January 20 Devotional
Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.
Opening Prayer: Lord God, give me open hands and not clenched fists as I walk with you and for you in the midst of this day - that I might be able to live with a true sense of freedom from the need to grasp desperately for love and value from those I come into contact with. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Scripture Reading for the Day: Matthew 6:19-34
Reading for Reflection: Greed is often associated with a ravenous appetite that devours anything within reach—a noisy, uncouth vice. Yet it is more often known in the quietly insistent urge that nudges us from wanting to “needing,” then to grasping what we now “need” so others cannot deprive us of it. Jesus addressed this grasping, clinging mind when he counseled that we cannot serve God and mammon, and Aramaic word denoting ill-gotten gain (Matthew 6:24). “In your minds you must be the same as Jesus Christ: His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God…” (Phil.2:6, JB). The spiritual life is one in which we grow out of the grasping, clinging mind into the mind of Christ. The Christ-mind releases us from our compulsion to associate personal worth with what we have accumulated, taming what nineteenth-century professor Adolphe Gratry calls “the exuberant desire to rise by a borrowed power.” (Editor’s Introduction by John S. Mogabgab, Weavings, November/ December 2005)
Reflection and Listening: silent and written
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Mark and Annemarie Dye are passionate about building Christian leaders to mobilize and equip the African Church for mission in the world. Pray today for this family as they begin their 21st year in Africa that God will continue to give them vision for the future.
Cedar Springs adopted Lonsdale Elementary in 2003. Lonsdale, with more than 400 students PreK through 5th grade, only serves the Lonsdale area. Over the years, the racial make-up of the school, whose students are 100% free lunch qualified, has changed to primarily Hispanic and African-American children. Pray today for the children that CSPC is reaching through their “D.E.A.R. Dinner” (Drop Everything And Read) program at Lonsdale Elementary on Tuesday afternoons. Consider volunteering to help. Contact Alison at 291-5261 to find out how.
Closing Prayer: O Christ my Lord, who for my sake and my brethren’s didst forgo all earthly comfort and fullness, forbid it that I should ever again live unto myself. Amen. (A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie)