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Daily Devotion for August 10, 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.
--How amiable is thy dwelling,
O Lord of hosts!
--My soul longs, yes, even faints
for the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
--Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:
they will be always praising thee.
Prayer for the Morning
You are ushering in another day, untouched and freshly new, So here I come to ask You God if You'll renew me too?
Forgive the many errors, that I made yesterday, And let me try again dear God, to walk closer in Thy way.
But Father, I am well aware, I can't make it on my own. So take my hand and hold it tight, for I can't walk alone.
Prayer to Live Christ's Word
Gracious God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as your child.
Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to you, O God. I commit myself to your call to discipleship: to pray, study your Word, worship you, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me. This I pray in Jesus' name.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
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.)
~ Dr. Henry Brandt
Acts 21:31-36 (NIV)
Paul Saved from the Mob and Arrested
While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done.
Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. The crowd that followed kept shouting, "Get rid of him!"
Notes on the Scripture
Although there were many evils in the Roman Empire, it did keep "law and order" in its colonies, at a time when the world was often lawless and chaotic. The Roman commander in Jerusalem will not allow mob violence and thus saves Paul's life. But this is no guarantee of safety. Paul will still face trial for whatever he has done to cause the uproar.
There are both similarities and differences in the lives of Paul and Jesus. In this case, Paul, like Jesus, has been arrested in Jerusalem at the behest of the locals, because of his heretical preaching, and could be punished even if he has not broken Roman law.
But Jesus was condemned by the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Judaism; Paul is simply the target of a mob. Also, there will be a great difference in how they are treated, because Paul is a Roman citizen and Jesus was not.
Like Jesus, Paul has traveled to Jerusalem knowing that he will be arrested. As we saw earlier in Acts 21, a man named Asabus dramatically prophesied that Paul would be arrested and turned over to the Romans.
And also, one gets the feeling from Acts that Paul's return to Jerusalem, after an absence of 30 years, is some sort of bookend to his ministry. Possibly he knows that he is coming to the end of his journey. Perhaps he is simply weary of founding and building new churches all over the world and is ready for something different.
Unlike Jesus, however, Paul will not be crucified in Jerusalem — again, because he is a Roman citizen.
Ravenna, Italy, @ 500 AD
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