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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 26, 2015

<i>The Good Shepherd</i>,  by Sieger Köder, ca. 1990.
The Good Shepherd, by Sieger Köder, ca. 1990(?). Köder is a priest and a prolific artist, little known outside Germany despite his brilliance. Here he self-consciously gives homage to Marc Chagall.



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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.


Gordon Mote, who was born blind, gives thanks for his blessings. With Jason Crabb.

Puritan Prayer to be Free of Carnal Sin

O  ever watchful Shepherd, lead, guide, and tend me this day; without Your restraining rod I err and stray. Hedge up my path lest I wander into unwholesome pleasure, and drink its poisonous streams; direct my feet that I be not entangled in Satan's secret snares, nor fall into his hidden traps.

Defend me from assailing foes, from evil circumstances, from myself. My adversaries are part and parcel of my own nature; they cling to me as my very skin; I cannot escape their contact. In my rising up and sitting down they cause me pain; they entice with constant baits; my enemy is within the citadel. Come with almighty power and cast him out, pierce him to death, and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.


Prayer on a Summer Day

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.


from A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost


[“Hedge up my path.”]


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, this day and always.


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>Friends for Jesus</i>,  by Sieger Köder, ca. 2005.
Friends for Jesus, by Sieger Köder, ca. 2005. Here Köder invokes Georges Roualt, in a brilliant depiction of earthly prayer being made divine by the Holy Spirit.

On Self

A rejection, or in Scripture’s strong language, a crucifixion of the natural self is the passport to everlasting life. Nothing that has not died will be resurrected.

~ C. S. Lewis, from The Weight of Glory

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:19-21 (DP Bible)

Desires of the Flesh (Galatians #63)

19-21, 26 You know perfectly well what I mean when I speak of indulging the “desires of the flesh”: such things as sexual immorality, impurity of mind, sensuality, worship of false gods, witchcraft, hatred, quarrelling, jealousy, bad temper, rivalry, factionalism, carousing, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that. None of us should be ambitious for our own reputation, or seek our own glory, or indulge our vanity; such motives just make us jealous of one another. As I have told you before, those who indulge the desires of the flesh will never inherit God’s kingdom.

Verbatim Bible

19 Now, evident is the works of the flesh, which wGreek has a peculiar relative pronoun that infers a class; it is used in this phrase, so the literal form, “which is”, really means something closer to “which includes”. is fornication, uncleanness xOr impurity; the word used is a Semitic equivalent, i.e. the Jewish term for “unclean” in the legal sense., indecent conduct,

20 idolatry, making potions yOr sorcery. The literal word, close to “pharmaceutics”, might be cleverly used to mention drug addiction or dealing, although that is not what is meant. , hostilities, rivalry zOr strife., jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, factionalism, dogma,

21 envyings aaMany sources differentiate this word, translated “envy” or “coveting”, from the word in v. 20 translated “jealousy”, in that it includes or requires taking something away from someone else, rather than simply wanting to have a similar item, status, etc. Jealousy is more associated with pride., drunkeness, carousing, and similar things, which I forewarn bbExt. of the more literal foretell. to you just as I forewarned that those the such things practicing kingdom of god not will inherit.

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

Lest there be any mistake, Paul describes the kind of conduct that constitutes “desires of the flesh”. We have given the Verbatim Bible as the second translation today, because it emphasizes an important point (and, also, we can have some fun examining more closely exactly what each of these fleshly sins means, in Greek).

Paul does not mean any of these sins to be a commandment not to commit that specific sin. For those of us who have been out of high school more than a few years (haha), a “relative pronoun” is a word like which, who, what, etc., used to introduce a clause (a “relative clause”) that tells us something about a noun or pronoun preceding it. In the phrase, “desires of the flesh, which are sexual immorality, . . .” the word which is the relative pronoun.

G illuminated, Belluno Gradual, St. Francis

reek has a peculiar relative pronoun that English does not have. Try to imagine “whichever” used as a relative pronoun: “the desires of the flesh, whichever are sexual immorality, . . . ” It signifies that Paul is not making a list of the desires of the flesh, but giving examples. If we have received the Holy Spirit and are attempting to follow it (or Him), we will not need to quibble about what is and is not sinful. We do not need to see it on a list. It does not have to be specifically prohibited in the Bible, New or Old Testament, for us to know it is contrary to the life in the Spirit and avoid it!

I have seen almost every concept in the Bible picked to pieces by commentators who want the Bible to say what they want it to say, not what it says. People naturally tend to read the Bible to confirm that their own ideas are correct, not to learn something new and especially not to learn that they are wrong about something. People do not want to hear that something they like, and have convinced themselves is right, is neither right nor even permissible.

I don't want to pick on homosexuality, but “discovering” that the Bible does not forbid homosexual activity is a growth industry right now. This has spawned a number of gay apologists, whose methodology is to go through the New Testament and show that, wherever homosexuality is mentioned as a sin, it can be translated to mean something else.

But there is a fatal flaw to their logic, which is that God doesn’t care about their arguments. One cannot believe he has solved a Rubik’s cube by becoming color blind.

A person genuinely living in the Spirit will understand and avoid desires of the flesh, which includes every manner of perverted sexual desire (not to mention, abuse of “normal” sexual desire). One does not get to heaven by blinding one’s own Spirit. We may close our eyes or wink at what we consider itty-bitty sins — eating that last slice of pizza when we have had enough, spending too much on a luxury consumer item just to satisfy our vanity, etc., but God is not blind and will not wink. He will forgive sin, but He will not wink at it.

endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Certainty of Salvation”

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Memory Verse

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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