Daily Devotion for May 4, 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.
Ashes, ashes, we fall down;
It always feels too soon.
But when we walk on golden ground
All will be made new.
All will be made new.
Life is but a dream at best,
Morning's coming soon.
Kingdom come will bring us rest;
All will be made new
All sorrows and sighs
Will fade away into the night
And all will be made new.
Music and Lyrics by JJ Heller
Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester (1230 A.D.)
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits thou hast won for me,
For all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother,
May I know thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
And follow thee more nearly
For ever and ever.
For Courage to Speak the Truth
Holy God, whenever I am in fear that someone will be angry with me for telling the truth, let me remember that Christ did not come bearing a sword to kill his enemies, but a cross upon which his enemies would kill him. Be with me, Holy Spirit, when I am afraid to speak up against falsehood, knowing that people will be angry with me, for to follow Christ means to carry the cross. If I know that the powerful might hurt me, I also remember that the wounds of Christ were momentary. The power of this world will fade, but your truth will remain forever and will reward me for such good and truth as I can accomplish in my life, no matter what hostility it encounters from the evil of men.
I pray you will imbue confidence in the depth of my heart, dear God, utter certainty that wounds suffered in your name will be healed forever, and rewarded in this life by the knowledge of your approval, and in the life to come by the peace of heaven. In Christ's name, I pray for the courage of true faith.
[My emotional reaction to the anger of others.]
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip me with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in me what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
First Things First
Revival begins by Christians getting right first and then spills over into the world.
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Galatians 4:18a (Daily Prayer Bible)
18 To strive is good when you strive for goodness.
17 They zealously court you not goodly u This Greek adverbial form of “good” has no precise English equivalent. Our primary adverbial form of “good” is “well”, which generally focuses on (or at least includes) the notion of how effectively or successfully something is done. The Greek adverb here, however, addresses only the goodness of the intended outcome. The false prophets might be courting the Galatians “well”, in the sense that they are effectively converting them, but they are not courting them “goodly”, because the motive or outcome is not good. , but to exclude you they want, that them you seek.
18 And good to be striving for good always, and not only when present me with you,
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
Striving (Galatians #47)
One of the reasons many scholars believe that Paul dictated his letters is that, sometimes, the thoughts become jumbled up somewhat, with short tangential remarks that are more typical of unrehearsed speech — rambling, if you will — than the more considered process of writing. We certainly see it here! Paul inserts two off-the-cuff ideas that break the flow of his main argument. Moreover, they are so briefly stated that the meaning is difficult to reach. Still, he clearly thought they were important to say, and anyone who is hungry for his teaching would have to agree.
The shorter and more difficult digression is a parenthesisParenthesis: a remark or passage that departs from the theme of a discourse. on striving. It is just six words in Greek and a bit hard to read: “And good to-be-striving for good (or in goodness) always, . . . ” The root of the verb translated as “strive” here transliterates as zelous, which adds to the meaning a bit, since “to strive” could be defined “to work with zeal,” or “to try to accomplish something zealously.”
But one must infer a comparison to the preceding sentence, because the Judaizers have surely strived to win the Galatians over with great zeal. For whatever reason, Paul thinks it is important to point out that he is not criticizing ardent effort in general; rather, he approves of it when its aim is goodness. An extremely loose paraphrase might read: “The Judaizers are not striving for goodness, but for their own gain. I do not criticize their striving; striving with zeal is always a good thing when the motive is goodness, that is, truthful teaching of the gospel for the benefit of the audience.”
Davy Crockett said, “Be sure you're right. Then go ahead.” When I was a youth I thought this was the most obvious — and therefore the stupidest — thing I had ever heard. But over the years, the profundity of it sank in, slowly but surely. It restates Paul as an imperative. The two pitfalls of life, put simply. We do not want to take action if we are wrong; but when we are sure we are right, we must take action.
Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians to test everything against Scripture; and this is the only way we can ever be absolutely, positively sure we are right. So, today, let us commend ourselves, not in pride, but in love of our glorification of God; for we are at this moment doing our best to accomplish part One of the two-part process: striving zealously to understand the Word of God, and thereby, to be able to know when we are right.