What about those covenants? : A Covenant Forgotten – Part 5

It’s amazing that so many preachers and teachers can read the New Testament and come to so many different conclusions.  Particularly I’m surprised by the many misconceptions about covenants since they are so easy to compare and contrast. I suspect that many teachers choose to view the important covenants through the lens of the doctrine they’ve grown up with and feel the need to protect.

The three major covenants are the Lord’s covenant with Abraham, His covenant with Moses and Jesus’ New Covenant. Each of those covenants is very similar, and you’ll see that each one has conditions, promises and each was ratified or officially validated by a ceremonial sacrifice.

There is not disagreement among theologians about all the covenants or about some aspects of covenants. For example there isn’t really any disagreement in theological circles about the promises of the covenants or the ratification of the covenants. It’s just about universally accepted that the Lord promised blessings (or curses) in each covenants and that each covenant was ratified. It’s the conditions in them that some just can’t seem to agree on.  

There really isn’t much disagreement over Moses’ covenant, clearly, obedience to the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses were the conditions. But when it comes to the Abrahamic many teachers deny that there were any conditions at all, while others recognize that there were certain conditions that Abraham had to meet. The same is true of the New Covenant as well. There are those who can’t see that there are indeed conditions that the Christ follower must meet and others who do.

Much of the confusion comes from centuries of teachers who read Paul’s letters out of their historical context and then misunderstand what he’s saying.  It’s important, when reading the letter to the Romans or any other letter, to pay attention to the historical and cultural context of what was written. Paul had some serious problems with Jews who followed him and taught the churches that he planted that they must follow parts of the Law of Moses.  Usually they taught those young Christians that they must be circumcised, observe the Sabbath, and/or observe Jewish dietary law.

Paul’s response was to write letters to the churches to correct what the false teachers had taught. What Paul taught is that keeping the Law of Moses is not a condition of the New Covenant, especially for those of us who are not Jewish. He then used Abraham to prove his point, because the Lord declared Abraham righteous before the Law of Moses existed. That is the lens that we must use when we read Paul’s letters. Paul was not saying that obeying Jesus was wrong or that obedience is not needed for salvation.

Below I’ve made a table that makes it easy to compare those three covenants and if you want to see the conditions and promises you will easily see them.  But first let me point out some things.

What are “conditions” and “promises”?  The promises are the rewards or punishments you’ll receive if you do whatever it is the covenant calls for you to do. The conditions are the things the covenant calls for you to do. Look at Abraham’s covenant and you’ll that the Lord gave some conditions in the first verse of Genesis 12 and later gave the promises. He gave the conditions, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you….” The Lord then gave Abraham some promises, “And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

In these few verses it’s easy to see what the conditions and promises are, and we see that the Lord simply told Abraham “do this and I will do that.” Easy to see and understand right?  We could only wish it was that easy, and you may have doubts yourself. But, if you think there were no conditions given then read what the Lord said to Isaac. 

“I will make you descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.” (Gen. 26:4) 

And there you have it. Why did the Lord keep His promises? Because Abraham obeyed the Lord, he kept the covenant.

Before I go further look at the table below and see how much all three covenants have in common.

Abraham’s Covenants

Moses’ Covenant

The New Covenant

 

Conditions

 

Genesis 12:1

Now the Lord said to Abram,

“Go forth from your country,

And from your relatives

And from your father’s house,

To the land which I will show you…

 

Genesis 17:1

This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.  And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

Exodus 19:5-8

“Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

 

Exodus 20:3-17

 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

 

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.  You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

 

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not [d]leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

 

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

“You shall not murder.

“You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

John 15:1-10

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.  Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

 

Promises

 

Genesis 15:4-7

“… one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.”  And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.”

 

Genesis 26:4-5

I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your [descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws.”

 

Exodus 20

I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

John 15:1-10

“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.  Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

 

Ratification

 

Genesis 15:8-17

He said, “O Lord God, how may I know that I will possess it?”  So He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he [n]brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.

 

Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.

 

It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.

Exodus 24:1-9

 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”

 

When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.

 

He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”

 

Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

 

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.

Matthew 26: 26-29

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”


2Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Notice that each covenant has its own unique conditions but that in essence each has the same condition, “obey the Lord.” Also notice how very similar Exodus 19:5-8 is to John 15:10

Exodus 19:5-8 “Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

There can be no doubt that our New Covenant has conditions just as the Older Covenants do.

