WholeLife Daily Reflections

August 2020

Preparation for Worship on Saturday, August 29

WHOLELIFE DISCIPLESHIP: Discipling Others

 

Friday, August 28

Devotional: Refocusing the Great Commission

 

Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

 

God of Sinners, you are holy. You give mercy where it is unwarranted and grace where it is undeserved. You continue to pursue the broken and redeem the lost. Help me to see as you see and love as you love today. Amen.

 

Music: To Know Your Name

Thursday, August 27

Devotional: Called by Christ

 

John 20:20-22

As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

 

Equipper of Sinners, your grace is sufficient. Your invitation to go into the world was given with the assurance of your Spirit. The good news of salvation is a gift for the world. Speak this news through me today. Amen.

 

Music: The Gospel

Wednesday, August 26

Devotional: Church Growth Without Trying

 

1 John 3:18-19

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.

 

God of Action, you work in and through your creation. You left the holiness of heaven to intimately engage with humanity, taking on human form and frailty. Your love knows no limits, and you willingly suffered and died to display your abundant love. I invite you to live through me today, extending your grace in all I do. Amen.

 

Music: We Must Go

Tuesday, August 25

Devotional: Turn Up the Music

 

Psalm 30:11-12

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

 

Sovereign Conductor, you orchestrate the universe and direct holy melodies across the world. Your word and your love invite your creation to sing a song of praise. Fill me with your music today that I might share the beauty of your grace. Amen.

 

Music: Happy Day

Monday, August 24

Devotional: Gathering Crowds or Making Disciples?

 

Galatians 5:22-23

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

 

Gentle Spirit, you move over the world, and your gifts are for all people. You are not bound by human understanding, and in all ways you illuminate God’s love and mercy. As I am shaped by you, may I draw others to my Lord. Amen.

 

Music: Spirit of the Living God

Sunday, August 23

Devotional: How Would Jesus Handle the Coronavirus?

 

1 John 4:18-19

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.

 

Spirit of Peace, you are more powerful than the greatest fear. You provide an oasis of calm in a desert of anxiety. You guide in ways of compassion and kindness. Help me to embrace your faithfulness and bring hope to my world. Amen.

 

Music: Already Have

Preparation for Worship on Saturday, August 22

WHOLELIFE DISCIPLESHIP: Discipling Like Jesus

Friday, August 21

Devotional: Following Jesus – A Provocative Call

 

Psalm 51:16-17

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

 

El Moshaah, God Who Saves, you gave the ultimate sacrifice. You left Heaven, took on the frailty of humanity, experienced life in a broken world, and ultimately sacrificed yourself to redeem those who rejected you. Born to selfishness, I will never truly comprehend your compassion, but I am forever grateful. Even though the path will challenge me, give me strength to follow you. Amen.

 

Music: Eyes Fixed

Thursday, August 20

Devotional: Following Jesus – Even When It Doesn’t Fit Our Expectations

 

Philippians 2:3-5

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

 

Gentle Savior, you are a surprise. You are a Messiah who rejects the world’s methods to dominate and extract victory. Your way is kindness, gentleness, mercy, and peace – not the things valued by a sinful world. Sometimes it’s against my nature to embrace this gospel of submission, but I will follow you and trust your wisdom today. Amen.

 

Music: Splinters and Stones

Wednesday, August 19

Devotional: Following Jesus – The End of Divisions

 

Malachi 2:10

Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors?

 

Creator Without Partiality, your vision has always been for a united people. You created in symbiotic equality with a purpose for a unity that reflects your relationship of Trinity. I live in a broken world. In anticipation of your Kingdom when we will all live as one, I will follow your example in viewing and treating all people as equal in your tapestry of humanity. Amen.

 

Music: As I Am

Tuesday, August 18

Devotional: Following Jesus – Even if Your Life Doesn’t Get Any Better?

 

John 16:33

 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

 

El Shaddai, All Sufficient God Almighty, you are enough. You never leave nor forsake your children, and you are present in both pain and joy. I am confused and distressed by the trails of this world, and I come before you to take what is caused by sin and use it for good. I will trust and follow you. Amen.

