Daily Devotion for September 7, 2016
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.
We have some light humor today as well as a terrific gospel song, appropriate to our study of “joy in the Spirit.”
(If you just want to hear the music, move the timer — the red line at the bottom of the screen — to 5:15.
When we leave this low land,
We will cross the Jordan;
Past the chilling torrent
Heaven's joy awaits.
Just beyond the blue horizon,
Just above the starry sky;
Far above this land of sorrow,
Way above each tear and sigh.
Just a few more miles before us,
Just a little while to wait;
Soon we'll sing redemption’s chorus
Heaven's joy awaits.
Heaven's breeze is blowing,
Gently to recalling;
I will soon be going,
Through the Pearly Gates.
Words and Music by Vep Ellis (1942)
Prayer to Be Close to God
Mighty Lord, I come before you today to thank You for all the blessings that You have given me. Many times my life is so full of busy work that I neglect my relationship with You, and for that I am deeply sorry. I know that You never neglect me, for if You did my very life would cease to be.
Continue to pull me to Yourself, guide me in my journey, and hold me close in Your bosom until the day I come home to be with You forever. Be with me now as I gather together with this online community, in Your name, that I and all who pray with me may feel your presence among us. In Jesus precious name I pray.
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.
[Am I depriving myself of the true joy that I can find?]
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.
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.
Psalm 95:1-2 (KJV)
O come, let us sing unto the Lord:
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving,
and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
Galatians 5:22-23 (Daily Prayer Bible)
Fruits of the Spirit - Joy (Galatians #77)
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.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience under tribulation, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 meekness, self-control; no law is contrary to such things.
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
In our “granular” study of Galatians, we are going to encounter some terms where the translation of the original Greek is ambiguous; in such cases, Bible translations will usually vary. And if they don't . . . they should! But the word “joy,” as it describes the second fruit of the Spirit in today’s passage, is universal among translations. The Greek word, charaBy the time of Christ, the ancient root “char-” had developed into two related, but different, words: Chara, meaning “joy”, and charis, with a primary meaning of “grace.” It is charis which was adopted into the Latin as caritas and, ultimately, evolved into the English word “charity.” , is perfectly translated by “joy.”
Joy is, first of all, an emotion. When we are living in the Spirit, we are settled into an emotional state of immense happiness. Our feeling of rejoicing transcends our transient reactions to events. It never completely dissipates even under the most cruel circumstances life can throw at us.
henever I think of joy during adversity, I think of an Episcopal priest whose daughter was a friend of mine. She died in a car crash when she was in her 20s, a lovely, intelligent girl, strong in faith and virtue — the sort of daughter who would make any parent proud. Yet, at her wake, her father did not shed a tear. He did not frown. Rather, he beamed with the joy of Christ, despite the most horrible moment that life can possibly inflict upon us — the death of a beloved child.
Why would this man rejoice at the death of a child? Well, he didn't. He rejoiced despite the death of his child, for surely it was as painful to him as it would have been to you or I. He was utterly confident that Christ’s love for his daughter would transcend the death of her body. He knew for a fact that she was not in pain and that God was taking care of her.
His joy, in short, overcame his grief. And if we live in the Spirit, our joy will overcome any tragedy Satan can throw at us.
I don't know which is greater: my joy at my own salvation, or my joy in the salvation of someone I love. Salvation is the most wonderful thing we can have; so if we have it, what shall we mourn? It is so marvelous that everything else in life is secondary. Our membership in the holy priesthood of saints outweighs poverty, disease, and death itself. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
Thus joy, which is an emotion, transcends emotion. Our joy can and should become a state of existence. If our lives have been saved for all eternity, to dwell with God in the perfect happiness of heaven, what then can make us unhappy? The earth and its power cannot spoil our joy, for the earth is temporary, and Christ, who is eternal, has overcome it. We share in his victory. We have been adopted as sons and daughter of God, inheritors of His kingdom, by the power of the cross.
So this is the true joy of the Spirit: The sense of happiness and well-being that our convicted faith gives us, so powerful that it will transcend any hardship or tragedy.