Friday, October 31, 2014
Matthew 23:11-12 – The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
In a world where we are encouraged to get ahead, to outpace our neighbor, it is hard to imagine being a servant. But God expects us to care for one another…to serve one another. Imagine for a moment today how bold your personal ministry to others could be if you knew that you could count on all the rest of us.
Everlasting and loving God, bless our efforts to help each other in significant, life-changing ways. Amen.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Matthew 23:1-3 – Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.”
It goes without saying that our actions matter. And while all of us are human and prone to falling short, we should take care to act in ways that honor our faith as best we can.
Forgiving God, we want to be better than we act. Thank you for forgiving us for all the times we fall short. Amen.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
1 Thessalonians 2:9 – You remember our labor and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
I have heard that Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inn, once said, ‘To be a success, you only have to work half a day. It doesn’t matter if it is the first half or the last half of the day.’ I must admit that it never occurs to me that Apostles were bi-vocational, that they had to work hard like the rest of us AND preach, teach and heal…that they had to work their share of half days then some.
Gracious God, bless all of our work today. May it put food on our tables and bring glory to you. Amen.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Psalm 107:35-37 - He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry live, and they establish a town to live in; they sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield.
The Psalmist praises God for creating lush land where people can thrive together. He praises God for making the establishment of communities possible.
Almighty God, thank you for the networks of friends and family that comprise the various communities in which we live. Amen.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Our actions as people of faith is one of the themes of the lectionary this week. The passages include: Joshua 3:7-17 and Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37, Micah 3:5-12 and Psalm 43, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 and Matthew 23:1-12.
Joshua 3:7-8 – The LORD said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they may know that I will be with you as I was with Moses. You are the one who shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.'”
The Lord promises to elevate and uphold Joshua “in the sight of all Israel,” so they will know he has taken Moses’ place. While most of us won’t have the opportunity to perform a miracle as evidence of God’s support of us, we will have ample opportunities to show others how God is active in our lives.
Loving God, may my actions today and every day reflect my faith in you. Amen.
Friday, October 24, 2014
1 Thessalonians 2:8 – So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
What a great passage with which to end this week. We are encouraged not only to share our faith in God with others, but we are also challenged to share ourselves.
Loving God, help us to witness to others in ways that bring honor to you. Amen.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
1 Thessalonians 2:1-2 – You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition.
Our faith should change us in noticeable ways. Today, we are reminded that our faith should give us a determination in our beliefs and in the decisions that come from letting God lead us.
Ever-present God, grant us courage to be witnesses to the strength you can provide to our lives when we rely on you. Amen.