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

WE ARE ENOUGH: God knew us before the world was framed (Ephesians 1:4) and knit us together before we were born (Psalm 139:13), creating us in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). God says that we are enough because our worth is found in Christ. To find ourselves, we must lose ourselves in Christ.

– Mandy Fender
devozine, Jan/February 2018

By Mandy Fender [New Braunfels, Texas], page 33 of devozine, the devotional lifestyle magazine for teens, January/February 2018. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What does it mean to find ourselves by losing ourselves in Christ? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
1 Corinthians 8:9, NRSV

This Week: Pray for world leaders. 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: Agnus (January 21).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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


  • Jill Posted January 26, 2018 3:29 am

    By laying all of our prized possessions, claims of invincibility, pride, presumed strength, abilities at the feet of Christ’s Cross – we empty ourself…loose ourself…lose ourself and confess we are unable to be Christ-like on our own. We are unworthy of His Love, of salvation, of being a partaker in His Kingdom come. This is when we are ready to accept His Grace and Mercy, to take on Kingdom work for His glory, to sense His Spirit moving, creating, transforming. O – what blessed surrender.
    Robert – your faithfulness in following the rehab program has certainly paid off. So good to hear your heart is so strong. Julie – good news, too, about your daughter being able to pass the kidney stone. So painful. Initially – when all my dad’s issues started over six weeks ago – kidney stone was one of the possibilities. Yesterday – he received good news from the doctor, the catheter was removed and he is able to void his bladder on his own once again. A big praise.
    It has been good to be back to school, to not be distracted, and to have good interactions with my students. Good too, to experience the normal fatigue of a full work week. Grateful for sunshine on the way home from school yesterday.

    • Marcy Posted January 26, 2018 2:08 pm

      Jill, thank you for your prayers this week. I am thankful for them. Also, thank you for your words in today’s comment. You say what I feel, exactly. Praises that your Dad is doing so good, and that the catheter is out, back to normal. Now, may God be his helpmate in getting back up to speed. I am happy for you, back in your routine and your contentment, Jill. I keep you in my prayers daily.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 26, 2018 6:53 am

    Grateful that my dad is finally feeding himself. He needs to practise walking now hopefully he will be able to be discharged and spend the chinese new year, 16 february, with the family and enjoy the reunion dinner at home.


    • Marcy Posted January 26, 2018 2:10 pm

      Sweet sister Mary, so good to hear your Dad is recovering and will be able to celebrate the Chinese new year and reunion! You are in my prayers every day!

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 26, 2018 11:45 pm

        Thanks so much dear Marcy!

        You are also always in my prayers.

        Hope you are adjusting well at home


  • Betsy Posted January 26, 2018 7:17 am

    My worth is found in Christ. Nothing I can do or say can jeopardize his love fo me. Trusting in Him gives me peace.

    Robert, your report from your cardiologist is such great news. Your diligence in your rehab and following doctors orders has been a big payoff. Praying for continued strength. Jill, so glad your dad is recovering and feeling more like himself. Spring is coming, and I know he wants to get back out there with you On the golf course. Julie, praying for your daughter as she recovers from the kidney stone. I know those can be painful. Mary, prayers for your dad as he begins his recovery and healing.
    Blessings for a beautiful and fruitful weekend for all who visit here.

    • Marcy Posted January 26, 2018 2:14 pm

      Betsy, a beautiful thought and sentiment. Thank you. I join you in your encouraging post for our UR family members.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 27, 2018 1:44 am

      Thanks so much dear Betsy


  • Julie Posted January 26, 2018 8:08 am

    When I read scripture, I am reminded that He made me in His image, that He formed me in my mother’s womb, and that He loved me before I even existed. I find my worth in His love and His attention, He know all the hairs on my head.
    Such wonderful news regarding Jill’s and Mary’s dads. I applaud Robert, again for his hard work.
    Thank you for well wishes regarding my daughter. I told her so many people were praying for her. Robert, this is how I deal with her unbelief. I relate these items matter of factly . She said to thank everyone on her behalf.
    Blessings to all and prayers for all your concerns
    Knees, foot and hands still in pain
    Thank you for your prayers

    • Marcy Posted January 26, 2018 2:26 pm

      Julie, I was praying for your daughter and will keep her in my prayers as I’m praying for you. I am thankful she is okay now. Is there any other treatment she needs to undergo? I can’t type without my keyboard (the phone has a keyboard on screen, but I can’t hold the stylus without cramping fingers) and I wore out the batteries while away from home. Put new ones in today. Also, really exhausted, but never stop praying for you and yours, Julie. I don’t have to type anything to do that! Just close my eyes and talk to God, pray to Him. I tried icing my knee but no change. Do you have any suggestions? I’m so sorry you are suffering pain in both knees and your foot. I pray that God heals the pain you suffer in your knees and foot and comforts you, as you know we all pray for you with the pain in your hands. Spring, please come early!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted January 27, 2018 1:45 am

