July 2 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Lord God, intimacy is about connection, not just proximity. As we come to this time today, O God, help us to truly connect with you in the depths of our being, rather than merely going through the motions. It is you, O Lord, that we seek. Amen.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 131:1-3

Journal: What does the image in this Psalm do within you? How does it speak to your life? To your longings? Is this image a reality, or merely a dream? How can you become like a weaned child with its mother in your relationship with God?

Reflection: In their book The Art of Intimacy, the Malones, a father and son team, make an important distinction between closeness and intimacy.

Closeness, they write, “is a very intense personal awareness of the relationship you have with another.” It’s the feeling we get when we agree with someone, when someone is like us, when we share space and emotional warmth together.

Intimacy is often confused with closeness. We think we’re intimate when we’re close. That may be true, but the desire for closeness may also become a trap. It can gradually force us to deny ourselves (our true selves) and to live a lie in order to maintain the illusion of warmth and togetherness. This produces an unnatural “truce” in which our true passion is sacrificed for the sake of peace.

According to the Malones, intimacy is distinguished from closeness. The word Intimacy is derived from the Latin word intima, meaning “inner” or “innermost,” and carries the idea of being in touch with our inner selves. It does not focus on the feelings of warmth or the awareness of similarity. Intimacy is the art of bringing our true selves into the relationship. (The River Within by Jeff Imbach)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Bill Harding is currently a special representative for SIM in North America. God is using Bill’s gifts and rich experience in Ethiopia as a conference speaker to challenge and reaffirm the priority of world missions. Pray today for preparation of heart and logistics for upcoming meetings in Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Nebraska, New York and Ethiopia.

Knoxville Area Rescue Mission (KARM) provides emergency shelter and food to homeless men and women and offers recovery for those seeking a way out of drug and alcohol abuse. Pray today for CSPC volunteers participating in Come Serve With Us. They will be working with KARM on July 10, 14, 24 and 25. To find out more, go to http://cspc.net/opportunities-to-serve.

Closing Prayer: God, I’m not trying to rule the roost, I don’t want to be king of the mountain. I haven’t meddled where I have no business or fantasized grandiose plans. I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content. Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! - The Message