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Daily Devotion for May 19, 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.
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.
Acts 5:17-21 (ESV)
The Apostles Arrested
But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison.
But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, "Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life." And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
Notes on the Scripture
There were two great political/religious parties in Judea, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees were much like the early Hebrews, emphasizing ritual (such as sacrifice); they were centered in Jerusalem. The priests tended to be Sadducees.
The equally powerful Pharisees put more emphasis on God's word and theology (similar to modern-day Judaism) and were more dispersed throughout Judea. Their leaders were more like "rabbis". Both groups were represented in the Sanhedrin (like Republicans and Democrats in the Congress), and both wanted to kill Jesus and his followers.
The Sadducees got to Peter and his followers first. They arrested them and put them in prison; presumably, they intended to try them and execute them. But, unlike Christ, the apostles are not intended to be God's sacrifice; they are intended to go into the world and preach.
But their story is still parallel to Christ's. The authorities have them arrested, as they arrested Christ. And like Christ, God steps in to show that the world has no real power over them. They are "reborn" in a sense, because they defeat the prison of sin and go free.