Daily Devotion for August 16, 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 NBB and Fairfield Four team up on Roll Jordan Roll in the old style.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for all that I have. Even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe. Let me never take for granted these gifts of life, oh Lord, but always remember that they come from you; without you, no man could make the sun shine or the tree bear its fruit. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. In the name of Christ I pray,
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
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.)
Give These Gifts
To your opponent . . .tolerance,
To a friend . . . your heart,
To a customer . . . service,
To all men . . .charity,
To every child . . . a good example,
To yourself . . .respect.
Acts 23:6-10 (NKJV)
Paul Before the Sanhedrin 
But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!"
And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection — and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.
Then there arose a loud outcry. And the scribes of the Pharisees' party arose and protested, saying, "We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God."
Now when there arose a great dissension, the commander, fearing lest Paul might be pulled to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.
Notes on the Scripture
The Sadducees were the conservative sect that we would associate with ancient Hebrews. Theirs was the Judaism of priests, emphasizing sacrifice of animals. The Pharisees were the sect which we would recognize as modern Judaism. They believed in heaven and hell, taught some degree of pre-Christian forgiveness, and were attuned to reading and learning. They had been struggling for dominance among the Hebrews for centuries.
Oddly, the conservative Sadducees tended to be stronger in urban areas, probably because they were so aligned with the Temple of Jerusalem. Many of the high priests were Sadducees.
Paul was always clever about handling men and certainly understood divisiveness. Here, finding himself in trouble with the high priest Ananais ben Nebedeus, he instantly realizes how he can keep from being condemned and punished by the Sanhedrin: get them arguing among themselves.
He doesn't lie about his belief in Christ; he simply doesn't choose to volunteer the information at this specific time. The Sanhedrin doesn't really know much about him, and when he states his sympathy with the Pharisees and says that he is being persecuted for his belief in resurrection of the dead — which is certainly true — the Pharisees jump to his defense.
And so, the Roman commander, who has just rescued Paul from a disruptive mob, must now rescue him from a disruptive Sanhedrin.