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Daily Devotion for October 15, 2016


Cristo Como Salvador by El Greco
Christ (as) the Savior (detail), by El Greco, ca. 1610.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.

If our “Saturday Oldie” today — the Clara Wards Singers performing Packing Up — doesn't get your blood flowing, nothing will!




To Show Christ's Love Today

Oh Holy God, who has commanded us to love one another without fail, purify my soul. Let your Holy Spirit empower me throughout this day, to be obedient to the truth at every moment, so that I might love my brothers and sisters earnestly, from a pure heart.

And let me always remember that I have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of your Son; born again into a life of perfect love, obedience, and service. And if I am confused or do not know what to think or do, let me think of your Son, Jesus Christ, and ask myself what He would have done. For I will follow him even to the point of suffering and death, confident in his resurrection and the eternal reward for those that do follow him in sincere belief.

Amen.

For Depression

Oh holy God, you know the misery I am in and the suffering I feel. Please let your Holy Spirit come to me; if I must suffer, dear God, I will suffer for you. I love you more than anything. I pray, give me the strength just to put one foot in front of another until this episode of depression gets past. Let me know that the pain is going to end at some point and just hold on until it passes.

I suffer for you, Lord Christ, for I know that you suffered even more than I do. I love you and kiss your broken feet. I will live for you, to show my love for you; for despite whatever sin I might commit this day, I know that you have put me here for some reason, even though I cannot find it or see it because of my psychological state. And thank you for my friends who are praying for me, for I know that at least one person on earth cares about me enough to petition you in my behalf.

And I pray for healing, Lord. Let me see that my shame and guilt have been forgiven and destroyed by your sacrifice and your great power. I am clean and perfect in your eyes, and you love me. Heal me of some or all of this affliction of pain, if it is your will, I pray.

Amen.

Blessing for the Day

Oh God, hold me in the palm of your hand. I pray that you will mold me into what you want me to be. May I joyfully fill the role you have given to me and feel your peace deep in my soul, today and always,

Amen.


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.



Jesus and Peter | Badi-Barth
Jesus and Peter, by Bradi Barth, ca. 1960.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16 (ESV)

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.


Blue Latin Cross

2 Peter 1:20-21 (ESV)

How to Read the Bible [2]

“[Know] this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”


Notes on the Scripture

O

n Tuesday, we examined the three most basic principles of Biblical hermeneutics, the five-dollar word for “how to read and interpret the Bible correctly.” We got through Rules 1 and 2 when we ran out of room, so we will look at Rule 3 today. Here are the principles:

1. The Bible is the Word of God;
2. The Word of God is what is actually written in the Bible;
3. What is not written in the Bible is not the Word of God.

As a reminder, there are four categories of statements or text that describe how reliably they transmit a truth of God. In descending order of reliability, they are:

  • “Revealed” - A statement made by God himself. We read a revealed truth in Matthew 3:17, “behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’”
  • “Inspired” - In theology, this word is very different from our everyday definition. It describes words written by human hand that come directly from God. In Protestant theology, it is generally applied only to the Bible.
  • Illuminated“Illuminated” also describes an elaborately illustrated Bible or other holy book. The two meanings are completely different.” describes a writing, or more usually reading, where we are assisted by the Holy Spirit in our understanding. It is impossible to understand the Bible (or Christ) without illumination. It is not often applied to secondary criticism or exegesis, since a claim of illumination in a text can so easily be phony.
  • “Interpretation” - This is the term properly applied to Biblical criticism, teaching, sermons, etc. The Notes you are reading right now are interpretation. They are not the Word of God, but the thoughts of a human being attempting to understand the Word of God.
Angel illuminated Bible

Many preachers and teachers do not understand the difference; so we must be able to differentiate for ourselves. The simple key to reading religious literature or listening to lectures and sermons is to remember Rule 3: What is not written in the Bible is not the Word of God. A logical conclusion based on Scripture may be helpful, but it is human and therefore fallible, not divine and infallible.

Here is an example. In fact, I will give you a chance to see if you can make the distinction yourself, if you want to, before I tell you my thoughts. Read John 8:1-11 (which is a great Bible story and worth a read just for its own sake). When you have finished reading it, here are two questions for you. First, did Jesus forgive the woman for her sin? Second, did the woman repent? I'll put in a few lines of “spoiler space” for anyone who wants to think about it before reading further.


illuminated Bible | monkey

Did Christ forgive the woman? The Bible does not say He forgave her; it says He did not condemn her. Does your mind want to infer that He forgave her? Drawing an inference is a natural logical process. But: it is critical (and difficult) to learn to recognize that the inference comes from your mind, not the Bible. Did the woman repent? The Bible does not say or indicate she repented. This would be a secondary inference, as its basis relies on the inference that Christ forgave her.

Understanding the Bible is sometimes difficult, but it becomes a lot easier once you are able to make a clear distinction between interpretation and the inspired Word of God.



endless knot

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“ The Good Shepherd ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.



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