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Daily Devotion for January 12, 2015


<i>Vision of Cornelius the Centurion</i> by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, ca. 1664,
Vision of Cornelius the Centurion by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, ca. 1664,
illustrating the first great conversion of a Gentile (Acts 10).

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.

The woman singing here with Bocelli is Heather Headley from Trinidad, who has earned recognition for both her Broadway performances and her Gospel recordings.



Prayer for the Morning

Father, as I face this new day, let me be aware of the work you have done for me as I slept. I praise you that your loving care never slumbers, but has been with me while I was least aware of it; and that you renew me and the whole world, fresh every day, preparing your plans for me.

I pray that I may seek your will this day, your plan for my life, and carry out your plan in my every action. I lay my hopes and fears on an altar before you, that your Holy Spirit may guide my hopes toward the light of your holiness, and may quiet my fears with the knowledge of your infinite peace, in total confidence that your grace will save me from the evils of this world. In Jesus' name I pray,

Amen.

Prayer to Live in the Moment

Lord Christ, I have puzzled long and hard over your words, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” But I get the gist of it: we have enough to worry about today. You have tomorrow covered.

Leaving the future in your hands is hard; I want to worry. Please, Lord Christ, show me the way. Teach me to live in the day, in the moment, so that I might focus myself on whatever is at hand.

Thy will be done, my Lord and God; I leave my destiny to your guidance. Help me to surrender myself to you in faith and clear my mind of confusion. Let my attention on your will be undivided, I pray, for my only hope lies in You.

Amen.

Meditation

[How might I place more trust in God concerning my future?]


Benediction

Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

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.



stained glass angel

On Worry

A great many people (not you) do now seem to think that the mere state of being worried is in itself meritorious. I don’t think it is. We must, if it so happens, give our lives for others: but even while we’re doing it, I think we’re meant to enjoy Our Lord and, in Him, our friends, our food, our sleep, our jokes, and the birds’ song and the frosty sunrise.

~ C.S. Lewis


Blue Latin Cross

1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 (DP)

Prepare for The Day of the Lord

It is pointless to speculate about when the Day of the Lord will come — It could come tomorrow or a thousand years from now. But there is one thing for certain: nobody will expect it. It will come as abruptly as labor comes to a pregnant woman, and as unexpected as a thief in the night. While people are talking about how much peace and security they have, it will fall upon them.

So ask yourself: Who does a thief take by surprise? Those who are in darkness. And who lives in darkness? The very children of darkness, those who drink the wine of night and sleep in drunken stupor – it is they who will be caught unprepared. They will have no chance of escaping God’s wrath.

But we are children of light, standing in the sunshine of our Lord. God has not destined us to suffer His wrath, but to attain salvation through Christ Jesus. Christ died for us, the living and the dead, that we might live with Him for eternity. So stand always in the daylight of Christ, sober and alert, wearing your faith and love like a suit of armor, and the hope of your salvation like a helmet.

Verbatim Bible

1 Now concerning the times and the periods, brothers, no need you have to you to be written,

2 for yourselves accurately you know that day of lord like thief in night in this way it comes.

3 When they are saying, Peace and security, then unseen [1]By extension, unexpected; alt. sudden. to them befalls destruction just as the labor pain in womb having, and not not [2]idiom, definitely not, an emphatic negative. they might escape.

4 But you, brothers, not are in darkness, that the day you like thief might overtake by surprise,

5 for all you sons of light are and sons of day. Not we are of night nor of darkness;

6 Therefore then not we must sleep like the rest, but we should be alert and should be self-controlled [3]Alt. sober, esp. in the context of v. 7. .

7 For the sleeping of [4] Or at night, so-called “temporal genitive”, but the simultaneous possessive sense deepens the meaning and appears to be intentional – see v. 5. night sleep, and the becoming intoxicated of night become intoxicated;

8 but we of day being should control ourselves, putting on breastplate of faith and of love and helmet hope of salvation;

9 for not appointed us God for wrath but for obtaining [5]True noun (not a participle), akin to attainment; poss. security. of salvation through the lord of us Jesus Christ,

10 who having died for us so that whether we be awake or we be asleep together with him we might [6]Might is used to reflect the subjunctive, not as a indicator of doubt. If you are not familiar with this usage, substitute would be able to. The verb is aorist subjunctive, and translating it “will live” is not very accurate. live.

Footnotesv. 3 – [1] By extension, unexpected; alt. sudden. [2] idiom, definitely not, an emphatic negative.

v. 6 – [3] alt. sober, esp. in the context of v. 7.

v. 7 – [4] or at night, so-called “temporal genitive” — meaning “sleep at night” — but the simultaneous possessive sense deepens the meaning and appears to be intentional – see v. 8.

v. 9 – [5] true noun (not a participle), perhaps attainment - poss. security.

v. 10 – [6] Might is used to reflect the subjunctive, not as a indicator of doubt. If you are not familiar with this usage, substitute would be able to. The verb is aorist subjunctive, and translating it “will live” is not accurate.

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - 1 Thess. 5


Notes on the Scripture

In the previous chapter, Paul discussed the last days, but he focused on the concern of whether those who died before Christ’s return would be taken to heaven. Having satisfied those concerns, Paul changes his focus to a broadly applicable discussion of eschatologicalEschatology is the theological branch concerned with the end of the world, i.e. the final days. timing and preparation. He becomes much more eloquent, and his advice more meaningful, for us today.

I

f mixing metaphors is a stylistic fault, the news failed to reach Paul. A pregnant woman, a drunk, a sound sleeper, a person surprised by a sneak thief, a child of darkness, people who feel secure, the armor of faith, and the helmet of salvation. He stacks metaphors like cordwood.

But Paul manages to weave them all together in a beautiful collage of images. The most prominent are the themes of light and dark, weaving together the ideas of alertness and moral rectitude as attributes of the daytime. He seems to say that Christians do not sleep at night; but because we know that everybody sleeps, and mostly at night (especially back then), we realize that Paul must be talking about something other than physical repose: those in a permanent state of spiritual unawareness.

If one looks at the verbatim translation, Paul actually says “the sleeping of night”, not “the sleeping at night,” which in Greek as in English may be read several different ways. In a verse 5, he says that we are children “of light” and “of day”, not children “of night”. We can read this to mean that we do not belong to the night, or that we are not created or made out of night and darkness, or that we are not filled with darkness. On this last meaning, in English, we say “a basket of strawberries” to indicate a basket filled with strawberries; and we might read “a person of darkness” the same way, to mean a person filled with darkness.

In fact, a few verses later, he speaks of those who are “intoxicated of night” — who drink the wine of darkness — and thereby are made stuporous. Even the redoubtable NASB translates this “those who get drunk get drunk at night”; it is one technically correct meaning, but it misses the primary metaphor Paul is building. For he is speaking about something more than when people get drunk; he is speaking about what it is that intoxicates them. It is the darkness, itself, that intoxicates the lost and sleeping soul.

The theme of Christ being the “light of men” runs like a golden thread throughout the entire New Testament. Here, Paul builds on it by associating the darkness with drunkenness, stupor, and thus unpreparedness. Nobody could be more vulnerable to a sneak thief than a snoring drunk passed out on a dark night, and nobody is more vulnerable to Satan than a person who does not receive the light of Christ. In this passage, Paul does not depict the unbelievers as purposefully wicked so much as moronic dupes, who invite Satan to take their souls the way a passed-out drunk invites a thief to take his money.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“The Danger of Studying Theology”

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Hebrews 10:25: We must not forsake our meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another . . . .


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