January 5 Devotional
Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.
Opening Prayer: May those without hope take heart in you, O Christ. May those with no home find shade at your right hand. May those near the end see beginnings; may those at the last become first. At the foot of your cross, O Christ, I come in prayer. O Christ, be my help, O Christ, be my hope. Amen. (Pamela Hawkins, Weavings Volume XXVI, Number 2)
Scripture Reading for the Day: Matthew 7:13-14
Reading for Reflection: The picture of the Lord Jesus as the Door properly belongs to the beginning of the Christian life…But what lies beyond the Door? Scripture could have pictured the Door leading us into a house or a garden. If it had done so, we would have gathered that the Lord Jesus brings us into a static experience of salvation, peace, and holiness, and that once having entered in, we would more or less stay there, enjoying it all without continuous co-operation on our part.
Scripture, however, gives us the picture of the Door leading us, not into a house, but on to a Way. Said the Lord Jesus, “Narrow is the Gate, and straitened the Way that leadeth unto life” (Matthew 7:14 RSV). The Gate opens on to a Way that stretches right ahead. And the Lord Jesus who had said, “I am the Door”, now says, “I am the Way” (John 14:6) that lies beyond the Door. Both Door and Way are the same blessed Person.
Now a Way speaks not of a final settled blessing but rather of a walk, of an experience which is continuous. A walk is simply a reiterated step, where something is happening each moment in the present; after one step, the next step; after the one “now”, the next “now”. This illustrates the fact that our experience of Christ is to be a continuous present tense, a glorious “now”. (We Would See Jesus by Roy and Revel Hession)
Reflection and Listening: silent and written
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Manuel and Annabella Valverde are involved in church planting and leadership training in Guatemala. Dr. Valverde started the Francisco Lacueva Theological Seminary (STFL) in 2012 and they now have 14 students. Pray today for the students in the seminary and the churches where they serve.
Habitat for Humanity builds and sells single-family homes to qualified low and very-low income families by developing partnerships with businesses, organizations, churches, foundations and individuals who help build the homes. Pray today for preparations for a team from Cedar Springs to build a house in 2015.
Closing Prayer: O my God, teach me to seek you, for I cannot seek you unless you teach me, or find you unless you show yourself to me. Let me seek you in my desire, and desire you in my seeking. Let me find you by loving you, let me love you when I find you. (St. Anselm of Canterbury)