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Daily Devotion for November 19, 2013

<i>The Miraculous Draught of Fishes</i> by Raphael, ca. 1515.
The Miraculous Draught of Fishes by Raphael, ca. 1515.



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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.


This pretty hymn is sung by the choir of the Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School in Singapore.

What a Great Morning

Holy God, thank you for giving me another morning! I am lucky to be alive on your beautiful planet, so full of marvelous things and the beautiful plants and animals and all the people you have created in your image. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, now and all day long, until I go to sleep, because I want to live with you every minute of this day. The time and opportunities I have right now will never return, so help me make the best of it, Lord.

And let me remember this one thing: You know what you are doing, whether I can see it or not; so I will try to remember today that you are in charge, that you put me here for a reason and that, by your grace, things will turn out with your triumph and the Kingdom of Heaven, for all those who live by your grace. All praise to you forever,


For All Who Serve Others

 O Lord our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; I pray for your blessing on all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of their fellow men. Endue them with wisdom, patience, and courage, that they may strengthen the weak and raise up those who fall; and, being inspired by your love, may worthily minister in your name to the suffering, the friendless, the lost, and the needy.

Inspire them with perserverance; when they feel unappreciated, comfort them in knowledge of the blessing they earn by their service; and to those who teach, let your Holy Spirit guide them in their teaching, that they always know and speak the truth of your Word. For the sake of him who laid down his life for us, the same thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray,



Walk with me, dear Lord, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may reflect the light of your truth, to inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.


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

endless knot

Proverbs 4:13 (ESV)

Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 13:1-9 (ESV)

The Parable of the Sower

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach.

And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.

Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Notes on the Scripture

Matthew (as we have mentioned before) tends to group his text by genre rather than by chronology. We see this again in Chapter 13, for the entirety of the chapter could be labelled Parables of Jesus. He actually stops the historical narrative in order to concentrate on a topic.

A parable is an extended narrative metaphor, which is to say, it is a long metaphor in the form of a story. Obviously, we are not intended to believe that it is factual; the sower is fictional. We have been prepared for parables by the many metaphors in Matthew previously; take, for example, “you are the salt of the earth” in Matthew 5. And a parable is simply a long metaphor, with one or more characters and some sort of plot or action.

Compare Matthew 12 and 13 to Luke 8, and the distinct approach of Matthew to his material becomes apparent. Nearly all of the content of Luke 8 can be found in Matthew, but in different sequence. In Luke, things seem more jumbled together; it seems that Luke tried to set down events more chronologically, stating things in the order in which they happened.

Luke's approach seems to be more historical, while Matthew seems to put less emphasis on historical accuracy and more emphasis on specific themes. Matthew 13 contains six parables, extensive explanations of two of them, a section where Jesus discusses the concept of the parable, a bit of prophesy about parables, and ends with the reaction of the populace to his telling of them. In effect, Matthew 13 is an essay on the Parables of Jesus.

We do not necessarily have to believe that Christ said everything in the chapter while he was sitting in a boat (although He might have), because Luke gives us a different sequence, and the accurate presentation of sequence seems to be a more important aim of Luke. This is one reason we have four gospels, instead of only one. The different styles of the authors afford us a different point of view. We might read Luke to get more of a sense of the life of Jesus, and read Matthew to get a more topical presentation of Jesus' teachings.

When we study topics, we do not concern ourselves with when Christ said these words, or where He was, or whether He was sitting or standing. We concentrate entirely on what He said and meant.

Since Jesus himself explains the parable later in the chapter, we will defer discussion of the meaning of the parable of the sower until then.

Chi Rho (XP) from the Book of Kells, created in an Irish monastery around 800 A.D. Chi Rho is the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ, “Christos” (Χριστός, the “Χ” being Greek capital Chi and the “ρ” being Greek lowercase Rho) and became a symbol of his name. The X and P are artistically combined into a single letter.

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Proverbs 31:10-12 (KJV): Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

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Comments (6)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of November 19, 2013 | Daily Prayer
Gloria Holstrom (Blue Springs, US) says...
I, like Leslie Murray, have been searching for a Catholic Study Bible. I bought "The Fireside Study Bible for NABRE but it is hard to use as I am now limited to digital books due to paralysis. Years ago I found a great S.B. at a Baptist store. It had scripture in the R. column of a page and explanations (maps, history, etc.) in L. column. Very user friendly. Sadly, I lost it. HELP me, please. I love this website so much!
19th November 2013 6:57pm
Chinita (New Jersy) says...
The "What a Great Morning Prayer" was just what I needed to read this morning. Thanks ever so much and God Bless you. Amen.Smile
19th November 2013 9:58am
Suzanne Herpel (Indian River, US) says...
I read the New Catholic Edition (well, not actually new, copyright: 1949-1951-1952). I found this Bible at an estate sale years ago and finally started reading it a couple of years ago. It is the Douay Version of The Old Testament & The Confraternity Edition of The New Testament. Being an older version I do have difficulty comprehending much in The Old Testament, but I keep on reading. I need to have complete silence when reading The Bible - no interruptions, so I turn off my phone, etc. ... Read More
19th November 2013 9:12am
Leslie Murray (Columbus, US) says...
I use the GNV daily, and once a week I have JW ladies stop by with their New World Translation. I also have a 30yr old copy of KJV on the bookshelf. All get their pages turned, sometimes in comparison to each other for a sharper understanding. I am thinking of getting an actual study bible, but I haven't decided on which one. Suggestions are welcome.
19th November 2013 8:10am
Robert Allen (McCracken, Australia) says...
Very interesting subject, I have often pondered on the different versions of the bible, and have used several. When sharing readings in groups, one finds people reading from various versions and it can make the study confused.
I am currently using the ERV what is your opinion of this version?t
18th November 2013 9:11pm
Mason says...
Robert, the ERV was written specifically for the deaf, and later its scope expanded for people who struggle with English. The Easy-to-Read Version is very aptly named, as it is definitely easy to read. For that, the ERV is to be commended. It is a good thing to have the Bible translated so that those who struggle with English can understand it. While the Bible is very deep in what it proclaims, the wording usually does not need to be complicated. The primary weakness of the ERV would be that ... Read More
19th November 2013 9:14am
mary Pregler (Glen Saint Mary, US) says...
I do not see this scripture as being painful, but rather comforting. Mary knew from the beginning that this son that she loved so much would need to "get about his Father's business" Actually she was the one who started the ball rolling at the wedding at Cana. She told him about the wine running out and had full expectation that He would handle it This passage endears me to her even more because even though she had set him free to do his work [ and in those days, assuming that ... Read More
18th November 2013 8:20am
Jeffrey DeMarie (Laconia NH, US) says...
I have to balance your commentary with Paul's exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:8.
18th November 2013 7:35am
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