arrow to previous dayarrow to next day
Welcome back, Friend.

May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.

Daily Devotion for February 1, 2014

Psalm 139 | “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”



288 people in our community are currently praying with you.

lessons and scripture

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.


Satuday is Oldies Day, and we have a real treat: Go Down Moses sung by Doris Akers, backed by her Sky Pilot Choir

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.


Prayer for Renewal

O  Heavenly Father, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me so to die daily to sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection. Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that we, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.



[Let us close our eyes for a minute and meditate on what it means for us to “die to sin”.]

Teach me Your Way

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; Unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify your name forever more. Great is your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of hell. All praise be to You, Oh God my Redeemer, today and forever.



If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.


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.

endless knot

Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 17:24-27 (NKJV)

Peter and His Master Pay Their Taxes

When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” He said, “Yes.”

And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.”

Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”

Notes on the Scripture

The New Testament has two passages about taxes. The more famous, “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's,” which we will encounter in Matthew 22, concerns taxes levied by Rome. The tax here is one levied by God, a half-shekelRoughly two days' wages for an unskilled laborer. In Greek coin, this would equal two drachmas. tax paid annually, which was originated in Exodus 30:13. It supported the extensive expenses of the temple/tabernacle. It was a Jewish tax overseen by the Sanhedrin, not a Roman tax.

The meaning of “sons” and “strangers” is imprecise, since “strangers” could designate a group as wide as “people not in the king's family”. An apparently valid and meaningful interpretation is that Jesus, being the Son of God, does not owe the tax.

More generally, Jesus seems to include Peter among the sons who are not obligated to pay the tax. There is a new temple — the body of Christ — and thus the temple tax has been superseded by his coming. (And in fact, the temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed in 70 A.D. by Roman soldiers, never to be rebuilt.) The law has been fulfilled by his incarnation; or, one might say, it has been modified into voluntary contributions for support of the church.

The clear point of the story comes when Jesus pays the tax anyway, so that He will not offend the Jewish authorities. Again, “offend” is a bit vague. The literal meaning of Jesus' words is “lest we cause them to stumbleEven more literally, the word translated “offend” means to put something in a path that people will trip over..” He certainly does not shrink from offending them! But the point is this: money is so unimportant to Him that He does not want anyone to find it more difficult to hear his message, over a matter of money. He will pay the tax without complaint, even though He does not owe it, for the good of the Jews.

We see this message reiterated by Paul in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8, when he advises those who do not believe in dietary restrictions (or other unimportant matters) to adopt the dietary restrictions of others, when eating with them.

The bit about finding the tax in the mouth of a fish is not given any clear meaning by the text. Some scholars believe that, since Peter was a fisherman, it represents his labor. Since a fish will become widely accepted as a symbol of Christ, one might become even more speculative and say that this refers to Christ's fulfillment of the law, both specific and general, by the sacrifice of his body. Or that, in his death, we will find payment for our sin (since the temple tax paid part of the overhead for sacrifices, often done for the expiation of sin).

paul stained glass window
Peter and Paul.

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Print Today’s Devotion

Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

1 John 2:9 (ESV): Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.

About Daily Prayer

Follow us on Facebook
Join the Daily Prayer Group.

If you are new to Daily Prayer, welcome. This page provides a non-denominational, Bible-based devotion every day, including prayers, Scripture, Bible study, music, and art, designed to be usable for worship and the deepening of faith by any person who confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

We hope you will take a look around at some of the features. Registration and membership-dependant features have been disabled, temporarily, while we add new security features. You should be able to use our Daily Bible Quiz, but Match-a-Verse , and Memorize Favorite Bible Verses won’t be back for a while.

We do not email anything, except replies to emails from readers.

“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon


Register for the Forum  Post a Comment

Our Community Around the World: Visitors July 1, 2009 - October 1, 2023

US  83,559,217
PH  6,517,455
CA  6,022,764
UK  3,900,469
AU  751,102
MY  103,677
ZA  102,555
NZ  98,931
SG  96,313
NG  81,473
IN  79,221
AE  66,880
SA  62,278
TT  59,321
KE  69,561
BB  54,010
JM  50,484
FJ  44,356
KY  41,644
CN  36,375
DE  30,516
HK  29,772
KR  26,339
GH  21,404
DM  21,025
IT  20,763
FR  20,313
TZ  16,068
BM  16,045
BS  15,664
MW  12,524
ID  12,141
LC  11,836
ZW  11,422
GU  11,319
PK  10,699
CZ  7,448
CO  7,411
UG  7,223
HN  6,991
VC  6,314
QA  6,208
MX  5,089
KW  4,226
BR  4,124
NL  3,956
TH  3,888
BZ  3,647
BW  3,456
OM  3,451
BG  3,450
BO  3,120
EG  4,782
CH  6,919
NA  2,422
ES  2,419
AW  2,335
PR  12,563
LK  3,282
IE  2,964
IL  2,551
GY  2,539
ET  2,312
TW  2,310
CM  2,242
BE  2,038
DK  6,333
LB  1,682
ZM  1,503