Simple Devotion: Answering the Radical Call
A love so strong, so powerful that we want to give and give and give some more; not from obligation or guilt but from heartfelt desire that people would come to know the wonderful and saving love of God through Christ. How many elderly people need to know God still loves them? Think for a moment of co-workers, family members and friends who desperately need what the church has to offer -- love. For God so loved the world that He gave… Will you?
Why do I give? Who do I personally know who needs to know the love of God through Christ? Help me, Oh God, to give like You. Help me to give with a generous and loving heart. Open my eyes to a world that stands in desperate need of Your wondrous love in Christ.
I pray in His name, Amen. Day Eight. Day Seven. Her husband had. Day Six. Day Five. Finally, they were nearly there. And yet, even as they stood on the banks of the Jordan, gazing into the Promised Land, their hearts were undoubtedly filled with a mixture of joy, fear, excitement and anxiety. How could they do it?
How would they manage? Perhaps some of the initial excitement of being a part of the campaign has evaporated. How will we manage? How can I give a generous and sacrificial gift? Can we begin to set apart: our lives, our homes, our families, and our income, to be used by God and for God? Am I beginning to experience any doubts or questions about our church, our campaign or my involvement? Are there parts of my life that I am holding back from giving to God? How can I intentionally set my life apart to be used by God?
Oh Lord, give me the courage and the faith to give my life and all I have, to be used by You. Day Four. As golden sunlight slowly fades into the grayness of twilight, so the promise made years ago seems faded and distant. Abram had believed, had given up his home and traveled to a distant, unknown land all because of a promise. Excitement and enthusiasm have been replaced by questions and doubt. On this journey of faith there will be times when excitement and enthusiasm are long forgotten; times when faith seems overwhelmed by questions and doubt.
How does God respond? What does He ask? In the midst of our doubts, in the midst of wondering, "Will this really happen? Remember, count the stars! Have I lost any of my original enthusiasm? Do I believe in the vision? What does God truly want from my church, this campaign and my life? Dear God, I admit that sometimes I forget. Sometimes I get so caught up in the work that I forget the promise and the vision.
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Help me, Lord, to take the time to remember and like Abram to once again believe. Bethesda United Methodist Church. About Us. Community Happenings. Bethesda Youth Group. Opportunities to pray. United Methodist Women. Bible Studies. Prayer Thank You, Lord, for the gift of this journey we call a stewardship campaign.
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Questions to consider Do I believe that my church, through Jesus Christ, has the answer for a hurting world? Prayer Oh Lord, thank You for friends who in the past have carried me into Your healing presence. Questions to Consider How have I met Christ in my church? Prayer Oh, Giving and Loving God, remind me now of all the wonderful ways You have blessed me, touched me, and changed me.
Can one really exist without the other? Stewardship stories told during campaigns often include the sharing of what people plan to give but, more importantly, why they give. In nearly every instance one of the words that jumps to the fore is gratitude. A husband and wife standing in front of their church family, tears streaming down their cheeks as they speak of the love, support and strength given by God through their church when they experienced the tragic loss of their child.
Such gratitude inevitably leads to generosity. A young man whose entrepreneurial skills have led to considerable wealth at a relatively young age, speaks movingly of gratitude to God. He knows that everything he has and everything he has accomplished is a gift -- a gift from God. He tells his church family that their faith in him gave him the courage and faith to do more than he could have dared dream. Gratitude and generosity.
I think not. God, parents, friends, teachers, youth leaders, pastors, Sunday school members, all have a part in our development. The only true response can be gratitude followed by generosity. Questions to consider 1. How has God blessed me? Have I been truly thankful? Does my gift adequately reflect the ways God has blessed me?
Prayer Forgive me, Lord, for sometimes thinking I am somehow self-made. Forgive me for not always being aware of how truly fortunate I have been. Help me, Lord, to have a heart overflowing with gratitude and hands reaching out with generosity. Help me make a gift that reflects all of the blessings that You have so richly poured out on me.
