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

JESUS ISN’T LOOKING for flatterers; he’s looking for followers. He’s not looking for people to call him Lord; he’s looking for people to treat him as Lord. Apparently, this is for our own good. Jesus says that building our lives on obedience is like building a house on a firm foundation. When the floods come, the house stands firm.

A life built on obedience to Jesus can withstand opposition – whether worry, fear, doubt, or offense. Nevertheless, obedience is difficult, so Jesus’ question (“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”) is worth pondering. Why don’t we do what he says? Is it because Jesus’ words are difficult to put into practice? Is it because Jesus’ way is costly – in terms of time, money, and reputation? What entices us to build our lives on an unsure foundation?

– Matthew Croasmun
Let Me Ask You a Question

“From page 94 of Let Me Ask You a Question: Conversations with Jesus by Matthew Croasmun. Copyright © 2018 by Matthew Croasmun. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.
“http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How do you answer the question, “Why don’t we do what [Jesus] says?” Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die.”

2 Samual 11:15, NRSV

This Week: pray for the mind of Christ. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Mary Magdalene (July 22).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • robert moeller Posted July 23, 2018 7:04 am

    I think believers try to do what Jesus teaches, commands, but as I think Jesus also says, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We are human, but with the love, grace, and mercy of God shown by Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice, we are saved by belief and the actions we take as a result of our belief.

    Have no idea why, but the comments made by others are not coming and the email where I confirm that I want them is also not coming. Was glad to be able to go to the UR yesterday and read all of the day’s posts.

    Thankful for very much needed rain last night, a cool day, the chance to walk on a rail trail again today, and be able to help Erich.

    Prayers for Marcy, her breathing, heart and well being; Julie’s finger, hands, foot, and future; peace for Gloria, Larry, Becky, and Jill; Jill’s left hand, Andrea, Father Erwin, Lowell, Andrea’s daughter, grandson, and son-in-law;Connie and her husband, Rusty and K, Lou and her family, Mary, her job and parents. Prayers that the needs and concerns of all the UR family are met, thankful for the blessings you receive.

    A new week, the last full one of this month. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and do your best.

  • Julie Posted July 23, 2018 7:48 am

    Robert, as always your words strike to the heart of the question and answer it succintly and with great insight. I will reflect on your answer today.
    I see a dermatologist for a yearly skin check today.
    Prayers for Robert and his heart and jaw health. Prayers for Erich and his nerve pain and life search. Prayers for Anneliesse and pain relief.
    Prayers for Mary and her parents, Lou and her family, Connie and her family, Andrea and her family, Jill and her hand and parents, Marcy and Roger, Gail and her family and Ken.
    I spent the weekend with my mother celebrating her birthday. My daughter and I took her to the movies, shopping and out to dinner.
    Prayers and blessings for a good week for the UR famiy members and thank you for your thoughts, words and prayers.

  • Connie Posted July 23, 2018 8:20 am

    I try very hard to “do what Jesus says”. Being human, I often fail.

    I went back to the archives of July 22, 2012 and there we were…..Robert, Jill, and me. On the 23rd Heidi commented. The words warmed my heart and started the week off just great! Things may change as years go by, but some things never do….thanks be to God.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted July 23, 2018 9:15 am

    The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak… in Matthew reminds me of why we dont do what Jesus says.

    Grateful for another busy day. My colleague and i always say ” thank you ” after each day at work and also “sorry” if we have in any way hurt one another.


  • robert moeller Posted July 24, 2018 5:00 am

    Good news from you Julie, I think that you and your daughter were also greatly helped being with your Mom. That is a great blessing for all three of you.

    Thank you for your compliment, my comments are hopefully what the Holy Spirit inspires me to write. Good things come from God.

    No reflection yet and no comments unless I do a search, thankful the search produces results.

    Amazing that 6 years ago we, Connie, Jill, and I, were posting here. Time flies.
    Not 100% sure when I started but know it was soon after my Dad passed away and I had moved to Glens Falls from NJ. I think around June 2008.

    For me, “Pachinko”, the novel about Korean immigrants to Japan by Min Jin Lee, feels very familiar. I am enjoying that book immensely. I’ve lived in Korea and visited Japan thanks to my military and teaching, couldn’t afford to go there on my own back then. My wife’s maternal grandparents were from Pyongyang, her life started in Wonsan. Grandparents and my wife’s family, minus her father, killed by the communists, left North Korea during the Korea War. Grandparents went to Seoul, my wife’s family to Busan as it is now spelled. Her grandfather was in the March 1st 1919 Sam Il Movement that protested Japanese annexation, occupation, and rule. Thankfully, her family didn’t experience life in Japan during the occupation. I’m also grateful the the Japan of today is very different from those times.

    By the love, grace, and mercy of God and the redemption of Jesus we are alive. Thank You, Lord.

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