Daily Devotion for November 13, 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.
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.
To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.
Music by Joseph P. Webster
Lyrics by Sanford F. Bennett, 1868
Prayer for the Morning
Oh God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Thanks for This Life
O God in heaven, I was born a weak, defenseless child, but your angel spread his wings over my cradle to defend me. From birth until now your love has illumined my path and has wondrously guided me towards the light of eternity; from birth until now the generous gifts of your providence have been marvelously showered upon me. I give you thanks for every step of my life's journey, together with all who have come to know you, who call upon your name. All glory be to you, O God, from age to age,
For Teachers and Students
Almighty God, I pray to you to look with favor upon our universities, colleges, and schools, that knowledge may be increased among us, and sound learning flourish and abound. Bless all who teach and all who learn; and grant that in humility of heart they may ever look to you, the fountain of all true wisdom, and not be led by the devices of their minds into the pride and hollowness that comes from knowledge without truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[I am as weak before God as a newborn child.]
And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father's boundless love, with the Holy Spirit's favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The Meaning of Life
Rewards in the kingdom of heaven are based on our faithfulness to the opportunities we have been given during our earthly lives. These rewards are the consummation of the pursuit of God.
~ Ken Boa
1 Thessalonians 2:13 (DP)
And so we thank God every day for you, our brothers and sisters, who not only heard God’s word with your ears, but also took it into your hearts, where it could accomplish its great work.
13 And through this also we give thanks to god unceasingly, that receiving word of message from us of god you accepted not word of men but as it is truly word of god, which also is at work in you the believing.
-- idiom, because of this or for this reason;
Notes on the Scripture
The Nature of the Holy Spirit
Although we promised a close study of Paul’s epistles, we don't propose to go through it one verse at a time! The chapters and verses were put into place by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1227 A.D. They are now, figuratively, set in stone, even though they might not reflect the optimal organization of thoughts and themes. Verse 14 begins a significant and controversial section, too long to combine with verse 13; so we must have a brief discussion today.
“Word” has multiples meanings throughout the Bible, and its use constantly shifts among them. Very often it will encompass two thoughts; in fact, always, when we hear “God's word”, we must understand two connected concepts. First, of course, word means word. Paul taught the Thessalonians by speaking to them. Word of God or God's word, in the literal sense, refers to the primary definition of “word”, a unit in a system of sound or writing subject to a set of grammatical and syntactical rules, so that it conveys meaning.
But the words of God have, right off the bat, special significance. They not only communicate ideas, but they do so with an authority above that of any other communication. They are inspired (meaning, literally, “breathed out”) by God Himself. Paul spells out this distinction, saying that the Thessalonians accepted that Paul's gospel message were not only Paul's words, but also God's, meriting a different attitude.
Easy enough, at least in principle. Most Christians seem to understand the concept of the inspired Word of God, even if they do not believe in it.
The Gospel of John added an entire dimension, though; for in one sentence (John 1:1), he equated “word” with the Greek philosophical concept of a formative power in the universe — the “logos” — and then states that this Word, this logos, was Christ. In this sense, the Word has nothing to do with writing or speaking. It is a spiritual entity which existed before time and created the universe; and then, it (or He) became incarnate as a man, Jesus, destined to die in atonement for the sins of humanity.
When Paul says that the Thessalonians took the word into their hearts, etc., he thus is saying not only that the Thessalonians heard a communication, and not only that they credited the communication as divine; but also, that a spirit identified with Christ came to dwell within them. Christ literally lives within them, giving them power and knowledge beyond the verbal communication of Paul's preaching. Verse 13 is actually the earliest mention in the Bible of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit being fulfilled in human beings.