Sunday, August 19, 2018

Joy

THE 13th SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

The Sovereign Lord has ... sent me to proclaim that the time has come when the Lord will save his people and defeat their enemies. ~ Isaiah 61:1 (part), 2a (GNT)

Paul writes: We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy... ~ 2 Corinthians 1:24 (part) (NLT)

KEY IDEA:
God's salvation and schedule fills us with joy.
PRAYER:
Thank you, Sovereign Lord, for rescuing us from the hold of sin and death. Continue to save me from thinking that I am the source of my salvation -- that if I just work a little harder I will become one of your good and happy people. That burden sucks all the joy out of me. I am going to look to you -- and you alone to fill my life with joy. Amen.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Stay the course

The people answered, "We’d never forsake God! Never! We’d never leave God to worship other gods." ~ Joshua 24:16 (MSG)

You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. ~ Colossians 2:7 (MSG)

KEY IDEA:
Stay the course with God by putting your faith into practice.
PRAYER:
Thanks be to God for roots that give life and love that makes life worth living! May I remember the source of those gifts and not imagine I can build a better life on my own. May gratitude grow as I recall the strong grounding in Christ of earlier generations. Amen. (Daily Texts, Mount Carmel Ministries edition)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Others first

God said, “What’s this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a mere shade tree that you did nothing to get? You neither planted nor watered it. It grew up one night and died the next night. So, why can’t I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, this big city of more than 120,000 childlike people who don’t yet know right from wrong, to say nothing of all the innocent animals?” ~ Jonah 4:10-11 (MSG)

We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:24 (MSG)

KEY IDEA:
God is calling us to be concerned about others.
PRAYER:
Lord, thank you for loving us even before we understood that you exist. You are concerned for people -- even those who are lost and aimless. I, on the other hand, tend to be concerned about such people only when it benefits me. Even in my compassion, I'm trying to get others to recognize me as a compassionate person. Help me to stop thinking of how others see me and to think first of others so that I am loving them as you love them. I want to find joy in seeing others do well. Amen.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Good teacher

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. ~ Isaiah 48:17b (NLT)

... The Lord will give you the understanding necessary to deal with these matters. ~ 2 Timothy 2:7b (ABP)

KEY IDEA:
The Lord is our teacher.
PRAYER:
Lord, you are so awesome! You don't just save us from the grip of evil but you also give us good teaching that leads us in a healthy direction. Whether I listen and pay enough attention is another matter. I don't. I'm too content with my own limited understanding. Help me to better understand your grace toward us inattentive people so that we can live grace defined lives. I'm going to grow in understanding. Amen.