Daily Devotion for October 14, 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.
1. All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
2. Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours,
He made their tiny wings.
3. The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.
4. The purple headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning,
That brightens up the sky.
5. The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one:
6. The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day;
7. He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
Music from an English folk song, adapted by William Henry Monk (1879)
Lyrics by Mrs. Cecil F. Alexander (1848)
Prayer to Thirst for God
Lord God, I have tasted your goodness and it has satisfied me, yet it has made me thirst for even more. I am so painfully aware of my need for even more grace than I now enjoy; and even when I do not want more, I am ashamed of my lack of desire. I want you completely, mighty God, and I want to want you even more than I do.
Fill me with longing for you; make me even thirstier. Show me your glory, I pray, so that I may know you always better and better, growing in my faith and love. From you infinite mercy, begin a new work of love within me this moment. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ And give me grace to rise up and follow you, from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
Prayer for the Rich and Famous
Heavenly Father, I pray especially today for those who have great wealth, for those who hold great power; for the rich, the famous, the beautiful, the talented, the intelligent: for all who have been given an unusual abundance of earthly gifts and enjoy the accolades of their fellow man. Guide them in the use of their gifts, O Lord, but especially, have mercy on them, for with great blessings come great temptation to pride.
I pray especially for those who are so blinded by earthly gifts that they deny Your name, or if they believe, are blinded to their sin by their earthly glory and cannot find their way to the light. Grant them the blessing of your Holy Spirit, and lead them to salvation. Let me always forgive them when their pride or privilege irritates my own pride; give me understanding and not judgment; lead me to love them as you have taught us to love all men. For judgment is yours alone, and they deserve your mercy no less than I.
In Christ's name, I pray,
[Give me understanding rather than angry judgmentalism.]
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.
John 4:24 (ESV)
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
1 John 5:7-8 (NKJV, NASB)
7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. (NKJV)
* * *
7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. (NASB)
Notes on the Scripture
First off, we need to define some very clear terminology. There is the Father, who is God. There is Christ, who is God. There is the Holy Spirit, who is God. Moreover, all Christians correctly use these three names in their worship: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19).
ut this is not a statement of the “Trinity”, as the term is used in church dogma. Hopefully, this will not shock anyone, but Trinitarianism is a manmade theological concept and does not appear in the Bible. Neither the word trinity nor the concept it represents (e.g. “God is triune, having one essence but three persons”) appears in the Bible. They might be right and might be wrong, but these are the words of men, not the Word of God taken from the Bible.
The Bible verse that seemed to support it is was not written by John, but was added to his first epistle in the 15th century to bolster Church doctrine. It does not appear in any old Greek manuscript. It has been the source of so much dispute that it even has a name, the Comma Johanneum, which simply means the “Short Clause of John”. You can see what it says by comparing the two versions of 1 John 5:7-8, above. But here is the point: It was not part of John's original epistle and is not God's Word, but something added by men who believed the doctrine and rewrote the Bible so that it would seem to support their doctrine.
The reason we see it in the King James Bible is historical. In the early 1500's, the great Erasmus sought to compile an authoritative Greek text of the New Testament; and his version of 1 John was the original — that is, it did not contain the John Comma. It read like the NASB version of today. But he was pressured by religious authorities to include it, for by this time, the doctrine of the Trinity had become established dogma; and so, letting dogma and politics trump scholarship and authenticity, he included it in his third edition. For several hundred years thereafter, nearly every Bible in every language, including the Vulgate and the King James Bible, used Erasmus' Greek text as the source of its translation.
So, here is the rather weird state of the doctrine in modern Christianity. No modern Bible includes the trinity language, and no modern scholar — Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or whatever — believes the doctrine is biblical. E.g., The Harper Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism1995 edition at pp. 564-565) states: “Today, however, scholars generally agree that there is no doctrine of the Trinity as such in the New Testament . . . The NT does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity.”
And yet, the doctrine has become so established in by simple tradition that even Protestant churches will include the Trinity in their statement of faith. (This does not present any incongruity in the Catholic Church, where church tradition or doctrine may be, in certain circumstances, considered inspired.)