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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Daily Devotion for October 23, 2017


Poverty depicted by Van Gogh in The 'Potato Eaters'
The Potato Eaters by Vincent van Gogh, c. 1885. Few people realize that van Gogh was a devoted Christian missionary, living in abject poverty among starving coal miners and farmers before he began painting. In The Potato Eaters he depicts wretched French potato farmers, yet they appear content in their poverty. Notice the painting of Jesu Christe hanging on the left wall.

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.



Prayer for the Morning

For the bird who sings outside my window,
 For the tree that stands outside my door,
For the neighbor who waves and says “good morning”,
I give you thanks dear God, for these and more,


Your blessings every morning know no limit,
Yet I often rush by not seeing them, I fear;
Let me take a moment this and every morning, God, I pray,
To remember all of them, and know that you are here.
Amen.

For Protection of Body and Soul

Heavenly Father, I give you thanks for the protection you give me. You protect my body from the mighty forces of the universe that would kill me in an instant, with your good earth you have freely given me. You sustain my life with air, food, water, the shining sun and the gentle rain, the rich earth that grows my food. You protect my body from disease and trauma by the miracle of healing and the wonders of science.

Most of all, I thank you for preserving me from evil, the preservation of my soul; for the enemies of my soul abound on this earth, and often, I would do the damage myself. I pray that I have wisdom sufficient to allow you to do your will, and enter me, and protect my soul from dangers within and without by your infinite power. Let me put on your armor every day, and with your help and the forgiving grace of my savior, Jesus Christ, be kept pure, so that I may one day come before you in perfect joy.

In the name of the same Jesus Christ, I pray,

Amen.

Blessing for the Day

Oh God, hold me in the palm of your hand. I pray that you will mold me into what you want me to be. May I joyfully fill the role you have given to me and feel your peace deep in my soul, today and always,

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

Identify this verse: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”

Answer: John 14:6



<i>Temptation of Christ (detail)</i> from the Hunterian Psalter, English ca. 1170.
Temptation of Christ (detail) from the Hunterian Psalter, English ca. 1170. This detail of Satan is a wonderful early devil depiction. He is standing on top of the Temple, showing Jesus the riches of the world (Matthew 4:8-10)

The Future

As we trust God to give us wisdom for today’s decisions, He will lead us a step at a time into what He wants us to be doing in the future.

~ Theodore Epp


Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 6:9-20 (ESV)

Immorality

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food” — and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”

But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality.

Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.


Notes on the Scripture

Paul takes up one of the difficult problems of Christian theology: Since Christ has brought us forgiveness for all our sins, why do we need to stop sinning? We are saved by our faith; therefore, why does it matter if our lives are righteous? After all, the purpose of the law was to show us that we were not righteous and we cannot be righteous, for nobody is altogether free from sin.

N

otice that Paul repeats, in quotes, “All things are lawful for me.” In Corinth, Antioch, and other early Christian churches, there had arisen a sect that took Christ’s teachings about the law to the next logical step. In fact, they sinned even more, ostensibly to show greater faith in God’s forgiveness! No doubt, they said “all things are lawful for me” repeatedly, when their conduct was challenged, and now he throws it back in their face.

The mistake is very characteristic of the Greek world, because it is based on logic that is difficult to refute, a phenomenon called “sophistry”. But Christ was not the product of the logic of the weak human intellect. Christ and Christianity are based on the mystery of rebirth in the Holy Spirit. He took a liberal view of the Sabbath laws out of love, in order to heal; to serve God better.

One who is truly reborn would not have to ask the question, “why can I not sin as I please?”, because he serves God rather than his own flesh. His face is pointed away from lust and greed, toward the face of God.

The sect might seem a bit ridiculous to us today, but how many of us use this as a psychological trick at some point to excuse our sinful behavior? We pray for forgiveness for a sin, and then repeat it the next day? Christ told us to repent our sin, and “repent” doesn’t mean we say we are sorry now and do it again tomorrow.

Most people have sins that they seem to have trouble avoiding: natural inclinations, weaknesses, even obsessions, that pull us into temptation with great power. Homosexuals have a difficult dilemma, for their only option is celibacy; and, in addition, they have the active blessing of a society that promotes their sin. Alcoholics, addicts, even the obese carry the burden of a chemical addiction, a disease.

And yet, these and all other great sins can be overcome through prayer, love, and brotherhood. But clearly, the first step is not to excuse the conduct, but always to seek to overcome the temptation rather than rationalize it.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“If We Confess . . .”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


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