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Daily Devotion for October 11, 2017

Abraham, basilica of san vitale, ravenna, italy
Scenes from the life of Abraham, an ancient mosaic in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, c. 550 A.D.



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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.


The girl singing this was 15 years old at the time.

For God’s Blessing

O  marvelous God, who is my light, my life, and my salvation; Grant to me, I pray, such fullness of faith and such a consciousness of your love and goodness, that your blessed Spirit, dwelling within me, may give me health of body, peace of mind, faithfulness of heart, and holiness of life and being; through the mercies and merits of the same, my Savior, Jesus Christ.


Prayer to Treat Others with Courage and Grace

Lord, this day and forever, may I have the courage never to be afraid of anyone. May I have the generosity to bear ill-feeling toward no-one. Lead me to live in such a way as to treat others in the same way as I would like to be treated. Inspire me never to be violent in thought, word or action, and lead me to conquer evil with goodness.


For Effort

The things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me the grace to labor for.



God of mercy, swift to help: as my lips pour forth your praise, fill my heart with the peace you give to those who wait for your salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.


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

In which verse does Christ tell us that He has fulfilled the Law and the Prophets?

Answer: Matthew 5:17

endless knot

Proverbs 15:13 (NKJV)

A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance,
But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 4:1-7 (ESV)

Self Judgment

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.

In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.

Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

Notes on the Scripture


hristianity has a very unusual attitude towards psychology. Our minds constantly compare our actions to our long- and short-term goals, and it metes out rewards and punishment. It actually releases chemicals (such as dopamine) that make us feel better if a goal is met or exceeded; and if we fall short, we get a negative signal. This can be just a little reminder that we want to do better at something tomorrow, or a crushing lifelong guilt if we have done something monstrous to our deep morality, such as killing someone.

But our brain will also modify our goals and standards, and other people — especially those in our society — influence this process.

Paul, like many driven people of great accomplishments, actually changes the way his brain operates, and he implicitly suggests that we do the same. He sets a standard that lies at the basis of Christian thought, i.e., that we be faithful “servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

But Paul will not accept the judgment of human courts (which, heaven knows, he got more than his share of). He will not even judge himself. The reason? His reward is certain. Judgment no longer belongs to men, even judgment of oneself, but to God, and the time for making such judgment has not come.

And so, pride in our accomplishments — one of the rewards our brain gives us — diminishes, just as shame in what we might have thought to be failure diminishes. For we have been given a gift that makes our constant evaluation of ourselves and others unnecessary and wrong. We have the promise of perfection, through our faith in Christ and His promise of total redemption if we live in that faith.

So finally, Paul poses a conundrum. If we have received this gift, we will feel no need to be prideful about it. Our gift, by its nature, takes away any need or desire for pride. And thus, how could anybody boast about the gift of redemption; for one of the attributes of redemption is that we no longer boast?

<i>The Conversion of Saul (detail)</i>, Michelangelo ca. 1545.
The Conversion of Saul (detail), Michelangelo ca. 1545.

Daily Inspiration

“Enduring Faith”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

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