A PERSONAL PRAYER
Yahweh Yireh, God who provides,
You have always provided for all my needs. In times when I wondered if we would get by, we got by. In times I thought we would have enough, you poured in more than enough. My cup runneth over. I trust you.
But I confess, God, that I don’t always act like I trust you. I have spent too much time worrying about money. I have rationalized selfish actions and greed. I have worked for deals that are fair, but are more fair to me than they are to others. I have given to others out of obligation rather than out of a generous spirit. I have given just enough, instead of more than enough. I have acted as though I own all my resources, rather than simply manage them for you.
I confess, too, that I have claimed a buyer beware attitude in my financial dealings. Your commandments challenge us to build a community of trust, to be different than the world around us in our dealings with others, but I have acted much like the rest of the world when it comes to getting and spending. When I have been less that trusting or trustworthy, forgive me. When I have cut corners to save a little money or make a little more, forgive me. When I have drawn hard lines between my faith and my finances, forgive me.
God, you teach me that how I deal with my money is a window into my heart. When I look through that window, I don’t always see the transformed heart you are bringing about. I am still a work in progress. Whisper into my ear God, and remind me that you love me so much, and will provide for me. Grow me by your Holy Spirit that I might be more trusting of you and trustworthy for others. Move me forward, God.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK: “You shall not steal.” –Exodus 20:15 Read all the Scripture passages for this week’s sermon: Exodus 20:15, Matthew 5:38-42, Ephesians 4:28 And, you might want to check out John Wesley’s sermon #50 “The Use of Money.” It is pretty insightful and challenging.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION
Where do you think you may practice dishonest gain? What steps might you take to strive for greater generosity?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week, we continue our sermon series discussing the Ten Commandments. I am calling this week’s sermon “A Biblical Business Curriculum.” We will consider together commandment #8, “You shall not steal.” We have been looking at the commandments as windows into God’s heart – what matters to God, and windows into our own hearts as well. If last week, we viewed sex as an important window, this week it is money. I wonder how much of your life you spend thinking about money? How much are you controlled by it? If you are not able to join us in church this Sunday, watch us where you are via LiveStream, watch the replay of the sermon online, or listen to the Podcast.
Come this weekend and see our Tapestry Players present “My Fair Lady” in the Rotunda theatre. Times and info here.
Over the last two weeks, the Paces have two new grandbabies, getting us to a whole baseball team full of grandchildren. Henry Ray Cobble, nicknamed Henry the 8th by his grandfather, but nicknamed “fireball” by his big brother Carter, was born on July 11, 2017 to Andrew and Coatney Cobble. Landrum “Land” Garvey Monroe was born on July 24 to Will and Kendall Monroe. They are both pretty awesome! “Oh, how blessed are you parents (and grandparents – TP addition), with your quivers full of children!” Psalm 127:5.
Sunday, July 30
Our Most Beautiful Creator, how is the sky so blue, the trees so green, and the flowers so rich in every color? We truly marvel at your creation and give thanks to you for your abundant beauty that surrounds us. Give us your gentle and nurturing hands to care for your creation in your perfect way. May your love warm our hearts as the sun warms our hands. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen. -Prayer by Julie Ellerbrock
Monday, July 31
Dear God, I surrender. Amen.
Tuesday, August 1
God of wisdom, you have blessed us with teachers to help our children grow and learn. We thank you for the way they find and nurture a child’s special gifts, and we pray that you would bless our teachers as they prepare for a new school year. Inspire them and encourage them as they follow their special calling. Amen.
Wednesday, August 2
Dear God, I pray for those who have recently lost their loved ones. Be with them through this difficult time and grant them peace in your presence. In your wisdom show us how we can be a comfort to those among us who are hurting. Amen.
Thursday, August 3
God, please give us strength to face each day and to honor you with the relationships you have given us. Show us what it means to be your church, and guide and protect those who you have placed in leadership over us. Amen.
Friday, August 4
Thank you for all of my amazing friends who lift me up and give me hope each day. God, use me to lift up others in my life that they may know your love and grace. Amen.
Saturday, August 5
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace by your faith in Jesus Christ until, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you overflow with hope.” (Romans 15) Lord, overflow me with your hope today. Amen.