Daily Devotion for July 12, 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 piece is so beautiful if one follows the lyrics. “Ah, Lord, let Your dear little angel, at my final end, take my soul to Abraham’s bosom.”
Den Leib in seim Schlafkammerlein
Alsdenn vom Tod erwecke mich,
Herr Jesu Christ, erhoere mich,
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
Lyrics by Martin Schalling (1571)
Prayer of a Nigerian Christian
God in heaven, you have helped my life to grow like a tree. Now something has happened. Satan, like a bird, has carried in one twig of his own choosing after another. Before I knew it he had built a dwelling place and was living in it. Today, My Father, I am throwing out both the bird and the nest.
For Each of Us in Our Work
Almighty God, heavenly Father, who makes it possible for me to work and who gives every creature its food, declaring your glory and showing your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in my work, from coveting material goods, from falling into the temptation of serving mammon and putting money in the forefront of my life.
Help me to perform the work which you have put at my hand, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men as well as myself; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lived and died only to serve us.
For Those Who Die by Human Hand
Holy Christ, who has taught us to forgive our enemies, and promised that as we forgive others, so shall our Father forgive us: I pray for all who have died at the hand of others: Victims of common murder, casualties of war, people chopped down by machete in Rwanda, Muslims stripped and slaughtered by Christian Serbs, people beheaded by Isis, Christians hung on crosses in France. The list of Satan’s work is endless and timeless.
I pray for the souls of those who have died, and I pray for the souls of those who have killed. And I pray that those of us left behind can forgive the hardest deed of all to forgive; for the greater the sin we forgive, the greater our love, and the closer we come to you, Lord Christ.
“There is always someone weaker in their faith than you, whom you can help.”
Oh Lord as I face creation
Let me see with eyes made clear
By Your promise of salvation,
Never to return to fear.
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.
Psalm 45:6-7 (NKJV)
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
Acts 25:8-12 (ESV)
Paul Demands an Appeal to Caesar
aul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.”
But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?”
But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.”
Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.”
Notes on the Scripture
The short description of Paul’s defense tells us, by implication, the general charges that had been brought against him. We also know from his first trial that the prosecutors have no evidence to support any of the claims. Clearly he has not committed any offense against Caesar — Festus would have found him guilty of any proven offense against Roman law, and the Jews’ complaints would have become a moot point.
Paul in Prison
The Jews convince the inexperienced Festus that he should move trial to Jerusalem, a more appropriate venue for the charges of offences against Jewish law and the temple. But, as we know (and as Felix had realized), the Jews have no intention of allowing Paul another trial; they intend to murder him. They do not want to risk another outbreak of support for him from the Pharisees; and Festus, who is more honest than his predecessor, might easily release Paul once he saw the absence of evidence.
The trial against Paul has become a circus. Two years ago, he was tried before the Sanhedrin, which broke out into a riot between the Pharisees (who would have found him innocent) and the Sadducees. So the trial was moved to Caesarea, the Roman capital. It was heard by Felix, the governor.
But Felix, who was corrupt, did not reach a decision for two years, because Paul would not supply a bribe. Now Festus, Felix’s replacement, repeats the same charade in reverse.
But Paul is not about to be transported back to Jerusalem; he knows the Jews intend to assassinate him. So he throws a monkey wrench into the works. As a Roman citizen living in a colony, Paul has a right to demand appeal to the Emperor of Rome. He cannot be tried by a local court, such as the Sanhedrin, against his will. And Festus has no choice but to grant the appeal.