Daily Devotion for June 14, 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.
Roll, Jordan, Roll by the Fairfield Four.
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 for Purity of Thought
Almighty God, who alone gave me the breath of life, and alone can keep alive in me the holy desires your Spirit brings; I pray to you, in the name of your infinite compassion, to sanctify my thoughts and endeavors this day; that I may not begin to act without a pure intention or continue it without your blessing. And grant that, having the eyes of my mind opened to behold things invisible and unseen, I may in heart be inspired by your wisdom, and in work be upheld by your strength, and in the end be accepted by you as your faithful servant; through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Irish BlessingDeep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
Acts 10:37-48 (ESV)
The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles
"You yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God.
Then Peter declared, "Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
Notes on the Scripture
For the first time, a group of Gentiles receives the Holy Spirit — in fact, the passage states that he was "poured out even on the Gentiles", as if this were a great surprise. They evidence receiving the Spirit by praising God and speaking in tongues.
For many Christians, understanding the Holy Spirit is more difficult than understanding God the Father or Jesus; worship of him takes a back seat. For others, primarily those termed "Pentecostalist" or "Charismatic", the Holy Spirit is emphasized in worship and in day-to-day living. But for almost all Christians, the Holy Spirit is a manifestation of the one true God, and the person of God who still lives with us on earth.
He is, in fact, somewhat more difficult to grasp intellectually, as he appears in multiple forms and multiple roles in the Scripture. Like Christ, the Holy Spirit existed before the world was created, and we see him numerous times in the Old Testament; it is the Holy Spirit who speaks to the Hebrews and who creates the child Jesus in Mary's womb. He is in fact so important that he comes to Jesus at the start of Jesus' ministry, when he was baptized by John the Baptist, to signify that Jesus is fully God as well as human.
The role of the Holy Spirit today is probably the most important immediate person of God to humanity. He is the aspect of God who dwells within us. It is the acceptance of the Holy Spirit that brings us to believe in God and gives us faith in Christ.
The Holy Spirit inspires us in our lives. It is the Holy Spirit who brings us to read and write about Christ, and who gives us the strength to bear and overcome the ordeals that life in the world, to stay strong rather than giving in to the works of evil.
If you do not understand how the Spirit lives within you, imagine that you have stolen something or committed adultery, without any chance of getting caught. You will still feel bad, even though nobody will ever learn about it. There will be a voice within you for the rest of your life, telling you that you have sinned. This is the Holy Spirit, leading you to Christ and to repentance.
We must pray to the Holy Spirit, for he will bring us the fruits of peace. In Galatians, Paul tells us that the "fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23)