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Monday, November 12, 2018

Daily Devotion for March 7, 2018


Christian giving

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.



For God’s Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you I live and move and have my being: I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of my life I may not forget you, but may remember that I am ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

To Be Free of Mental Distress

Lord Jesus, I find myself sometimes filled with depression and negativity over what I see as my failures in life; shame, guilt and anxiety beset me, and I grow sorrowful that I am not more, that I have wasted opportunities in my life. I sometimes feel worthless and helpless, with unwelcome humility forced upon me.

Help me, sweet Jesus, to turn my eyes upon you. Give me the hope I need, and help me face life with the courage of faith in you. You told your disciples to be anxious for nothing. I give to you my anxiety, Lord Christ, and lay my troubles upon your mighty back; and I pick up your burden, for you have promised that it is light, and that you are gentle and kind. Let me work for your glory and not my own, putting an end to the pain of my vanity, that I may serve you in joy and peace all my days.

Amen.

Meditation

[The mighty back of Christ.]


Blessing of Mark

O  Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.

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

Proverbs 16:19 (NKJV)

It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor,
than to divide the spoil with the proud.


Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 (ESV)

Giving to the Church

Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.


Notes on the Scripture

It comes as no suprise that one of the first things churches instituted was passing the collection plate. The early church was poor; it would not be until much later, when churches became entangled with the aristocratic systems, that they would hold income-producing properties and become the repositories of gold and precious stones, made into precious artwork, or generate the kind of money that would build the great cathedrals.

Once local expenses were paid, the rest was stored and sent to Jerusalem, where it was used to support the Council and pay for missionaries.

P


aul says nothing about how much of one’s income should be given to the church, but he does say that every person is to “put something aside . . . as he may prosper,” that is, set aside a portion of wealth proportionate to one’s income.

The tithe, not mentioned in the New Testament, comes from the Jews. The first mention comes in Leviticus 27:30, “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.” Tithe means, most literally, one-tenth, and giving up ten percent of one’s income to God has seemed to be a universal standard for the devout. Even the least insitutionalized of the world’s religions, Buddhism, will often speak of “Buddha’s ten percent” and encourages giving to temples: “If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of selfishness overcome their minds.” Itivuttaka Sutra.

But it is hard to justify the ten-percent tithe in terms of New Testament theology. Paul actually seems to disapprove of it. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7). In some circles, the ten-percent concept has become so attenuated that people speak of “tithing” as any significant donation to a church based upon their income.

Churches themselves, being run by human beings, can become greedy for money (and earthly power). We have seen plenty of examples of Christian churches or ministries run for the profit of the leadership, ranging from various Popes in the Middle Ages to modern-day televangelists. (It is hard not to mention Creflo Dollar, who, in 2014, urged his listeners to give freely so that he might buy a $60 million Gulfstream jet.)

Most fundamentally, it is hard for us to justify our faith when our actions show that our primary concerns are human. One cannot grow in Christ when attached to money. Christ himself was especially clear on this matter: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)

When we feel torn, we should do what we should always do: pray diligently, for God’s wisdom is available anytime we pray in honesty and humility. (James 1:5). Above all, whatever one offers should be given with pure intentions, as a service to the church of Christ and an act of submission and love of God.


Nun of Saint Clare, in charity and poverty, at devotional prayer
The nuns of the Catholic Order of Saint Clare are especially known for their vow of poverty.

Daily Inspiration

“ The Gentle Touch ”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion





Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 5:40 (NASB): If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.


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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Mar 06, 2018 were:
Elaine Gibson (12)
Sylvia Banda (12)
Denise Billings (11)
Linda Surber (11)
Tom Kraft (11)


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