Daily Devotion for September 7, 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
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart. Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
For Those in the Armed Forces
Almighty God, I commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Fear of Men
We fear men so much, because we fear God so little.
~ William Gurnall
1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (ESV)
The Resurrection of the Dead 
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Notes on the Scripture
We live inside a box, sealed and opaque. Every scientist agrees that our universe is finite, a great hollow sphere, the inside of which is all we can see. No matter how powerful our telescopes may ever become, they cannot penetrate the boundaries or even see the edge, which is pure energy.
Outside our universe, science simply has no concept of what exists or does not exist. We don't know if there is matter, or people, or energy, or even time. One plus one might not equal two. But if we believe in the Bible, we know that God is there, for He existed in the void when He created light. (Genesis 1:1) While the Bible is not a scientific document, it did describe the "Big Bang" thousands of years ago — and some scientists scoffed at the Bible because of it!
But our senses and our minds have no knowledge of reality outside the walls of our box.
We Christians, of course, believe that our souls live on eternally and, moreover, that we retain some sort of identity. It would be idle imaginings except for one thing: God has come to us and done things that are impossible under the rules of the universe. A man, the Son of God, who was human in every way, died and then came back to life. Unbelievers scoff because it is physically impossible; but that was the whole point. It cannot happen in our world. And so, when it did happen, it was proof positive of another world.
Paul's passage today addresses a question sent to him, about people in Corinth who said they were Christians but did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. But the resurrection is the linchpin of Christian belief, for (assuming you believe all the people who say they saw Christ after he died) the resurrection proves beyond doubt that there is a God, who is not constrained by the laws of science that exist inside the box where we live.