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Daily Devotion for August 17, 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 he who pursues evil will die.
Acts 23:11-16 (NIV)
The Plot to Kill Paul 
The next night the Lord stood near Paul. He said, "Be brave! You have given witness about me in Jerusalem. You must do the same in Rome."
The following morning, the Jews gathered secretly to make plans against Paul. They took an oath that they would not eat or drink anything until they had killed him. More than 40 men took part in this plan.
They went to the chief priests and the elders. They said, "We have taken a strong oath. We have made a special promise to God. We will not eat anything until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the Sanhedrin must make an appeal to the commanding officer. Ask him to bring Paul to you. Pretend you want more facts about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here."
But Paul's nephew heard about this plan. So he went into the fort and told Paul.
Notes on the Scripture
History is replete with groups of men forming sworn cabals to murder a prominent person. (In fact, only a few years earlier, a similar small group of senators had assassinated the horrible Caligula in Rome.)
This group is almost certainly in league with the chief high priest, Ananais (son of Nebedeus), who was known for his nefarious and brutal tactics. (See the Daily Devotional from day before yesterday.) Their primary reason for wanting to murder Paul might not even be his Christian preaching; to save his life, he has taken side with the Pharisees against the Sadduccees.
Paul's nephew, whom we have not met before, seems to have inherited his uncle's wits. He somehow discovers the plot and immediately tells Paul.