No Comprimise, No Retreat

Endeavor, as much as you can, to keep clear of everything, which may prove injurious to your soul. People may say you are too conscientious, too particular, and ask where is the great harm of such and such things? But don’t listen to them. It is dangerous to play tricks with sharp tools: it is far more dangerous to take liberties with your immortal soul. ~J.C. Ryle

There are those who would convince us that it’s OK to compromise. Also, we each have some in our circles who would convince us to tone down the talk about Jesus and who are embarrassed that we seem extreme. In reality they convince us that it’s normal and proper to not “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

How many of us were once on fire for God and refused to compromise what we believed, only to have our resolve chipped away by “well intentioned” others, who convinced us to “tone it down.” Some of us never had the chance to live uncompromised lives; we may have lived in a compromised position, around compromised Christians, our entire Christian walk. If we fall into either group it’s time for us to turn around and start living lives of uncompromised purity and righteousness. No matter what the anti-Christians and the world have convinced us of, Christ still calls us to a different standard.

We live in a world where Christians are taught early not to be dogmatic about their beliefs, because it may offend others. We feel embarrassed about telling others about Jesus. We feel that it is improper to tell others that He is the only way and the Hell awaits those who do not believe in Him. The Grace of christ is lost on those who remain unconvicted of their sin. Christians explain that they do not witness to unbelievers because they “do not feel led to.” The Holy Spirit of God did not stop them from witnessing, what stopped them was compromise and complacency. Compromise broke their will and complacency sapped them of their boldness.

Modern Christians have been taught that it’s OK to walk with one foot in the world. Many of us know Christians who compromise themselves, in small ways, to save or make some amount of money. We know those who spend more time watching world events on the news, playing video games or being entertained by sports than they do praying or reading God’s Word. We see our Christian brothers covering themselves with tattoos, and our Christian sisters wearing cloths designed to highlight their sexual parts. To many Christians this is perfectly normal and acceptable. Anti-Christians have convinced them, in conversation and by example, that these things are quite acceptable.

These or other compromises are not acceptable, except by the world. Christians must redefine what is acceptable and what is not. Many of us define what is acceptable by whether or not it is sinful, or whether or not we will get caught. That is legalism. Some allow modern culture to define what is right or wrong. Fear of being unacceptable to friends and the world motivate us. That is worldliness.

To us Christians those things that are acceptable should be those things that bring glory to God. Acceptable things are those things that we know would please God and best represent the nature of God. Our obedience should come from love and not fear of reprisal.

God loves us as we are. He loves us though we are still sinners; God’s love for us is not in question. The questions are these. Do we love God as He loves us? Have we been convinced to love both Him and the world? Are we convinced that we must live our lives for our own comfort, our own self-image and our own sake? For whose or what’s sake do we make our choices?

We must live our lives and make our choices only for the honor of His name. We must die to the expectations of the anti-Christians and the world, and we must begin to live for the sake of His name. What we do to our bodies, what we watch and listen to, what we say and do; these things all represent Christ to every one who sees us.

Be relevant, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

Spiritual Maturity

The other day I was speaking to a young man, who I admire and love, and  he said something that was startling to me. He told that he had gone to his friend’s church and he said something to the effect that the Spirit wasn’t there. I took what he said to mean that the Holy Spirit was not present at his friend’s church, at least not as powerfully as He is at this young man’s church.

In the past I have been associated with, and for a while, I was taught in the same “belief system” that the young man is now in. It is common to hear those in that “belief system” to say things like “I went this or that church and I didn’t feel the Spirit there” “that church doesn’t have the Spirit” or “We didn’t feel the Spirit when we sang in that church.”

In reality what is being said is “our church is Spiritually superior to those other churches”
and “that other church does not give me an emotional high like mine does.” I have two things to say to this.

First, Jesus and His Spirit are wherever two or three are gathered. Our faith tells us this is true. Even though we never see the Spirit or Jesus we know that they exist, by our faith. Even though the music might be the old songs our grandparent listened to and do not stir us up, our faith should tell us that God is among the body of believers that we are with. The person who wrote Hebrews wrote, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” We need to understand that the certainty of our hope is not in what we see or feel, but in the promises of God. Jesus does show up because a certain kind of music is played or clothes are worn.

