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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Daily Devotion for March 28, 2015


Colossians 3

Prayers

Scripture

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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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

Saturday is Oldies day, and it's hard to beat this poor boy from Mississippi, who became the biggest star in the world in 1956.

His appearance on the Ed Sullivan show set the all-time television ratings record, with over 82% of the entire prime-time tv audience watching. Yet, his only Grammy wins were for Gospel songs.



To Submit My Day to God

Almighty God, who has given me life and breath, and another day: I do not know what this day might bring. For men make plans, and their plans come to naught, as you will it. Thus I take this day out of my hands and submit it to your will. Make me this day your servant, that I might find my hand at the tasks you have meant for me to do, and might do them as well as I can. For there is nothing better than a person should rejoice in his work, to your glory and for the love of his neighbors, as you have commanded us through your Son. In His name, I pray, let my day be yours, and let it be filled with goodness and faith.

Amen.

To Know God's Word

Heavenly Lord, I pray to be able to read the Bible and learn your truth. Give me the spirit of understanding and wisdom, for you know how difficult it can be sometimes. Let me understand and absorb the words in your Bible, dear God, and let me see beyond the words on the page and know your true and full Word, Jesus Christ. Let me not be impatient; let my vision not be distorted by my bias, or my preconceptions, or my foolishness, or the foolishness of the world around me. Give me the courage to change my mind, when that is necessary. Let me know you as you intend for me to know you, I pray, O God; let me find my way to you, for I crave to know you and be with you, now and for all of my life,

Amen.

Meditation

[The spirit of Godly wisdom.]


Blessing of Mark

O  Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.

Amen.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.


St. Christopher</i>, unknown prayer book @ 1650 A.D
St. Christopher, unknown prayer book @ 1650 A.D. Christopher was a Roman martyr in the 3d century. He was a giant of a man and became the patron saint of travelers because he spent his life carrying people across a dangerous river. Legend has it that Christ appeared to him in disguise as a child and was carried across, which is no doubt the depiction here.

1 Chronicles 29:10-13 (NKJV)

Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth;

Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.

Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might;

And it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.

Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.

Blue Latin Cross

James 3:13-18 (ESV)

Worldly Wisdom vs Godly Wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.


Notes on the Scripture

We have a guest commentary today, a continuing weekly series on the Epistles of James, from Dr. Ken Boa of Atlanta.

Since ”the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34), the tongue can be brought under control only when we submit to being tamed by God Himself. When we are ruled by the flesh, the tongue becomes a fire that kindles the seeds of controversy, anger, malice, and indeed, ”the very world of iniquity” (Jas. 3:6). It can be a raging force that ”sets on fire the course of our life” or a fountain that spews out bitter water. But the same fountain can bring forth the fresh water of life and wisdom when we place our lives under the dominion of the Spirit.

The Scriptures repeatedly call us to unify our words and our works, our lips and our lives. James 3:13-18 is no exception. ”Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom” (Jas. 3:13). A person may be able to speak the truth, but if he does not live it, the disparity between his deeds and his doctrine reveal a lack of wisdom, the skill of incarnating eternal values in a temporal arena.

James contrasts the ”gentleness of wisdom” with the arrogance that is spawned by selfish ambition. ”But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth” (Jas. 3:14). There is a great deal of difference between profession of wisdom and possession of wisdom. Those who seek to assert and vaunt themselves over others may know and teach the truth, but they lie against the truth at the same time. Wisdom is gentle, not arrogant; it is pure, not tainted by jealousy and pride.

Just as there is a conflict between the domains of darkness and light, the races of Adam and Christ, the spheres of law and grace, and the destinies of death and life, so there is a conflict between earthly and heavenly wisdom: This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy (Jas. 3:15-17).

Earthly wisdom is derived from the values of the world system which lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19). Divine wisdom is not earthbound, but comes down from above and reflects the character of God. The life of Christ Jesus, ”who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30), is the supreme manifestation of godly wisdom.

Worldly wisdom is motivated by pride, jealousy, and selfish ambition. Godly wisdom results from pure motives--a desire to serve others and put their interests above our own. ”Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4).

Earthly wisdom is manifested in disorder, divisiveness, self-seeking, and a critical spirit. Divine wisdom produces the spiritual fruit of peace, gentleness, mercy, and mutual service.

Dr. Boa is devoted to a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a B.S. in astronomy from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. I highly recommend a visit to his website, KenBoa.org, which is filled with free videos, written commentary, newsletters, etc.



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