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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 April 9, 2015

<i>Death on a Pale Horse</i> by Albert Pinkham Ryder, ca. 1910.
Death on a Pale Horse by Albert Pinkham Ryder, ca. 1910.



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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.


“Time to let it go.”

To Be With God Today

Oh Father God who made me, open my eyes that I may see your hand in all of your works this day and most especially in those you have made in your image. Oh Lord Christ, open my heart that I may see your holy presence surrounding me; blanket me in an impenetrable luminous cloud of godly love. Oh Holy Spirit, let me hear your voice like the uninterrupted roar of a great waterfall that cannot be silenced and cannot be stopped and cannot be overcome by any temptation of flesh.

Draw my heart back to your love the instant I begin to hate. If I am proud, drown my pride in your glory. Teach me to be careful in nothing when it comes to you, Holy God, and let me know and shine forth the truth: that all things are possible in Your Son, Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.


Prayer for Help with the Burdens of Life

Grant me, I pray, your divine helping grace; endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering and to you, my only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort; trusting your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when you know it is for the best, you will deliver me from my troubles, and turn my distress into comfort, and I will rejoice in your mercy, and exalt and praise your Holy Name, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,



[Christ knows our suffering.]


The blessing of the Lord rest and remain upon all his people, in every land, of every tongue; the Lord meet in mercy all that seek him; the Lord comfort all who suffer and mourn; the Lord hasten his coming, and give us, his people, the blessing of peace.


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>The Prayer</i>, artist unk., ca 1880-90.
The Prayer, artist unk., ca 1880-90.

Pride in Wisdom

It is a maxim that will endure: To truly know the living God, this begets humility. To acquire learning, information, speculation, theory and theology and even Scripture, this begets pride. You do not say someone is holy because he puts forth great ideas concerning the knowledge of God and the attributes of God.

Look for those who proclaim the love of God in great personal loss and self denial. You will find such wisdom far more among the simple and the humble than it is ever to be found among those who know so much about the things of God but so little of the Lord Himself.

~ from “The Spiritual Guide” by Michael Molinos

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 3:19 (DP Bible)

Why the Law?

19 Then why the Law? To increase our awareness of sin. It showed humanity what constituted transgressions in the eyes of God.

Verbatim Bible

19 Why then the law? Because of Or on account of; or for the sake of. This could hardly be less clear. Does the law “restrain” sin, or “define” sin, or “deal with” sin (on an interim basis), or “increase” sin? All four meanings are possible and have been argued by eminent scholars. transgressions it was added, until when might have come the descendant to whom it was promised, being established through angels by hand of mediator.

20 And the mediator of one not is, but god one is.

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

We have as our text today one of the most ambiguous statements in the Bible, because the various possible readings are not just different: they are opposite! While our DP Bible version — which, remember, is a paraphrase translation — reads “To increase our awareness of sin,” the literal meaning is simply “on account of sin” or “as a result of sin”. Which tells us practically nothing.


he most common-sense meaning and the one that many people might immediately assume is correct, would be that God sought to decrease or restrain sin by delivering laws forbidding it. He was showing us what was right and wrong, so that we could choose to act right. This is exactly how most people look at the Ten Commandments. Why did God say, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”? So that people wouldn't commit adultery, right?

A lot of eminent people have interpreted it exactly that way, throughout the history of the church. And the law, undoubtedly, did decrease sinful conduct. One need only look at the Jewish attitude towards, say, homosexuality or adultery, and compare it to any other major group around the first century A.D. Pederasty was an integrated element of life in the most enlighted society of ancient times: Athens. In the dialogue know as the Symposium, Plato argues that homosexuality (with younger men or boys) is a higher form of love than heterosexuality. The Hebrews, on the other hand, stoned to death people committing adultery or any one of a number of forbidden sexual acts. at least in theory.

But Paul is unlikely to be claiming that restraint of sinful behavior was the Law’s primary purpose. His sole topic in Galatians 3 is salvation, and the reason the law arises as a topic is its inadequacy as a means of salvation. His purpose is to convince the listerner/reader that one cannot attain righteousness by trying not to sin.

As Lee Strobel puts it, “Jesus Christ did not come into this world to make bad people good; He came into this world to make dead people live.”

A similar reading (primarily argued by the brilliant Scottish theologian, J. D. G. Dunn) is that the Law, by its numerous forms of sacrifice as atonement for sin, was a sort of interim measure to obtain forgiveness until Christ would come to offer the final and perfect sacrifice. But while there is surely merit to the claim — the rituals for atonement are many and frequent — it has the same problem as the first theory, only worse; it not only disconnects from Paul’s topic, but also undermines it. Paul does not say belief in Christ creates a better or longer-lasting righteousness; he says belief in Christ provides the only means of righteousness.

At the opposite extreme, and in fact more attuned to the context, is the idea that the Law was given to increase sin! Paul does call the Law a “curse”.Having read through 1 & 2 Kings recently, we know that Israel actually became horrendously sinful, to the point that God virutally destroyed it. But the idea of God intending to increase sin is inconsistent with one of the core attributes of God: He is purely good. Some verses indicate that God might deafen those He disfavors to truth, that they might be tempted by others, but never that He promotes evil.

Which leaves us with what would seem the most probably meaning, in the context of Galatians: God gave us the Law to define sin. This is consistent with Paul’s theological emphasis, e.g., “Where there is no law, there is no transgression.” (Romans 4:15) In fact, as we have seen earlier, the Law might be said to create sin in the sense that a law creates a crime; conduct, no matter how evil or offensive to society, is not a “crime” unless and until a law prohibits it. Sin is thus, in a narrow sense, evil specifically defined. And the primary purpose of the Law, at least in the context of this Chapter, is to prove to humanity that it cannot be freed from sin by its own effort.

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Job 1:21: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

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