Daily Devotion for February 5, 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.
Here is a good thought for the entire week, interpreted by the Joyful Noise Rockin’ Gospel Choir. The illustrations are from a children’s book by E. B. Lewis.
For God's Help
Lord God, Enlighten what is dark in me,
Strengthen what is weak in me,
Mend what is broken in me,
Bind what is bruised in me,
Heal what is sick in me,
Revive whatever peace and love that has died in me.
Restore me, Father God, as you would have me,
That I may better serve you
And show your Glory to all the world.
In the name of Christ, I pray,
O gracious Lord, I am heartily sorry, and beg pardon for my sins, especially for my little respect, and for wandering in my thoughts when in your presence, and for my continual infidelitys to your graces; for all which I beg pardon, by the merits of the Blood you shed for them.
Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts, be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity.
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
What Bible verse tells us that God’s gives His grace for free, not as a reward for good works, so that nobody can boast?
Our lives end the day we become silent about the things that matter.
~ Martin Luther
1 Corinthians 14:1-9 (ESV)
Tongues and Prophecy
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.
Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?
So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air.
Notes on the Scripture
peaking in tongues, apparently common in the early church, has become suspect among most (but not all) mainline Christian denominations. People say that the “age of miracles” has passed and we live in the “age of science.” Science, using our minds to understand the rules of the physical universe, is God’s gift to us. But we will not find God in a test tube or linear accelerator.
An atheist will mock the idea of tongues and tell us that the person speaking in tongues is simply uttering strings of nonsense syllables, that he is hysterical or even duplicitous. But the New Testament tells us that this is a valid experience of the Holy Spirit, and in this case, the Bible must prevail. We cannot judge others. Our atheist cannot prove whether or not a speaker has been moved by the Holy Spirit; he has moved into the field of belief, where science has no place.
As Paul said in earlier chapters, we all have different gifts, and speaking in tongues is one of the gifts he specifically enumerates. But in group worship, he prefers forms of speech that can be understood by the congregation. Tongues are perhaps a faithful expression of the presence of the Spirit, but primarily, it is a form of individual worship.
This is not a passage that means much to most of us today, as speaking in tongues is relatively uncommon even in large Pentecostalist (or Charismatic) congregations. But Paul generally leads us to see that “prophecy”—which he does not define—is more valuable in group worship. Most likely, a sermon or group discussion of Scripture would fall under the heading of what Paul calls “prophecy.”