July 7 Devotional
Opening Prayer: O God of tender mercies, I know I’ve kept you at arm’s length. I’ve kept you safe in heaven. But heaven has leaned down to the earth and I’ve been touched anew. Like thirsty ground I long for you. Forgive my casualness about your Love. Forgive my shallow life. I am finished with shallowness. I used to pray that I be saved from eternal death, but now I pray to be saved from shallow living. Eternal death? Shallow living? Is there a difference? O God, deliver me from shallow living! (A Tree Full of Angels by Macrina Wiederkehr)
Scripture: John 6:25-35
Journal: How are you working for “food that perishes” these days? What does it mean to you that Jesus is the bread of life? What does it look like to feed on him today?
Reflection: All of us are willing to admit pangs of hunger and feelings of emptiness inside us. We experience half-formed dreams and vague drives for something more than human resources can promise or produce. There is in each of us a dynamic, a mystique or drive that, unless detoured by human selfishness, leads to search for God, whether we know it or not. It is this desire that carries us beyond what we can see into the darkness and obscurity of faith. It is a hunger that can be satisfied in God alone. Obviously, God does not intend to satisfy this desire completely in this world; its function is to draw us closer and closer to God who alone can give us complete satisfaction. This is the truth which St. Augustine discovered, after the discouragement of so many blind alleys: “our hearts were made for you, O God, and they shall not rest until they rest in you.” (A Reason to Live! A Reason to Die! by John Powell)
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
J & M have begun their fourth year of serving in Asia using the platform of micro finance lending to engage in church planting with holistic development. They have sought to be deeply immersed in the language and culture and continue their work with a micro finance company. Pray today for good health for M and their new son to be born this month. They are living temporarily in Knoxville until August. Pray also that their Hindi studies will go well in order to keep their language skills sharp while in the U.S.
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 makeup 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 attend Lonsdale Elementary that they might have a safe, fun summer as they get ready to go back to school next month.
Closing Prayer: O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. (The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer)