Daily Devotion for July 30, 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.
You give life, You are love,
You bring light to the darkness.
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken.
Great are You, Lord.
It's Your breath in our lungs,
So we pour out our praise,
We pour out our praise.
It's Your breath in our lungs,
So we pour out our praise to You only.
All the earth will shout Your praise,
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing,
Great are You, Lord.
“St. Patrick's Breastplate”
I rise today with the power of God to pilot me,
God's strength to sustain me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look ahead for me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to protect me,
God's way before me,
God's shield to defend me,
God's host to deliver me,
from snares of devils,
from evil temptations,
from nature's failings,
from all who wish to harm me,
far or near,
alone and in a crowd.
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,
[Let my vision not be distorted by my bias.]
God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and Spirit of God amidst us, direct our way unto you. Make us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Fear of Men
We fear men so much, because we fear God so little.
~ William Gurnall
1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (ESV)
The Resurrection of the Dead 
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
Notes on the Scripture
We live inside a box, sealed and opaque. Every scientist agrees that our universe is finite, a great hollow sphere, the inside of which is all we can see. No matter how powerful our telescopes may ever become, they cannot penetrate the boundaries or even see the edge, which is pure energy.
Outside our universe, science simply has no concept of what exists or does not exist. We don't know if there is matter, or people, or energy, or even time. One plus one might not equal two. But if we believe in the Bible, we know that God is there, for He existed in the void when He created light. (Genesis 1:1) While the Bible is not a scientific document, it did describe the "Big Bang" thousands of years ago — and some scientists scoffed at the Bible because of it!
But our senses and our minds have no knowledge of reality outside the walls of our box.
We Christians, of course, believe that our souls live on eternally and, moreover, that we retain some sort of identity. It would be idle imaginings except for one thing: God has come to us and done things that are impossible under the rules of the universe. A man, the Son of God, who was human in every way, died and then came back to life. Unbelievers scoff because it is physically impossible; but that was the whole point. It cannot happen in our world. And so, when it did happen, it was proof positive of another world.
Paul's passage today addresses a question sent to him, about people in Corinth who said they were Christians but did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. But the resurrection is the linchpin of Christian belief, for (assuming you believe all the people who say they saw Christ after he died) the resurrection proves beyond doubt that there is a God, who is not constrained by the laws of science that exist inside the box where we live.