We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
My father used to ask me a single question, over and over again, when he was angry about something I had done. He would inquire “what were you thinking?” My answer was usually, “Nothing. I wasn’t thinking anything. Dad, obviously I just wasn’t thinking.” That never seemed to satisfy him. I don’t suppose it satisfies you, either, when I do something that is hurtful to others, hurtful to myself, and most importantly draws me farther away from you. But the truth is that often, I don’t know what prompted my actions. I just know that I regret them later. My friend John has a reminder on his mirror, that could be for me: “John, don’t do anything really stupid today.”
God, I pray that you will keep me focused on things that matter to you, so that my head is not turned by the allure of superficial happiness instead of real joy, short term reward instead of long term strength. Slow me down long enough that I might glimpse the consequences of every one of the words I speak and deeds I do. Put people in my life who will hold me accountable. More than anything, God, forgive me. Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me.
In the name of the one I call savior,
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Nathan said to David, “You are the man…” 2 Samuel 12:7a Read the whole passage for Sunday’s sermon: 2 Samuel 11 and 12
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Questions for Conversation: How does boredom or a lack of mission lead to poor decisions in your life? Who or what do you count on for accountability? How have you sometimes let your sin define you?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
We have only two more weeks in the Saga of David. This week, the “Game of Thrones” motif continues, as we discuss the story of David and Bathsheba, in a sermon titled The Power of Power. I read a commentary on 2 Samuel that had as its title for this section The Rape of Bathsheba. That jarred me, and made me look at the story again. David had all the power, and because he did, he collected women like they were objects, and did whatever it took to protect his power and reputation. But still, he was “a man after God’s own heart.” What is it about the human condition that leads us to do such a thing…?
Hope you go to see The Music Man by our Tapestry players this weekend! Shows on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the Rotunda Theater with admission by donation.
As the summer continues, I want to encourage you to stay connected to the church while you are traveling by watching any of our three traditional worship services on livestream here: http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/livestream.
Sunday, July 31
Gracious God, we thank you for our community of faith. We thank you for the blessing of St. Luke’s and all of the ways that you are at work in our church. God, we give thanks for our faith friends and for the way you care for us through them. Amen.
Monday, August 1
Heavenly Creator, you knew me before I was born, and you created me for a specific purpose. Yet, my life feels vague and without a sense of direction. I pray that you will lead me to the life that you desire for me. Give me clarity and guidance that leads to your Kingdom. Amen.
Tuesday, August 2
Heavenly Father, you sent your son as a humble servant to teach us about your Kingdom and to show us your love. He even gave His life so that we may have eternal life. I ask that you would give me the self-discipline to serve you whole heartedly in all that I do. Help me to strive to do my best for you in all things, big and small. Amen.
Wednesday, August 3
Dear God, as part of your creation, you have blessed me with special gifts. The Bible tells us that our gifts have an important part in the church as a whole. Show me how to use my gifts for your purpose. Help me to realize that I cannot do everything. Grant me wisdom to focus on developing my gifts as well as the gifts of others. Amen.
Thursday, August 4
Almighty God, you tell us that you will never leave us or forsake us. So, no matter what comes my way, help me to trust you. The Bible tells us that in all things, you work for the good of those who love you. Give me a sense of peace and fill my heart with your love so that I may be able to see the good in every situation. Help me to remain positive and to persevere so that others may find your strength in me. Amen.
Friday, August 5
Dear God, I confess that I make rigid plans in a world that is always changing. Guide me to know when I need to be flexible and change my course, and give me stamina when I need to stand firm and persevere. Show me how to follow you wherever you go and how to stay whenever you want me to stay. Amen.
Saturday, August 6
Gracious God, you bless me with a new 24 hours each day. I admit that I don’t always make the best use of my time. I want to serve you and to be a good steward of my time. Give me strength to work hard and be productive, and tell me when I need to stop and smell your roses. Amen.