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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Daily Devotion for January 16, 2017


<i>The Baptism of Christ</i> by Giotto, ca. 1305.
The Baptism of Christ by Giotto, ca. 1305. One of the finest works of the genius who invented Renaissance art. Fittingly, it was painted as a fresco in a little Romanesque church, the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, one of a series of panels on the life of Christ.

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.

This very old hymn, a favorite of people from all denominations, is given a fresh sound by Francisco Ortega.



Morning Prayer

Let me to-day do something that shall take
A little sadness from the world’s vast store,
And may I be so favoured as to make
Of joy’s too scanty sum a little more.

Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed
Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend;
Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need,
Or sin by silence when I should defend.

However meagre be my worldly wealth,
Let me give something that shall aid my kind –
A word of courage, or a thought of health,
Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find.

Let me to-night look back across the span
‘Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say –
Because of some good act to beast or man –
“The world is better that I lived today.”

Amen.

For the Needy

Dear Lord above, never let me forget about those who are hurting from guilt, shame and other afflictions I may not know about. Show me that I need to remember those who are: sick, imprisoned, lonely, confused, in need of a friend, dying, hungry, spiritually lost in their lives — wandering aimlessly through life. Teach me to comfort my brothers and sisters in their hours of need, wherever they may be. Guide me to look deeply into their hearts and understand.

Teach me to reach out my hands and help them up and feed their souls and hearts with your word, O Lord. Let me never forsake one of my hurting brothers or sisters along life's way. Grant me the strength to carry forth your will and your way in bringing all to you, dear Father. I pray this needful prayer through your blessed Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Parting Prayer

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip me with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in me what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

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

What verse tells us that the Bible is the Word of God?

Answer: 2 Timothy 3:16



endless knot

A Friend

If we truly understand even for a moment what sort of Companion, Counselor, and Friend we have in the Holy Spirit, it will banish all thoughts of loneliness forever.

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:22-23 (Daily Prayer Bible)


Fruits of the Spirit - Faith (Galatians #82)

22-23 The Spirit, on the other hand, produces fruit: . . . faith . . . . In this, the Law and the Spirit agree, because the Law does not forbid such things.


DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - Galatians 5

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.
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Notes on the Scripture

We might tend to just gloss over Paul’s assertion that faith is a fruit of the Spirit; it just sounds so natural. But when we think about it, it is actually startling.

H


ow do we receive the Holy Spirit? Most people would think, to some degree, that we come to abide with the Spirit because we have faith in Christ. But really, the Bible tells us again and again that it is the other way around. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us our faith. True faith is an element of God’s grace, not something we accomplish by our merit. It surely is not wrong to try to have faith, for we are tempted in every way possible by the Clever One; but we must realize that we cannot have faith of ourselves. It is a gift given to us, by God’s grace.

The Greek word used for the Holy Spirit — Paraclete — has become known in English, especially by people who have studied the Bible for some time. The primary source of the term is Jesus’ discourse in John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another [Paraclete], to be with you forever.”

Study of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit tends to center on the helping or comforting role He plays in our lives, but there is another aspect. The primary meaning, in fact, of the verb parakaleo is “to call to one’s side.” Moreover, the connotation is a very powerful calling to someone: “urging” or “exhorting.” And Paraclete, insofar as it refers to the verb from which it was formed, refers to one who calls powerfully, who urges or exhorts.

Thus we might infer that the Paraclete calls us. Most of us feel “called,” and this is not our imagination, for there is a voice, not our own, which is calling us to faith: the Holy Spirit. Such an interpretation fits Jesus’ words perfectly, for if the Holy Spirit is to be “another” who will stand in for Christ . . . well, who called people to faith in God, and more specifically to faith in Christ, more strongly than Christ Himself?

Holy Spirit, dove with flame

The concept of faith deriving from the Holy Spirit occurs several times, and (as stated above) is supported by the very word Paraclete used in John 14. In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul informs us that “no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

It is the Holy Spirit who calls us to faith. If our faith seems weak and we want to strengthen it, we have a powerful Friend and Helper. In practical terms, the Spirit is God to us during our earthly lives. If we perceive God, it is through the Spirit. If we know Christ, it is through the Spirit.

So do not blame yourself if your faith seems to falter; but there is no need to accept weakness in your faith. Simply answer the call. You do not even have to dial the telephone; you only have to pick it up when it rings. Just say, “Yes.”



<i>Rose</i> by Sieger Koeder, ca 1978.
Rose by Sieger Köder, ca 1978. Perhaps Köder’s best-known work, a deeply allegorical depiction of Christian faith.

Daily Inspiration

“Obedience”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Philippians 2:8: Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.


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