Daily Devotion for May 9, 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
I bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.
Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer of Thanks
O Thou whose bounty fills my cup,
With every blessing meet!
I give Thee thanks for every drop—
The bitter and the sweet.
I praise Thee for the desert road,
And for the riverside;
For all Thy goodness hath bestowed,
And all Thy grace denied.
I thank Thee for both smile and frown,
And for the gain and loss;
I praise Thee for the future crown
And for the present cross.
I thank Thee for both wings of love
Which stirred my worldly nest;
And for the stormy clouds which drove
Me, trembling, to Thy breast.
I bless Thee for the glad increase,
And for the waning joy;
And for this strange, this settled peace
Which nothing can destroy.
by Jane Crewdson (1860)
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way,
"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
Acts 2:40-47 (ESV)
The Fellowship of the Believers
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Notes on the Scripture
Peter's sermon has been a huge success. He has converted a large number of the Jews with his words and started the first church, the church of Jerusalem. The timeline and numbers are uncertain. The passage implies that 3,000 were converted on the day of his sermon and that more were converted every day, but it doesn't otherwise record numbers of people or amounts of time.
The first church is fervent and even fanatical. The members devote themselves to it, meeting every day to worship and forming a sort of commune, where property is shared freely. And every day their numbers swell. Not only do they meet to worship, but they take their meals together.
Most remarkably, they meet in the temple courts, that is, the public areas in front of the temple. Remember, only a few days earlier the apostles and a few followers had hidden themselves away, out of fear of the Jewish authorities. They were, rightfully, afraid for their lives. Now, they are making a public spectacle of themselves. They are completely filled with the Holy Spirit, so much that they concern themselves with almost nothing other than worship of God through Christ, even in the face of very real danger.