The second point I would like to make is about the similarities between us thinking, “our church is spiritually superior to that church” and the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The Pharisee did not know the heart or life of the tax collector and judged on what he saw and felt about the man. Another similarity is the Pharisee lacked true godly humility and the way he judged the tax collector was based in pride.

If a church or a body of believers has doctrine or teaches things that are against scripture then we must speak out against those things. But, if a church’s music and services are different than what we are accustomed to and they don’t evoke the same emotion and feelings that we are accustomed to, we need to understand that they are not wrong. They are only different. Being different is not wrong. Understanding this and accepting our brothers and sisters who are different is a sign of our Spiritual growth and our Christian maturity.

Peace, Steve

“Jesus told a story to some people who thought they were better than others and who looked down on everyone else:

Two men went into the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood over by himself and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not greedy, dishonest, and unfaithful in marriage like other people. And I am really glad that I am not like that tax collector over there. I go without eating for two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all I earn.” The tax collector stood off at a distance and did not think he was good enough even to look up toward heaven. He was so sorry for what he had done that he pounded his chest and prayed, “God, have pity on me! I am such a sinner.” Then Jesus said, “When the two men went home, it was the tax collector and not the Pharisee who was pleasing to God. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.”

Luke 18:9-14

How is competition of Christ?

I just want say a word about living in peace.  Really it goes against everything we’re taught.  We grow up in America where competition is fed to us like a mother’s milk is fed to babies.  If you had brothers and sisters you probably felt compelled to compete with them for everything.  As a result many feel that they can’t rise to the top, without walking on others.  Some have the unspoken opinion that they only succeed when others do not. This competitive attitude makes us critical of others, aggressive, judgmental against those who appear weak or in need. It makes us arrogant, uncaring and cold hearted, unwilling to lift others up.  It’s a lie we’ve all been taught all our lives

Here is why competition is not of Christ, when we compete somebody loses. When we are superior, somebody is inferior.

We should ask ourselves what it matters if we’re better and richer than anybody we know, but we lose our souls.  Jesus teaches us that the first will be last and the last will be first.  There are so many references to peace in the Bible that I couldn’t read them all at one time.

Life is not us against them, life is us and them.  Success is not rising to the top on the back’s of others, success is rising to the top together with mutual respect and help.  All for one, one for all.

Our prayer for each other and ourselves:  Father teach us to continually bless each other in deed and in prayer.  Teach us that true success comes when we learn to put others before ourselves.  Give us your wisdom and heart Oh God.  Makes us feel silly if we look down on others.  Destroy that lie, in us, that competition is good.  Heal us and destroy those ungodly strongholds we’ve been taught.

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Philippians 2:3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Galatians 6:4Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else…….

Mark 9:50
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.

Acts 10:36
You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

Colossians 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

James 3:17
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

So simply put

I read this one on a blog written by Mike Servello Jr. and posted with his permission.  So simply put and so true. Thank You, Mike

Generational Curses: part 1, My thoughts

March 17, 2008 at 4:47 am (Theology, church, personal) (, , )

Warning: Extra Long Post!

Since we’re being controversial, Lets just put it all on the table. Right now our church is doing a series on the power of words. When you do a series like this all you have to do is mention the title and you have already crossed the bridge to the land of being relevant. Going over what the Bible says about the power our words and applying them to my own life is very convicting. I need a lot of Help…I’m not even joking. We joke about it, but biblically speaking its not a joke. The Bible tells us our religion is measured by the use of our tongues (James 1:26). Anyways, this was my weekend to speak and after much study and reflection here was my conclusion in one statement as to what the Bible says about the power of words: Don’t underestiamte the power of our words. Simple. to the point. One of the points I made had to do with not underestimating the words we speak about ourselves. I talked about the power of confessing positive things over our lives instead of negative and tried to approach it in the most balanced way possible. As I was talking I used the example of people who believe in Generational curses. To be honest, after the service I wondered if i should have used that as the example of what I was trying to illustrate. I think it may have been a little too controversial for some. The point I was trying to make is if you believe you are cursed, it can very easily turn into a self fulfilling prophecy. One thing I have observed over the years is fear is simply faith in the wrong direction. IF you fear something including a family curse you actually give the devil power by unknowingly putting faith in that curse. Sometimes people who get to thinking a lot about “demonic involvement” in their lives often without knowing begin to have more faith in the Devils power to curse them than God’s power to bless them. I have seen Christians who see tendencies in themselves that may be the same they see in their family and as a result believe it is a generational curse that needs to be broken. Let me say this, people ask me all the time, “can a Christian have a demon?” or for the sake of this conversation, “Can a christian have a generational curse?” My response, “a christian can have whatever he wants, but he devil cant be there by LEGAL right.” My problem with generational curses is both theological and practical. I’d thought i’d share what the Bible says about the subject because I find it amazing that a lot of Christians have never looked to see what the Bible says about the subject. Let’s look at the origin of it all:

