Philippians 1:2- 11“And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest if righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. Amen”
Mark 12:28-34 The greatest commandments center on love: love for God, love for oneself, and love for our neighbor. How is this accomplished? Do you see how it begins centered on God then expands to include each realm around us – beginning with the individual, then closest family and friends, to those in our environment and even to the world. God, your commandments call me to love you with all that I am. Why is it so hard to see the connection between accepting your love for me and giving my love to others? Transform me into your instrument of love in the world.
Hebrews 12: 1-3 Often we forget that we are part of the entire Body of Christ; perhaps we see ourselves through denominational lenses or other titles we might use to define who we are. God sees His people as one. Scripture reminds us we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on. We must not become entangled in things or issues that hinder us. When we focus on the cost at which we were bought, our actions should reflect not our own ambitions and desires but those of Christ. God of our Fathers and Mothers, reveal your will and desires for your people; conform our minds to yours. May we reflect you.
1Thessalonians 5:12-28 “Live in peace with each other.” As the Body of Christ, we are called to live in peace, to be kind to one another even when we disagree. We are admonished to pray for each other. Today, spend time praying for the Body of Christ; that we may be known by our love. Eternal God, teach us to love each other as you love us. May we be the people you created us to be. May the world see you in us.
1 Peter 3:14b-16a “Do not fear what they fear and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” God, may your church fear you and your judgment more than other human beings. Lord Jesus, we give you the throne of our hearts in order that you may govern our thoughts, words, and deeds to our re-creation and your glory. Make your church holy and wholly yours.
Romans 12:4-5 We all bring gifts to the world that no one else has to share. Without our active discipleship the body of Christ is not whole. We are all are created and redeemed for a purpose, to serve God and make his glory known to the world. May this be the day when you recognize the gift God has given you to share with the world and a day where you see everyone you meet as a unique and beautiful gift from God. Beautiful creator and sustainer God, give me the self-confidence to see myself as a gift from God. Grant me the discipline to live out those gifts with Holy obedience. With humility and excitement help me to empower others to discover their gifts which you have bestowed upon them and support them as they strive to live into those gifts. Amen
Luke 13:18-21 New International Version (NIV) The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast. (V 18) Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? V.19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” Many times small acts of faith can have a huge effect on someone’s life. • Actively listening to someone feeling the chill of life. • Taking a meal to someone who is sick or in grief. • Saying please and thank you to those serving you. All these things seem small, but they all can have a powerful effect on the person receiving them and may just be the thing that helps their seed of faith grow into a spiritual tree. Go into this day with the mission of doing small acts of the Kingdom. The scriptures promise that their impact will be huge. Gracious Father, make us stewards of your grace this day. Lead us by your Holy Spirit so that the world may experience a glimpse of your Kingdom through our words and actions. Amen
People will come from north & south & east & west and sit at the table of the Lord. People will come from North Dakota & South Carolina. People will come from Eastminster & Western Colorado Presbyteries. People will come and sit at tables at the COBO Convention Center in Detroit, and the Lord will be there, too.
Let us, united in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, praise God together for all his marvelous deeds. Let us, as sisters and brothers in Christ, debate and pray and vote and live and serve as those who are God’s own beloved. Let us not be anxious or have troubled hearts, but believe and trust in God, so perfectly revealed in Jesus Christ.
Matthew 5:9 “You are blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are and your place in God’s family.” (The Message) As we are called to Love one another with the Love of Christ, we are reminded that we are also called to promote peace in times of discord and strife. Dealing with issues of great importance often brings forth passionate pleas and strong feelings. Frequently these passions escalate and before we know it we have crossed over from civility into hostility. Blessed is the peacemaker – those among us who can bring calm to the chaos. Blessed is the peacemaker – those whose voice can be heard above the shouts, whose love softens hardened hearts. Creator of all that is good, please instill in us Your Love that we may be the calm voices of peace amidst the clamor. Enable us, through your reflected Love, to be the still small voices of peace and calm. Use us that we might bless and be blessed, as peacemakers.
Ephesians 4:1-6 Paul challenges us to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” How are we to do this? “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” NIV The scripture goes on to say there is one body and one spirit and we are called to one hope; called to one Lord, one faith, one baptism. There is one God and Father of all. God is over and through and in ALL. God, we don’t know how to be one. We seem to have forgotten the bond of unity. Give us the hope we find in Christ. Restore your church; begin with me.