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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Daily Devotion for November 11, 2014


<i>The Wise and Foolish Virgins</i> by Peter von Cornelius, ca. 1813.
The Wise and Foolish Virgins by Peter von Cornelius, ca. 1813.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.



Prayer for the Morning

Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.

Amen.

To Appreciate God's Creation

Lord God, may all of your creation - from the vastness of mighty planets and stars to the lowliness of the smallest living creature I can see - remind me to live in wonder and appreciation of all that is around me.

Amen.

For Damaged Pride

Oh mighty and loving God, help me to overcome the pride which creeps in around the corners of my mind like rain hammering on broken shingles and cracked walls, persistent and sly, wearing away defenses, flooding the basement, trying to destroy my love for others and my humility by rotting it away.

Especially help me when someone corrects me, Lord, and I am wrong, in part or whole; for I am apt to take offense and shame, where humility would have neither; and my mind tries to justify my words or deeds, no matter how much I am in error. Fill me with desire for truth and love, dear God, so that I can accept correction, both from you and from other people, seeking only truth and love. In Christ I pray,

Amen.

Meditation

[Letting my doings be governed by God’s will.]


Dedication

O  God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray,

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.



Teenage girl praying

James 1:22 (ESV)

But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


Blue Latin Cross

1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (DP)

10-12 You are our own witnesses, that when we lived with you, our conduct was clean, honest, and above reproach. We encouraged you like a father encourages his children, giving you the benefit of our experience, desiring only that we all lead lives worthy of being called by God into His Kingdom.

Literal

10 You are witnesses and god, that devoutly and righteously and blamelessly with you the believers we lived,

11 just as you know how each one of you as father child of himself

12 we were urging you and encouraging and witnessing about to walk [d]Idiom, live or behave (as in English). you worthily of god calling you into of himself kingdom and glory.

Footnotes:

v.12 - [d] Idiom, live or behave (as in English).

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


Notes on the Scripture

Encouragement
W

e have discussed Paul's “implied hortatory”, giving himself and his two fellow workers as examples of how the Gospel should be preached and thus, by inference, instructing the church members how they should preach when they seek to convert others. Verse 10 uses the same technique, but Paul brings up a slightly different subject, one that he will address in great detail later on, and one that Christ himself taught: attracting others to Christianity, not by preaching, but by the way one lives one's own life.

In a word, Paul will not tolerate a “Do what I say, not what I do” attitude!

This is a phenomenon that is easier to see in its unfortunate opposite: people repelled from Christianity by the sinfulness and hypocrisy they witness among some people who call themselves Christians. The media are eager to pounce upon any sort of misbehavior or disgrace, and if they can label a miscreant “Christian”, all the better!

We cannot undo the harm done by others in such cases; our only defense, and the only thing in our control, is how we lead our own lives. One of the goals of our lives, by terms of Paul's implied hortatory here, must be to lead lives above reproach. We can see how Paul uses the technique of implied hortatory to supply a gentle tone, appropriate to a young church, suffering persecution, lacking experienced leadership. Compare it to the stern directness of John to mature Christians, decades later:

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:4-6)

We cannot live without some degree of sin; but we are obligated to try, for we are walking advertisements for Christ. Christ himself was clear on the point. Twice at the end of John 17, in the long prayer before His crucifixion, He prayed that all who believe in Him might live in love and unity “so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” The Sermon on the Mount ended with the great teaching, “[L]et your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

Having covered “exemplify” in verse 10, Paul turns his focus to “encouragement” in verse 12. We could all use a brush-up on the importance of encouraging others in their faith. Encouragement to good is an act of love. It is easy to criticize, but sometimes seems so difficult to encourage; or perhaps we simply don't think about it, or don't consider it our role, or think that we are not important enough to encourage others effectively.

And notice — as Paul is subtly telling the Thessalonians to encourage others in their faith, he is actually using encouragement as his technique! His honest praise of their devotion in the face of suffering, combined with his urging them to continue their good work and always grow, is a model of encouragement.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“The Need for Fulfillment”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

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


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