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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 20, 2017

<i>Jesus Heals Ten Lepers,</i> Greek icon-painting, date unk.
Jesus Heals Ten Lepers, Greek icon-painting, date unk.



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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.


Prayer for the Morning (written by Metropolitan Philaret)

Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.

Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.


For Peace

Holy God, from whom all thoughts of truth and love and peace proceed, and whose Son is rightly called the Prince of Peace; kindle in the hearts of all men the fire of longing for peaceful existence so powerful that they may never long to do violence against another. Guide with pure wisdom those who guide the nations of the earth and the many factions who may find disagreement, that your kingdom may go forward in tranquility and goodness, free of hatred and hostility, until the earth is filled with knowledge of your love. In the name of Christ, I pray,



God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and Spirit of God amidst us, direct our way unto you. Make us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.


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.

Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

What verse of the Bible contains the famous quote, “[S]eek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”?

Answer: Matthew 6:25

<i>Christ in the Night,</i> by Marc Chagall, ca. 1948.
Christ in the Night, by Marc Chagall, ca. 1948.

The Importance of the Bible

I seek the will of the Spirit of God through or in connection with the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also.

~ George Mueller

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 5:22-23 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Fruits of the Spirit and the Law of Moses (Galatians #84)

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.

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

This comment by Paul, concerning the fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the spirit, might seem odd. The very fact, that Paul finds it necessary to say it, shows how sharp the friction between Christianity and Judaism was in the 1st century B.C. The Jewish leadership, of course, had murdered Jesus and large numbers of His most vocal followers. In fact, Paul’s conversion occurred when he was headed to Damascus for this very reason, to round up Christians for punishment.


ut decades later, Paul finds it necessary to fight against a more subtle means of destroying Christianity: an attempt by Judaism to co-opt Christianity, by trying to convince Christians that, to find God, they had to follow the Law of Moses. Contradicting their efforts forms the core purpose of the Epistle to the Galatians. Paul’s main argument is directly antagonistic to Judaism. The Jews are not, we are taught, the inheritors of God’s promise to Abraham; there is only one primary heir, who is Jesus Christ, and we become inheritors as His adopted brothers and sisters and/or children. (E.g. Luke 20:36; Romans 8:15.)

One might think that Paul’s remark — that the Law and Spirit agree about “fruits of the spirit” — appears, at first blush, to be motivated by a desire to make his message easier to swallow. After all, his audience were people who had been convinced, or were at least considering the merits of serving the Law, as a necessary part of their path to salvation. One might think he is saying, “Look, you can do this and be at least partially amenable to the arguments of the Judaizers.”

But having called them anathema, which is about the strongest curse possible, it is probably more accurate to think Paul had no good word to say about them. Rather, having (hopefully) convinced his audience that Judaism was a “curse,” he now wants to bring them back to see the moral foundations of Christianity in the Law, as well as the historical and narrative foundations.

Jesus Himself taught that He has come to “fulfill” the Law, not to “abolish” it. If, as we believe, the purpose of the Law was to show us our sin, it did so by giving us correct rules about God’s will for the way we live our lives. In fact, Jesus’ arguments with the Pharisees, etc., never really contradicted the Law of Moses itself.

Rather, He showed us that the ritual was subordinate to the meaning. Marriage is a ritual; but the meaning is that when a man takes a woman to himself, and vice versa, they should take their monogamy to heart, and not lust after others. We worship God in a ritual of some sort; but the meaning of worship is faith. God does not want to hear the words of love and praise; he wants us to experience love, joy and humility in relation to Him, within our deepest being.

endless knot

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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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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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