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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 January 20, 2018

<i>Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness (detail)</i>, by M. Leone Bracker, 1925.
Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness (detail), by M. Leone Bracker, 1925.



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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 wonderful old Golden Gate Quartet vows they “ain’t gonna’ study war no mo’.”

Praise to God

O  God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips praise you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any grievous way in me, and if there be any, return me to your path, and lead me in the way everlasting. All glory and praise be your now, and forever,


For Wisdom

Almighty God, I pray for wisdom in these times of uncertainty. I look deep into my heart and soul to find your truth. I pray for comfort in times of spiritual restlessness — as I journey through the murky waters of sin and self-doubt. Lord, I pray for your word to enrich my life and bring me to a closer relationship and understanding with you, through your Son, Jesus Christ. And may all your children be granted the same wisdom, comfort, and the promise of your word throughout their daily lives, that we all can gather in your house and praise you more lovingly and faithfully from this day forward. In Christ’s name,



Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.


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 Bible verse asks the rhetorical questions: “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”?

Answer: 1 Corinthians 1:13

endless knot


Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.

~ C. S. Lewis

Blue Latin Cross

1 Samuel 3 (ESV)(abridged)

The boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; there was no frequent or widely spread vision.

Eli, whose eyesight had dimmed so that he could hardly see, had lain down for the night. The lamp of God had not yet gone out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was kept, and Samuel was also lying down, when the Lord called, “Samuel!” He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli told him, “I did not call you; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. Again the Lord called him, and again he went to Eli, who sent him back to bed. For the Lord had not yet revealed his word to Samuel.

When the Lord called Samuel a third time, Eli told him, “Go, lie down. And if He calls you, you shall say, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” And the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel answered, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.”

Samuel and Eli

The Lord told Samuel, “I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of all who hear it shall burn. Soon I will do all that I have warned concerning Eli and his house, from beginning to end. I will judge and punish his house forever. He has tolerated iniquity; his sons cursed themselves (blaspheming God) and he did not restrain them. Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that their iniquity will not be purged with sacrifice or offering; never shall it be atoned or purged.”

Samuel lay until morning; then he opened the doors of the Lord’s house, afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and asked him: “What is it He told you? Pray do not hide it from me.” So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing. And Eli said, “It is the Lord; let Him do what seems good to Him.”

Samuel grew; the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground (i.e. Samuel never spoke falsely). All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was a true prophet of the Lord. And the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh and reveal Himself to Samuel through his word.

Notes on the Scripture


oses had set up the Ark of the Covenant in a tent at Shiloh, where it rested for approximately 360 years. Apparently a more permanent shrine had been built by the time of Eli and Samuel. (Archaeologists have uncovered significant Hebrew structures from the period.) Apparently, from today’s passage, Israel’s covenant with God had deteriorated since the days of Aaron and Joshua. God rarely communicated with the Hebrews (His word was “rare and precious”) and, as has been seen, much of the priesthood had become cynical and corrupt.

Samuel, understand, was not a Levite, having not descended from Aaron, and thus was not eligible to be a priest; he could only serve as a caretaker. It was therefore a great event on several levels when God spoke to him. It seems that God never appeared to Samuel in a vision, but continued to speak to him; Samuel spoke God’s word and, at that time, one generally learned God’s word by hearing a voice. At any rate, Samuel preached and prophesied truly at a time when Israel was starved for authentic religious leadership.

Text: Old Orthodox Fresco of the Apocalypse Wall-painting, Osogovo Monastery, MacedoniaOld Orthodox Apocalypse Wall-painting from medieval Osogovo Monastery, Republic of Macedonia

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