Daily Devotion for June 21, 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.
Satchmo tell the story of the Hebrew Children.
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, I give you my hands to do your work; I give you my feet to go your way; I give you my eyes to see as you see; I give you my tongue to speak your words; I give you my mind that you may think in me; I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me. I give you my whole self, Lord, that you may grow in me, so that it is you who lives, works and prays in me.
Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of thy law, so that we might know our sin, and thy Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make me perfect in every good work to do his will, working in me that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.
Acts 12:20-25 (NLT)
The Death of Herod Agrippa
Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod's country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod's personal assistant, and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, "It's the voice of a god, not of a man!"
Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people's worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.
Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned, taking John Mark with them.
Notes on the Scripture
The third and last of the great Herods, Herod Agrippa, died suddenly in about 44 A.D. Although he was Jewish by religion and ancestry, he was raised in Rome and was a good friend of first Caligula and then Claudius. (In fact, he appears as a character in Robert Graves' famous book, I, Claudius.) He became more powerful than even his grandfather, Herod the Great; he was known in Rome as "Agrippa I" and his son was universally called Agrippa II, sparing us Bible readers the confusion of any more Herods.
The extent of his power can be seen in the dependence of Tyre and Sidon, two wealthy Phoenician cities, upon him. To the Jews and to historians in general, Agrippa was a fairly moderate and even beneficent king; he was a pro-Jewish advocate in Rome and, by example, successfully prevented Rome from desecrating the Temple of Jerusalem by erecting a statue to a Roman god.
But as a friend to the Jews -- the Sanhedrin crowd -- he was equally an enemy to Christians. His death by "worms" is unclear in meaning; but other historical accounts agree that he was suddenly struck down with abdominal and chest pains, dying a few days later.
In the last verses, notice that the base of missionary operations has shifted to Antioch, which was in Syria, a land not dominated by the Jewish high priests and thus less hostile to the Christians. Saul and Barnabas, two of the great early missionaries, have been on a mission to Jerusalem, a big change from the very first missions which went out from Jerusalem.