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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Daily Devotion for May 15, 2013

The Annunciation by George Hitchcock, ca. 1887. We might not realize that this is Mary, except for the faint halo around her head. The blue dress and lilies are symbolic, but they are presented in a real-world setting. The lilies are not idealized, but growing as in an actual field, with grungy brown-spotted leaves. Her purity is internal and spiritual. The only hint of an angel is a pure white spot in the clouds.



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

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.


"Day by Day" from Godspell. A modern tune for an ancient hymn.

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.


Teach me Your Way

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; Unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify your name forever more. Great is your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of hell. All praise be to You, Oh God my Redeemer, today and forever.



Now, oh Lord, I pray that you may lift up the light of your countenance upon me, and give me peace; in my going out and in my coming in; in my sitting down and my rising up; in my work and in my play; in my joy and in my sorrow, in my laughter and in my tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

Saint Nicholas Monastery in Dzerzhinsky
Saint Nicholas Monastery in Dzerzhinsky, Russia. Founded in 1380 and used as a home for orphans.

Psalm 1-1:2 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the Lord, and upon his word he meditates day and night.

Blue Latin Cross

Proverbs 2:10-22

The Way of Wisdom

When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge pleases your soul, Good judgment will preserve you, understanding will keep you,

To deliver you from the way of the evil man, from the man who speaks poisonous things, Who leaves the path of uprightness, to walk in darkness;

Who rejoices to do evil, and delights in the destructiveness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and path is filled with deceit.

To deliver you from wrongful women, from the seductress who flatters with her words; Who abandons the guide of her youth, and forgets her covenant with God.

For her ways lead to destruction, and her path leads to death. Those who go with her become lost, and cannot find the path of life That lets you walk in the way of good men, and keep the path of the righteous.

The upright shall dwell in the bountiful land, and the perfect shall live in it; But the wicked will be cut off from the good earth, and sinners will be uprooted from it.

Notes on the Scripture

  1. A teenager is out with her friends, who start drinking beer and having fun with it. They repeatedly offer her a sip, but she has pledged to her parents not to drink.
  2. A man plays golf with three important friendly clients, who curse and blaspheme constantly; he finds himself saying "Jesus f--king Christ" when he misses a short putt.
  3. You are at a meeting when the group begins to demean Christians for their hypocrisy, stupidity, and superstition. You stay quiet about your faith, despite some inner turmoil.
  4. A Baptist minister lives in an adequate but humble house. His wife and children want a bigger, nicer one in a more prestigious neighborhood; he feels the allure of a nicer home, but struggles with his conviction that it would be prideful. His congregation and friends argue that he deserves it and owes it to his children.

Countless dilemmas face a Christian living in a secular world, where you want to fudge your beliefs a little to get along in the world. We all give into it sometimes. Even St. Peter denied Christ — three times — out of fear of what the soldiers in Gethsemane might do to him.

In today's passages, the Bible teaches us two techniques to help us resist temptation. The Proverb states that when wisdom and knowledge enter our heart and soul, it will protect us from temptation by others. As we study and reflect upon the lessons of the Bible and take them into our heart, we will automatically be "delivered" from two of the most powerful temptations others might make:

The first: being swayed by men who speak poisonous things. Sarcastic people who puncture sacred cows, who point out the hypocrisy and stupidity of others, appeal strongly to our pride. In the face of such articulate wit, one is not anxious to be identified with the object of his scorn. It is a powerful human instinct, not to be scorned and rejected, especially in public and especially in the presence of an intelligent speaker who has charmed a crowd with his cynicism.

The second, a seductive woman, involves another powerful drive. At times, the animal desire to mate can drive men and women near to insanity. Emotional desire for sex — thoughts of intimacy and love, being in the good graces of someone you find beautiful or wonderful, who makes you feel good about yourself, etc. — can be just as powerful.

The passage tells us, though, if you have prepared yourself by learning, it will save you in situations of even such overwhelming temptation. You will know the ultimate outcome of succumbing to even the most powerful temptation, and you will have prepared yourself to face it.

Psalm 1 gives us hope, informing us of the reward if we do resist; we will be blessed. And reinforcing the Proverb, this blessed person meditates constantly on God's word. And the blessing, unlike the promise of eternal life given to us by Christ, is an earthly one. "And he shall be like a tree beside a river of water, who brings forth its fruit in its season; and whatever he does will prosper."

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon