Daily Devotion for June 16, 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.
Oh man, Lament Your Great Sin, from Bach's St. Matthew Passion.
Prayer for the Morning
O God, I trust in your power, even as it is often found in weakness; in your wisdom, even as it is expressed in seeming foolishness; in your wholeness, even as it comes to me amid brokenness. I do not ask this day for dazzling displays of strength, electric exercises of intellectual prowess, or marvelous manifestations of miracles. I come simply to worship you. Touch me this day, O Lord, sinner that I am, that I might become your saint, your body, your child, a member of your church. For this Temple of your Spirit is built not upon my own abilities, knowledge, or restorative skill, but upon you, in Jesus Christ,
Prayer for Life
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Prayer for Peace
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live together in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.~Leo Buscaglia
Acts 11:11-18 (CEB)
Jerusalem church questions Peter
"At that moment three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were staying. The Spirit told me to go with them even though they were Gentiles. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered that man's house. He reported to us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, 'Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is known as Peter. He will tell you how you and your entire household can be saved.'
When I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as the Spirit fell on us in the beginning. I remembered the Lord's words: 'John will baptize with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, then who am I? Could I stand in God's way?"
Once the apostles and other believers heard this, they calmed down. They praised God and concluded, "So then God has enabled Gentiles to change their hearts and lives so that they might have new life."
Notes on the Scripture
Peter is speaking in this passage. He has had a vision in which God commanded him to eat meat unclean under Jewish law, followed immediately from a request to travel to Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judea, to meet a Gentile centurion named Cornelius. Peter realizes that old covenant between God and the Jews has been withdrawn by the new covenant of Christ.
It has been difficult for him to accept, since he and all the disciples are Jewish; they have spent their entire lives practicing the law that eating with Gentiles, even entering their houses, is forbidden; now, suddenly, they must change. In human terms, this is a difficult task. Peter and his six companions are agitated. They follow God's command, however, and travel to see and speak to Cornelius, the Roman soldier.
Here Peter fully realizes, in the depths of his soul, the importance of the vision and command he has received. When he speaks to the Gentiles, he is awed to see that the Holy Spirit descends upon them, just as it did on the Jews. God has given the same gift to the Gentiles that he gave to his chosen people. He accepts with humility that they are now the equals of the Jews in the eyes of God. Gentiles can be his brothers as much as Jews; it is belief in Christ, not Judaic law, that now defines the chosen people of the earth.
The conversion of the world outside Israel has now begun!