Daily Devotion for July 12, 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.
When I saw this, I just had to share it. Four actresses in the 1950s formed a group called "The Hollywood Christians". It is a bit preposterous -- Jane Russell singing gospel! -- but the feeling is very real despite the 1950s pop music sound.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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 the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.
Paul's Second Journey
Paul and Silas Released from Prison
Acts 16:35-40 (NIV)
When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: "Release those men." The jailer told Paul, "The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace."
But Paul said to the officers: "They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out."
The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them.
Then they left.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul's bit of pridefulness shows through again here. You can almost hear him saying, "They can't treat me like this. I'm a Roman citizen!" And indeed, both he and Silas have been treated incorrectly, as if they are a couple of Jews of no account rather than citizens.
The important character in all of this is Lydia, who is barely mentioned. Unlike the other cities of Macedonia, Philippi will have a house, courtesy of Lydia, to serve as a center of worship and meeting, and she herself no doubt would keep it ready to receive converts.
It is fortunate that Philippi will have such a solid church, because it is the center of a large district. The Roman Province of Macedonia was much larger than one thinks of it today. Due to the lasting effects of Alexander the Great, it included nearly all of Greece except the Peloponnesian peninsula, and all or parts of modern-day Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Serbia. Founding an active and continuing church in Philippi was critical for the spread of Christianity to the north.
If you are interested in reading more about Lydia, there is a long article about her in our Women of the Bible series, which we have recently begun.