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Daily Devotion for August 25, 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
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
Prayer of Praise (from Psalm 86)
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done. All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.
For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name forever.
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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.)
There is enough time in every day to do God's work, for if we do not think we have the time, He will give it to us.
Acts 25:23-27 (ESV)
Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice 
So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in.
And Festus said, "King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him.
But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him."
Notes on the Scripture
Today, Festus shows his political and diplomatic skills. As the Emperor's representative, he cannot delegate his authority over a Roman citizen, even to King Agrippa; for Festus represents Rome, while Agrippa's formal position is a client king, subordinate to Rome.
On the other hand, Agrippa and his sister Bernice have enormous personal influence in Rome. They are allies of the Emperor and are not to be trifled with.
Festus thus cannot allow them to sit in judgment of a Roman citizen, but neither can he refuse to let them examine Paul. He solves his predicament by casting the hearing as an examination or investigation, the purpose of which is to develop a document that he can send to Rome explaining why Paul is on trial. In other words, he asks for Agrippa's help in clarifying the charges against Paul. This way, he cleverly manages not to offend Agrippa's pride, and at the same time, does not undermine his own authority.
He also makes sure that Agrippa knows Paul has appealed to Rome; this warns Agrippa not to make a judgment, which would become an embarrassment when Festus refused to carry it out, as he would have to do.