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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Daily Devotion for October 10, 2018


<i>Temptation of St. Anthony Abbot</i>, by the Master of the Osservanza, ca. 1440.
Temptation of St. Anthony Abbot, by the Master of the Osservanza, ca. 1440. St. Anthony the Abbot (an Egyptian) is generally considered to be the founder and father of organized Christian monasticism. Here, he is tempted by the devil in the guise of a beautiful woman.

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.



To Walk in God’s Sight

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our 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.

Thanks for the Gifts of This Life

O  God, I thank You for this day of life

for eyes to see the sky
for ears to hear the birds
for feet to walk amidst the trees
for hands to pick the flowers from the earth
for a sense of smell to breathe in the sweet
perfumes of nature
for a mind to think about and appreciate
the magic of everyday miracles
for a spirit to swell in joy at Your mighty presence
everywhere.
Amen.

Meditation

[In what ways do I intentionally lead myself into temptation?]


Benediction

Finally, may I go forth filled with the joy and confidence of your Spirit; and may everything I do this day, in word or deed, be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

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.



Psyche Opening the Golden Box|John William Waterhouse, 1903
Psyche Opening the Golden Box, by John William Waterhouse, 1903. Greek proxies for Eve were a favorite subject of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Psalm 107:1-3, 8-9 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south. . . .

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.


Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 6:13 (ESV)

The Lord’s Prayer [Part 4]

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, . . .”


Notes on the Scripture

T

he phrase “lead us not into temptation” has vexed Christian scholars for 2000 years. Why would God lead us into temptation in the first place? The most popular opinion is that the Greek (which has three, rather than two, degrees of active/passive voice) suffered from a misinterpretation of the Aramaic, and that what Christ said actually meant “do not let us be led into temptation.”

There are direct Biblical contradictions in the idea that God might lead us to temptation. For example, St. James wrote: “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13).

St. Augustine himself re-translated the passage, “Suffer [permit] us not to be brought into temptation.” If this interpretation makes sense to you or helps you in your prayer, by all means adopt it.

temptation in church

There is a second dispute over the passage which is a bit more arcane. Many people over the centuries have had difficulty with the idea of praying even “do not let me be tempted,” with the argument that temptation is good for our character and our souls. It was the Holy Spirit, after all, who led Christ into the desert to be tempted by Satan. Again quoting James, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:3-5).

King Midas|Walter Crane
King Midas

People who are troubled by this issue make a distinction between being tempted—having temptation before them—and being delivered to temptation, i.e. giving in to it. Picture a married man whose wife is out of town, when an attractive woman at work begins to flirt with him. He would face temptation; however, if he walked away, he would not be “delivered” to it. On the other hand, picture the same man going into a motel room with the woman. He has not yet committed adultery (although, with apologies to Jimmy Carter, he would be “lusting in his heart”). Yet, he would have delivered himself to temptation.

Again, if this interpretation works for you, good. Personally, I don’t get snagged by such small questions. I would rather not be tempted and I have no problem asking God not to tempt me or not to let me be tempted. He knows how stupid I am and He knows that I am trying to pray in the way Christ taught us to pray.

My own interpretation, when I pray this line, is that God not answer any of my prayers that will result in increased temptation to sin. For example, I might pray (directly or indirectly) for some worldly item, or to be cured of some physical ailment. But it might be that getting what I ask for would be bad for my soul and tempt me to sin. There is an old saying, “Be careful; you might get what you wish for.”

But the important point is this: Do not let theological questions come between you and God. When you say the line “lead us not into temptation,” God understands that you are praying not to sin and that you are worried that you might give in to temptation.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Executing the Truth”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 5:40: 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 Oct 10, 2018 were:
Sylvia Banda (12)
Greg Flippin (11)
randall martin (11)
Michael Lockhart (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Elaine Gibson (9 out of 9)
Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9)
Sylvia Banda (9 out of 9)
Greg Flippin (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)
Michael Lockhart (9 out of 9)
Allison King (9 out of 9)

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