Daily Devotion for July 20, 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.
Cecilia Bartoli sings "Domine Deus" from Vivaldi's Gloria. Angelic!
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.
For those in the Armed Forces
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
Until We Meet Again
Though this life may be gone in a week or today, you will forever be alive in the hearts of those who love you & will live forever in heaven, until we see each other again in the presence of our Holy God and Savior Jesus.
~ Kodee Williams
Paul's Second Journey
Acts 18:9-17 (CEB)
Paul in Corinth 
One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, "Don't be afraid. Continue speaking. Don't be silent. I'm with you and no one who attacks you will harm you, for I have many people in this city." So he stayed there for eighteen months, teaching God's word among them.
Now when Gallio was the governor of the province of Achaia, the Jews united in their opposition against Paul and brought him before the court. "This man is persuading others to worship God unlawfully," they declared.
Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, "If there had been some sort of injury or criminal behavior, I would have reason to accept your complaint. However, since these are squabbles about a message, names, and your own Law, deal with them yourselves. I have no desire to sit in judgment over such things."
He expelled them from the court, but everyone seized Sosthenes, the synagogue leader, and gave him a beating in the presence of the governor. None of this mattered to Gallio.
Notes on the Scripture
Today's lesson hints at the size and importance of Corinth. It had been a great city-state in Greece for hundreds of years before the Roman conquest, and it would become home to one of the great churches of antiquity.
Note that, at this time, Roman attitudes towards Christianity and other religions in Roman colonies had not changed since the crucifixion. Basically, they could not have cared less. Rome's attitude towards its gods was that they should be appeased to help Rome; conquered peoples could believe whatever and worship whomever they pleased. It was unconcerned with a deviant little Jewish sect, which had not shown any inclination to dabble in politics.
Of course, this will change. Paul has not yet gone to Rome!
It was during this period, while Paul was in Corinth, that Paul wrote the first epistles that appear in the Bible, two long letters to the little church in Thessalonia (Thessalonians 1 and 2). The chronology of the New Testament is a bit out of whack after the Gospels; all of Paul's epistles (and probably the non-Pauline epistles) were written during the time period of the Book of Acts, and they do not appear in order of when they were written.