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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 25, 2015

<i>Christ in the House of Martha and Mary</i>, Henryk Siemiradzki, ca. 1886.
Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, Henryk Siemiradzki, ca. 1886.



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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.


The Love of Christ

Oh holy Christ, I thank you and love you for seeing who I really am. You know things about me that I don't even know myself, for you see with the clear eye of God, and not through the psychological tangle of human emotion and self-deception as others see me and I see myself. I most especially thank you, I fall upon my knees in gratitude, that you love me despite all of the sin and ugliness you see in me. You can see my beauty and heart, also, though, and love me as nobody else possibly could.

Like a father, you love me. Like a perfect brother, you love me. Knowing that you see me so clearly, and yet love me enough to suffer torture and death to save my soul, transcends my comprehension. I would be sick with shame, except that you have forbidden it, and by the power of God forgive my wrongdoing.

I give myself to you wholly, freely; every part of me blesses you. Take me to your bosom, holy Christ; let me live your love and reflect your light, that others may see a dim reflection of your magnificence in my lowly life, and that despite my many grievous faults, I might please you by doing better today, and every day. And this I vow: I will try, at least once today, to take a step closer to you, by the power of the Holy Spirit.


For a Divine Guest

My spirit longs for thee
Within my troubled breast,
Though I unworthy be
Of so divine a guest.

Of so divine a guest
Unworthy though I be,
Yet has my heart no rest
Unless it come from thee.



[Judging others for their immorality. (See today's commentary.)]


Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.


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>Pandora</i> by John William Waterhouse, ca. 1896.
Pandora by John William Waterhouse, ca. 1896. The Greek proxy for Eve was a favorite subject of the Pre-Raphaelits.

Proverbs 25:6-7 (NKJV, The Message)

Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the place of the great;

For it is better that he say to you,
“Come up here,”
Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen

         *         *         *

Don’t work yourself into the spotlight;
don’t push your way into the place of prominence.

It’s better to be promoted to a place of honor
than face humiliation by being demoted.

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:16-18 (American Bible)

Not Subject to the Law (Galatians #62)

16 So I tell you, walk in the spirit and in no way fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

17 For the flesh desires contrary to the spirit, and the spirit contrary to the flesh, for these are opposed to one another, so that you might not do whatever you want.

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to law.

Verbatim Bible

16 So I say, in spirit walk and lusts of flesh not not t Idiom w/ subjunctive, in no way. fulfill uThe sentence is generally treated as an implicit conditional, “walk in spirit you will not satisfy desires of flesh,” but the grammatical basis for this is near-nonexistent. “In no way fulfill” is a negative subjunctive and better read as a second imperative..

17 For the flesh desires contrary to the spirit, and the spirit contrary to the flesh, for these to one another are opposed, that not what if vIdiom, whatever. you might want these you might do.

18 But if by spirit you are led, not are you under law.

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

We have been looking at this little paragraph from Galatians for several days, but the idea is so powerful, so poorly understood, and so important to be followed by Christians, that we will give it just one more try. Because the Daily Prayer paraphrase translation cannot do it full justice, we have used our literal translation for readability and the verbatim translation for pinpoint accuracy.


ade slightly smoother, Paul’s verbatim statement is, “If you are led by the Spirit (or spirit), you are not under the law.” Why does he repeat this here? It is certainly a point he has made clearly enough in the preceding chapters. Almost certainly, because he wants us to keep it in mind as we read or hear his commands not to commit sins of the flesh.

Imagine Paul, if you will, as a parent handing the car keys over to a 16-year-old to drive somewhere alone, for the first time. Said parent might well be unable to refrain from giving advice: “Don't talk on your cellphone; remember to keep your seatbelt fastened; etc.” The silent, unsaid understanding is that the driver will not have a parent to protect him or to keep him from doing something stupid and dangerous. It is the unsaid message that Paul gives, when he tells the Galatians that they are not under the Law.

Paul is about to launch into a rampage of specific advice-giving as to what conduct is permissible and what conduct must be avoided. Just as the young driver is no long a “slave” to the parent sitting in the car with him, the Christian is no longer slave to the Law. But as every parent will realize, parents are not disciplinarians because they like to punish their children; they are protectors, and the discipline is a form of protection, truly an act of love.

God has trained the Hebrews for centuries, disciplining them by physical punishment whenever they broke His commandments, and rewarding them with tangible gifts when they obeyed the Law. He treated them like a good master might treat a slave, or a parent might treat a child. But no more. We are free. God is not going to punish us for our sins while we are on earth, nor is He going to reward us for our good deeds. We might get a benefit from a good deed or suffer from a bad one; but the Christian paradigm, being Christ Himself, is rather the opposite. The world saw perfect goodness in the human person of Jesus, and it mocked Him, stripped Him, and killed Him.

In many respects, living under the Law (and the delusion that one might find salvation under it) was easier; and that is why it came first. But God knows that freedom has its own difficulties and burdens, and that is the very reason that He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us. (John 16:4-15)

What Paul means to say, then, is meaningless to those who have not experienced the Holy Spirit: Do not sin, even though you will not be punished for it. Do good, even though you will not be rewarded for it.

Once a Christian fully grasps Paul’s message, a concomitant knowledge arises: other people, also, will not be punished for their sin, at least not by God. If they find Christ, He will redeem them; if they do not, they will go to hell. Christians waste a good deal of time worrying about the sinfulness of non-Christians, rather than their salvation.

We might, in fact, find a certain amount of sin in our judgment of others, even if we ignore Christ's specific prohibition in Matthew 7:1-6. Pride in one’s own morality can easily become self-glorification.

endless knot

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1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV): [T]he Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

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