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Friday, November 16, 2018

Daily Devotion for August 25, 2017


Saint Paul in Prison, Rembrandt c. 1627
Saint Paul in Prison, Rembrandt c. 1627.

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.

Mina, an Italian pop singer from the 70s, uses her extraordinary low range and rasping, anguished style to produce a unique Magnificat, set to a beautiful minor-key melody by Marco Frisina. Fabulous.



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.

Amen.

Prayer for Mercy

Heavenly Father, true God, who sent Your beloved Son to seek the wandering sheep, I have sinned against heaven and before You; receive me like the Prodigal Son, and clothe me with the garment of innocence, of which I was deprived by sin. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner, in the name of Christ.

Amen.

Meditation

[How will today be different from yesterday?]


Benediction (from Colossians 3)

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me all this day; and whatever I do in word or deed, may I do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

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.



endless knot

Proverbs 17:1 (NKJV)

Better is a dry morsel with quietness,
Than a house full of feasting with strife.


Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 1:1-8 (ESV)

Introduction to 1 Corinthians:
Greetings and Thanksgiving

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge — even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you — so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


Notes on the Scripture

D

uring Paul’s second journey, he established a church at Corinth, an important city in southern Greece. (Acts 18:1-17) On his third journey, he got reports of difficulties with the new Christian community. Much of the trouble came from members identifying themselves with different religious leaders.

There were also a wide variety of viewpoints, some of them extreme, about how the churches should be run, leadership, and Christian lifestyle, for the great majority of the church in Corinth were Gentiles and the background of Jewish morality that informed Jewish churches did not come naturally to many of them.

In fact, in this respect, the attitudes of metropolitan Greeks 2000 years ago were similar to modern secular attitudes. It was an individualistic society where philosophy and science were prominent, and self-fulfillment -- the purpose of one’s life and how to best live -- were the subject of much philosophical discussion.

Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, written during his long stay in Ephesus during his third journey, is one of the most quoted books in the Bible. It is full of practical advice as well as teachings on strictly theological issues and contains several of his most powerful, beautiful writing.

In the opening verses, he mentions Sosthenes, which is a bit of a mystery. The former leader of the synagogue in Corinth, who had been instrumental in the founding of the church and had suffered violence, might have been traveling with Paul, and if so, it would be natural for Paul to send the letter in Sosthenes’ name as well as his own. Or it might have been some unknown Greek with good writing skills, acting as Paul’s secretary.

As usual, the letter begins with praise and thanks, reminding the Corinthians of their common great purpose. Paul starts, in other words, by building a sense of bond and kinship with the readers, reminding them of the love he has for them and assuring them that his only motivation is that all good things may come to them.



Codex, 1 Corinthians
The beginning of 1 Corinthians from a 14th century Greek minuscule manuscript, penned by “Antonius, a monk.”


Daily Inspiration

“ Takes Your Breath Away ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Deuteronomy 10:17-19 (ESV) : The Lord your God . . . loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.


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