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Monday, July 17
Invoking God into our Week

The Apostle Paul’s next-generation disciple training moves into a call to seek peace, likely meaning with God (thank you Jesus!) with others (help us Jesus!). As we run our race marked out for us by God, peace can come in quite handy to settle our spirits in difficult times and to enable us to have true partners in the faith. We start with two brothers whose bad blood led to murderous thoughts, but eventually saw peace win out.

Genesis 33:4

But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him...

This ‘run’ devotion has the sweet scent of forgiveness along with the peace we are to seek. The last time Jacob dealt with his brother, Esau had sworn to kill him for stealing his blessing. It has been years since, and while Jacob is apprehensive about his brother’s upcoming reception, Esau surprises Jacob by running to him and hugging him with joy. The reunion brought them to tears. Forgiveness is powerful. It is inspiring. And it can bring peace instead of strife. How does forgiveness inspire you? How does God’s call to peace motivate your actions with others with whom you are at odds? Maybe you could inspire others…maybe you could bring peace!


We step into this week celebrating You, Father, the God of Peace;

We celebrate You, Jesus, the Prince of Peace;

We celebrate You, Holy Spirit, who reveals the race as it unfolds for us;

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Tuesday, July 18
In the Word

Mathew 28:8

So the women hurried away…  and ran to tell his disciples.

There are many biblical events in which I deeply wish I could have been present as a participant; this is one. Seeing the empty tomb after knowing that you had seen Jesus die and be buried. These women had come to anoint a dead body; Instead they found an angel declaring that Jesus was alive. Imagine how the bitter pain turned to great joy, how the deep soul angst turned to overwhelming peace. So they RAN to tell the disciples. I imagine that was not a leisurely walk. Oh no! Oh to have seen that!

Lord, You say “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29). I believe and look forward to the blessing of seeing You face to face and living with You in heaven. Until then, grant me a peace that surpasses my understanding, but definitely encompasses all of my life.


Wednesday, July 19

Psalm 119:32


I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

Trying to convince people that following rules expands your freedom sounds strange -- counter-intuitive; but it’s true. A person who breaks rules generally ends up with more restrictions. Consider that even with the basic idea of honesty, truth-tellers (as opposed to liars) are free to tell stories without fear of tripping up in a story or contradicting a previous lie. It’s freeing to be a truth teller and its freeing to be a follower of God’s commands also.

God help me live freely.


Thursday, July 20

1 Samuel 20:36


... he (Jonathan) said to the boy,  “Run and find the arrows I shoot”.

Remember: While we don’t want to be running without some awareness of why we do so, sometimes we are in the position of the boy in this story (read 1 Sam 20). Like the boy following directions from his master Jonathan, we are expected to do what our Master tells us even if we may not realize how we are being used in the given situation.

Lord, help me to run my race and trust that You are keeping me on track. I don’t always need to know what is going on to have peace, I just need to have a deep trust that You are watching over me like a good shepherd. Thanks.


Friday, July 21

Genesis 39:12


He (Joseph) left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house...

This is running like your life depends on it. The story is one of sexual temptation for Joseph, and he took off with a temptress clinging to his outer garment. Joseph’s run was one we could all train up for so that we are equipped to run away when necessary. 1 Peter 2:11 instructs: abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Don’t sleep with your temptations – run from them.

Saturday, July 22
The Saturday Set-Up for Worship

Nehemiah 6:11


But I (Nehemiah) said, “Should a man like me run away”?

Nehemiah was facing intimidation tactics from enemies, threats to his life, and deceit from among his own Israelite people, but stood strong amid the dangers. We sometimes think that peace is the absence of conflict, but peace can be had in the midst of conflict also. For Nehemiah, knowing that he was doing the work of God was enough to keep from being dissuaded from his task. It didn’t matter who was against him. This kind of laser focus can be a powerful attribute to the Christian Life, both in training and in life events that make up our lives.

Lord, teach me the benefit and practice of standing strong in my Christian calling amid dangers.


Sunday, July 23
God's Blessing on His People

God Bless You

Proverbs 18:10


... the righteous run to [the name of the LORD] and are safe.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower, says Solomon here, and appropriately the righteous run to it (Him) for safety. This is the idea of God being our “Lord” – someone who protects you, a place where we can take shelter from our enemies and find peace, to take comfort knowing that our Lord is stronger than what or whoever is hounding us. Go ahead, run to Him and let him be Lord over those tough parts of life also.

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