Daily Devotion for June 27, 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.
Oddly, Elvis Presley won only three Grammy Awards in his life; but even odder, all three were for a gospel song: How Great Thou Art.
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
For a Steady Mind While at Prayer
O Lord, take from me idleness of spirit, which destroys time; and vanity of thought, which hinders Your presence and distracts my attention to prayer. And if, while in prayer, I turn away from You in my thoughts, help me to return to my purpose; so that I might not avert my heart from You, during the few precious moments I dedicate to talking with You.
And grant me this day, dear Lord, that You may never be completely out of my thoughts. Let me carry you as a voice to guide my every step as I slip down the path of this precious day, that I might always remember Your will, and lighten the world around me. Help me to make every moment of my day, every word from my mouth, a prayer, that I might live in Your presence.
For Protection of Body and Soul
Heavenly Father, I give you thanks for the protection you give me. You protect my body from the mighty forces of the universe that would kill me in an instant, with your good earth you have freely given me. You sustain my life with air, food, water, the shining sun and the gentle rain, the rich earth that grows my food. You protect my body from disease and trauma by the miracle of healing and the wonders of science.
Most of all, I thank you for preserving me from evil, the preservation of my soul; for the enemies of my soul abound on this earth, and often, I would do the damage myself. I pray that I have wisdom sufficient to allow you to do your will, and enter me, and protect my soul from dangers within and without by your infinite power. Let me put on your armor every day, and with your help and the forgiving grace of my savior, Jesus Christ, be kept pure, so that I may one day come before you in perfect joy.
In the name of the same Jesus Christ, I pray,
[Let all we do be done in love.]
And now, as a little child, let me abide in you all this day, oh Christ, so that when you appear I may have confidence and not shrink from you in shame at your coming. For I know that you are righteous, and I am sure that I will be made righteous only by my life in you.
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.
Take Your Time
“Hurry is the death of Prayer.”
~ Samuel Chadwick
1 Corinthians 16:5-14 (ESV)
I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. So let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers.
Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was not at all his will to come now. He will come when he has opportunity.
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Notes on the Scripture
On his third journey (this letter being written on his second journey during his long stay in Ephesus), Paul would indeed return to Corinth — twice. It was a large and influential church and, as we have seen, much in need of loving guidance.
Timothy was one of the greatest of the new generation of disciples, people who had not known Christ in the flesh but would become filled with the Spirit and continue to spread salvation at great risk. Paul treated him nearly like a son. They traveled together for years, Timothy acting as Paul's assistant. Non-biblical history tells us that Timothy became the Bishop of Ephesus.
He died at age 80, in poor health, but not of natural causes. As an old man, he tried to stop a pagan procession through the streets, carrying and chanting to idols; the outraged people beat him, dragged him through the streets and stoned him to death.
Apollos, an Alexandrian Jew of great intelligence, is less well-known or celebrated. From what little we know, he was a powerful orator and theologian. Earlier in this book, Paul says several times that he would leave a church in Apollos' hands after getting it started, e.g., "I planted, Apollos watered . . . ." (1 Corinthians 3:6)
He also appeared open to instruction and correction from others. Despite his strengths — he was mentioned as one of the nominal leaders of the sectarianism in Corinth in Chapter 1 — he was apparently unable to deal with the kind of disharmony occurring in Corinth. History has him traveling to Crete and, eventually, returning to Corinth as its bishop after Paul had brought the Christians there into unity.
In his final instruction to them, Paul gives us a great teaching, primarily for men but which women will find helpful, also. We think of men as the more violent and powerful gender, and our image of what it means to “be a man” is colored by violent sports and war. Paul would have been a poor infantry general or football coach, though; his definition of what it means to “be a man” is to show a strength that has nothing to do with conquering others; rather, we are to let all — and there is no ambiguity, no secondary meaning in Greek, no way around the fact that all means all — we are to let all we do be done in love.