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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 30, 2015

<i>Saint Francis Defeats the Antichrist</i>,  c. 1691-92, Cristóbal de Villalpando (Mexican)
Saint Francis Defeats the Antichrist, c. 1691-92, Cristóbal de Villalpando (Mexican)



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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 for God's Glory

O  God, lover of Your people, help me this day to live entirely to Your glory. Let me be deaf to unmerited criticism and the praise of men. Nothing can hurt my new-born inner self, it cannot be smitten or die; nothing can mar the dominion of Your Spirit within me; it is enough to have Your approval and that of my conscience.

Keep me humble, dependent, supremely joyful, as calm and quiet as a dependent child, yet earnest and active. I wish not so much to do as to be, and I long to be like Jesus; if You make me right, I shall be right; Lord, I belong to You, make me worthy of Yourself.


For the Clergy and All Who Minister in Christ’s Name

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders in your Church: Give your grace, I humbly pray, to all who are called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of the church of all faithful people, now and until the end of days.



[My newborn self cannot be smitten.]


Oh Heavenly Father, in whom I live and move and have my being, I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the joys, occupations, and cares of this day I may never forget you, but remember that I am ever walking in your sight. In Christ's 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.

Mother's Voice: Eve is the Time for Prayer by John B. Abercromby, ca. 1889.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (ESV)

There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:

haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,

a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,

a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 4:12-18 (Daily Prayer Bible)

12-14 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.

15-17 What has become of your blessed devotion? Have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? These so-called evangelists certainly are not telling the truth. They seek prestige, not goodness. They strive to separate you from the saints so that you will be their followers.

18 To strive is good when you strive for goodness.

Verbatim Bible

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?

17 They zealously court you not goodly u This Greek adverbial form of “good” has no precise English equivalent. Our primary adverbial form of “good” is “well”, which generally focuses on (or at least includes) the notion of how effectively or successfully something is done. The Greek adverb here, however, addresses only the goodness of the intended outcome. The false prophets might be courting the Galatians well, in the sense that they are effectively converting them, but they are not courting them “goodly”, because the motive or outcome is not good. , but to exclude you they want, that them you seek.

18 And good to be striving for good always, and not only when present me with 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. Very often, verses are out of order or explanatory material is inserted that seems to be implied, but is not spelled out, in the Greek.

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

What Happened to You? (Galatians #45)

hen Paul appeals to his earlier days spent with the Galatians, his message contrasts starkly to a similar and much longer passage in another epistle, written in the same general time period: 1 Thessalonians. The first three chapters of 1 Thess. are a love letter. Paul recounts at length, almost nostalgically, the time he spent in Thessalonika, the hardships and suffering they shared, and the tight bond he had formed with the church there. He then praises the faithfulness and dedication of the church, despite its tribulations, and despite his long absence from them:

And so we thank God every day for you, our brothers and sisters, who not only heard God’s words with your ears, but also took them into your hearts, where they could accomplish their great work. (1 Thess. 2:13)

In today’s verses from Galatians, Paul briefly engages in the same sort of nostalgic remembrance; but what a difference in the behavior of the church after he left! Where the Thessalonians remained steadfast despite tribulation, the Galatians have been sucked into the theological schemes of charlatans.

In modern English, “antichrist” evokes a fearsome demonic being, while “false prophet” sounds comparatively mild, perhaps a person who has gotten something incorrect about the Bible. But in terms of the New Testament, they are nearly synonymous. A false prophet, a person who preaches a non-Biblical gospel, is “anathema” — accursed in himself, and a curse to those who hear and accept his message. (Gal. 1:8-9)

We think of “antichrist” as somebody “against Christ”, but in Greek it has more the connotation “instead of Christ.” The term is actually used in the Bible only in the epistles of John, and not to designate the beast of Revelation, as Hollywood might lead us to believe; in fact, John speaks of “many antichrists,” and his primary target are Gnostics who call themselves “Christians”. (1 John 2:18)

The point being, when we read about “false prophets,” the term is intended as an onerous opprobrium, as vile and evil as an “antichrist.” A false prophet is a person who lures people away from Christ into death, not by attacking or denouncing Christ, but by teaching something else and calling it Christianity. Paul describes them at the end of today’s verses; preachers of a gospel that is not true and does not seek goodness, who seek to inflate their own pride, wealth, and/or fame, or who simply teach what is not God's Word. We have them still today. Some are obvious, such as the purveyors of “prosperity gospel”, who are incredibly unabashed about what they seek for themselves and their flock: money. Some are more subtle.

We can hear Paul’s pain when he recounts his memories of his time in Galatia. He was ill, but the Galatians did ignore him or reject him. Instead, they took his trials upon themselves. We can hear, in these verses, echoes of Christ’s disciples taking up their own cross, adopting His suffering as their own. The Galatians loved Paul to the point of suffering his trials with him — and we might infer that he was, indeed, in very bad physical condition. We know from Acts 14:19 that Paul had been stoned, dragged out of Lystra and left for dead.

“What,” Paul cries out in pain, “has happened to the love we shared?” What, indeed?

Continued tomorrow . . .

endless knot

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Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

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