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Daily Devotion for August 14, 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.
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 one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
Acts 22:22-29 (NKJV)
Paul's Roman Citizenship
And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!" Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air, the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?"
When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, "Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman."
Then the commander came and said to him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes."
The commander answered, "With a large sum I obtained this citizenship." And Paul said, "But I was born a citizen."
Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul has just been saved from an angry mob in Jerusalem, by the commander of the Roman garrison, and has made a speech to the mob in his defense. The word Paul has said, in the first sentence, is "Gentiles"; he tells the crowd that God commissioned him to save the Gentiles, and the crowd erupts again. It is a loaded word: a false rumor that Paul was taking Gentiles inside the Temple was what had caused the crowd to attack Paul in the first place.
The glimpse of Roman legal procedure is interesting. Just as in every colonized land in history, Romans are treated differently from colonized peoples. The centurion assumes Paul is like most Jews, simply an inhabitant of Judea, no doubt because he speaks Aramaic and Greek. We learn that binding a citizen without due cause and scourging as a form of examination are not allowed under Roman law.