Daily Devotion for August 2, 2015
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.
Our “Virtual Sunday Church” this week takes us to a service led by Bishop Carlton Pearson in the Azusa Theater.
Hold to His hand,
God's unchanging hand.
Hold to God's unchanging hand
Build your hope on things eternal
Hold to God's unchanging hand.
Time is filled with swift transition,
Not of earth or moon can stand;
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God's unchanging hand.
Trust in Him who will not leave you.
Whatsoever years may bring.
When my earthly friends forsake me,
Still more closely to Him cling.
Music by Jennie Wilson
Lyrics by F.L. Eiland
Call to Sunday Worship
O Lord, I beseech you mercifully to hear my prayers, and the prayers of all your people who call upon you; and grant that we may both perceive and know what things we ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill them; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Almighty Father; I enter your presence confessing the things I try to conceal from you and the things I try to conceal from others. I confess the heartbreak, worry, and sorrow I have caused, that make it difficult for others to forgive me; the times I have made it easy for others to do wrong; and the harm I have done that makes it hard for me to forgive myself. Lord have mercy on me, and forgive me for all my sins against you and against others. And teach the grace to forgive others to all who ask for it, through the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ,
The Morning “Lorica” (Prayer) of Saint Patrick
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today through the strength of Heaven
the rays of the sun,
the radiance of the moon,
the splendor of fire,
the speed of lightening,
the swiftness of the wind,
the depth of the sea,
the stability of the earth
the firmness of rock.
I arise today through the power of God:
God’s might to comfort me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to lead me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s Heavenly Host to save me
from the snares of the devil,
from temptations to sin,
from all who wish me ill,
from near and afar,
alone and with others.
May Christ shield me today and all through the coming week
against poison and fire,
against drowning and wounding,
so that I may fulfill my mission
and bear fruit in abundance.
Christ behind and before me,
Christ behind and above me,
Christ with me and in me,
Christ around and about me,
Christ on my right and on my left,
Christ when I lie down at night,
Christ when I rise in the morning,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Into your hands, O Lord, Jesus Christ, my God, I commend my spirit. Bless me and all those who pray in faith of You this day; save us and grant unto us everlasting life.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Too Much Trouble?
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
~ G. K. Chesterton
Galatians 5:19-21 (Daily Prayer Bible)
19-21, 26 You know perfectly well what I mean when I speak of indulging the “desires of the flesh”: things like sexual immorality, impurity of mind, sensuality, worship of false gods, witchcraft, hatred, quarrelling, jealousy, bad temper, rivalry, factionalism, carousing, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that. None of us should be ambitious for our own reputation, or seek our own glory, or indulge our vanity; such motives just make us jealous of one another. As I have told you before, those who indulge the desires of the flesh will never inherit God’s kingdom.
19 Now, evident is the works of the flesh, which wGreek has a peculiar relative pronoun that infers a class; it is used in this phrase, so the literal form, “which is”, really means something closer to “which includes”. is fornication, uncleanness xOr impurity; the word used is a Semitic equivalent, i.e. the Jewish term for “unclean” in the legal sense., indecent conduct,
20 idolatry, making potions yOr sorcery. The literal word, close to “pharmaceutics”, might be cleverly used to mention drug addiction or dealing, although that is not what is meant. , hostilities, rivalry zOr strife., jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, factionalism, dogma,
21 envyings aaMany sources differentiate this word, translated “envy” or “coveting”, from the word in v. 20 translated “jealousy”, in that it includes or requires taking something away from someone else, rather than simply wanting to have a similar item, status, etc. Jealousy is more associated with pride., drunkeness, carousing, and similar things, which I forewarn bbExt. of the more literal foretell. to you just as I forewarned that those the such things practicing kingdom of god not will inherit.
About the Daily Prayer BibleThe “Daily Prayer Bible” is a paraphrase translation. This means accuracy to the original text has been sacrificed, to make it more readable and readily understood. This is especially useful in the Epistles of Paul. Verses are often out of order and often explanatory matter is included in the actual translation.
It is part of a larger work, DP 3-Column Bible, a Bible translation with 3 different levels of literal accuracy, which you can access by clicking the link at the bottom of the Scripture section. We call the most readable and least accurate translation the “Daily Prayer Bible”. The middle translation (“The American Bible”) is what is called a “literal” translation, accurate to the original text but using English grammar and idioms.
The third translation is a unique transliterative text, called “Verbatim Bible”, that has an unparalleled degree of accuracy but is not readable except with difficulty. It gives the non-Greek-reading user the ability to see the inaccuracies and ambiguities that become invisible in even the best so-called “literal” translations, such as the NASB or our own American Bible..
Notes on the Scripture
You Know Perfectly Well What I Mean (Galatians #67)
e are using our Verbatim Bible again today, as our check for accuracy, because the DP Bible paraphrase takes a strong tone in verse 19. In the Greek, Paul uses a word to describe the works of the flesh which means “evident”, in the sense of “plain” or even “obvious”.
At its most basic level, the word means revealed or visible, as opposed to secret or hidden. In fact, one might translate the passage, “It's no secret what I mean by indulging the desires of the flesh.” The specific examples he gives are, given the Greek syntax, clearly examples to illustrate what he means, not a complete list of sins of the flesh, or even necessarily the most important ones.
The recent (and ongoing) brouhaha over homosexuality cannot survive Galatians 5, because one must ask, how are the Galatians supposed to know what Paul is talking about? It was certainly not evident to the Greeks that homosexuality was immoral. Plato, in fact, wrote a Symposium that sought to explain why a grown man should prefer sex with young boys to sex with women.
It was evident, not to the Greeks, but to the Jews, because the Jews had the Law. Much of the Law disappeared with the coming of Christ, and much more with His death and resurrection. But the morality of the Old Testament — the dividing line between moral and immoral conduct — remained intact, except where it was specifically disavowed. As we have seen, morality cannot justify us before God, but because we are incapable of following it perfectly, not because God changed His mind about right and wrong.
The specific examples given by Paul in Galatians are interesting, and we will spend a few days examining them. First on the list is porneias, the word from which we get pornography. In truth, nobody knows exactly how to translate this into English. It might be read as narrowly as “engaging in prostitution,” but generally in the New Testament it refers to any act of sex between two people who should not be doing it. The prohibition might even extend, in rare instances, to a husband and wife, if the marriage is itself immoral. In Corinthians 5, Paul uses porneias to describe an act which is not tolerated even by the Greeks, i.e. a man sleeping with his father’s wife.
At any rate, taken in context, either “fornication” or “sexual immorality” seems pretty close to what Paul meant here. He is not specifying what sexual acts are immoral; rather, he is stating that sexual immorality/fornication is an example of what he means by indulging the desires of the flesh. The readers already know what he is talking about.