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Friday, December 14, 2018

Daily Devotion for September 16, 2017


Psalm 62 | depressed woman

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.

Our “Saturday Oldie” is a classic, indeed: Mahalia Jackson in her famous rendition of Trouble of the World



A Puritan Prayer

Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Your care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. Incline my heart to Your ways. Mold me completely into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay.

May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Your praise. Let those around see me living by Your Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clothed in the entire armour of God, shining as a never-dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings. Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, and hands.

May I travel swampy paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In every transaction let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth.

Order this day all my communications according to Your wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day. This I pray in the name of Christ, my Lord and Savior,

Amen.

Praise

Oh Lord God, you are what thought cannot better; you are who thought cannot reach; you are who no thinking can even conceive. Without you, man can have no being, no reason, no knowledge, no good desire, nothing. You, Oh Lord, are what you are, transcending all.

Amen.

Benediction

Oh Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you”; I pray that I and your whole church, the body of all faithful people, will know your peace, and live in harmony and unity, one with another, in accordance with your wishes. This I pray to you, who lives and reigns forever.

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 all Scripture is inspired by God?

Answer: 2 Timothy 3:16



endless knot

Proverbs 17:5 (NKJV)

He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker;
He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (ESV)

Divisions in the Church

But I, brothers and sisters, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh.

For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.


Notes on the Scripture

P

aul returns to hammer home a point he made in Chapter 1: Christian teachers and ministers are servants of God, not elevated figures to lead factions and divisions. Factionalism has no place in a Christian church. For a Christian leader to take credit and pride in the size of his flock is a self contradiction, for it bespeaks the same sinful pride as comes to an atheist who has achieved something in the material world.

Our pride in our achievements is always tempered by the fact that we are not responsible for the means to create and sustain anything. We may plant a seed and tend to the plant, but the tomato we grow is not nearly so much our achievement as God’s. Paul actually says that we have not achieved anything, and it is easy to see his point, for just as we did not create the soil or the sun or the water, we did not create our own arm that plants the seed.

And so, Paul tells us, people who accept Christ but continue to look to other men as the source of their faith are like babies, for they have not fully grasped or accepted the nature of God’s will. People are attached to the flesh and it is hard to break bad habits; so Paul might act important, to a degree, while converts are still nursing. But for those who say they follow a certain human being and engage in dividing themselves into groups, they are still acting out of human, not spiritual, motives.

Imagine Paul’s dismay if he could have watched historical Christianity unfold over the next 2000 years. The people of Corinth were a minuscule forewarning of the religious strife, and the secularization of the church, that has characterized Christianity to this day.

It has become so entrenched in society that an Army dog tag will not identify a solider as Christian, but rather as Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. Paul reviles this attitude. “Neither he who plants nor he who waters” — meaning the person who converts and the person who leads others in the love and worship of Christ — “is anything.” Only God saves souls, and it is only to God that we must give our allegiance.



Pope Benedict XVI, seated next to Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk
    Today’s Scripture has become a changing force in Christianity in recent decades. Here, Pope Benedict XVI and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk jointly observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in January, 2012.


Daily Inspiration

“ Are You Building or Rebuilding
Your Temple? ”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

2 Corinthians 12:9: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


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