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Welcome back, Friend.

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 July 22, 2017

<i>Christ and the Sinner (detail)</i> by Vasily Polenov, ca. 1888.
Christ and the Sinner (detail) by Vasily Polenov, ca. 1888. A depiction of the famous scene in John: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”



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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.


Our “Oldies Saturday” has Elvis often enough. Some people think that this is a novelty, but like so many singers, he was a Gospel singer first and a pop star later; in fact, he won four Grammy awards and every one of them was in the Gospel category!

I think this was the best Gospel song he recorded, myself (although his Grammys were for “How Great Thou Art”).

Morning Prayer (George Washington)

O  Lord our God, most mighty and merciful father, I, your unworthy creation and servant, once more approach your presence. Though not worthy to appear before you, because of the many sins and transgressions which I have committed against your divine majesty; yet I pray you, for the sake of him in whom you are well pleased, the Lord Jesus Christ, to let me give you thanks and praise for your many and varied mercies extended toward me, for the quiet rest and repose of the past night, for food, clothing, health, peace, liberty, and the hopes of a better life through the merits of your dear son's bitter passion.

And O kind Father, continue your mercy and favor to me this day, and always; give resolution to all my lawful undertakings; let me have all my directions from your Holy Spirit; and success from your bountiful hand. Let the bright beams of your light so shine into my heart, and enlighten my mind in understanding your blessed word, that I may be enabled to perform your will in all things, and effectively resist all temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. Preserve and defend our rulers in church and state. Bless the people of this land, be a father to the fatherless, a comforter to the comfortless, a deliverer to the captives, and a physician to the sick. Let your blessings guide me and all of us, this day and forever, through Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray.



All praise to Thee, Eternal Lord
Clothed in a garb of flesh and blood;
Choosing a manger for a throne,
While worlds on worlds are Thine alone.



[God was well-pleased by Jesus.]


The blessing of the Lord rest and remain upon all his people, in every land, of every tongue; the Lord meet in mercy all that seek him; the Lord comfort all who suffer and mourn; the Lord hasten his coming, and give us, his people, the blessing of peace, this day and always.


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.

endless knot

Proverbs 14:2 (ESV)

He who despises his neighbor sins;
But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Blue Latin Cross

1 John 1:1-4 (ESV)

Introduction to 1 John

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Notes on the Scripture

Illuminated Letter T

he John who wrote 1, 2 and 3 John is the same person who wrote the Gospel of John. He would have been at least 80 (and possibly over 90) when this was written (around 90 A.D.), but the content and writing style are so consistent the his gospel, that the authorship by John himself is not seriously in doubt. We are fairly sure that John was the only apostle to live to an old age and die of natural causes; he was the Bishop of Ephesus and would have been revered in the Christian community.

The epistle is general, written for the entire church. There were pockets of Christianity around the Mediterranean Sea and perhaps deeper into east Africa by this time, but Ephesus, on the east coast of Anatolia (Turkey) would have been close to the center.

The impetus for writing the epistle was the rise of a false teaching, that Jesus had not actually been a normal, flesh-and-blood human being. John simply knew, first-hand, that this was wrong. He, the last living apostle, was the perfect person to quash the heresy. He sets things straight in the very first paragraph, stating that he had personally witnessed that the Word had been “made manifest,” that is, Jesus had been human.

In the epistle, John also tried to help his readers discern between teachers who grounded their teachings in truth and the many charlatans who had begun to spring up, teaching all kinds of nonsense that they made up. And, finally, he wanted to simply record his own teachings, especially the importance of love to Christian life.

The epistle not only reassured those of John’s day, but is important to us, with all the confusion surrounding the authorship of the gospels. John, by his own hand, gives us a direct assurance that he had witnessed the life of Christ. John knew that future generations would not have eyewitnesses to Christ's life: the miracles, the teachings, His death and resurrection. So he wrote and signed a sort of affidavit, not only for his contemporary readers, but also for posterity, attesting that he had witnessed the events he wrote about.

Dove of peace in contemporary stained glass

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Romans 8:18: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

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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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