Daily Devotion for August 29, 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.
An old hymn done very simply.
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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.)
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
Acts 27:1-7 (NKJV)
Paul's Voyage to Rome Begins
And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia.
Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us. And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care.
When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.
When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.
Notes on the Scripture
Although we call this "Paul's Fourth Journey", it clearly differs from the first three in fundamental ways. It is not entirely voluntary; Paul's only choices are a trial in Jerusalem or a trial in Rome. He is still in custody, a prisoner. He does not have control over his itinerary; he could not choose, for example, to stay in Ephesus for three years. And the primary purpose of the voyage is not to spread Christ's word. He is, rather, being transferred to a different trial venue by the Roman authorities.
He will, however, preach and spread Christ's word to new lands, to people who would not have heard him otherwise. Also, he is, in fact, traveling a long way to a place he has never been, Italia (Italy), easily the farthest he has even been from Judea or Antioch; so most writers think of it as the fourth journey or voyage of Paul. Luckily, Paul seems to be getting lenient treatment from his guard, more like a passenger than a prisoner in chains.
We bump into the difficult term "Asia" again. Technically, Roman Asia was a province in northwest Anatolia (the great landmass of modern Turkey), in the vicinity of Ephesus. That cannot be the meaning here, however; the Roman province of Asia is a long way away and not on the way to Rome. So Asia is used, as a general term, to refer to the land between Judea and Greece.
You can follow his progress on the Daily Devotional Map of Paul's Fourth Voyage.