Daily Devotion for June 11, 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
O Master and holy God, who is beyond my understanding: at your word, light came forth out of darkness. In your mercy, you gave me rest through sleep, and let me awake to the light of your glory out of the darkness of night.
Now, in your own tender love, accept me and all who adore you and give thanks to you with all of their heart. In the abundance of your mercies, O Lord, remember all your people; all those who pray with me; all my brethren on land, at sea, or in the air, in every place of your domain, who call upon your love for mankind. Upon all of us who pray to you this morning, pour down your great mercy, that we, saved in body and in soul, may persevere unfailingly; and that, in our confidence, we may extol your exalted and blessed name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, always, now and forever.
Prayer for Peace
May the forgiving spirit of Him to whom we dedicate our lives prevail again on earth.
May hunger disappear and terrorists cease their senseless acts.
May people live in freedom, worshiping as they see fit, loving others.
May the sanctity of the home be ever preserved.
May peace, everlasting peace, reign supreme.
Now may the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon me, and give me peace, in my going out and in my coming in; in my sitting down and my rising up; in my work and in my play; in my joy and in my sorrow, in my laughter and in my tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark.
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.
So is the lazy man to those who send him.
Acts 10:9-16 (ESV)
Peter's Vision 
The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth.
In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." But Peter said, "By no means, Lord for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean."
And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has made clean, do not call common." This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
Notes on the Scripture
The people referred to as "they" are Cornelius and his men, who are traveling to Joppa to see Peter. While they are en route, Peter goes up on the rooftop and has a vision, the weird sort of vision not often seen in the New Testament, outside Revelation.
A great sheet filled with all the animals of the earth is lowered by God himself, for Peter to eat. (This did not literally happen; Acts makes clear that it is a vision or dream, not an actual occurrence.) But there is a problem with Peter's picnic — many of the animals of the earth are unclean and cannot be eaten by a Jew.
The coming of Cornelius and Peter's mission are tied to this vision. Peter is being prepared for the conversion of the Gentiles. Just as eating certain animals is unclean to Jews, associating intimately with Gentiles is unclean. It was ingrained in Peter and had become such a strong habit, something that he practiced every hour of every day of his life, that he cannot overcome it.
But God lets Peter know that things have changed. Pigs and shellfish are not forbidden to eat by nature, but by God's command; and thus, God can command that they now be clean. Just so, God can revoke his commandments about associating with Gentiles, and Peter will have to learn to accept this new rule if he is to accomplish his mission.
The four corners of the sheet clearly refer to the "four corners of the earth", an expression that comes from the Bible. See Isaiah 11:7. Peter is to bring the Gospel to all people in every land on the earth. He will have to put aside his prejudices.