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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Daily Devotion for January 13, 2014


<i>Garden of Eden</i> by Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Breughel, ca. 1615.
The Garden of Eden by Peter Paul Rubens (who painted the figures) and Jan Brueghel (who painted the background and animals) ca. 1615. An unusual and extremely successful collaboration by two great masters. (Eve adds another dimension to the saying, “you are what you eat”!) (See Full-size.)

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.

Michael Omartian has updated the tune to an old favorite, It Is Well with My Soul, in a nice blend of old and new.


Prayer for the Morning

Heavenly Father, I give you a million thanks that I have woken up alive this morning, once again to witness the magnificence, the glory of your creation. Even on the dreariest of days, when the weather doesn't suit me, let me rejoice in the taste of heaven you give us on earth. For the hottest, muggiest day; the coldest and most bitter weather; the clouds, the rain, the wind and snow, the lightning and thunder — these are all your creations, oh Lord, and all of them have a great beauty if I just take the time to see it.

Should I be blind, what would I give to see the cloudy rainy day that I complain about? Should I be deaf, how much I would long to hear your thunder! When I lie dying, how sweet it will seem to have been bundled up against a chill wind, or to be soaked in sweat as I work in the heat and humidity.

Let me be always filled with gratitude for the world you have given me, great God, Father and creator of all that is.

Amen.

Meditation

[Let us close our eyes for a minute and remember how we take for granted the good world we live in.]


To Know God's Word

Heavenly Lord, I pray to be able to read the Bible and learn your truth. Give me the spirit of understanding and wisdom, for you know how difficult it can be sometimes. Let me understand and absorb the words in your Bible, dear God, and let me see beyond the words on the page and know your true and full Word, Jesus Christ. Let me not be impatient; let my vision not be distorted by my bias, or my preconceptions, or my foolishness, or the foolishness of the world around me. Give me the courage to change my mind, when that is necessary. Let me know you as you intend for me to know you, I pray, O God; let me find my way to you, for I crave to know you and be with you, now and for all of my life,

Amen.

Benediction

Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.

Amen.


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


Jesus the Savior, stained glass

Eye of the Beholder

“Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.”

~ (Saint) Augustine of Hippo


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 15:10-20 (ESV)

What Defiles a Person [Part 2]

And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.”

And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”


Notes on the Scripture

During the hippie era of the late 1960s and early 70s, “you are what you eat” became a widespread slogan. In terms of physical health, science, and our earthly bodies, there is some smallReally, the slogan is more wrong than right. We excrete much of what we eat, and of the part we retain, the majority of it is completely transformed. For example, part of anything that has calories, no matter what it is, potentially undergoes a complex process to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the fundamental fuel for our muscles, brains, and other organs. truth to it. Here is a perfect example of the chasm between scientific truth and moral truth. If we misconstrued Christ's statement as scientific, we might say, “see there, the Bible is wrong.” This is the fundamental error of most scientists who attempt to comment on religion.

Christ tells us that we are not what we eat: what goes into our stomach is expelledJesus was more graphic. The original Greek/Aramaic is generally not translated literally, to spare tender sensibilities!. He is not addressing a scientific fact, but something more important to us; the life of our souls, a more eternal truth. The things of this world are temporary and will pass away, forgotten.

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children.
(Psalm 103:15-17)

What affects our eternal life is not what we eat, or anything else that comes from the physical world, for every scrap of it ends up on the waste heap. What affects our souls is our actions, what we say and do, for they are the evidence of what is in our heart; and only if our hearts are filled with faith in God and love for Him, and our fellow man, will God's grace sanctify us.

The great epistle addressing the subject of our actions is James, who tells us that faith without works is “dead”.

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? . . . faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)

(James also has quite a bit to say on the specific subject of speech, elaborating on Christ's teaching in Matthew 15. See James 3:1-12.)

Man ogling a woman

The principle that Christ teaches extends to the eye and ear, for what we might see or hear cannot be sinful in and of itself, no matter how foul it be. Sin is intentional; it reflects our heart. We saw a good illustration in Matthew 5:28, which is correctly translated “everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” A man does not sin by seeing a naked woman, even if he feels the stirring of lust for her. He sins by looking, not by seeing; by intending in his heart to lust and looking at a woman to feed his lust.



endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

James 1:19-21 (NIV): My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.


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Comments (6)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of January 13, 2014 | Daily Prayer
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Jennifer Fulbright (central Texas, US) says...
Mason, thank you so much for this site...I've found it so inspiring its become part of my daily readings. God bless your work that all will know Jesus saves!
13th January 2014 8:20pm
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Ann (AZ, US) says...
What a beautiful painting on Page 1. Thank you for sharing it with us.
13th January 2014 4:06pm
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Micahel (Huntington, US) says...
During this rough period in my life, reading this page and the morning devotion has given me the courage and strength to help face the problems that lay ahead.
13th January 2014 11:51am
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Mason says...
Our prayers are with you during your current difficulties. Stay strong!
13th January 2014 3:57pm
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Jennifer Fulbright (central Texas, US) says...
Michael, I hit the wrong hand, meant to give you a yes vote. You have my prayers too :-D this sums it up the best of way I am joyful...Romans 8:31-39 (KJV) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea ... Read More
13th January 2014 8:14pm
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Jan Marra (La Salle, US) says...
Thank you for a wonderful site.
The Morning Prayer today reminded me not to take things for granted. I needed that reminder. So many things that I consider dull, tiring, or difficult; and people too, I need to consider blessings, not burdens.
13th January 2014 8:09am
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Michael A. Loos Sr. (West Babylon NY, US) says...
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills! What a difference a day makes! What a difference crying out to The Lord and asking for comfort makes! Weds-Thurs felt anguish and helplessness not even able to negotiate with a walker. Fri-Sat struggled to give PT 200% and absorbed in prayer and meditation asking for His comfort and support, not asking for the pain to go away, asking Him to walk me through it. Sunday morning decided to try the cane and a walk outside to the horror of my wife Susan. Good ... Read More
12th January 2014 1:31pm
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Florence Yu-Pe Benito (Cebu City, Philippines) says...
I sent 2 sets of comments, the first of which did not appear. So i am resending the first set. Thank you Mr. Mason for the beautiful, inspiring and enlightening sharing especially because you always present them in a simplistic manner which make them easy to apprehend and appreciate. Thank you too for the care of your readers with regard the thumbs down. After seeing them of which I showed to my daughter, i was not sure if I should be surprised or bothered because I believed that those who read ... Read More
11th January 2014 7:45pm
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Florence Yu-Pe Benito (Cebu City, Philippines) says...
To continue, I just found a new-found friend, Heidi, who is my husband's colleague. Her son, Ethan Wilson, was thrown off by the nanny during the strong Oct 14,2013 earthquake that hit Cebu City, Philippines and has since then remained comatose and unresponsive as he is gradually opening his eyes and moving his pupils. So many people are trying to move heaven with their prayers for the full recovery of Ethan...and I cant even imagine the pains of Heidi as she awaits for Ethan to smile ... Read More
11th January 2014 7:31pm
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Florence Yu-Pe Benito (Cebu City, Philippines) says...
Mr. Mason,, thank you once again for the beautiful, inspiring, and enlightening sharing especially because you always present it in such a simplistic manner which makes it easy to apprehend and appreciate. Thank you too for the care of your readers with regard to the thumbs down. After seeing it which I showed to my daughter, I was not sure if I should be surprised or bothered because I am of belief that all those who make the Daily Devotional a daily habit are just like me, who are constantly ... Read More
11th January 2014 7:23pm
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