Daily Devotion for August 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.
I have already come, but He keeps on giving the
Grace and the strength, to just keep pressing on.
He’s given a promise and I’m gonna stand, on
Every word His holy word has said, and holding
His hand I’ll never fear whatever lies ahead.
I’m gonna make it, He’s already said that I would.
I’ll keep on trusting that He’s working everything for my good.
He walks beside me and heaven is in my view, I’m gonna make it through.
In spite of the good intentions I’ve had
Sometimes my strength can fail, though I have tried
The very best that I could, my weaknesses prevailed
But then I remember the promise he made, that in my weakness
He is strong and that’s when I know whatever may come
His steady hand will lead me on, and on and on,
He walks beside me and Heaven is in my view.
I’m gonna make it, He said I’ll make it.
I’m gonna make it through.
Words and Music by Geron Davis
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, this morning I pray for those who are beginning to know Christ: may You strengthen them on their journey. I pray for all children, and for those who take care of them, especially those who awaken them to faith. I pray for the ill and those who are ending their lives in loneliness: Oh Lord, give them the strength they need. I pray for those who are condemned to prison or exile: Lord, sustain their hope. I pray that the fire of your Spirit may renew the energies of all your saints and enable us to welcome those who do not know you. And finally, Lord, may your Church be constantly renewed, in prayer, in your Word and in your worship; in Christ's name, this I ask,
Teach Me to Love
Oh holy Christ, your life was perfect in constancy. You have never failed those who loved you, for your love is eternal, perfect and unfailing. You never change, never weaken, never vary. Teach me the steadfastness of your love, mighty Savior. Teach me your humility, your selflessness. Teach me to be a devoted servant.
Look with grace, I pray, on my small and tarnished loving; protect it, foster it, strengthen it, that my love may be less unworthy to be offered to you and to your children. O Light of the world, teach me how to love.
[How can my love grow?]
The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
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.
Dead in the Water
Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without wind. We are useless.
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Galatians 5:19-21 (Daily Prayer Bible)
19-21, 26 You know perfectly well what I mean when I speak of indulging the “desires of the flesh”: things like sexual immorality, impurity of mind, indecency, worship of false gods, witchcraft, hatred, quarrelling, jealousy, bad temper, rivalry, factionalism, carousing, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that. None of us should be ambitious for our own reputation, or seek our own glory, or indulge our vanity; such motives just make us jealous of one another. As I have told you before, those who indulge the desires of the flesh will never inherit God’s kingdom.
19 Now, the works of the flesh are well-known, including fornication, impurity, indecent conduct,
20 idolatry, making potions, hostilities, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, factionalism, dogma,
21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things, which I warn you about now just as I warned you before: those practicing such acts will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
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
We have looked at the first three examples of “works of the flesh” with great specificity. It might be well, at this point, to step back and examine the list taken as a whole.
It appears that they logically divide into five categories; in fact, some of the individual items are so related that they are translated into English as synonyms. The Daily Prayer Bible, working under the theory that Paul did not simply repeat himself, has tried to distinguish similar terms. This is an assumption and might not be correct; but it does have the benefit of discussing different aspects of similar works.
ote that although Paul calls them “works,” some of the terms are not actions, but thoughts. With Christ's monumental and radical words, recorded by Matthew in the “Sermon on the Mount,” attitude and intention came to the forefront of our moral guide.
The first three of the terms directly concern sex: Fornication, an immoral sexual action; Impurity, an immoral sexual attitude; and indecency, an immoral sexual appearance.
Idolatry and making potions both refer to relying on supernatural forces other than God. While the concept of idolatry can be broadened greatly, used as metaphors for putting the things of this world before God, most likely Paul meant it fairly narrowly in this letter. The great temptation of idolatry to the early churches was precisely that: worshipping statues of pagan gods. Making potions does mean something a bit broader than simply cooking up a magic broth; the Greeks used it to mean “witchcraft.”
The longest part, though, concerns pridefulness: hostilities, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, factionalism, dogma, and envy. Four of these describe actions and four of them describe attitudes, so we can break them down further into two categories. The first are actions which drive Christians apart: hostilities, rivalry, angry outbursts, and factionalism. The second can be seen as the attitudes that lead to division among Christians: jealousy, selfish ambition, dogma, and envy.
Finally, we have drunkenness and carousing (or orgiesAlthough “orgies” is a good translation, we do not use the word because it connotes a primarily sexual image in the modern mind, which is not Paul’s intention. This refers more to any sort of “wild party.”). These are both actions, but they bespeak a similar attitude: love of pleasure. We can see from other parts of the Bible that pleasure is not an evil, for we see Jesus engaging in activities we would term pleasurable: Having dinner with friends, having a cup of wine, attending a wedding, taking a nap. The point at which pleasure becomes excessive, and thus a work of the flesh that drives us away from God, might be hard to specify, so we must be doubly vigilant about it; for those who indulge in such excess will be the same ones who would set the standard low.