June 23 Devotional
Opening Prayer: Lord God, how our hearts long for more of you; for more love, for more power, for more depth and quality in our relationship with you and in our relationships with those in our lives and world. For too long we have been content with less than what you desire for us. May that never be the case again. O God, let us drop all our guards and our pretenses and let us come face-to-face with you, the Lover of our souls. May we know your love that surpasses knowledge and be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Amen.
Scripture: John 17:20-23
Journal: What does it mean to live your life in God? What would that look like?
Reflection: God wants more for us. Yep, you read that right - for us. It is easy to believe that God wants more of us and from us, which are both true. But ultimately God also wants more for us. It’s as simple as that. And the main thing God wants for us is intimate union with himself. God wants us to live in him. It’s all over the pages of scripture; look no further than the upper room discourse (chapters 14-17 of John) to see exactly what I’m talking about:
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me...” (John 14:10-11)
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4)
Now remain in my love. (John 15:9)
...that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one; I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:21-23)
As Thomas Merton so beautifully pointed out in Thoughts in Solitude, God’s desire is not that we live merely for him, or even with him, but to live in him. That is the kind of relationship he most desires with each of us. Anything short of that is settling for less than what God created us for. So let us not stop short of God’s deepest desire. Let us always press on for more - to live our lives in him. Let us live in loving, intimate union with he who made us for himself. Let us live in the abundance of his great affection. After all, that’s what union with him is really all about.
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
T recently left a career in engineering to join SEED Company (an affiliate organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators) in their mission to promote and accelerate Bible translation that is being done by indigenous churches and organizations in their home countries. As a Field Coordinator T seeks to form and foster relationships with these partners by acting as a liaison between them and SEED Company. The vision of SEED Company is to see God’s Word available in languages where it currently is not. Pray today for T, L and their family. Pray also for T as he works on a proposal for a continuation of a project in India’s largest state that currently has 12 different languages.
Habitat for Humanity builds and sells single-family homes to qualified low and very-low income families by developing partnerships with businesses, organizations, churches, foundations and individuals who help build the homes. Pray today for the new homeowners who have recently moved into homes built during the April Blitz.
Closing Prayer: O God, may we always live in the abundance of your great affection. Through Christ. Amen.