Daily Devotion for January 8, 2018
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.
Prayer to Abide with God
Dear Lord, as I come before you this morning, my spirit is filled with thanks that you have given me a life and filled it with meaning. Knowing that you have a purpose for me is such a gift as I cannot express; even when the world or my own thoughts fill me with feelings of worthlessness, I can turn to you and know, fully certain, that you are in charge and have filled my existence with meaning and purpose I cannot fully understand.
Lord Christ, you promised that if we love you and obey your teaching, you and the Father will make your home with us; I declare my love for you; and there is nothing I want more than to have you live with me, present in my life. Help me to follow your teaching in every way; for you have given us grace, that by your death and resurrection, we may be perfect before you. Accept my love and be with me, today and always, I pray; not by my merit, but by your grace, oh Christ, oh one true God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Prayer to Know God's Will
And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father,
Until it be according unto mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.
I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire -
See in my quiet places, wishes thronging -
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.
[Praying that God will purge our “keen desire.”]
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make me faithful to your Word that I may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.
~ Alexander Graham Bell
1 Corinthians 11:17-22 (ESV)
The Lord’s Supper
But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.
When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.
What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.
Notes on the Scripture
We often forget how difficult it is to bring a group of people into reasonable harmony in any undertaking. One can draw a mental picture of a meeting of the church in Corinth. A hodgepodge of uninstructed Greeks, Jews, and others, with different backgrounds, rich, poor, workers and owners, all coming together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper — and no Bible, remember, to guide them.
These were people who would not normally have spoken when passing in the street. Eating a meal in the same room would have been uncharted territory for many of them. For Jews, sitting down to eat with the unclean was forbidden. A rich Gentile, although not forbidden from sitting at table with slaves, would hardly be accustomed to it.
So they would all bring their supper after their custom and following their own mind, forming into little self-interested cliques, believing different things. Paul tells us some would get drunk and others would go hungry. In a word, chaos. Nobody really knew what to do or how to act, even if they might be genuinely touched by the Spirit.
Thus, Christ gave Paul both the duty and the authority to do some of the detail work, the scut work as it were, to explain to new Christians how to live and worship in a Godly fashion, both in private and in society.
Some of 1 Corinthians (and other Epistles) seems odd in dealing with comparative minutiae; we have just had a prime example, for why would somebody as busy with important work as Paul be dealing with how people should cut their hair or whether women should wear a veil in church. Clearly, such matters were not a primary concern to him, for he had spent eighteen months in Corinth (Acts 18:1-18) and left without mentioning the subject.
He had underestimated how petty, headstrong, and contentious people can be. Thus, much of the Epistles are concerned with rectifying divisions over what seems to us rather small details of Christian life. But Christianity is a religion of submission and obedience, for its most basic precepts run contrary to our instincts and appetites; and so, people became mostly willing to listen, for they had discovered that by listening they might find both wisdom and salvation.