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Welcome back, Friend.

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 July 9, 2015

<i>The Temptation of Christ</i> by Iliya Efimovich Repin, ca. 1871.
The Temptation of Christ by Iliya Efimovich Repin, ca. 1871.



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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.


Lord Be with Us

How excellent is your loving kindness, O God; therefore do the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. Satisfy me, and all who pray with me, with the goodness of your House throughout this day. In your light make us to see light. May your Holy Spirit be with us in prayer and praise, in speaking and hearing from your holy Word. And bless us with all spiritual blessings in Jesus Christ, for His name’s sake.


Prayer for Those Who Have Served in War

God of compassion, God of dignity and strength, watch over the veterans of our blessed nation who have served with loyalty and at great sacrifice. Bless them with wholeness and love. Shelter those who are in want, heal those who bear wounds, comfort the hearts of those who have lost friends and family, and bring peace to all who are haunted by the terrible memories of war.

Protect them and their families from loneliness and want. Grant them lives of joy and bounty. And may their dedication and honor, which have shielded us from tyranny, be remembered as a blessing from generation to generation.


For Guidance

O God, be present with us always, dwell within our hearts. With thy light and thy Spirit guide our souls, our thoughts, and all our actions, that we may teach thy Word, that thy healing power may be in us and in thy church universal.



[Which teachings in the Bible do I find most difficult to accept?]


Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.


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>Women at the Tomb</i>
Women at the Tomb by Julie Rodriguez-Jones, contemporary.

John 18:36 (ESV)

“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:16-17 (American Bible)

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.

19 Now, the works of the flesh are wll-known, including fornication, impurity, indecent conduct,

Notes on the Scripture

My Kingdom is Not of This World [1] (Galatians #65)

Paul tells us to test everything against Scripture (1 Thess. 5:21). So, let us do so; let us test the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court — declaring that gay marriage is a right, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — against Scripture. What shall we think of it? How does the Bible indicate that a Christian should react?


hurches that have abandoned the Bible in favor of “liberal permissiveness” welcome the decision. They attempt to harmonize homosexual activity with the Bible. But their efforts involve such a transparent rewriting of the Bible that it hardly bears argument. One need only ask: When two men or two women give each other sexual pleasure, are they following a “desire of the flesh” or a “desire of the Spirit”?

In fact, one might ask the same question about a man and a woman giving each other sexual pleasure, with much the same answer. They do, indeed, satisfy a “desire of the flesh”; but sex between a married man and woman is subject to a narrow and specific exception. This exception cannot be read to include “marriages” between two people of the same sex. (1 Corinthians 7:2)

“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”

On the other side of the aisle, we have “conservative moralism,” just as damaging to Christian belief as “liberal permissiveness”. Both stances represent the importation of flawed secular values into the realm of the holy.

Anyone who places faith in the things of this world will be disappointed; the Bible promises it. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19)

“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

We must pay our taxes (e.g. Mark 12:17) and be subject to the ruling authorities (e.g. Romans 13:1), but we cannot place faith in them. Political institutions are creations of human beings within the world. “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19)

Marriage laws in the United States (and the Western world) have never reflected Biblical morality. Christ personally forbade divorce, except for adultery; secular law permits divorce for many other reasons and, in the past 50 years or so, for no reason at all. Should we even mention fornication and pornography? Gay marriage is just more of the same. The Bible promises that we are headed for Armageddon; if we believe the Bible is God’s own truth, how can we be outraged or even surprised to find out that its predictions are coming true?

“Gay marriage” has nothing to do with Christianity. The pain many Christians feel at the Supreme Court decision stems from a confusion between the Kingdom of God, which is eternal and holy, and the kingdoms of the world, which the Bible tells us will become increasingly evil and will be destroyed. Anyone who has read the end of the book must realize that the United States, along with the rest of the world, will fall completely into the hands of the Antichrist before God’s plan for our redemption is fulfilled.

The world will become more and more openly evil; God will destroy it; and those who know Christ and are indwelled of the Holy Spirit will be saved or resurrected. It’s right there in black and white.

As a corollary, try thinking of homosexuality and Christianity in this sense: What good does it do an unsaved homosexual to abstain from indulgence of his sex drive? None. The Supreme Court’s ruling is meaningless, insofar as salvation is concerned. Of course, homosexual fornication offends God, just as every other sin offends Him, but with apologies to Dante, there is nothing in the Bible to justify believing that they will go to different levels of hell.

There are different considerations, as far as those who confess Christ, yet attempt to deceive themselves that their fornication is not sinful. But we are out of room and will discuss what the Bible says about the sinful Christian tomorrow.

endless knot

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