July 14 Devotional
Opening Prayer: Dear Jesus, I ask you to come and lead me on this journey for my heart and for yours. Be my Guide, and help me recover the lost life of my heart. When I am confused, grant me clarity and insight. When I am fearful and tempted to give up or check out, grant me courage to press on. When I am impatient or distracted, bring me back to what matters most. When I am hurting, comfort me. But in all, I pray you to restore me to fullness of the heart you set within me. In your name I pray. Amen. (The Sacred Romance Workbook by John Eldredge)
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:9-13
Journal: What are the things that have captured your heart? How are you giving yourselves to those things? How has God captured your heart? How aware are you of the “eternity” he has placed in your heart? How are you giving yourself to him these days?
Reflection: For the child, newborn, is a natural spy. Only his inherent limitations impede him from consuming all the clues of the universe fitted to his perceiving capacities. Sent here with the mission of finding the meaning buried in matter, of locating the central intelligence, he goes about his business briskly, devouring every detail within his developing grasp. He is devoted to discovery, resists sleep in order to consume more data. Never again will he seek to unearth the treasure buried in the field with such single-mindedness. He has to learn the world from scratch, but the task seems nothing but a joy. Yet gradually, over time, something goes wrong.
The spy slowly begins to forget his mission. He spends so much time and effort learning the language, adopting the habits and customs, internalizing the thought patterns flawlessly, that somehow, gradually, imperceptibly, he becomes his cover. He forgets what he’s about. He goes to school, grows up. He gets a job, collects his pay, buys a house, waters the lawn. He settles down and settles in. He wakes up each morning with the shape of his mission, what brought him here in the first place, grown hazier, like a dream that slides quickly away. He frowns and makes an effort to remember. But the phone rings or the baby cries, and he is distracted for the rest of the day. Perhaps he forms a resolution to remember; still he seems helpless to keep the shape, the color of his mission clear in his mind. Then one morning he wakes up and only yawns. It must be there somewhere, buried in the brain cells, but at least superficially the memory is erased. The spy goes native. (And the Tress Clap Their Hands by Virginia Stem Owens)
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Josh and Jenny M. are working with the RAK Church Plant in the United Arab Emirates. The RAK Evangelical Church has now been formally constituted as a church with about 40 members. They continue raising funds for the building on the land the Lord has provided. By God’s grace, they hope to break ground on the building later this year. Pray for their patience as they continue to raise funds.
PALM (Preparing Arab-World Leaders for Ministry) is Arab World Media’s discipleship and theological training ministry. It provides high quality leadership and discipleship training materials in Arabic, Kabyle and French. It is an excellent way to meet the need for training in leadership and ministry among Muslim background believers throughout North Africa, Middle East and Arabian Peninsula. Our March mission conference guest Belkacem Guermouche works with PALM Algerian. Pray for him today.
Closing Prayer: You, O Lord, set eternity in our hearts and lit the fire of faith deep in our souls. Help us now, we pray, to be all that you created us to be - living expressions of your unbridled creativity and unfailing love. Amen.