Daily Devotion for May 1, 2012
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.
A Christian hymn composed by William R. Featherston in 1846. This rendition is by the Sharon Singers of the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute.
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.
Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.
~ Will Rogers
1 Peter 1:1-2 (ESV)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Notes on the Scripture
We have spent so much time on the writings of Paul and the four Evangelists, it seemed like a good idea to study the works of the other great founder of the Church, St. Peter. Peter was not a prolific writer, nor was he a great traveler like Paul, and he left us only two short epistles by his hand — 1 and 2 Peter. There is evidence, however, that the Gospel of Mark was partly the work of Peter; and indeed, it is hard to imagine how the eyewitness accounts of Mark could have been written without the knowledge of one of the early apostles.
Simon Peter is always listed first among the apostles, and at many times he seems to act as their leader, or "first among equals". He was made special by the commission of Christ himself, for Christ told Peter that he was the "rock" upon which Christ would found his church. The Catholic Church puts great emphasis on this and teaches that Peter was the first Pope, with special powers to forgive sin as Christ's representative. In fact, after Christ, Peter is the most important person in Catholic religious history. While Peter does not have quite the same status in Protestant churches -- most Protestants believe that grace comes directly from the relationship of the individual to God -- his position as first among the apostles and (with Paul) the great founder of Christian churches gives him a special place among Protestants, also.
Peter was known primarily for his work with Jews, while Paul was more responsible for the conversion and leadership of Gentiles. Peter stayed in Jerusalem while Paul made his journeys and seemed to head the Council of Jerusalem, the center of Christianity. The Bible does not tell us what became of him thereafter, but there is strong evidence he later became the Bishop of Antioch and then traveled to Rome, where he became the first Bishop of Rome. We know that he was crucified; legend tells us that he was crucified upside down, as he did not think himself worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus.
At the start of this epistle, Peter appears to be addressing the Jews who were evicted from Rome by Nero in 64 A.D., which would have put him in his 80s. These would have been members of the great church he had built up in Rome, in exile, and so people that Peter would have considered part of his congregation. The five areas mentioned are all regions in modern-day Turkey.