Daily Devotion for July 16, 2019
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.
This extraordinary footage of Ethel Waters and two small boys singing His Eye is on the Sparrow — a capella! — is taken from a 1952 movie, “The Member of the Wedding.”
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home?
When Jesus is my comfort (portion) -
Oh, my constant friend is He -
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me.
I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me.
To Walk in God’s Sight
Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of my life I may not forget you, but may remember that I am ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Prayer in Darkness of the Mind
This much, O heaven — if I should brood or rave,
Pity me not; but let the world be fed,
Yea, in my madness if I strike me dead,
Heed you the grass that grows upon my grave.
If I dare snarl between this sun and sod,
Whimper and clamour; give me grace to own,
In sun and rain and fruit in season shown, The shining silence of the mercy of God.
Thank God the stars are set beyond my power,
If I must travail in a night of wrath,
Thank God my tears will never vex a moth,
Nor any curse of mine cut down a flower.
Men say the sun was darkened: yet I had
Thought it beat brightly, even on Calvary:
And He that hung upon the Torturing Tree
Heard all the crickets singing, and was glad.
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 does Matthew 28:19 say?
Proverbs 11:22 (ESV)
As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
Acts 26:1-11 (ESV)
'Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice 
o Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:
“I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
“My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king! Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
“I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
Notes on the Scripture
It may seem a bit tiresome, reading the history of Paul’s conversion yet again. The later chapters of Acts contain a great deal of his speeches, but they are important, because in them we see the nature of his mission. Paul did not speak to the intellect of his many listeners. Nor did he recite a third-person history of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Rather, he talked about himself. He was the great proponent of the new Christian method of preaching: Witnessing to the power of a Christ he, himself, had never met, by the power of a Holy Spirit that lived within him.
This intimate sharing of one’s personal life was a new and convincing kind of religious argument. Other parts of the world had dabbled in monotheism, but their concept of God was in their mind. Paul’s God was in his heart and spirit. He preached, not a god who lived in a statue or even (in the case of the Jews) inside a special place in a temple; he preached the true God, whose spirit lived in him and colored every moment of his time and every action of his life.
Paul’s account here differs, not in facts, but in how he frames his conversion and mission. He more clearly depicts himself as a Jewish prophet. Rather than a revolutionary, he is a prophet of the evolution of God’s promise to Israel. He then shows that he, himself, had once been in Agrippa’s position—a Jew who did not accept Jesus and, in fact, persecuted those who did.
We will see tomorrow if his argument can affect the haughty Agrippa.