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Welcome back, Friend.

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 28, 2015

<i>Festa de Natal</i> by Georgina de Albuquerque (Brazil), ca. 1943.
Festa de Natal by Georgina de Albuquerque (Brazil), ca. 1943.



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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.


Prayer to Live Today in Obedience

Almighty God, who is the Father of light and who has promised by your dear Son that all who do your will shall know your doctrine: give me grace this day, to live by sincere obedience, that I may increase in faith and in the understanding of your Holy Word; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


For Strength and Peace

O  Thou who art my quietness, my deep repose,
My rest from strife of tongues, my holy hill,
Fair is Thy pavilion, where I hold me still.

Back let them fall from me, my clamorous foes,
Confusions multiplied;
From crowding things of sense I flee, in Thee I hide.
Until this tyranny be overpast,
Thy hand will hold me fast;

What though the tumult of the storm increase,
Grant to Thy servant strength, O Lord, and bless with peace.

~ based on Toward Jerusalem by Amy Carmichael


[Jesus is my rest from strife of tongues.]


Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ's name,


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.

The Annunciation by an unknown Chinese artist.

City upon a Hill

For we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our god in this work we have undertaken and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world, we shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of god and all professors for God’s sake.

~ John Winthrop, 1634

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

We looked at the more exegetical side of these verses yesterday, but Paul's argument from friendship was more than just a rhetorical device to persuade early Greek Christians not to follow the Judaizers — not to believe people who told them they had to be circumcised and follow Jewish dietary laws, etc. He gives us guidance that has echoed down through the ages.

“Be like me!” Paul tells them, in effect; “we are bound together by a love so strong, you would have torn your eyes our for me.” And so we are still bound together, not by doctrine, not by thinking we believe in predestination, or free will, or transubstantiation, or baptism by immersion, or whatever other feeble intellectual matters men pull out of the Bible. We are bound together by our belief in Christ! Our love is not for people who have the same thoughts we do. Our love is for people who have accepted Christ as their savior.


hink about someone you know who you like a lot, who is not a Christan. Most of us have had people we love dearly; and yet, we cannot convince them to save their own lives. Now, think about a devout Christian from a very distant country, someone who looks and acts very different from you. Perhaps they smell funny to you; they certainly don't speak English or eat hamburgers or like the same music or t.v. shows. But they are your brother and your sister; they are closer to you than your atheist friend. For an atheist friend is a friend of this world and therefore an enemy of God (James 4:4); but your brother in Christ is someone you will love for eternity, when the falsehood of our earthly existence drops away and we stand before the Truth.

Here is another conundrum raised by the passage. Would any of us, trying to persuade someone to accept the Gospel, stand up and say, “Be like me”? Issues of pride and humility aside, can we hold ourselves up as a model? Yet, this is exactly what Christ and Paul and Peter and every writer in the New Testament tells us we do:

Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:15-16)

Christ requires us to confess our faith to the world; and when we do, we become examples of what a Christian is, whether we want to be or not! Because the standards of Christianity are so high, and because people can call themselves Christians no matter what they actually believe — a doctor needs a license, a lawyer needs a license, even a hairdresser needs a license, but anybody can claim to be a Christian — Christianity is swimming upstream in the area of publicity. Every time a loudly avowed Christian commits a crime, says something horrid, or cuts someone off in traffic, people become more convinced that Christians are just awful and Christianity is a pile of hypocritical rubbish.

Thus, our behavior to the outside world become doubly important. We must not just possess the fruits of the spirit, we much demonstrate them time and time again. And for those who have forgotten any of them, Paul enumerates nine of them in Galatians 5:22 — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

endless knot

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