Daily Devotion for July 7, 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.
Let the Oak Ridge Boys get your day off with a bang!
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
For our restful sleep at night,
For the rain and sunshine bright,
For the love that Thou dost send,
For our homes and for each friend,
For the day and all its pleasures,
Grateful thanks I render now.
May our lives pass on the blessings,
None can give to us, but Thou.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.~ Martha Washington
Paul's Second Journey
Acts 16:1-5 (CEV)
Timothy Works with Paul and Silas
Paul and Silas went back to Derbe and Lystra, where there was a follower named Timothy. His mother was also a follower. She was Jewish, and his father was Greek.
The Lord's followers in Lystra and Iconium said good things about Timothy, and Paul wanted him to go with them. But Paul first had him circumcised, because all the Jewish people around there knew that Timothy's father was Greek.
As Paul and the others went from city to city, they told the followers what the apostles and leaders in Jerusalem had decided, and they urged them to follow these instructions. The churches became stronger in their faith, and each day more people put their faith in the Lord.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul and Barnabas, having had a disagreement, have separated and gone on separate missions. Paul is traveling by land, accompanied by Silas, an elder from the church in Jerusalem. But although he takes a land route rather than sailing, Paul returns to three of the towns where he and Barnabas founded churches during his first journey. (See Daily Devotional map of Paul and Barnabas' Mission.)
This, the first leg of the journey through Syria and Cilicia, would have been comparatively easy. Paul's home, Tarsus, was located in Cilicia halfway between Antioch and Derbe. A straight journey would have been about 350 miles, but they wandered from town to town along the way, and they apparently stayed in a number of towns to make new converts and encourage old ones.
Having reached Lystra, Paul meets Timothy, who will become his faithful companion and scribe. According to Jewish law, one was considered a Jew by birth if his mother was Jewish. Thus, Timothy is a Jew, but for some reason he had not been circumcised. Paul has the circumcision performed.
Despite the edict of the counsel of Jerusalem and the teachings in Antioch, there must have still been some skepticism about accepting Gentiles into Christian churches. Lystra and Derbe were small and comparatively unsophisticated agricultural towns, and they had large Jewish populations which probably dominated the little churches there. So although they had been told to accept Gentiles, still, individual members would have been more comfortable with other Jewish converts.
Moreover, since Paul intends to travel to new areas, preaching in synagogues, it was probably prudent that his company be as Jewish as possible. He could not have brought a Gentile into a synagogue with him, and if he had been suspected of traveling and eating with a Gentile, it would have seriously alienated a Jewish community right off the bat. So Paul removes any doubt about Timothy.