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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 August 11, 2016

Mosaic, Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian, Rome
Mosaic, Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian, Rome



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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.


Kate Smith is associated so strongly with “God Bless America” that people have forgotten she had two other theme songs. Written by Meredith Willson, who wrote The Music Man, and sung here by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Prayer to Bear Witness Before the World

Let all who take refuge in you rejoice, O Lord. Let us ever sing for joy. Let those who confess your name raise up their voice, filling the air with glorious noise. Spread your protection over us, mighty God, that we who love your name may exalt you before all the people of the earth. Let the quiet and the shy find their courage so that they may sing and shout to the sky, “There is one great God who rules over us all, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth is His only Son”.

May I be blessed to help the blind see your glory and the deaf hear your praise, lest they surely die. For they must be told: Every heart will find righteousness and eternal life in the holy name of Christ, and nowhere else. Make me your trumpet, make me your lighthouse; let me proclaim to the very end of the earth, that Christ is King!


For Open Eyes

Lord Jesus, light of the world, open my eyes to notice the magnificence of creation. Open my eyes that I may always value and appreciate all who are part of my life. Open my eyes that I may be quick to notice when people are going through difficulties. Open my eyes so that I share your vision and see truly and deeply, outside of myself.


Prayer of Thanks (from 1 Cor. 2)

Mighty Lord, there are marvelous things that I do not know, nor can I comprehend: things that happen in my life, and things that happen in my friends’ lives, and things that happen in the world. I pray to be thankful when I hear of all of them, to appreciate everything that comes across my path. So often life hurts, and I get angry or upset; I do not understand, yet you ask me to be thankful for everything, and have faith.

So I thank you now, Lord, for all those occasions when I have forgotten or have been so caught up in emotions that I could not. Help me to be thankful, I pray, when the rains come on the just and the unjust, that you care so much about me, that the rains come to chasten, to build character and godliness in me. And help me to live as a mirror of your Son, so that I might reach others.



[How are witchcraft and superstition the opposite of love? (See today’s Notes.)]


Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord 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>Adoration in the Forest (detail)</i> by Fra Lippo Lippi, ca. 1459.
Adoration in the Forest (detail) by Fra Lippo Lippi, ca. 1459.


If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree.

- Jim Rohn

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:22-23 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Fruits of the Spirit - Love (Galatians #76)

22-23 The Spirit, on the other hand, produces fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, fidelity, tolerance and self-control. In this, the Law and the Spirit agree, because the Law does not forbid such things.

American Bible

Notes on the Scripture


he fruits of the spirit passage from Galatians 5 is one of the better-known and most oft-memorized passages of the New Testament. It bears considerable meditation and study, for the more we ponder its meaning, the more thrilling and inspirational it becomes.

Unfortunately, the passage people memorize does not always correspond precisely to the “actual” Greek Bible. It isn't that translators carelessly or unwittingly use the wrong word (although that does happen in some translations); ancient Greek just didn't use the same words we do, in a different form. Anyone who has studied a foreign language in any depth (or has tried to translate a foreign language passage on the internet, using a program like Babelfish or Google Translate) knows exactly what this means.

Here, we have the Greek word agape -- and if there is one word of ancient Greek most Christians have heard of, it is agape. Many or most Bible commentators will tell you there are several Greek words for “love,” and agape has a special meaning. Wikipedia says:

Agápē . . . is love: “the highest form of love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.” Not to be confused with “philēo” - brotherly love - agápē embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances.

Unfortunately, Wikipedia is wrongaIn fact, the Wikipedia article appears downright ignorant, as philēo is a verb and agápē is a noun! . Agape simply is not limited to a transcendent spiritual love, any more than “love” means only a transcendent spiritual emotion in English. We use love in a number of different ways — “I love my wife,” “I love my dog,” “I love Jesus,” “I love English history,” “I love Twinkies” . . . you get the idea. Moreover, agape is often exactly synonymous with philea.

Agape, however, due to the misconception of the Greek word, has become an English word, used mostly in theological settings, that means exactly what people misconceive the Greek word to mean! An analogy would be “nimrod,” which properly refers to a mighty hunter, but due to misunderstanding has slowly come to refer to a weakling or fool.

Well, enough about the transformation of malapropisms into correct English, by widespread misusage. In English, “agape” is a perfect and more precise synonym for love as it is used in Galatians 5:22. God is love, John tells us. “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”(1 John 4:8)

The King James Bible famously used the term “charity” to translate agape in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (“And now abideth faith, hope, and charity”), which gives us a good start on the meaning Paul intends to convey here. If we live in the Spirit, we will give of our time and goods, without thought of self and have tender concern for anyone who suffers or wants. In fact, 1 Corinthians 13 constitutes a wonderful definition of Christian love, or agape.

Paul’s main point in Galatians, however, is not to define love, but to show that it is a fruit of the Spirit and to contrast it with fruits of the flesh. We can certainly see the difference in charitable love when we contrast it with say sensuality or jealousy.

We are out of room, so here is your homework: Consider (and perhaps meditate upon) how love is the opposite of each of the fruits of the flesh (verses 19-20): “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.”

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Matthew 5:30: I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. . . . [L]ove your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

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