      Thanks so much dear Julie and Robert


  • Lou Posted January 26, 2018 10:15 am

    More of you Lord
    Less of me…a prayer I often pray.
    “To find ourselves we must lose ourselves in Christ”
    I pray that these earthly things do not overcome me – I focus and rest in the fact that Jesus is all I need and he loves us and we are enough.
    Prayers for parents who are recovering – thankful that God watches over us- prayers for Jill and Robert and Julie’s daughter and their renewed health-
    Praying for Marcy and Julie as they heal and recover.
    Prayers for Connie, Francesca, Louise, Betsy, Andrea, Chloe, April and all those who come to this place today –

    • Marcy Posted January 26, 2018 2:34 pm

      Lou, thank you, so much for your prayers, as I keep saying, I’m in need of them! Yes, you are so right! More of You, Lord, less of me. I do keep the hope alive through faith in God that I’ll be better equipped to do so, very soon. I join you in your prayers for parents and for all our UR family members. I also keep you and your children in my prayers every day. Always feel free to tell us if you need us, Lou. You have come a long way and I can see the healing. Praise God!

  • robert moeller Posted January 26, 2018 10:45 am

    When these tough questions come, I am very thankful that there are well written, expressed thoughts that help me. Fellow believers say it very well, thank you. These words say a lot, ” we empty ourself…loose ourself…lose ourself and confess we are unable to be Christ-like on our own.” Without Christ we are nothing. abide in Christ and be whole.

    Thank you for your best wishes and words of encouragement. I thank God that I am in this condition. My walks are also talks with God.

    Great news from Jill, Mary, and Julie. God is most definitely at work and good things are happening. Thankful for a good week at school for Jill, her Dad’s recovery, Mary’s Dad improving with hopes of celebrating Chinese New Year, and Jill’s daughter recovering from a passed kidney stone and thanking the people who prayed for her.

    While traditions, foods, and customs differ Koreans also celebrate the New Year on February 16th. Have been in Korea and with Koreans here in the US on New Years. It’s been a while since I did that, but the memories are there.

    Prayers for Julie’s hands, knee and foot. Wondering about and praying for Marcy, Rusty and K. There’s a huge void without their comments, prayers, and fellowship. Lord, thankfully You are with them.

    Thankful that Anneliese’s muscle spasms have finally stopped, she is able to do more normal activities. The upstairs tenants may be moved out soon on their own, and there has been interest in the condo. Hopeful that a cooperative spirit expressed helps both Anneliese and me with income taxes.
    Thankful that after three days Erich’s sore back, skin problem, and nasal congestion are all improving. No word about Arnolds. Hopefully tomorrow when I attend a birthday celebration.

    While a minor event compared to the news about my heart, the trucks, wheel set on a railroad car, for my combine (mail-baggage-passenger car) arrived yesterday. The floor of the car sits on them and this assembly is on model railroad track. It’s like the laying of a keel on a ship, the footings on a house.
    One life’s little pleasures for me.

    • Marcy Posted January 26, 2018 3:01 pm

      Thank you, Robert, for your prayers this week. I am literally propped up by the UR family’s kind, loving prayers. Especially as of late. We celebrate the fact of your healthy recovery, Robert, thank You, Abba, Father!

      Praises that Annaliese’s muscle spasms have stopped. I can relate as I get them over a wide range of my body, but mostly in my hands. Even brushing my teeth can be an ordeal. Also, praises to God that the tenant will be moving out soon on their own, that you and Annaliese have a cooperative spirit concerning taxes and that Erich is finally recovering from being sick! I will throw in a praise of my own. I was able to keep the subsidized apartment complex I live in, from towing my car. It hadn’t been moved because I was hospitalized, then in rehabilitation. So they were going to tow it! This was complicated (is there ever any other way for me?) by the fact that the battery was dead! Thank goodness the roadside assistance on my insurance covered the jump, but my Pastor still had to come out and stand by the car while they serviced it and while it was running. Praises!

      Finally, Robert, you know how much I enjoy hearing about the model trains! I know what the trucks are, but felt I should have known what the combine was. I learned something new! Are there different kinds of combines? It IS like laying the keel of a ship. Also a bit of a pleasure for me. Thank you. God bless you and yours!

      • robert moeller Posted January 26, 2018 3:21 pm

        You have a lot of energy to write the emails you write. You have no idea what a blessing that is. I started modeling railroads 11 years ago and I’m learning almost every day. As a teacher I’m delighted when I hear some one learned something. I think there are various combines, passenger cars will multiple compartments or sections used for different purposes. Perhaps the most common is the mixed train combine. It provided some passenger related services, but was often the only passenger car on a freight train. Moving freight pays the bills, passenger service was the icing on the cake, but not usually a money maker. That this combine was on this shortline, only 96 miles from one side of northern Vermont to the other, is interesting.

        Take good care, any blessings and thanks for your prayers, they have helped a lot.

        • Marcy Posted January 26, 2018 6:52 pm

          It takes time, Robert, but when I’m not falling asleep, and sometimes when I do, I rest and go back to typing. I have fallen asleep in the middle of a post several times, but that drives up the data! There’s really nothing else I can do. Just woke up now, when friend got here to shop for me. Will be asking her questions on other things, when she returns. Praise God she was able to get here!

          Thank you for the explanation on the combines. Sigh… Such a pleasant reminder of my Dad.

