dwell among us, and be in relationship with us. Just as Abraham’s life testified to the grace and mercy and blessing of God, so our lives testify to the same thing–the eternal redeeming work of God culminating in Jesus. 

 

  1. Genesis 1: 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that [ak]moves on the earth.” 
  2. Genesis 12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation,     and I will bless you; I will make your name great,  and you will be a blessing.[a]3 I will bless those who bless you,  and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”[b]
  3. Genesis 15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield,[a] your very great reward.[b]” 2 But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” 4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[d] be.” 6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
  4. Genesis 17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty[a]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram[b]; your name will be Abraham,[c] for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
  5. Genesis 22: 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
  6. 15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
  7. Leviticus 26: Blessings of Obedience 26 ‘You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves a carved image or a memorial stone, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down [a]to it; for I am the Lord your God. 2 You shall keep My Sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the Lord. 3 If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 4 then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. 5 Indeed, your threshing season will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. So you will eat your [b]food to the full and live securely in your land. 6 I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down, with no one to make you afraid. I shall also eliminate harmful animals from the land, and no sword will pass through your land. 7 Instead, you will chase your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword; 8 five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand; and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. 9 So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. 10 And you will eat the old supply, and clear out the old because of the new. 11 Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. 12 I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke your yoke and made you walk erect.
  8. Luke 1 Mary Visits Elizabeth 39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
  9. Mary’s Song 46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49  for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;   he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel,  remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,   just as he promised our ancestors.” 56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

  • River of Love

    There's a river of love that runs through all timeBut there's a river of grief that floods through our livesIt Read More
  • I Am Nothing

    I stutter when I tryTo speak the language of lifeI want to shout out loudBut I just cry insideSometimes it Read More
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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Christ is a Great Savior: a review of the movie Amazing Grace +

    Amazing Grace is a historical drama about William Wilberforce who was elected to British Parliament at the age of 21 Read More
  • Wilberforce, Hollywood's Amazing Grace, Charlotte Allen +

    William Wilberforce's relentless campaign eventually led the British Parliament to ban the slave trade, in 1807, and to pass a Read More
  • Making Beauty out of Ugly Things: Grace by U2 +

    Grace, she takes the blame She covers the shame Removes the stain It could be her name Grace, she carries Read More
  • The True Nature of Grace and Love: a movie review of the Soloist +

    The 2009 movie The Soloist is based on a book by the same name, written by Los Angeles Times columnist Read More
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