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Daily Devotion for January 24, 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.
Robin Mark sings this lovely old Welsh hymn.
1 Here is love, vast as the ocean,
loving kindness as the flood,
when the Prince of life, our ransom,
shed for us his precious blood.
Who his love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing his praise?
He can never be forgotten
throughout heaven's eternal days.
2 On the mount of crucifixion
fountains opened deep and wide;
through the floodgates of God’s mercy
flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
poured incessant from above,
and heaven’s peace and perfect justice
kissed a guilty world in love.
Words by William Rees (1803-1888)
Tune by Robert Lowry, 1876
Prayer for God to Dwell with Us Today
Holy Jesus, who has promised that if we love you, you and the Father will love us and come to us and make your home with us, I give you my love without reservation. Your words are sacred and I aspire to live by them, this day and always, and I glorify you for your sacrifice of pain and death, made out of your love for us, that all who follow you might find salvation and eternal life.
Bless me this day to live with your Spirit, to resist temptation to evil, and to show your joy and love to all. Make your home with me, that I might be truly blessed, I pray,
Prayer for the Mentally Ill
Lord Christ, unto whom every life is precious: Your eye is on the littlest sparrow, and I know you watch over me and all my fellow beings, hoping at every turn that we may be free from the price of sin. I pray today for all those who suffer from darkness of mind. Be with them, I pray, in their torment; comfort them and their friends and families.
And if it be your will, free them from the demons of the mind, that we understand so little about. Bless the doctors and scientists who work to relieve mental illness and the people who care for the ill, and let your Spirit guide them to the alleviation of human suffering. And where a person cannot be healed, bless and keep his soul, I pray, that his lost mind may not be held against the salvation of his soul, and the eventual perfection he might find by your grace. Oh Holy Jesus, look down upon your lost sheep with mercy, I pray.
All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live.
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
Where do we read that faith, without works, is “dead”?
Shaking Things Up
Sometimes your medicine bottle has on it, “Shake well before using.” That is what God has to do with some of His people. He has to shake them well before they are ever usable.
~ Vance Havner
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (ESV)
Faith, Hope, and Charity 
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Notes on the Scripture
oday begins Paul’s great poetic passage on love; if you have ever been to a wedding, you have certainly heard it. An odd thing about the passage, though, is that it does not begin here. The preceding chapters dealt with boasting, stature in the church community, and other ways we deal with each other, and at the very end of Chapter 12 is a line that makes no sense: “And I will show you a still more excellent way.”
The chapters of the Bible books are generally artificial, imposed by translators to break it up; and sometimes they are not placed properly. This passage is a continuation of the long discussion about people with different roles being like different parts of a human body, to refute the tendency to rank church members in status by their gifts, duties, or prominence.
The long passage developing the idea that we are all members of the body of Christ is descriptive. Chapter 13 then calls us to action. It teaches us how to reflect and live the truth established in the text immediately before it. Looking at Chapter 12, we can see that the references in today’s Scripture to “speaking in the tongues of angels,” “understanding all knowledge,” and “having all faith,” are references to the gifts described in Chapter 12. These are the “more exalted” gifts that Paul has just described in the first part of the passage.
Paul’s message on faith, hope, and love is a brilliant standalone passage on the importance of love. But it is even more brilliant when read in the context of the preceding chapter.