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Daily Devotion for May 21, 2014
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.
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
T'was Grace that taught
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within in the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been here ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
then when we've first begun.
Lyrics by John Newton (1773)
Music origin unk.
Morning Prayer of (St.) Thérèse of Lisieux
O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of Christ Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to His infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of His Merciful Love.
O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.
[The joys and sorrows of this life.]
To Spread the Gospel
Father God, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior you have found my heart worthy enough to save, and have entrusted me to spread the Gospel. You have handed to me the very keys to the kingdom of heaven. Let me not grow weary of His cause. And by His grace and mercies given to me, let me be proven worthy of my call. As your Son taught us, the harvest is plentiful, but the gatherers are few. Let me stand for my call in Jesus Christ and take my place among those who gather, not by argument and rancor, but by living as a shining light before the world, always ready to witness to your gifts, your Word, and your glory.
Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my mind. Give me a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that I may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
1 Corinthians 1:11-13; 3:16-17; 12:4-12;
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. . . . What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?
* * *
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
* * *
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; . . . For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
* * *
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Notes on the Scripture
Overview of the New Testament: The Epistles
2. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians
The church in Corinth, a major city in Greece, had been founded by Paul himself; he spent 18 months there on his second journey. (Acts 18) He wrote 1 Corinthians two years later (54 A.D.), to correct a number of problems that had sprung up in the church after he left.
The epistle addresses two overarching problems. First, the church had already begun to split into denominations according to which apostle they liked best, forming “cults of personalityIt was, oddly, the Soviet Union that gave us the perfect phrase, “cult of personality”, to describe this common phenomenon.”.
Secondly, an outrageous heresy (an extreme form of antinomianism) had arisen. Some people reasoned that since our sins are all forgiven by the grace of God, and to His glory, that the more they sinned, the more forgiveness would be generated to glorify God; this led to utter debauchery in the name of Christ! In the epistle, Paul specifically mentions one man who was having an adulterous affair with his own father's wife.
1 Corinthians is a long epistle and a summary necessarily simplified. Ch. 1-4 teach that the wisdom of men, so beloved by Greek philosophers, is nothing to the Christian, and they should not be overly impressed by people who speak well and sound wise. There is one church and one head of it, Jesus Christ.
Ch. 5-11 are a diatribe against Christian immorality, especially sexual immorality, and why it cannot be countenanced in a church. He instructs them to expel the unrepentant adulterer. This leads to an extensive statement of Christian doctrine concerning sex, marriage, divorce, the roles of men and women in the church, lawsuits, idolatry, humility, inoffensiveness, and showing mutual love during the Lord's Supper.
Ch. 12 and 13 are two of the greatest chapters in the Bible. In Ch. 12, Paul speaks of the variety of gifts of the Spirit, comparing them to the members of a human body. Ch. 13, which we hear at almost every Christian wedding, is Paul's powerful poetic masterpiece on “faith, hope, and charity ”(or “love”). In the context of the epistle itself, these provide a joyful and positive general statement to bolster the more specific and negatively stated matters in the preceding chapters.
Ch. 14 gives advice for communal worship and is especially known for its restrictions on speaking in tongues. Ch. 15 is general information about resurrection, for there was apparently great confusion on the issue. First, Paul reminds the Corinthians of the central role Christ's resurrection plays in Christian belief. He then teaches the mechanics of the resurrection: that “the trumpet shall sound” and dead will be raised physically, but not in their old bodies. They will have new, glorified bodies free from disease and decay.
The epistle ends, as many do, with an assortment of personal and mundane matters: Paul's schedule, collecting money, individual greetings, etc.
Romans may be the most important theological statement in the epistles, but 1 Corinthians is probably the most read (and the most fun to read), most hotly debated, and most often quoted.