Daily Devotion for November 4, 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.
Oh great mammon of form and function,
Careless consumerist consumption,
Disguised as expensive taste.
I’m a people disgraced
By what I claim I need,
And what I want to waste.
I take no account for nothing
If it’s not mine.
It’s a misappropriation of funds
Protect my ninety percent with my guns
Whose side am I on?
Well who’s winning?
My kingdom’s built with the blood of slaves,
Orphans, widows, and homeless graves.
I sold their souls just to build my private mansion.
Some people say that my time is coming,
Kingdom come is the justice running,
Down, down, down on me.
I’m a poor child, I’m a lost son,
I refuse to give my love to anyone,
Fight for the truth,
Or help the weaker ones,
Because I love my Babylon.
I am a slave, I was never free.
I betrayed you for blood money.
Oh I bought the world, all is vanity,
Oh my Lord I’m your enemy.
Come to me, and find your life.
Children sing, Zion’s in sight.
I said don’t trade your name for a serial number -
Priceless lives were born from under graves
Where I found you.
Say, my name ain’t yours and yours is not mine
Mine is the Lord, and yours is my child.
That’s how it’s always been.
Time to make a change
Leave your home
Give to the poor all that you own.
Lose your life, so that you could find it.
First will be last when the true world comes,
Livin’ like a humble fool to overcome,
The upside-down wisdom
Of a dying world.
Zion’s not built with hands,
And in this place God will dwell with man,
Sick be healed and cripples stand
My kingdom’s built with the blood of my son,
Selfless sacrifice for everyone,
Faith, hope, love, and harmony.
I said let this world know me by your love.
By your love.
Oh my child, my daughters and my sons
I made you in love to overcome,
Free as a bird, my flowers in the sun
On your way to Mount Zion.
All you slaves, be set free;
Come on out child and come on home to me.
We will dance, we will rejoice,
If you can hear me then follow my voice.
Music and Lyrics by Josh Garrels
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.
Prayer to Know God's Will
And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father,
Until it be according unto mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.
I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire -
See in my quiet places, wishes thronging -
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.
[Where have I prayed that God would change His will to mine?]
Oh God Almighty, send me Your light and truth, to keep this day and all the days of my life. And may Your mighty hand protect me, and all my brothers and sisters who have joined me in prayer this day, blessing our homes and our lives.
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.
“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
~ C.S. Lewis
1 Thessalonians 2:1-2 (DP)
God Gives Paul Courage
1-2 My brothers and sisters, you know that our time with you was not spent in vain. We had been badly treated in Philippi, and our suffering might have prevented us from coming to you. But God gave us the courage to forge ahead, and we were able to deliver His message to you, even in the face of all the hostility we encountered.
1 [For] yourselves you know, brothers, the coming of us the to you that not in vain has happened,
2 but having suffered and having been mistreated as you know in Philippi we were bold in god of us to speak to you the gospel of god in great conflict
Notes on the Scripture
Having remarked at the end of the first chapter about how the Thessalonians' conduct was being discussed, throughout Greece and beyond, Paul now turns to the opinions of the Thessalonians themselves. He is especially eager that they recall the conduct of Paul and his retinue while they were there; in fact, this takes up half of the chapter.
We accused Paul of not using topic sentences a few days ago, and now we get to eat our words. Verse 1 really sets the theme of the chapter; first, a recounting of Paul's time in Thessalonica and the success of the trip, and second, “you know that”, which begins an appeal to the readers to remember and testify about Paul's conduct.
ust in case someone is hoping to hear a five-dollar word today, the expression “was not spent in vain” is called a “litotes”. Paul expresses a positive thought, “Our trip to you was productive”, by denying a negative outcome. In English this might connote a smaller degree of success. If someone asks us, “Was your sandwich good,” we might say “It wasn't bad” to indicate, well, it wasn't great.
But not so in Greek; and in fact, not so in the Bible. When Paul says “not in vain” he means “a success.”
When Paul says he had been badly treated and had suffered in Philippi, he isn't kidding. They had tried to help a girl of low standing by exorcising a demon from her. As a result, he and Silvanus had been physically dragged before a magistrate, derided for being Jews, stripped, flogged, and jailed. (Acts 16:16-24) A flogging was horrendously painful and potentially crippling; for that matter, we should not lose sight of the psychological impact of being the subject of mob violence.
When we look back at Biblical figures, we should not diminish their stark humanity in a cloud of Biblical romanticism. Paul was just a guy. Imagine enduring a mental and physical ordeal like he did (Timothy and Silvanus, also). It would have been really hard for them to “saddle up” for another round. By understanding the magnitude of their pain, and the inevitable reluctance to repeat such a horrible experience, we are able to grasp the power that the Holy Spirit had within them.
And if we are tempted to see their courage as a personal trait, we must remember that all three of them went to Thessalonica and began preaching. Truly they had “picked up their crosses” to follow Jesus; in Paul's case, apparently, literally; we do not know what ultimately became of Timothy and Silvanus.