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Daily Devotion for May 25, 2015

<i>The Dark Night of Saint John</i> by Philippe Lejeune, contemporary.
The Dark Night of Saint John by Philippe Lejeune, contemporary.



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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 for the Morning

Good morning, dear Father; thank you for this day,
Help me to follow you in every way.
Let me speak as you speak, and do as you do;
Let me help others, as you help them, too.

Help me to be honest, don't let me play games,
Help me to grow, yet still stay the same.
Help me not to be selfish, to give of my heart, my mind and my labor;
Give all - not just part.

Help me to love others, my family, my friends,
Bless all of my foes, help me make amends.
Help me be kind, Father, where I am needed, let
Me give warm attention, and see all needs are met.

Help keep me busy, to strive for the best,
Help me not to be lazy, but find needed rest.
Let me come to you, Father, throughout the day,
Often to thank you, often to pray.


Prayer for The Unsaved

O  God, the everlasting Creator of all things, I pray for the souls of unbelievers, for they were made by you and formed in your image. Jesus, your Son, endured a most bitter death for their salvation. Permit not, I beseech you, Holy Lord, that your Son should be any longer despised by unbelievers, but accept the prayers of those who remember them and be mindful of your mercy. I pray you to forgive their idolatry and blasphemy, in the hopes that they too may some day know Him whom you have sent, the Lord Jesus Christ, that they may yet be redeemed and delivered, as was always the deep desire of your Son.



[How I might best help the souls of unbelievers.]

Community of Prayer

I  pray to you, dearest Jesus, for all the graces I need to know you, to love you and serve you faithfully unto death, and to save my soul. Give me a tender and fervent devotion to your sacred passion by which I was redeemed, venerating you each day in prayer, and teach me how to unite sorrows and sufferings of my life with your own.


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>St. Veronica</i> by Hans Memling, ca. 1480.
St. Veronica by Hans Memling, ca. 1480. (See full-size)

Psalm 103:8, 10-12 (NKJV)

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:1-6 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Stand Fast in Freedom (Galatians #53)

1 Stand fast in the freedom that Christ won for us; do not let yourselves be shackled back into the yoke of slavery.

2-4 I have said it before and I will say it again: if you become circumcised as a sign of reliance upon the Law, Christ becomes useless to you. You obligate yourself to follow the Law perfectly, and you will fail. You cannot be justified before God by the Law; if you try, you sever yourself from Christ and His grace.

5-6 Our hope is in righteousness through faith and the Spirit, which we express by love. Circumcision and uncircumcision are meaningless to those who have the love of Christ.

Verbatim Bible

1 To aOr for freedom. freedom us Christ freed; stand firm therefore and not again to yoke of slavery be subject.

2 Behold I Paul tell you that if you be circumcised Christ you nothing will benefit.

3 And I testify furthermore to every man being-circumcised b Although there is no grammatical clue, this cannot apply to Jews circumcised before conversion; thus either becoming circumcised or being one of those who rely on circumcision. that obligated he is entire law to do c Idiom, to accomplish, to follow/obey..

4 You are-cut-off dAlthough the tense of this verb (and the following verbs in the verse), called the aorist indicative, generally refers to an event in the past, it may be read as a discontinuous present or, as here, possibly a timeless statement. from Christ whoever by law is justified e Both the context and the Greek “middle voice” affect the meaning; the best idiomatic translation might be “whoever attempts to gain justification for himself by law”., of grace you fall away.

5 For we in fAmbiguous. This could indicate the form or medium by which hope comes to us, in spirit, that is, spiritually (as opposed to intellectually, physically, etc.); or from (the) spirit, in which case it would indicate the Holy Spirit as the personal agent bringing hope to us. spirit by faith hope of righteousness g This difficult jumble of words is best explained by the Greek habit of using an “of” phrase (genitive case) following a “verbal noun” – a verbal noun being a noun made from a verb, like “hope” – as if the verbal noun retains the sense of a verb and the “of” phrase is its direct object. A decent English equivalent would be an adverbial phrase, “hoping-for righteousness”. (“Hope” is in the form of a direct object, but it is not unknown for words in this form to be used adverbially, especially as adverbs of manner. See Wallace at 200-201.) await eagerly.

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision anything effects h Notice the English verb “effect” means to achieve a result. nor uncircumcision, but faith through love working.

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

If you have had enough theological heavy-sledding in Galatians 4, welcome to everybody's favorite chapter of Galatians. The late chapters of the Pauline epistles are usually the “fun” part; he might become poetical, or bombastic, or mushy, but what he says is always easy to understand.

The first sentence of the chapter could be a clarion call; one might imagine a banner over a Salvation Army storefront. The transliterated Greek word for “stand” is “stake” and, for all anyone really knows, it could be the original source of the English word; both Germanic and Latin branches of Indo-European have the word. But one can picture a person fastening himself to the ground with stakes, so that nothing will move him.

Paul made this word up, or at least this usage of it; it did not exist before the New Testament. John used it once, in the sense of “stand”, since it is a corrupted form of a Greek word meaning “stand”. But the way Paul uses it is in the sense of stand up, stand firm, stand fast. We picture a line of soldiers who refuse to retreat no matter how fierce the attack; a boxer who stays on his feet no matter how badly punched; a man named Jesus, who refuses to relent no matter how bloody they beat him or how cruelly they torture him.

Stand fast in your freedom! Christ suffered and died so that you could have it! Paul has told us for more than a chapter how we are free, we who were slaves first to sin, and then to a body of law created to make us aware of our sin. He has expressed all kinds of puzzlement, made all sorts of arguments, and now he hits the “Message Button”. It is the first message of Christianity: freedom in Christ. Too often we hear “Repent, sinners,” until it has practically become the parody of a Christian missionary. But it is not the primary message of the Gospel and it should never be heralded as such.

The “good news” of the Gospel is freedom, forgiveness, and life; and this truth is implicit in all that Paul teaches. The first four-and-a-half chapters of Galatians are about life, not rules. Paul practically rants and raves about how rules cannot save us; they can only enslave us. Moral exertion cannot save your soul. And in fact, if you center your religious life on moral exertion, Paul implies that you will lose your freedom. It is Christ who frees us from sin and gives us life, not our own fight against sin. We do avoid sin, out of love and obedience to God, but we must always be diligent that we do not become enslaved to the Law by seeing ourselves, rather than Christ, as the solution.

endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Suffering in Hope”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Psalm 27:1: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

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