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Daily Devotion for August 12, 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
Father, as I face this new day, let me be aware of the work you have done for me as I slept. I praise you that your loving care never slumbers, but has been with me while I was least aware of it; and that you renew me and the whole world, fresh every day, preparing your plans for me.
I pray that I may seek your will this day, your plan for my life, and carry out your plan in my every action. I lay my hopes and fears on an altar before you, that your Holy Spirit may guide my hopes toward the light of your holiness, and may quiet my fears with the knowledge of your infinite peace, in total confidence that your grace will save me from the evils of this world. In Jesus' name I pray,
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now 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.
And do not walk in My judgments,
If they break My statutes
And do not keep My commandments,
Then I will punish their transgression with the rod,
And their iniquity with stripes.
1 Corinthians 9:13-23 (JBP)
Paul Discusses His Ministry 
Are you ignorant of the fact that those who minister sacred things take part of the sacred food of the Temple for their own use, and those who attend the altar have their share of what is placed on the altar? On the same principle the Lord has ordered that those who proclaim the Gospel should receive their livelihood from those who accept the Gospel.
But I have never used any of these privileges, nor am I writing now to suggest that I should be given them. Indeed I would rather die than have anyone make this boast of mine an empty one!
For I take no special pride in the fact that I preach the Gospel. I feel compelled to do so; I should be utterly miserable if I failed to preach it. If I do this work because I choose to do so then I am entitled to a reward.
But if it is no choice of mine, but a sacred responsibility put upon me, what can I expect in the way of reward? This, that when I preach the Gospel, I can make it absolutely free of charge, and need not claim what is my rightful due as a preacher. For though I am no man’s slave, yet I have made myself everyone’s slave, that I might win more men to Christ.
To the Jews I was a Jew that I might win the Jews. To those who were under the Law I put myself in the position of being under the Law (although in fact I stand free of it), that I might win those who are under the Law. To those who had no Law I myself became like a man without the Law (even though in fact I cannot be a lawless man for I am bound by the law of Christ), so that I might win the men who have no Law. To the weak I became a weak man, that I might win the weak.
I have, in short, been all things to all sorts of men that by every possible means I might win some to God. I do all this for the sake of the Gospel; I want to play my part in it properly.
Notes on the Scripture
In this odd passage, Paul reflects upon his part in the new ministry of Christian teachers that has sprung up naturally, from the apostles of Christ going out to spread the news of His life and teachings, his death and resurrection, his ascension and promise to come again to judge and forgive all the people of earth.
He again makes the point that Christians should expect to pay their teachers and ministers. But he, Paul, himself, does not take payment for his work. Nor does he do it for pride. Paul was called to service and is compelled to preach Christ crucified, and his reward? His reward is that he can preach for free. He is obsessed and can do nothing else, for he would be miserable unless he could do his work.
And in doing it, he has become "all things to all men". When he has been with devout Jews, he has followed Jewish law. With Gentiles, a Gentile. With the weak, he has become weak. Paul depicts himself as a chameleon, who takes on the lifestyle of whatever group he has immersed himself into. He wants people to know that Christ is the Son of a God of all. However we are, whatever our wealth or age or ethnicity, Christ is like us.