          May we all look forward to learning more always, especially when it’s about the Scriptures, containing wisdom about God our Father, Jesus Christ, our Savior and the Holy Spirit!

          • robert moeller Posted January 26, 2018 8:10 pm

            No matter how you do it or it is done, it is a blessing to all of us who read the UR. Thank you, praise God.

            Very thankful your friend came and you are getting the help you need. One day at a time, step by step, slow and steady, make progress, yes, God is with you and that makes all the difference. I’ll testify to that.

            I wake up in the middle of the night and then go back to sleep. As long as you get the sleep you need, take it any way it comes.

  • Marcy Posted January 26, 2018 2:03 pm

    UR siblings, friends and family, I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch. Thank you all so much for your prayers. I’ve had more complications, although, thanks be to God, the fluctuations in my temperature is no longer an issue. That hasn’t happened since Monday night and it was only a little over 99. However, I managed to injure my right knee going to the doctor and can hardly put any weight on my right leg. I wish now, that I had that cane and the walker I’m supposed to have here at home. The knee hurts so bad at times, I’m actually nauseous. It hurts sitting or laying down and it keeps me from sleeping, so I’m sleeping night and day, on and off and I’m still tired all the time. I have been told by the doctor not to go up or down the stairs here without help and no driving for now. My Pastors have done all they can for me, especially while hospitalized and in rehabilitation facility. They and the younger members of the congregation have full-time jobs, children and illnesses in their own families. The rest of the congregation are elderly, and can’t get up my stairs any better than I can. So I am dependent on the State of Illinois and my insurance for home healthcare, which I’m told will take weeks, if not longer. I’m still on Maximum strength Mucinex to break up remaining congestion, do two breathing treatments a day and use the oxygen as little as possible. I try to get around the apartment as much as I can, not good to lay in bed all day, either. The pain is awful, though.

    Praises, I actually got a hold of a friend who was supposed to help at the rehabilitation facility, the health system navigator friend. She will be going to the store for me today, picking up some groceries and personal items. I was able to have the pharmacy deliver my medications and the oxygen company is coming out to explain the equipment to me and deliver a second small portable oxygent tank. I have doctors appointments coming up, and have to use the oxygen when walking or climbing stairs. These are all blessings, praise the Lord!

    As for losing myself in Christ, I do this every day through prayer for others and then myself. I wasn’t sure about praying for oneself, but recent events have made things clear. I always thanked God for His many blessings. Then, as long as I can keep my eyes open, I study the Scriptures. Usually, staying awake is no problem, but this week has been a real “bear.”

    Thanking you, loving siblings and family members, again for your thoughts and prayers. I continue to be in need of them. I pray for strength and healing for all of us dealing with physical, emotional, mental, relational and spiritual issues and rejoice with all of us who are regaining health, happiness and harmony in our lives. God is good, all the time!

    Praying for world leaders to be filled with God’s live, compassion and wisdom.

    Will comment back to each individually and be back later today or tomorrow.

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! LOVE, GOD’S all-encompassing LOVE, to each and every one of you in the UR family and beyond, prayers spoken or unspoken.

    • robert moeller Posted January 26, 2018 3:09 pm

      While you still are having problems, issues, and concerns, that you are back on the UR is a great relief. We know what is going on and can pray for you, especially your leg, being able to get around, go to appointments, help from the state and insurance, and of course God’s blessing.

      Thankful you have Lucy, pets are great medicine among other benefits.
      Hope the health system navigator friend comes soon and gets you through the health system so help is more timely and effective. Think there are also organizations that help people get to and from medical appointments. Not sure how IL works, but many of these programs are available no matter which state you live in.

      Thanks so much for looking out for all of us at the UR. You most certainly are in our prayers. Slow and easy, steady progress, and you’ll be better sooner than you think. God and your own determination will see to that.

      Unless something happens I am no longer a cardiology patient. Dr. Kunin says I have recovered very well, I’m on reduced meds, and need only regular checkups with my primary care doctor. Thank the Lord!

      Had a good long walk this afternoon. Have made progress on the combine. It now has trucks and the floor sits on them and track. Will send you a report after the big train show in West Springfield MA this weekend. I’ll be there on Sunday.

      Take good care, hope you get visits from your pastor regarding worship. I understand the help part and so many people with their own issues.

  • Marcy Posted January 26, 2018 3:20 pm

    I am also thankful to you, April, for your prayers. I and so many others, are so blessed by this loving, gentle and accepting UR family. I keep you in my notebook, praying for you daily.

    Andrea, I know you are away on retreat and I’m also very thankful that you keep me in your prayers. I really am trying my best to stay optimistic, please, Lord, no more “complications,” I pray! Safe travel mercies, I pray for you, Andrea, there and back. I continue to keep you and your family in prayer.

    Thanks to Connie and Edy for your lovely comments. God is good!

  • Gerri Posted January 27, 2018 1:25 am

    Lost in Christ, I can only become like Christ as I keep growing inside his presence.

    • robert moeller Posted January 27, 2018 5:02 am

      YES! Very true, I pray for its accomplishment. Thank you, Gerri!

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