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Daily Devotion for May 7, 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.
Et Resurrexit from Haydn's great mass, The Creation.
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.
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.
For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.
Acts 2:22-31 (NIV)
Peterís Sermon 
"Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him:
Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.'
Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.
Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay."
Notes on the Scripture
Peter continues Christianity's first real sermon, a proselytizing speech to a crowd that had gathered at the hubbub caused by the Holy Spirit's descent onto about 120 followers of Christ. In yesterday's Scripture, the first part of the speech, he quoted a lengthy prophecy from Joel, concerning miracles that would occur when the Messiah came.
In the first paragraph today, Peter ties Joel's prophecy of miracles to the life and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. He says that Jesus was "accredited" to humanity by miracles; like a passport or identification, the miracles of Jesus served to identify him as the Messiah. Nevertheless, the people whom he came to save were so wicked that they killed him even though they knew he was from God; but death could not hold him.
In the next portion, he cites a psalm written by David as his text, in which David prophesied that God "would not leave my soul in Hades" (Sheol, the dark pit where Jews went after their death). Peter ties this psalm to the fruit of the resurrection. He claims that David's prophecy predicted the time they had just witnessed, because Christ had descended into hell to raise up the souls of those who had died previously. Jesus' resurrection was the fulfillment of an oath God had made to David.
The crowd already believed in the truth of David's prophecy. Now Peter, in his role as the "rock upon which" Christ would found his church, begins his work: to persuade the Jews that Christ had fulfilled the prophecy.