New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.


Today’s Reflection

Some of the questions Jesus asks cut right to the heart of difficulties in our lives. If we decide to let Jesus ask his questions and we resolve to answer them honestly, we’ll be confronted with some ugly truths in our hearts and lives we’d rather not deal with. This is to be expected; any good relationship helps us know ourselves better—including seeing our faults more clearly. When this happens, we must remember to distinguish between the experiences of conviction and condemnation. Though both come from encountering ugly truths about ourselves, conviction often comes from God, but condemnation never comes from God.

—Matthew Croasmun, Let Me Ask You a Question: Conversations with Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2018)

Today’s Question

How might hearing the difference between condemnation and conviction help you face and address your faults? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
—Matthew 11:28 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, help me know the difference between what you ask of me and what the world asks of me.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

We often think of Jesus as someone with all the answers. But over and over in scripture, he asks questions, seeking to engage with people and genuinely interested in their responses. Author Matthew Croasmun invites us to enter into conversation with Jesus by answering the questions Jesus asks. Learn more about this week’s featured book, Let Me Ask You a Question.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Save 45% and get free shipping on the regular and enlarged-print editions of Disciplines 2021 with promo code DISC45. Offer good while supplies last.


  • Julie Posted August 16, 2021 8:46 am

    I am all too familiar with condemnation, from others, society, family, myself. I am not as familiar with conviction as I always hear any criticism as condemnation. This is an important distinction and deserves my further study and discernment.
    Megan and I spent a wonderful day together yesterday at the Shaker Woods Festival (the woods in which it is held are the Shaker Woods). The exhibitors dress as Shakers and there were well over 200 and all had such unique and interesting wares. We spent over 5 hours there and still didn’t see it all. She had to leave shortly after we arrived home to go with her father to his hometown to settle legal issues with his mother’s death. This should be her last time.
    Prayers for Ally and David’s health and finances. Prayers for Jill and Larry’s health and for Larry to slow down and allow his body to heal. Prayers for April and Lou and their families. Prayers for Robert and his chhildren, may all receive the help they need to heal themselves and their family relationships. Prayers for Marti and her staff. Thank you for your prayers and may God bless all who visit here today.

  • robert moeller Posted August 16, 2021 4:49 pm

    I agree that Jesus does not condemn, Jesus comes to save. Admitting your faults, sins, errors ihn a process pf confession to God allows salvation to happen. Conviction is another word for the admission of wrongs.
    I add my prayers for Ally & David’s health and financial well being, the health issues faced by Larry and Jill, and the well being of Lou and April’s families. Prayers for Julie and Megan as their legal issues progress.. I’m thankful for your prayers focused on me and my family.. Step by step I think progress is inching along.
    Attending a worship service with a mask on was a new event for me.I’m glad the congregation is agreeing to this. Those uncomfortable with masks attend by ZOOM.
    The transition to a new pastor is also progressing. Records not maintained in quite the same manner are being updated..
    Prayers for Afghanistan, and Haiti. Thank You, Lord.

  • Jill Posted August 16, 2021 7:14 pm

    I can easily bristle at condemnation and criticism…and if it lingers – it is I who am replaying it. But conviction by the Holy Spirit is different for me – it is subtle and it is a quiet. It lingers on its own, as opposed to me reviewing it. I am grateful for these moments – because the issue needs to be dealt with.
    Rain all day, so my sister and I spent our last Monday of the summer together shopping. We really had a good day together and I am just so thankful for how our relationship has come around and I can enjoy time with her. I feel like God’s timing is so good – preparing this level of relationship as it will be needed as we become more involved in dad’s care.
    Julie – so glad you enjoyed the art and craft fair. Sounds like I would love it. I think we have a similar one close to me – Yankee Peddler. It runs three weekends in September and all the art and crafters are dressed up. It is an enjoyable time.
    Robert – will continue to pray for your counseling and for your guidance with Erich and his receptivity.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *