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Thursday, October 1, 2020
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Daily Devotion for November 15, 2017


Frieze of wrestler, ancient Olympic games
Frieze of wrestlers preparing for ancient Greek games.

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 This Day

Holy God, I pray in the name of Christ that you will this day increase my faith in the sweet promises of the Gospel. Give me repentance from dead works. Pardon my wanderings, & direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments.

Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber. But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life.

Bless my family, friends & kindred; unite us all in praising & glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father.

Amen.

For Patience in Time of Suffering

Heavenly Lord, who brings the rain upon the parched earth, that our crops might feed us, and in due time makes the sun to break through the raging storm: I pray for an end to my suffering; and until that day may come, I pray, teach me patience and fortitude in my affliction. Establish my heart in you, that your strength may sustain me through my trials. Comfort me with the knowledge of the glorious life to come, and fill me with confidence in the victory of your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray,

Amen.

Meditation

[Fortitude in my affliction.]


Doxology

Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present ourselves blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and 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.



endless knot

Imperfect Church

“Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults.”

~ John Calvin


Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 9:16-23 (JBP)

Paul Discusses His Ministry [4]

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.


Notes on the Scripture

P

aul’s use of athletic contests as an analogy was not random, but chosen for his specific audience. Corinth, like Olympia, was the site of a great games held every four years, in which athletes from all over would assemble to compete for prizes and honor. We know of the Olympic games, because they were revived in 1896, but they were actually one of four such assemblies. So the people of Corinth would be accustomed to seeing great athletes in training and competition.

This follows Paul’s discussion of his ministry. He has discussed how those who spend all their time in God’s service should be supported by the community without complaint, but how he, himself, has taken no such reward. Rather, he has given his life from a calling, a dedication. And in the preceding sentence, he tells us how important it is to him, that he do so properly.

Here, he speaks first in general, and then specifically about himself. In general, he shows the extraordinary sacrifice and devotion a runner or boxer will show to train for the contest. They, like athletes today, spend every day in effort and pain. They deny themselves unhealthy food and wine, and many other basic pleasures. They endure fatigue, boredom, and pain, for no reason other than a hope that, at some time in the distant future, they might have a wreath placed on their head.

So why would a person not make similar sacrifices to achieve an infinitely greater reward? We do not prepare ourselves to stand on a podium for a brief minute, for the fleeting glory of the acclaim of men. We prepare ourselves for something so great it defies description; we cannot even fully understand it. We do not prepare ourselves for the kingdom of television, but for the Kingdom of God.

Paul then uses the image of an athlete in training in a different way, to talk about his own physical self-denial as part of his journey towards Christ. He doesn’t “work out,” as we say today, but he does keep his indulgence in physical gratification under control.

This last idea is valued, not simply by Christians, but by anyone who wants to achieve something. People (Christian or not) who want to achieve something with their lives, will learn how helpful it is to keep one’s body as healthy as possible.



Devotional painting of the farewell of Saint Paul and Saint Peter, Rodriguez, the kiss of peace
Farewell of Paul and Peter, by Alonzo Rodriguez (16th century).

Daily Inspiration

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Romans 8:18: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.



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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Nov 14, 2017 were:
Pam Carpenter (11)
Norman Daniels (11)
Theo Jackson (11)
Michael Lockhart (11)
Linda Lyonl (10)
Tom Kraft (10)


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