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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 June 8, 2015

<i>Ruth and Naomi</i> by William Blake, ca. 1795.
Ruth and Naomi by William Blake, ca. 1795. Blake lacked technique, and nobody would call his artwork beautiful, but his sheer symbolic power is undeniable.



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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.


This upbeat song from the opening of the 2102 Junior School Choir Competition (UK) is just what we need to get our engines started for the week ahead.

To Show Christ's Love Today

Oh Holy God, who has commanded us to love one another without fail, purify my soul. Let your Holy Spirit empower me throughout this day, to be obedient to the truth at every moment, so that I might love my brothers and sisters earnestly, from a pure heart.

And let me always remember that I have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of your Son; born again into a life of perfect love, obedience, and service. And if I am confused or do not know what to think or do, let me think of your Son, Jesus Christ, and ask myself what He would have done. For I will follow him even to the point of suffering and death, confident in his resurrection and the eternal reward for those that do follow him in sincere belief.


To Cast Off the World

Give me thy grace, good Lord:
To set the world at nought;
To set my mind fast upon thee,
And not to hang upon the blast of men's mouths;
To be content to be solitary,
Not to long for the world's company;
Little and little to utterly cast off the world,
And rid my mind of all the business thereof.



[Little by little to cast off the world.]

For Those Praying with Me

Heavenly Father, there are people praying with me, right now, whom I will never meet. I don't know their names, or what country they live in, or what they may look like, but I will know their souls, for we are brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that we might be united in the Holy Spirit, and that I will know and feel the kinship and love, in my spirit, of those who share these prayers with me.


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>Jacob and the Angel</i> by Odilon Redon, ca. 1905.
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel by Odilon Redon, ca. 1905. I always think of Jacob, when I try to read something in the Bible that I don’t want to hear.

Do Not Grieve

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.

~ John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople; sermon, ca. 400

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:7-10 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Who Has Cut Us Off from the Truth? (Galatians #56)

7-10 You were doing so well. What cut you off from the path you followed? Who persuaded you? They cannot have your best interest at heart, or they would not be trying to hinder your freedom like this. (It doesn’t take much, does it? “A pinch of yeast leavens a pound of dough.”) And actually, I worry more for them than for you. I am sure you will come around; but whoever is trying to mislead you will have much to answer for, one day.

American Bible

7 You were doing well; what iOr who? hindered j From a root meaning to cut off, used in the sense of interrupt (as a conversation). you from being persuaded lOr to follow, to obey, to believe. Most translations give “obey” in v. 8 and “persuasion” in v. 9. However, the same root is used in both verses and it seems better to use the same English root, as well; Paul clearly means to tie the two verses together. by the truth?

8 Such persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

9 A little yeast leavens the entire lump of dough.

10 I am confident mMore literally, persuaded that you will not conclude otherwise about the Lord.

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - Galatians 5

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


n these verses and the following set (verses 8-12) Paul concludes the primary intention of the epistle — persuading the Galatians to reject the Judaizers, who have been teaching them that they must follow the Law to become Christians — and makes a smooth transition into a more general hortatory on Christian conduct. Having (hopefully) persuaded the listeners that the Law will not save them, that Judaism was superseded by Christ, and that returning to Judaism would actually sever the freedom they have found in Christ, he ends with a few remarks about the Judaizers themselves.

He asks a rhetorical question of sorts: Who or what has impeded their faith, by making these absurd claims? Paul does not expect them to answer him; he does not foresee a letter, in return mail, giving the names of the people doing this. Rather, he wants the Galatians to identify, in their own minds or in discussions among themselves, those persons who have preached the Gospel of Christ to them, and those who have misled them by preaching a gospel that would damage or destroy their faith.

It is a question for the ages. We will do well to consider it ourselves. The sources of damaging untruths are are both external and internal; and they are, as Satan himself puts it, “Legion.” (Mark 5) There is one truth, and “seven times seven” billion falsehoods. For the world has seven billion inhabitants, and each of us is a little heresy machine pumping out falsehoods.

The sources completely outside the church, we hardly need bother with. Aggressive Satanists, a/k/aalso known as “atheists”, form their suicide pacts with books and speeches ranging from scholarly to sarcastic. They are hell-bent anti-evangelists, and they want as many as possible to share their Kool-Aid.

The more worrisome sources are more insidious; those within the church, and those within ourselves. One might see church denominations as groups of Christians who have banded together because they share a desire to ignore or distort the same parts of the Bible. Paul would not blame us for belonging to a Christian denomination, no matter how errant the official doctrine, but he has strong words for their leaders; in fact, he shows confidence, in these verses, that we will find Christ and freedom even when we are misled by distortions of the Word.

It is within ourselves that we might the undefiled Christ, by testing our own thoughts honestly against God's Word. First, we must always humble our own ideas before the Word, for our temptation to stray will never end. Our thoughts are distorted by our sinful desires and by our emotions. To try to read God's Word without imposing our own thoughts upon is an act of love, for Christ and ultimately for ourselves.

Secondly, we must always pray for clear understanding of the Bible, keeping an open mind. And third, we must always confess our distorted thought, for just as Paul has taught us in the preceding four chapters, our efforts at righteousness will never fully succeed. We must ask God to forgive us for the lies we tell ourselves (and others) about His Word, and especially, for those we do not recognize. For Christ is faithful to forgive us, if we are struggling to know Him fully.

endless knot

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2 Timothy 4:1-2: I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus: preach the word.

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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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