August 20 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Father of all humanity, you call your children to walk in the light of Christ. Free us from darkness and keep us forever in the radiance of your truth, until we come at last to live with you on high. We pray this in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (The Little Book of Hours)

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:17

Journal: What is the life the Lord has assigned to you? What does it look like to live that life with intention and purpose?

Reflection: More recently I’m beginning to understand that, in my life with God, the word discipline means the endeavor to create space in my life in which God can act. Discipline means being intentional about preventing everything in my life from being filled up. The diligent watchfulness guards my soul from intrusions that crowd out God.

Marking off space for God to be at work is a challenge because God likes doing things with me that I hadn’t counted on. He likes to decide the agenda rather than docilely going along with my carefully scripted list of activities. If I leave God too little space, the desires God has for me and for our time together simply don’t happen. This is the why of solitude with God. I simply make room for God to do what only God is able to do. Yet the excuses I make (to myself and to others) for not making this space are endless. Why would I want to cheat myself out of God’s deepest longing for me? Is it because I don’t trust God? Is it because I’m addicted to being in charge? Is it because I’m simply afraid to let go and rest in the silence of God’s presence?

If I am ever to enjoy a rhythm of solitude and silence, I will always need to exert some effort. However, the effort is not to be building outwardly but to protect that little cell of my heart, the part of me where God and I get to be together - to protect it and then to find the solitude where God will enter and spend time with me. (Running on Empty by Fil Anderson)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Michael and Kim Essenburg served for many years at Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ), a school for missionary children (40% of student body) and children of business and professional people (60% of student body) that is located in Tokyo. They have recently moved to Okinawa to serve at Okinawa Christian School. Please pray for them as they get settled and prepare for the new school year.

Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ, is a campus organization that seeks to share the gospel with students through relationships, small group studies and larger events like retreats and mission trips. John Strange leads Cru at the University of Kentucky. Pray for today for the staff of Cru on this campus as they prepare to welcome students for the fall semester.

Closing Prayer: O Jesus, our redemption, love, and desire, may your love constrain you to pass over our evils, sparing us, and having answered our prayer, may you satisfy us with your face. Amen. (The Little Book of Hours).