Daily Devotion for June 14, 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 of Praise
Blessed are You, Lord our God and God of our fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob, the great, mighty and awesome God, exalted God, who bestows bountiful kindness, who creates all things, who remembers the piety of the Saints, and who, in love, has brought a Redeemer to us, our forefathers and our children, for the sake of His Name.
O Mighty King, You are a helper, a savior and a shield. You resurrect the dead; You are powerful to save us in forgiveness of our sins.
You cause the dew to descend. You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall.
You sustain the living with loving kindness, support the falling, heal the sick, release the slave; You fulfill Your trust to those who sleep in the dust. Who is like You, mighty Father? And who can be compared to You, King of Peace, who defeats death and restores life, and causes deliverance to spring forth! Who is your equal, Great Comforter, who brings holiness to all who call upon You?
You are holy and Your Name is holy; the angels and all the creatures of heaven and earth praise You daily for all eternity. Blessed are You Lord, the holy God.
Holy Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life. I know You are the only way to God so now I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You.
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.
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
Identify this Bible verse: “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.”
The best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts,
Of kindness and of love.
1 Peter 3:1-2, 5-6 (ESV)
ikewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
Notes on the Scripture
If Peter’s entreaty to servants in yesterday’s lesson is unpopular, today’s passage is often downright reviled. In secular Western society, the liberation of women is considered a primary tenet of morality. Any hint that a woman should “be subject to her husband” is met with fierce opposition, anger, and even hatred.
Moreover, marriage is difficult, and one of the greatest difficulties is power and control. The last thing a woman actively engaged in an interpersonal power struggle wants to hear is “give in”. She, as much as her husband, has ideas about how things should be done; often her ideas are better.
And yet, there is Peter’s teaching, in black and white; what do we make of it?
The first thing we must remember, always, is that this passage is addressed to women. It is not intended to give husbands rights, and it is not intended to be a law that husbands or society can impose. The matter is entirely between a woman and God.
If one has read the preceding chapters of 1 Peter, one understands a Christian perspective in which Peter makes this difficult-sounding admonishment. We are all, male and female, rich and poor, masters and servants alike, a “holy priesthood” of Christ. A primary rule of our lives is that we should live like Christ: we must “abstain from the passions of the flesh” — in this instance, pride — which wage war against our souls.
As such, once we decide that the great goals of our lives are our personal salvation and the salvation of others — surely, the greatest love we can show to another is to lead them to Christ — worldly passions become, at best, secondary; and at worst, a barrier to our goal. If we offer our very lives to a painful crucifixion, as Peter did, other matters become mundane, petty, trivial. We strive to concede unimportant issues, lest they block the single great issue of bringing the world to Christ.
Finally, I must point out that there are many dedicated, devout, and knowledgeable Christians who state that this passage must be read in the context of history and is not applicable to modern Christians. But the Bible at no point tells us to reinterpret according to modern societal standards. In fact, it appears to urge the opposite: “[D]o not be conformed to this age (or this world), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
The problem with “reinterpreting” the Bible to conform to modern secular notions is that, once one discounts clear Biblical statements as historically determined rather than divinely inspired, the authority of the Bible itself is undermined. It becomes imperfect and temporary, a document for ancient persons. Once we discount the primary meaning of such an explicit passage, we begin to write our own Bible rather than follow God’s. Shall we reserve for ourselves the right to believe only the parts of the Bible we agree with? Or shall we conform ourselves to it?
Nevertheless, I repeat: This passage is addressed to married women, and if there exists any controversy, it lies between a married woman and God. I would urge that all people who confess Christ as their savior not to allow issues such as gender roles to interfere with their love for and unity with their brothers and sisters.