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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Daily Devotion for January 9, 2017


<i>Vinea Electa</i> by Salvador Dali, ca. 1967.
Vinea Electa by Salvador Dali, ca. 1967. This abstract expressionist or symbolist work captures the wrath of God expressed in Isaiah 5:6, where Israel is compared to a vineyard (vinea electa means “my chosen vineyard”) which God will destroy.

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.



For a Cheerful Disposition in All I Do Today

Holy God, who has filled me with the joy of your grace and salvation, assist me this day that I may do all things I am called to do without grumbling or disputing. I call on your Spirit to assist me, that I may be blameless and innocent, a child of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.

Let me follow holy Christ and all his saints: Let me shine as a light, a beacon in a world where darkness seeks to overcome us in every thing and at every moment. And help me to hold fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ's return I may be proud that I did not strive in vain.

I pray this not for my own glory, but in all humility before you, to whom be all glory and honor,

Amen.

To Be Free of Anxiety

Lord Jesus, I have allowed myself to be filled with depression and negativity over what I see as my failures in life, where I have been disappointed in something I wanted from this world. I find myself hiding, full of anger and self-righteousness and self-pity, and have turned my eyes away from you.

Give me the hope I need and help me never to be afraid to begin again. You told your disciples to be anxious for nothing. I give to you my anxiety, Lord Christ, and lay my troubles upon your mighty back; and I pick up your burden, for you have promised that it is light, and that you are gentle and kind. Let me work for your glory and not my own, that the anxiety that comes from pride and vanity and fear of others might be gone from me, and I may serve you in joy and peace.

Amen.

Closing

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked will I return. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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.


Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

Does saying “I swear to God” come from evil?

Answer: Yes. Matthew 5:34.



<i>Adam and Eve,</i> by Lyuba Yatskiv, ca. 2005.
Adam and Eve, by Lyuba Yatskiv, ca. 2005.

Waking in the Spirit

The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.” That other, larger, stronger, quieter life should be the Lord speaking to us as we seek Him in prayer.

~ C. S. Lewis


Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:22-23 (Daily Prayer Bible)


Fruits of the Spirit - Peace (Galatians #79)

22-23 The Spirit, on the other hand, produces fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, fidelity, tolerance and self-control. In this, the Law and the Spirit agree, because the Law does not forbid such things.

American Bible


Notes on the Scripture

If we live by the Spirit, rather than the desires of the flesh, do we live in peace? No, that is not what this verse, or anything in the Bible promises us. Paul does always wish peace for the recipients of his letters; one of the things all the Pauline epistles have in common is the phrase, “Grace to you, and peace.” (E.g. Romans 1:7.)

A

nd really, one does not have to read the Bible to wish for peace. Few of us have really experienced war or have any concept of how horrible it is. In the United States, we have never really seen it. The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center were a national trauma, killing almost 3,000 people and destroying a great building in New York City. But, without lessening the importance of the 9/11 tragedy, the destruction and suffering were a small taste of the horrors of a real war.

In WW2, a single bombing raid on Tokyo killed roughly 100,000 people, with corresponding damage to the city. The firebombing of Dresden killed 25,000. The Thirty Years’ War in Germany — a religious dispute between two groups of Christians — laid waste to the entire country and killed roughly 1/3 of the population.

How can such things happen? They happen because we live in the flesh.

But the Bible never promises peace in this world to those who follow Christ. In fact, it calls us to accept the possibility of a painful death for our bodies. The next verse of Galatians reads: “Those belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh together with passions and desires.” The crucifixion of flesh is not some abstract term: Christ Himself, followed by untold numbers of Christan martyrs, accepted a painful death without complaint. Little difference to us, whether we die in a bombing raid or on a cross.

What, then, is the “peace” that Paul considers a fruit of the spirit?

The first aspect is what we might call “peacefulness.” If we are filled with the Spirit, we will not make war or hostilities (which Paul names as one fruit of the flesh in verse 20). In general, following the commandments of Christ are fruits of the Spirit, and this one is specific: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Making peace is a fruit of abiding in the Holy Spirit. Anger and warlike attitudes are fruits of the flesh. We will not get into the theological tangle of “just war,” but suffice it to say, at no time did Christ approve of any mortal combat, even in self-defense. (See, e.g., Matthew 26:51-52.)

The other aspect of peace, as a fruit of the spirit, is the possibility of “inner peace” under any circumstance. It is easy enough to see this demonstrated in real life, and I suppose most of us have actually experienced a taste of it. When we pray extensively and then go out into the world, we are not as likely to get angry in traffic. We are, in fact, not likely to get angry at all. We forgive those who trespass against us. Compare that to times when God has been pushed to the back of our minds; do we not get frazzled and more likely to lose our temper?

We hold the possibility of life in the Spirit right in the palm of our hand. God has given us the Holy Spirit, to keep us company after Christ’s ascension, and the Holy Spirit has the full power of God. We simply need to avail ourselves of His help, to live in perfect peace.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Failure”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

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Today in Daily Prayer


Coming Up in Daily Prayer

We are finally getting back to Galatians, which we started quite a long time ago and never finished. My intention is to get through Galatians 6 (which I have finally finished translating) and then move on to either Romans or 1 Corinthians. I don’t think I will try the same detailed verbatim translation style any more; there just aren't enough hours in the day!

~ The Editor

Memory Verse

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.


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