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Daily Devotion for June 9, 2014

The Ten Crowns Overthrow Seven Deadly Sins by Frère Laurent, ca. 1311.



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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.


This song was performed by a paraplegic Christian artist, Joni Tada, for the movie of the same name. It was a shame that it was disqualified from the Academy Award ballot, where it was a surprise nominee.

To Keep God in Mind This Day

Lord, let me begin this day in devout meditations, in joy unspeakable, and in blessing and praising You, who has given me such good hope and everlasting consolation.

Lift up my mind above all these little things below, which are apt to distract my thoughts; and keep it above, until my heart is fully resolved to seek You every day, in the path where Jesus has trod before me.


For Those Who Protect Us

Almighty God, I commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad; for those who fight fires and crime; and for all those who put themselves in danger for our protection. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



[Give me the strength to fight the great Enemy.]


Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our 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.

Michelangelo, Adam and Eve, Sistine Chapel, Devotional painting.
Expulsion of Adam and Eve by Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel c. 1510

Proverbs 12:1 (ESV)

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.

Blue Latin Cross

Jude 1:4, 16-23 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

[T]here are men who have surreptitiously entered the Church but who have for a long time been heading straight for the condemnation . . . .

These are the men who complain and curse their fate while trying all the time to mold life according to their own desires. They “talk big” but will pay men great respect if it is to their own advantage.

Now do remember, dear friends, the words that the messengers of Jesus Christ gave us beforehand when they said “there will come in the last days mockers who live according to their own Godless desires”. These are the men who split communities, for they are led by human emotions and never by the Spirit of God.

But you, dear friends of mine, build yourselves up on the foundation of your most holy faith and by praying through the Holy Spirit keep yourselves within the love of God. Wait patiently for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which will bring you to the life eternal. For some of these men you can feel pity and you can treat them differently. Others you must try to save by fear, snatching them as it were out of the fire while hating the very garments their deeds have befouled.

Notes on the Scripture

Overview of the New Testament: The Epistles
19. The Epistle of Jude

Jude, like James, was a half-brother (or cousin, see notes on James) of Jesus. Nobody knows exactly when this letter was written, or to whom; but it appears to be a general epistle, written to be circulated among churches, and the subject matter would date it to same time period as 2 Peter, that is, about 65 A.D., before John began writing but after James and Paul's early epistles.

Like 2 Peter, the impetus for this one-chapter epistle is some early form of Gnosticism and/or antinomianism: people in Christian churches who denied the divinity of Christ, and people who thought that the forgiveness of sin, being a matter of grace, meant that they could do whatever they wanted to do, since they were permanently assured of forgiveness and salvation.

The special aspect of Jude is rhetorical or poetic, since it covers the same ground as 2 Peter. He just has his own way of saying things, and it is very colorful. The epistle is full of fire and brimstone, with references to the destruction of unbelieving Israelites in Exodus, the fall of Satan and his minions who are “kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness,” Sodom and Gomorrah, the archangel Michael fighting with Satan over Moses' body, and more!

At the end of the book, Jude gives instructions for handling those who are struggling with their faith, but it is unfortunately difficult to understand his precise meaning. “And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23) (Perhaps he should be called “Jude the Obscure”?)

Few churches today truly concern themselves with the conduct of their members — or even their clergy! — but we can glean from the epistles that the early Christian churches were true communities. Jude does not give us guidelines about what sort of conduct is better handled by what degree of sternness. We know that some unrepentant sinners were thrown out of the church (cf. 1 Cor. 5:1). He is seems to be saying simply that different cases should be handled as circumstances dictate, with varying degrees of kindness and stern warning.

endless knot

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2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV): For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions . . . .

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