We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
WE PRAY: A PERSONAL PRAYER
Come, Holy Spirit!
God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – I long for you to come and fill me, fill your whole church, with your power. I read how on the day of Pentecost, your Holy Spirit fell upon those ordinary people, and they were transformed. They spoke in other tongues, that people of every race and tribe might know your love. They worked miracles that could not be accomplished by their own power, but only by yours. I long to be transformed like those apostles, God. I pray to be changed, to let go of my old way of thinking and acting, my old attitudes and stiff-necked opinions, so that I might love all your people. I long to be overcome by your Holy Spirit, so that I might be better used by you to do your purposes. I pray that our church might be transformed, that we would not be afraid to change so that we can reach people we haven’t reached before. And I pray that I would have that peace that passeth understanding, the peace that can only come by your indwelling Spirit. I will trust you to somehow, some way, through me or in spite of me, bring about your ultimate will.
Come, Holy Spirit!
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
…join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God – 2 Timothy 1:8b Read the whole passage of Scripture for the sermon here: 2 Timothy 1:8-14
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
How do you respond to the idea that you are called to “suffer for the gospel?” What are the things you care enough about to suffer for? How have you experienced a sense of “calling” from God?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
I have a friend who inspires me. He is committed to the idea that every child deserves a quality education. He doesn’t care whom he makes mad. He doesn’t care how hard he has to work. He doesn’t care how much it costs him. He is going to give his life for that cause. I wonder what you would be willing to suffer and die for? This week, we will be talking about doing something that matters with your life, giving yourself to something bigger than you are, and how the Holy Spirit empowers our holy work. I hope you will come and worship with us on Sunday.
There is a family in our church which is facing a potentially devastating disease, and one member of that family needs a stem cell transplant. No match has been found. I ask for prayer for this family. In addition, we will be having a stem cell donor registry drive next Sunday, May 22. I want to encourage every one of you to sign up to be a part of a donor registry. We will have kits to swab your cheek and then will record your HLA tissue type in a registry. In the United States alone, there are 20,000 people who need a transplant, and 70% of them do not have a match from their family. While your willingness to be a donor may not make a difference to the family in our church, it may make a huge impact on another family somewhere else. Remember, we give ourselves away in service and generosity…
This weekend Westheimer will be closed between Edloe and Buffalo Speeday. Please enter St. Luke’s parking lot on West Alabama or Edloe, or better yet, park at the Briar Club and take the shuttle to our campus.
Finally, some of you have read articles about the conversations at the United Methodist General Conference in Portland. This conference happens every four years, and important decisions are made and issues addressed. Please remember the delegates to the General Conference in your prayers. I hope you will remember two things: First, the press loves to pick up the controversy, because it sells. Much of the great work that is being done focuses on how to fulfill the United Methodist Church’s mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. It isn’t as juicy as the controversy, and so it isn’t reported. Second, until the General Conference actually votes affirmatively on something in the plenary session, it isn’t official. Many proposals will come forward that will be reported, and some even affirmed in specific committees, but will not be approved on the General Conference floor. In Portland, they will do what they do. Here at St. Luke’s, we will do what we do. We will keep our eye on the ball, and continue to fulfill our mission to gather people to Jesus, and put our faith into action in love.
Sunday, May 15
Lord Jesus, lover of my soul: you devoted your life to work that broke your heart. You broke bread with sinners; you made sure people had enough to eat; you healed on the Sabbath day when others called it a crime. You poured yourself out in a life that really mattered. Jesus, give us strength and courage to do the same. Lead us to encounter you in people and places that will break our hearts, so we will learn to love as you love. Lead us in a life that really matters. Amen. -Prayer by Rev. David Horton
Monday, May 16
God, we are thankful for all of the blessings and opportunities that you give us. We confess that we often times miss opportunities to do Kingdom work because we are too busy, we don’t want to be bothered, or we don’t even see them. Open our eyes to see where you are working and place it upon our hearts to join you in your Kingdom work. God, help us to be a part of something amazing. Amen.
Tuesday, May 17 } Personal Prayer Day
Make a list of the different roles that you have in your life. Then, go to God in prayer and ask him to show you how to do his Kingdom work in each aspect of your life. Listen for his response.
Wednesday, May 18
God, I confess that sometimes I only want to do things that bring about earthly rewards and instant gratification. Give me a heart to work for you in all that I do. Help me to prioritize my to-do list so that it reflects you and leads me to do things that really matter. Amen.
Thursday, May 19 | Personal Prayer Day
Go to the church website and look for opportunities to use your God given gifts and talents to serve God. Make a list of service opportunities that seem interesting and ignite a passion in you. Then, go to God in prayer. Ask God to show you where you can help him the best. Then, pray for God to give you the courage to act on his revelation.
Friday, May 20
God, sometimes simple acts of showing kindness and love seem like an inconvenience or a burden. Yet, I know that when I am obedient to your calling I am blessed beyond what I put in to it. Help me listen to your voice that calls me. Help me to act upon your calling without excuses, and help me to serve you with my whole heart and my best effort. Amen.
Saturday, May 21
God, you sent your son, Jesus, to lead us by example. Help us to follow his model of servant leadership. Help us to look past the cost of discipleship and look towards your heavenly reward. Fill our hearts with your love so that it overflows into all that we do. Amen.