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Daily Devotion for August 9, 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.
The MTC really captures the beauty of this old English hymn.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray to you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.
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.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
And delivered me from all my fears.
Acts 21:27-30 (ESV)
Paul Attacked in the Temple
When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place.
Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place." For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.
Notes on the Scripture
Yesterday, Paul began the purification ritual for four men who had taken a Nazirite vow. (See Daily Devotional for July 21 to learn something about Nazirite vows.) Paul was not particularly well-known in Jerusalem — he had not been there (or even in Judea) for over twenty years. But several of his enemies had been spreading rumors that he was preaching the abolition of Jewish practices. To scotch this rumor, Paul undertook sponsorship of Nazirite purification for four men, to show he was a practicing and devout Jew.
Of course, the rumors were false; Jewish Christians were free to engage in almost all the rituals of Judaism. And actually, there is nothing in the Bible that would prevent modern Christians from engaging in most Jewish practices. Some churches, such as the Seventh Day Adventists (who keep the Jewish Sabbath), retain Jewish customs, and many Christians celebrate Passover and even hold Seder services, which they sometimes combine with commemoration of the Last Supper.
So Paul demonstrates, in effect, that Christ did not come to abolish the law. But it is futile. He has made dedicated enemies in his travels, and one group of them — Jews from Roman Asia (western Anatolia) — have come to Jerusalem. The Nazirite purification is a seven-day process, time enough for these Jews to hear that Paul is in the Temple.
They immediately incite a crowd against him. They spread the falsehood that Paul is bringing Gentiles into the Temple, and an angry mob drags him from the Temple!