WholeLife Church

DEVOTIONAL

a monthly path toward worship

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WholeLife Daily Reflections

July 2021

Preparation for worship on July 31

This Is Us: Participation

Friday, July 30

Devotional: Flood

 

Galatians 6:2-3

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

 

Holy Savior, you offered an example of humanity living selflessly for others in harmony with your original plan. When you created the world, it was good, and all things served to bring you praise. Though hardship and tragedy expose the consequences of sin, you offer the gift of participating in your kingdom of restoration. Help me to realize the blessings of each day and to see your face in those whose paths I cross. Amen.

 

Music: Help Us to Love

 

BONUS (because it’s just too good to miss!)

 

Thursday, July 29

Devotional: How to Have a Gentle Answer

 

Hebrews 12:14-15

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

 

Entunchano, God Who Intercedes, you go before your children, seeking reunion and peace. You are the hope of nations and the reconciliation offered to those at war. No one is left out of your kingdom plan. Direct me to be an advocate of compassion and restoration in my world. Amen.

 

Music: Come to Jesus (Reconciliation Hymn)

 

Wednesday, July 28

Devotional: How Do You Prepare?

 

Exodus 19:10-11

Then the Lord told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch.

 

Sovereign Lord, you are holy and without limitations. You are all-powerful and all-knowing. You are the Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega. You have made yourself approachable and invited your children to gather before you because of your great love for humanity. Help me to fully understand the privilege of coming to you in worship. Amen.

 

Music: Anticipation

 

Tuesday, July 27

Devotional: Revolutionary Jesus

 

Mark 12:33

And I know it is important to love [God] with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

 

Revolutionary Savior, you shocked those who expected a different type of Messiah. You did not come with force or earthly power. Your might is found in persuasive love and engaged compassion. Give me courage to lead a dangerous life in following your path of mercy and grace. Amen.

 

Music: Better

 

Monday, July 26

Devotional: Participating in God’s Redemptive Purpose

 

Proverbs 16:11

The Lord demands accurate scales and balances; he sets the standards for fairness.

 

Holy Judge, you are fair and kind. Your standard demonstrates justice and mercy. You invite those who follow you to live a kingdom life of equality and compassion. Guide me to use my influence at work for the benefit of others. Amen.

 

Music: Send Me

 

Sunday, July 25

Devotional: All You Need is Love

 

Matthew 10:7-8

Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.

 

Extravagant God, you created in love, you forgave through love, and you restored because of love. You engage in the world through acts of unexpected kindness and undeserved mercy. You display abundance, and this is how your Kingdom is built. Love others through me today. Amen.

 

Music: Together

Preparation for worship on July 24

This Is Us: Worship

Friday, July 23

Devotional: No Worship Service with No Worship Service

 

Proverbs 21:2-3

People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart. The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.

 

God of Mercy, you walked this earth to display your true character. You clearly showed love and mercy to all and invited your followers to do the same. The time you spent with the Father resulted in selfless service and willing sacrifice. Guide me to worship you by the way I respond to others in justice and humility. Amen.

 

Music: Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

 

Thursday, July 22

Devotional: Come, Let Us Worship!

 

1 Chronicles 16:29-32

Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!

 

Shub Nephesh, Renewer of Life, your presence offers hope, healing, and restoration. You make yourself known in the praises of your people, and by these praises, your people are renewed. Fill me with the joy of anticipation as I answer your invitation to worship. Amen.

 

Music: Great You Are

 

Wednesday, July 21

Devotional: Warm Embrace

 

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.

 

God of Hope, you do not hide your purpose; you openly pursue the broken and weak. You offer the gift of forgiveness that overcomes shame and love that bridges any separation. I come to you as I am and, in thankful acceptance of your grace, bow before your holy and merciful presence. Amen.

 

Music: My Advocate

 

Tuesday, July 20

Devotional: How to Refocus – Right in the Midst of Everything

 

Romans 12:1-2

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

 

Holy Redeemer, you do not force worship. You seek, you knock, you invite. What you offer is beyond any earthly reward, and fully understood results in unforced praise. Direct my heart and mind so that my life reflects the mercy I have received from the only God who is worthy of worship.

