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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Daily Devotion for November 10, 2014

<i>The Pilgrims of Emmaus on the Road</i> by James Tissot, ca. 1888
The Pilgrims of Emmaus on the Road by James Tissot, ca. 1888.



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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.


To Live in God's Presence

Dear God, I know you are with me now. I know you are with me any time I call on you, or even think about you. Let me remember, every minute of every day, that you are with me, watching me, ready to help, protecting my soul even when the things of this world give me pain.

Let my every minute be lived in your presence. Let my every action be an offering of love to you. Let my every word be a prayer.


For Strength of Faith

Heavenly Father, every life has its trials, and I have my share. Help me to see the challenges of life as opportunities to test my sincere and single-minded faith and to grow, and endure, and persist despite obstacles in my path. For people who have it easy in life develop no strength. As you have told us, the flower of wealth and fame is short-lived, for the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers it, and its petals fall, and its beauty is gone.

Give me confidence and strength in my faith, Lord, for the reward you give to your faithful is true joy and will never fade, but will remain when all flesh has been corrupted and all the things of earth have faded. Let me hold strong and steadfast through every trial and every temptation. All praise and glory to you, mighty God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Make your home with me today and every day of my life; be with me in all I do.



[Every life has its trials.]


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!


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>Raising Lazarus</i> by Maurice Denis, ca. 1905.
Raising Lazarus by Maurice Denis, ca. 1905. (The French text is from John 11: “I am the resurrection and the life; Martha said to Him, I believe, Lord”


All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths contained in the Sacred Scriptures.

~ Sir William Hershel

Blue Latin Cross

1 Thessalonians 2:6-9 (DP)

The Behavior of God’s Emissaries

Nor were we seeking glory, from you or anyone else. We were commissioned by God Himself to act as His apostles, but did we strut around full of our own importance? You remember how we acted: as innocent as children, and as full of warmth and comfort as a mother towards her own family, because our affection for you was genuine.

And you remember how we labored night and day, disregarding hardship, so that we wouldn’t be a burden to anyone. We gladly gave you not only God’s holy Word, but our own bodies and souls.


6 nor seeking from men glory, neither from you nor from others,

7 being empowered in importance to be as of Christ apostles, but we were children [a]Alt. gentle. in midst of you. As if wet-nurse [b]Poss. mother with the sense of nursing mother. might comfort [c]Most lit. warm. the of herself children

8 so longing of you we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of god but also the of ourselves lives, because beloved by us you became.

9 For you remember, brothers, the labor of us and the hardship; of night and of day working towards not to burden anyone of you we proclaimed into you the gospel of god.


v.7 - [a] Alt. gentle. [b] Poss. mother with the sense of nursing mother. [c] Most lit. warm.

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - 1 Thess. 2

Notes on the Scripture

We have been discussing “implied hortatory” — that is, Paul describing his own behavior in a way that implies that the reader should imitate him. When he says that he did not seek personal glory while teaching the gospel in Thessalonica, he implicitly teaches that one should not seek personal glory when teaching the gospel. The technique is common in modern English. When Merle Haggard sang, “We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee,” we knew what he meant!

monkey playing a pipe organ, from an illuminated Bible

Moreover, Paul did not seek glory from either “you or others”, that is, neither outside or inside the church. The practical wisdom of his words is easily seen. Today, we do not have the sort of celebrity preachers that once existed, both because of increasing skepticism of Christian speakers in general, and specifically, the exposure of the outrageous hypocrisy of several televangelists in the late 20th century. But personal glorification of oneself is sadly all-too-common among popular preachers and teachers; in fact, to at least a small degree, it is nearly universal. (Some Amish communities, seeking to avoid the problem, select their preachers by casting lots.)

In the raw, direct evangelism of the 1st century, we can see a powerful direct response to Christ's teachings. In this particular case, we see Christ's disdain of human honors. “I do not receive honor from men. . . . How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” (John 5:41, 44)

The other qualities that Paul, in this passage, indirectly suggests for evangelism are: 1) gentleness; 2) a lack of pridefulness or self-importance; 3) giving not simply one's words, but one's life, to those being taught; 4) supporting oneself by manual labor. We are not going to discuss these at length, or we will be stuck on this chapter for a month; but the last one merits mention.

Paul's did not teach that preachers were forbidden from earning a living by their preaching. His attitude was much like his attitude towards marriage; he would not take money, and thought it preferable that evangelists support themselves, but he did not prohibit others from being supported by their church. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 9, he will argue vociferously that those who preach and teach the Gospel are not wrong to get paid, even though he himself continued to earn his living with his hands.

Also, when Christ sent the disciples out to proselytize, He told them not to take money, which is read (correctly) in two senses. They did not take money from people along the way; however, they also did not take money with them to pay for their needs, expecting that they would receive direct support in the form of food, shelter, and clothing from the “worthy.” (Matt. 10:5-11)

endless knot

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“The Whole Truth”

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Memory Verse

Psalm 94:12: Blessed is the man You discipline, O Lord, The man You teach from Your word.

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