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Daily Devotion for February 5, 2015
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.
Fernando Ortega reconceives this wonderful old hymn, managing to retain the charm of the original.
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown:
how pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
which once was bright as morn!
What thou, my Lord, has suffered
was all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
look on me with thy favor,
vouchsafe to me thy grace.
What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever;
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for thee.
Music by Hans Leo Hassler (1600)
Lyrics by J.W. Alexander, 1830
Prayer for Morning
Today is a blessed beautiful day and I praise God for allowing me another day to be on this earth. I ask Lord that you touch those whose hearts have turned cold and no longer care. I pray that they see your way is the greater way. Thank you Lord.
For Those with Senility and Their Caretakers
Holy Jesus, look down with love and sympathy on all those who are losing or have lost the function of their mind and memory. Bless them, that may not suffer distress. Send your Holy Spirit to comfort them in their anger and confusion.
And bless also those who love and care for them. We cannot understand what goes on within their minds, Lord; so help us to understand them, to love them, and to care for them. Give us your eternal patience, that we might provide to them such comfort as is possible, and the strength to help them, day after day, without hope of thanks or recovery.
Bless us all in our distress, O Holy Jesus, who always looked with love and sympathy on those with burdens; and lighten our burden, I beseech you, if it be Your will.
[Caring for those who cannot thank me.]
Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.
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.
Psalm 12:6-7 (NKJV)
The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.
You shall keep them, O Lord,
You shall preserve them from this generation forever.
Galatians 1:6-9 (DP Bible)
One Gospel (Galatians #3)
6-8 I am astonished to hear that you have deserted the true Gospel of Christ, which alone has the power to call you into grace, and have begun to follow perverted “gospels” taught to you by fakes and con men. I call these “gospels”, but it is a misnomer. There is one and only one Gospel: the one I have taught you. If I myself should come and preach something different to you – if an angel should descend from the heavens and tell you something different – turn your back and walk away. These teachings, and those who promote them, are accursed!
9 I have said it before and I will say it again, in writing: those who teach their own thoughts and call them the Word of God are accursed.
7 which not exists other; except some are the disturbing you and wanting to redirect gOr pervert, or distort. the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we or angel from heaven were to evangelize different from what we have evangelized to you, he/it hThere is no pronoun (he or it) in the original text; Greek pronouns are often, as here, implied. The subject could thus be either he or it, referring to the speaker or the false gospel itself. As with many Pauline ambiguities, the best course is to assume he meant both. is cursed iThe last phrase is imperative in form and the shallow and immediate reading (seen in many Bibles) is He (or it) must be cursed, or let him (it) be accursed. But that is not what it means. This is a “pronouncement imperative”, since a person can hardly be required to curse himself. (The form is not such that it can be read as a command for the listener to curse such a person.) It is an emphatic way of saying he is cursed immediately by his act. See Wallace at 492. .
9 As we have said before, and now again I say, if someone you evangelizes with different from what you received, he jOr it. is anathema kAnathema, oddly, is a perfect transliteration of the Greek word used here and in v. 10. It means to be the object of God’s disfavor. Paul comes as close as possible to saying “damned” without foregoing the possibility of repentance.
e. Or desert.
f. Alt. by.
g. Or pervert, or distort.
h. Possibly it.
i. The last phrase is imperative in form: He must be cursed, or let him be cursed. But that is not the meaning. This is a “pronouncement imperative”, since a person can hardly be required to curse himself. (The form is not such that it can be read as a command for the listener to curse such a person.) It is an emphatic way of saying he is cursed immediately by his act. See Wallace at 492.
j. Or it.
k. Anathema, oddly, is a perfect transliteration of the Greek word used here and in v. 10. It means to be the object of God’s disfavor. Paul comes as close as possible to saying damned without foregoing the possibility of repentance.
Notes on the Scripture
There are four basic tenets of the Doctrine of Scripture (which can be remembered by the mnemonic aid “S.C.A.N.”): Sufficiency, Clarity, Authority, and Necessity. In Galatians 1, we find the first powerful statement of the Doctrine of Sufficiency of Scripture. Like many theological terms, the name by which this doctrine is known does not describe it fully and accurately, for a component of Sufficiency might better be termed “Finality” or “Exclusivity”.
hen we reach the last word of Revelation, we have reached the end of God's revelation to humanity. There is nothing before it in the Bible that we have authority to change, and there is nothing more that we have the authority to add.
People have constantly tried to do both, throughout history. When Erasmus published his brilliant New Testament in 1522 — which became the New Testament of the Textus Receptus and thus, eventually, the King James Bible the Catholic Church pressured him into including an inauthentic passage (1 John 5:7-8) to bolster the Trinitarian doctrine espoused by Church theologians. The same thing happens today. One modern example: The 1984 NIV alters James 5:20 to conform to evangelical doctrine. The correct text reads:
The passage runs contrary to the notion, held by many evangelical Christians, that once a person is saved he cannot thereafter do anything that will jeopardize his salvation. It is guaranteed, no matter what the person might do or say later. But the language of James is irreconcilable with this doctrine. The NIV — apparently intentionallyThe evidence that this was intentional is circumstantial. The word psyche, meaning “soul”, is found in the authoritative Greek manuscripts and is important to the meaning of the sentence. It is hard to see how it could be omitted by oversight. Moreover, there are other parts of the NIV that the committee have admitted to altering for doctrinal reasons. — simply leaves out the word “soul”, and Bible teachers who use the NIV do not have to answer embarrassing questions about the doctrine — the passage now refers only to death of the body!
Paul roars in condemnation. His assertion of the finality of the Gospel is so absolute that he applies it to himself! Because he has taught the Gospel as a direct revelation of Christ, it cannot be subject to revision, for Christ is speaking as God, incapable of error. God is not going to change His mind about this. Therefore, it is inviolable. Neither Paul himself nor an angel who drops down out of the sky can preach anything different; if they do, they are wrong.
And “wrong” or “erroneous” is too soft in tone. It is anathema. It, and the person who teaches it, is “anathema” — accursed. Meaning, it will create disfavor in the eye of God. Lest one take this lightly, Paul drives home the severity of this sin by repeating it, for emphasis.
What are we to think of those who misstate Scripture? It is actually rather scary. One sees, time and again, people spouting off about the Bible or theology without the care or understanding that this passage might imply. But even worse, what might one say about those who rewrite or misinterpret the Bible intentionally?