June 8 Devotional
Opening Prayer: O Lord, our God, challenge us with your word this day. Let us listen to it with the ear of our hearts and wrestle with its truth. Let us submit to it that it may accomplish your purposes within us. Let us take care to heed it, even if it be a hard word, that we may always choose to follow you and thus, have life. Amen. .
Scripture: John 6:48-69
Journal: What hard word has been given to you lately? Are there any hard truths that Jesus has been trying to teach you? What are they? What has your response been?
Reflection: Difficulty either seems to bring out the best or the worst in people. Either they rise to the occasion and meet difficulty with renewed strength, determination, and resolve; or they head for the hills. In this case the difficulty was in the form of a teaching; something that Jesus was saying that sounded pretty outlandish: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”
But why should they think it is so outlandish? In this life we feed on all kinds of things. We feed on success, attention, and affirmation. We feed on position, power, and prestige. We feed on popularity, possessions, and performance. And here Jesus comes along and tells us: “You must feed on me to have any life in you.” And yes, it is a hard teaching. It is hard to turn from all of the people and the things and the places we feed, and turn only to Jesus. It is so hard, in fact, that at times we simply refuse to do it. We hear his call and yet we run off to our old familiar feeding places and gorge ourselves on food that cannot satisfy. For only his flesh is real food and only his blood is real drink - our souls can live on nothing else. What will we do with this hard message today? Will we turn to him? Or will we head for the hills?
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Mostafa and Mona Sharkawy’s main area of work is the U.K., serving among Arab Muslims. Their goals are to see Arabic churches arise from Muslim background believers, to see new generations of leaders from Muslim believers, and to teach and prepare them for future ministry. Pray today for Mostafa who will start his Master of Arts in Theology degree with the Evangelical Presbyterian Seminary in Egypt in September.
The Refugee Ministry at CSPC coordinates the church’s effort of welcoming and offering a holistic ministry to refugees of various cultural and linguistic backgrounds that are arriving in Knoxville. Pray today for the summer ESL camp for refugee children which begins tomorrow! If you can help, even if just for one day, please contact Almaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing Prayer: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. (Isaiah 55:1-3)