July 15 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we always know that before anything else you want our love. You desire us to love you with everything in our being. You desire us to love you above and beyond anything else in all creation. And you want that love for you to determine everything else that we do. Help us to hear (Hear, O Israel) and heed your call today. Amen. 

Scripture: Mark 12:28-34

Journal: What do the words of Jesus do within you this day? How do they capture you? How do they inspire you? How do they disrupt you? How do they challenge you? What does it mean to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength? How does that enable you to love your neighbor as yourself?

Reflection: There is a secret place. A radiant sanctuary. As real as your own kitchen. More real than that. Constructed of the purest elements. Overflowing with the ten thousand beautiful things. Worlds within worlds. Forests, rivers. Velvet coverlets thrown over featherbeds, fountains bubbling beneath a canopy of stars. Bountiful forests, universal libraries. A wine cellar offering an intoxication so sweet you will never be sober again. A clarity so complete you will never again forget. This magnificent refuge is inside you. Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway… Believe the incredible truth that the Beloved has chosen for his dwelling place the core of your own being because that is the single most beautiful place in all of creation. - Teresa of Avila

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Heath and Angela Many are now serving at Tenwek Hospital, a Christian mission hospital in rural Kenya, as medical missionaries in their respective fields (surgery and obstetrics/gynecology). Pray today for Angela who has recently taken on the responsiblity of being the visiting staff coordinator. Pray also for Heath who is planning another surgical trip to South Sudan for late July. Please pray that all of the logistics of travel, equipment, and medicines can fall into place in time for the trip.

The Philadelphians Prison Ministry has been ministering in Tennessee prisons for 27+ years. Its purpose is to change the thinking of a prisoner through the power and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is done through strong Bible teaching with praise and worship services, weekly in-prison group meetings, the HELP program, and a transitional housing program, the HELP House, in Knoxville. Christian ministry counseling is given to inmates’ loved ones, the “silent victims” of crime. Pray today for the inmates that this ministry is reaching.

Closing Prayer: O God, you love us with a wild, passionate, unfailing love, and you ask that we love you with the same. Give us the grace and the courage and the strength to do just that. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.