Daily Devotion for July 9, 2012
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart.
Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Translating the Bible
If Christians had the Scriptures in their own tongue, they could themselves withstand these sophists: without the Bible it is impossible to establish the laity in the truth.
~ William Tyndale
2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV)
Reading the Bible
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Notes on the Scripture
William Tyndale, a leader of the Reformation, is credited with the first translation of the Bible into Modern English, around 1522. He was (of course) executed for his trouble. It was not a good period for either the Catholic Church or the Church of England; despite many honest, pious and dedicated Christians in both denominations, both had been tainted by men who saw the Church as a base of power and wealth and would mislead parishioners about what the Bible actually said and meant.
It is often the case that a right, paid for in blood, is thereafter not exercised by those who have received it. How many people in the world, whose forefathers fought and died for the right to vote for their government, do not bother to exercise the vote so dearly won? The similar struggle of Christians to be able to read the Bible is probably less well-known, but it was a vicious and bloody fight.
In today's Scripture, Paul give us two critical guidelines about why we must read the Bible. First, Scripture was "breathed out by God". Atheists, agnostics, and anybody who doesn't like what the Bible says will crow, "the Bible was written by men", as if it is some best selling novel penned by a group of demented con artists. Or people try to pick out the parts they agree with, dismissing parts they don't like for some reason they come up with. But there is no middle ground. Once a person grasps that the Bible is God's Word, that its purpose is to correct our mistakes (rather than vice versa), he or she has opened the only door to absolute truth.
But why read it ourselves? It is long, difficult, and often boring. Paul lists four reasons. For teaching, that we might not tell falsehoods to others, but can share the Good News accurately. For reproof, because God is probably not going to give us a lecture when we go astray. For correction, because we have to have a way to test the ideas in our mind and change them, if they are wrong.
And for "training in righteousness". Like an athlete, a person seeking Christ cannot stop training. Our memories are faulty. If we do not read the Bible, we forget what it says, and even the parts we remember recede in our mind. Temptation to evil is constant and powerful, powerful enough to warp our minds as well as our actions. But if we read the Bible regularly, these sloppy or even wicked thoughts will be challenged and (hopefully) overcome by the truth.