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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 January 9, 2015

The Seventh Bowl by Mathis Gerung ca. 1532, depicting Revelation 16:17-21.



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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.


Jessy Dixon was not simply a great performer, but a master songwriter as well. He “ceased from his troubling” in 2011.

For Perseverance Today

If things get tough today, Lord — and in all hard times — let me stay motivated and calm. Let me look at how far I have come rather than how far I still have to go. Let me continue counting my blessings, not what I've been missing. May every day bring new chances to grow, new beautiful things to see, new plans to do, and new goals to pursue, as every new day is Your miracle day.


Prayer for Life

O  God, 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; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Prayer for Peace

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live together in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



[Christ was called the Prince of Peace.]

Dedication to Service

Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,


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>Wayside Madonna</i> by Rockwell Kent, ca. 1937.
Wayside Madonna by Rockwell Kent, ca. 1937. I love this Depression-era woodcut, showing Mary as a poor but content-looking everywoman.

Judgment Day Coming Soon!

“In the same prophecy which tells that the Time of the End is the time for the wise toward God to understand, we are told that this time will be especially marked by two particular features: first, “Many shall run to and fro”; second, “Knowledge shall be increased.” (Dan. 12:4.) Today we see this prophecy fulfilled. All over the world people are running to and fro as never before. Railroads, steamboats, automobiles, electric cars—surface, subway and elevated—etc., carry mankind everywhere. General increase of knowledge characterizes our wonderful day. Every child ten years old is able to read. All over the world are books, newspapers, Bibles in every home—opportunity for knowledge such as never has been known since man was on earth.

The remarkable fulfillment of this prophecy marks our day as the time of The End . . . . The date of the close of that ‘battle’ is definitely marked in Scripture as October 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874.”

~ Charles Taze Russell

Blue Latin Cross

1 Thessalonians 5:1a (DP)

When Will Christ Return?

I would not worry about when the day of the Lord will arrive. It could come at any time.


1 Now concerning the times and the periods, brothers, no need you have to you to be written,

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - 1 Thess. 5

Notes on the Scripture

In 1862, John Cumming, a virulently anti-Catholic Scottish clergyman, proved that Judgment Day would occur sometime between 1848 and 1867. Or, if one wants to believe Charles Taze Russell, an American restorationist minister (the doctrinal father of Jehovah's Witnesses), it will surely occur in October, 1874. (See the rather humorous quote above.) There are hundreds of similar predictions from Christian writers (not to mention myriad pagan lunatics, such as the Mayan calendar sect) .

How can a devout and educated Christian not read and understand the plain language of the Bible? There is, actually, a branch of theology that deals with such errors, called the Doctrine of Scripture. Since the meaning of the text for today is so crystal clearAnd if Paul's statement is not sufficiently understandable, one need only read Jesus' statement in Matthew 24:36. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” that it needs no discussion, we have an appropriate opportunity to look at the doctrine.

The Doctrine of Scripture

The Bible has four fundamental attributes, which can be remembered by the mnemonic device SCAN: Sufficiency, Clarity, Authority, and Necessity.

1. Clarity (called “Perspicuity” by theologians, thus creating a confusing word to describe “clarity” — oh, the irony!). Clarity of Scripture is the doctrine that gets the most immediate reaction of, “You have to be kidding!” Anyone who has tried to puzzle out Revelation, or one of Paul's denser epistles, will testify that it can be as clear as mud. But the doctrine does not mean that the entire Bible is easy to read.

Clarity of Scripture means that there are statements of utter simplicity and clarity in the Bible, immediately understandable by any person called to salvation, and that these clear statements are sufficient for him or her to be saved. Jesus did not come to earth to save smart people!

It is always important to remember the clear, easily understood parts of the Bible as the foundation of one's faith. “Nobody knows when the final day will occur.” How clear is that? And yet, any number of professional clergymen, becoming lost in the murky labyrinth of Revelation, lose sight of this simple basic statement.

2. Authority. The entirety of Scripture is the Word of God. Although written by a number of humans over a long period of time, God claims the words of Scripture as His own. Scripture therefore comes with the authority of God. It cannot be challenged and must be obeyed. This is what Scripture teaches about itself, and we believe it.

The doctrines of Inerrancy and/or Inspiration are sometime stated separately, but most scholars see them as contributing factors to the Doctrine of Authority.

3. Necessity. Systematic theologians often refer to something called “general revelation”, which means that every person should know that God exists, because we see His magnificent creation every day. He reveals Himself in every sunrise, every leaf, and every breath of air. Paul pointed this out specifically in Romans 1:19-20. The Bible is not necessary to know that God exists.

However: To gain salvation in Christ, it is necessary to read (or hear) the Bible, for it is our only original source of knowledge about God's plan for us. The true Gospel is found in the Bible and nowhere else. We measure every statement against it.

4. Sufficiency. Like the Doctrine of Clarity, the Doctrine of Sufficiency means something a bit different than one might assume from its name. It stands for the concept that the Bible contains all of the words God intended for people to have at each stage of history, and now, it is complete. It tells us everything we need to know to be saved, to have perfect trust in God and to obey Him without fault. The doctrine is followed by the Catholic Church but in a slightly modified version, as they allow for clarification by the Pope, whereas Protestants do not.

Unlike many theological concepts, the basic Doctrine of Scripture has no element of fallible human “wisdom”, but is solidly and irrefutably grounded in the Bible.

endless knot

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“The Kingdom of God”

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2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

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