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Daily Devotion for October 13, 2017



The Excommunication of Robert the Pious, by Jean-Paul Laurens, 1875. Robert was excommunicated for marrying his cousin.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.




Prayer for the Morning

Holy Father, who watches over your children by night and by day; blessed Jesus, my food and my strength; sweet Holy Spirit, the light and guide of my soul; I thank you for this new day and pray that you will watch over me. May my thoughts, my words and actions reflect the Spirit that dwells within me. And may every minute of my life celebrate the gift of grace, earned by the blood of Christ, in whose name I pray.

Amen.

Prayer of Contrition, Remembering the Passion of Christ

O  Jesus! You have proved that you have no greater desire than to be among men, even assuming human nature at the fullness of time for the love of men. I recall all the sufferings of your life especially your passion.

I remember, O Lord, that during the last supper with your disciples, having washed their feet, you gave them your most precious body and blood, and, while consoling them, you foretold your coming passion. I remember the sadness and bitterness which you experienced in your soul as you said, “my soul is sorrowful even unto death.”

I remember all the fear, anguish and pain that you did suffer in your delicate body before the torment of your crucifixion, when, after having prayed three times, bathed in a sweat of blood, you were betrayed by Judas, arrested by the people of a nation you had chosen and elevated, accused by false witnesses and unjustly judged by three judges.

I remember that you were despoiled of your garments and clothed in those of derision, that your face and eyes were covered, that you were beaten, crowned with thorns, a reed placed in your hands, that you were crushed with blows and overwhelmed with insults and outrages. In memory of all these pains and sufferings which you endured before your passion on the cross, grant me before my death a true contrition, a sincere and entire confession, worthy satisfaction and the remission of all my sins.

Amen.

Dedication

I  dedicate this day to you, mighty God. I pray that your Spirit will lift me up this day, and that your face may shine upon me all the day long, that I might do your will and lead a new life in Christ, reborn in the Spirit.

Amen.


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 tells us that faith, without works, is “dead”?

Answer: James 2:17



endless knot

Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV)

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."


Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 5:1-5 (ESV)

Sexual Immorality

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.


Notes on the Scripture

A

lthough we are not given many details, the use of the present tense of “to have” — the man in question “has” his stepmother — shows that this is an ongoing relationship. In more modern terms, they are living in sin. Also, apparently, the Corinthians hold the man in some sort of esteem. The others are reluctant to speak against him. Some no doubt accept the situation, and others feel as if they should not or cannot speak up.

But Paul has no such reluctance! He tells them he is present in spirit. Note, Paul does not mean he has some sort of doppelganger, a resident ghost he sends out to do his work. He means just what we would mean, today, if we say we are with someone in spirit. He is thinking about them and his letter is with them. The Corinthians, when assembled, will have his epistle to bolster their own spirits and give them the support they need.

The passage is easily misread in another, even more important aspect. When Paul tells the Corinthians to deliver the man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, we might conjure up images of the Inquisition; but nothing in all his work hints that this is his meaning. He means, rather, that they are not to let him into their worship services or treat him as a member of the Christian community.

The man has cut himself off from Christ by his open, continuous and unrepentant sexual sin. He is poisoning the church, for toleration quickly becomes acceptance. Rather than being raised up by his brothers, they are letting him pull them down. One can only wonder what Paul would say about the degree of sexual immorality tolerated by churches today.

The man has given himself to Satan, and the destruction of the flesh is the natural and normal result of sin. Perhaps this would be better translated “destruction by the flesh,” for we destroy our most central selves, our souls, when we serve the lusts of the flesh rather than the love of God through Christ.

What Paul demands is what would later become known as excommunication. It is not a punitive measure; it is a correction given by the church in hopes that his soul can yet be saved. For to continue to turn a blind eye to such egregious and unrepentant sin would not help the man or the church, either one. Better it is that he be given full rain to destroy himself, in hopes of repentance, than to allow him to live in self-deception.



Michelangelo, Adam and Eve, Sistine Chapel, Devotional painting.
Expulsion of Adam and Eve by Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel c. 1510


Daily Inspiration

“The Assurance of Salvation”

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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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