Sunday Week 8

NEVER WITHOUT A STORY


“Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!


“How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it.”


With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting stories to their experiences and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, working out the tangles, untying the knots.” Mark 4: 26-34 (Message)


Prayer: All-powerful God, in Jesus Christ you turned death into life and defeat into victory. Increase our faith and trust in him, that we may triumph over all evil in the strength of the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.



 


Monday

5 FINGERS


“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” Ephesians 1:16 (NIV)


My three year old granddaughter was trying to teach her one year old brother how to fold his hands for prayer. She would hold up her hand, point to each finger and say, ”Count 1,2,3,4,5 and then count 1,2,3,4,5. Then she would claps and folded them in her lap. She did this until her brother got the idea.


As she repeated the procedure again and again, I thought of when her father at five years old came home from Sunday School with his 5 finger prayer. It went something like this:


  1. My thumb is for prayers for my family. ( all who are close to you)

  2. My pointer is for my teachers. (and all others who guide you)

  3. My middle finger is for my country. (all those in authority)

  4. My fourth finger is for the sick and poor. (all who need help)

  5. My pinky is for me. (all that I need, not want)

It is a simple prayer that can be used by all as a reminder that we should prayer daily. By dying on the cross for our sins Jesus reconciled us to God. Jesus ever lives to intercede for us. We should intercede for each other through prayer.


Prayer: Lord, you are our reassurance, our guide and our provider. As we look at our 5 fingers, let us remember all those who look to you through prayer. Amen


CO@pp


Tuesday

NOISY LORD


“…there was thunder and lighting, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast.” Exodus 19: 16 (NIV)


I am looking out the window seeing blowing stocks of green wheat and watching the dark storm clouds rolling in. It’s an eerie feeling watching the lighting flashes strike in the distance and the thunder booms not too far behind. (As kids we were told God’s angels were applauding the lighting shows.)


If you think about it, God sure can be noisy sometimes. Think of the wind howling, the lighting flashing, the thunder crashing, the fire roaring, and the water rushing, all noises God has provided for us. They are all beautiful in their own way, but most of us would rather have the peaceful blue clear skies, the calm smooth water, the gentle breeze and the flicking fire glow.


When storm clouds of life hinder us, we tend to blame God. When it is calm and peaceful in life, we forget about God or put Him on the back burner. However, no matter whether it is calm or storm, quiet or noisy, God is calling us to be His. He is a constant, a giver of unconditional love. Hear His voice calling, “Follow me.”


Prayer: Precious Lord, give us strength to fight the battles of the storm clouds of life that surround us. Let your voice calmly call us to you. Sometimes you have to get our attention with noisy sounds and other times through stillness. Use us as you see fit we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.


CO@pp



 


Wednesday

ARE YOU LISTENING?


“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)


Are you listening? How often have we been asked that question when we are otherwise preoccupied or thinking about something else?


Are you listening? Gets our attention and puts us back in the moment.


We are all accused of selective hearing at sometime or other. However, shouldn’t we be active listeners instead? As an active listener, we listen not only to the words but for the feelings, attitudes and emotions of others. We should be attentive so that the words don’t go in one ear and out the other but sinks into our hearts and minds.


When God said to Peter, James and John on the mountain, “This is my Son, whom I love, Listen to him!” (Mark 9:7) He was saying we should give ALL our attention to Jesus. He wants our full attention, not only our ears but our total body’s energy and allegiance. Jesus’ spoken words are words of wisdom, strength and eternal life. Are you listening?


Prayer: Gracious Lord, you are an ever active listener. We need to listen to you as followers of your word. We ask your guidance and wisdom to be examples to others who don’t know you and to encourage each other in our daily lives. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen


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Thursday

HE RESTED


“So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because in it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:3 (RSV)


Busy, busy, busy,


Work, work, work,


No stopping, no play.


Do you know people who are so busy working seven days a week that they don’t make time to relax and enjoy life? Do you know others who feel guilty if they are resting when they could be working? Do you know family who work on their vacations, cell or IPod going all the time? God didn’t say that you were to work with no rest. Even God rested after he worked.


“By the seventh day God finished what he had been doing and stopped working. He blessed the 7th day and set it apart as a special day, because by that day he had completed his creation and stopped working.” (Gen 2: 2-3) He didn’t stop because he was tired or lazy. He saw that His creation was good and so He took time to appreciate it and rested. God wants us to work but also that we should rest. Our worldly self puts pressure on us, and we don’t take the time to smell the roses and see the small pleasures that surround us. (The hugs, the fellowship, the hummingbird by the feeder, the excitement of a child, or the pleasure of listening to an older person.) What are you missing? Jesus told his disciples that, “The Sabbath was made for man. Not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) Life is too short. You need to learn to enjoy what God has given you. Don’t take your work with you everywhere you go. You can’t take work with you into eternity.


Prayer: Lord, as we go about our daily lives, we thank you for the gift of rest. We thank you for the tools to work and the courage and knowledge to know when to rest. In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen


CO@pp


 

Friday

DO WE HAVE ALL WE NEED?



"May the God of peace, who brought up from among the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep with the blood of the eternal covenant, it is our Lord Jesus I mean, equip you with every good thing that you may do His will, and may He create in you through Jesus Christ that which is well-pleasing in His sight. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:2-24 (NIV)


What a wonderful prayer! The author of Hebrews shows us that our God is the God of peace. Thus we know that we can give our life to God and only He can give us the peace we need with ourselves, each other, and with Himself.

This prayer shows us that God not only shows us His will but He also equips us to do it.


His prayer shows us that Jesus is our Shepherd who bears our foolishness and never stops loving us. He made possible the new relationship between God and us by dying for us.

The prayer of Hebrews 13:20-24 provides all we need to know of God's love, His will, and that He will provide all we need to do His will.

In Hebrews 13:17-20, He calls us to obedience and trust in God and in those He has appointed to lead us in the church. It says "if we grieve them there would be no profit to you either in that. Keep on praying for us, for we believe that we have a clear conscience for we wish in all things to live in such a way that our conduct will be fair."

May we pray the prayer of Hebrews 13:20-24 for our loved ones and our church family. May we have a sense at the end of the day that none of the souls committed to our church families' care have been lost, that we have followed the truth and have grown closer to God, not further away. May our duty as a congregation be one of prayer, to take our church family and leaders to the throne of God's grace and to remember there all who bear responsibility of leadership and authority, giving them our respect and our obedience.

When Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister of Great Britain, his friends congratulated him. He said: "It's not your congratulations I need; it is your prayers." May we do the same for our church family and leaders. Praise be to God. Amen.


Prayer: Lord, stir up our church families and leaders that that they may be obedient prayer warriors at all times for you. Amen


SP@pp


 

Saturday

STOPPED


“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4 (RSV)


Have you ever just stopped?
Just stopped and stared into space.
Empting your mind,
Clearing your head.


Have you ever just stopped?
And said, “I wonder why
God made the earth so round,
So full of beauty?”


Have you ever just stopped?
And really looked at your surroundings,
The sand, the grass, and tiny ants,
The birds, the clouds and sun so bright.


Have you ever just stopped?
And thanked to Lord for giving you,
The opportunity to hear, to smell, to feel, to taste,
And see the wonderful gifts he’s given you.


Have you ever just stopped?
Do it now!
Look around you and take it all in.
Thank and “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”


Prayer: Lord, thank you for providing all these blessings that flow to us daily. Forgive us for abusing what you supply and for not praising you 24/7. You are the creator of all things. Praise to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen


CO@pp