Our inside-out habits: We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
God, you seem to be meddling in every single part of my life. First how I spend my time and talent. Then my relationships. Now it is my money. And there is something about Jesus talking about my finances that really makes me uncomfortable. What does that say about me? I’m not sure I want to know. Perhaps I am the “rich young man who went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Instead, I want to be the one who searched for the “pearl of great price,” and traded everything he had for that one pearl of being used by you for your purposes.
OK, then, so let’s have a conversation about my money… What is that I hear you say? It isn’t mine? It’s yours? I thought 10% was yours and the rest was mine. Well, that could be the problem God. I keep thinking it is mine. OK, then, if it is yours, what do you want me to do with it? … What do you mean “figure it out?” I guess that is what it means to be a steward. We have to do the management of all of it. Won’t you tell me the specifics, make it easy for me? … What do you mean I wouldn’t do it if you told me? Sigh. You probably are right.
God, thank you for your provision, for providing everything I need to accomplish your purposes for me… everything I need to be a good father and husband and son and friend and teacher and citizen and pastor. And you have even gone farther than that. You have given me more than enough. You have poured out life on me abundantly. I want to use it all for your glory.
In the name of Christ, I pray, Amen.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
In last week’s sermon, I made reference to an op-ed I read five years ago by Rabbi David Wolpe on being spiritual but not religious. If you are interested, you can read it here.
This Sunday, we will continue our sermon series, “Show Me: The Letter of James,” and will talk together about where we put our trust, and how our use of money is both an indicator and a stimulus for trust in God. The title is “Your Money or Your Life.”
If you are a member of St. Luke’s, next week you should receive a packet titled “Glorifying God through Generosity.” Inside is a booklet with some important information, and a commitment card to support St. Luke’s ministries in 2019. Please take a look, and prayerfully consider your giving to St. Luke’s in the upcoming year. We use all of the information to make decisions about ministries and projects we want to undertake. Commitment Sunday is October 28, and we will dedicate our cards at the altar in all of our worship services that day.
This week, Children’s Church begins at our 11:00 hour on the second floor of the Johnson Education building. For children in K-grade 3, children’s church provides an age appropriate worship experience with live music and other activities as well. Find FAQ’s here.
You can still join Scripture + Shared, starting and finishing the series on James and 1 and 2 Peter at your own speed and convenience. There are daily Bible readings, commentary and explanation, and reflection and discussion questions on the Scripture + Shared app and St. Luke’s website. The video curriculum (also on the app and website) includes conversational lessons in which I visit with other St. Luke’s pastors and staff about the letters. Find a group and learn how to download the app at stlukesmethodist.org/bible.
Who would have thunk it that we would have over 100 dogs come for the Blessing of the Animals last Sunday in the Activity Center? The event corresponded with the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. We were surprised at no cats, and no reptiles or other slimy creatures. But it was a great event celebrating God’s gift of creation and man’s best friend.
Sunday, October 14
God, we desire to be closer in relationship with you. We want to hear you speak to us. Please draw us close to you, and guide us to your good, pleasing, and perfect will. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Monday, October 15
Lord, we confess that we do not always make good decisions in life. We pray that you would give us strength to do what is right and good in your eyes so that we can find our place in your Kingdom. Amen.
Tuesday, October 16
God, we pray for strength when we go through difficult times. Help us to focus on you so that we may persevere and fight the good fight. Please surround us with loving friends who will point us towards you and keep us grounded in your ways. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Wednesday, October 17
Lord, “treat me according to your constant love, and teach me your commands. I am your servant; give me understanding, so that I may know your teachings.” Amen. -Psalm 119:124-125
Thursday, October 18
Lord, we pray for those who have lost loved ones unexpectedly. God, we don’t understand why these loved ones are suddenly gone without even a chance to say goodbye. Provide comfort for those who are grieving and remind them of the hope of eternal salvation through your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Friday, October 19
Heavenly Father, we pray for those who are without adequate food and shelter. We ask that you would be at work in our church and in our community to provide for them. Protect them from harm, and improve their living conditions. Amen.
Saturday, October 20
Heavenly Father, today we lift up to you the injustices of the world. Help us to seek justice, and open our eyes to new opportunities to serve you. Equip us to make a difference in your world. Amen.