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Daily Devotion for November 3, 2014

<i>The Last Judgment (detail)</i> by Michelangelo, ca. 1541.
The Last Judgment (detail) by Michelangelo, ca. 1541. Roughly 40 feet square, The Last Judgment covers the wall behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel. (See Full-width of the top portion.)



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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.


Alan Jackson, the king of country gospel, with two traditional hymns guaranteed to lift your spirits.

Prayer for the Morning

Good morning, dear Father; thank you for this day, Help me to follow you in every way. Let me speak as you speak, and do as you do; Let me help others, as you help them, too.

Help me to be honest, don't let me play games, Help me to grow, yet still stay the same. Help me not to be selfish, to give of my heart, my mind and my labor; Give all - not just part.

Help me to love others, my family, my friends, Bless all of my foes, help me make amends. Help me be kind, Father, where I am needed, let Me give warm attention, and see all needs are met.

Help keep me busy, to strive for the best, Help me not to be lazy, but find needed rest. Let me come to you, Father, throughout the day, Often to thank you, often to pray.


Prayer for True Thought

Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of your law, so that we might know our sin, and your Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short: Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and so guide me, that the clever words of men will never replace the truth which you have put into my heart. Through Christ I pray,



[Approaching true obedience to God's will.]


I  pray that I may be blessed every step of my path this day by the great God of light. May your sun shine upon me; as the moon moves the tide, may your Spirit move my emotions with every grace and magic; may my heart sing with the voice of your angels and my hearth be warm; and may this and every blessed day You have given me be filled with joy.


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.

Saint Paul, mosaic, Bible
Mosaic of St. Paul, Ravenna, Italy (ca. 800 A.D.)

1 John 1:7 (ESV)

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Blue Latin Cross

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 (DP)

The region is filled with people talking about how you took us in and how you turned away from dead idols to serve a real, living God. And now you await the coming of His Son, whom He raised from dead; for He will come from heavens to deliver you from God’s wrath.


9 [for] themselves about us they report what kind of reception we had with you, and how you turned to god from the idols to serve god living and true,

10 and to await the son of him from the heavens, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus the rescuer of us from the wrath coming.

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - 1 Thess. 1

Notes on the Scripture

The last line of 1 Thessalonians 1 introduces a theological concern that runs throughout Paul's epistles, but is especially prominent in the early ones: The Second Coming of Christ. Theologians call this “eschatology”, one of those big Greek-derived words theologians love. The meaning is easy to understand if one simply says it in English: the “studyMost people will recognize the suffix “-ology” as a designation for an area of study, implying a scientific approach. It comes from the Greek suffix “-logia”, which meant the same thing, i.e. an area of knowledge. All sorts of Greek, Latin, and English words are added to the front. “Eschatos” is Greek for “last”, so eschat-ology means the study of the last events that will occur. of the end”.

The Second Coming is mentioned here in the context of what pagan Greeks are saying about the Thessalonians: “Those Christ-believers in Thessalonica are waiting for the Son of God to come from the skies . . . .” But in recounting what people are saying, Paul also introduces us to Christian eschatology. First, God's wrath is approaching; second, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, will come from the heavens to save those who believe in Him. This is his introduction to eschatology; he will go on to discuss it extensively, in 1 & 2 Thessalonians and in several other early epistles.


here is a good reason why eschatological concerns appear so frequently in the early epistles. Christ left his disciples with no guidance concerning when the final days would come. In fact, He did not know Himself: “[N]o one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” (Matthew 24:36) Many early Christians, including the Thessalonian church, just assumed that the final days would come quickly. Paul has no reason to correct them; as far as he knew, they might have been right. Since the Father did not inform Christ as to when the final days would come, we would hardly expect Him to inform Paul.

The Thessalonians' conviction that the Second Coming was imminent might be the first instance of a difficulty every Christian faces: reading things into God's Word that actually originate in their own minds.

It was actually Peter who clarified the relationship of God to time, for early Christians and us, alike: “[D]o not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” (2 Peter 3:8) The end is indeed near; but “near” has a different meaning to God than to men.

Finally, Paul's mention of the resurrection raises a matter of enormous significance that differentiates his writings from the Gospels. Paul did not simply teach later in time than Christ; he taught in a different age than Christ. Paul was a teacher of our age, the “age of the church”, the age of the Holy Spirit. His ministry began precisely when Christ's earthly ministry ended; his commission was Christ's final act. Jesus practically passed a baton to him. Christ said little of what would happen after his death, other than to promise the Holy Spirit would come. Paul, on the other hand, centers his teaching, not on Christ's words, but on his crucifixion and resurrection.

endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Suffering in Hope”

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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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