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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Daily Devotion for September 19, 2013

<i>Christian Fights with Apollyon</i> from Moving Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress.
Christian Fights with Apollyon from the "Moving Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress". (See Monday for information about this remarkable work.) Later in Pilgrim's Progress, Christian, having been armored and given a two-edged sword (see Heb. 4:12), is attacked by a dragon, Apollyon. Apollyon occurs in Revelation as an angel of Satan, who commands an army of locusts. The original is 20 feet wide. (See full-size.)



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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.


Prayer for the Morning

Blessed are you, O Lord my God, King of the universe, who removes sleep from my eyes, that I may see the returning light of the your day. I thank you for all that you have done while I was asleep, watching over me and all your children while we slept unaware, and I pray that my thoughts and acts this day may show forth my love and thanks for you and all you have done for me.

Help me through your Holy Spirit, that I may remember what you have taught me in the Bible and it may show forth in my every deed. Let me not wander into the hands of sin, nor into the hands of pride or perversity, nor into the hands of temptation, nor into the hands of shame, but steer my inclinations towards goodness and charity this morning and all the day. In the name of Christ I pray.


Prayer for Bearing Troubles

O  God, our help and assistance, who is just and merciful, and who hears the prayers of your people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner; have mercy upon me, and deliver me from the troubles that torment me, even though I might deserve them. I acknowledge and believe, O Lord, that you give us the trials of this life for our chastisement, when we drift away from you, and disobey your will; deal not with me according to my sins, but according to your endless mercy, for I am the work of your hands, and you know my weakness. In the name of Christ I pray,



May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.


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

woman praying

Psalm 89:8-14

O Lord God Almighty, who is like you?
You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.
The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
you founded the world and all that is in it.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
love and faithfulness go before you.

Blue Latin Cross

Romans 3:9-18 (NIV)

No One is Righteous

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.

All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.

Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.
The poison of vipers is on their lips.
Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.

Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Notes on the Scripture

The passage (largely a melange of quotes from various Psalms and Isaiah) is a veritable portrait of a person who does not acknowledge God or the Bible. It is the model of someone who lives according to his or her own understanding, a life dictated by animal desires, a life where decisions are made according to personal criteria, ignoring God and His Word.

This is why those who claim to know God and are raised in the church can so often rationalize their unbiblical behavior. They “leave church at church”; once at home, they allow the world to dictate their morals and their values. Spouses fail to love one another as the Bible has commanded them to do (and as they promised to do when they married); they neglect their families and put an obsessive importance on their careers, their possessions, their appearance, or their self-development. Our political leaders, our cultural leaders, and sometimes even our spiritual leaders make excuses and rationalizations for selfishness and sin. For advice, we go to Dr. Phil instead of Dr. Paul.

Read a newspaper or magazine, watch television, go to a movie, and ask yourself: "Is this the product of a society that loves God and respects the commandments and guidance of the Bible?" Nine times out of ten, the answer is no.

It is a battle. We need to do whatever we can to practice the teachings of the Bible in our own lives and to hold up the light of God's word before others, because silence is acquiescence. To do nothing is to concede the world to the darkness of atheism and the standards of selfishness and hypocrisy.

We all have sinned and we will all continue to sin. But we don't have to rationalize sinful conduct; we don't have to preach that such conduct is all right, simply it is something we might have done or want to do; and we don't have to stand silent when such conduct is promoted by others.

The large painting at the top of the page is an illustration of a scene from John Bunyan's great allegorical novel, A Pilgrim's Progress. The book (like the 8-foot-tall painting) seems corny to the modern eye, but the principle it represents is just as powerful today as 400 years ago. The hero, Christian, goes on a long journey seeking to unburden himself of his sins. He eventually finds “The Congregation”, who give him armor and a two-edged sword (representing the Word of God); but he does not leave his armament behind. He wears it on his journey, and with it, he does battle in the world to defend himself against evil.

Meaning: what we absorb at church, at prayer, and from reading the Bible, in our minds and spirits, is meant to be carried with us into the world, not left behind as some sort of duty we have discharged. It is for our good. It strengthens us to stand against the evil of the world.

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Proverbs 3:5 (ESV): Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;

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