The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, August 4, 2022 comes to us from Rick Stockwell of Connecticut.

6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth-to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water." 8 A second angel followed and said, " 'Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,' which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." 9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name." 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."

Revelation 14:6-13 NIV



The athletic field was covered with frost as I jogged across it one chilly morning. Glancing back, I saw patterns from my running shoes on the grass. I was reminded of how our lives and the choices we make also leave marks. For better or worse, our actions make impressions on those around us, and our choices have an immediate effect as well as eternal consequences.

When I first became a Christian, my mentor taught me to always have my spiritual antennae up, even when doing something routine like shopping at the grocery store. We never know where the Holy Spirit might lead. A kind word spoken in the checkout line might be enough to help raise someone’s spirits. Returning a lost cellphone or wallet to a customer service desk might restore someone’s faith in humanity. Helping someone reach an item on an upper shelf might put a smile on his face.

Little things matter to God. As Jesus said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Lk. 16:10). With each faithful choice, we can ensure the impressions we make bring glory to God and benefit others.


Friends –

Every day each of makes many choices, and Rick Stockwell reminds us that each of those choices is an opportunity to honor God by being of service to those whom God has put in our paths. Not only does that service help someone else in the moment, but it also leaves a memory that can brighten a moment and empower the one who is being served to serve others. I invite you to remember moments in your life when your choices have brightened someone else’s day, and perhaps encouraged that one to offer kindness to someone else.

--Pastor bea


Dear God, help us have our spiritual antennae up at all times. Show us the people in our paths who especially need our love. Amen.

-- Rick Stockwell

Prayer Focus:

Grocery Store Workers

Thought for the Day:

All of my choices are opportunities to be faithful to God.