Daily Devotion for June 21, 2017
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.
To Turn My Eyes to Eternity
Oh gracious God, who has promised us an eternal life of peace and joy within your Kingdom, let me remember, today and always, how fleeting are the problems and pleasures of this life. The earth and its nations will pass away, soon enough. My bank account, my fame and prestige before others, my accomplishments and failures, even my very body, will not belong to me one day soon.
You will wash away my iniquities. But every beggar I have fed, unto the least of these, what I have given will be counted as if to Christ. What love I show, what sin I avoid or repent, will rest for all time in your heart; for you are pleased when we show your love and obey your will. Grant me this day to lay up my treasure in heaven, and give me all confidence that the judgments of the world are fleeting vanity; but your judgments are eternal.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, do not permit vanity, self-love, sensuality, carelessness, nor anger to rule over me and steal me from Thy love, O my Lord and Creator, all my hope! Do not leave me without a portion of the blessed eternity. Grant also that I may follow Thy Holy example, that I may submit to the authorities placed over me. Grant me the clean soul, the simplicity of heart that makes us worthy of Thy love.
[What parts of my life are ruled by carelessness?]
Prayer of Penitence
Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in my contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all my sins, and cleansing me from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. And turn my heart to your will at every moment, I pray.
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.
Love Like God
To love someone means to see him as God intended him.
~ Feodor Dostoevsky
1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Notes on the Scripture
he Greek for this passage reads that men should live with their wives “according to knowledge.” Knowledge and ignorance, in the context of Peter’s epistle, have a specific meaning. Consider his teaching, “Do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” (1 Peter 1:14-15)
So the passage does not mean only that a man should “understand” his wife — something one might hear from a modern marriage counselor — but also, that he should treat his wife in the knowledge that he is a holy priest of God. Implicit in this is that a married couple should love each other.
But “love” means something different than what we call “being in love,” an emotion of nature, the powerful attraction of desire. It is rather a specific example of Peter’s great admonition in Chapter 1: “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”
Treating others with humility and honor is a general obligation. “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” And indeed, because of the nature of marriage, husbands and wives often face great difficulty in practicing this form of love towards one another.
As in the preceding verses, there is another phrase to anger secular feminists, “honor to the woman as the weaker vessel.” But Peter does not say “weaker people.” He uses the term “vessel,” which refers to the body in which our souls are kept. There is no real issue about the general physical strength given to the male body which, moreover, never has to endure pregnancy and childbirth.
But the discussion about secular feminism is irrelevant for a second reason: This teaching is addressed to men, not women, and the dictate is that men must honor their wives as the “weaker vessel.” In other words, not abuse or bully them physically, and to take into account the gender-specific problems that women may face. Concerning this last point, there are plenty of women who are physically stronger than their husbands, and yet, Peter does not qualify his admonition. Even a weak, sick, or disabled man must apparently give consideration to his wife’s gender, in the way he treats her.