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What does a “normal” Christian look like? Paul warns the Colossians that some people will condemn them. He warns that some will even try to “disqualify” their faith.

Those same warnings hold for us today. Never before has our world been so divided. Never before has the need for Christ’s...

God, forgive me when I want everything to be easy and want everyone to conform to my idea of normal. Help me to live humbly and to embrace the uniqueness that each person brings into this wonderful community of believers in Christ. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
July 22–28, 2019
Scripture Overview

Hosea can be a difficult book. This prophet is called to live with an unfaithful wife as an image of how Israel is unfaithful to God. Yet even in this initial statement of judgment, God includes a promise of restoration. Psalm 85 appeals to God’s steadfast love. God has become angry with the people for their unfaithfulness, and the people appeal for God’s mercy, which they are confident they will receive. The Colossians reading warns against replacing or even supplementing the simple truth of the gospel with human wisdom, religious rules, or anything else. We have fellowship with Christ through our faith. Jesus teaches us to ask God for what we need and for what we want just as we would ask a human parent.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Hosea 1:2-10. How is God reminding you of your covenant relationship?
Read Psalm 85. When have you needed to pray for restoration in your life? in your relationships with family and friends? in your relationship with God?
Read Colossians 2:6-19. Paul teaches us the value of community. How has your community restored you as you seek to be like Christ?
Read Luke 11:1-13. How has praying regularly changed you? If you do not pray regularly, start a practice now. Look for the ways it changes you.

Respond by posting a prayer.

I have been in the military for over 18 years, working in Religious Affairs. The Upper Room has always been a crucial resource for our military members. It serves as a beacon of hope, a way to connect daily to God and a reminder of how we should act as Christians.”


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