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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 January 17, 2017

Kotarbinski, angel, art nouveau
An art nouveau angel by Wilhelm Kotarbinski (Polish), ca. 1895.



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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.


This medley of old country-gospel songs by Alan Jackson really peps me up.

To Remember God During the Day

Lord God, the heavens are telling of your glory and the wonders of your love, the sun by day, and the moon and stars by night. Yet, as clouds will cover your sky in gloom, as the ceilings of men's buildings hide the sky from my sight, so the cares of this existence block your majesty from my mind.

I look with hope to the day when my knowledge of your glory will never be hidden by the concerns of the world, and I may know you every moment of time, forever; but until then, forgive me for all the time I spend with my face bent to the things of earth, your Spirit ignored and forgotten; for you are always there, willing to show yourself to me and guide me and comfort me, if I only lift up my head and see the sky above.


Prayer for True Thought

Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of your law, so that we might know our sin, and your Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short: Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and so guide me, that the clever words of men will never replace the truth which you have put into my heart. Through Christ I pray,


Benediction (from Colossians 3)

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me all this day; and whatever I do in word or deed, may I do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.


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.

Psalm 120:1-2, 6-7 (NKJV)

In my distress I cried to the Lord,
And He heard me.

Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips
And from a deceitful tongue.

         *         *         *

My soul has dwelt too long
With one who hates peace.

I am for peace;
But when I speak, they are for war.

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:22-23 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Fruits of the Spirit - Meekness (Galatians #82)

22-23 The Spirit, on the other hand, produces fruit: . . . meekness . . . . In this, the Law and the Spirit agree, because the Law does not forbid such things.

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

Here again, we see that there are differences of opinion on what the Greek term means. The traditional meaning of the Greek word prautes was “the quality of not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s own importance.” The best English synonym might be humility. But the lexical range of the term includes concepts like “gentleness,” “considerateness,” and “courtesy.” The King James Version translates “meekness” here, while almost all modern translations use “gentleness.”

We are going with the KJV, because meekness would seem to connote a gentleness that comes from not being impressed by one’s own importance. It is a gentleness that stems from a lack of pridefulness.

The connection of harshness and pride is not hard to see. When do we act obstreperous? When we feel offended, and more precisely when we feel that our status has been called into question. Somebody might disagree with us about something, calling into question the rightness of our thought. Someone might give us a position that we think is lower than we deserve. A judge might favor another person in a competition, when we think we are the best. The list of potential entitlements we create for ourselves is endless.

And when our pride is thus offended, we get angry. We want to tell the offendor, “You are messing around with the wrong person.” We want what we think is justice, when in reality, we only want others to recognize how superior we are.

So the less false pride we feel — the less superiority we arrogate to ourselves — the more gentle we become. If we embrace humility, a major temptation to anger and hostility leaves us. We can remain gentle, even in the face of hostile criticism. And this is what Paul is getting at in telling us that meekness (or gentleness) is a fruit of the Spirit.

We are proud by nature, and the temptation will not leave us alone. When we live in the flesh, we try to satisfy our nature rather than trying to conform to God’s will. Pride is part of our nature, but through the Spirit, we can come ever closer to the humility that God demands of us.

endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Life and Death”

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Memory Verse

Philippians 2:8: Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

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