Daily Devotion for July 15, 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.
Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen
While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee. Amen.
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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The righteous is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked instead.
Paul's Second Journey
Acts 17:16-21 (NKJV)
The Philosophers at Athens
Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.
Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.
And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean."
For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.
Notes on the Scripture
As indicated in the final verse, Athens was still the center of philosophy in 50 A.D.; men gathered outside on a hill called the Areopagus to discuss ideas. It was the most concentrated center of philosophical discussion in the history of the entire world. So Paul has made it into the big time. His walking into the Areopagus of Athens is like a baseball player walking into Yankee Stadium.
Although Epicureanism has come to be associated with overindulgence, in fact, the opposite is true. The Epicureans believed in stringent moderation as one key to perfecting human life. They believed that human beings had souls, which survived their deaths. Although they believed that gods existed, they thought that these gods were not interested in life on earth and certainly would never intervene in earthly affairs.
The Stoics, remarkably, came very close to agreeing with the fundamental truth of John 1:1 -- "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was God." Although they did not call him "God", they believed that the Word, or logos, was not simply a force, but a reasoning person; and they had true morals based on the laws of the Word. But they lacked an essential ingredient: a living relationship with the Word and worship of him as God, which the Jews were given in the Old Testament. They had no life in the spirit, as we call it.
And so, as close as they had come to truth by using their sheer intellect, the Greeks worshipped statues, to which they had ascribed a vast, rich mythology. But intellect cannot find God; as they are to discover, only the spirit can find God.