Daily Devotion for September 3, 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.
A Christian hymn composed by William R. Featherston in 1846.
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
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.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
~ C.S. Lewis
Tongues and Prophecy 
Tongues and Prophecy 
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, "By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord."
Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
Notes on the Scripture
The beginning of this passage echoes Chapter 13: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child . . . " Thus we remember, when reading it, that the aim of Paul's advice is love; specifically, here, the love for unbelievers, for what greater act of love can we perform for someone who is lost, than to help him find Christ, to save his soul?
Paul then puts his finger on the biggest problem we have, today, with people speaking in tongues during a church service. Those who hear them, if they are not Christians, or are weak in faith, or are not accustomed to it, will think it is just weird. They will think "these people are nuts." Remember, at the Pentecost, the people in the street thought the apostles were drunk. (Acts 2:13)
Then Paul says that "tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers," which sounds exactly backwards. But what he means is this: Speaking in tongues is a sign of conversion, a sign that a person has become filled with the Holy Spirit. The sign of one who is more mature in his faith is to preach the Word and its meaning in his life.
The last paragraph, describing a church service in which an unbeliever is urged to accept Christ, does not sound like something we would see today. The Christians of the first century were burning with faith, and one entering a service would get intense personal attention from the congregation. He would be called to account for his sins until he broke, in effect. Today, we seem to fear unpleasantness more than the loss of a soul. Hearing a Christian witness outside the walls of a church is a rare thing.