May 22 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Keep me from being an ineffective, ordinary Christian; challenge me to be among those who are ready to fling their lives away for Jesus Christ, to be utterly careless of what happens to me in order that he may be glorified. I pray in his name. Amen. (Jesus Teaches on Prayer by Ray C. Stedman) 

Scripture: Acts 8:26-40

Journal: Who is God calling you to walk alongside these days? How is he calling you to be more like Philip? 

Reflection: The fundamental building blocks of the kingdom are relationships. Not programs, systems, or productivity. But inconvenient, time-consuming, intrusive relationships. The kingdom is built on personal involvements that disrupt schedules and drain energy. When I enter into redemptive relationships with others, I lose much of my “capacity to produce desired results with a minimum expenditure of energy, time, money, or materials.” In short, relationships sabotage my efficiency. A part of me dies. Is this perhaps what our Lord meant when He said we must lay down our lives for each other? (Theirs is the Kingdom by Robert D. Lupton)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

John and Kathy Lesondak are church planters who work across denominational lines in Slovakia to encourage and enable pastors in their work. John founded the Kosice Fine Arts Center in 2013. Kosice was a “Culture Capital City of Europe” for 2013 along with Marseilles, France. Pray today for the young people in the Ukraine who attended recent workshops led by the Lesondaks where they were challenged to be engaged in the cultural mandate to redeem any area of culture that God has brought them into.

Al Massira is an online course for groups to use that presents the Christian faith through a chronological overview of the Bible. It centers the Christian faith in its original Middle Eastern context and includes a variety of integrated activities: viewing the films, open discussion, prayer, food and companionship. Pray today for those just starting the course, that they will find Jesus through it and begin a new life with Him.

Closing Prayer: Loving Father, teach me to love and care for those that need you today. Those who are passed over and do not feel love unless I love them for you. May Christ’s love for others be felt through me today. In your name and by your power I pray these things. Amen. (Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson and Michael W. Benson)