Daily Devotion for June 22, 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.
But I believe.
I keep moving forward when I'm holding Your hand;
The truest things I know
Are those I cannot see.
From my birth to my dying day;
When I'm old I'll talk about the things that You have done;
Brokenness made beautiful.
The wars that You have won
And the storms You calmed in me.
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands.
I'd rather be led by his nail pierced hands.
I'd rather have Jesus than anything…
What a Great Morning
Holy God, thank you for giving me another morning! I am lucky to be alive on your beautiful planet, so full of marvelous things and the beautiful plants and animals and all the people you have created in your image. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, now and all day long, until I go to sleep, because I want to live with you every minute of this day. The time and opportunities I have right now will never return, so help me make the best of it, Lord. And let me remember this one thing: You know what you are doing, whether I can see it or not; so I will try to remember today that you are in charge, that you put me here for a reason and that, by your grace, things will turn out with your triumph and the Kingdom of Heaven, for all those who live by your grace. All praise to you forever,
To Overcome an Impediment to Faith
O Lord God, I do truly love you and in my heart want to serve you, I have encountered some sort of impediment — or perhaps I could call it a stumbling-block — in my journey of faith, and I find that I am falling away from my love and service and faith.
I pray desperately that you will help me to overcome this obstacle and find my way back to you. O mighty God, you have all power, and I know you have the power to help me find you. Please dear God, send a spirit to me, let Your Holy Spirit work within me, to bolster my faith and fear of you. Show me the way around this impediment, I plead with you Lord God; for having found you, and having been found by you, I want more than anything else in the world to know you, to spend my time and energy living in Christ, loving you before all things, and serving you and my fellow creatures in humility, in love, and in purity.
By my faith in Christ I dare to ask you this great favor — that you will lead me out of thiis terrible spiritual morass into which I have fallen. Help me to raise my eyes, to see your Word like a lost sailor in a storm finding the light from a lighthouse. In the name of Christ, help me to find you, for you are my everything.
[What are the impediments in my journey of faith?]
May I go in peace, with God and with his other children, and may we love one another as Christ taught us. May I follow the example of good men of old, and may God comfort and help me and all who believe in Him, both in this world and in the world which is to come.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
I think that Resurrection (what ever it exactly means) is so much profounder an idea than mere immortality. I am sure we don’t just “go on.” We really die and are really built up again.
~ C. S. Lewis
Galatians 5:16-17 (DP Bible)
16-20 Walk in the Spirit and do not indulge the instincts of your flesh. The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit sets its desire against the flesh. Therefore, you cannot follow the desires of your lower nature, because it is contrary to the Spirit. Those under the Law follow the flesh, even though they try to fight it; but those under the Spirit will not follow the flesh.
16 So I tell you, walk in the spirit and in no way fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
17 For the flesh desires contrary to the spirit, and the spirit contrary to the flesh, for these are opposed to one another, so that you might not do whatever you want.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to law.
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
The term “desires of the flesh” does not refer to the sinless normal appetites of life — even those we enjoy, such as eating, sleeping, or having relations with our spouse; in this respect, we remember that Christ Himself lived as a human. He apparently remained chaste, but we might infer that He enjoyed a good meal or a visit with friends.
When he speaks of gratifying “instincts of the flesh,” he means those that are opposed to the Spirit — that is to say, sins of the flesh. Such sins encompass a wider range than the purely physical. As Paul will make clear in the following verses, sinful gratification of the flesh includes what we might call sins of emotion: anger, pridefulness, envy, etc.
All English language Bibles translate verse 16 to say that, if we walk in the Spirit, we will not gratify fleshly desires; even the estimable NASB reads, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Whether or not the assertion is true, it is not what Paul wrote. And actually, if it were what he wrote, we might have cause for alarm; there seem to be very few (if any) people in the world who do not, in some respect, carry out the desires of the flesh.
If those who walk in the Spirit do not carry out the desire of the flesh, then nobody (or at least, nobody I have met) walks in the Spirit. One can certainly explain the discrepency, by the idea that all of us “walk in the spirit” to different degrees at different times. We are not consistent; we get involved with worldly affairs and our spiritual voice recedes in our minds. And the notion would seem to be correct: it makes sense that if we walk in the Spirit, we will not commit sins of the flesh. So we might avoid the problem by saying “when we walk in the Spirit, we do not commit sins coming from physical appetities.”
But these logical tricks are unnecessary, because that isn't what the Bible actually says. The Greek syntax plainly states a negative prohibition, not an if/then proposistion. Paul is speaking in the imperative: “Walk in the spirit and do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh in any way.”
He sets up a comprehensive duality between the flesh and the spirit which did not exist under the Law of Moses, because there was no general concept of an indwelling of spirit in a normal human being until, at the earliest, the end of Christ's ministry. We see the concept most clearly in the long narrative towards the end of John, with a clear statement in John 14:16-17:
Paul now announces that this indwelling spirit — the Holy Spirit who comes from God and who is God — lives in opposition to the flesh. It (or He) becomes part of us in order to save us from ourselves.