WholeLife Daily Reflections
Preparation for worship on August 28
Great Question #2:
It seems like our world – and even Christian organizations – give rewards on a merit-based system – what someone can or cannot accomplish. How can we, as Christians – and especially those of us who work in various organizations – offer the grace God has given us to others.
Friday, August 27
Devotional: God Isn’t Fair
I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
Gracious Lord, your grace covers the brokenness of the world. It seeps into small spaces where tears of faith fall and floods over wide spaces where your mercy seems unknown and absent. Though I know you are present, there is so much of you that remains a mystery to me. Though it all, I will trust in your goodness and great love. Amen.
Music: Still God
Thursday, August 26
Devotional: Titus’ Ministry
2 Timothy 2:15
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
Sinless Savior, no human has walked the earth in perfection except for you. You chose to leave paradise to display your great love. You walked as a servant so humanity could discover the priorities of your kingdom. In whatever area of leadership I am placed, please speak your grace through my words and actions. Amen.
Wednesday, August 25
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Holy Judge, to refer to you in this way causes concern because of the place you have been given by those who do not understand your uncompromisingly gracious character. There is none other who would so lovingly discern the heart of humanity. I invite you to guide me so that my life is a reflection of that boundless mercy and kindness toward others. Amen.
Music: Who’s Gonna Stop the King?
Tuesday, August 24
Devotional: What if Your Workplace IS Your Mission Field?
2 Timothy 1:9
For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.
Sovereign Redeemer, you are actively at work in the world. Your plan is to be seen through your people, and your strategy is simply for love to reign and your Spirit to bless. I give you control to use me in my daily walk so that others will be curious about the grace in which I am covered. Amen.
Monday, August 23
Devotional: A Role Model
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Singular God, there is none like you. You are not marred by sin nor reduced by shame. You are the Creator, and before you nothing was. You have placed me in a world with others who know what it’s like to be damaged, broken, and fearful. Open my eyes and my heart to learn, to grow, and to celebrate how you reveal yourself through imperfect relationships. Amen.
Sunday, August 22
Devotional: Business As Ministry
1 Corinthians 10:31-33
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.
God of Grace, you bless humanity with your love and mercy. While on earth, your community was formed from the broken, the outcast, and the lost. Your presence brought healing, acceptance, and purpose. May I shine the light of your gracious spirit in all I do throughout my day. Amen.
Preparation for worship on August 21
Great Question #1:
In 1 Kings 13, the “man of God” from Samaria lies to the man of God from Judah with lethal consequences. How can he be a man of God and do such terrible things? The Bible does not shy away from differentiating between true prophets and false prophets, so it implies the lying prophet is a true prophet in relationship with God. How can his title and behavior be reconciled? How is it possible to be both a fully committed God follower and, at the same time, believe and share things that are not true?
Friday, August 20
Devotional: Wisdom and Folly
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Wise and Merciful God, you are present in the world you created. You formed humanity for the purpose of relationship, and you desire the greatest good for your children. I know my best life will be lived when I depend on your wisdom. Open my heart to humbly be led by you. Amen.
Music: Faithful Now
Thursday, August 19
Devotional: Will the Real Holy Spirit Please Stand Up?
But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.
Spirit of God, you flow like an endless river, and your mercy washes the world. You bring comfort and discernment, direction and compassion. Move my heart and mind by your grace. Amen.
Music: Open Up the Doors
Wednesday, August 18
Devotional: Fighting for Authenticity
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Genuine Savior, you are a God of integrity and transparency. You do not desire false piety nor meaningless sacrifices. You entered humanity to illuminate your character and to make clear that salvation is a free gift for all. May the words I speak and the way I live reflect my understanding of the mercy that covers me. Amen.
Music: Song for His Presence
Tuesday, August 17
Devotional: Is This the Right Decision?
1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.
Holy Guide, you do not leave your children without direction. Through trials and adversity, you offer grace for each day. You have promised to be present always, and to give wisdom to all who ask. Speak into my heart so that all my decisions honor who you are. Amen.
Monday, August 16
Devotional: Being “Wise as Serpents” in the Era of Fake News
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.
Spirit of Discernment, you are accessible and available. Where lies and deception are found, your presence brings clarity and understanding. I need your wisdom to navigate through the maze of information confronting me daily. Open my eyes to know what is true. Amen.
