We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
Sometimes I get all excited or resolved regarding some goal, and my enthusiasm lasts only a few weeks or days. Then the questions and thoughts beset me:
- “Why am I doing this anyway?”
- “Of course I will quit. I always do.”
- “I can’t change. The old self is just who I am.”
- “This is just too hard.”
- “I’ve tried this a thousand times with no success. Why do I think this will be any different?”
- “I’m just not cut out for this.”
God, I know that isn’t your voice in my ear. That is the voice of resistance. The band Casting Crowns sings of Peter hearing God’s call to get out of the boat on the Sea of Galillee:
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out his hand
But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again, “Boy, you’ll never win!”
“You’ll never win”
God, when I quit, start me up again. When I get knocked down, pick me up again. When there’s a roadblock, show me a different way. When I turn away from the goal, turn me back again. Put people around me to encourage me, or kick me in the butt when needed. Remind me that I may not be able to do this, but you absolutely can. Make me persistent, resilient, tenacious…
God, when I am stuck, get me unstuck…
I pray in the name of Christ,
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… 2 Cor 4:8-9 Read the whole text for Sunday’s sermon here: 2 Cor 4:7-12
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What are the internal or external challenges that seem to most often knock you down? Who are some people who can help you to practice perseverance, resilience, or tenacity as you move forward?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week, we continue our series called “Unstuck,” and we are focusing on how to keep at it: perseverance, resilience and tenacity. Ever want to give up? What would giving up look like? What keeps you from doing so? Come and find out!
It is getting closer to the launch of our new Bible Study ministry: Scripture + Shared. St. Luke’s leadership set a single lofty goal: 2000 people in regular Bible Study with others in 2017. In order to do that, we are creating our own Bible Study materials, and inviting every single one of you to participate.
- A Weekly Bible study lesson for small groups and Sunday school classes, with a video lesson as well as written lesson and discussion questions. We will also be using this curriculum for “Bible Buddies”, for two or three people who may get together and study, or watch independently and exchange their thoughts about the study.
- Daily Bible readings and reflections that reinforce the week’s Bible study.
- A Family Bible study, following the same theme, with simple discussion questions that a family can do when they can grab a few minutes together.
- An app for smartphones and tablets as a delivery method for weekly and daily content. The materials will be available on our website for printing as well.
We will begin this spring with a study of the life of Jesus in the gospels, called The Journey to Jerusalem. It will begin February 12 and conclude just after Easter. Together, we will look at the arc of Jesus’ life, and how Matthew, Mark, and Luke have specific themes and agendas as they tell the story. The study will overlap with my sermon series during the latter part of Lent. For more information contact Kathy Neely at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up online HERE.
Sunday, January 29
God of life, things are not always easy, and I oftentimes forget to focus on you because I am worried or struggling or consumed by hard things. I know that you are always with me and that you will never leave me or forsake me. Guide me to focus on you in all things, and help me to grow through my struggles. Grant me rest when I am weary, strength when I am weak, perseverance when things are hard, hope when I feel lost, and discipline to do what I need to do. Amen.
Monday, January 30
Gracious God, I confess that most of the time I see my glass as half empty when reality is not nearly as bad as I make it out to be. Today, I ask that you would open my mind to help me find the good in all things. Show me new ways to be positive and encouraging. Amen.
Tuesday, January 31 – Personal Prayer Day
Today is the end of the first month of the new year. Take time today to look at your vision and goals for your life and evaluate your progress. Then, spend time in prayer asking God to renew your strength and your focus so that you can experience the life that God has planned for you.
Wednesday, February 1
Dear Lord, Help me not to be anxious about anything today. I have so many cares & concerns that weigh me down. Please help me to learn to give my worries to you and to remember to trust you, so that I might find comfort and rest. In Jesus’ name, Amen. —Linda Goehrs
Thursday, February 2
Thank you God for the wonderful world you’ve made. I am grateful for the love and support you give me, and I will always know that no matter what I do – right or wrong, you will always love me. Amen. —Pharyn Dickson, 11 years old
Friday, February 3
Christ Jesus, This has been a long week and my body and my spirit are tired. I want to live and love like you, but today I need some extra help from you to do so. Please tame my tongue and my short temper so in all my humanness, your love will still shine through me. —Laurie Noteboom
Saturday, February 4
My Lord, You are the one thing, the only thing I need today. Help me remember this all day long.