Daily Devotion for May 4, 2011
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Count Your Blessings
Count your blessings, not your crosses; count your gains instead of losses.
Count your joys instead of woes; count your friends instead of foes.
Count your smiles instead of tears; count your courage, not your fears.
Count full years instead lean; Count kind deeds instead of mean.
Count your health instead of wealth; Love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas (ESV)
So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection."
And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."
And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Notes on the Scripture
Since the text is short and simple, I thought it might be fun to discuss some of the apostles. (We'll have to discuss the others at some time in the future. For reference, the twelve apostles were Simon Peter, Andrew, James the Greater, James the Lesser, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, Thaddeus, Simon, and Judas Iscariot. Matthias was added after Judas Iscariot died.
Matthias. Little is known about Matthias. Some later sources state that he went to preach in Georgia (near Russia) and was martyred in Sevastopol. He is the patron saint of alcoholics.
Peter. Simon Peter, brother of Andrew, was the leader of the church after Christ's death. Much of his ministry was concentrated on founding the church in Israel, although he was probably martyred in Rome while founding the church there with St. Paul. He wrote two epistles, 1 Peter and 2 Peter. Catholics consider him to have been the first Pope. We will read a lot about him in Acts.
Andrew, the first apostle called by Jesus, was Peter's brother. They were fishermen and became "fishers of men". He was a follower of John the Baptist and one of the apostles closest to Jesus. He was famous for traveling to the east and north, and is the patron saint of Russia and the Ukraine.
Matthew (the Evangelist) wrote the Gospel of Matthew. He was a tax collector for Rome, a much despised position, when called by Jesus. He stayed in Jerusalem as the head of the church there for a long time. Tradition tells us he then went to the east, around Persia and northern Greece, where he was martyred. He is the patron saint of accountants.
James (the Greater) was a son of Zebedee and thus John's brother. His martyrdom by the sword is recounted in Acts. He is said to have spent his later years in Spain, of which he is the patron saint. He had a fiery temper; he and his brother were called the "Sons of Thunder".
John, James brother, is another of the more prominent apostles and became a pillar of the church in Jerusalem. He was a prolific writer and gave us a gospel, three epistles, and possibly Revelation. He traveled in Anatolia (Turkey) and founded churches, including (probably) the important church at Ephesus. He was the only apostle who was not martyred, but died of old age. He is the patron saint of the Freemasons.
James (the Lesser) traveled from Jerusalem throughout Egypt and was beaten to death with a fuller's (wool washer's) club in lower Egypt. He is the patron saint of pharmacists.