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Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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Daily Devotion for May 28, 2014

<i>St. Paul Writing an Epistle</i> by Jan Lievens, ca. 1627.
St. Paul Writing an Epistle by Jan Lievens, ca. 1627.



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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.


A wonderful contemporary worship song, with a strong rock influence, from Third Day.

Prayer of Praise

Blessed are You, Lord our God and God of our fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob, the great, mighty and awesome God, exalted God, who bestows bountiful kindness, who creates all things, who remembers the piety of the Saints, and who, in love, has brought a Redeemer to us, our forefathers and our children, for the sake of His Name.

O Mighty King, You are a helper, a savior and a shield. You resurrect the dead; You are powerful to save us in forgiveness of our sins.

You cause the dew to descend. You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall.

You sustain the living with loving kindness, support the falling, heal the sick, release the slave; You fulfill Your trust to those who sleep in the dust. Who is like You, mighty Father? And who can be compared to You, King of Peace, who defeats death and restores life, and causes deliverance to spring forth! Who is your equal, Great Comforter, who brings holiness to all who call upon You?

You are holy and Your Name is holy; the angels and all the creatures of heaven and earth praise You daily for all eternity. Blessed are You Lord, the holy God.



[God is my shield.]

A Prayer of Repentance

O  Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


Parting Prayer

O  good shepherd, seek me out, and bring me home to your fold again. Deal favourably with me according to your good pleasure, until I may dwell in your house all the days of my life, and praise you forever and ever with them that are there.


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.

<i>The Resurrection</i> by Andrea di Bartolo, ca. 1428.
The Resurrection by Andrea di Bartolo, ca. 1428. Bartolo references Matthew 28:4 here: “for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.”

Psalm 108:1-4 (ESV)

My heart is steadfast, O God!
I will sing and make melody with all my being!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.

For your steadfast love is great above the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Blue Latin Cross

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:2-6 (ESV)

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. . . .

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.

Notes on the Scripture

Overview of the New Testament: The Epistles
8. Paul's First Epistle to the Thessalonians

1 and 2 Thessalonians should be considered together, as they were written only a few months apart. They are unique in their timing. First, they might be Paul's first church epistles (even though they are last in order in the Bible), as they were written in the same period as Galatians, @ 51-52 A.D., while he was in Corinth. Second, they were written to the “youngest” church. Paul had started the church on Thessalonica only a few months earlier and had been forced to leave by persecution; so his teaching to them had been curtailed and they were new Christians, insecure in their faith, lacking a teacher, and constantly harassed and persecuted by both Greeks and Jews.

musical cat

The letters are short because they were written “on the fly”, to help a new church which needed immediate attention.

The members of this church were less prone to trouble and strife than most. Where Paul gives them direction, it is exhortation and support, rather than correction or scolding. In fact, the Thessalonians were holding together well, in spite of persecution. Paul praises them for their strength and, really, practically apologizes for leaving them (although he had no choice).

If we read through the Bible books in order, some of the early chapters in these books seem like perfunctory recitations of ideas more fully explored in previous books; but that is backwards, since these are the earliest books in time. These are not lesser ghosts of themes more fully developed in earlier epistles, but rather Paul's first efforts to expound important themes that were developed and extended later on. So we see, for example, shorter exposition of his teachings on the certainty of faith in Christ; steadfastness during tribulation; Christian living, especially avoiding immorality and living as an example; explanation of Paul's own ministry; his prayers and affection for them; and the importance of mutual love and accord among Christians.

The unique content in 1 Thess. is information on eschatology, i.e. what will happen when Christ returns. The Thessalonians somehow were left with the impression that Christ would return any day, to transport the living to heaven. But as time went by and some of their family and friends began to die, they became quite concerned that the dead would be left behind. In today's Scripture, Paul corrects their misunderstanding, and as a by-product, instructs Christians for all times about how the last days will occur.

He then admonishes them, and us, to always walk in the light; for we do not know when Christ will return, and his return will be sudden. So we must always keep ourselves ready for Him and not let our faith “sleep”. That is, we must practice and walk in our faith every day.

endless knot

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Memory Verse

Psalm 37:8 (NKJV): Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret — it only causes harm.

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