We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
This week, Bishop Scott Jones will preach at all of our traditional and Encounter Sunday morning services. Bishop Jones received both his Master’s degree and Ph.D from Southern Methodist University, has been a local church pastor and was on the faculty of Perkins School of Theology before he was elected bishop in 2004. He served for the last twelve years as the bishop in the Great Plains Annual Conference, covering the states of Kansas and Nebraska. He is the author of numerous books and is known for his great scholarship and teaching on Wesleyan doctrine and history. Bishop Jones has been married to Mary Lou Reece (now a member of St. Luke’s), since 1979. They have three children, Jameson, Arthur and Marynell. His message this Sunday will be is “Inventing Yourself Godward.”
A PERSONAL PRAYER
I have a lot on my mind this morning. I want today to be one of those “no deeds to do, no promises to keep… feeling groovy” days. But it is not going to happen. I am trying to sort all of the projects and issues into compartments, so I can approach them one at a time, but to no avail. They just keep bumping and blurring into one another. I am tempted just to skip my praying and jump in and get to work. There is a lot to be done.
Instead, I think I will put off jumping right to the work part and spend some time telling you all about them. I will spend extra time this morning listening with my heart, and maybe I can hear your voice quiet me, focus me, strengthen me and direct me. I will remember who I am, your beloved son, with whom you are well pleased. I will remember who I am and what I stand for in Christ. And I will invite you to employ me in your work, rather than ask you to bless mine.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” — John 3:3 Read the whole passage for this Sunday’s message here: John 3:1-17.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What would being re-invented in a godly direction mean for you personally? What change could you imagine?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
We are off to a great start on our Scripture+Shared Bible Study! As of Thursday morning, we have had 1225 downloads so far. Of course, that doesn’t tell us how many are actually using it. But we want to encourage you to
- STUDY the Bible every week with someone else (you can use our new Scripture+Shared weekly videos and lessons if you want, or use some other material…)
- READ the Bible every day (Carry your pocket Bible, or use the Scripture+Shared daily readings)
- LIVE the Bible’s message all the time.
We have designed the Scripture+Shared curriculum so you can join in a group any time, or just find your own buddy and get started or jump in the family study at any time!
Next week, we begin a new four-week series, “In the Wilderness,” as we head into the Lenten season. Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted for forty days, and Moses wandered in the wilderness with the Israelites for forty years. Wilderness times must be a part of our walk with Jesus. How do we face those times? We will start on Sunday, February 26 with a message titled “Wandering and Wrathful.”
Sunday, February 19
Lord, Please guide me in the direction that I need to go in school for my future career. I feel like I’m just going through the motions without having an end goal in mind. I need help prioritizing you as number one and trusting that even if I don’t have all the answers that there is still a plan for me. -Allison Fernbach, Sophomore at Texas A&M
Monday, February 20
Jesus, You came so that the blind may see, and too often I am quick to assume this just means healing for folks without vision. But I am blind too…blind to my neighbor who is lonely, blind to my friend who is excluded, blind to the child who is bullied. Open my eyes and give me vision to see the people around me that need love. Amen. -Katie Montgomery Mears
Tuesday, February 21
God, Help me to make you my number one priority above everything else. Please take away the distracting things that the world values, so I can focus on you. Guide me every day and help me let go of my plan because yours is much better. Amen. -Alexandra Blake, 14 years old
Wednesday, February 22
Father God, Draw my heart closer to you. Help me to hear your direction for my life, and help me to move faithfully with confidence knowing you are in charge – not me. Please guide me towards patience and empathy, and help me to greet all I meet with the love you taught us through your son Jesus Christ. Amen. -Chelsea Pacey
Thursday, February 23
Jesus, You teach the road to your father is narrow, because He just wants me. Today I pray for the strength to release the stuff of this world that is burdensome, so I can come full-heartedly and freely to you. Amen.
Friday, February 24
Dear God, Please help us to strengthen our relationships with you. Bless those who are less fortunate than us. Amen. -Christopher Lewis, 13 years old
Saturday, February 25
Lord, I pray for the pastors and staff of St. Luke’s who are preparing tomorrow’s worship. Bless them with health and time and I thank you for their dedication to spreading your word. Please ready my heart to receive the message and remove all distractions so I can then take the good news out into the world. Amen.