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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 March 27, 2015

<i>Christ and the Apostles on the Sea of Galilee</i> by Ludolf Backhuyzen, ca. 1690.
Christ and the Apostles on the Sea of Galilee by Ludolf Backhuyzen, ca. 1690.



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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.


For Salvation

O Lord God of Israel, who has come to all the nations through your Son, Christ Jesus, there is no god like you in heaven or earth, for you are loving and kind and you keep your promises to your people if they only have faith and seek to follow your commandments. You have fulfilled your promise to our fathers Abraham and David, who were your servants, through the mightiest and humblest of all men ever to live, the Word made flesh; and now, O Lord our God, fulfill your promise to all who confess the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, that we may live in faith of Him, loving you and following your ways as He did, that we might be sanctified as your children and heirs.


To Serve Christ

Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous;
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not heed the wounds,
To toil and not seek for rest,
To labor and not to seek reward,
Save that of knowing that I do your will.



[Teach me to give and not count the cost.]


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.

angel painting
Dancing The Lifes Web Star Gifter Does by Steven Lucas, contemporary.

Romans 7:7 (ESV)

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 3:13-14 (DP Bible)

Passing on the Blessing of Abraham (Galatians #32)

13-14 You know what is written: “The cursed will be hung on a tree.” This is why Christ endured crucifixion for us, to redeem us from the curse of the law by taking our place. In this way He transmitted the blessing of Abraham to the Gentiles, so that we all might receive, by faith, God’s promise of the spirit.

Verbatim Bible

13 Christ us bought out kOr redeemed. Much like in English, the literal meaning of redeem, “to buy something back” with money, is extended to the more abstract notion of Christ buying back our lost souls by paying our “debt” with His life. of the curse of the law becoming for us curse, that is written, “Accursed all the hanging on tree lAlt. wood. “Wood” is the literal meaning of the Greek word, but the Old Testament quote refers to a dead body hung for display on a tree, so “wood” is translated “tree”.
Then, ironically, in the context of the New Testament, we must understand that “tree” means “wood”, i.e. a cross built from lumber.

14 that to the Gentiles the blessing of Abraham might occur in Christ Jesus, that the promise of spirit we might receive through faith.

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - Galatians 3

About the Daily Prayer BibleThe “Daily Prayer Bible” is a paraphrase translation. This means accuracy to the original text has been sacrificed, to make it more readable and readily understood. This is especially useful in the Epistles of Paul. Verses are often out of order and often explanatory matter is included in the actual translation.

It is part of a larger work, DP 3-Column Bible, a Bible translation with 3 different levels of literal accuracy, which you can access by clicking the link at the bottom of the Scripture section. We call the most readable and least accurate translation the “Daily Prayer Bible”. The middle translation (“The American Bible”) is what is called a “literal” translation, accurate to the original text but using English grammar and idioms.

The third translation is a unique transliterative text, called “Verbatim Bible”, that has an unparalleled degree of accuracy but is not readable except with difficulty. It gives the non-Greek-reading user the ability to see the inaccuracies and ambiguities that become invisible in even the best so-called “literal” translations, such as the NASB or our own American Bible.

Notes on the Scripture

Paul's theological argument becomes hard to follow at this point. So, let's dig into it and see if we can make sense of what he is saying.


Abraham lived before Moses; there was no law. (There were a few random laws and guidelines given orally by God. For example, prohibitions against murder and the drinking of animal blood and/or eating live animals. Gen. 9:1-7.) All Abraham had as a guideline for his conduct were several specific direct revelations on how he should behave in order that God would fulfill his covenant. First, to be circumcised and to have other males in his household circumcised (Gen. 17:1-14), and second, a very specific order that his son Isaac be given as a sacrifice by Abraham's own hand; if for some reason you do not know the story of Abraham and Isaac, you need to read it or you will have no idea of what Paul is talking about. (Genesis 22)

Note that the idea of killing and burning an animal on an altar as a thanksgiving to God was a practice already known by the tribe who would become the Hebrews. The origins of this form of worship are not given to us. But the practice began very early; for example, Noah gave a burnt offering on an altar after the flood receded, and God was pleased. (Gen. 8:20-21.)

It seems, from what we can tell, that Abraham was reckoned righteous before God; in Christian terms, he was justified, he was “saved” and given the benefits of eternal life. We might also conclude that there were other ancient figures deemed righteous by God, such as Enoch. (Gen. 5:24.) Abraham's life with God after his death was so strongly believed, among the Jews, that they thought the righteous would be taken into the “bosom of Abraham” after they died. (See Luke 16:19–31.)

The details are sketchy about the relationship God created with these nearly prehistoric patriarchs. But for certain, it ended with the giving of the Law of Moses. The law effectively prevented people from going to heaven. Nobody could follow it. It was not a means of salvation; it was a means of showing mankind that we are incapable of behaving well enough to satisfy God. The only person who managed it, in the entire Bible, was Jesus. (There are some special cases that are hard to characterize, especially Elijah, but also David.)

It was, therefore, a curse. It ended the period of righteousness through primitive faith. Of course, Abraham did what God told him to do. But Paul's first point is that Abraham was reckoned righteous, not because he followed the few rules God had given him — and certainly not because he followed the Law, because the Law did not exist. Rather, it was Abraham's utter faith in God that made God smile on him; and God promised that his seed — that is, his descendant(s) — would inherit the Kingdom of God.

So Abraham’s faith made him righteous before God. It is important to see that the relationship of humanity and God changes over time. God makes the covenants, and He changes them when the time has come for the next step. He made it impossible for the Hebrews to be righteous when He announced the covenant of Moses. That is why Paul calls it a “curse”.

The Law created sin, in one very specific manner of speaking (although it did not create sin in the broader and more important sense of disobedience to God.) If this does not make sense to you, think about an ancient primative civilization. Theft is punished only if the victim catches the thief and is strong enough to punish him. It is not a crime. But when a government is formed and passes a law forbidding theft, then and only then does it become a “crime”.

Coveting a neighbor’s sheep was always displeasing to God. But it did not become a known “sin” until God announced it as a law. Once they knew it was wrong — when the Ten Commandments were given to Moses — people became fully responsible for their transgressions of the law against coveting.

To be continued Monday . . . .

endless knot

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Matthew 6:14-15: For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

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