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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Daily Devotion for July 27, 2013

God’s in His heaven



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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.


Our Saturday Oldies music is from one of the great forgotten Gospel groups, the Golden Gate Quartet, giving us a lesson in honesty.

Prayer for the Day

Holy God, you have given me another day. Bring your Holy Spirit into my mind and my life, so that I may walk this day in your presence. Let me feel your presence throughout the day, remembering always that you sent your Spirit that you might be a living force in all I see and all I do. When I feel temptation or begin to stray, show me your path. Correct me, comfort me, let me live your will; that I may be happy in this life and blessed in the life to come. This I pray in the name of Christ, my Lord.


Prayer for Physical Renewal

Lord, I come before you today in need of your healing hand. In you all things are possible. Hold my heart within yours, and renew my mind, body, and soul.

I am lost, but I am singing. You gave me life, and you also give me the gift of infinite joy. Give me the strength to move forward on the path you've laid out for me. Guide me towards better health, and give me the wisdom to identify those you've placed around me to help me get better. In your name I pray,



Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine — to him be glory in the Church through Jesus Christ for ever and ever,


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

tiffany angel stained glass
The Angel of the Resurrection, designed by Frederick Wilson for Tiffany Studios in 1904-5, for the American Presbyterian Church in Montreal.

The Year’s At The Spring

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his Heaven —
All’s right with the world!

~ Robert Browning

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 4:23-25 (ESV)

Jesus Ministers to Great Crowds

And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.

And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

Notes on the Scripture

Matthew's great strength lay in recording Jesus' words. Without him, we would live in a different world, for a majority of Jesus' teachings would be lost, especially his direct instructions on how we should live. But as a history of the life of Jesus, it lacks some of the details of the other gospels.

In today's lesson, we are given no details at all. The passage must cover a goodly period of time and distance, for enough time passed that word of Christ spread at least as far south as Jerusalem, east into the Greek cities on the other side of the Jordan (the “Decapolis”), and north into Syria, and allowed people from there to travel to Galilee. (See Map.) This would have taken time in an era when both travel and communications were primitive.

Three activities are named. First, Jesus taught in synagogues. These were numerous, for it took only ten Jewish men to form a synagogue. Sacrifices were made only at the Temple in Jerusalem, so synagogues were strictly educational in nature. They were almost like Quaker meeting-houses, for there was no designated preacher. At a meeting, a portion of the Torah would be read, prayers would be said, and one or more members of the congregation would teach. Learned visitors were most welcome to speak, since they would bring new knowledge and fresh viewpoints.

As we will see in later chapters, Jesus might have had a fresher viewpoint than most synagogues had counted on; he would, in fact, cause a furor with his revolutionary and even heretical teachings.

Secondly, he “proclaimed the gospel”. That is, he told them the good news, that the Kingdom of God had arrived. Whether he lay claim to divinity during this period, we do not know. But he surely attacked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and laid the foundation that salvation would require a change within, not simply compliance with the law of Moses.

Third, he healed. Generally, healing by Christ and his apostles would occur only in a person who had faith in him and his word. This was not some reward, not a method to manipulate people into outward protestations of faith. It was rather a sign that Christ could remit sin, and not just personal sin, but the sin of Adam which had engendered all human misery.

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 3:16: As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

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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