Archive for October, 2011

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Joshua 24:14-15

Monday, October 31, 2011 – Proper 27 & Ordinary 32, Year A

This week the lectionary offers numerous scriptures including: Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Matthew 25:1-13. Alternate selections include the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16 and Amos 5:18-24 or Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20 and Psalm 70.

Joshua 24:14-15“Now therefore revere the LORD, and serve him with sincerity and in faithfulness…Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this whom you will…but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

I have friends who post the last of this verse at their front door. I always have a sense of comfort as I knock on their doors. If you are like me, you try to serve God at all times but often feel as though your efforts have fallen short

Prayer: Patient God, we come before you as imperfect beings with generally good intentions. Bless and give strength to our households so that we might serve you more completely. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 23:1-3

Thursday, October 27, 2011 – Proper 26 & Ordinary 31, Year A

Matthew 23:1-3Then 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.

Model Christ. Lead by example. Walk the walk. Or as a friend of mine said recently, “Walk the talk.” These are simple lines that flow from my fingers onto the computer screen. The bar is set high, but we follow a God of abundant grace whose love for us is steadfast.

Prayer: Gracious God, we want to follow you more nearly but we so often fall short. Thank you for your continued confidence in us. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Thessalonians 2:13

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 – Proper 26 & Ordinary 31, Year A

1 Thessalonians 2:13We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.

There was a church here in Memphis that had an advertisement years ago…I can’t remember the name of the church or pastor, but I know he has passed away. One of his sermon lines in the ad was “God is working his purpose out!” This scripture reminds us that God is at work in each of us.

Prayer: Steadfast God, attune our ears and open our hearts so that we might clearly hear your directions for us. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 107:8, 35-37

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 – Proper 26 & Ordinary 31, Year A

Psalm 107:8, 35-37Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. 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.

We often speak of the neighborhood in which the Church Health Center is located as being something less than ideal. YET, with God’s leadership and lots of hard work on the part of many faithful people, an oasis of hope and healing has been created for God’s children.

Prayer: Gracious God, you have blessed us greatly. May we continue to do your will in all that we do. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 107:1

Monday, October 24, 2011 – Proper 26 & Ordinary 31, Year A

The lectionary passages for this week include: Joshua 3:7-17; Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37; 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13; Matthew 23:1-12. Alternate passages include Micah 3:5-12 and Psalm 43.

Psalm 107:1O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

This is a great verse with which to begin our week in service to God. It reminds us that God’s love for us is unwavering and unfaltering. God loves us more surely than we love ourselves.

Prayer: Loving God, we thank you for being resolute in your love for us. Work in us this day to help further your Kingdom. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 22:39

Friday, October 21, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordnary 30, Year A

Matthew 22:39“And the second commandment is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

I have lived on my street for over 20 years. Some of my neighbors have been here longer than I have. In reading this familiar verse, I am struck by the fact I barely know most of my neighbors. To be sure, I harbor no ill will toward any of them, but it is hard to love your neighbors, if you don’t make an effort to get to know them.

Prayer: God of Peace, it is easy for us to live under a veil of indifference toward our neighbor. Help open our hearts to one another. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 22:36-38

Thursday, October 20, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordinary 30, Year A

Matthew 22:36-38“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.”

This is certainly one of the most recognized passages in the Bible. ‘Love God with every fiber of your being – 100%.’ I imagine that for most of us, our typical commitment percentage is less than that.

Prayer: Loving God, we give you in part what you ask for in full. Give us the strength to be the servants you want us to be. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Thessalonians 2:5-7

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordinary 30, Year A

1 Thessalonians 2:5-7As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children.

I got stopped for speeding once while driving too fast through Alabama. With my wife and stepdaughter in the car, the police officer said to me, “Slow down son. You are carrying precious cargo.” I think God implores us to consider each other as precious cargo.

Prayer: Gentle God, you see each of us as your precious child. Help us treat each other with the gentleness and respect we readily offer our family members. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 1:1-3

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordinary 30, Year A

Psalm 1:1-3Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all they do, they prosper.

I have been struggling to keep a dogwood alive in my front yard for several years. Near-drought conditions and the clay-based soil in my yard have made it difficult to give my tree enough water. Our lives can suffer spiritual drought, and this passage reminds us to “get plenty of God in our lives” so our lives can be of full-service to God.

Prayer: Steadfast God, soften our hearts so that you might dwell in us more completely and make our service to you more fruitful. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 90:16-17

Monday, October 17, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordinary 30, Year A

The lectionary selections for this week include: Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 and Matthew 22:34-46. Alternate passages for this week include Leviticus 9:1-2, 15-18 and Psalm 1.

Psalm 90:16-17Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands – O prosper the work of our hands!

What a wonderful pair of verses with which to begin our week of service to God. May our faith in God be evident in all we do this week.

Prayer: Gracious God, may the work of our hands clearly show your work in us. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7

Friday, October 14, 2011 – Proper 24 & Ordinary 29, Year A

1 Thessalonians 1:6-7And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution, you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

It’s a tall order to live your life as an imitation of the Lord. For all those times I fall woefully short, I am thankful for God’s abundant grace. But the passages this week have reminded us that our faith should make us distinctive in ways that can inspire others…as best as we humanly can.

Prayer: Steadfast God of Grace, help us to be better examples of your love and to care for all of your creation. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3

Thursday, October 13, 2011 – Proper 24 & Ordinary 29, Year A

1 Thessalonians 1:1-3Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Is praying for others part of your daily routine? Paul clearly states that he prays to God constantly remembering the works of faith of his Thessalonian brothers and sisters.

Prayer: Gracious God, we ask you to be with each person we see today, and we ask a special blessing for those brothers and sisters whose faith serves as a testament to us and others. AMEN.


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