Devotional Guide, Today’s Reading – Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Theme: GREED

Text: “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment…” – 1 Samuel 8:1-5.

Comment: Unlike their father who was an honest man, the children of Samuel the prophet were greedy to the extent that they perverted judgment because of money, contrary to the law of God in Exodus 23:7,8; Deuteronomy 16:19,20; etc. Because of their excesses, the elders  asked for a king. Their behavior was in sharp contrast to that of their father who boldly challenged anyone who had any accusation of wrong doing against him to speak up. “Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.” The people however replied, “…Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand…” – 1 Samuel 12:3-6.

St. Paul was not greedy. He is a good example for the people of God to follow. He told the elders of the Church at Ephesus, “…I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel…” (Acts 20:32-34) One of the conditions for choosing ministers in the Church is that they should not be people who are “greedy of filthy lucre.” – 1 Timothy 3:3,8.

He further says, “For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain.” – Titus 1:7 Revised Standard Version.

PRAYERS

  1. O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Thou that dwellest between the cherubims, Thou Whose holy name is JEHOVAH; of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou hast made heaven and earth and nothing is impossible with Thee. With Thy Almighty power and outstretched arm, Thou delivered the people of Israel from the oppressive hands of Pharaoh and destroyed their enemies before them, Thou also delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, and saved Daniel Thy servant, from the den of lions. Lord these are in keeping with Thy promises to always show Thyself strong on behalf of Thy children and vindicate Thy name by Thy grace.

O LORD our God, we are compassed about with divers sorrows and distresses at the instance of the devil.  We pray Thee to save us from his hand, that we may continue to live to glorify Thee and for all men to know that Thou art the only true God to Whom belongeth salvation. This we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

  1. O King of eternity, in Whose hands are the lives of all flesh, Thine, is the power and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in heaven and in the earth is thine; Both riches and honour come of thee, and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. We thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

Great and innumerable O Lord are thy benefits unto us: Thou forgiveth all our iniquities and healeth all our diseases; Thou redeemeth our lives from destruction; Thou satisfieth our mouths with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s. We pray Thee to continue to bless us and Thy sheep everywhere for their love for the progress of New Jerusalem; and may it please Thee to increase us more and more, we and our children, all by Thy grace through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

  1. O God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Gods and Lord of lords, The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and of all people of goodwill, We are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

We are not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all Thy truth, which thou hast shewed unto us by thy grace, for we are not sufficient of ourselves, our sufficiency is of Thee.

We shamefully confess our sins and those of our fellowship before Thee and pray Thee to help us to do Thy righteousness at all times.

Lord, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon thee, that Thou would have mercy upon us. We pray Thee to help us to do only those things that are true, that are lovely and of good report so that Thou would have mercy on us and protect us from the arrows and evil devices of the Devil and his hosts. This we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  1. O gracious and Most Loving Father, we exalt Thee, and praise thy name; for Thou art the God of gods and Lord of lords, For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth, O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy children and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, O LORD God. Thou knowest best what is come upon us and the reproach that has come upon us, some of us have become orphans; some are fatherless, and some are widows. There is none to deliver us but Thee. We labour for our daily bread at the peril of our lives because of the dangers that abound in the country and, indeed, famine loom over us, We labour, and have no rest. we pray Thee to help us to be firmly rooted and grounded in Thee so that Thou would grant us victory in this hour of temptation, all to

the honour, glory and praise of Thy holy name through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

  1. O gracious Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, Who preserves and honours those who love Him and keep His commandments, Who does exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, Thou has promised to forgive our iniquities when we turn to Thee in contriteness and to heal our diseases. I pray Thee to heal me and to give me health and cure, and indeed I shall be healed and cured.

We pray to be strengthened through Thy Spirit and to understand the love of Christ which passes all knowledge, for which reason Thou sent him to die for us, that this may strengthen our faith that Thou would freely give us all things that we ask according to Thy will.

This we pray through the Mediator of the new covenant, Jesus Christ our Redeemer.  Amen.

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