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Daily Devotional Prayer

Daily Devotion for January 13, 2021


<i>Festa de Natal</i> by Georgina de Albuquerque (Brazil), ca. 1943.
Festa de Natal by Georgina de Albuquerque (Brazil), ca. 1943.

Prayers

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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.

For a Sense of Wonder at God's Creation

Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe. Delight me to see how your Christ plays in ten thousand places, in limbs and eyes not His, to be the father through the features of men's faces. Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all; I ask only to share the wonder of it all.

Amen.

For Racial Harmony

Christian racial harmony

God and Father of all, in your love you made all the nations of the world to be a family, and your Son taught us to love one another. Yet our world is riven apart with prejudice, arrogance, and pride.

Help the different races to love and understand one another better. Increase among us sympathy, tolerance, and goodwill, that we may learn to appreciate the gifts that those of other races bring to us, and to see in all people our brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. Save us from jealousy, hatred, bitterness, and fear, and help us to live together as members of one family at home in the world, sons and daughters of one Father who live in the liberty of the children of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Meditation

“To know the Word of God, to live the Word of God, to preach the Word, to teach the Word, is the sum of all wisdom, the heart of all Christian service.”

~ Charles E. Fuller


Prayer for Christ to be with Us

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us,
    wherever He may send us.

May He guide us through the wilderness,
protect us through the storm.

May He bring us home rejoicing
at the wonders He has shown us.

May He bring us home rejoicing
once again into our doors.

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.


Bebe Winans tells us how he learned to trust Jesus, in a soft ballad.


Lyrics

Scripture

City upon a Hill

For we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our god in this work we have undertaken and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world, we shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of god and all professors for God’s sake.

~ John Winthrop, 1634


Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 4:12-14 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Who Are Your True Brothers and Sisters? (Galatians #45)
I

beg of you: Just as I, a Jew, became like one of you, now you must become like me. Remember how close we were? I was ill when I first came to you to preach the Gospel, but you bore my infirmity with me. Instead of losing patience, you welcomed me like an angel of God, like Christ Himself. I think you would have torn out your own eyes and given them to me, if you could.

Verbatim Bible

12 Become as I, as also I as you, brothers, I plead of you. Nothing me you wronged.

13 For you know that during weakness of the flesh I evangelized to you formerly ,

14 and the trial of you in the flesh of me neither you disdained nor spit-out , but like angel of god welcomed me, like Jesus Christ.

15 Therefore where the blessedness of you? For I witness in you that if possible the eyes of you digging out you gave to me.

16 And so enemy of you I became telling-truth to you?


DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - Galatians 4

Notes on the Scripture

We previously looked at the more exegetical side of these verses, but Paul’s argument from friendship was more than just a rhetorical device to persuade early Greek Christians not to follow the Judaizers.

“Be like me!” Paul told the Galatians; “we are bound together by a love so strong, you would have torn your eyes out for me.” And these words hold 100% true today. We — Christ’s “holy priesthood” — are still bound together, not by our thoughts, but by our salvation. Not by doctrine, not by thinking we believe in predestination, or free will, or transubstantiation, or baptism by immersion, or whatever other feeble intellectual matters men pull out of the Bible. We are bound together by something more important, more true, and more powerful: our belief in Christ! Our love is not for people who have the same thoughts we do. Our love is for people who have accepted Christ as their savior.



Devotional painting of the farewell of Saint Paul and Saint Peter, Rodriguez, the kiss of peace
Farewell of Paul and Peter, by Alonzo Rodriguez (16th century).

Think about someone you know whom you like a lot, but who is not a Christian. Most of us have had people we love dearly; and yet, we cannot convince them to save their own lives.

Now, think about a devout Christian from a very distant country, someone who looks and acts very different from you. Perhaps they smell funny to you; they certainly don’t speak English or eat hamburgers or like the same music or t.v. shows. Or perhaps they live next door and supported a different political candidate or painted their house an ugly color. But they are your brothers and your sisters; they are closer to you than your atheist friend. For an atheist friend is a friend of this world and therefore an enemy of God (James 4:4); but your brother or sister in Christ is someone you will love for eternity, when the falsehood of our earthly existence drops away and we stand before the Truth.

Here is another conundrum raised by the passage. Would any of us, trying to persuade someone to accept the Gospel, stand up and say, “Be like me”? Issues of pride and humility aside, can we hold ourselves up as a model? Yet, this is exactly what Christ and Paul and Peter and every writer in the New Testament tells us we do:

Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:15-16)

Christ requires us to confess our faith to the world; and when we do, we become examples of what a Christian is, whether we want to be or not! Because the standards of Christianity are so high, and because people can call themselves Christians no matter what they actually believe — a doctor needs a license, a lawyer needs a license, even a hairdresser needs a license, but anybody can claim to be a Christian — Christianity is swimming upstream in the area of publicity. Every time a loudly avowed Christian commits a crime, says something horrid, or cuts someone off in traffic, people become more convinced that Christians are just awful and Christianity is a pile of hypocritical rubbish.

Thus, our behavior to the outside world becomes doubly important. We must not just possess the fruits of the spirit, we much demonstrate them time and time again. And for those who have forgotten any of them, Paul enumerates nine of them in Galatians 5:22 — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.



Daily Inspiration

“Begonias And Wisdom”


The Annunciation by an unknown Chinese artist.

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Psalm 94:12: Blessed is the man You discipline, O Lord, The man You teach from Your word.



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