Today’s Reflection

“WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?” That Peter initially gives an inspired response to that question, only to give way the next moment to a worldly perspective, instinctively choosing safety and comfort above God’s call, may feel disturbingly familiar. When I respond to my husband’s drinking more in terms of the pain it causes me than out of concern for his welfare, I am succumbing to an unconscious sense of entitlement. I react as though my life should be cushy and comfortable – never mind the suffering I see all around me. I am, like Peter, horrified by the cross.

I’m not alone in this resistance. It’s one thing to want to be with Jesus when we’re experiencing consolation and healing power. It’s quite another to desire intimacy with the Lord when he’s calling us to accompany him on a journey bound to involve suffering, sacrifice, and pain. But pain can serve as a training ground for discipleship. In my case, my marriage throws into bold relief my desire to control my circumstances, even though I know that I can’t! It exposes my emotional volatility and forces me to turn to Jesus for self-control in times of stress.

Who do I say Jesus is? If he is my Lord, then surely he has a right to ask anything he wants of me and to use hard circumstances to shape me into the person he would have me become.

- Alyssa Phillips
Loving an Addict

From page 101 of Loving an Addict: Gospel Reflections of Hope and Healing by Alyssa Phillips. Copyright © 2014 by Alyssa Phillips. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Reflect on the statement that pain can serve as a training ground for discipleship. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

Acts 8:39, NRSV

This Week: pray for someone living with chronic pain. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Catherine of Siena (April 29).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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God Offers What We Need

April 27, 2015

Today’s Reflection

ABOVE ALL ELSE, prayer is an open, honest, intimate conversation with the God who loves us most. Sometimes we speak; sometimes we listen. Sometimes we sit silently together; sometimes we petition God alone.

No matter how or how often or where or when we pray, may we simply be open to what God reveals to us and then think deeply about any revelations that appear. Maybe God wants us to experience more grace so that we have more to offer others. Maybe God wants us to experience and extend more forgiveness. Maybe God wants us to have more courage or wisdom. We can trust that God will offer us what we need.

- Rebecca Dwight Bruff
Loving the World with God

From page 36 of Loving the World with God by Rebecca Dwight Bruff. Copyright © 2014 by Rebecca Dwight Bruff. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What is God offering you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?”

Acts 8:36, NRSV

This Week: pray for someone living with chronic pain. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Catherine of Siena (April 29).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Wade in the Water

April 26, 2015

Today’s Reflection IT IS SAID that Harriet Tubman and slaves along the Underground Railroad sang “Wade in the Water” as a code to those on the run, advice to those escaping the horrors of slavery. Why wade in the water? Because it throws off the hounds hot at your heels? Why wade in the water? […]

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The Spirit Who Guides Us

April 25, 2015

Today’s Reflection MAY THE GREAT, vulnerable, life-giving Spiritguide your every coming and your every going,that you may act justly,love kindly,and walk humblyas God’s friend and companionon this lovely, lively planet.–Sam Hamilton-Poore – Sam Hamilton-Poore Earth Gospel From page 188 of Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation by Sam Hamilton-Poore. Copyright © 2008 […]

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God’s Promises

April 24, 2015

Today’s Reflection IT MATTERS NOT whether you believe in life after death or resurrection or pie in the sky when you die. God’s designs do not depend upon your assent. Rather, you can depend upon God’s ability to bring to pass those things regarding which God has spoken. The awesome promises of God depend upon […]

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A Ritual of Forgiveness

April 23, 2015

Today’s Reflection WHEN A PERSON OF FAITH is in a difficult forgiveness process, he or she almost certainly will need pastoral help. A personal liturgy of declaring forgiveness at the appropriate time and after much inner work can be a great blessing. The person or institution being forgiven is usually present only symbolically. One woman […]

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Resurrection Hope

April 22, 2015

Today’s Reflection IN THE RESURRECTION, God in Christ has given second wind to prayers that have not gone answered as we hoped and to those who have not been healed as we sought—and to a realm that, while long deferred, will bring holy purposes to chosen fulfillment. – John Indermark Gospeled Lives From page 73 […]

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Friends in Faith

April 21, 2015

Today’s Reflection JOB DOES EVERYTHING RIGHT, and then he is nailed. Everything he loves is taken away from him. Sometimes a person will come into my office expressing bewilderment: despite doing everything right, he or she has been overwhelmed in some way—an unforeseen event, a health crisis, a disappointment. Deeply faithful, deeply troubled. We want […]

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Limp of the Living

April 20, 2015

Today’s Reflection NOT LONG AGO I WALKED AWAY from a well-regarded institution that others had promised would be my path to vocational success. Instead, it shattered my soul under the weight of its shadows, and I am left wondering who I am. Like a child writhing in the necessary pains of a developing body, night […]

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To Be a Witness

April 19, 2015

Today’s Reflection GROWING UP, I assumed Jesus’ call to share the gospel meant I would travel across the ocean to a secluded village on the fringes of contemporary society. I figured I would have had extensive language training and given up my creature comforts. I watched in admiration – and perhaps envy – when I […]

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