 

Music: I Choose to Worship

Monday, August 17

Devotional: Jesus Chooses and Uses Failures

 

Psalm 40:2-3

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.

 

Miracle Worker, you give sight to the blind and strength to the lame. You take what is broken and use it to inspire beauty and wonder. I fail repeatedly, but your grace heals and restores. With a thankful heart and a renewed spirit, I will follow you. Amen.

 

Music: I Am Loved

Sunday, August 16

Devotional: Follow Me

 

Luke 15:1

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.

 

Ally of Sinners, sin does not surprise you. You are not caught off guard nor shocked by the depravity of the world. There is nothing and no one you consider irredeemable. I am the worst of sinners, but I trust in your grace. You have made it clear you died for me because of your great love for me. I will follow you. Amen.

 

Music: Jesus, Friend of Sinners

Preparation for Worship on Saturday, August 15

WHOLELIFE DISCIPLESHIP: A WholeLife Disciple

Friday, August 14

Devotional: What It Really Means to be a Disciple

 

Isaiah 28:23

Listen to me; listen, and pay close attention.

 

Savior and Friend, you are an intimate God. You joined humanity because of your desire for relationship with those you love. I struggle with trying to work out my place in your family. Help me to accept your love, simply follow you, rest in you, and abide quietly in your presence today. Amen.

 

Music: Follow You Anywhere

Thursday, August 13

Devotional: Must a Canaanite Become an Israelite?

 

John 3:16

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

 

Creator and Redeemer of All People, your love is unimaginable, and your grace covers a broken world. Your adoption of humanity is neither by merit nor characteristic of birth or religion. I am your willing disciple, thankful for your mercy and humbled by your gift of salvation. Amen.

 

Music: Holy Is Our God

Wednesday, August 12

Devotional: The Price

 

Luke 9:24-25

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?

 

Holy Sovereign, you are the epitome of righteousness and justice. As Trinity you portray equality and a relationship of trust. Fill me with a courageous spirit of honor that I may be a bold disciple of your kingdom today. Amen.

 

Music: Move

Tuesday, August 11

Devotional: Discipleship – What Christians Get Wrong

 

Romans 10:14-15

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

 

Rabbi Jesus, you taught the truth of God in your words and actions. You called your followers to a life committed to making disciples, and you honestly shared with them the cost of doing this. Help me to be aware of the people in my life who need to hear of your saving grace, and guide me in sharing the simple but essential message of your love. Amen.

 

Music: The Gospel

Monday, August 10

Devotional: Secularity and the Gospel of the Kingdom

 

John 14:6

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

 

Light of the World, you shine through darkness and reveal the path of grace. You are not bound by denomination nor politics; you offer a life of freedom in relationship with you alone. I will live my life as a disciple, holding dear and sharing the love of Jesus. Amen.

 

Music: World Outside Your Window

Sunday, August 9

Devotional: He Sold All His Pearls for One

 

Luke 9:23-24

Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”

 

Jesus, Savior, you didn’t mince your words. You laid out the cost to those wanting to follow you: their life. Your expectations remain the same today, as does your promise of a renewed life of grace and salvation. I trust your faithfulness and place my life in your hands. Mold me into the disciple you need me to be. Amen.

 

Music: We Say Yes

Preparation for Worship on Saturday, August 8

WORSHIPPING IN MR. ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD: Look for the Helpers

Friday, August 7

Devotional: Be the Helpers

 

Acts 20:35

And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

 

Jehovah-Ezer, Holy Helper, you are a warrior of mercy and a shield of protection. Nothing will stop your pursuit of justice or weaken your saving grace. I am tired of the new challenges in the world, and I desperately miss what I knew as normal. Help me to see beyond myself, trust you are working through this crisis, and be willing to be poured out for your glory. Amen.

 

Music: Pour Me Out

Thursday, August 6

Devotional: Gospel at the Margins

 

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.

 

LORD, you are great; you are sovereign, and you are without beginning or end. You cannot be understood, yet you make yourself known. You cannot be contained, yet you occupy the hearts of humanity. You have asked me to share your goodness by simply showing your love. I will live your gospel today. Amen.

