We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
There have been times I haven’t lived my faith so well, but you were always there holding me up, loving me, inviting me to love you back. There were times I didn’t pray or read my Bible at all, and you still were there loving me. There have been times I have done things that were just plain wrong, hurtful to others, against everything I believe in. You were still there loving me. There are days I don’t believe any of the stuff I preach, but you just hold on to me all the more tightly. There are times church seems like a waste of time to me, but you don’t flinch. You just keep whispering in my ear that you love me and invite me to come and be with my brothers and sisters again. There are so many times I turn my back on the poor and the outcast and am deaf to the cry of the needy, and callous to the problems in your world, but you don’t turn your back on me. And when I think that it was for the selfish, wrong-headed, fickle me that you died, I am overwhelmed. What an amazing God you are. I cannot find words to express how grateful I am for your unwavering love.
That love has changed me, O God. It awakens within me a deep desire to pray and talk through my life with you. It prompts me to read and understand my Bible and to understand how your kingdom works. It gives me the power to be kinder to others. It propels me into the world to share your love, and to try to help the hurting and to join you in your work to heal that which is broken. It draws me back to worship you and to be in community with my brothers and sisters in Christ. It fills me with the Holy Spirit. But at the core of it, God, is how much you love me and how much I want to love you.
Thank you so much.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
“Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17 Read the whole passage of Scripture for Sunday here.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
How would you answer the question: “What does it really mean to be a Christian?” Does the statement “I have a relationship with Jesus” make sense to you? Why or why not?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
What is the essence of the Christian faith? Is it a way of life? Is it principles for an ethical life? Is it a set of spiritual practices? Is it a set of rules to follow? If I could give my children ONE thing from my faith, what would it be? That is the focus of our message on Sunday.
Here are some other things I want to make sure you know about:
1) A reminder that during September, all one dollar bills in our offering plate go to support flood relief in the Baton Rouge area. This is a wonderful way to help out with our outreach efforts, as well as to make the offering time on Sunday mornings a real act of worship, and teach our children and youth about the importance of generosity.
2) Do not forget to put October 16 on your calendar for the grand opening of our facilities. It is going to be a marvelous Sunday.
3) Please lift up in prayer The Story Houston, our worship community that is a part of the St. Luke’s church family, as they move into the new worship facility today. God has been at work in significant ways through this faith community, and we pray for God to continue to reach new people for Jesus through this important ministry.
4) Finally, To help with Parking, we want to encourage as many people as possible to use the shuttle parking from the Briar Club. Please try and reserve our main south parking lot for those who have mobility challenges, as well as families with children five and under, who cannot ride the shuttle buses because of lack of car seats. To help you know where to park, there is a map here.
Sunday, September 25
Heavenly Father, you have been with me my whole life, and your love has never failed me. Help me trust you in all things, big and small. Amen.
Monday, September 26
Dear God, help me to place my heart in your hands. Teach me to wait patiently and prayerfully for your perfect timing. Amen.
Tuesday, September 27
God of providence, you tell me to ask and it will be given to me, to seek and I will find, and to knock and the door will be opened. Let me be persistent in prayer, obedient to your commands, and trusting in you. Amen.
Wednesday, September 28
Heavenly Father, guide my heart to follow you always and let my actions reflect your Kingdom. Please help me be an example to others so they grow in their faith. Also, give me strength to persevere when I am tested. Amen.
Thursday, September 29
God, sometimes it is hard to find the words to pray. Open my heart so that I may feel your loving presence, set my mind free from fearful thoughts, take away my guilt from sin, ease my physical struggles, and remove all other barriers that keep me from you. Bless me with a spiritual experience. Amen.
Friday, September 30
God, after a busy week and a busy month, I seek rest in you. Give me time to rejuvenate my body and renew my spirit. Direct my focus to you and your Kingdom ways. Set my heart on fire for you with uncontainable passion. Amen.
Saturday, October 1
God, help me to be still and quiet in your presence. Grow my love and trust in you so that I may become more like Jesus in all aspects of my life. Amen.