Music: Grace of God With Us
Sunday, August 15
Psalm 119: 65-66
You have done many good things for me, Lord, just as you promised. I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
Insightful God, you cannot be contained, and your wisdom inspires awe and adoration. You are the Alpha and the Omega, without beginning or end. You uphold what is good and defeat what is evil. Guide my thoughts so that I may discern your will in all things. Amen.
Music: I Trust You
Preparation for worship on August 14
Friday, August 13
Devotional: Justice, Worship, and What God Really Wants
When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
God Who Weeps, your heart hurts for the marginalized, and your body bled for those victimized by injustice. You are the Friend of sinners and the Healer of the wounded. Without your grace, I am an orphan – destitute and unwanted. Fill me with mercy for others and the strength to speak out for justice in my world as an act of worship to you. Amen.
Music: Let Justice Roll
Thursday, August 12
Devotional: Purpose Driven Puppy
Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
Holy Guide, you bring peace in the storm and grace sufficient for each day. Your presence surrounds your children so they are never alone. You offer hope in times of despair and comfort in disappointment. I will follow you with confidence, knowing my path is covered in your grace. Amen.
Music: Never Fail
Wednesday, August 11
Devotional: Our Identity as Sons & Daughters of God
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Heavenly Parent, you love your children. You have adopted into your heavenly family all those willing to accept your grace and be covered in your mercy. I will live this day aware of how you see me: beloved, chosen, redeemed. Amen.
Music: Stayed on Him
Tuesday, August 10
Devotional: God Can Use Anyone – Including You
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
Lifter of the Weary, you restore and replenish. You do not require perfection before redemption or strength before inclusion. You take what is weak, lost and shameful, and infuse beauty, honor, and purpose. I will live this day in the knowledge that I am loved and valued by my Almighty God. Amen.
Music: All That Remains
Monday, August 9
Devotional: You Are a Piece of Work
And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.
Gentle Crafter of Creation, your hands have shaped the mountains and spread out the universe. You have molded humanity in your image for the purpose of building your Kingdom of grace. I invite you to round my edges and restore what is broken so that I am recognized as your child. Amen.
Music: Up From the Ashes
Sunday, August 8
Devotional: Becoming a Saint
But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Benevolent Maker, you shower your creation with beauty. You are benevolent in your gifts and extravagant in your mercy. You love with an everlasting love that forgives, redeems, and restores. As I consider all the blessings you provide, grace me with humility to live a life building your Kingdom of kindness and gratitude. Amen.
Music: Like You
Preparation for worship on August 7
Chosen for This Moment
Friday, August 6
Devotional: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
Jehovah-Nissi, Lord My Banner, you go before your children, and you supply every need. You are strong in battle and gentle in mercy. You desire purpose above notoriety and fulfillment above comfort. Your way is not always easy, but it is always paved with grace and justice. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24) Amen.
Music: Know You Will
Thursday, August 5
Devotional: The Making of You
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
Patient God, you anxiously seek to provide strength for the weak and courage for the fearful. Your power can overcome any trial or failure, and your mercy washes away shame and defeat. I want to live a life of courage, yet I cling to what seems safe and familiar. Help me to trust you fully and experience the peace of your sovereignty. Amen.
Music: Live Alive
Wednesday, August 4
Devotional: The Secret to Pleasing God
Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.
Creator of All, you took the greatest risk imaginable and knowingly sacrificed everything for love. You have never protected your heart from hurt and willingly laid it out for the purpose of restored relationship with your children. Your mercy restores, and your grace is never depleted. I will live this day with confidence that you will bless my successes and redeem my failures. Amen.
Tuesday, August 3
Devotional: Worship Through Service
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Serving Savior, you seek and you knock. You stand at the door of every heart, and if it is opened, you usher in a spirit of active compassion. I invite you into my life, realizing the risk of discomfort. May I live your humility and grace today. Amen.
Music: Known By Love
Monday, August 2
Devotional: A Gentle Whisper
And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful. Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.
Spirit of Wisdom, you speak through storm and silence. Your words bring hope and healing. Though your ways are sometimes a mystery, you are always faithful to respond. I will listen for your voice and invite you to direct my path today. Amen.
Music: The Anchor
Sunday, August 1
Devotional: United Behind the Kingdom
1 Peter 2:9
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
Good God, you revealed your plan for humanity through the life of your Son. You placed into each heart a desire for a greater purpose than selfish ambition and have offered fulfillment through mercy rather than sacrifice. You have invited your children to build your kingdom of compassion and grace on earth. Guide me to follow the way of Jesus in all I do. Amen.
Music: I Say Yes