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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 9, 2015

Jesus on the Cross
Untitled by Daisy *, 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.


To Help Others This Day

Heavenly Lord, I pray that this day, you will continue to bless me, that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak. Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. I pray for those that are lost and can’t find their way. I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood. I pray for those who don’t know you intimately. I pray that others will find your strength, so that they can love and help one another. I pray for those who don’t believe, that they may find you.

And when this world closes in on me, let me remember the example of my Lord and Savior: to slip away and find a quiet place to pray. Remind me, nudge me, let me remember to find you when I’m feel like I'm pushed beyond my limits. In Christ's name, I come to you,


Thanks for God‘s Peace

Lord, You are the source of true peace. In this fallen world, there is so much alienation through hostility, enmity, strife, anger, unforgiveness, impatience, selfishness, envy, slander and malice. And this lack of peace in relationships spreads like a virus to larger social arenas. It produces a world in which there is little real peace. Without You, I would have no hope of a solution, because this lack of peace with ourselves and others stems from a lack of peace with You.

But You have opened the way to reconciliation by bringing peace through the death of Your Son. You did what we could never hope to do by opening up the way of access and acceptance before You. I thank and praise You for Your boundless love, mercy and forgiveness that have transformed me from a condemned criminal to Your beloved child.



[Do I envy anyone? And if I do, what damage does it do to my faith?]


The blessing of the Lord rest and remain upon all his people, in every land, of every tongue; the Lord meet in mercy all that seek him; the Lord comfort all who suffer and mourn; the Lord hasten his coming, and give us, his people, the blessing of peace.


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.

holy spirit in stained glass

Proverbs 4:18-19 (ESV)

The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not even know what causes them to stumble.

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:11-12 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Chopping Off the Circumcisers (Galatians #57)

11-12 I have heard that some of them even say that I, Paul, preach circumcision! Ha! If I am preaching circumcision, why do the Jews persecute me? They tell lies to cut off your freedom in Christ -- I wish they would “cut off” themselves when they are performing circumcisions!

American Bible

Notes on the Scripture

These two verses are two off-the-cuff remarks that Paul didn't manage to fit into the main body of his argument, so he simply inserted them at the very end of his main topic, before transitioning to his general remarks on Christian living. But this is not to say that they are not important or not worth reading, because they are a couple of corkers!

Apparently one of the arguments that the Judaizers (or some of them) were using was an outright lie: “Paul teaches that we should be circumcised.” Paul was himself circumcised, of course; before his conversion, he was a devout Jew, a Pharisee. Being avidly anti-Christian, one of the great persecutors of Christianity, he would have been a staunch advocate of the necessity of circumcision in his early years. One might even speculate that, possibly, something he said or did during that period was cited by the Judaizers.


ut no longer. If there were any doubt, his vehement denuciation of circumcision in Galatians put an end to it. Still, he cannot resist a sarcastic parting shot. “If I am preaching circumcision, why do the Jews persecute me?” This raises a second question, because it implies that the Jews might not persecute Christians if they followed the Law. Was this something that motivated the Judaizers?

Again, this is utter speculation, but we might consider the possibility that some of the Judaizers wanted to “have their cake and eat it, too.” They might have wanted the benefits of salvation without the bothersome persecution, and perhaps thought to lessen their burden by keeping one foot in each camp.

One can see the attraction that this would have. But it raises an insoluble problem: Christ demands our complete and total faith in His power to redeem us from sin. Giving half of our faith to Him and half to the Law of Moses - or giving something other than 100% of our faith to Him, giving 99.99% of our heart and soul to Christ and hedging our bet by putting .01% somewhere else as an insurance policy, in case He doesn't deliver - nets out to 0%. Faith in Christ is a yes/no proposition.

As to the second verse, Paul creates an extended and slightly bawdy play on words. The verb he uses to describe what the Judaizers have done to the Galatians, translated “to hinder” or something similar in most Bibles, means, literally, “to cut off.” We use it in English the same way: we say we are “cut off” in traffic when somebody gets in front of us suddenly, or a rather rude person “cut us off” in the middle of something we were saying. But there is a second meaning to “cut off,” which is, literally, to cut something off — and what is it the Judaizers are literally cutting off? Foreskins.

In case there is any doubt that the pun is intentional, Paul spells it out with a rather bawdy joke in verse 12. When he says, “I wish that those who trouble you would be cut (or chopped) off,” he clearly means that would be subject to — how should one put it — a more radical circumcision. This is slightly more apparent in the Greek, where the most fundamental meaning of the verb (kop-) is more like “chop off” than “cut off.”

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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