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Daily Devotion for August 11, 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.
Wow! Faith Hill really hits the mark with this rendition of "Peace in the Valley".
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.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
Acts 21:37-40, 22:1 (NIV)
Paul Speaks to the Mob in Jerusalem
As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, "May I say something to you?"
"Do you speak Greek?" he replied. "Aren't you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wilderness some time ago?"
Paul answered, "I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people."
After receiving the commander's permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic: "Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you." And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even more quiet.
Notes on the Scripture
The ignorance of the commander is so startling it is humorous. Not only does he think Paul is Moses, but he also calls Moses a "terrorist". Then we discover that the crowd is similarly ignorant, for they are surprised to hear Paul speaking Aramaic, the everyday language of the Hebrews.
The commander has arrested, and the crowd have tried to kill, a man they know nothing about. Where the truth is not known, hysteria and ignorant prejudice rule.
We, as Christians, face the same problem today. Anybody can call himself a "Christian"; the media love to broadcast ridiculous and even repugnant quotes and actions by people calling themselves Christian. Members of a Kansas church frequently picket funerals — such as the funerals of the people killed in the Arizona shooting of Congresswoman Garbielle Giffords, where they carried signs reading "THANK GOD FOR THE SHOOTER -- 6 DEAD!". Some celebrities, such as Bill Maher, make a specialty of degrading Christ by picking out these incidents.
People are driven away from Christ, become less willing to hear the Gospel, when their ears are saturated by such news. And who can blame them? But when they know the truth, they are like the commander and crowd when they hear Paul speak. Simply knowing that Paul speaks Aramaic quiets the crowd down. Truth defeats mob ignorance.
Christ told us "let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) We are responsible for telling the world about true Christian belief and the good works that have been done in Christ's name. This very day, untold charitable works are being done by Christians all over the world. We must not shrink from telling them; it is not bragging. It is something that Christ himself instructed us to do.