Evening Devotion for February 13, 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.
Be with Me as I Sleep
O Lord Jesus Christ, whose unwearied eye neither slumbers nor sleeps, but continually watches in defense of your servants; take me and mine, I beseech you, into your protection, and grant, that while my body is asleep, my soul may be awake to you, and that I may hereafter behold you in that blessed and heavenly country, where you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, rule eternally, where the angels sing your praises, and where your faithful will be citizens forever.
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the day and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me in the coming day, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
For the Holy Spirit
O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.
Prayer of Penitence
Come to me, my God. Call me in. I wander from the sheepfold mindlessly; I am adrift. I love you deeply in my soul, O Mighty God, with all my soul and heart and mind, and I regret this sin of inattention. Forgive me, for you are my only hope. As I commit so many sins, I commit the sin of joylessness and lack of interest. I repent of it, Lord; forgive me, and let me not feel guilt, but instead allow your Spirit fully into my heart, today and forever.
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
Where does Christ tell us that, if someone sues us for our shirt, we should give them our cloak also?
What are your choices? Whom are your choices for? Not just for yourself.
Chose now whom you will serve, and that choice is going to affect the next generation, and the next generation, and the next. Choice never affects just one person alone. It goes on and on and the effect goes out into geography and history. You are part of history and your choices become part of history.
~ Edith Schaeffer
Acts 4:13-22 (ESV)
Peter and John on Trial
ow when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.
But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.”
So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
Notes on the Scripture
Caiaphas, Annas, and the rest now have a sticky situation on their hands. Peter and John have openly defied them by teaching the doctrine of Jesus; however, the Sanhedrin cannot discount the miracle, because the healed man is standing right in front of them. Neither can they pass off the miracle as a fraud, because of the man’s age, which makes it unlikely that he recovered spontaneously from his lifelong chronic disease. They have to admit it is a “notable sign.”
The sentiment against Jesus has begun to shift, which puts the Sanhedrin in an awkward spot. There is no popular hysteria demanding John and Peter’s death. However, the number of supporters is starting to grow, which worries the high priests.
They try to strike a bargain with the two apostles: if they will stop preaching, the Sanhedrin will spare their lives. But Peter and John reject it. They are ready to die rather than abandon the mission Christ had left them.
And so the high priest must let them go free — for now.
As a footnote to this passage, we learn that the high priests consider Peter and John to be “uneducated.” From what evidence I have seen—and I don’t claim any particular expertise—Matthew might have been the only apostle who could read and write. In several ways, he appears to be the “odd man out” among the apostles. Eleven of them appear to have been common working men but “good Jews.” Matthew, on the other hand, was a tax collector—a Roman collaborator and thus a traitor to his people—but he was educated. Early Christian commentators state that Matthew wrote down Jesus’ words in “HebrewIn all likelihood, the word Hebrew was used to mean Aramaic, the language spoken by the Jews of the time..”