Daily Devotion for June 18, 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 God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer to Live Christ's Word
Gracious God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as your child.
Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to you, O God. I commit myself to your call to discipleship: to pray, study your Word, worship you, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me. This I pray in Jesus’ name.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
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.
Psalm 150Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Acts 11:27-30 (ESV)
Prediction of Famine
Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius).
So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
Notes on the Scripture
Agabus is very likely one of the seventy disciples mentioned in Luke 9:1-6 and was known as "Agabus the Prophet". There was, in fact, a terrible famine in Judea during the reign of Emperor Claudius, sometime around 45 A.D., about 15 years after the death of Christ. The event was recorded in numerous Roman histories.
The chronology of Acts after the death of Stephen is jumbled up and a bit misleading, because the events are compressed in time. Stephen's death occurred in 35 A.D., about five years after Christ died. Peter's first mission, to Gaza or Sinai, began a full year later. Saul's conversion occurred the following year (37 A.D.), and Peter's mission to Samaria, and his conversion of Cornelius, around 38 A.D.
Paul (Saul) went to Tarsus in 39 A.D. Barnabas did not travel to Antioch until 43 A.D., where he stayed for about a year. Between the two events, the infamous Roman Emperor Caligula was murdered and Claudius was reluctantly made Emperor by popular acclaim (41 A.D.); Herod Agrippa became the King of Judea around this time.
So Agabus' accurate prediction of famine actually was made roughly one or two years before the historical famine in Judea.