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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 May 6, 2014

<i>Ecce Homo</i>, “Here is the Man,” by Tintoretto ca. 1547.
Ecce Homo, “Here is the Man,” by Tintoretto ca. 1547. These are the words of Pilate as he delivered Jesus to the crowd.



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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.


Prayer to Abide with God

Dear Lord, as I come before you this morning, my spirit is filled with thanks that you have given me a life and filled it with meaning. Knowing that you have a purpose for me is such a gift as I cannot express; even when the world or my own thoughts fill me with feelings of worthlessness, I can turn to you and know, fully certain, that you are in charge and have filled my existence with meaning and purpose I cannot fully understand.

Lord Christ, you promised that if we love you and obey your teaching, you and the Father will make your home with us; I declare my love for you; and there is nothing I want more than to have you live with me, present in my life. Help me to follow your teaching in every way; for you have given us grace, that by your death and resurrection, we may be perfect before you. Accept my love and be with me, today and always, I pray; not by my merit, but by your grace, oh Christ, oh one true God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.



[Christ makes His home with us if we follow his commandments.]

Prayer to Treat Others Well

Father, thank you for bringing me into your family. May I never disappoint you in the way I treat others. Teach me to show love, patience, and acceptance to all who come to me; let me show peace of soul and firm conviction that your will governs all. And I pray that others may see in me the qualities of character that can only be attributed to your presence in my life. Make my life a window for your light to shine through and a mirror to reflect your love to all I meet. To you be the glory and the honor, forever and ever, through Jesus my Lord.



I  dedicate this day to you, mighty God. I pray that your Spirit will lift me up this day, and that your face may shine upon me all the day long, that I might do your will and lead a new life in Christ, reborn in the Spirit.


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.

<i>Temptation of Christ (detail)</i> from the Hunterian Psalter, English ca. 1170.
Temptation of Christ (detail) from the Hunterian Psalter, English ca. 1170. This detail of Satan is a wonderful early devil depiction. He is standing on top of the Temple, showing Jesus the riches of the world (Matthew 4:8-10)

Proverbs 12:22 (ESV)

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 28:11-15 (ESV)

The Report of the Guard

While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

Notes on the Scripture

Have you ever noticed how a sin that you don't set out to commit can worm its way into your life by inches? Nobody takes their first drink thinking, “I will become an alcoholic, lose my job, lose my family, ruin my body and mind, and/or go to prison for killing someone while driving drunk.”

Satan is smarter than we are. He is seductive and clever. Daily Prayer has gotten its hands on a top-secret memorandum that explains a lot:

From: The Directorate of Infiltration
To: All Minions
Re: Undermining Christian Resistance - Suggested Steps

1. Curiosity:

Get the Target interested without setting off any red flags.

2. Excitement:

Let the temptation bubble in the Target's mind; imagination will help here.

3. Ignoring Conscience:

You must, at all costs, lure the Target away from his or her values at this point.

4. Compromise:

Plant phrases like “just this once” or “just a little bit” in the Target's mind. “I'll stop tomorrow” can be very effective for established clients.

5. Making a choice:

Once you hear the compromise, you have the Target hooked. Close the sale! Get a commitment for that first order.

6. Forgetting the past:

If this is something the Target has done before, distract the Target from remembering the consequences of prior incidents.

7. Rationalize and Excuse:

People do not want to feel bad about themselves. Help the Target think of reasons why the action was not wrong. You will be surprised how stupid a reason they will accept at this point.

(Note: This is a sensitive moment. Be on guard for an enemy tactic called “conviction of the Holy Spirit”. We have lost a lot of sales to people who suddenly repent and ask Mr. Clean to forgive them.)

8. Reinterpret Scripture:

If Targets read the Bible, convince them it doesn't mean what it says. Suggest alternative interpretations. Help Targets find a reason that their actions do not conflict with this Book. See #7.

9. Arguing to Assuage a Guilty Conscience:

Have them defend their interpretation of the Bible. Don't worry how ridiculous it sounds; they will not notice. Put your fingers in their ears. Get them to dig their heels in. Once Targets do this, we have them.

(The idea for this came from The Gravedigger File by Os Guiness.)

Our imaginary memorandum from Satan is fun, but it helps understand today's verse. The Temple priesthood started out trying to defend God and promote righteousness; but now, they have evidence that this man Jesus, whom they have executed, has been resurrected. If so, it means that He was actually sent from God. It is another chance for them, for they now have evidence that they were wrong and it creates an opportunity for them to reverse course.

Instead, the Sanhedrin slams the door on whatever actual desire they ever had to serve God. They now want to suppress the evidence; it is a supreme hypocrisy.

endless knot

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Memory Verse

James 4:11 (ESV): Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

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“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


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