Daily Devotion for March 12, 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.
Quietly You arrived
Never forcing me to choose
Bringing Your perfect light
Into this sunless room of mine.
So make Your home inside my heart.
Fill this empty house of stone.
Make Your home inside my heart;
Let me dance in the brightness of Your throne
Looking through stained windows
I see a rose on the wall
Thorns that draw blood from Your face
I hear the agony of Your call to me.
In the stillness of moonlight
I am awakened by Your grace
And the love that glistens
In the tears on Your face for me.
Music by Iona
Lyrics by Cindy Spear-Polley
Prayer to Do God’s Will
Oh Lord God, Father Almighty who created me and everything I see and enjoy, blessed and beautiful Jesus, love of my heart, bounteous Holy Spirit of God who is so kind as to be with me and comfort me whenever I ask, I thank you for all that I am and all that I have had in my life. Thy will be done, my God. I ask only that you let me know your will for me, for I am often confused or conflicted, and I seek your guidance. Knowing your will for me, let me be anxious for nothing. And I pray for the strength, the power and the energy, to accomplish your purpose. All glory be to you, one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who was before time and will be forever,
Prayer for Mercy
Holy Lord God, creator of all things, who has commanded our obedience to your commandments as a sign of our love: Look with mercy, I pray, on the sins I have this day committed, and in mercy make me feel them deeply, that my repentance may be sincere, and my resolutions against them steadfast. Teach me to understand the sinfulness of my own heart. Bring to my knowledge every fault of character and every evil habit in which I have indulged, to the discomfort of my fellow-creatures and the danger of my own soul.
May I now, and every day, consider how my time has been spent, what have been my prevailing thoughts, words, and actions, and how I might can acquit myself of evil. Have I thought irreverently of you? Have I disobeyed your commandments, neglected a known duty, or willingly given pain to another? Incline me to ask my heart these questions, O Lord, and save me from deceiving myself by pride or vanity.
[What excuses do I give myself for willingly giving pain to another person?]
For Those Praying with Me
Heavenly Father, there are people praying with me, right now, whom I will never meet. I don’t know their names, or what country they live in, or what they may look like, but I will know their souls, for we are brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that we might be united in the Holy Spirit, and that I will know and feel the kinship and love, in my spirit, of those who share these prayers with me.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
1 Corinthian 16:15-24 (ESV)
Now I urge you, brothers — you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints — be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people.
The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Notes on the Scripture
nd so ends the tumultuous, seminal, and frequently criticized first epistle to the church at Corinth. This was thought to be, after Romans, the most important of the epistles and it was thus placed out of chronological order.
The greatest difficulty in 1 Corinthians is not understanding it, but in trying to practice what it says, for its primary aim is to criticize and ameliorate a condition so inherent in human institutions that it is nearly impossible for us to follow: The tendency to break apart into sects which agree with our personal way of thinking.
In a sense, Paul failed in his attempt, because the history of Christ’s church has been one of internecine strife, mutual hostility, and even hatred and bloodshed. Possibly the bloodiest war ever fought in Europe was the Thirty Years’ War in Germany (1618-1648), when Protestant and Catholic factions laid the land to utter waste and decimated the population. Famine and disease rode their pale horses for decades, and almost the entirety of Western Europe became involved.
In another sense, Paul did succeed, for the church of Corinth was reconciled and became one of the larger and more influential churches of the time. Much of the credit must go, not only to Paul’s letter, but also to the actions of the “leaders” of the factions. We saw in several places that Paul and Apollos simply refused to allow people to follow them, insisting that all church members follow Christ and Christ only. We can only suppose that the third faction involved, followers of Peter, met with a similar reaction from Peter himself — although, ultimately, this would represent the first great split in the Christian world, as the Orthodox and Catholic churches eventually ruptured, primarily due to secular politics.
But even we who still disagree over doctrinal matters can take to heart Paul’s overarching message and the ultimate expression of it in the last words of the epistle: “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” No matter how much our sinful pride divides us, with all of us thinking our weak intellects and self-serving rationalizations represent truth, we must always come back to the most basic lessons of Chapter 13: First, now we see dimly, but ultimately we will see God’s truth face to face; and second, that we must find faith, hope, and love in our lives through Christ—and of these, love is foremost.