A PERSONAL PRAYER
You call me to run the good race, to finish strong, not to rest on my laurels. But I confess to you that sometimes I am just coasting. I pray the way I have always prayed. I worship the way I have always worshipped. I love others the way I have always loved. Too often, I simply take the path of least resistance. Forgive me, God. I know that real spiritual growth takes investment, and a willingness to be different today than I was yesterday, and different tomorrow than I am today. Worse yet, sometimes I even feel like I am moving backward.
Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart. I want to be more holy in my heart. More and more. I can’t keep coasting anymore.
You have declared me to be your beloved child, with sin washed away. Let me now “live up to that which we have already obtained.” Light a fire within me, and restore in me a passion to become everything you made me to be.
In the name of Jesus, I pray,
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. -2 Thessalonians 1:3
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION
What are the forces in your life that lead you to stop or coast? What are possible next steps for you? Which one will you commit to take?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
We are currently involved in our 2018 Generosity campaign, called “All In.” We have some really significant dreams for 2018, as we take real steps forward on our five–year plan:
- Step up to support our key outreach partners: CCSC, and Connect Community with volunteers and dollars. We want to help CCSC build a new building right across the street, and we are going to make that a big part of our Christmas observance this year.
- A new Hispanic pastor for our Gethsemane campus.
- At least one new worship service at the Story Houston. Growing very fast, and we want to make sure we invest in that growth with appropriate staffing.
- Renovate the Fellowship Hall, and relaunch our encounter worship service.
- An important focus on engagement of visitors and members – working with a top rated consulting company to help us renovate those processes.
We would love to have you help us. Commitment Sunday is October 22, and I hope you will plan to be present, or you can simply go online and give here:http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/give/. As you think and pray about what God is leading you to give, take a listen to our Generosity Team chairs as they talk about how they decide: https://vimeo.com/233721137
Sermon Series: Changed!
This week, we continue our new sermon series, “Changed!” Are you continuing to grow, to change? Are you any different today than you were yesterday or the day before? Are you closer to Christ, more loving? Or are you just coasting? This week, our sermon is “More and more.”
There is still time to join us in our study on our Fall Scripture+Shared Bible Study. We will be learning together about Paul’s letter to the Galatians in an eight week study called “Freedom: Life in the Spirit.” The study will run the week of October 1 through November 19. You can download the materials on your Scripture+Shared app. And you can sign up here: http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/bible/
Find out about how you can be involved in our flood response on our website here http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/houston-flood-relief/
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
Sunday, October 8
Gracious God, we are humbled by your generosity in all that you freely give us. We are not worthy of your gifts, and we often forget to thank you for each generous gift in our lives. Please forgive us. Lord, fill our hearts with your generous heart and open our hands to give abundantly in all that we do. We love you. Amen.
Monday, October 9
Lord, please lead me to follow you and financially give what you are calling me to give. May my generosity and my service bless others. Also, please give those in charge of the church’s finances wisdom to use the money where you lead them. Amen.
Tuesday, October 10
Lord, please guide our church as we seek to do your will in showing generosity. Amen.
Wednesday, October 11
Lord, your steadfast love endures forever. Let my heart and my resources be a reflection of your love. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Thursday, October 12
Lord, please show me where I can joyfully sacrifice in order to give generously to further your glorious Kingdom. Amen.
Friday, October 13
Lord, lead us in our giving. Remind us that all that we have is already yours. Amen.
Saturday, October 14
Lord, we pray that we can open our hearts to you and contribute in any way that we can. Amen.
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