Scripture: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Prayer: My Friend, I have many cares, and I give them all over to you. The weight of life weighs heavy on my heart, I trust you with everything important in my life.
Reflection: We can find True Rest in Jesus. We must respond to his call and commit our ways to following him. We put our life in step with his, we learn from his wisdom rather than our own. We cannot live by our own terms and still expect to find the rest our soul needs.
Scripture: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
Prayer: God, thank you for your blessings, help me to love you more than your gifts.
Reflection: A measure of spiritual maturity is rightly ordered priorities. Often, we don’t love the wrong things, we simply love the right things too much.
Scripture: So then, the word of the LORD to them will become: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there–so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured. (Isaiah 28:13)
Prayer: God, I need your holy Word in my life. Without it I lack wisdom for my decisions and nourishment for my soul.
Reflection: There is no doubt, we are called to obey God’s Word. Discipline becomes ritual when our actions are an expression of our guilt rather than a reflection of God’s grace.
Scripture: All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. (Proverbs 16:2)
Prayer: Lord, help me to understand the things I do and why I do them. Create in me a pure heart.
Reflection: The test of every action is the motive from which it springs. We are not called to simply do the right things, but to obey with a pure heart. The test of every motive is the action it creates. For we are not called to simply believe, but to have a faith that is expressed in deeds.
Scripture: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
Prayer: Dear God, help me to love others as a reflection of the love you have shown me. Out of the overflow of your work in my heart, I want to serve others in love.
Reflection: The best friendships aren’t based on mutual benefit. “Win-win” is nothing more than good business, or more accurately in the context of personal relationships, selfishness. A by-product of servanthood may be mutual benefit, but this is not the goal.
Scripture: Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, satisfy my soul’s thirst. Only you can fill my needs, forgive me when I settle for imperfect substitutes.
Reflection: Why do we seek fulfillment from the things of this world? The world’s promises are attractive, but the delivery is empty. The rewards are instant, but the effects are temporary. The consequences seem non-existent, but the guilt is overwhelming. The gratification is complete, but only the Father knows what we truly need.
Scripture: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10)
Prayer: Father, transform my knowledge of you into love for others. If I cannot love others as you have loved me, I am not living in faith.
Reflection: Discernment is the essence of spiritual maturity, and it is the ability to understand how God is calling us to love others. The pursuit of discernment is a lifelong chase and keeps us from complacency.