Deut. 5:9 ’You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth [generations] of those who hate Me,

My first observation says this: If we pray and rebuke generational curses are we rebuking God? Im not being sarcastic but asking a question seriously, because the Bible says God is the one putting the curse there. Also, the in this particular verse has an extra statement which is not included in the one in Numbers which is: “to those who hate me”. So if you love God is it possible to be experiencing financial problems, lust, mental illness, physical illness or any other struggle because of a generational curse specifically? Before I answer this question, lets look at just three other verses and tell me how they can fit with an understanding of generational curses.

Prov. 26:2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

Prov. 3:33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.

Gal. 3:13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Remember also the story of Balaam in the Bible he was hired to curse the people of Israel but could not. It was not until the people of Israel sinned by committing immorality that any type of curse came in. Im interested in any thoughts and if people can explain to me from a clear biblical perspective the idea of generational curses as they specifically apply to Christians. But like said at the outset, my issue with the doctrine is not simply theological but also practical. I have talked with Christians who think their personal issues are a result of a “generational curse.” To me this in turn leads to an dangerous confession. We confess more the power of the enemy than we do the power of GOD. Dad might have had lust problems, Dad might have had money problems, Dad might have had health problems, but you know what I got a new Father who never gets sick, who had no financial problems and is perfectly pure. Isn’t this the work that Jesus did on the cross by taking the “curse” for us? He was rejected so we can be accepted, he was beaten so I don’t have to be. I think part of the issue with this whole subject is people want an answer for things in our lives that sometimes don’t make sense. When A happens we want to say it was because if B. Honestly, Life is a mystery. God is the only one who understands that mystery. I think of the story in the Bible where the disciple questioned him about a disabled man he was about to heal. The question, “who sinned? Him or his parents?” Jesus said, “Neither, but that God’s glory might be displayed. I read a quote by Philip Yancey once that said, “Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.” I couldn’t agree more. I think their are things that God allows in our lives simply so we can overcome them and bring him glory. However, the only way to overcome them is to believe God is for us and not against us and to take his hand and walk with him day by day through some of the deepest struggles we may face and simply trust him and what his word says no matter what circumstances say. I’d love to hear any thoughts anybody may have.

A Prayer to an Ordinary God

I found this at Lambert’s Favorite Quotes. We are all in danger of praying like this if we don’t remain vigilant.

“O thou pleasant, comfortable, kindly, good-natured God, with a reasonable degree of certainty, how glad I am that I can look forward to another ordinary day.

Keep me today from anything that may tax my faith. From discomfort, from unnecessary strain, from unusual problems, Especially those involving sickness or death, or the necessity of extending financial aid to relatives or friends, Dear Lord, deliver me.

Grant that nothing may occur which will disturb my satisfaction with the way I am, the things I say, The thoughts I think the acts I do, or the many deeds I leave undone.

Give me this day, in addition to my daily bread,

The butter, meats, and sweetmeats

That are my necessary diet.

And let me not be troubled by qualms of conscience.

Concerning the amount of time and money I spend on food and clothing; pastimes good and bad, And those pursuits which, while not of spiritual value, Are the accepted hall-mark of the normal citizen of this enlightened community in this enlightened age.

Should strong temptation come my way, help me above all else to be a gentleman who will not embarrass by word or deed those who are my companions at the moment of temptation.

Forgive me, in advance, if I embarrass Thee by failing to identify myself as one who seeks to honor Thee in all my ways. Let my conformity to this world’s ways be limited, O God, to things which, while some may question them, will not, I pray, be positively sin.

About the future, And the darkening trend of things, keep me from thoughtfulness. Events rush on: the world travails: Can screaming headlines prove Thy hand’s at work this very moment, bringing near that fateful cry, “Behold, He Comes?”

O, Lord, Such disconcerting thoughts! Keep me from worrying about such things, And guide me safely to and from my office, and my home. Amen.” —(Quoted by Ray C. Stedman)