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This has been a tough week for self-concept. We’ve begun to understand how thoroughly self-idolatry creeps into so many nooks and crannies of our identity. And perhaps most difficult is the realization that self-idolatry colors the souls of everyone. This is a good time to close with a hopeful note...

Loving One, I am glad to find my identity in you. 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.

Pastor harold 500x500   nicole curtis

Decades of Faithfulness

Pastor Harold Stinson was given The Upper Room as a child by his mother. He is now 71 years old and still reads the devotional guide every day but now in large print. He also hosts a daily prayer call and uses the scripture from the meditation as the basis for that call. 

Share the gift of faith by giving to the youth and young adult ministries of The Upper Room.