August 2 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Help me, Oh God, to listen to what it is that makes my heart glad and to follow where it leads. May joy, not guilt, Your voice, not others, Your will, not my willfulness, be the guides that lead me to my vocation. Help me to unearth the passions of my heart that lie buried in my youth. And can help me to go over that ground again and again until I can hold in my hands, hold and treasure, Your calling on my life. Amen. (Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire)

Scripture: 1 Samuel 3:1-11

Journal: What is God trying to say to you these days? Where is he calling to you? Who is he calling you to be? What is he calling you to do?

Reflection: I wish that I might emphasize how a life becomes simplified when dominated by faithfulness to a few concerns. Too many of us have too many irons in the fire. We get distracted by the intellectual claim to our interest in a thousand and one good things, and before we know it we are pulled and hauled breathlessly along by an over-burdened program of good committees and good undertakings. I am persuaded that this fevered life of church workers is not wholesome. Undertakings get plastered on from the outside because we can’t turn down a friend. Acceptance of service on a weighty committee should really depend upon an answering imperative within us, not merely upon a rational calculation of the factors involved. The concern-oriented life is ordered and organized from within. And we learn to say “No” as well as “Yes” by attending to the guidance of inner responsibility. Inner simplicity needs to be expressed not merely in dress and architecture and the height of tombstones, but also in the structure of a relatively simplified and coordinated life-program of ministry responsibilities. And I am persuaded that concerns introduce that simplification, and along with it that intensification which we need in opposition to the hurried, superficial tendencies of our age. (A Testament of Devotion by Thomas Kelly)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Vitaly and Oksana Voinov live in Moscow, Russia. Vitaly is working with the Institute for Bible Translation (IBT) in Russia/CIS as IBT’s director. IBT has been serving the non-Slavic peoples of the former Soviet Union for four decades by translating the Holy Scriptures - Bibles, New Testaments, individual Bible books, and illustrated Children’s Bibles. Pray today for IBT’s publishing department as they work to juggle several Bible printing projects.

Young Life Tennessee seeks to pursue and befriend lost or disinterested teenagers to introduce them to Jesus, share the gospel, and help them grow in their faith. Pray today for the staff of Young Life in Knoxville as they prepare for school to start back.

Closing Prayer: Speak O Lord, for your servant is listening. Help me to hear your voice and to obey whatever it is that you are calling me to. Amen.