Daily Devotion for September 1, 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.
Vivaldi's Gloria is one of the most stirring works of Christian music ever written. I hope even those who don't listen to much classical music will give this a try.
[Tip: If you want to see the music video better, you can click the tiny box in the bottom right-hand corner of the video. This will enlarge the video to fill your screen. To return to normal, just click in the bottom right-hand corner again (or hit the "Esc" button, usually at the top left of a standard computer keyboard).]
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 the righteous will flourish like foliage.
Acts 27:21-26 (NKJV)
Storm at Sea 
But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.'
Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. However, we must run aground on a certain island."
Notes on the Scripture
The grain ship from Lycia, on which Paul is being transported to Rome for trial, is in dire trouble. They are lost in a storm south of Crete and have jettisoned the cargo and ship's tackle. They have practically given themselves up for dead.
Isn't it just like Paul to stand up and say, "I told you so"? Which he does with alacrity. Admittedly, he has good reason, since he needs to gain their confidence so that they will follow him.
If Paul shows a tiny bit of pride from time to time, his best qualities shine forth here. He has the heart of a lion and utter faith, and with it, the ability to lead men into salvation no matter how bad things look. Into their world of despair, he brings a lamp of hope that will not flicker or die.
The story of Paul's shipwreck is steeped in metaphor. The unpredictable and dangerous sea is an allegorical world of men, and the ship is as lost as the souls of men who do not know God. Paul brings them the hope of life at their darkest hour; he will lead the crew to the salvation of land with the total confidence he has shown time and time again, in bringing the people of Greece and Anatolia to the salvation of Christ.