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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Daily Devotion for May 14, 2019


<i>Young’s Chapel</i>
Young’s Chapel, photograph by Scott Farrar. An abandoned Baptist church outside Douglas, Ga., built @ 1850-1870.

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.



Prayer for the Morning

Dear Lord, please give me the patience to make it through this busy day with all the hustle, demands and distractions of modern life. Let me find the quiet time to hear your voice and feel your calming presence. I ask this in your son's name.

Amen.

For the Humility that Comes from True Wisdom

Mighty God, who has promised that you will grant us wisdom if we but ask; I am beset by pride, by ego, by my unremitting vigilance of my image. When others slight me or give me less deference that I think is my right, I become upset. I find insult even in unintentional remarks. I am easily bruised, and at other times, I feel embarrassed or humiliated at the most trifling discourtesy or even when someone does not pay attention to me. I walk through the world as if I am its center and all should take notice of me; and when it does not, I am hurt and angry.

Heal me, my God. I ask for the wisdom of true humility, through the monumental power of your Holy Spirit. Bring me to a place where my ego is utterly secure in my knowledge and love of you, when I truly am satisfied that all glory is yours, and I may lead my life on earth in security and humble service. Through Christ I pray,

Amen.

Dedication

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.

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.


Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

What verses tell us that Jesus came as a bond-servant?

Answer: Philippians 2:6-7



Text: Devotional painting of the Return of the Prodigal Son, by RembrandtDevotional painting of the Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt

Psalm 143:8 (NKJV)

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;

Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.


Blue Latin Cross

Acts 15:12-21 (ESV)'

The Jerusalem Council [2]


nd all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,

that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.’ [See Amos 9.]

Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”


Notes on the Scripture

We have seen how difficult it was for the Jews to accept uncircumcised Gentiles as Christians. (See Genesis 17:1-14, where God required the Jews to circumcise male children.) But Barnabas and Paul are very persuasive.

The James who speaks the judgment of the Council is “James the Just,” the leader of the Jerusalem church and first Bishop of Jerusalem, a man renown for his piety and goodness. Most scholars believe that James the Just was the same man as the apostle James (the Lesser). James accepts the converted Gentiles, but requires them to follow certain Jewish rules of conduct, such as abstaining from sexual immorality, “what has been strangled,” etc. Although the first of these sounds reasonable enough today, the second is puzzling. To understand it fully, we must consider the major issue that underlies it: Where does modern Christian morality come from?

Killing the serpent Satan, illustrated Bible
Fighting Satan

We take for granted certain moral precepts, but we should not. Consider murder. Other than the Jews, the concept that human life is sacred and that murder is immoral was practically unknown 2000 years ago. Most societies made it illegal to kill some people under some circumstances. In Rome, for example, one might be arrested and executed for killing a Roman citizen, but not a slave. And the same with theft, adultery, etc. Some people might be protected by law, but there was no sense that these actions were inherently “wrong,” in and of themselves. A general moral code that applied to all humanity simply did not exist.

Christ himself was not primarily a moral teacher. Although he did give us several moral precepts, his principal message was one of forgiveness and salvation. The fundamental morality we follow comes from Judaism and the Old Testament, and Christ’s limited teachings on morality were modifications of Jewish law, or examples of how impossible it was to follow the Law, rather than a full moral code.

But the early Jewish Christians struggled with which of the laws they lived under were universal and which were superseded by Christ. Ultimately, church leaders would come to lean upon the Ten Commandments as the basic moral law and discard much of the rest of the Mosaic law, but this took time. The Jews of 50 A.D. were horrified by the immorality of eating bloody meat.

Our morals today are fundamentally Jewish. Both Christ and Paul clarified and added to the “Christian” moral code; but the whole concept was foreign to Gentile converts. And so James, who had to act quickly, picks out those practices of the Gentiles which were widespread and shocking to the Jews of Jerusalem.



endless knot

Click here to see a larger version of the painting to the left. It is extraordinarily moving in its depiction of forgiveness of one who has strayed in the extreme.


Daily Inspiration

“I Am The Good Coach”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion





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 May 14, 2019 were:
Pam Carpenter (12)
Norman Daniels (12)
Jeanne Hoy (12)
Kathryn Halfman (11)
Sylvia Banda (11)
Gary Merriman (11)
Vavachan Joseph (11)
randall martin (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9)
Sylvia Banda (9 out of 9)
Vavachan Joseph (9 out of 9)
Gary Swart (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
Allison King (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)
Greg Flippin (9 out of 9)

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