Daily Devotion for November 8, 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.
A Latin/English Gloria with a Brazilian Samba flavor? Only the BTC!
prayer for morning (e. e. cummings)
i thank God for most this
day; for the leaping greenly
spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything
which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes
For the Holiness of the Church
Oh God my Father, who has always loved and protected your universal church, I pray that your Holy Spirit may fall upon all ministers, priests, pastors, bishops, and all who lead in churches; and upon all teachers of your holy Word.
Make them good and faithful stewards of your Holy Word, dear Lord. Bless them to lead us closer to you every day. Let them not be hypocrites in their actions, nor blinded by their personal bias to the truth of your teaching. Let them be strong against the pressures of the secular world, without compromise. Let them always strive for unity with all Christians, not pridefully dividing themselves from one another by the fallible doctrines of man. Raise them up, to peace and love and utter humility, that by their example your flock may be guided into the way of truth.
[Let me not be blinded by my personal bias to the truth of Christ’s teaching.]
May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in His sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, 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.
Proverbs 16:3 (NKJV)
Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.
1 Corinthians 9:1-6 (JBP)
Paul Discusses His Ministry 
Is there any doubt that I am a genuine messenger, any doubt that I am a free man? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Are not you yourselves samples of my work for the Lord?
Even if other people should refuse to recognize my divine commission, yet to you at any rate I shall always be a true messenger, for you are a living proof of God’s call to me. This is my real ground of defense to those who cross-examine me.
Aren’t we allowed to eat and drink? May we not travel with a Christian wife like the other messengers, like other Christian brothers, and like Cephas? Are Barnabas and I the only ones not allowed to leave their ordinary work to give time to the ministry?
Notes on the Scripture
e must remember, from Chapter 1, the primary impetus for the epistle: The great sectarian conflicts that arose soon after the founding the church in Corinth. People were beginning to form into insular groups, and would name themselves as followers of a teacher — e.g. “I am of Apollos” or “I am of Cephas” (1 Corinthians 1:11-12) rather than Christ Himself. As part of this, the apostle was exposed to the accusations of false teachers, who asserted that he carried on his evangelization and his labors from self-interested motives, and that he took the property of Christians, availing himself of their devotedness.
Chapter 9 is devoted to Paul’s defense of his own ministry. It seems a bit rough, because it does involve some self-promotion, following close on the heels of Paul’s admonition against boasting. But when we understand that it was a defense to serious accusations against him, it becomes easier to read, because everyone surely has a right to defend himself against falsehood and slander.
Paul first credits himself as someone who had seen Christ with his own eyes. He does omit the fact that he was in the service of the high priest when Christ was tried and was complicit in the murder of Stephen. But if we are to credit the Bible, Paul was commissioned directly by Christ on the road to Damascus, at the time of his conversion. (Acts 9:3–9)
Paul then points out that he started the church at Corinth. This was during a journey full of hardship and danger, and he is right to claim this as proof of his sincerity. “By their works, you shall know them,” and Paul’s work in Corinth is beyond criticism.
The final paragraph seems to respond to some rather petty accusations. Paul must travel and, although he spent periods where he would stop to make some money as a tentmaker, he often accepted hospitality in towns where he preached. Someone, obviously, had twisted this into him being a leech. Also, someone in his entourage must have been married, for although Paul is single, he defends those who travel with a spouse — including, apparently, Peter (Cephas).