Daily Devotion for July 24, 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.
An old Country pop song gives us some good advice on how to live our lives.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
“God created marriage. No government subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God.”
~ Max Lucado
1 Corinthians 2:6-11 (ESV)
Wisdom from the Spirit
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him” —
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
Notes on the Scripture
1 Corinthians is one of the most powerful and beautiful books in the Bible, and we begin to see a change, as the style of writing becomes richer. The first section is corrective; Paul needed to chide people who were forming into sects, following different leaders, and arguing about minutiae of theology, instead of concentrating their energy on Christ. And so the prose has been straightforward and argumentative.
Here, however, Paul can stop arguing and write what he wants; putting aside the lecture, he can become more eloquent about the mysteries of his faith.
In the preceding verses, in order to stop the debating, Paul decried wisdom as a means of knowing God, for this was the habit of the Greeks and was causing much of the segmentation in the Corinthian church. Remember, "God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise."
Now, though, he speaks of wisdom that does help us in our faith, "the secret and hidden wisdom of God". Paul really needed two words, but ancient Greek did not have them, and so he has to speak of two different types of knowledge using the same word, "wisdom".
He describes the Holy Spirit as an intermediary, a sort of translator, for although the Spirit is of God and can understand God, human beings cannot. What God has prepared for those who love him, "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined." (There is no cite for this. It is not really a quote, or at least not a quote of something still in existence, but a reinterpretation by Paul of Isaiah 64:4.)
But our spiritual side can know these truths, for the Holy Spirit will interpret them to us.
Finally, Paul tells us that his words are not the product of human wisdom but are taught by the Spirit, to impart spiritual truths to those who can understand with their spirit. He demolishes an oft-encountered notion that the Bible is a book written, even fabricated by a bunch of men, a notion used as a preparatory wedge for anyone who wants to dismiss or discount part of the Bible.
This idea is part and parcel of the "Greek folly"; the slippery logic of the human mind can never know God. Unless we accept the Scripture as a spiritual truth given to us by God, we can never know Him, for the God our minds would create is not the God who exists.