Evening Devotion for March 18, 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.
An inventive song based on the Apostles’ Creed, from Third Day.
The Heart of a Child
Grant me this day, O God, the heart of a child,
Pure and transparent as a spring;
A simple heart, which never harbors sorrows;
A heart glorious in self-giving,
tender in compassion;
A heart faithful and generous,
which will never forget any good
or bear a grudge for any evil.
Make me a heart gentle and humble,
loving without asking any return,
large-hearted and undauntable,
which no ingratitude can sour
and no indifference can weary;
a heart penetrated by the love of Jesus
whose desire will only be satisfied in heaven.
Grant me, O Lord, the mind and heart of your dear Son.
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 Those Who Suffer
God of time and of eternity, in your hands you hold the souls of the righteous, and in your heart there is room for all people; shine forth upon all who are tried in the furnace of suffering and illness, and especially on those for whom I pray today; in your grace and mercy may we know that you watch over us; bring us at the last to abide with you in love; I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
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.
Struggle of a Saved Soul
“Run, run and do,” the Law commands,
But gives me neither feet nor hands.
Better news the gospel brings,
It bids me fly and gives me wings.
Romans 15:28-33 (ESV)
Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome 
hen therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Notes on the Scripture
This appears to be the original end of the letter. But Paul was a “good talker,” as elementary schoolteachers say, and he has a full chapter of afterthoughts yet to come.
The writing of such a long epistle would have limited the amount of editing. Paul was either dictating it, or else writing rough drafts, which Tertius would then transcribe in neat Greek print onto a parchment scroll. Editing would thus have meant tearing up a finished scroll and starting over, a loss of considerable labor. So Paul simply left the first ending and added another one (Chapter 16).
Paul is nearing the end of his third journey. The church at Corinth was one of his greatest successes, as it was large and included numerous well-to-do members. They had been able to give him considerable money to be donated to the church at Jerusalem.
He must carry these donations in person, because there is no other safe way to transport money; but he has good reason for trepidation. The corrupt high priests of the Sanhedrin continue to wield power in Jerusalem; many of them have ties to the Herodian dynasty, and all of them hate him. And as it turns out, they will in fact arrest him and later, when the Roman governor intervenes, try to murder him. His arrest will spoil his plans to travel to Spain. Ironically, however, it will facilitate his visiting Rome; he will be sent there as a prisoner, for trial before the Emperor.
Traditions of the Catholic Church hold that Peter was already in Rome at this time, presiding as the first Pope; and he may have been, but both Catholic and Protestant scholars consider it problematic. Peter was not hated by the high priests nearly so much as Paul and had been able to live in Jerusalem in relative peace. He continued to live under Jewish law and, despite his baptism of Cornelius and acceptance of Gentiles, personally rarely consorted with Gentiles.
Where Paul was identified as the primary missionary to the Gentiles, Peter was the primary missionary to the Jews. In fact, Paul and he had had a great argument, when Paul gave a person named “Cephas,” most likely Peter, a dressing-down for refusing to eat with Gentiles. (Galatians 2:11-21)
At any rate, Paul would accomplish two-thirds of the travel plans he outlines in today’s passage: trips to Jerusalem and Rome. He probably never reached Spain, though.