G.I.F.T. 10-28-18

 Growing In Faith Together  
 October 28, 2018


 TODAY’S TEXTS 
 Jeremiah 31:31-34 
 Psalm 46 
 Romans 3:19-28 
 John 8:31-36

GATHERED BY GRACE 
Paul says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. With this reality, how can we have any hope apart from grace? Jeremiah reminds us of a new covenant written on our hearts: the promise that God will forgive. And John proclaims that our freedom comes from Christ alone. We are neither bound to the past nor slaves to our present anxieties.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* “People inherently want to play a part in their own salvation. They like to think they have earned it.” What are your thoughts on that statement?
* What does it mean to have God’s law written on one’s heart?
* If we truly believe that God forgives us freely for Jesus’ sake, then why do so many Christians carry burdens of guilt?
* What does the concept of being “set free in Christ” mean to you?

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 John 8:31-36
Monday Romans 3:28
Tuesday Galatians 5:13-14
Wednesday Philippians 2:4-8
Thursday Psalm 24
Friday Psalm 121
Saturday Romans 8:31-39
Sunday John 11:32-44

Next Sunday:  Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 24; Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44

PRAYERS FOR THIS WEEK
For the Week: Reforming God, write your law on my heart so your ways might become my ways.

Throughout the Day: Still me so I may know you.

Blessing to Share: Be still, and know that God is here.

For mealtime say responsively: 
If the Son makes you free:  You will be free indeed.

Autumn Mealtime Prayer:   
We thank the Lord for food and drink,
For appetite and power to think,
For loved ones dear, for home and friends,
For everything the good Lord sends. Amen.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION  
Devotional Practice: 
If there is one thing we learn from the Reformation texts, it is that God is full of compassion, steadfast in love, and longing to forgive. During prayer, Teresa of Avila would just sit and imagine Jesus is sitting across from her, looking upon her with intense love. Try this prayer a couple of times this week. See the Jesus gaze upon you with compassion, love, and forgiveness. Soak in this mercy then say a simple prayer of thanks.

Autumn Ritual: 
Keep a gratitude journal this fall. Each day, review your list and add one more thing. Think of how many things you will have by Thanksgiving! We tend to fixate on what's going wrong ? or might go wrong.  A gratitude journal helps re-direct our thinking to God’s many good gifts.

SCATTERED TO SERVE 
Next Sunday is All Saints’ Day. Do you know anyone who is grieving a loss – recent or not so recent? Phone them, send a letter or a card, or take them a bunch of flowers or a plate of treats.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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