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June 15 Devotional

Opening Prayer: O Lord, our heavenly Father, thank you that when you see us coming your direction your heart skips a beat within you. Thank you that it brings a smile to your lips and deep joy to your heart. Thank you that your heart is so full of love that it will not allow your feet to be still, but that you run to meet us. And thank you that when you finally get to us, you wrap your arms of affection around us, embrace with your love, and kiss us. If we ever doubt the way that you feel about us, we need to look no further than this picture. Thank you that you love us so much. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Scripture: Luke 15:11-32

Journal: Where do you see yourself in this story? What is God trying to say to you about your own story? About the story he is longing to write in you? What is he trying to say to you about his immense affection for you?

Reflection: Of the six million species on the planet, only man makes language. Words. What’s more - in evidence of the Divine - we string these symbols together and then write them down, where they take on a life of their own and breathe outside of us. Story is the bandage of the broken. Sutures of the shattered. The tapestry upon which we write our lives. Upon which we lay the bodies of the dying and the about-to-come-to-life. And if it’s honest, true, hiding nothing, revealing all, then it is a raging river and those who ride it find they have something to give - that they are not yet empty.

Critics cry foul, claiming the tongue is a bloody butcher that blasphemes, slices, slanders, and damns - leaving scars, carnage, the broken the beaten. Admittedly, story is a double-edged scimitar, but the fault lies not in the word but in the hand that wields the pen. Not all stories spew, cower, and retreat. Some storm the castle. Rush in. Stand between. Wrap their arms around. Spill secrets. Share their shame. Return. Stories birth our dreams and feed the one thing that never dies. (Unwritten by Charles Martin)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

J & F live and work in one of the poorest and most heavily populated states in their country. They are seeking to make a difference in this state in both physical and spiritual realms. They have launched a micro-finance business that is creating self-sustaining means of support for churches and church plants as well as continuing to provide funds for the installation of hand pumps to provide clean water to needy areas of the state. Pray for F & S during these months of intense heat and as they travel.

FCA’s vision is to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches. Their mission is to present to athletes and coaches, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church. Pray for all of the FCA leaders in Knoxville and the student athletes during summer break and camps.

Closing Prayer: I am sure that there is in me nothing that could attract the love of One as holy and as pure as You are. Yet You have declared Your unchanging love for me in Christ Jesus. If nothing in me can win Your love, nothing in the universe can prevent You from loving me. Your love is uncaused and undeserved. You are Yourself the reason for the love wherewith I am loved. Help me to believe the intensity, the eternity of the love that has found me. Then love will cast out fear; and my troubled heart will be at peace. Trusting not in what I am but in what You have declared Yourself to be. Amen. (The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer)