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Monday, August 3, 2020
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Daily Devotion for March 23, 2020

Be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves|Matthew 10:16



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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.


Matins (Morning Prayer)

Word of God, as the Most High, our one hope,
Everlasting light of heaven and earth,
We break the silence of the peaceful night;
Saviour Divine, cast thine eyes upon us!

Pour on us the fire of thy mighty grace,
That all hell may flee at the sound of thy voice;
Banish the slumber of a weary soul,
That brings forgetfulness of thy laws!

O Christ, look with favour upon thy faithful people
Now gathered here to praise thee;
Receive their hymns offered to thy endless glory;
May they go forth filled with thy gifts.


Prayer the Gospel May Be Spread

humble prayer

Almighty God, you called your church to be united in faith. By your grace you have given us new life in Jesus Christ, and by your Spirit you have called us to proclaim his name throughout the nations. Awaken in me such a love for you and your world that I may so boldly proclaim Jesus Christ by word and deed that all people may come to know him as Savior and follow him as Lord. And bless and strengthen all those who dedicate their lives to the increase of your church, both at home and abroad. Send your spirit to fill their tongues with your message, and protect them from all harm, to the glory of your Name.



[God nothing does, nor suffers to be done, but what we would ourselves—could we but see through all events of things, as well as He.]

Parting Prayer

Oh Lord as I face creation
Let me see with eyes made clear
By Your promise of salvation,
Never to return to fear.


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.

Initial “Q” from an illuminated German Psalter, ca. 1120.
Initial “Q” from an illuminated German Psalter, ca. 1120.
Blue Latin Cross

Proverbs 1: 7, 29-33 (NKJV)


he fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

         *         *         *

Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.

Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.

Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.

For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.

Notes on the Scripture

The Wisdom of Solomon - Wise and Foolish People in Proverbs (1)

(Note: Since our study of the life of Solomon has concluded, I thought it would be interesting to examine, at least briefly, the books of the Bible he authored. Proverbs is a long book (31 chapters). It is non-narrative and frequently repetitive, without any real organization, so it doesn't lend itself to a either straight read-through or to a synopsis. But a major unifying theme is the difference between wisdom and foolishness: so we can get a good flavor of the book by looking at some how Proverbs distinguishes the wise person from the fool.)

The starting point of wisdom, according to Proverbs, is “fear of the Lord”; and this theme permeates the entirety of Proverbs, returning again and again as a thread that ties together the various epithets of wisdom. We read it in the opening (1:7) and repeatedly thereafter (e.g. 9:10). Prov. 2:6 teaches, “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” This fear (Heb. yir’ah) encompasses not simply a state of being afraid of what God might do in His wrath, but also a sense of piety, respect, and reverence.

A reprise of this subject gives us the beautiful verses in Chapter 3: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6)

creature from illuminated Bible

What, then, is the root cause of a fool’s folly? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov. 1:7) The Hebrew poetic device of parallelism – in this case a parallelism of contrast – implies that the fool’s fundamental error is insufficient reverence for God. Not fearing God is foolish in and of itself, of course, as practically every book in the Old Testament demonstrates, but it takes an additional dimension in Proverbs: Not fearing God, who is the source of wisdom, makes one act stupidly in the secular world as well as in relationship to the deity.

Respect for one’s parents and elders plays a part, also. There is no direct reference to the fifth commandment in Proverbs, but Solomon (speaking as a generic father) links fear of God to respectful attention to the parent. “My son, if thou wilt receive my words . . . then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” (Prov. 2:1-5) Again in Proverbs 4:1-11, the father is depicted as the intermediary for the wisdom that comes from God. The wise man thus listens to his father’s teaching; the fool ignores it.

Bible Proverbs 11|Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom

The ability to receive instruction does not just apply to the teachings of a parent; the wise man will profit from Godly correction, whatever its source: “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee; rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.” (Prov. 9:8) Although this addresses the person giving the correction, it also reinforces the wisdom of one who can take honest criticism.

Solomon himself is an object lesson in the secular rewards that might come as a by-product of piety; for when Solomon asked only for wisdom, the Lord grants him “that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor.” (1 Kings 3:13) Material prosperity and happiness during one’s life on earth were more a part of the old covenant than the new, so accordingly, one sees frequent promises of material reward from wise behavior. E.g., Prov. 8:18, “Riches and honor are with me . . . .” (But note that Proverbs repeatedly counsels against excessive greed.)

endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Live Quietly”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12: Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, . . . so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Mar 23, 2020 were:
Sylvia Banda (12)
Tom Kraft (12)
Keith Langley (11)
Margaret Entwistle (11)
Norman Daniels (11)
Donna Williams (11)
randall martin (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Keith Langley (9 out of 9)
Pam Carpenter (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)

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