Mosaic, Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian, Rome
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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.
Thanks for God’s Mercy
O Lord, you are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. You have not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is Your lovingkindness toward those who fear You. As far as the east is from the west, so far have You removed our transgressions from us.
All glory, all thanks be to You, wonderful God, who has by Your Son put away our sin, and cleansed us, that we might dwell with You forever.
adapted from Psalm 103
For Damaged Pride
Oh mighty and loving God, help me to overcome the pride which creeps in around the corners of my mind like rain hammering on broken shingles and cracked walls, persistent and sly, wearing away defenses, flooding the basement, trying to destroy my love for others and my humility by rotting it away.
Especially help me when someone corrects me, Lord, and I am wrong, in part or whole; for I am apt to take offense and shame, where humility would have neither; and my mind tries to justify my words or deeds, no matter how much I am in error. Fill me with desire for truth and love, dear God, so that I can accept correction, both from you and from other people, seeking only truth and love. In Christ I pray,
Mason Barge 10/16/2014
“When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves.”
~ A. W. Tozer
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant equip us with every good thing that we may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
~ Hebrews 13:20-21
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.
A wonderful song and show by Casting Crowns. “Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin, would look on me with love and watch me rise again?”
If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree.
- Jim Rohn
Galatians 5:22-23 (Daily Prayer Bible)
Fruits of the Spirit - Love (Galatians #79)
he Spirit, on the other hand, produces fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, fidelity, tolerance and self-control. In this, the Law and the Spirit agree, because the Law does not forbid such things.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience under tribulation, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 meekness, self-control; no law is contrary to such things.
The fruits of the spirit passage from Galatians 5 is one of the better-known and most oft-memorized passages of the New Testament. It bears considerable meditation and study, for the more we ponder its meaning, the more thrilling and inspirational it becomes.
Unfortunately, the passage people memorize does not always correspond precisely to the “actual” Greek Bible. It isn't that translators carelessly or unwittingly use the wrong word (although that does happen in some translations); while ancient Greek uses Greek words, you can’t just take a Greek word and translate it into an English word. The differences in diction and syntax are much more profound. Anyone who has studied a foreign language in any depth (or has tried to translate a foreign language passage on the internet, using a program like Babelfish or Google Translate) knows exactly what this means.
Here, we have the Greek word agape -- and if there is one word of ancient Greek most Christians have heard of, it is agape. Many or most Bible commentators will tell you there are several Greek words for “love,” and agape has a special meaning. Wikipedia, for example, says:
Agápē . . . is love: “the highest form of love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.” Not to be confused with “philēo” - brotherly love - agápē embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances.
Unfortunately, Wikipedia is wrong. In fact, the Wikipedia article appears downright ignorant, as philēo is a verb and agápē is a noun! But more to the point, agape simply is not limited to a transcendent spiritual love, any more than “love” means only a transcendent spiritual emotion in English. We use love in a number of different ways — “I love my wife,” “I love my dog,” “I love Jesus,” “I love English history,” “I love Twinkies” . . . you get the idea. The Greek verb (agapao) has a wide range of meaning, just like the English verb “to love”, and the corresponding noun agape has the same range.
Agape, however, due to the misconception of the Greek word, has become an English word, used mostly in theological settings, that means exactly what people misconceive the Greek word to mean! An analogy would be “nimrod,” which properly refers to a mighty hunter, but due to misunderstanding has slowly come to refer to a weakling or fool.
Well, enough about the transformation of malapropisms into correct English, by widespread misusage. In English, “agape” is a perfect and more precise synonym for love as it is used in Galatians 5:22. God is love, John tells us. “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”(1 John 4:8)
The King James Bible famously used the term “charity” to translate agape in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (“And now abideth faith, hope, and charity”), which gives us a good start on the meaning Paul intends to convey here. If we live in the Spirit, we will give of our time and goods, without thought of self and have tender concern for anyone who suffers or wants. In fact, 1 Corinthians 13 constitutes a wonderful definition of Christian love.
Paul’s main point in Galatians, however, is not to define love, but to show that it is a fruit of the Spirit and to contrast it with fruits of the flesh. We can certainly see the difference in charitable love when we contrast it with, say, sensual love or jealous love.
We are out of room, so here is your homework: Consider (and perhaps meditate upon) how love is the opposite of each of the fruits of the flesh (verses 19-20): “sexual immorality, impurity of mind, sensuality, worship of false gods, witchcraft, hatred, quarrelling, jealousy, bad temper, rivalry, factionalism, carousing, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that. None of us should be ambitious for our own reputation, or seek our own glory, or indulge our vanity.”
Cover of the Weingarten Missal, 13th century, showing the four evangelists’ symbols in the corners.
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Today in Daily Prayer
Deuteronomy 10:17-19: The Lord your God . . . loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
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