Daily Devotion for January 23, 2017
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.
There is no mountain too tall He cannot move it.
And there is no storm too dark God cannot calm it.
There is no sorrow too deep He cannot soothe it.
And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders,
I know my brother that He will carry you.
And if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders,
I know my sister that He will carry you.
He said, "Come unto Me all who are weary, and I will give you rest."
I know my brother and I know my sister,
That He, He’s going to carry you.
Oh yes, He will,
He’s going to carry you.
Music and Lyrics by Scott Wesley Brown
Prayer for Renewal
As I start this day, oh Lord, I wonder: How will this day be different from any other day? Has my faith in you grown into a stale routine, or will I grow this day, closer to you than I have ever been?
Shake me up, Holy God! Rattle the door of my cage, set off my smoke detector, ring my doorbell until I answer the door! Let me read your Word until something new sinks in; let me pray until I hear your voice, until all smugness has given way to gratitude. By the power of your Holy Spirit, renew me afresh in your Word and power, today and every day, energizing me in your great commission. In Christ's name, I pray.
That the World May Find Christ
Almighty God, whose compassions fail not, and whose loving-kindness reacheth unto the world’s end; We give thee humble thanks for opening heathen lands to the light of thy truth; for making paths in the deep waters and highways in the desert; and for planting thy Church in all the earth. Grant, we beseech thee, unto us thy servants, that with lively faith we may labour abundantly to make known to all men thy blessed gift of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Penitence
Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in my contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all my sins, and cleansing me from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. And turn my heart to your will at every moment, I pray.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Galatians 5:24-26 (Daily Prayer Bible)
Aligning Ourselves (Galatians #83)
24-25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. For if we belong to Christ Jesus, we have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
26 And above all, let us be aligned to the Spirit, not letting our egotism provoke or envy each other.
24 But those of Christ Jesus the flesh crucified with the passions and the desires.
25 If we live by spirit, to spirit also we align.
26 Not must we become vainglorious ee Oddly enough, the compound Greek word is composed of the words “vain” and “glorious”. Although it is generally translated “boastful” (or even “conceited”, which seems a poor choice), the literal translation “vainglorious” (meaning boastfully vain) is far superior. , one another provoking, one another envying.
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
e will use the Verbatim Translation for study today, as it is fairly comprehensible on its own. Verses 24 and 25 act as a summary for Chapter 5. It draws a parallel between our flesh and spirit, and the flesh and spirit of Christ. So initially, we have to see the similarities between ourselves and Christ.
One of the most important and powerful concepts in the Doctrine of Christ is his humanity. As our recent Memory Quotes teach us, Christ emptied himself of his divinity, in order to become more fully human. He had to sleep and eat, he had to learn how to speak Aramaic (and probably some Hebrew and even a little Greek), he had to be potty-trained. Most important, he had to be mortal; he had to die, something that a divine being could not do.
Jesus lived in his flesh, just like you or I. When he exhibited supernatural powers or knowledge, they were given to him by the Father. But although he live “in” the flesh, he did not live “by” the flesh. Where there was any conflict between the desires of his flesh and the will of the Father, he acted in conformity with the will of the Father and not his fleshly desires.
This was true “even unto death.” That is, he acted according to the will of God in going to his death on the cross, without protest (other than possibly in prayer) and without wavering in faith. Since our instinct for self-preservation is, possibly, the most powerful of human (i.e. fleshly) instincts, it was by his crucifixion that he most strongly proved his own faith in God; and in the process, demonstrated the faith that he desired us to emulate.
Yet we know that he felt the temptation of his flesh exactly as we do. If he saw a beautiful woman, he presumably felt desire for her. When Satan tempted him with making bread from stones, as he was starving in the desert, he felt an enormous temptation to give into his hunger. And above all, he felt as much pain and fear as you or I would feel, if we were beaten, mocked, and hung up on a cross in the hot sun to die.
So we must imitate him. We must allow our flesh to be crucified, despite our dislike of extreme pain and our fear of death — for our lives are going to end, and most likely with great pain. Our desires for wealth and glory in our flesh will be frustrated. Only in our Spirit do we hope to find perfect joy, peace, and life, after our flesh is finally destroyed by sin — be it our own sin or the sin of others.
Paul adds a final sentence at the end. The Greek translation tells us that we must align ourselves to the Spirit, and that this is connected to not provoking and envying one another by our “vainglory” — in other words, our first duty is that we not let our egos create divisions between us. We must “align” ourselves: we must all try to point in the same direction, towards God, rather than wandering off in our own personalities and pridefulness, as if we, rather than God, were running the show.
Living in the flesh leads us to mill about in an incoherent mass, each of us following our own nose. Living in the spirit leads us to move in one precise direction, facing towards God; not one degree to the left or right, in perfect harmony.