We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
WE PRAY: A PERSONAL PRAYER
When I look back over my life, it has been a pretty good road. Lots of wonderful times, wonderful people, wonderful opportunities. I have made some wonderful friends, and served in some wonderful churches. I have laughed a lot, and worked pretty hard, and had the joy of seeing fruit of my labor. And the neatest part of all was that I got to do all of that with you. You were a part of all of it. You were there from the beginning.
And there have been hard times, too. A few valleys of the shadow of one sort of death or another. And you were there in those times, too. You kept me from being completely overwhelmed. I think you wept right there with me a few times. Even when I pushed you away, you hung around.
“Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.” Psalm 139:7-12
Yep, it’s been a good ride, so far. Goodness and mercy have pursued me for sure. I suspect we have a few more valleys ahead, and lots of great wide pastures to enjoy. I can’t wait to spend every single day with you.
Thank you, God. Amen.
KEY VERSES FOR THE WEEK
Psalm 23:4—“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” Read the whole scripture for this Sunday’s sermon here: Psalm 23 Common English Bible.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What evil do you most fear? Where do you find comfort? Where do you find strength?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week, we conclude our sermon series on the 23rd Psalm, as we talk about God’s comfort and strength. Do you notice that the psalm moves from third person to second person, from “he” to “you?” What do you think that means? Beginning next week, May 1 and through the month of May, we will look at the letters of Paul to Timothy, and consider some straightforward practical advice from an old pastor to a young man. This week, send me an emailtelling me the best single piece of advice you have ever received.
Sunday, April 24
God, help us to be your hands and feet in the world. Help us to find our spiritual gifts and to put them to work for your Kingdom. Help us to be all that you have called us to be. Amen.
Monday, April 25
God, in the big picture of our life, a lot of our problems are not that big. Give us eyes that focus on you and your kingdom. Give us a heart to share your love. Help us shine our light into the darkness of the world. Amen.
Tuesday, April 26 – Personal Prayer Day
Pray for your family members by name today. Ask God to grow their faith and bless them. Ask God to take care of their most fervent prayers.
Wednesday, April 27
God of power and might, we confess that we don’t have perfect faith in you all of the time. We confess that sometimes we pray without believing that you will respond. You have told us that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. Grow our faith God. And, when you move mountains, help us to tell our story to others so that they may come to know you. Amen.
Thursday, April 28 – Personal Prayer Day
Make a list of all of your problems. Then, turn each problem into a prayer. Throughout the day, when you are tempted to worry about your problems, say the prayer instead of worrying.
Friday, April 29
Heavenly Father, you are amazing. You created each of us in your image, and you know that we have amazing potential. Give us the wisdom and discernment to grow our gifts and talents. Help us to do your amazing Kingdom work here on earth. Amen.
Saturday, April 30
Gracious God, you have blessed us abundantly. Help us to use all of the resources that you have given to us wisely for your purpose. Show us how to be good stewards of our time, our money, our relationships, our health, our gifts, and our talents. Amen.