G.I.F.T. 9-3-17

Growing In Faith 
Together   
September 3, 2017

TODAY’S TEXTS 
Jeremiah 15:15-21 
Psalm 26:1-8 
Romans 12:9-21 
Matthew 16:21-28


GATHERED BY GRACE 
The prophet Jeremiah speaks of the incurable wound of his suffering yet finds in God's words the delight of his heart. When Peter doesn't grasp Jesus' words about suffering, Jesus tells the disciples they will find their lives in losing them. Such sacrificial love is described by Paul when he urges us to associate with the lowly and not repay evil with evil.
Discuss in your household or small group: 
* Paul presents benchmarks for faithful relationships with Christians and non-Christians. How would our public life be affected if Christians truly followed these teachings more often?
* How is the Spirit leading you to "overcome evil with good"? 
* In what way does Gloria Dei "contribute to the needs of the saints" and "extend hospitality to strangers"?
* What does it mean to “lose one’s life”?
* What makes it challenging for you personally “to give your life away”?

DAILY BIBLE READINGS
These readings are related to the Sunday readings. M-W reflect upon the past Sunday’s readings and Th-Sa prepare for the next Sunday.  Try to take time each day to read the assigned Bible passage.
Sunday Matthew 16:21-28
Monday Psalm 17:6-9
Tuesday Revelation 3:4-8
Wednesday Jeremiah 17:7-8
Thursday Psalm 119:33-36
Friday Romans 10:15b-17
Saturday Ezekiel 33:1-6
Sunday Matthew 18:15-20

Next Sunday: Ezekiel 33:7-11; Psalm 119:33-40; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20 

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week:  Humble me. Direct me. Give me strength to follow.

Throughout the Day: Remind me to hold fast to what is good.

Blessing to Share: May you rejoice in hope.

For mealtime say responsively: Hate what is evil: hold fast to what is good.

Summer Mealtime Prayer:   
Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you, God, for everything. Amen

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  

Devotional Practice: In Romans, Paul presents impossible sounding “benchmarks” for living in relationship. The Gospel tells us that to be follower of Jesus we need to “take up our cross” which is impossible if you focus on your ability. God works through you; the impossible things are ONLY possible because of God in your life. Use the following prayer from St. Patrick as a morning prayer.  
I arise today through a mighty strength; 
God’s power to guide me, God’s might to uphold me,
God’s eyes to watch over me, God’s ear to hear me, 
God’s word to give me speech, God’s hand to guard me, 
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to shelter me, 
God’s host to secure me.

Summer Ritual: Place a plant or a picture of a plant near the place where you wake each morning. Look at the plant each morning and pray May I grow in the love of God and share it with everyone.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
Summer is almost over! Take some time to clean up the great outdoors. Find yourself some rubber gloves and a trash bag. Pick up the trash at a park near you. Gather all that litter along our roads and streets. Take care of the creation that God has provided.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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