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Thursday, July 9, 2020

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Daily Devotion for June 30, 2020

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<i>Gathering at the River</i> by Chris Clark, contemporary.
Gathering at the River by Chris Clark, contemporary. Clark, a primitive or “outsider” artist, has limited vision, resulting in an uninhibited use of color, with a bright and upbeat effect.

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.

Cloverton, a modern gospel band, shows us how to taste Heaven in this life.




For the Day's Work

O  God, who orders all things in heaven and earth: Help me to go about the tasks and duties of this day with the remembrance that I am your servant therein. Make me honest, painstaking, and cheerful, and grant that all I do and say may bring good to others and glory to your Holy Name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

Amen.

Prayer For the Damned

Dear Holy God, I remember today all those who spend their lives denouncing Christ; the sarcastic atheists who make fun of believers; the people whose careers are built on trying to discredit your Word; and all those who follow false, dead-end religions. Help me to expunge any anger I may feel when attacked by such people, or when I hear their misguided words. Let your Spirit be strong in me, to educate my tongue, if I am called upon to respond to one of them; and let me always answer in love and serenity.

hands in chains

Most of all, heavenly Father, forgive them; if it be Your will, bring the light of your salvation to them, heal them of their bitterness and self-absorption, that any and all of them might find the beauty of life in Christ, and be torn away from the clutches of Satan. In the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Benediction

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

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 does Psalm 94:12 tell us?

Answer: “Blessed is the man You discipline, O Lord, The man You teach from Your word.”



<i>Baptism of Christ (detail)</i> by Giotto (Giotto di Bondone), ca. 1305.
Baptism of Christ (detail) by Giotto (Giotto di Bondone), ca. 1305. Giotto was a true pioneer and his treatment of draped cloth was a revelation to the art world. Still, we can see the absence of modern technique in the awkward rendering of John's feet on the rocks.

Encouragement

We must encourage one another daily, as long as it is still called “Today,” lest any of us be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Based on Hebrews 3:13.)


Blue Latin Cross

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 (DP)

W


e cannot thank God enough. Our most grateful prayers are not adequate to express the joy you have brought us. Still, we pray for you in earnest, night and day, hoping to see your faces soon. We are eager to help you out as best we can, and there is no substitute for being there in person, especially for building up your confidence.

Here, then, is our prayer:

May God our Father and our Lord Jesus direct our feet to your door; and may the Lord grant you an overflowing abundance of love, for one another and for all men, just as we love you; and may He establish your hearts in all holiness, that you may be blameless before Him in the coming of Lord Jesus with all His saints. Amen.

Literal

8 for now we live if you stand fast in lord.

9 For what thanksgiving are we able to god to repay concerning you for all the joy which we rejoice on account of you before the god of us,

10 night and day beyond all measure asking to see of you the face and to put in order the needs 2Alt. deficiencies. of the faith of you?

11 And may himself the god and father of us and the lord of us Jesus direct the path of us to you;

12 and may you the lord cause to increase and cause to abound in love for one another and for all, just as also we for you,

13 in order to establish of you the hearts blameless in holiness before the god and father of us in the coming of the lord of us Jesus with all of the saints of him. Amen.

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - 1 Thess. 3


Notes on the Scripture

The Foundation of Christian Doctrine

These verses wrap up the first section of the epistle, a long sermon of encouragement, praise, and love, with some subtle guidance on how to evangelize, using the technique of indirect hortatory. Paul’s unabashed emotionalism reaches a crescendo, especially when verse 8 is included; one might read v.8 to imply that Paul’s very life depends on the faithfulness of the readers!

Yet if his hyperbole makes him sound like a lovesick Victorian suitor to us, is it his overstatement, or the cynicism of our modern eye? If we look at Christ’s teaching, we must accuse ourselves and admire Paul. Christ does not call us to love Him with half our heart. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind . . . .” (Luke 10:27) How many people can we say follow that teaching?

bridge to heaven

That Paul has such enthusiasm for the future, despite the sufferings about which he has warned and continues to predict, has a special meaning. Remember, this is the first epistle — probably, the first book written in the New Testament — and can be seen as the establishing document of Christianity, that is, the church in the age after Christ’s ascension.

The “gods” whom the Greeks were accustomed to worship were not good, and they did not care about people very much. They were bound to the Fates, just as human beings were. People did not love them; they did worship them and sacrifice to them, hoping to minimize the damage from their seemingly incoherent and random whims.

If you have ever watched Lawrence of Arabia, remember what the Muslim Arabs remarked when a man, whom Lawrence had courageously rescued from the desert, was shot? “It was written.” The man’s death was ordained. Lawrence was wrong, or at best foolish, to try to save him. Such fatalism infuses the doctrine of every religion on earth, except one: and we see, in 1 Thessalonians, the creation of this trait — the unique optimism of Christianity.

Any person, no matter how poor or humble, no matter how evil he has acted previously, can find salvation; and he doesn’t need money, or power, or elaborate ritual to do it. It is accomplished by faith, by love for his fellow man and by the optimism itself. For in Christian doctrine, hope is considered a desirable and even necessary attribute, a gift and a “fruit of the spirit,” to be cultivated in one’s own life and encouraged in others.

One can only surmise the effect this had on the Greeks of Thessalonica. This was Good News, indeed!



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Loves Burning Fire”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



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