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Daily Devotion for January 26, 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.
Prayer for the Morning
Blessed are you, O Lord my God, King of the universe, who removes sleep from my eyes, that I may see the returning light of the your day. I thank you for all that you have done while I was asleep, watching over me and all your children while we slept unaware, and I pray that my thoughts and acts this day may show forth my love and thanks for you and all you have done for me.
Help me through your Holy Spirit, that I may remember what you have taught me in the Bible and it may show forth in my every deed. Let me not wander into the hands of sin, nor into the hands of pride or perversity, nor into the hands of temptation, nor into the hands of shame, but steer my inclinations towards goodness and charity this morning and all the day. In the name of Christ I pray.
A Prayer of Abandonment to the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit, God of Love, be present to me; accept the offering of myself which I make to you. Receive these hands, these feet, these eyes, this tongue, and all my senses. Receive my memory, my will, my understanding, my desires, my sighs, the longings and the aspirations of my soul. Receive my every hour, my every moment, and all the happenings of my life. Holy Spirit, God of Love, knit my soul to you. Let your love possess my whole being - my senses, my powers, my affections, my very life. Let your love rule my labor and my rest, my going and my staying, and move me as it pleases. Let your love disquiet or comfort me, humble or exalt me, and burn away all my faults.
Holy Spirit, God of Love, draw me to yourself. Do with me what you will. Nothing will cause me fear if only your love enfolds me. I ask confidently because your desire to give is greater than mine to receive. Transform me into yourself, so that I may no longer know myself, nor find myself, except in you.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
Galatians 1:9 (Daily Prayer Bible)
“I have said it before and I will say it again, in writing: those who teach their own thoughts and call them the Word of God are accursed.”
Galatians 6:1 (American Bible)
Helping Those who “Backslide” (Galatians #85)
And if a man is overcome by something sinful, brothers, you -- the spirit-filled -- must restore such a person in the spirit of gentleness and humility, taking care lest you yourself also be tempted.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul makes a specific statement of duty here. There are no two ways to read it, and there is no getting around it. The mood of the verb is imperative. He doesn't say, “It is a nice thing to do.” He doesn't say, “You will lay up treasure in heaven if you do this.” He says, rather: “You, the spirit-filled, must restore” a brother who has fallen away from the life of the Spirit.
ne would be hard-pressed to find a church where this is done. They exist, but increasingly people seem to adopt secular society’s mantra of “tolerance,” which when translated to more blunt terms means “toleration” — toleration of all sorts of ideas and conduct contrary to the expressed will of God.
I once witnessed a married man and a woman, married to someone else, who attended the same Sunday school class and who carried on a long-term love affair. Of course, people found out about it. Those few friends who told them that it was wrong were told, “We think God means for us to love each other and to be happy.”
The Bible is the only proof to such nonsense. For where, in God’s Word, does one find any statement that He intends for people to find satisfaction in an adulterous relationship?
There is careful balancing that must go on, when one seeks to correct even outrageous conduct from others, because Christ clearly stated: “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” To paraphrase, He told us to take out the beam that is in our own eye; then we will be able to see clearly enough to criticize the splinter in someone else's eye.
Paul gives us a second, related caution in today's verse. “Take care, lest when you try to restore another person, that you do not fall into temptation yourself.” He seems to be concentrating on succumbing to the same temptation: We do not want to go into a strip club to urge our brother to leave, if we ourselves will be inflamed by the goings-on inside. But he does not limit this to the same temptation, and it will quickly be seen that the primary temptation one would face is self-righteousness, an outgrowth of the great evil, Pride.
We can only seek to restore a lost brother or sister in “gentleness and humility.” So, if we are to carry out this command, we must be vigilant to our own heart and our own spirit. Humility, meaning, we cannot think we are better than the person we help. Gentleness, meaning that we must be able at all times to project a primary motive of love rather than accusation. They are not our enemy and we are not better than them; God has simply given them a different load to carry than He has given to us.