Daily Devotion for September 7, 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 tv show gives us the odd combination of Mahalia Jackson and Dinah Shore!
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 she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
Acts 28:17-22 (ESV)
Paul in Rome
After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them,
"Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. But because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar — though I had no charge to bring against my nation.
For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain."
And they said to him, "We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against."
Notes on the Scripture
Paul wastes no time. Only three days pass in Rome before he calls the local Jewish leaders to visit him. His first purpose, of course, is to prevent them from fomenting hostility towards him. He wants to make sure they hear his side of the story first, lest the authorities in Jerusalem enlist them to persecute him. Remember, a number of Jews in Jerusalem had sworn that they would not eat until they had murdered Paul — their dislike of him was that strong.
Luckily, he is in time. None of them have gotten letters or messengers poisoning their minds against Paul. Christianity, however, has gotten a bad name among them; undoubtedly, angry Jews from Macedonia and possibly Anatolia have visited Rome. Remember, for example, in Acts 17, where a group of Jews from Thessalonica had followed Paul to other cities, trying to suppress and possibly kill him.
And so, wanting more information about "this sect", they ask Paul for his views — which is actually rather funny. Paul is going to tell them, and anyone else who will listen, about Christ, whether they want to hear it or not.