August 10 Devotional

Opening Prayer:  Dear Jesus, Help me to realize the many voices of hunger, the many sounds of thirst, the many cries of loneliness, the many callings of sickness and nakedness and imprisonment. Help me to hear in all of them something of You calling to me to become more than I am. More understanding. More compassionate. More involved. More like You. (Reflections on the Word by Ken Gire)

Scripture: Matthew 15:32-39

Journal: Where do you find yourself in the scripture today? How is compassion showing itself in your life these days? What opportunities do you have regularly to show compassion? 

Reflection: One of the ways Christ said He speaks to us is through those who are hungry and thirsty, through those who are strangers and those who need clothes, through those who are sick and in prison. And what does He say to us through them?

“Please give me something to eat.”

“I’m so thirsty.”

“I’m so very lonely. Please stay a while and talk with me.”

“Please don’t stare. I’m embarrassed enough as it is.”

“Please don’t be afraid of me. I’m sick, that’s all. And I need help.”

“I am isolated from everyone in this prison. Please come and visit me.”

Just as there are needy people on the street, there are needy people at the office...the factory...in the classroom...and at home.

“I am hungry,” they are saying, and maybe what they are hungry for is just a crust of human kindness.

“I am thirsty,” they are saying, and maybe what they are thirsty for is someone who will refresh them with a smile or a pat on the back or an e-mail of encouragement.

“I am lonely,” they are saying, and maybe what they are lonely for is someone who will befriend them, understand them, have lunch with them, and listen to them.

Behind all of those voices of hunger and thirst, of loneliness and nakedness, of sickness and imprisonment, behind all of those voices is His voice calling us out of ourselves to Himself. (Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Ron and Amy Barber have been living near Auckland, New Zealand where Ron has been teaching church planting, cultural anthropology and global theology at Eastwest College of Intercultural Studies. Pray today for the Barbers as they travel to the U.S. in September to begin a transition to move and begin work in a similar position at IGSL in the Philippines.

The Bible Society of Egypt is the largest Arabic Bible publishing operation in the world. They are publishing the Scriptures in a variety of formats and media (print, audio, visual), with each product designed for a particular social, economic, age, and cultural interest group. Pray today for the staff as they perform the day to day tasks required to publish the Bibles.

Closing Prayer: Go forth now as God’s servant. Remember God’s presence often and draw strength from the knowledge that the One who calls and sends also sustains. Amen. (A Guide to Prayer by Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck)