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Daily Devotion for January 7, 2015


<i>Christ in Limbo</i> by Fra Angelico, ca. 1442.
Christ in Limbo by Fra Angelico, ca. 1442. Possibly Fra Angelico’s greatest works were the humble frescoes he painted in monasteries, where he would use only the cheapest pigments available. This one, showing Christ’s descent to hell, to save those who had died before His birth, is in a monk’s cell in the Convent of Saint Mark, Florence.

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.

There is a terrific story behind this song, in today's Daily Inspiration.



To Take up the Shield of Faith

Heavenly Father, let me take up the shield of faith this morning and carry it before me throughout the day. For the darkness of the world attacks my soul from every direction.

The world wants me to hate myself and hate you, precious Lord. It tries at every turn to seduce me to the emptiness of revenge. It lures me to the love of money. Envy, anger, and vanity are the traps it sets. It tells me to worship myself until I am hollow. Pride is its bait, and death is its reward.

Defend me, I pray, against the constant assault of impurity that life in the world brings. Great and powerful God, I take up your shield, the only shield that can protect me: my hope and certainty that your love and promise to protect me, for all eternity, will be with me for the asking. For the only truth is yours, the only power is yours, and our only hope lies in you, our true and mighty and loving God. In Christ's name I pray,

Amen.

A Prayer of Repentance

O  Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Meditation

[The trap of vanity.]


Benediction

May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in His sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.


endless knot

Relativism

A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.

~ Socrates


Blue Latin Cross

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (DP)

The Dead Will Be Raised

13-14 On a different subject, we want you to understand something about those who have died in Christ, so that you will not mourn and grieve for the dead like those who have no hope. For once a person understands that Jesus died and then rose again from the dead, he also should understand that God intends to do the same for those who believe in Christ.

Literal

13 Now not we want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning the sleeping, so that not to grieve like the not-having-hope others.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, just so god the having-gone-to-sleep through Jesus will take with him.

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - 1 Thess. 4


Notes on the Scripture

With the Christmas season over — and we at Daily Prayer hope all of you had a heartwarming and inspirational Christmas — we are picking up where we left off, in Ch. 4 of 1 Thessalonians. We ended 2014 with a section on Christian lifestyle, 1 Thess. 8-12. If you read quickly down the page, you will see that verse 12 ends a distinct section; it is a puzzlement, in fact, why Bishop Langton (who promulgated the chapters and verses we use today, in 1227) did not start a new chapter here.

Beginning in verse 13, Paul addresses a completely new subject, eschatology, a word worth learning, as we will be using it a lot. It means, literally, “study of the end” or “study of the last”, and it specifically refers to what will occur when Christ returns to earth and the Kingdom of God is fully established.

  D

espite Paul's warnings to the contrary, the people of Thessalonica believed that Christ would return immediately; they woke up each morning believing that “this is the day”. As time went on, members of the community began to die and be buried. For some reason, many of the church did not understand that the dead would be resurrected. Many theories about their confusion exist, but for whatever reason, they believed Christ would “assume” — that is, transform and bring to Himself — those living in a state of salvation, and since they expected the Second Coming any day, this is the only path to the Kingdom they had considered. Apparently, they believed those who died were lost forever.

This may sound preposterous to us, today, but we should put ourselves in their place: They had no Bible and their teacher had been run out of town soon after their conversion. Perhaps Paul had not had a chance to flesh out the meaning of Christ's resurrection fully; or perhaps they had forgotten what he said, or there were new converts. At any rate, many of them were distraught and grieving over their friends and family who had died before Christ's return.

Remembering that this is probably the oldest book in the New Testament, we can see these verses as the foundational statement of a doctrine we take for granted; it is where we first learn that Christ's victory over death belongs to us, as his heirs, and that we may expect eternal life even if we die in the flesh. Paul is not correcting a silly or even hysterical misapprehension by the Thessalonians. Rather, acting as Christ's apostle, he is announcing the doctrine of eternal life specifically for those who have died.



Decoration from 12th cen. French Bible.
Decoration from 12th cen. French Bible.

Daily Inspiration

“The Big Fake”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.


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Comments (1)

Topic: Daily Prayer and Devotional Online - Page Two
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Yvette says...
Thank you for the hard work and thought that goes into producing Daily Prayer. I am certain that I will learn something new or be reminded of the great blessings and favors we constantly receive every day. My prayer for each of you is that you continue to receive your blessings and favors and enjoy life to the fullest.
7th January 2015 11:20am
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Jennifer (Texas, US) says...
I appreciate your candidness about your own stack of papers. Comforting we are facing similar battles but thankful we have Him to call on for help.
My mind is set for how can I help someone today. Thankful to have this site!
5th January 2015 8:34pm
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Jack Willis (Lynnwood, US) says...
Thank you dear Lord for another new day and for continuing supply of wisdom from DPM! I value this ministry and one of my main resource in refreshing my Sunday School days of Bible stories. Thank you Brother Mason for your time and energy in keeping this site alive and well! GodSpeed...
5th January 2015 10:57am
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Jennifer (Texas, US) says...
I appreciate your candidness about your own stack of papers. Comforting we are facing similar battles but thankful we have Him to call on for help.
My mind is set for how can I help someone today. Thankful to have this site!
5th January 2015 7:35am
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