Practicing Virtue on All Saints Day

The heartbeat of every Christian is the desire to know Christ and enjoy the communion of the Holy Spirit in the presence of God.  Let us pursue that burning desire together with all that we are.

The following devotions come from:

Ancient Christian Devotional: A Year of Weekly Readings: Lectionary Cycle A (p. 247)

DEVOTION THEME

Hebrews 12:1-2 (CSB) Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

DEVOTION PRAYER

Almighty and everlasting God, who adorns the sacred body of your church by the confessions of holy martyrs; grant us, we pray you, that both by their doctrines and their pious example, we may follow after what is pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ The Leonine Sacramentary

 

NEW TESTAMENT READING

Revelation 7:9–17 (CSB) After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb! All the angels stood around the throne, and along with the elders and the four living creatures they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying, Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen. Then one of the elders asked me, “Who are these people in white robes, and where did they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” Then he told me: These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night in his temple. The one seated on the throne will shelter them: They will no longer hunger; they will no longer thirst; the sun will no longer strike them, nor will any scorching heat. For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; he will guide them to springs of the waters of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

 

REFLECTIONS FROM THE CHURCH FATHERS

Rejoicing in Christ’s Victory

Oecumenius: They are clothed in white robes as a sign of the purity of their life, and the palm branches are symbolic of victory and reveal that they rejoice in the victory of Christ against every spiritual and physical foe. Commentary on the Apocalypse 7.9–17.

 

The Gift of the Spirit

Caesarius of Arles: By the white robes he means the gift of the Holy Spirit. Exposition on the Apocalypse 7.9.

 

To Praise God.

Bede: To be continuously present at the praises of God is not a laborious servitude but a servitude that is pleasant and desirable. “Day and night,” indeed, do not exclusively signify the vicissitude of time, but typologically [they signify] its perpetuity. Homilies on the Gospels 1.10.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Mercifully regard, O Lord, the prayers of your family; and while we submit ourselves to you with our whole heart, prosper, support and encompass us, that, relying on you as our guide, we may be entangled in no evils and replenished with all good; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ The Leonine Sacramentary

4 Replies to “Practicing Virtue on All Saints Day”

  1. David – I’m glad I was introduced to your blog site recently. I have had the pleasure of introducing you to my readers. Here it is, in my gift to you:

    Congratulations, David! — Today, in my post at LoveAndGrace (found here: http://bit.ly/2Q8dB7j), I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This is a vote in recognition of your work as a Bible-based blog writer and encouragement for you to continue with the full confidence that the Lord is using you for His Kingdom. – Ward

    (The logo doesn’t copy over, but it’s available via the link to my blog)

    The Rules: 
    Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link from your blog site back to him or her.
    Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.
    Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 questions of your own. (These can be the same questions or you might want to change some of them.)
    Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.
    List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

    Questions I Will Submit

    What is your “Life Verse” or favorite verse and why?
    Describe briefly a moment of Grace in your life.
    What is your favorite gift and why?
    Favorite Christian song lyrics?
    Christian book that you would recommend
    Describe your intended blog reader.
    Favorite book of the Bible and why? (okay to list two!)
    What city or town is your favorite “go to” place and why?
    What would you like to change about your life?
    Unmet desire or goal?
    Share an interesting fact about your life.

    Since I do not have a list of who has been nominated, you very well might fall under that category. However, by nominating your site, I have already introduced you to my readers, along with a recommendation to see what you’re doing. As I have gone through this process, I have learned more about other bloggers’ work. I am feeling great joy in that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, brother! I am honored by your nomination and am very grateful for your recommendation. And thank you for your encouragement to keep doing what I am trying to do. My audience is small, and I really appreciate the encouragement.

      Here’re the answers to your questions:

      “What is your “Life Verse” or favorite verse and why?”

      I’m not sure if I can name one, but one of the texts that impacted my life the most is 1st John 1:5- 2:2. They deliver the force and grace of the gospel in a very powerful way that touches me when I am in trouble and when I am rejoicing.

      “Describe briefly a moment of Grace in your life.”

      Right before I was diagnosed with MS, I went completely blind in my left eye. I remember laying in the MRI machine when the Lord brought Matthew 5:8 to my mind: “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall SEE God”. I realized then that even as I was losing my physical sight, I was seeing God more clearly, and I did not deserve that blessing.

      “What is your favorite gift and why?”

      My wife gave me a jar of “30 reasons I love you” for my 30th birthday. I’ve kept it with me as we’ve traveled all over the world.

      “Favorite Christian song lyrics?”

      “Trust and Obey” is probably my favorite hymn. It’s simple and yet delivers the gospel LIFE in such a profound way.

      “Christian book that you would recommend”

      The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer is a book that I think every Christian should read at least once in their life.

      “Describe your intended blog reader.”

      My intended blog readers are people who desire to know God through his word and find out what God’s original message to us really is without all the distractions of modern issues and agendas that often get read into the text. The person who will benefit the most from my blog is the one who opens their Bible and carefully reads through the texts that we study in such a way that they take the message being explained and use it as the bridge by which they enter the presence of God.

      “Favorite book of the Bible and why? (okay to list two!)”

      I’m not sure I can name just one or two favorites, but 1st John has really impacted my life because it delivers the simple gospel in such a beautiful and clean way, and yet there are so many intricate connections that weave throughout the book. I have literally spent the last 3 or 4 years studying 1st John and I feel like I’m just beginning to grasp its message.

      “What city or town is your favorite “go to” place and why?”

      That’s an interesting question. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it before, so I can’t really say.

      “What would you like to change about your life?”

      I wish I could go back and change the habits I made when I was younger because I created spiritual stumbling blocks in my life as I got older. I didn’t quite realize that small habits can become so hard to break.

      “Unmet desire or goal?”

      To become entirely fluent in Koine Greek so that I can read my Greek NT in the same way that I read my English NT.

      “Share an interesting fact about your life.”

      I’m a missionary.

      Thanks again for your encouragements and for recommending my blog to others. I’m touched and I pray that God would continue to bless your ministry as you try to reach others with his word!

      ~ Grace and Peace in Christ!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amazing answers! I’m humbled and blessed by your devotion to our Lord. I also love 1 John. The reason I said maybe two books is because James is a close second. I’m very glad I came across your blog site while being tasked to discover other bloggers to promote and encourage. May you be blessed in your journey, as well. /Ward

        Liked by 1 person

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