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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 27, 2015

Let us not grow weary of doing good . . .



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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 the Day Ahead

Oh Lord God, I come to you in the morning, full of hope that the day to come might be filled with joy and energy. Grant that I may do my work with a light and happy heart; and if there are tasks that I do not look forward to, or even dread, let me undertake them with courage and resolve. For this day could be perfect, if I can only live it in You and with You and for You.

Where I face frustration today, let me handle it with acceptance and faith that the outcome is in Your hands. Lead me away from anger or judgment of other people. Let me tend to my own garden instead of looking over the fence. If my neighbor's yard is filled with weeds, help me not to criticize, and keep me from envy of those whose tree bears more fruit.

And let everything I attempt be filled with the knowledge and guidance of Your Holy Spirit. I pray that the Spirit will be with me at every moment, and that I will always be aware of Him, and live every moment of this day in Your presence. In Christ's name, I pray,


For Those in Distress

I  pray to you, Master, be our helper and defender. Rescue those of our number in distress; raise up the fallen; assist the needy; heal the sick; turn back those of your people who stray; feed the hungry; release our captives; revive the weak; encourage those who lose heart. Let all the nations realize that you are the only God, that Jesus Christ is your Child, and that we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.



[Praying for those who are distressed.]


Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.


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 Apostle Paul</i> by Rembrandt von Rijn, ca. 1633.</div>
The Apostle Paul by Rembrandt von Rijn, ca. 1633.

More Fun than Lust?

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past ... to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back – in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.

~ Frederick Buechner

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 4:12-14 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Become Like Me (Galatians #44)

12-15 I beg of you: Just as I, a Jew, became like one of you, now you must become like me. Remember how close we were? I was ill when I first came to you to preach the Gospel, but you bore my infirmity with me. Instead of losing patience, you welcomed me like an angel of God, like Christ Himself. I think you would have torn out your own eyes and given them to me, if you could.

Verbatim Bible

12 Become as I, as m Or because. also I as you, brothers, I plead of you. Nothing me you wronged.

13 For you know that during n Alt. through, because of. weakness of the flesh I evangelized to you formerly o This might be used in the sense of once, or the first time, but only if it were established elsewhere that there had been two or more visits.,

14 and the trial p Fyi, trial is in the case of a direct object, that is, they did not disdain their trial. Some translators infer that Paul means he was not spit upon, but the better reading is that they did not spit out their “trial”, i.e. send Paul away because his illness made him a burden. of you in the flesh of me neither you disdained nor spit-out q I have given the original, literal meaning here, although clearly it is intended as a metaphor for a disdainful rejection. The word is used only once in NT, i.e. it is hapax legomenon. , but like angel of god welcomed me, like Jesus Christ.

15 Therefore where the blessedness r Or blessing. of you? For I witness in s Or testify about, or testify to. you that if possible the eyes of you digging out you gave to me t The odd use of the simple past (aorist) indicative here, “you gave me” (instead of “would have given me”) might be construed to add to the certainty of the result: you certainly would have given to me. .

16 And so enemy of you I became telling-truth to you?

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - Galatians 4

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


hen Paul went to live and preach among the people and towns of central Anatolia (Turkey), he did something really rather remarkable; he ceased to be a Jew, or if you prefer, ceased to live like a Jew. While Peter and possibly some other apostles (and other second-generation evangelists) had taken actions forbidden by the Law (see Acts 11), there is no record of any of them going “the full monty” and becoming, for all intents and purposes, a Gentile. Paul was the first Christian, in the fullest sense of the word. He was the first kid on the block to take the training wheels off his bicycle, the first follower of Jesus to demonstrate absolute reliance on the new covenant.

This must have aided him immensely in his primary mission, bringing the Gospel to the Gentile world. And so he can say “I became like you” with conviction, knowing that the early converts in Galatia, who were the senior members of the churches, would testify that Paul had indeed abandoned the Law.

One cannot imagine a more powerful argument against the Judaizers. They were trying to convince Gentiles to become Jews, telling them it was necessary to live under the Law to follow Christ; but the apostle who had first led them to Christ had abandoned it. Paul makes the Judaizers look absurd. He, the foremost apostle in northern Christendom, has essentially become a Gentile — now the Gentile Christians should do just the opposite, and become Jews?

Using the reminiscence of the time he had been with them in person, Paul segues into sentimentality. His rhetorical strategy seems clear — he is not above using pure emotionalism and personal attachment to “close the deal” with the listeners, for many of them must have had great personal love for him. How could they not? Paul could talk the bark off a tree. When he was put into prisons, he would convert his prison guards!

How Paul came about his rhetorical training is a mystery. But anyone who has read any Greek philosophy will see how “Greek” the Epistle to the Galatians is. We see enormous Semitic influence in the Gospels; Christ Himself spoke in a very Hebrew manner. But Galatians is pure Greek, both in the use of logic and in the progress of argument according to principles of rhetoric.

As an interesting historical note, this passage is one of a very few that give us insight into Paul's physical condition. We know he had some sort of infirmity and we infer, from this and several other incidental remarks in other epistles, that he sufferered from some disorder or disease of the eyes. He may have had other physical problems, as well. It is hard to imagine that he led the life he did, constantly traveling through the primitive world, working as a day-laborer, and suffering repeated incarcerations and beatings — at least once he was left for dead — without suffering permanent physical effects.

endless knot

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