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Daily Devotion for April 7, 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.
Who could possibly sing this spiritual comfort-food better than Anne Murray?
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, I do not fear this day, for you are with me wherever I might go, your light to shine ahead, your footsteps to lead the way. I do not fear this day, for your word will be my guide. Your strength will sustain me and your love revive me, this day and all days. I do not fear this day, for you are with me. In the name of Christ, I call upon you.
For Those Who Suffer from Prejudice
Holy God, teach me to treat every person with the pure love of Christ. Do not let me hate any person, but to forgive them when they sin, and to disregard every external attribute that prejudices one person against another. For we are all your children, equally loved, although we be sinners all.
And bless those who hate and those who are hated, especially from prejudices against attributes of birth, or appearance, or ability, or any other worldly feature that divides us from one another. Comfort and bless those who suffer such discrimination and do not let them fall into Satan's trap, but give them always a spirit of sincere and pure forgiveness, as Christ forgave those who tortured and murdered Him.
And reform those who say words or commit acts that hurt others; if it be your will, let them see their sin and grow to hate it. Call them to your Spirit and let them be reborn in love and humility through the power of Christ, in whose name I pray,
[Let me bless those who insult me.]
Finally, may I go forth filled with the joy and confidence of your Spirit; and may everything I do this day, in word or deed, be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
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.
Run, John, run, the Law commands
But gives us neither feet nor hands,
Far better news the gospel brings,
It bids us fly and gives us wings.
~ John Bunyan (1628-1688)
Galatians 3:15-18 (DP Bible)
The Heirs of Abraham (Galatians #34)
15-18 This was a promise of God, a testament established 430 years before Moses; so how could the Law nullify it or add to it, so as to invalidate the promise? Even in the world of men, nobody nullifies or adds to someone’s last will and testament. If our inheritance came from the Law, then it did not come from a promise; but this is impossible, because God’s promise to Abraham was not revoked.
15 Brothers, even in human terms, when a testament aOr covenant. has been ratified nobody nullifies or adds to it.
16 Now to Abraham was said the promises and to the descendant of him. Not says it, “And to the descendants,” as for many, but as for one, And the descendant of you, who is Christ.
17 And this I am saying, covenant previously-established by god the after four-hundred and thirty years being-established law not annuls, in order to invalidate the promise.
About the Daily Prayer BibleThe “Daily Prayer Bible” is a paraphrase translation. This means accuracy to the original text has been sacrificed, to make it more readable and readily understood. This is especially useful in the Epistles of Paul. Verses are often out of order and often explanatory matter is included in the actual translation.
It is part of a larger work, DP 3-Column Bible, a Bible translation with 3 different levels of literal accuracy, which you can access by clicking the link at the bottom of the Scripture section. We call the most readable and least accurate translation the “Daily Prayer Bible”. The middle translation (“The American Bible”) is what is called a “literal” translation, accurate to the original text but using English grammar and idioms.
The third translation is a unique transliterative text, called “Verbatim Bible”, that has an unparalleled degree of accuracy but is not readable except with difficulty. It gives the non-Greek-reading user the ability to see the inaccuracies and ambiguities that become invisible in even the best so-called “literal” translations, such as the NASB or our own American Bible..
Notes on the Scripture
Our study of Galatians is, as promised, what scholars today call “granular”: tearing it down and examining tiny details. We looked at some true minutiae in the previous commentary; but we don't want to miss the forest for the trees. So what does Gal. 3:15-18 mean in broader terms, for our faith today?
he Jews considered themselves the children of Abraham. It was the very essence of their racial and religious identity. The broad message of Gal. 3:15-18 destroys this fundamental tenet of Jewish belief. It is not the Jews who are heirs of God's favor, but those who hear the Gospel in faith, whether Jew or Gentile.
One proof he uses is the precise language of the (Hebrew) Scripture. God told Abraham he would honor His promise not only to Abraham, but to his descendant — not his descendants, plural, but to his descendant, singular. One person would inherit; and this person was Christ, the descendant of Abraham by blood, and the Son of God by spirit. The Law, as we saw previously, could not affect or alter God's promise.
Christ, possessing God's promise to Abraham as the sole heir, then named all who loved Him as His own heirs. We became heirs with Christ, the adopted children of God. We have been shown that any attempt to attain righteousness before God by our own actions is futile. This was the purpose of the Law of Moses.
We must understand the futility of our attempts to become so good that God will favor us. Our salvation is not and cannot be the product of our strivings. The Law humiliates us, in the sense of creating an absolute humility. From our realization of our sin comes humility, and from our humility comes our realization that only God can save us. For God has saved us. He has delivered on the promise He made to Abraham, by giving His Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins.
Paul's language to the Galatians is rather harsh in places, but through it we find the sweetness of the gospel and the most blessed comfort possible. All that is required is our faith in God's promise. The law says: Do this. The gospel says: Accept this. Whatever our roles and experience in life, we can see our many failures in all sorts of ways. Satan wants to use these failures to discourage us; Paul tells us that our failures are inevitable and meaningless: we cannot earn salvation by success and we cannot lose it by failure.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)