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, I believe you created me with purpose. You put a passion in my heart. You planted within me the seeds of specific spiritual gifts, all ready to be activated by the Holy Spirit when I respond to your call. You formed me using the experiences of my life. And I have been one of the lucky ones who has a sense of what you want me to do. Nonetheless, I sometimes wonder what is next for me – not as a profession, but as a human being. What should be my priorities now, today, at this season in my life? I have only a decade or so of professional ministry left – what do you want that to be all about? And I have only so many years of life left – what do you want that limited time to be about? Show me what you want me to do, who you want me to be, and where you want me to serve you. Amen.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
… I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey.–Exodus 3:8. Read both passages for Sunday’s sermon here: Exodus 3:1-12, Habakkuk 2:2
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
When you visualize yourself in one, five, or ten years, if God has used you in the best way possible, what will you be doing? What will be different about your life or the world around you? Describe it as well as you can.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
I ask you to pray for our Middle School and High School students this weekend, as they participate in DNow, a weekend retreat challenging our young people to grow in their discipleship. It is a time many of our youth decide to be followers of Christ for themselves for the first time. Pray for the leaders, the students, and for God to work in their hearts and in their midst.
This week, we continue our series called Unstuck. How do we know what God is calling us to do? We will look at Moses’ call to ministry when he was 80 years old, discuss how we can discern and respond to God’s call and purpose aimed specifically at us. If you missed it last week, here is a silly teaser you can post to help us spread the word about this series. Finally, beginning February 12, St. Luke’s is launching a new Bible Study ministry titled Scripture + Shared. I will be writing the study in concert with other pastors and staff of St. Luke’s. We are really excited about this ministry. It will have several important components:
1) 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.
2) Daily Bible readings and reflections that reinforce the week’s Bible study.
3) A Family Bible study, following the same theme, with simple discussion questions that a family could do when they can grab a few minutes together.
4) 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.
Sunday, January 15
Eternal God, Today I promise to stop moving and just sit still with you. May I worship you and glorify your name in the way you deserve. Amen.
Monday, January 16 – Martin Luther King Day
Father, unite us together in your name for your purpose, and help us to seek justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with you in all that we do. Give us the strength to rise above worldly ways and to seek your higher calling. Let us be bound together in your perfect love. In Jesus’ powerful name, we pray. Amen.
Tuesday, January 17 – Personal Prayer Day
God calls us to great things, but oftentimes we ignore His calling even though we know that our life would be better if we would just break free from our chains and do what He is calling us to do. Make a list of three things that you know you should do in order to live the life that God is calling you to live. Spend some time in prayer with God asking Him to give you what you need to complete these things. Commit to praying for the things on your list weekly until they are complete.
Wednesday, January 18
Heavenly Father, I confess that my gung-ho spirit for the new year fades quickly, and I return to my old habits. Give me strength when I am weak, and grant me perseverance to stay focused on creating new disciplines that bring me closer to you. Guide me with your perfect vision so that I may strive to run in such a way as to win the eternal prize. Amen.
Thursday, January 19 – Personal Prayer Day
We have an amazing gift of hope in Jesus Christ, our Savior. In fact, it is hard to imagine going through the hard times of life without that hope to sustain us. Yet, there are many people in our world who do not know his love and grace and who live without the vision of hope of eternal salvation. Make a list of people in your life who need to learn of hope in Jesus Christ. Place this list where you see it every day, and pray for them. Then, pray for God to give you opportunities to share the Good News with them.
Friday, January 20
God of all things, as my work week comes to a close, give me time for reflection so that I may learn to be a better steward of my time. Open my eyes to see opportunities to share your Good News. Grant me self-control and discipline to follow you and abandon the ways of the world. Amen.
Saturday, January 21
Father, I know that one day with you is better than thousands elsewhere and that you are with me always. Break open my schedule to spend time with you, and break open my heart to follow you. Captivate me with your holy presence. Amen.