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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 29, 2018

Adoration of the Shepherds
Nativity with Burning Bush, by Albert Herbert, ca. 1980.



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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.


For Faithfulness in the Use of this World's Goods

Almighty God, whose loving hand has given me all that I possess; Grant me grace that I may honor you with my substance, and remembering the account which I must one day give, may be a faithful steward of your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


For Humility of Understanding

Oh Mighty God, who loves and commands concord and unity among his saints, let me always remember that there is only One: One body and one Spirit; One hope, to which we are called. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.”

Heavenly Lord, I know you imperfectly, pray to you imperfectly, live imperfectly, and read your Word imperfectly. Let me not be separated from my brothers and sisters by their imperfection, or my own; for your grace is made perfect only in weakness. Let me be bold in the proclamation of your Gospel, but humble in the realization of my own imperfection, so that I do not create barriers between myself and others through the sins of anger, pride, and self-righteousness. In Christ’s name I pray,


Dedication (from St. Teresa of Avila)

May it please you, my good Lord, that there may come a day when I can repay a little of my great debt to you. O Jesus, strengthen my soul, you who are good above all good; and since you have inclined my soul in this way, show me how I may act for you, whatever it may cost, O Lord. Here is my life, my honor and my will; I have given them all to you and they are yours: use me to do whatever you want.


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 tells us that people can be saved only through Jesus Christ?

Answer: John 14:6
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”

endless knot

Proverbs 16:12 (NASB)

It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,
For a throne is established by righteousness.

Blue Latin Cross

1 Corinthians 13:8-12 (ESV)

Faith, Hope, and Charity [3]

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Notes on the Scripture

The staggering power of Paul’s words — and the masterful translation made in the King James Bible (which is echoed here in the ESV with minimal modernization) — defeats attempts at commentary.

The King James translation of the passage was so inspired that I even hate to give another version; most attempts to modernize the passage substantially destroy it.


ne phrase that unfortunately must be rewritten for modern readers is verse 12: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.” The primary understanding of “a glass” in 1611 would have been a mirror. While there were good mirrors available by this time (from Venice), they were expensive and still did not reflect light as well as they do today. So the experience of a viewer, especially indoors where mirrors were kept, would have been a darkening of the reflection.

In Paul’s day, however, mirrors would have been more primitive, consisting of polished metal, and would have given a noticeably dark and obscured image.

But seeing through a piece of dark or irregular glass, which most untutored modern readers would get from King James, loses some of the meaning. It captures the idea that we see, not God, but a dark and distorted approximation. But it loses the idea that God sees us more clearly than we can see ourselves.

Through glass darkly or mirror dimly, 1 Corinthians

Plato, the great Greek philosopher who wondered if there might be only one supreme god, also wrote that we see, in life, only a reflection of something perfect. A famous passage from Plato’s Republic reasoned that we see reality as men in a cave at night see shadows cast on the wall, and this is just what Paul means. We see evidence of God, and can glean much about Him, but our perception is as limited as our eyes and our minds. Only after our bodies die will we see him “face-to-face” and truly know Him.

Paul, of course, had experience with trying to see God as a human. When he was still Saul, he was struck blind by a light, that knocked him from his horse, and heard the voice of Jesus. Many have thought that what he experienced was a glimpse of the face of God as He is.

Devotional painting Paul on the Road to DamascusText: Devotional painting Paul on the Road to Damascus

Daily Inspiration

“Memory Verse #3”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

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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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