Daily Devotion for June 29, 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
You are ushering in another day, untouched and freshly new, So here I come to ask You God if You'll renew me too?
Forgive the many errors, that I made yesterday, And let me try again dear God, to walk closer in Thy way.
But Father, I am well aware, I can't make it on my own. So take my hand and hold it tight, for I can't walk alone.
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples. Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love. and that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation; Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
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.
But a just weight is His delight.
Paul's First Journey
Acts 14:8-13 (NKJV)
Idolatry at Lystra
And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked.
This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked.
Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.
Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.
Notes on the Scripture
Don't you wish you could have seen this? It must have been hilarious. Paul has just healed a man in the name of Christ as a testimony to Christ's divinity, to bring people to the one true God, and instead, they begin yelling and screaming that the disciples are pagan gods come to earth. You can just imagine Paul and Barnabas sputtering and trying to yell over the crowd to stop, that they weren't gods, etc.
And the funniest part is that they start calling Barnabas "Zeus", and Paul, "Hermes". Don't you just have to wonder if Paul was the tiniest bit miffed? Not only was he called a pagan god, but the god chosen for him was Barnabas' subordinate!
The incident illustrates how important it is for us to testify and give witness to our belief in God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Things are going to happen in life that people do not understand, and people, when they see them, are going to invent something to explain them. In fact, people invent supernatural entities or rituals for even normal phenomena, such as rain or removing warts.
If they do not know the truth about God and Christ, they are going to substitute a false god or gods. Although sin is in our nature, it is also in our nature to seek God. We do not need evidence of His existence; we grow towards Him like a tulip grows towards the sun in the spring.
The tulip analogy brings to mind Christ's parable of the seed that was sown in rocks, and in tares, and on fertile soil. If people do not know the truth, then the seed of their faith can fall anywhere; often a person's most important beliefs are practically accidental. Anyone who has read the Bible, and accepted Christ, should be ready at least to let others know where the fertile soil can be found.