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This scripture offers some answers to a nagging question: How can self-idolatry ever end? Paul’s rhapsodic exultation about Christ’s love opens the window to a satisfying, lasting remedy: Replace your self-adulation with worship of God!
Paul suggests that we can correct the critical error of naming ourselves as our own...

Gracious Lord, send your Spirit into my life and replace my self-idolatry with your fullness. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
July 23–29, 2018
Scripture Overview

The Bible is filled with the stories of imperfect people. David is a classic case. In Second Samuel he commits adultery, tries to cover it up, and then plots a murder. How can this be the same man who penned this week’s psalm, which decries the foolishness of people who act in a godless way? Like us, David was a fallen person who needed God’s extravagant mercy. In Ephesians we read of this same extravagance given through Christ, whose power can do what we cannot—namely redeem all of us who are also foolish and fallen. The Gospel author demonstrates the power of Jesus through what he describes as “signs,” which Jesus performed not primarily to amaze the onlookers but rather to point them to his identity as the Son of God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read 2 Samuel 11:1-15. How often do you consider the ramifications of your decisions and actions on the wider body?
• Read Psalm 14. How frequently do you find yourself envisioning a life free of constraints? What does that life look like?
• Read Ephesians 3:14-21. How does “being rooted and grounded in love” manifest itself in your life?
• Read John 6:1-21. When have you tried to force God into a mold of your own making to serve your needs?

Respond by posting a prayer.

"In these strange new days...

...devoid of our regular routine and filled instead with uncertainty and a hum of anxiety, my husband and I have found the practice of joining The Upper Room each day at 11am (CST) via Facebook to pray, listen, and learn in community, including my sister in Houston. This is a much-needed healing balm." Join us on Facebook each day at 11AM Central.