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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Daily Devotion for March 12, 2014


<i>Jesus’ Interview Before Pilate</i>, James Tissot ca. 1888.
Jesus' Interview Before Pilate, James Tissot ca. 1888. In the moment depicted by Tissot, Pilate asks Jesus whether he is the king of the Jews. Jesus replies that “My kingdom is not of this world.”

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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.


Prayer To Do God's Will Today

Thy will be done. Dear God, I am full of the sound of my own voice, that lump of pride deep within me that will not go away, no matter how I try. Give me the strength through the power of your Holy Spirit to hear your voice and follow it, fighting the temptation to sin that bubbles up inside me whenever my mind strays from you.

Thy will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will be done.

You have commanded us to love one another, this I know without doubt. And yet all day I am filled with judgments, with resentments, with anger that sneaks in and grabs me when I am not paying attention to you. I pray dear God, that you will soften my heart to my fellow humans, no matter how sinfully they may act, and leave the judging to you, as you have commanded. Fill me with acceptance in place of judgment, sympathy in place of anger, faith in place of resentment. For my judgments and anger are the creatures of pride.

May I do thy will this day, in the name of Christ I pray.

Amen.

Prayer to Receive God's True Word

Holy Lord, who has given me the facility to hear and understand, let me receive your Word with an open mind and clear eye. Whenever I read your Scripture, let your Holy Spirit guide me to the truth, setting aside my preconception and self-justification.

I pray to hear what you intend for me to hear. Lead me to remember that, where we disagree, You are right and I am wrong. And help me always to an attitude of humility in my study, keeping in mind always to use your Word as a guide that will lead me on the path to salvation, never as a tool to justify my faulty and selfish thought; for I am justified by faith.

Amen.

Benediction

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time,

Amen.


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


Bible John 13:34 | Love one another just as I have loved you.

Proverbs 22:24 (ESV)

Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.


Blue Latin Cross

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (ESV)

The Temple of the Living God

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,

says the Lord Almighty.”


Notes on the Scripture

“Belial” sounds like the name of some pagan idol-god, but it actually is not. It is a Hebrew word that originally meant without (beli-) value (ya’al), that is, worthless. It became personified as specifically spiritual worthlessness, and people who lived immersed in depravity eventually became known as “sons of Belial”.

Paul uses it as a vivid expression for the gulf separating the Christian from the lost. And here we have another of the least popular concepts in the Bible. God does not want those He has saved, through the extraordinary sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ and the grace freely available to all who answer the call, to associate with those who have heard the call and rejected it.

Christian racial harmony

Counterbalancing this is the Great Commission, Christ's commandment to us to spread the gospel to all ears. We are expected to teach, preach, and proselytize the unsaved. For it was Christ's purpose to call sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:32) But there comes a point — and fairly quickly — when adamant rejection will end our duty towards a specific person. If they are not interested or reject God's word, as Jesus told his apostles, we should move on and “shake the dust from our sandals.” Which means, using a more modern idiom, “wash our hands of them.”

Christians often don't like to hear this, because they have non-Christian friends and they don't want to stop seeing them. But it is explicitly and repeatedly commanded of us in the Bible. “Whoever is not with me is against me,” Christ tells us in Matthew 12:30. John wrote: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:10-11) “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Take, as an example, sex. Sex is always an attention-grabber, for the teachings of the Bible about sex are almost diametrically opposed to the exploding secular worship of human appetites. The concept of sexual morals has almost disappeared outside Christianity. Every year the boundaries are extended. Television now celebrates adultery as a lifestyle choice. Listed among the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture of 2013 was The Wolf of Wall Street, which has a hard-core pornographic scene and is rated “R”.

But our problem, as Christians, is not to stop the immorality of the unwashed, but to save ourselves from a perverse generation. (Acts 2:40) We are commanded, not to change society, but to save ourselves — and as many who will listen to the truth — from it. So let us ask ourselves: How much have our morals been watered down or compromised by secular friendships, in person or by virtual friendship with pagan television and movie writers?





endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Ephesians 6:10-12 (ESV): Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.


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Comments (3)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of March 12, 2014 | Daily Prayer
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Mary (Scotia NY, US) says...
I am interested in this topic of friends and am wondering if this applies also to family? My dad used to say "You can pick your friends, but you're stuck with your family!" I was raised in a progressive, non-religious family and married into a God centered one. My wonderful in-laws, in cooperation with my loving husband, saved my life. Lately it is harder and harder for me to even maintain contact with my family. The older generation has passed on and my own generation holds ... Read More
12th March 2014 1:00pm
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Mason Barge says...
The Bible is pretty clear about this. Every Gospel contains at least one account of Jesus' mother and brothers asking to see him, and a response from him that, in effect, "my family are those who believe in me". Let me grab a quote instead of paraphrasing. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” Luke 8:20-21. He had a lot of ... Read More
12th March 2014 1:28pm
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Mary (Scotia NY) says...
Thanks, Mason. I was almost at that conclusion myself, but as you mentioned it does seem harsh. I held my peace until the older generation were all gone.It was interesting to see that I was the only one there for each of them at the end,too. I have in very recent years just tried to treat the remaining family politely and honestly. I seem to get the feeling that since they know I am ill, therefore I am also a bit off my game! So be it! Thanks again for the input, you're the best! Be glad ... Read More
12th March 2014 7:26pm
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Sylvia Piekarz (Menomonie, US) says...
Today's reading and you comment add to my own unrest. I am currently praying for and trying to bring comfort to my former husband who is I believe in the last days of his life here on earth. Always a devout catholic as to the letter of the law, he is tormented now because of his failures in life. Never able to accept salvation as the gift Christ provided. How does infant baptism and "trying" always to do the right thing bring peace now?
7th March 2014 9:01am
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Jeffrey DeMarie says...
Mason,
Your notes on the scripture passage seem to contradict what is stated there unless I am reading it incorrectly. The hypocrites picked the "first" son who refused to go but then changed his mind and went to do his Father's will. Please correct me if I am misinterpreted your commentary.
7th March 2014 8:37am
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