Daily Devotion for September 30, 2020
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.
This wonderful song had me hooked from the first line: “Though I walk through a valley that feels worse than death. . . .”
Prayer for the Day
Holy God, who taught the hearts of all faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit; Grant me by the same Spirit to be guided in my work today, and in my every thought and deed and in everything I say. Let my decisions be wise and holy, and my ears open to your wisdom. And let me always be open to change; unstop my ears and soften my heart, so that I can learn your way better and better every hour of this day. I pray in the name of my beloved Lord, Jesus Christ,
For Those Who Suffer from Prejudice
Holy God, teach me to treat every person with the pure love of Christ. Do not let me hate any person, but to forgive them when they sin, and to disregard every external attribute that prejudices one person against another. For we are all your children, equally loved, although we be sinners all.
And bless those who hate and those who are hated, especially from prejudices against attributes of birth, or appearance, or ability, or any other worldly feature that divides us from one another. Comfort and bless those who suffer such discrimination and do not let them fall into Satan’s trap, but give them always a spirit of sincere and pure forgiveness, as Christ forgave those who tortured and murdered Him.
And reform those who say words or commit acts that hurt others; if it be your will, let them see their sin and grow to hate it. Call them to your Spirit and let them be reborn in love and humility through the power of Christ, in whose name I pray,
“Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance”.
~ (Saint) Augustine of Hippo
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip me with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in me what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 1:1-2 (NKJV)
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
Galatians 2:15-17 (DP Bible)
Paul Corrects Peter (Galatians #18)
15-16 “How can you, a Jew by birth, first act like a Gentile, and then turn around and urge the Gentiles to live like Jews?” I asked him. “You and I were not raised like Gentiles, ignorant of right and wrong, yet we know that following the law of Moses, apart from our faith in Christ Jesus, did not and cannot justify us before God. No flesh will be justified by works under the law. So why hold onto it?”
17 “When we, who were born Jews, preach justification through faith in Christ, we are His representatives. We cannot become servants of sin. If we preach the faith of Christ and then sin, do we not imply that Christ Himself is a servant of sin? This cannot be!”
15 We by nature Jewish and not from sinning Gentiles
16 yet knowing that not is justified man from works of law unless through faith of Jesus Christ, and we in Christ Jesus have believed, that we might be justified by faith of Christ and not by works of law, since from works of law not will be justified any flesh.
17 And if seeking to be justified in Christ we are found also ourselves sinners, then Christ of sin is servant? It cannot happen.
Notes on the Scripture
e start in 2:17 today, but have included the preceding verses as an introduction, to give some sense of the flow in Paul’s argument. Verse 17 begins a transition, as the writing becomes less historical in emphasis — how Paul showed himself Peter’s equal by correcting his behavior — and more directly theological. He uses the encounter with Peter as a vehicle to tell the Galatians about the importance of faith — the preeminence of faith — in salvation.
In verse 17, Paul characterizes Peter’s actions as sinful. It is easy to see that Peter was being rude, and failing to do all in his power to unite the church, but was it really what one would call a “sin” for him to go off and eat with other Jews? Yes it was.
First off, we must remember that those who would teach will be judged by a higher standard. “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1) So what a brother in the church might have done, Peter cannot. A new convert from Judaism might simply not understand that eating with uncircumcised church members was permissible and even advisable.
Secondly, we must jump forward to a teaching of Paul from a later epistle, concerning whether one should engage in behavior, which is not wrong in itself, but which might damage another in his faith. “All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” (1 Cor. 10:23-24) To restate Paul’s teaching in terms of modern life, there is no sin in having a drink; but one should not do it in front of an alcoholic who is struggling to stay sober, or a person who thinks drinking is sinful.
Peter knows that eating with an uncircumcised Gentile is in no way wrong. (Acts 11:18; Matthew 15:15-20) But a group of converted Jews might not fully understand this. By engaging in the separation, Peter is tacitly undermining their faith.
Moreover, he is dividing the church. Peter’s own epistles (written later) will be filled with the importance of Christians’ love for one another and the unity of the church.
But the most compelling evidence of Peter’s error comes from Paul. Your secular reader of the Bible might have fun with this passage, ascribing motives of self-justification to Paul and trying to find friction between him and Peter. We must not fall into their trap. Paul’s epistles are inspired by God. To call his writing inspired by self-justification, or sinful pride, is to deny the authority and ultimately the meaning of the Bible.
There is no contrary account on the matter from Peter or anyone else. Peter, being the great apostle he was, undoubtedly accepted Paul’s correction without protest, in total humility.