Daily Devotion for June 26, 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.
I have no idea what the lyrics of this "Chinese Christian Children's Song are, but it is very sweet and it is important to remember our brothers and sisters in China.
Prayer for the Morning (written by Metropolitan Philaret)
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Prayer for the Holy Spirit's Guidance
Gracious God, Send your Holy Spirit to deepen my worship life. Open my heart to the gifts and cultures which surround my church. Open my heart to the people who are different from me. In Jesus' name, I pray.
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.
Paul's First Journey
Acts 13:36-43 (NIV)
Paul's Sermon in Antioch in Pisidia 
"Now when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul and Barnabas have traveled, via Cyprus, from the great city of Antioch to a town of the same name in Pisidia, a district of south-central Anatolia. (See Daily Devotional's map of Paul and Barnabas' mission.) This is Paul's first great missionary trip and, after being asked to speak by the local synagogue (who had apparently heard of them), Paul launches into a presentation of the good news. As with most conversion sermons to Jews, he began with a history of the Hebrews; today, he gets to the meat of his message.
David (who was much revered), when he had served God's purpose, died, and his body returned to the earth. But now Christ has come and defeated death. His body did not decay, but returned to life and walked the earth, for a period, before he was gathered up to heaven.
We don't often think about what happened to Christ's body, but the Bible is clear that he was resurrected physically. Remember, when people (the accounts differ somewhat at to who it was) went to his tomb, it was empty; God did not simply give Christ's spirit life after death, but showed in his great power that he had created Christ's body, and he could give it life as he willed. Thomas put his fingers into the wounds in Christ's hands and side.
Now, God has begun to do the same thing for humanity that he did for Christ. The body of the world's population has begun to receive the Holy Spirit during their life, and it is spreading, as Christ spread it during his lifetime on earth, through physical transmission of the word. As Christ himself traveled through Judea in the few years of his ministry on earth, Paul has begun to travel in ever-widening circles throughout the world, witnessing to all that it is not God, but sin, who has declared death; and that through Christ's sacrifice and grace, the sin which we have accepted can be driven out, so that we might not die, just as Christ did not die.