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Daily Devotion for May 22, 2014

<i>Raising Lazarus</i>, from the Hunterian Psalter, produced in England some time around 1170 A.D.
Raising Lazarus, from the Hunterian Psalter, produced in England some time around 1170 A.D.



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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.


Praise and Thanks this Morning

Hallelujah! The sun has risen again and it is morning! And I have awoken into it, alive, breathing, thinking, knowing that the Son will rise again and I will be saved. What did I do to deserve this day? It is a gift from you. Glory and praise to you, my God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for filling me with life to live another day, for it is you who made me and not me myself.

I resolve to spend this day in the presence of the Holy Spirit, filled with his joy and energy, that I might accomplish your will, my God, and do what I can to deserve the joys of the day, for I know my time here is short. Be with me, oh Holy Spirit, to fill me with the energy and positivity and comfort that only you can bring. In Christ's name I pray that thy will be done,



[Let me remember the importance of every hour of life.]

To Help Everyone I Meet

Holy God, I pray that today the love I show to my fellow man will not be a sham, but fashioned in a sincere heart; may your Holy Spirit be powerful in me, blinding me to annoyances and putting aside selfish greed, so that I may lift up the people I meet, showing them warm affection and leaving them filled with good spirits and confidence. If they are sorrowful, lead me to console them. If they are lost, let me show them the path. Help me always to seek after good rather than evil, and to display, for the whole world to see, the miracle you have worked in my soul.

In the name of Christ, who was always ready to teach and heal and save, I pray,



The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.


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.


Romans 16:18 (NIV)

For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Blue Latin Cross

2 Corinthians 6:14-15; 9:10-12; 11:3-6 (ESV)

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?

         *         *         *

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

         *         *         *

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

Notes on the Scripture

Overview of the New Testament: The Epistles
3. Paul's Second Epistle to the Corinthians

Paul's second letter to the church at Corinth is full of pain. After his brilliant first letter, as Paul continued his work in Ephesus, a group of men — whom he calls “super-apostles” in the last section quoted above — arrived in Corinth and tried to seize control of the church. Nobody has recorded who they were, but they were not Christ's disciples. They had two tactics. First, to preach an aberrant Gospel that warped Christ's teaching, telling church members that some sorts of sin were not wrong; and secondly, to attack Paul's reputation and falsely accuse him of exactly what they were doing in reality.

Eater in illuminated Bible

These men were rebellious to Christ and seeking gain in power, prestige, and money from their actions. After 1 Cor. and before writing 2 Cor., Paul had sent another letter that has been lost, but we know second-hand that it was scathing in tone. 2 Cor. indicates that there had been some favorable changes in response to this lost letter, but some problems persisted. Hence 2 Cor., a long letter defending his own ministry; and defending it truthfully, by all accounts. Paul may seem overbearing at times, but he was without doubt a tireless and sincere worker for Christ, wanting nothing for himself except to see the truth of Christ's salvation spread to the Gentiles.

2 Corinthians is long and much of it is only of passing interest, for Paul's defense of his ministry pervades it. But there are several great lessons to be learned from it, primarily to try to look to the heart and soul of anyone who professes to be a church leader; for well-spoken, charismatic people with tainted motives have been a constant impediment to the true church throughout history, and the problem is still with us today. Preachers who tell people what they want to hear, rather than the truth of Christ and the Bible (of which there are parts nobody wants to hear), should be replaced; and largely, that is the message we learn from 2 Corinthians.

The best-known section is the teaching, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” People who can muster the strength to follow this stricture find their Christian growth much easier. We must always be ready to testify and bring people to Christ, which involves meeting and talking to non-believers; but we do not need to yoke ourselves with them, in work, in school, in marriage, in leisure activities, etc. For Jesus himself, when advising the apostles about missionary trips, told us that if people would not hear the message, we should “shake the dust off our sandals” and go elsewhere.

endless knot

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Proverbs 30:5-6 (ESV): Every word of God is flawless. Do not add to his words or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

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