Daily Devotion for August 9, 2018
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 joyful hymn comes to us from the Advent Harmony Choir of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Nairobi, Kenya.
I'll meet you in the morning by the bright riverside,
When all sorrow has drifted away.
I'll be standing at the portals when the gates open wide,
At the close of life's long weary day.
I'll meet you in the morning with a how do you do
And we'll sit down by the river and when all the rapture is renewed.
You'll know me in the morning by the smile that I wear,
When I meet you in the morning In the city that is built four square.
I will meet you in the morning in the sweet by and by
And exchange the old cross for a crown.
There will be no disappointments and nobody shall die,
In that land when life's sun goeth down.
Music and Lyrics by Albert E. Brumley
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, please give me the patience to make it through this busy day with all the hustle, demands and distractions of modern life. Let me find the quiet time to hear your voice and feel your calming presence. I ask this in your son's name.
Prayer for Holiness
Holy God, no one can put together what has crumbled into dust, but you can restore a conscience turned to ashes. You can restore to its former beauty a soul lost and without hope. With you, there is nothing that cannot be redeemed. You are love; You are Creator and Redeemer. I praise you with my every ounce.
I fear the lesson, my God, of the fall of Lucifer, full of pride. I pray you will keep me from such a terrible fate; keep me safe with the power of your Grace; save me from falling away from you. Save me from doubt. Incline my heart to hear your mysterious voice every moment of my life and thus be led to call upon you, for you are present in every thing and every moment.
As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope.
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
Where do we find the rhetorical question, “Was Paul crucified for you?”
Psalm 37:18-20 (NKJV)
The Lord knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
But the wicked shall perish;
And the enemies of the Lord,
Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.
Romans 1:8-12 (ESV)
Longing to Go to Rome
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
Notes on the Scripture
hen Paul tells the Roman church that their faith is proclaimed throughout the world, he is not exaggerating. A new Jewish sect growing in Jerusalem or Antioch is one thing. But Rome was a city like no other, unequaled in Western history for the sheer concentration of wealth and power. And although the Roman religion was not one that sought converts among conquered peoples, it was enormously important in Rome itself. It was very much tied to the government.
So the rise of a faithful, even fanatical, new religion in Rome itself, based in the faith of the Jews, would have attracted attention, not only from fellow Christians, but also from the general population of the Empire.
To Christians, the church was remarkable for a second reason. It had not been founded by Paul or any of the great apostles. As far as we know, no apostle had even visited it; Romans predates even the arrival of Peter. And yet, it prospered in remarkable faith.
And just as remarkable, the bulk of the Roman church was almost certainly Gentiles. Claudius had expelled the Jews from Rome at the point of a sword. He had only been dead for three years when this epistle was written. Most Jews would have been uneasy at the thought of living in Rome. They had no way of knowing if their presence would be tolerated, or for how long.
We can hear two different reactions to this in Paul’s words. Initially, he is genuinely filled with a sense of thanks and praise—not to mention a touch of surprise. How did this miracle happen? It is their “faith” that is proclaimed, and it is faith that sustains them. The Roman church is almost a miracle of faith.
Also, however, Paul knows that the Roman church is desperately in need of fundamental guidance, lest their faith drive them into error. The early church was chaotic. Countless people with partial knowledge were teaching all sorts of things under the rubric of “Christianity” by now. (A problem that still plagues us today!) There were people who, with little background or knowledge, simply proclaimed themselves apostles and even “super-apostles.”
Paul knows the gift he has, that he can give to the church at Rome: A true grounding in the fundamentals of the Gospel. It is not pride that drives him, but conviction. And at the same time, he gives them some credit. He is humble enough to realize that the sheer magnitude of the Romans’ faith would be wonderful to behold, and share.