Developing Disciples

Tuesday, July 16

7-16By Evelyn Spence of Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

—2 Corinthians 13:11

Our congregation has several programs to reach out to neighborhood youth. For the last three months “Adam” (not his real name) has been coming to Sunday school and worshiping with us. His enthusiasm is infectious, and he loves music. He has found a home in our congregation.

He is equally congenial with young people and adults. If a family arrives and is unfamiliar with our congregation, he leads the children to the proper classroom. If we have a dinner following the worship service, he clears the plates.

We do not yet know his mother or grandmother, with whom he lives, but it seems they have raised an intelligent, mannerly young man. We hope his enthusiasm continues. We hope those of us who are acquainted with him will be supportive enough to help him grow in his discipleship. We hope we can reach out and include his family.

We need to have opening, welcoming arms for those who seek to join our worship and fellowship. Please bless us, God, with hearts that love and nurture. We wish to embrace others with your love and peace and to continue Christ’s mission.

Prayer for Peace
Generous God, thank you for our congregations and the community of love they provide. Thank you for this place of peace, sanctuary, learning, worship, and mission. May we find Christ’s peace as we share it with others.

Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
Read and reflect on Psalm 42:1–2. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond to people and their needs. The call to inward journey can restore us in times of physical or spiritual depletion. Imagine you can feel a vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container). Imagine drawing something from the vessel to share with another person, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty and dry; empty. Listen prayerfully again to the psalm, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” As you feel restored, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey. Remember this exercise as you drink water throughout the day.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will teach and learn with my congregation.

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