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Daily Devotion for August 4, 2015

<i>Jesus of the Breadlines</i> by Fritz Eichenberg, ca. 1951.
Jesus of the Breadlines by Fritz Eichenberg, ca. 1951.



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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.


Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5)

Draw Thou Our Hearts

O  Lord Jesus Christ, draw thou our hearts unto thee; join them together in inseparable love, that we may abide in thee, and thou in us, and that the everlasting covenant between us may stand sure forever. O wound our hearts with the fiery darts of thy piercing love. Let them pierce through all our slothful members and inward powers, that we, being happily wounded, may so become whole and sound. Let us have no lover but thyself alone; let us seek no joy nor comfort except in thee.


Thanks for Everything

O  Lord my God, it seems sometimes like you want to give me gifts more than I want to receive them, because my life is filled with so many wonderful things that I take for granted. I don't remember to ask for them and hardly remember to thank you for all of them. Most of the parts of my wonderful body function as they should, or at least pretty well; and it is only when something goes awry that I realize it is there!

Who could possibly remember to thank you for everything? The way my eyes move and focus, all the parts of my heart that keep lifeblood circulating, every minute of every day, without me even thinking about it. All those weird little parts of my brain. The chlorophyll in plant leaves that make my life possible. Nobody could come close to thanking you for all the wonders of life.

So I pray that you will accept my thanks for all the little things that make my life possible, and pleasant. The necessary things, and the beautiful things, and the things that smell good, and the things that make me laugh; everything that I will never remember to thank you for specifically, great Lord, I thank you for now.



[Things I take for granted.]


Now all glory to you, mighty God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into your glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to you who alone are God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are yours before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time,


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.

Basilica Lourdes
The Basilica at Lourdes

Proverbs 20:5-9 (NASB)

A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out.

Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?

A righteous man who walks in his integrity—
How blessed are his sons after him.

A king who sits on the throne of justice
Disperses all evil with his eyes.

Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:19-21 (Daily Prayer Bible)

19-21, 26 You know perfectly well what I mean when I speak of indulging the “desires of the flesh”: things like 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., drunkenness, 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


itual uncleanliness, which required ritual purification before one could make an offering in the Temple, was enormously important to the Hebrews. Many acts might render one unclean. These were not necessarily sinful, and some of them seem quite odd today. Touching a certain dead animal, for example, or having sexual relations; even menstruation would be followed by a ritual bath.

The word Paul uses for uncleanliness or impurity, although Greek, is a “Semiticism” — a Greek word used in the New Testament to translate a concept not known to the Greeks, but peculiar in some way to the Jews. We do the same thing in English with Hebrew and Greek words from the Bible. Some of them, like “Sabbath” or “evangelist”, are simply taken from the original language, while others, like “grace” or “justify”, add a specific meaning to an existing English word.

Purity of the mind (or purity of the heart, as in Proverbs 20:9) takes the Hebrew concept of ritual purification and applies it to human thought. Cleanliness used in relation to our thoughts might be considered a general metaphor — having an evil thought being compared to getting dirt on our body — but in the Bible it is a more specific metaphor, comparing thoughts of evil to ritual impurity. Such a thought is not just “bad”, but specifically “impure” in the Jewish sense of making us unfit to appear before God to make an offering. Christ reiterated this idea:

Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. (Matthew 5:23-24)

The Law of Moses did not generally make one's inner life a subject of concern. It was primarily an external code. Do not steal, do not practice superstitious acts, do not murder. There are exceptions — most notably, the commandment against coveting. Also, later writers (such as Solomon in Proverbs 20:9) often touched on the idea of the sinful heart. But in Matthew 5, Christ makes purity of heart a major concern; he tells us that anger is tantamount to murder, and intentional lust is tantamount to adultery. He brings to full force the budding Hebrew concept, that one's inner life might make one unfit to appear before God, whether or not there is an external action as a result.

Thoughts do influence and determine our action. But our thoughts also develop into and influence our general character. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” But the opposite is also true: What is in our heart generally influences what treasure we accumulate. A person who pours over every issue of Playboy or Town and Country or People must, inevitably, develop certain values that are immoral: lust, greed, vanity, the signal values these magazines promote. Do we desire beautiful naked women? Do we envy rich people who go to expensive parties, or admire “celebrities”?

Well, yes, to some degree most of us do. But when we do, our minds are made unclean and need purification. Thus we find yet another specific purpose of prayer: to make right our hearts within us, that we may love God and set aside our sinful love of the world. And we must purify our mind before we make an offering to God, an unusual instance of Christ retaining a ritual rule from the Law of Moses.

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James 2:26 (ESV): [A]s the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

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