Daily Devotion for August 11, 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.
Mahalia Jackson and Dinah Shore decide they ain't gonna' study war no more. Rare footage from the old Dinah Shore Show.
Prayer for the Morning
You are ushering in another day, untouched and freshly new, So here I come to ask You God if You'll renew me too?
Forgive the many errors, that I made yesterday, And let me try again dear God, to walk closer in Thy way.
But Father, I am well aware, I can't make it on my own. So take my hand and hold it tight, for I can't walk alone.
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
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.
As we trust God to give us wisdom for today's decisions, He will lead us a step at a time into what He wants us to be doing in the future.
~ Theodore Epp
1 Corinthians 9:7-12 (JBP)
Paul Discusses His Ministry 
Just think for a moment. Does any soldier ever go to war at his own expense? Does any man plant a vineyard and have no share in its fruits? Does the shepherd who tends the flock never taste the milk? This is, I know, an argument from everyday life, but it is a principle endorsed by the Law. For is it not written in the Law of Moses: ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain’.
Now does this imply merely God’s care for oxen, or does it include his care for us too? Surely we are included! You might even say that the words were written for us. For both the ploughman as he ploughs, and the thresher as he threshes should have some hope of an ultimate share in the harvest.
If we have sown for you the seed of spiritual things need you be greatly perturbed because we reap some of your material things? And if there are others with the right to have these things from you, have not we an even greater right? Yet we have never exercised this right and have put up with all sorts of things, so that we might not hinder the spread of the Gospel.
Notes on the Scripture
"Surely," Paul writes, "we are included." Paul here defends the right of a preacher to be paid for his work. Even a preacher of the Gospel has some rights!
The passage is simple to read and doesn't need much discussion. It is a straightforward defense to accusations that Paul, Barnabas, and Peter, have been financially benefitting from their ministries.
Paul first asserts that they have a right to some income. Knowing what we do of their lifestyle, it is hard to imagine that they are ever getting more than enough to stay alive. But they have a right to some support, if they are working full-time. Paul gives several examples, of how people who are taken away from the business of earning their livelihood have a right to expect to be supported.
His most appropriate example is a soldier, for many times forces were levied from the general population, expected to leave their farms or occupations and travel constantly, to perform a specialized function for the good of all society. The example about oxen is not so much a direct analogy, as a comparison of duties and reward. If even an ox is fed, how can people complain that the apostles are also fed?
The last sentence takes a different tack. Having asserted that he has a right to expect to participate in the economic rewards of his society, Paul then declares that he has not done so. He did get sizeable donations from the young churches; the end of his third voyage sees him traveling back to Jerusalem to transport donations to the Council. It must have been a goodly amount, to require him to travel so far, in person.
But the important point is that he did not just keep the money. Accusations that he was profiting from his minstry were at best fabrications made by ignorant people who wanted to attack Christianity, and at worst intentional lies told by false teachers, who themselves wanted to do what they were accusing Paul of doing: running a religion-for-profit sect.