 

Music: Flood the Earth

Wednesday, August 5

Devotional: Faith in a Time of Pandemic

 

John 14:27

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

 

Creator of Beauty, the skies are your canvas and the bird song your opus. Though the world is marred by sin and sickness, your sovereignty persists in the resilience of nature. May I not be distracted by what is broken, but empowered by the consistency and assurance of your abundant grace and care. Amen.

 

Music: Canyons

Tuesday, August 4

Devotional: The Humility of a King

 

Psalm 54:4

But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive!

 

Powerful Protector, you gave up everything, left the holiness of Heaven, and displayed your fierce grace on a cross. Your humility and sacrifice reveals the loving heart of God. I will live confidently in your mercy, knowing your Spirit will always be my companion and my strength. Amen.

 

Music: Protector

Monday, August 3

Devotional: The Helpers – a Pastoral Prayer

 

Numbers 6:24-26

May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

 

Rum Rosh, the One Who Lifts My Head, you pour your blessings on your people and, in doing so, bring hope and peace. You inspire and strengthen those who share compassion; you comfort and lift those who wade through waters of fatigue and discouragement. Bring to my mind this week those who serve by your grace, and put a prayer on my lips that will remind me of the helpers you have placed in my life. Amen.

 

Music: Fill Up the Sky

Sunday, August 2

Devotional: Finding Happiness in a Sad and Busted-Up World

 

Romans 15:13

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Beloved Father, you delight to shower your children with blessings. You provide courage and strength even during difficult times that allow for the wonder of a peace that passes all understanding. I will not expect a life free of care, but I will lean into your mercy and not allow it to steal my joy. Amen.

 

Music: Live Like You’re Loved

Preparation for Worship on Saturday, August 1

WORSHIPPING IN MR. ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD: I like you just the way you are

Friday, July 31

Devotional: God Loves You As You Are, But …

 

Romans 8:38-39

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Holy Lifeline, you hold the world and all the life it contains in your hands. Your vision pierces to the depth of all depravity, yet you love with abundant compassion. Thank you for your mercy and grace that flows freely in spite of the profanity of sin. I am changed by your love. Amen.

 

Music: Unconditional

Thursday, July 30

Devotional: The Blessings of Conflict

 

Colossians 3:13

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

 

Sovereign Forgiver, you are the holy Peacemaker. Your way is seen through open hearts and honest conversations. Help me to forge paths of reconciliation, acknowledging the value of each person and my responsibility to recognize them as a child of God. Amen.

 

Music: Make Us One

Wednesday, July 29

Devotional: When You Know Better, Do Better

 

1 John 3:18

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 

 

Savior of All People, you created every individual to be equal and mourn the injustice that darkens the world. Your sacrifice and salvation are gifts of grace regardless of race, creed, or culture. Give me a humble spirit, seeking greater wisdom in loving others in word and action. Amen.

 

Music: Heaven

Tuesday, July 28
Devotional: How Lament Can Help Fight Racism

 

Romans 8:26-27

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

 

Elohim Shama, God Who Hears, you wait expectantly to hear the voices of those you love. Words of lament and repentance are sweet to your ears. I have fallen short in your call to love others as you have loved me. Guide me in words and actions to honor those who need me today. Amen.

 

Music: Heart of God

Monday, July 27

Devotional: Loving God Most Means Loving Others Best

 

John 14:21

The one who obeys me is the one who loves me; and because he loves me, my Father will love him; and I will too, and I will reveal myself to him.

 

God of All, your love is eternal and without limits. When lives are lifted and turned to you, your response is to empower with abundant kindness and mercy. I seek to love you in response to your great love for me and to likewise humbly and genuinely care for others. Amen.

 

Music: Oh How We Love You

Sunday, July 26

Devotional: Why Mr. Rogers Still Matters

 

Psalm 33:18

But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.

 

El Roi, God Who Sees Me, your eyes watch over your creation with care and concern. Your engagement is intimate and personal, your understanding deep and merciful. I know I am loved by you, treasured by you, and made in your image. I will trust that I am who you made me to be. Amen.

 

Music: Bigger Dreams

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