 

Music: Holy (Song of the Ages)

 

Monday, July 19

Devotional: Creative Worship

 

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!

 

Understanding Savior, you know the limitations of the human condition. You invite your people into creative and shameless joy in worship, yet they are held back by fear and insecurity. You give the gifts of unconditional love and assured salvation, yet they hesitate to embrace what is already theirs. Give me the courage to accept your grace and to celebrate it in unrestrained worship.

 

Music: Let Everything (Praise the Lord)

 

Sunday, July 18

Devotional: Rainy Mornings

 

Mark 1:35

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

 

God Who Invites, you continuously knock on the door of every heart. You are worthy of all worship, and you delight when your children approach you at any time of day. Help me to be receptive to your invitation and to know my need to offer you praise. Amen.

 

Music: Bless the Lord at All Times

Preparation for worship on July 17

This Is Us: the Bible

Friday, July 16

Devotional: A Time to Sit Crisscross Applesauce and Believe

 

Romans 10:17

So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

 

Sovereign of All Ages, your story has no beginning and no end. You chose to create a world to display your unending love and incredible grace. Your intention of perfection, though marred by sin, is redeemed by the narrative brought to life in Jesus. Thank you for the message of mercy and acceptance I find in your Word. Amen.

 

Music: Evidence

 

Thursday, July 15

Devotional: He Opens Their Mind to Understand the Scriptures

 

John 8:31-32

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

Sovereign Rabbi, you continuously reveal yourself in your Word. You speak to the hearts of all people with assurance and comfort, making known your presence in every circumstance. Help me to understand all things through the filter of your persistent love and amazing grace. Amen.

 

Music: It’s Not Over

 

Wednesday, July 14

Devotional: The Word That Never Fades

 

Isaiah 46:4

I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.

 

Eternal God, you have no beginning and no end. You do not age, and your sovereignty is endless. You sustain your creation with the assurance of your constant presence. Thank you for your Word that gives me courage and strength to last a lifetime. Amen.

 

Music: Age to Age

 

Tuesday, July 13

Devotional: When Everyone’s an Expert

 

Psalm 56:8-10

You keep track of all my sorrows, you have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side! I praise God for what he has promised; yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.

 

God of Fulfilled Promises, you are trustworthy and consistent. The story of your love affair with your creation is written in your Word. There is no fear of shame in failure or loss of your love. Thank you for adopting me as a treasured child, secure in your embrace. Amen.

 

Music: At the Mention

 

Monday, July 12

Devotional: Christianity – A Tree Growing Up From the Soil of Scripture

 

John 1:1-3

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.

 

Word Made Flesh, you illuminate the fullness of love and forgiveness. Your heart is written on ancient pages, yet offers fresh understanding of the timeless truth of your majesty and grace. Fill my heart with understanding of the mercy of my Savior. Amen.

 

Music: Listen Breathe

 

Sunday, July 11

Devotional: How God Stoops Down to Speak to Us

 

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

 

Holy Author, you have communicated with humanity from the first breath of creation. Your relationship with your children is written in essay and poem, intended to portray your incredible love and undeniable grace. Open my eyes to the beauty of your story that I may be inspired to know you more. Amen.

 

Music: Song of Heaven

 

Preparation for worship on July 10

This Is Us: Grace

Friday, July 9

Devotional: When Grace is Just a Doctrine

 

Colossians 1:6

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

 

Lord of All, you have no favorites . . . or maybe everyone is your favorite. You are clear that redemption by your grace is for all without exception. Where mercy is needed, you give it in abundance, and when the worth of your child is in question, you answer with the assurance of unfailing and unconditional love. Move my heart, my hands, and my feet in the rhythm of your grace. Amen.

 

Music: My Jesus

 

Thursday, July 8

Devotional: Grace

 

Acts 20:24

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

 

Bountiful Creator, you are the only one capable of breathing life. You heal the wounded through your compassion and mercy. You restore purpose to the broken and lift their eyes to a future of hope. Fill my heart to overflow with your amazing grace. Amen.

 

Music: Less Like Me

 

Wednesday, July 7

Devotional: What Is Grace?

