Daily Devotion for July 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.
This rendition of “The Church in the Wildwood” was recorded by the Carter Family, probably in the 1930s. It won’t appeal to everybody, but it’s an interesting bit of history.
No lovelier place in the dale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale.
Oh, come to the church by the wildwood
Come to the church in the dale,
No place is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale.
How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning
To list to the clear ringing bell.
It's tones so sweetly are calling
Oh, come to the church in the vale.
There, close by the church in the valley
Lies one that I love so well.
She sleeps, sweetly sleeps, neath the willow
Disturb not her rest in the vale.
There, close by the side of that loved one
Neath the tree where the wild flowers bloom.
When the farewell hymn shall be chanted
I shall rest by her side in the tomb.
Prayer of Praise
Blessed are You, Lord our God and God of our fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob, the great, mighty and awesome God, exalted God, who bestows bountiful kindness, who creates all things, who remembers the piety of the Saints, and who, in love, has brought a Redeemer to us, our forefathers and our children, for the sake of His Name.
“I AM” (Exodus 3:14)
O Mighty King, You are a helper, a savior and a shield. You resurrect the dead; You are powerful to save us in forgiveness of our sins.
You cause the dew to descend. You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall.
You sustain the living with loving kindness, support the falling, heal the sick, release the slave; You fulfill Your trust to those who sleep in the dust. Who is like You, mighty Father? And who can be compared to You, King of Peace, who defeats death and restores life, and causes deliverance to spring forth! Who is your equal, Great Comforter, who brings holiness to all who call upon You?
You are holy and Your Name is holy; the angels and all the creatures of heaven and earth praise You daily for all eternity. Blessed are You Lord, the holy God.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, do not permit vanity, self-love, sensuality, carelessness, nor anger to rule over me and steal me from Thy love, O my Lord and Creator, all my hope! Do not leave me without a portion of the blessed eternity. Grant also that I may follow Thy Holy example, that I may submit to the authorities placed over me. Grant me the clean soul, the simplicity of heart that makes us worthy of Thy love.
May I go in peace, with God and with his other children, and may we love one another as Christ taught us. May I follow the example of good men of old, and may God comfort and help me and all who believe in Him, both in this world and in the world which is to come.
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 verse of the Bible commands us to pray for those who persecute us?
Psalm 35:10 (NKJV)
“Lord, who is like You,
Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him,
Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?”
Acts 25:13-22 (ESV)
Agrippa and Bernice
Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus.
nd as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man left prisoner by Felix, and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him.
So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. “
“When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them.
But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar.“
Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.“
“Tomorrow,“ said Festus, “you will hear him.“
Notes on the Scripture
Much of Acts touches the history of the Middle East, and today we encounter two new figures, Agrippa and Bernice. I hate to say this, but Agrippa is yet another Herod, “Herod Agrippa II,” the son of Herod Agrippa I. Fortunately (for our sanity), the son who we encounter today is known simply as Agrippa. He was the last king of the Herod dynasty.
French Book of Hours
Bernice, Agrippa’s sister, had an interesting life. She reigned as a client queen of Rome over various areas, particularly Syria, and had almost as much power as her brother. Although she was married three times to three different kings, the marriages did not last long and she spent most of her life in Agrippa’s court. There were constant rumors of an incestuous relationship between the two. Indeed, Agrippa never married.
Festus outranked them in most important respects. His deference to them stems from their lifelong involvement in Roman politics. Agrippa would one day become a “praetor,“ one of the most powerful political titles in Rome. Bernice would become the mistress of Emperor Titus and almost managed to become the Empress. Historians have called her “the Little Cleopatra.“
Festus must send Paul to Rome for trial; Agrippa and Bernice have no authority over him at this point. Due to their high status in Rome, however, Festus diplomatically allows them to interfere. So Paul will have to undergo another meaningless trial.