Daily Devotion for September 6, 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.
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring sung in the original German.
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,
Prayer for Those Who Have Turned Away
Grant, O Lord, peace, love and speedy reconciliation to your people whom You have redeemed with your precious blood. Make your presence known to those who have turned away from You and do not seek You, so that none of them may be lost, but all may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, so that everyone, in true love and harmony, O long-suffering Lord, may praise your all holy Name.
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.)
The Ancient Appian Way as it appears today.
"These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. There were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.
Money is no substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have."~ Morrie (from Tuesdays with Morrie)
Acts 28:11-16 (NKJV)
Paul's Arrival in Rome
After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island. And landing at Syracuse, we stayed three days. From there we circled round and reached Rhegium.
And after one day the south wind blew; and the next day we came to Puteoli, where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome. And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.
Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul and his company have found an Egyptian grain ship which tried to do what they themselves had tried — to make one last run before the winter storms started — only were quite a bit luckier (or smarter) to lay over in Malta. Its name, the "Twin Brothers", refers to Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
In the first century, the port of Puteoli (today called "Pozzuoli"), situated on the Bay of Naples ten miles from the City of Naples, was the regular terminus for Egyptian trade. It was the second most important port in all of Italy (after Ostia, which was the port of the City of Rome) since it received so much of the grain Rome needed to survive. The famous Appian Way ran straight to Rome, 170 miles distant. It is a tribute to Roman engineering that cars still drive upon it today!
Paul is put under house arrest. One can only imagine that the commander of the guard might have spoken well of him to the authorities when they arrived in Rome. But it is a most fortunate circumstance, as it will allow Paul to continue his mission in the world's greatest city.
In fact, in his Epistle to the Romans, Paul stated that it had been his intention (for many years) to go next to Rome and help the church there, which had grown without the needed guidance of one of the apostles. It is entirely possible that he manipulated the entire situation in Judea, or at least laughed up his sleeve, when his punishment turned out to be the exact thing he most wanted!