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. Condemnation is conviction robbed of hope. Condemnation says, “You’re ugly, you’re broken, and you’re never going to change.” Conviction says, “There may be ugliness, there may be brokenness, but that’s not who you are. Who you are—God’s beloved creation—is beautiful and whole. By God’s grace, you can be—and indeed you are becoming—this truest self.”

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

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

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

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 or share it in the comment section.

Something More

As Christians, we hunger to know and live out God’s purposes for our lives. But how do we know for certain that our choices are moving us in the right direction. Learn more about Which Way, Lord? –  a 6-session churchwide or small-group study that will help you understand God’s desire for your life.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • Bj Posted August 26, 2019 6:54 am

    Good morning, UR family! Psalm 100:3 says, “Know ye that the LORD he is God:: it is he that hath made uz, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Kjv) —-Jill, welcome to a new school year. Julie, when you get a chance look back at aug. 24 posts. To all, have a blessed day.

    • Julie Posted August 26, 2019 9:02 am

      I don’t like either of those “artists”

  • Julie Posted August 26, 2019 8:14 am

    All I have heard and continue to hear from human mouths is condemnation. My inner voice has, of course, also adopted this and I flog my self mercilessly. To finally hear words that allow me to heal and grow into the person designed me to be would bring me to tears and my knees. I read Psalm 62 in the CEB version and this question’s premise is more evident in that version. It says only humans, and indeed all humans, slander and use words against us. But it reiterates over and over that our strength is from the Lord only. Ii will keep my eyes on Him only.
    Prayers BJ and I will go back and reread that reflection’snposts, thanks.
    Prayers for Jill and the new school year, may it be successful.
    Prayers for healing for Andrea, Connie, Erich and Marcy.
    Prayers for Robert and Lou as both continue on new paths.
    Prayers for Mary and may she spread her joy to all she meets.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you my dear UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 26, 2019 8:47 am

      Dear Julie, only what God asks of us is important cause He made us and he’s aware of what we are capable of doing.

      May we rise up and do what God asks us to do!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted August 26, 2019 8:28 am

    Yes, Lord, help us know the difference between what you ask of us and what the world asks of us.

    Thanks Julie for your prayers.


  • Jill Posted August 27, 2019 4:24 am

    Conviction is from the Holy Spirit, with the goal of moving us closer to Christ-likeness. Condemnation tears down and is from the devil…there is no positive aspect. Father – help us to be able to distinguish clearly between the two – moving towards the truth.
    A restless night of sleep, as yesterday was quite a heavy day. Upon arriving at school, my program coordinator quickly informed us that there had been a tragedy with one of our student’s family. This family put one daughter through our program a few years ago, as she graduated in 2017. The other daughter is entering our program next week. The family was up in Canada vacationing before taking the older daughter to school in Maine. Many members of the traveling party were scuba diving in a lake in Canada, someone ran in to difficulty. The dad was able to rescue the person in peril, but ended up drowning himself. It’s just incredibly awful.
    Additionally yesterday, I got a text from a friend in my small group, whose dad has pancreatic cancer. He lives about two hours south. He was being moved to a facility for the last few days of his life. My friend and her husband were heading to be with him. She has been attending some of the cancer support meetings with me lately.
    And my best friend – her brother had a 4+ hour surgery yesterday – he has been battling Crohn’s for 15 years. She was at the hospital most of the day yesterday. He came out of recovery around 5 pm.
    And my friend – whom I mentioned here a few weeks ago – her daughter is struggling with self harm. A text came through very late last evening – they found a razor. They fear her anti-depression drugs may be causing these suicidal thoughts. They monitor her round the clock, checking on her every 15 minutes. But – they think she came home from school with it. She started back to school last week – 1/2 days. My heart breaks for this family. I spoke with my friend just Sunday evening – and she said it had been a fairly positive weekend. Oh the roller coaster.
    UR family – I would appreciate if you could hold these situations in prayer.

    From Psalm 62:2 (NKJV): “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.” I think about greatly moved. This verse struck me yesterday morning. Then, as the events and news of yesterday continued to occur, I thought about this…greatly moved. Am I moved – yes of course. But I am tethered to The Anchor. A boat in a storm, whether tied to a dock or in the middle of the sea with its anchor down, it is moving…but not greatly moved. My footnote in my Bible says – shaken or demoralized. Shaken, but not to despair. Shaken – but still turning to prayer.
    Father – You are big enough and You are enough. Blessed be the name of the LORD.

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