May 20 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Lord, deliver me from the small loyalties of habit or tradition that would keep me from larger loyalties of the spirit. Let me so incline myself to you that your presence in my life determines both what I think and what I do. Through Jesus, who understood the deeper meaning of freedom. Amen. (A Devotional Guide to the Gospels by John Killinger)

Scripture: Acts 1:6-11

Journal: What is the relationship between being empowered and being sent? Shouldn’t the two of these always go hand-in-hand? What is your sense of being empowered by God to do his work? What does this look like?

Reflection: Transformation and intimacy both cry out for ministry. We are led through the furnace of God’s purity not just for our own sake but also for the sake of others. We are drawn up into the bosom of God’s love not merely to experience acceptance but also so we can give His love to others.

The world writhes under the pain of its arrogance and self-sufficiency. We can make a difference, if we will.

In earlier days, we tried to serve out of our spiritual bankruptcy, and we failed. We now know that ministry must flow out of abundance. 

Bernard of Clairvaux writes, “If then you are wise, you will show yourself rather as a reservoir than a canal. For a canal spreads abroad water as it receives it, but a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing, and thus communicates, without loss to itself, its superabundant water. In the Church at the present day, we have many canals, few reservoirs.” We have determined to be reservoirs. (Prayer by Richard J. Foster) 

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Tim and Barbie K. are currently working to translate the Bible into the “Makori” language. Their goal is to see a “Makori” church effectively using its own translation. Pray today for Tim, as he proofreads across Gospels, to make good suggestions to the team and for Barbie, as she proofreads the Arabic script version, for alertness to problems. Pray also for their safety during a difficult period of unrest in their region.

A Hand Up For Women, Knox County Christian Women’s Job Corps, strives to be a source of hope to women with the desire and motivation to lead a more self-sufficient life. Pray for the women reached by this ministry that they may understand the love of Jesus. 

Closing Prayer: Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures. I wish no more than this, O Lord. 

Into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,

for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands,

without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father. - Charles de Foucald