Psalm We blast TV or radio on the morning run. Video game sounds have become normal background noise in our daily lives. Our computers, TVs, iPods, cell phones are all constantly providing the white noise of our lives. Moment after moment, day after day, we are surrounded by a cacophony of sound. What, in the name of heaven, is silence except a long forgotten memory? Yet perhaps the psalmist knows a secret. As we strive to be open to God, as we strive to wait upon God, perhaps we need to be silent and still.
Perhaps, we could turn off the radio in the car and drive in silence. Perhaps, we could turn off the TV while exercising. Go for your jog or walk without the headphones. Ask God to speak, take the time to listen and you may just be surprised. His name is Paul. Paul took the call to wait on God seriously. His shower time became his prayer time. As he wrestled with the soap and washcloth he was wrestling with God and what God wanted for his life. Paul listened and God spoke. What is it that may prevent me from listening to God?
What specific time could I devote to listening to God? What do I want from God? Am I willing to listen and obey? Prayer Gracious God, forgive me for my failure to take time to listen and be still. Forgive me for filling my life with everything but You. Teach me, speak to me, help me to listen and give me the faith to obey.
Psalm James loves to tell the story of a time when he went bow hunting.
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Questions to consider What do I expect as I wait upon God? Prayer Oh God, forgive me for the times I have fallen asleep beneath the oak tree and missed opportunities to serve and love You. Isaiah In our family, we all understood that if we went to a restaurant and the line was long and the wait more than a few minutes, we were not going to stay. Questions to consider Am I willing to wait upon God? Prayer Dear God, forgive me for always being in such a hurry.
Mark Perhaps the saddest story in Scripture is of the rich young man who quietly and sadly turns away from Jesus when asked to sell what he has and give it to the poor. In his explanation to the disciples of this difficult teaching, Jesus indicates that the fundamental question is one of trust. In whom or what do we place our trust? From our earliest days most of us are taught to make it on our own, to depend on no one but ourselves. We are continually reminded to value our independence. Who do we trust for our happiness? For many of us the answer is rather simple and obvious.
We trust in ourselves and our ability to take care of ourselves. In God Calling, the authors write: I am your Lord, your supply. You must rely on Me. Trust to the uttermost limit. Trust and do not be afraid. You must depend on Divine Power only. In the midst of making your decision on giving, you are asked to prayerfully consider not only the question of sacrifice, but also the questions of faith and trust.
Does the gift you are considering demonstrate that ultimate faith and trust rests in God and not in the accumulation of wealth and possessions?
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The Williamsons were already committed to giving to their church. They were comfortable and felt good about their tithing. As they prayed and waited on God, they felt called to increase their tithe, to go up to the next step of giving. They said yes and made the commitment. THEN, this couple saw their stocks crash and they faced the difficult question of what to do about their commitment.
Most of us would be shaken and afraid to see our commitment through. But the Williamsons were people who had ultimate faith and trust in God. As you look at our life, where do you truly place trust? If you were the rich young man, how would you respond to Jesus? Does the gift you are considering represent faith and trust in God and not in ability to accumulate wealth and possessions?
Prayer Lord, I confess that Your question to the rich young man deeply troubles me.
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I speak of trust and faith in You but often find myself living as if I only trust in myself, my abilities, my wealth and my possessions. Teach me Lord.
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Teach me to trust truly in You and Your love. Show me the gift You would have me make, a gift of sacrifice and faith, Amen. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. From: HPB Inc. Dallas, TX, U. Connecting readers with great books since Customer service is our top priority!. More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. More information about this seller Contact this seller Satisfaction Guaranteed!
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Because in it, we hear the call to realize all of our promise, to recapture the dreams of childhood with a certainty that we can achieve them. In a clean sweep it washes away the ordinariness of our usual thinking and begs us to act on what we can never really put away and forget. But what do we do with such precious moments of clarity and inspiration?
Do we, in fact, act? All too often, there is a thought that runs our minds and our lives, squashing our potential, sentencing us to our mediocrity and survival struggles. What will people think if I make such a splash, what will I have to sacrifice in the way of comfort and familiarity? This is the thought that kills inspiration, buries the spirit and saps us of life energy. But when we consider acting on it, what are the thoughts that stop us? How will we convince ourselves to put it away once again?
Consider this quote from George Bernard Shaw:.