Daily Devotion for August 30, 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
Oh my God, You know my weakness and failings, and that without Your help I can accomplish nothing for the good of souls, my own and others'. Grant me, therefore, the help of your grace. Grant it according to my particular needs this day. Enable me to see the task you will set before me in the daily routine of my life, and help me work hard at my appointed tasks. Teach me to bear patiently all the trials of suffering or failure that may come to me today.
Prayer for Peace
I thank you, master and lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. I appeal to you to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hate for their neighbors, thinking especially of those at war or preparing for war.
Grant peace to your servants. Implant in us the fear of you and confirm in us love for one another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For you are our peace and to you we ascribe glory: to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make us faithful to your Word that we may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The weakest saint upon his knees.
~ William Cowper (1731-1800)
1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV)
Faith, Hope, and Charity 
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Notes on the Scripture
"Love" is a translation of the Greek word "agape" (pronounced with three syllables, uh-gahp-ay); but unfortunately, agape cannot be translated into English with very much accuracy. "Love" is about the best we can do.
The King James version used "charity" to translate agape, which is closer in some ways. But the strong association of charity with giving money to the needy makes it inaccurate, as well; in fact, earlier in the chapter Paul tells us, "If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing." So 1 Corinthians itself tells us that agape is something more than "charity" as we generally use the word today.
So what, exactly, does "love" mean in this context? It is an important question, for Paul calls it the greatest of all Christian virtues, and John goes so far as to say, "God is love."
If you read through the entire chapter, Paul actually defines it, in great part. It includes patience towards others, kindness, and a lack of superior feelings or boasting — humility, in other words, in both thought and actions.
Since it is "never rude", it is polite. Since it "never insists on its own way", it is accommodating. It isn't irritable. It isn't resentful, which is a big one, for we can form resentments in myriad ways.
It never rejoices at wrongdoing. So when we find ourselves thinking or says, "it serves the son-of-a-***** right" or "he had that coming", it should give us pause.
This might be something all of us need to work on. None of us is perfect, but Paul's eloquent statement of the importance of Christian love is a goal which we must constantly keep in mind and work toward, every day.