Monday, January 02, 2017

Like Snow

CALL TO PRAYER
Meditate on this passage from the psalms until your mind is focused on God.

Let your steadfast love become my comfort according to your promise to your servant.
—Psalm 119:76


FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The stern requirements of the prophets, if taken alone, kindle despair. ‘Wash yourself, make yourself clean’—easy to say, plainly necessary, and as plainly hopelessly above my reach. If that is all that the prophets have to say to me, they may as well say nothing. For what is the use of saying ‘Arise and walk’ to someone who has been lame since birth? How can a foul body be washed clean by filthy hands? Ancient or modern preachers of a self-wrought-out morality exhort to impossibilities, and unless they follow their preaching of an unattainable ideal as Isaiah followed his, they are doomed to waste their words. He cried, ‘Make yourself clean,’ but he immediately went on to point to One who could make clean, could turn scarlet into snowy white, crimson into the lustrous purity of the unstained fleeces of sheep in green pastures. The assurance of God’s forgiveness which deals with guilt, and of God’s cleansing which deals with inclination and habit, must be the foundation of our cleansing ourselves from filthiness of flesh and spirit. The call to repentance needs the promise of pardon and divine help to purifying in order to become a gospel. And the call to ‘repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,’ is what we all, who are ‘laden with iniquity,’ and have forsaken the Lord, need, if ever we are to cease to do evil and learn to do well.
—Alexander Maclaren (alt.)


THE SCRIPTURE
If possible, memorize this verse, so that you can think about it throughout the day.

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
—Isaiah 1:18


TODAY'S PRAYER

Wash me, O Lamb of God,
wash me from sin;
by thine atoning blood,
oh, make me clean.
Purge me from ev’ry stain,
let me thine Image gain—
in love and mercy reign
o’er all within...
—H.B. Beegle

Pray now according to your needs: Praise, confession, thanksgiving, prayer, intercession for others, etc. Then close your devotions with...


THE 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 debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
—Matthew 6:9-13

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