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Daily Devotion for October 16, 2017


<i>Angelus</i> by Jean-François Millet
Angelus by Jean-François Millet, ca. 1859

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 Renewal

God stir the soil
Run the ploughshare deep,
Cut the furrows round and round,
Overturn the hard, dry ground,
Spare no strength nor toil,
Even though I weep.

In the loose, fresh mangled earth
Sow new seed.
Free of withered vine and weed
Bring fair flowers to birth.

Amen.

For Unity

Father, so many divisions and disputes have been generated by issues, practices and traditions that are not part of the fundamentals of the faith. Your Church is a glorious unity in diversity, but when we major on the minors, the spirit of factionalism replaces that of unity and peace. I ask for the boldness and courage to stand up and contend for the essentials of the faith, even if it means a lack of peace.

I do not want to compromise the truth of the gospel for the sake of peace. But I also ask for the graciousness to demonstrate kindness and tolerance for believers who disagree with me about the non-essentials. I acknowledge that there are some things that are not clear enough in Your revelation for us to understand fully, but these are not the clearly revealed core issues of the faith. In all things, may I be loving and gracious to others.

Amen.

Meditation

[What divisions and disputes do I aggravate?]


Benediction

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make me perfect in every good work to do your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

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.



endless knot

Answers

God always answers prayers. Sometimes it’s ‘yes.’ Sometimes the answer is ‘no.’ Sometimes it’s ‘you gotta be kidding.’

~ Jimmy Carter


Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (ESV)

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened.

For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


Notes on the Scripture

What good does boasting do for us? We do it to make other people regard us more highly, but it doesn’t really have that effect. It mostly just makes other people like us less. It makes us appear conceited. It is a self-inflicted wound for our image. Even worse, it makes other people hope that we fail.

Illuminated Letter S|Illuminated Bible

o, why do it? Mostly because it makes us feel better about ourselves. If we have feelings of inferiority, we boast to assuage that awful feeling. Psychologically injured people are most likely to brag about themselves or their accomplishments. Or perhaps we feel like we really are better than everyone else, and want more respect and obeisance from them — but this attitude is even more likely to make enemies.

If you are a Christian and feel an urge to boast — which we all do, at least sometimes, in some places — dig down into yourself and talk to God about it. Find the source of your urge. It is possible, with enough work, to heal even terrible mental wounds we have carried from childhood. Christ has offered to take our anxieties on Himself; He has actually requested that we give our pain to Him, for his capacity is infinite.

We should not be afraid to take advantage of the benefits of our faith, for that is what God wants! So go ahead and dump your problems in God’s lap. Ask Him to take them.

Boasting, for a Christian, is nonsensical. Christianity is the ultimate non-hierarchical religion, for we all receive one great gift, and the pride and possessions of this life become nothing more than vanity to us. Still, life is so much better when we stop playing one-upsmanship games. Instead of swinging through a range of self-image, we have a steady, fulfilled knowledge of our place in the universe. It is possible for us to almost completely stop thinking about ourselves, in the sense of ranking ourselves.

Unleavened bread, which Jews eat at Passover, is simply bread that is not inflated with hot air. Leavened bread is full of hot air. This is perfectly good for bread, but for people, it is counterproductive. (If you are not sure you want to become “a new lump” — well, the translation is admittedly unfortunate.)



silhouette of woman praying


Daily Inspiration

“Obedience”

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Today in Daily Prayer


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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