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Daily Devotion for June 5, 2014


<i>Martyrdom of Saint Peter</i> by Lionello Spada, ca. 1610.
Martyrdom of Saint Peter by Lionello Spada, ca. 1610.

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.

Jesse Dixon rocks the house with an old gospel song, Walking Up the King’s Highway.




An Old American Prayer for the Work Day

Almighty God, thank Thee for the job of this day. May I find gladness in all its toil and difficulty, its pleasure and success, and even in its failure and sorrow. I would look always away from myself, and behold the glory and the need of the world, that I may have the will and the strength to bring the gift of gladness to others; that with them I stand to bear the burden and heat of the day and offer Thee the praise of work well done.

Amen.

Meditation

[I give thanks for the work I must do today.]


Prayer for Humility

Heavenly Father, who sent your Son to ride on an ass and to work as a simple carpenter: if you so humbled yourself to save me, how can I puff myself up with pride above others? Let me follow Christ's example, never to inflate myself with pride of status, of opinion, or of any of the gifts you have bestowed upon me.

Give me the grace to realize my ignorance, admit my mistakes, recognize my needs. Let me welcome good advice and sound rebuke, without defensiveness. Grant me always to praise rather than criticize, sympathize rather than discourage, build rather than destroy, and when I am angry at the ignorance of another, to recall my own ignorance and remember that we are all your beloved children. Let my hope and glory be ever in you, and not in my own vanity. This I ask in Christ's sake,

Amen.

Benediction

Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Amen.


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.



Ancient German stained glass fragment of Jacob
Ancient German stained glass fragment of Jacob

Matthew 16:18 (KJV)

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


Blue Latin Cross

2 Peter 1:5-7,10-11, 1:16-17, 1:20-21, 3:8-9 (ESV)

[M]ake every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. . . . [I]f you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

         *         *         *

[Know] this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

         *         *         *

[W]e did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

         *         *         *

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.


Notes on the Scripture

Overview of the New Testament: The Epistles
16. Second Epistle of Peter (2 Peter)

Peter wrote his second epistle shortly before his death; we know he was martyred during the reign of Nero, so we can date the letter around 65-68 A.D. The style is noticeably different from his first epistle and is marked by long compound sentences (reminiscent of Paul), making it harder to follow; he doesn't mention Silvanus, as he did in 1 Peter, so we might guess that he did not have Silvanus' services as an editor and scribe. The content, on the other hand, sounds very much like Peter.

Chapter 1 (of 3) makes two points. First, Peter clarifies what James earlier saidEven though the Epistle of James comes after 2 Peter in the Bible, it was actually written 20 years earlier. more directly, that “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:14-26) Peter writes a list of practical virtues and exhorts the reader to make every effort to follow them, to ensure that we do not fall and receive our reward in heaven.

The end of Chapter 1 is a powerful reiteration that Peter was an eyewitness to the events of the Gospel and reaffirms their truth in fact. It constitutes, in effect, an authority clause for the entire New Testament; Peter avows that it is the work of God, not the minds of men.

Chapter 2 is entirely a vituperous tirade against false teachers and false prophets, giving examples of their wrongdoing and promising that they will reap the reward of hell.

The final chapter urges patience in waiting for the second coming of Christ. Peter tells us that it might seem to us that it takes a long time, but God has a purpose, which is to give the people of earth every opportunity to find Christ and be saved when He does return. At the end of the chapter is an interesting comment on Paul's epistles: “There are some things in them,” Peter says, “that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, . . .” Amen to that!

The theological significance of this short letter is enormous. It comprises the final remarks of the second most important person in Christianity, Christ's personally anointed agent to found his church. It validates the New Testament in two ways: it is an affirmance of factual truth by the primary eyewitness, and an attestation of divine inspiration as to writing of it. It gives guidance on exegetical matters, especially concerning time and the doctrine of justification by faith.




endless knot

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Memory Verse

2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV): For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions . . . .



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