 

Acts 15:8-11

And God, who knows the heart, has testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between them and us, cleansing their hearts by faith. So now why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.

 

Mysterious Forgiver, you make a way when there seems to be no way. You have destroyed death and renounced shame. You pursue your children with holy desperation to reclaim them as your own. I know that I will never fully comprehend your grace, but I am thankful for the freedom you have given me through such an incredible gift. Amen.

 

Music: Pursue Me

 

Tuesday, July 6

Devotional: Grace Is Not Fair

 

2 Timothy 1:9-10

He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made visible through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus.

 

Holy God, you are without blemish or weakness. You are above all that is in heaven or on earth. You are not obligated to forgive or redeem, yet because of your great love, you have chosen mercy over sacrifice and grace over judgment. Thank you for adopting me as a treasured child through your grace alone. Amen.

 

Music: Dreams

 

Monday, July 5

Devotional: Winning the Battle With Grace

 

Romans 11:6

And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.

 

God of Grace, you work through mercy and compassion. You look with love and forgiveness upon your creation, always with extended arms and an open heart. Help me to fulfill the commission you have given me: to know I am loved, and to love in return. Amen.

 

Music: The River

 

Sunday, July 4

Devotional: Grace Waits

 

Romans 5:15-17

But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

 

Gracious Savior, you offer release to captives of sin. You set right relationships that are shattered through dependence on things that do not satisfy. You see beyond what is broken and into the hearts of your children and their need for your grace. Bring me to a place where I can understand the fullness of your love for me so that I can rest in who you created me to be. Amen.

 

Music: Hallelujah for Every Broken Heart

 

Preparation for worship on July 3

This Is Us: Forgiveness

Friday, July 2

Devotional: Drinking from the Pool of Bitterness

 

Hebrews 12:14-15

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

 

Gentle Spirit, you offer peaceful shelter during the storms of life. You whisper words of comfort to bruised hearts. You surround the wounded with the comfort of a sacred wholeness that only you provide. When I am hurt, help me to allow forgiveness to overcome my bitterness and find healing in your presence. Amen.

 

Music: Jesus

 

Thursday, July 1

Devotional: What I Learned Turning My Hate Mail into Origami

 

James 1:19-21

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

 

Healer of Hearts, you are misunderstood and misrepresented. You have been used to injure and abuse. When you walked this earth, your mercy and love were used against you and finally caused your death. Yet you forgive . . . and you forgive . . . and you forgive. And in your forgiveness, your heart of grace is found. Help me to use my wounds as a place of understanding, humility, and dependence on you. Amen.

 

Music: Forgiveness Rushes In

 

Wednesday, June 30

Devotional: What Does a Christian Look Like?

 

Ephesians 4:31-32

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

 

Creator of Humanity, you formed each person with care and love. You placed inside each individual a desire for acceptance, inclusion, and relationship. You overcome the obstacles that separate you from your children with forgiveness and mercy. Open my heart to offer to others the grace that has been given to me so that you may be known. Amen.

 

Music: When I Look at the Blood

 

Tuesday, June 29

Devotional: Forgive These People

 

Romans 8:1-2

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

 

God of Freedom, you do not play the game of guilt. You are clear in your offer of unconditional love and unearned grace. You seek the lost and heal the broken, and you cast any memory of their shortcomings into the void. Fill my heart with the joy of your peace that passes all understanding. Amen.

 

Music: God Really Loves Us

 

Monday, June 28

Devotional: Meditation as Repentance

 

1 John 1:9

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

 

Forgiving Lord, you stand with open arms, ready to welcome those who wander. You are the Prodigal Father who choses relationship over decorum. You hear the regular rant of my failings, yet you wipe away my shame and call me “precious child.” Thank you. Amen.

 

Music: How Can It Be

 

Sunday, June 27

Devotional: Forgiveness

 

Colossians 3:12-13

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 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 do not seek vengeance. You delight in the healing of relationships and the setting aside of differences. Your nature is to redeem and reclaim your creation. I can be petty, and it is difficult for me to let things go. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in me. Amen.

 

Music: With Lifted Hands